By Mark Gaughan
Buffalo Bills great Cookie Gilchrist and former Bills quarterback Daryle Lamonica are among 20 players nominated for the Hall of Very Good by the Pro Football Researchers Association.
The researchers group started the honor in 2003 as a way to recognize outstanding players who were not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Every year between eight and 10 are given the Hall of Very Good distinction. The non-profit PFRA was formed in 1979 and is open to any fan interested in the history of professional football. Its members have worked to compile statistics from games of long ago, compile play-by-play game books, document the names of all officials in NFL history, and many other research projects. The group also produces a magazine, The Coffin Corner, six times a year.
Last year, Bills great Jack Kemp and South Dayton, N.Y., native Bill Bergey were named to the HOVG. In 2011, defensive tackle Tom Sestak and coach Lou Saban became the first two Bills to be honored.
The other 18 finalists this year are:Tackle Grady Alderman, defensive back Erich Barnes, linebacker Mike Curtis, quarterback Roman Gabriel, guard Gale Gillingham, linebacker Larry Grantham, guard Ken Gray, receiver Charlie Hennigan, defensive end Rich “Tombstone” Jackson, guard Bob Kuechenberg, tackle George Kunz, back Tony Latone, defensive end Harvey Martin, cornerback Lemar Parrish, guard Duane Putnam, safety Donnie Shell, defensive end Bill Stanfill and tackle Jim Tyrer.
Gilchrist made first-team all-American Football League three times, in 1962, ’64 and ’65. He rushed for 4,293 yards in 4 ½ seasons. He had rushing yards 3,056 and 35 touchdowns in three seasons with the Bills.
Lamonica played for the Bills from 1963 to 1966, mostly as the backup to Jack Kemp. He was dealt to Oakland in 1967 in the worst trade in Bills history. “The Mad Bomber” started the next six seasons for the Raiders, posting a 61-14-6 record and making five all-star games.
Two of the nominees received all-decade honors. Tyrer was one of two offensive tackles on the AFL’s all-decade team. Martin was one of four defensive ends on the NFL’s all-decade team of the ‘70s.
taggedCookie Gilchrist | Daryle Lamonica | Jack Kemp | Lou Saban | Tom Sestak