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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Happy Days

   December 26, 1964 -- It's the best day in Buffalo Bills' history by most standards ... at least until a Super Bowl title comes to town. The Bills won their first AFL championship with a 20-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers before 40,242 in War Memorial Stadium.

   The Bills spotted the Chargers a 7-0 lead, and then scored the next 20 points to wrap up the win. Jack Kemp and Wray Carlton each ran for touchdowns, while Pete Gogolak added two field goals.

   However, the game is mostly remembered for a single tackle. Keith Lincoln of the Chargers caught a swing pass in the flat, only to be clobbered by Bills' linebacker Keith Lincoln. The San Diego running back left the game with broken ribs.

   "What an explosion!" Bills cornerback Butch Byrd said. "He hit Lincoln, and I think Lincoln was shot. His whole career went down the tubes when Mike hit him."

   Exactly a year later, the Bills were even better. Buffalo knocked off San Diego, 23-0, on the West Coast to make it two in a row. Kemp threw a touchdown pass to Ernie Warlick, Byrd returned an interception for a touchdown, and Gogolak kicked three field goals.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.