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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: O.J. the MVP

     December 23, 1973 -- The most valuable player in the National Football League doesn't quite hold the weight of the same award in major league baseball, but that doesn't mean it isn't coveted. On this date, O.J. Simpson joined the list of winners. Simpson was honored for his performance during a truly memorable season.

     You probably know he rushed for 2,003 yards in only 14 games. The number was good for the second of his four rushing titles. That works out to 143.1 yards per game, every game. How many Bills running backs have done that even once or twice in a season?

     Simpson averaged six yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns as he led the Bills to a 9-5 record. It was the team's first winning season since 1966.

     Buffalo had two MVP's during the days in the American Football League. Cookie Gilchrist won it in 1962, and Jack Kemp captured the honor in 1965.

     It was a long wait for such a trophy to come to Buffalo after Simpson. Thurman Thomas was the league's best player in 1991. Buffalo hasn't had a winner since then.

--- 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.