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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The last game, for a while

    December 10, 1972 -- We thought it was going to be the last hurrah for the Old Rockpile. In one sense, it was.

   The Bills played their final game in War Memorial Stadium on this date. They tied the Detroit Lions, 21-21, as O.J. Simpson ran for 116 yards on 27 carries. Greg Landry's touchdown pass to Ron Jessie spoiled the victory party for Buffalo. As of this writing, it's the last tie in the history of the Bills.

   It ranked as one of the oddest games in Buffalo Bills' history, with an entirely different atmosphere than, say, the last game in Memorial Auditorium. Perhaps few people were sad to see the old stadium go. Many of the fans had smuggled all sorts of tools into their winter coats for this game. As the final seconds ticked down, spectators could watch other fans working feverishly to extract their seats from the concrete floor of the building. Apparently the idea of a sale of seats hadn't quite entered anyone's mind yet.

   As it turned out, the old Rockpile needed those seats, even though the Bills landed in Rich Stadium the following August. Canisius College played some football games there. Then the Bisons landed in the facility as an Eastern League team in 1979. Baseball stayed in WMS almost another decade.

 --- 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.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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