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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Welcome, Thurman

   September 4, 1988 -- Opening Day doesn't have the same ring to it in football than it does in baseball. Still, it's a great time to start making judgments about rookies.

   There were plenty of thumbs-up signals by Bills' fans on this day after watching Thurman Thomas play his first game in a Buffalo uniform.

   You might remember Thomas suffering through the NFL draft the previous April, as he waiting to see where he finally would be taken. Thomas eventually went to the Bills in the second

   It didn't take Thomas long to make an impact. In fact, he scored his first professional touchdown in the first quarter of the first game, a home contest against the Minnesota Vikings.

   Thomas finished the day with 18 carries for 86 yards and the score. Jim Kelly was 17 of 31 for 204 yards, while Andre Reed caught eight passes for 78 yards. The Bills finished with a 13-10 win. It was the first time that the Bills had won on Opening Day since 1982.

   We heard a lot about those three players in the years ahead, as they sparked the Buffalo offense to four straight Super Bowl appearances.

-- 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.