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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Lamonica becomes a Bill

     December 14, 1962 -- Usually when a football team is picking someone in the 24th round, it's the equivalent of throwing darts while blindfolded. You might get lucky once in a while, but the odds aren't with you.

     The Bills used a pick in that round in 1962 on a Notre Dame quarterback named Daryle Lamonica. He obviously wasn't considered much of a prospect, as the Packers took him in the 12th round. Green Bay did have a starter named Bart Starr, so Lamonica took a chance and signed with the Bills on this date instead.

     Lamonica spent four years in Buffalo. He only started four games, but fans loved to call for him when starter Jack Kemp had a bad day.

     Lamonica then was traded to the Raiders in a four-man deal involving Art Powell and Tom Flores. You might say it worked out pretty well for Oakland. Starting in 1967, Lamonica's record as a starter was 13-1, 11-2 (one game missed due to injury) and 12-1-1. "The Mad Bomber" even got the Raiders into Super Bowl II.

     Powell never had caught fewer than 50 passes in an AFL season before coming to Buffalo. He played in six games in 1967, caught 20 passes and was essentially done with pro football.

--- 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.