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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Mike Mamula

(Born August 14, 1973) -- Mike Mamula has a unique place in the history of the National Football League. He made some extra money in the process, and taught football executives a lesson.

Mamula came out of Lackawanna High School and played his college football for Boston College. He was a linebacker as a junior and a defensive end as a senior. No matter where he played, Mamula made plenty of tackles.  In fact, he had 17 sacks as a senior.

Mamula prepared for the NFL draft in what was a unique way at the time. He was the first player ever to train specifically for the drills that were used at the NFL Combine. Mamula’s numbers for strength and speed were off the chart. As a result, his draft stock rose quickly.

The Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the seventh pick in the first round, and grabbed Mamula. They gave up the 12th pick, which Tampa Bay used to take Warren Sapp.

Mamula played six years with the Eagles before he retired due to injuries. That’s not bad, although some were disappointed with his performance after the draft build-up. Mamula still lives in Philadelphia.

--- Budd Bailey

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