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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Ron McDole

(Born September 9, 1939) -- Ron McDole didn’t have a conventional career in pro football. It took all sorts of twists and turns. Even so, he was an excellent player for a long time.

McDole, an Ohio native, played college football at Nebraska. He was a fourth-round pick of the Cardinals in 1961 and spent a season in St. Louis. Then McDole suffered from migraine headaches that led to a variety of inconclusive tests and his eventual release. McDole then tried to play with the Houston Oilers, but had the same problem.

McDole was set to quit football when the Bills called in 1963. He turned into one of the their best defensive ends in history. McDole was a big part of the 1964 and 1965 AFL championship teams.
He stayed on the team through 1971, when he was traded to the Redskins. Buffalo coach John Rauch went public in saying McDole didn’t have much left. Owner Ralph Wilson disagreed, and the two got into an argument that led to Rauch’s dismissal.

McDole had plenty left. He stayed through 1978 and was part of some fine Washington teams. McDole holds the record for career interceptions by a defensive linemen with 12.

--- Budd Bailey

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