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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Howard Ballard

(Born November 3, 1963) -- In basketball, there’s a phrase among scouts that goes something like, “You can’t teach height.” In other words, it’s always a good idea to take a big man. The football equivalent probably is something like, “You can’t teach big.”

Howard Ballard was big. He was so big, in fact, that it didn’t take him long to get the nickname of “House.”

Ballard played college football at Alabama A&M, where he was all-conference twice. He was a classic “project” pick by the Bills, going in the 11th round of the 1987 draft.

It took a while, but Ballard grew into a fine offensive tackle for Buffalo. Eventually he became a starting tackle in 1988, as Joe Devlin moved over the guard, and played in four Super Bowls for the Bills. He even participated in two Pro Bowls.

Then Ballard moved on to Seattle in 1994 for four years and $10.5 million. He stayed with the Seahawks through 1998. After starting for three seasons, Ballard’s knees started to give out and he had to give up the game.

--- Budd Bailey

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