(Born December 8, 1942) -- If you need a clue about the contributions of Bill Polian, check out the names on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It’s the newest one up there.
Polian has been associated with football throughout his life. He worked his way up the ladder in the pros, moving from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League, and then putting together two championship teams in the Canadian Football League.
Polian eventually landed in Buffalo, and was promoted to general manager in 1986. He put together the pieces on a roster that became the only team in NFL history to appear in four straight Super Bowls.
However, he wasn’t around for all of those years. Polian was let go by the Bills in 1993 and replaced by John Butler. Polian moved on to Carolina, where he built the Panthers into a good team. Then it was on to Indianapolis, where Polian played a role in making the Colts a powerhouse, and a Super Bowl champion, during his time there.
Indianapolis suffered through a poor 2011 season, and Polian was fired by Colts ownership. He’s now working as a contributor to ESPN.
--- Budd Bailey