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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jim Kelly

(Born on February 14, 1960) -- It took some time for Jim Kelly to find his way to Buffalo. Once he arrived, he found a home.

Kelly grew up in East Brady, Pa., and was a sports standout in high school. He wanted to go to Penn State, but the Nittany Lions would only offer him a scholarship to as a linebacker. Oops. Kelly went to Miami (Fla.) instead, and helped turn the Hurricanes into a national power.

The Bills needed a quarterback at that point in their history and drafted him in the first round. But Kelly signed with Houston of the United States Football League instead. He was a standout there until the USFL folded, and Kelly finally came to Western New York in 1986.

You might have heard about how he did here. Kelly was very good and very tough, a perfect combination for a Buffalo quarterback. He was one of the team’s leaders on and off the field, and he helped the Bills reach four straight Super Bowls.

In 2002, Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If you go to a Bills’ game now, you’ll still see fans wearing a replica of his jersey.

--- Budd Bailey

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