20 players have worn the #84 for the Buffalo Bills?
Is current #84 Scott Chandler the best of all of them?
- Scott Chandler 29 games, 82 receptions, 968 rec yards, 12 TDs
- James Hardy 2 games, 1 reception, 9 rec yards
- Robert Royal 47 games, 81 receptions, 832 rec yards, 7 TDs, 1 rush, -9 rush yds
- Mark Campbell 42 games, 70 receptions, 681 rec yards, 6TDs
- Reggie Germany 16 games, 1 reception, 12 rec yards,
- Bobby Collins 26 games, 15 receptions, 196 rec yards, 2TDs
- Lonnie Johnson 79 games, 153 receptions, 1,489 rec yards, 5 TDs, 1 rush, 6 rush yds
- Keith McKeller 80 games, 124 receptions, 1,464 rec yards, 11 TDs
- Don Kern 1 game
- Veno Belk 2 games, 1 reception, 7 rec yards
- Buster Barnett 56 games, 26 receptions, 236 rec yards, 1 TDs
- Perry Richards 11 games, 19 receptions, 285 rec yards, 4 TDs
- Duke Fergerson
- Mike Franckowiak 16 games, 5 kickoff returns, 60 return yards
- Danny Fulton
- Art Powell 6 games, 20 receptions, 346 rec yards, 4 TDs
- Austin Denney 15 games, 14 receptions, 201 rec yards
- Ernie Warlick 56 games, 90 receptions, 1,551 rec yards, 4 TDs
- Dan Chamberlain 15 games, 18 receptions, 295 rec yards, 4 TDs
- Bob Barrett 2 games
As I scanned the list, this looked like a tough one. First you have Scott Chandler. Who doesn’t love Scott Chandler? He’s a great player, great guy, his per game stats are already the best on the list, and he has enough highlights to fill up a 4 minute highlight video:
Get well soon Scott, we need you out there this year!
Then, there was Lonnie Johnson. I had no idea Lonnie Johnson put up numbers like he did. Probably because I despised Lonnie Johnson. He was the BEST at running a 6 yard route on 3rd and 8. His consistent boneheaded play finally manifested itself in a 1997 game at Green Bay. Lonnie was running with the ball free and clear towards the end zone, while looking BACKWARDS and almost got decapitated by the Packer’s Darren Sharper.
I searched and searched for internet video of this and it does not exist -so I found this instead. It’s very close to what happened and really does his stupidiity justice:
Then there is Keith McKeller. Great player from the Super Bowl Teams with excellent numbers. Many people think the 1990s K-Gun offense was named after Jim Kelly. Nope. It is a 100% fact that it was McKeller’s talents that made that offense work and that’s why the “K” in K-gun is for Keith McKeller. McKeller was 30 seconds away from winning the honor until I came across Ernie Warlick’s name on the list.
Not only was Ernie Warlick a great Buffalo Bills Tight End with great stats, 2 AFL Championships and 4 AFL All-Pro selections to his credit, but he was an even better man off of the field.
This next section comes from a retelling of a chapter in Jeffrey J. Miller’s book “Rockin’ The Rockpile“
Rockin’ the Rockpile is an incredible book, featuring the FULL history of the AFL Bills. From how Ralph acquired the team, to their first Training Camps in East Aurora & Hamburg, to the AFL Championships and beyond. If you love the Bills as much as I think you do, it’s a must read. I came away with a great appreciation for those early teams and even Ralph Wilson.
Ernie Warlick was a true pioneer and was one of the first professional athletes to stand up to the racism and segregation that was rampant in the South in the 1960s.
The 1965 AFL All-Star Game was set to be held in New Orleans. When the Bills representatives (Jack Kemp, Cookie Gilchrist, Mike Stratton, Ernie Warlick, Butch Byrd) got to New Orleans, they found that the white players were staying in one hotel and the black players weren’t staying with their teammates, but instead had to stay in a separate black hotel. And it didn’t end there. The black AFL players were insulted as they ate, couldn’t get a cab, weren’t allowed entry into most French Quarter establishments and the places that they could get into refused them service.
Buffalo BIll players like Ernie Warlick and Cookie Gilchrist didn’t like it one bit and they took a stand. They met with the black players on the AFL All-Star squad and said, “This isn’t right. We shouldn’t play the game.” They agreed, if this is the way the city of New Orleans was going to treat them, they were going home.
This sent shockwaves through the locker room and coaching staff. Tempers ran high, but Eastern All-Star squad captain Buffalo Bills QB Jack Kemp agreed and decided that it would be an all-or-nothing proposition and ALL players–black or white–would be boycotting the game.
Ernie Warlick’s accomplishments on the field were dwarfed by his bravery of off it.
The game was forced to be rescheduled for a few weeks later in Houston. By standing up for himself and his fellow players, Ernie Warlick will always have a special place in Buffalo Bills and American history.
This story would make an incredible ESPN 30 for 30.
I love this story so much, that I bought and proudly display this orignal 1965 newspaper press photo of Buffalo Bill Ernie Warlick packing his things that night.
When Ernie Warlick passed away in November 2012, WGRZ’s Claudine Ewing did a fantastic piece on Warlick’s legacy to the Bills and his family. He meant so much to his family that it is a fitting tribute to award him this honor on this Father’s Day. Please watch this video and enjoy:
Congratulations Ernie Warlick, you are the best player ever to wear the #84 for the Buffalo Bills!