Nov. 10, 2015
Bills beat the Dolphins to end the "streak"
In the video, a young Bryant Gumble narrates the highlights of our win over Miami to break a 20 game losing streak. It's been 35 years since that game was played. How many of you remember that game? How many of you were at that game?
During the 1970s, we did not beat the Miami Dolphins. We still hold the longest losing streak to a single opponent in NFL history. As the streak got longer and longer, Bills fans became more and more obsessed with beating Miami and their quarterback, Bob Griese, who had led them to 20 straight victories over Buffalo.
Buffalo found new and exciting ways to lose to Miami every year during the streak. In 1979, my rookie season, we thought we finally had their number. With only seconds remaining in the game, we lined up for the winning field goal. The score was Miami 9 and the Bills 7. The field goal would put us on top 10-9, but as fate would have it, Tom Dempsey's field goal was wide left. The joke around the NFL was that he missed it by half a foot. For those who don't know, Tom was born without toes on his right foot. He wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe surface for kicking field goals.
In the 1980 season opener, we finally got the 500 pound Gorilla off our backs. Trailing 7-3 going into the fourth quarter, we scored two touchdowns in the final 3:42 of the game to secure a 17-7 win. Fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts after the game - a clear sign that the fans were feeling the losing streak even more than the team itself.
Ralph Wilson didn't care about the destruction of property. "It’s the biggest win this club’s ever had," he said. "Bigger than the AFL championships. I’ll be happy to buy new goal posts."
It was a game I'll never forget. I set a team record with 4 takeaways - a fumble recovery and three interceptions.
In his book entitled Buffalo Bills: The Complete Illustrated History, Sal Maiorana quoted me saying, "It was so nice to see us finally beat them, Not so much for me, but for the older veteran guys that had played for ten years and had lost every single game."
I should have added "Not so much for me, but for the fans that had endured 10 straight seasons of watching the disappointing and heartbreaking losses to the Dolphins.
The Bills beat Miami earlier this season. Lets beat them again today and start our own winning streak!