Bobby Chandler 

He was considered too slow to play in the NFL, yet he averaged 13.6 yds. per catch during his career with the Buffalo Bills. He was said to be too small to take the physical beating that a wide receiver gets in the NFL, but he managed to play 8 seasons with the Bills and 4 more with the Oakland Raiders. Bobby Chandler, year in and year out always seemed to find a way to get it done.

Ignored until the 7th round of the 1971 NFL draft, Chandler came out of USC where he was a collegiate teammate of O.J. Simpson and was selected as MVP in the 1971 Rose Bowl game. In his first season with the Bills, Chandler mostly watched from the sidelines with fellow rookie wide-out and number 1 draft pick, J.D. Hill, as Haven Moses and Marlin Briscoe received most of the playing time. In 1972 Lou Saban once again became the coach of the Buffalo Bills and his first task was to convert his wide receivers into blockers for O.J. Simpson. This didn't sit to well with Moses and Briscoe and they were soon catching balls in Denver and Miami, respectively. Second year men, Chandler and Hill were fitted with cage masks and inserted into the starting line-up. Not that blocking for the Juice was all that chandler did however. In between blocking assignments, Bobby Chandler managed to grab 295 passes for 3,999 yards and score 34 touchdowns for the Bills. Most importantly however was Chandler's knack for getting open on 3rd down and making his trademark sideline, circus catches. Youths all over the Western New York region who were playing football in the street, would touch their toes to the curb as they would catch the ball and shout, "I'm Bobby Chandler!"

Chandler led the Bills in receiving in 5 out of the 8 seasons that he spent in Buffalo in 1973 and from 1975-1978. In 1979 during training camp, Chandler came down on his shoulder, severely separating it in the process. He was just 1 reception shy of tying Elbert Dubenion's record of 296 and 1 yard shy from becoming only the second Bill to amass 4,000 yards. He would never play another down as a Buffalo Bill again. In 1980 he expressed his wish to be traded to a west coast team, so as to spend more time with his family. He didn't give the Bills an ultimatum, he just expressed his wishes. His wish was granted when he was traded to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker, Phil Villapiano. With the Raiders, Chandler caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XV in a winning effort.

After his playing career was over, Chandler used his handsome good looks to land a part hosting a syndicated sports show. In 1995 Bobby Chandler died in Los Angeles, Ca. of cancer. It was a shock to almost every Bills fan. He will always be remembered for his movie star, good looks and his third down, sideline, circus catches.


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