Love and Pain: My Story of the 1990 Buffalo Bills

Randall CastroContributor IMay 28, 2009

The snap, the hold...the kick.


And so began my love affair with the Buffalo Bills. At all of seven-years-old, I had suffered my first sport-induced heartbreak.

My team: My Jim Kelly, my Thurman Thomas, my Andre Reed, my Bruce Smith  (yes, I can indeed name the entire starting lineup on either side of the ball at any given moment) just lost?

If ever there was a single moment in sports history that directly reflects my emotion at a particular moment, it's Scott Norwood's reaction to his missed kick that left Buffalo on the wrong side of a 20-19 score in Super Bowl XXV.

The 1990 Buffalo Bills had eight Pro Bowlers, including MVP Jim Kelly. They boasted a 13-3 regular season record, including a perfect 8-0 record at home at Rich Stadium.

The Bills averaged 26.75 points per game, led by the league's leading passer in Kelly, and the yardage from scrimmage champion in Thomas.

Defensive end Bruce Smith recorded a franchise-record 19 sacks en route to being named the Newspaper Enterprise Association Defensive Player of the Year.

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At the time, those stats meant nothing to me. All I knew was my team stormed through the AFC playoffs, averaging 47.5 ppg through the first two games on their way to the Super Bowl.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My dad and I in our basement, watching Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem. Fighter Jets flew over the Stadium commemorating the men and women overseas for Operation Desert Storm.

Details from the game itself are becoming haze some 18 years later. I still remember Thurman Thomas, my boyhood idol, scored on a 31 yard scamper.

The game didn't end the way I had hoped; it didn't have to.

Through three more Super Bowl losses, and what has become 18 years, I, very much still a devout Bills fan to this very day, will always hold a special soft spot for that1990 squad.


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