The Buffalo Bills are in the NFL’s East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC). The team, which plays in Buffalo, New York, was founded in 1960 as one of the original franchises of the American Football League (AFL). The Bills became part of the NFL in 1970 when the two leagues merged.
In the AFL, Buffalo played in the Eastern Division (1960-1969). When the club became part of the NFL, they were put into the AFC East (1970-present). The Bills have won 10 Division Championships—AFL Eastern (1964, 1965 and 1966) and the AFC East (1980. 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995). In 1964 and 1965, they won back-to-back AFL Championships, and from 1991 through 1993, they were AFC champions four years straight, going to four Super Bowls. However, despite dominating the conference in the early 90s, the club could not manage to win a Super Bowl.
Ralph Wilson, who was a minority owner of the Detroit Lions, originally founded the team. He had first tried to secure a AFL franchise in Miami but was turned down. Wilson still owns the team.
The Bills have had eight players and one coach inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They include quarterback Jim Kelley (1984-1985 Houston Gamblers and 1986-1996 Buffalo), running back Thurmon Thomas (1988-1999 Buffalo and 2000 Miami Dolphins) and coach Marv Levy (1986-1997). Infamous running back O.J. Simpson (1969-1977 Buffalo and 1978-1979 San Francisco 48ers) is also a member of the Hall.
During his career, Kelley, who was an impressive team leader, passed for 5,219 yards and 83 touchdowns. In one season, he threw 44 TDs. Running for 12,074 yards while scoring 88 touchdowns helped Thomas get into the Hall of Fame. The highly successful Levy had a career in football that spanned six decades, three of which were spent with the Bills. Simpson rushed for 11,236 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and scoring 61 touchdowns.
The Bills played their initial years at War Memorial Stadium (1960-1972). They moved to Rich Stadium in 1973, which was renamed Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1999. They presently call that venue home. In 2008, they are also scheduled to play one game at the Rogers Center, which was formerly known at the SkyDome. The stadium is located in Toronto, Ontario. The team mascot is Billy Buffalo.
Dick Jauron coaches the club. Jauron, who coached Buffalo for one year in 1985, reestablished himself as head coach of the team in 2006. The Bills presently have no general manager.