As I sat down to write a review of the typical Patriot Games last week, I got word that the Bills suffered their biggest loss in 13 years today when Kyle Williams decided that Sunday would be his last game in the NFL—as a Bill—and as the embodiment of the woeful, wonderful franchise and city.
Kyle Williams killed himself for 13 unlucky years on a series of bad, mediocre, and a couple of decent teams. He was often the best player on the field for either side.
And Kyle Williams WAS the Bills. Not big enough, too bloated, but scrappy, ferocious, and no one—no one—circled the wagons like Kyle Williams.
And he looked like no one circled the chuck wagon like Kyle Williams.
The over-stuffed, outstretched #95 jersey played for seven HCs, seven DCs, five GMS, nine DL coaches and excelled in everyone of their disparate, often ill-designed systems. He retires seventh all-time in games played as a Buffalo Bill
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love Kyle Williams as a player and a guy. How many people anywhere can you say that about? Even his opponents loved him. Hell, the Patriot players loved him.
That’s not right.
The list of accolades is impressive if not impossible for a fat, slow, nobody, drafted in the fifth round. Two All Pro seasons, Five Pro Bowls, one carry for one yard and one touchdown, one playoff game, and one career ending tackle of Johnny Football.
And the one word he chose to describe his career as a Bill is “Grateful.”
Nobody should be that nice and that cool.
But Kyle Williams is—and to prove it he added, about Buffalo, “I don’t know that a place has ever meant as much to anybody.” He has often said Buffalo has the toughest damn people anywhere.”
No tougher than you, KW. We were much luckier to have you than you were to have us.
GM Marv Levy and GM Dick Jauron drafted him back in 2006, and he started 11 games as a fat unheralded rookie, with 53 tackles, which is a ton for a first-year DT.
Partly because, remarkably, Kyle Williams, the pudgy, out of shape defensive lineman, is an incredible athlete. Former Bills TE, Scott Chandler recalled seeing Kyle hit eight batting practice
homeruns in the Toronto Blue Jay’s stadium shortly after he shot even par at Wanakah Country Club in Buffalo. Yep, Kyle Williams is a scratch golfer, too.
And the hits just keep on coming. Kyle Williams has been the best Ambassador for the Bills and the city for over a decade. The epitome of the Blue collar player in a blue jersey, drinking Labatt blues but never crying them. He was somehow, miraculously, simultaneously, both the soothing voice of reason and fiery rah-rah pre-game pep talker.
The epitome of what you want in an NFL player—a violent, ruthless, competitive warrior on every play until the whistle—as well as studying film and practicing/preparing for it—and then a thoughtful, wise, gentle giant dad, husband, teammate, and pillar of the community off of it.
Oh, and a rock along the defensive line with almost 50 sacks and over 600 tackles. Kyle earned 57.2 million dollars as a Bill and we got off cheap.
So this Sunday, against the stinking Dolphins, is Kyle Williams’ last game as a consummate professional and as a Buffalo Bill.
It is your duty to come down to the madhouse on Santa Monica, Busby’s, to watch him play and represent the franchise, the city, the game, and all that is good in the world.
By Pete Rosen
Please check out my Voice of the Fan column on the Buffalo News!