Title: The Bills Are Due
Billy Shaw. Joe Ferguson. Fred Smerlas. Before the days of multi-million dollar contracts for unproven players, there were men like these. Men who built one of America's most storied football franchises without expecting lucrative endorsement deals or $80 autograph fees.
In The Bills Are Due, Rob Thompson pays tribute to the generations of players who made the Buffalo Bills -- and, by extension, Western New York -- what it is today. From the team's AFL days right through the '90s, it's all here -- the precision passing and thrilling touchdowns, as well as agonizing defeats -- told by the players themselves. In interviews with legends like Mike Stratton, Jack Kemp and more, fans also catch a rare, behind-the-scenes and sometimes odd life as a Bill.
But this is more than a recounting of the team's adolescence and memorable moments. Thompson's personal reminiscences of his own youth brilliantly capture the historical milieu of the team's "golden era" -- and remind readers why they first fell for New York's beloved Bills. Through it all, Thompson reveals the often-painful experiences of Bills in post-retirement -- and urges NFL and players' union leadership to establish equitable standards of compensation for the early gridiron warriors.