For Pete's Sake

By: Pete Fierle

Pete Fierle, Manager - Digital Media/Communications
Pete's familiarity with the game's history is a result of spending two decades surrounded by the world's largest collection of pro football information. His many duties include overseeing the Hall's website as well as the day-to-day operation of the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center.

Throwback Thursday: 1980s


Jun 12, 2014
As part of our 40 GREAT Days of Summer promotion, we’re celebrating Throwback Thursday as we look back at the 1980s. While, I’m not dressed in a jersey from that era I will recount one of my favorite personal football memories.

Kickoff weekend 1980 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Well, first of all, the term Kickoff Weekend wasn’t around but hearing “Week 1” or “Home Opener” sufficed for all football fans excited for a new season. I grew up in Buffalo and was an ardent Bills fan. The team had never really experienced much winning during most of my childhood but like every year, there was hope in the air!

Buffalo opened the 1980 season against their arch rival Miami Dolphins. To make matters worse, the Bills went 0-for-the-1970s versus Miami. Yes, twice a year for 10 straight years, Miami beat Buffalo. It remains the biggest consecutive winning streak of one team over another in NFL history.


That day – Sept. 7, 1980 – was an exhilarating and thrilling day for me and the other 79,597 fans on hand at Rich Stadium (#TBT #TheRalph). The decade of near misses and utter frustration finally came to an end. When the final gun sounded, the scoreboard glowed BILLS 17, DOLPHINS 7. The 20-game losing streak to the Dolphins was over! Bills fans stormed the field. I stood at my seat 11 rows above the Miami bench and watched the bedlam. The mob made its way to each end zone and tore down the goal posts.

In case you might want to see a bit of what I’m recounting or if you’re a big Pat Benatar fan, here’s a low-quality YouTube video of the highlights.


Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson rejoiced in the aftermath by declaring, ““It’s the biggest win this club’s ever had,” he commented. “Bigger than the AFL championships. I’ll be happy to buy new goal posts.”

So, that’s my 1980s Throwback Thursday memory. Now, it’s your turn to share your favorite NFL memory for the 1980s. Post a comment hear or on social media. Be sure to use our handle @ProFootballHOF and hash tag it #TBT.