Greg Brown is on the broadcast team for Pittsburgh Pirates baseball on ROOT Sports but he was on the Bills broadcast team the last time the games were on WGR. I asked Greg to share some of his favorite memories of those years.
My first game ever as part of the broadcast team was the pre-season World Bowl game in London from Wembley Stadium as the Bills played the Philadelphia Eagles. What a rush! When the iconic Van Miller welcomed me as his new broadcast partner just as we took the air, I felt a great sense of pride and responsibility to try and provide the best possible analysis to the most passionate fan base in the NFL.
The Adam Lingner Show! Proof the Buffalo Bills had reached “rock star” status when WGR made radio history by providing the team’s long snapper with his own radio show! We even produced a theme song for the show, sung to the tune of “The Adams Family”. The show had quite a cult following. We took it on the road every Monday night and, because he was universally popular on the team, he’d get a different star-player to come with him each week to the remote. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Cornelius Bennett all made appearances.
My weekly visits with Director of Player Personnel, Bob Ferguson were invaluable for me. He broke down the upcoming opponent by patiently going through game film and providing listeners with some of the best radio I have ever heard. Those five minutes with “Fergie” would air just prior to kickoff on Sunday and more often than not, he was spot on with his scouting reports.
Needless to say, the “Comeback Game” against the Houston Oilers was the biggest thrill of my Bills career on WGR. I will never forget how disheartened we were at halftime with the Bills trailing 28-3. Van recognized my depressed state and, after we threw it to the studio and took our headsets off he patted me on the back and said, “Hey, listen buddy. Just think, you can go to Florida this week and go golfing and start your vacation OR, maybe our boys will come back and we’ll still be working next weekend!”
In addition to doing color on Sundays, WGR appointed me their “beat reporter” for all things Bills. From the opening day of training camp in Fredonia to the day the players all cleaned out their lockers at Rich Stadium following the Super Bowls, I was there every day, talking to players and coaches, trying to provide the most complete, in-depth, up-to-the-minute coverage possible. WGR’s support allowed us to break some of the biggest stories over the years including the day Ralph Wilson decided to fire Bill Polian as General Manager. That was the toughest day of all for me. I had grown to respect Bill and considered him a friend and it was extremely difficult to go on the air with that news.
Those are just a few memories. It was a great run for WGR, the Bills and their great fans. Here’s hoping the magic returns now that the Bills are back home where they belong… on GR!!