There will be no addition to the Buffalo Bills’ Wall of Fame this year. Instead, the team will honor all 28 members of the franchise’s ring of honor during ceremonies at the Sept. 15 game against the Carolina Panthers, the Bills announced Wednesday.
In a halftime ceremony at the game, the Wall of Famers, or their representatives, will be introduced to the crowd and presented with an honorary, navy-blue blazer.
The Bills’ Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium was created in 1980 to honor former players, coaches and administrators.
“We have been looking to do something different with the Wall of Fame ceremony for the past couple of years that would be of interest to all of our fans,” said Scott Berchtold, Bills senior vice president of communications. “So with all the changes this year with our team, we thought this would be the perfect time for a celebration of our organization’s highest honor.”
The inducted members, by year: 2012, Bill Polian; 2011, Phil Hansen; 2010, Booker Edgerson; 2008, Bruce Smith; 2007, Steve Tasker; 2006, Andre Reed; 2005, Thurman Thomas; 2004, Jim Ritcher; 2003, Darryl Talley; 2002, Kent Hull; 2001, Fred Smerlas; 2001, Jim Kelly; 2000, George Saimes; 2000, Bob Kalsu; 1999, Edward Abramoski; 1998, Robert James; 1997, Joe DeLamielleure; 1996, Marv Levy; 1995, Joe Ferguson; 1994, Mike Stratton; 1993, Elbert Dubenion; 1992, The 12th Man; 1989, Ralph C. Wilson Jr.; 1988, Billy Shaw; 1987, Tom Sestak; 1985, Patrick J. McGroder; 1984, Jack Kemp; 1980, O.J. Simpson.
Members who have died include Kemp, McGroder, Sestak, Kalsu, Saimes and Hull. Fans attending the game will get a Wall of Fame souvenir. To be eligible for induction, a player must have played with the Bills for at least three years and be retired from professional football, or have made outstanding contributions as an administrator or coach.
Attorneys for Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams were told last week by a Texas state district judge to turn over his cellular phone and some financial and medical records in the latest chapter in the dispute over an engagement ring he wants back from his former fiancee.
Harris County state district judge Larry Weiman made the ruling Friday. Williams filed a suit in early May to regain possession of the 10.04-carat ring, reportedly worth $785,000. His former fiance, Erin Marzouki, subsequently filed a countersuit alleging Williams is trying to harass and scare her. Her suit alleges Williams broke up with her only to reconcile and told her to keep the ring after their final split. The two were engaged from February 2012 to January 2013.
According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Weiman ruled that Williams’ attorneys must hand over the phone plus certain documents, but only those covering the time of the couple’s engagement. A court-appointed master will examine the phone and determine if there is data on it that should be withheld from Marzouki’s attorneys. All of the information would be sealed under a protective order.
No trial date has been set.
Meanwhile, a report from Houston television station KTRK says that a Texas state agency is looking into whether Williams got special treatment to receive a law enforcement degree from Lone Star State College. Williams was able to complete 660 hours of course work in four months, nearly two months ahead of the other students, who graduated from the Lone Star Law Enforcement Academy last week.
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education informed the college by letter last week that it received a citizen’s complaint that a recent cadet didn’t complete the program’s Basic Peace Officer Course according to appropriate standards.
The commission’s preliminary findings showed the academy did not meet certain state standards and law enforcement training at the school should be suspended until further notice. The name of the cadet in question is blacked out in the letter from the commission. KTRK says unidentified sources report it is Williams. The station quoted an instructor at the program who said Williams completed all of the course work.