One of the traditions in team sports that is particularly appealing to those that appreciate history and nostalgia is that of retiring the jersey numbers of great players from the past. There are three parts to the process though; first is having the great career, then is the jersey retirement ceremony, and finally is the passing of time so that people can look back at the list of great players from the team’s history.
Not all teams retire a lot of jerseys though. In fact, some teams don’t retire jersey numbers at all.
A list of just some of the great Buffalo Bills players from the past includes:
Not one of them has their jersey retired though. Not one. The reason for that is simple though. The only former Buffalo Bills player to have their jersey number retired is former quarterback Jim Kelly. His number 12 is the only one acknowledged as retired and expressly not used each year.
There are three numbers that are not used by the Bills anymore, but have not officially been retired: #32, #34, and #78.
#32 was worn by running back O.J. Simpson.
#34 was worn by running back Thurman Thomas.
#78 was worn by defensive end Bruce Smith.