21 Days Until Buffalo Bills Kickoff: Washing Tables With Jerseys
With just 21 days left until kickoff, today we remember a player that left such a bad taste in our mouths that some restaurants were washing tables with his jersey.
We are just 21 days away from Buffalo Bills regular season football again. Leading up to the opening game, we'll be counting down by featuring former and current players.
We've had some big players over the years that have worn the #21 including our current star safety Jordan Poyer, Leodis McKelvin, CJ Spiller, and one of the most controversial draft picks ever from the Buffalo Bills - Willis McGahee.
Willis McGahee was a controversial pick from the minute his name was announced with the 23rd overall pick at the 2003 NFL Draft. At first, it was because of an incredibly serious injury that he sustained in the National Championship at the 2002 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. McGahee was hit down low and the hit nearly destroyed his knee. People wondered if he would ever play again. He had torn his ACL, PCL, and MCL. It was an awful injury.
WARNING: This video is graphic. It shows his knee getting bent backward:
But the Bills still chose him. He was in tears on draft day - so excited that not only did he get chosen with such an awful injury, but that he was chosen so early.
Because the injury was still fresh, he needed a lot of time to recover and was not available to play right away as a rookie. Many fans were angry with the pick and didn't want to wait for their first-round draft pick to get on the field. They wanted a guy that could help them right away.
Frustrations grew and people started to rumble about how long it was going to take to get him on the field. He didn't play his entire rookie season.
But he did get on the field and showed why the Bills grabbed him so early. McGahee racked up over 1100 yards and 13 touchdowns his sophomore year. He was an explosive back...
Sadly, public perception of McGahee took a major down turn after he made some pretty bad statements about the Bills, including how he thought they should move to Toronto - something that no Bills fan ever wants to hear.
There seemed to be no other option for the Bills. Obviously, he wasn't happy in Buffalo, and Bills fans weren't happy with him here either so a trade with the Baltimore Ravens was the solution.
Shortly after being traded is when we really found out how he felt about being here. According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, he said:
Coming from Miami, I was used to partying, going out, just having something to do every night. Restaurants, whatever. Going to Buffalo, it was like hitting a brick wall. Like, 'Damn!' Can't go out, can't do nothing...I'm like, 'What the?' And, you know, the women ...
"You see, when I was in college that's what I used to thrive off of," the 25-year-old says. "The better you do, the more fame you get. So you know, it was like, I was used to that. And then you get to Buffalo and no matter how you do, it's the same. It's no big city. You know what I did every day? I came home and played video games." - Willis McGahee
People were angry with him. Many ripped up his jersey, and some restaurants even began using them as rags to wipe their tables with.
McGahee went on to play a few more years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos, and the Cleveland Browns where he finished with his worst season ever. He averaged 2.7 yards per carry and only scored 2 touchdowns that year.
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