By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

George Ratterman – Signed by the Bills in 1947

George Ratterman is one of the best-remembered players from the Buffalo Bills of the All-American Football Conference. He only had three seasons here, but they were good ones. Besides, it wasn’t his fault that the entire league went out of business.

Ratterman played college football at Notre Dame, and the quarterback helped the Fighting Irish win a national championship in 1946. He was suspended in 1947, and he took the opportunity to turn pro at the age of 20 and join the Bills. He completed more than half of his passes in 1947, plus a league-leading 20 more to the other team. Ratterman threw for 2,577 yards in 1948, and hit on 57.9 percent of his throws to lead the league in 1949.

That edition of the Bills died at that point, and Ratterman hooked on with the New York Yanks for two seasons. That franchise essentially folded, and Ratterman moved on to backup duty with the Cleveland Browns. Otto Graham retired before the 1956 season, and Ratterman shared the starter’s duties with two others that season. Then he retired. Ratterman became a lawyer who served as general counsel to the American Football League Players Association. He also served as a national television commentator for AFL and NFL games from 1960 to 1972.

Ratterman had a post-football incident that was downright bizarre. Here’s the story:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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