by Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page

We are counting from 99 to 0 to determine who’s the best Buffalo athlete to wear each number.  It’s Buffalo Sports By The Numbers here on Buffalo Sports Page.

We’ll have a new number and athlete every day this summer.  Each story also includes reaction from the Buffalo Sports Page staff, and a way to catch up on numbers you’ve missed.

After every 10 numbers, a Sylvester & Peck On Sports podcast will feature Budd Bailey and the guys reacting to the selection.  The latest podcast featuring analysis of the 60’s numbers is available in the podcast section.

#59

London Fletcher, Bills. This was one of the best free-agent signings in Buffalo’s history. Fletcher joined the Bills from the Rams, and he led the NFL in tackles in his first season (2002). London stayed five years before going to Washington. Others: Sam Rogers, Bills; Shane Nelson, Bills; Paul Guidry, Bills.

Paul Peck’s Digit Discussion:  I’m OK with Budd’s selection of London Fletcher.  But I always thought that was a bit overrated due to the amount of tackles he made.  To me, a lot of those tackles were 4-5 yards downfield.  To me, that’s not making an impact.  It’s just making the stat sheet look good.  Sam Rogers was an unsung, but valuable member of the great Bills defensive units in the late 1990’s.  He did the dirty work of coverage and setting the edge, while Bruce Smith, Bryce Paup & Phil Hansen rushed the passer and Sam Cowart & Chris Spielman racked up the tackles.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 60?  Visit the Buffalo Sports By The Numbers section on the home page.

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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