By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Ron McDole – Signed by the Bills in 1963

At one point, Ron McDole was ready to give up his football career to become a teacher. Luckily, for the Bills, he gave football another chance – and played, and played, and played.

McDole was drafted by both the Cardinals and the Broncos in 1961, but couldn’t make either team. He was ready to give up football when Lou Saban called him. The Bills’ coach had tremendous enthusiasm when it came to a sales pitch, and he convinced McDole to give the sport another try. McDole signed, and became an important part of the team’s defensive line until 1971.

In the spring of 1971, coach John Rauch decided McDole was too old and traded him to Washington. Owner Ralph Wilson didn’t like that move, and fired Rauch. Meanwhile, McDole played defensive end for eight more seasons starting at the age of 32. Along the way, he picked up a great nickname because of his size and mobility: “The Dancing Bear.” McDole still holds the pro football record for most career interceptions by a defensive lineman.

Ron appeared on a podcast to talk about his career:

(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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