By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 75: May 11, 1971 – The Bills trade Ron McDole to Washington for a third-round draft choice in 1973 (Bob Kampa), a fourth-round draft choice in 1973 (Jeff Yeates), and a seventh-round draft choice in 1973 (John Ford).
How many times does a trade lead to the firing of a coach? This was such a situation. Ron McDole had been a part of the Bills’ AFL championships in the 1960s. He had enormous athletic ability inside of a large body, earning him the nickname of “The Dancing Bear.”
By 1971, coach John Rauch decided that McDole had nothing left, and traded him to the Redskins for three draft choices. Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson was a man who was loyal to those who had done well for him, and he took exception to Rauch’s public criticism of McDole. That led to an argument, and that in turn led to Rauch’s dismissal.
McDole turned into a great fit in Washington, as coach George Allen made the defensive end a key part of the “Over the Hill Gang.” McDole played through the 1978 season, and is best known for 12 career interceptions – more than any defensive lineman in football history.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)
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