By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 75: May 11, 1971The 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)

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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