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Important dates in Bills history - Dec. 7th, 1973, Bills O-line gets unique moniker


Important dates in Bills history presented by M&T bank helps fans understand what's important. In the NFL, strong offensive line play is important. In the mid-1970s, the Buffalo Bills offense was anchored by perhaps the most dynamic line in team history, the Electric Company.

The Electric Company consisted of Pro Bowl left tackle Dan Foley, All-Pro left guard Reggie McKenzie, center Mike Montler, Hall of Fame right guard Joe DeLamielleure, and right tackle Donnie Green. Those five linemen anchored the unit that allowed running back OJ "Juice" Simpson to establish numerous NFL all-time records and earn many statistical titles.

The offensive line was given its nickname on December 7, 1973 by Bud Thalman, the Bills Vice President for Public Relations. Thalman gave them the nickname "because they turn on the Juice."

The Electric Company burst onto the scene in that 1973 season when it paved the way for a Bills rushing offense that led the NFL in total yards, yards per carry, and rushing touchdowns.  That year was also the rookie year for DeLamielleure, who quickly became the "Company's" key technician. He won All-Rookie honors for the '73 season. 

McKenzie also received recognition that year, being named to the All-NFL first team, and Foley earned his only Pro Bowl selection for his performance that season.

Anchored by DeLamielleure, McKenzie, and Foley, the Electric Company sparked Simpson to a then-NFL record 2,003 yards rushing for the season. While six other running backs have since surpassed Simpson's mark, all of them rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a 16-game season. Simpson remains the only player to rush for 2,000 or more yards in just 14 games.

And he couldn't have achieved such a feat without stellar offensive line play in front of him. The particular offensive line played so well, that it earned them a nickname that has lived on for more than four decades, and it was born on December 7, 1973.

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