Category Archives: Bobby Burnett

Email from the AFL – Buffalo Bills Bobby Burnett

After an excellent run of Email from the AFL, we are wrapping up with this week with a piece by the 1966 AFL Rookie of the Year, Bobby Burnett.  In 14 games his rookie season, Burnett rushed 187 times for 766 yards and four touchdowns.  He also caught 34 passes for 319 yards and another four touchdowns.  Burnett was voted to play in the AFL All-Star Game, and was named AFL Rookie of the Year.

bobby burnett

#21 Bobby Burnett

AFL – You came to a Bills team that was deep in veterans.  Did any of the older guys take you under their wing or act as a mentor to you?

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Email from the AFL – Exciting Moments

I recently emailed a single question to some former AFL players.  What was the single most exciting moment during your years in the AFL, and what made it so?  Two of the responses, I thought, were particularly moving, and mentioned the players parents.  So in honor of Father’s Day (a day late), here is the newest installment of Email from the AFL.

1973 topps larry kaminskiI guess the most exciting day for me in the AFL was when we were selected as the first team to play the mighty NFL Detroit Lions in an exhibition at the 20,000 seat Denver University stadium.  The stage was set with Cookie Gilchrist in the backfield as a monster full back, with a young Scotty Glacken at QB.  We were supposed to be beaten to a pulp, embarrassed, and put to rest versus the mighty NFL Lions.  However, we had a good, tough game, with the offensive line making way for Cookie and giving great protection to the quarterback,  along with a tough defense.  Alex Karras had said he would walk back to Detroit if they lost…  We sent over a pair of tennis shoes to the locker room post game.

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>1966 AFL Rookie of the Year – Bobby Burnett

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Bobby Burnett (#21) shown running behing Bills blockers.
In 1966, the Buffalo Bills used their fourth-round draft pick on a 6’3″, 210-lb running back from the University of Arkansas, named Bobby Burnett.  Burnett made an immediate impact on the Bills offense.  In 14 games his rookie season, Burnett rushed 187 times for 766 yards and four touchdowns.  He also caught 34 passes for 319 yards and another four touchdowns.  For his efforts, Burnett was voted onto the AFL All-Star Game, and was named AFL Rookie of the Year. Bobby Burnett was poised to begin the 1967 season right where he had left off the year before, but misfortune struck in the form of cracked ribs that he incurred during training camp. Burnett had just recovered from the rib injury, when he suffered a devastating knee injury in a game against the New York Jets. The Bills made Burnett available in the 1968 AFL Expansion Draft, and he was claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals.  The rehab on his knee took longer than hoped, and Burnett was not able to play for the Bengals in 1968.  He signed with the Denver Broncos in 1969, but played in just three more games before retiring.  Bobby Burnett finished his professional football career with 871 rushing yards, 533 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns.