Category Archives: Paul Maguire
This week has been a great one for interviewing AFL players. First it was the Jets’ Don Maynard, and then today I spoke with longtime Chargers and Bills punter/linebacker, Paul Maguire.
While he is known better by younger generations as an ESPN commentator, Maguire was one of just 20 players to be with an AFL team for the league’s entire 10-year run. He was an excellent punter, and mostly reserve linebacker who has the distinction of having played in six AFL championship games (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965 & 1966), and being, according to himself, the only player to win three consecutive league championships.
Paul Maguire is better known today as one of the talking heads that used to do commentary during professional football games. He has worked for ESPN, NBC, and other organizations, and has a nice mix of witty charm to go along with a great knowledge of the game itself. But Maguire is more than just a glib analyst. He is also one of just 20 men to play all 10 seasons of the American Football League. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960, moved to San Diego with the team in 1961, and was picked up by the Buffalo Bills in 1964, after being cut by the Chargers in training camp. He played several more seasons in Buffalo, as a part time linebacker and fulltime punter. Here is an ARTICLE from 1996, in which Maguire reminisces a bit about his AFL days, and also talks about his experience in the booth. I found it to be a pretty interesting read.
After defeating the San Diego Chargers by a score of 20-7 in the 1964 AFL Championship Game, the Buffalo Bills made a few changes to their roster. The most significant adjustment was trading away star running back, Cookie Gilchrist, to the Denver Broncos in exchange for fullback, Billy Joe. With their retooling complete, the Bills began the 1965 season right where they had left off the season before. Led by star quarterback, Jack Kemp, Buffalo moved through the league at rapid pace and finished the regular season with a 10-3-1 record. They again faced the Chargers in the AFL Championship Game, this time shutting out the western division champs, 23-0, in San Diego’s Balboa Stadium.