Ron “The Dancing Bear” McDole was a defensive Buffalo Bills defensive lineman from 1963-1970.  In addition, McDole played for the St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Redskins.  All told, his professional football career lasted from 1961-1978.  This makes him very capable of talking about  training camps, which is just what he did in this article from the 1969 Buffalo Bills Annual.


Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

3 Responses to Ron Mc Dole and THE RIGORS OF TRAINING CAMP

  1. 1967 says:

    Memories of a ‘Dancing Bear’, re: “banging heads with your teammates”, I recall reading an article about McDole in a sports magazine the late 1960’s wherein he talked about getting migraine headaches. Titled ‘Five Minute Warning’ if memory serves, a correlation ‘head banging’ & concussions comes to mind. DEN’s Terrell Davis missed some time during a Superbowl a few years ago as a result migraines so the topic re-enters the realm of consideration.

    An aside, for its time the Bills had an enormous defensive line with the likes of Ron McDole (265), Jim Dunaway (277), Tom Sestak (267) & Tom Day (252); also reserve Dudley Meredith (280). Those weights (from 1966 according Pro Football Reference) seem a bit on the light side to me. Though I wasn’t an Bills fan, I seem to recall McDole being nearer 290, Dunaway touching 300, Sestak more like 270+ and Day also perhaps 260-ish; wasn’t Meredith also closing in on 300 lbs.?

    • billd says:

      I remember McDole being heavier than listed. The AFL provided Ron a second chance that he rode back into the NFL thru 1978. Ron had a very interesting career excelling in the AFL then lining up against the AFC Champion Dolphins in the Super Bowl as a member of the Redskins.

    • Tom says:

      Jack Zanger Pro Football 1970 lists McDole at 288 which put him near the very top of the NFL’s heaviest, in 1970 only two players were listed at 300 lbs Gene Ferguson Chargers and Art Laster Raiders. Chargers tackle Russ Washington was listed at 295.

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