I read Brock Yates’s infamous “Warts, Love And Dreams In Buffalo” Sports Illustrated article from January 20, 1969 years ago. As I was reading some Buffalo Bills & Buffalo in general bashing on Twitter tonight, it sprung open the place in my brain where memory of the article resides.
Thank you Sports Illustrated for the SI Vault. It is online archive of the magazine and allowed me to read the article again.
The article itself is a fascinating view of Buffalo and its sports scene from both a local and national level in 1969. As I went through the piece, I kept thinking that there is no way Sports Illustrated would let an article like it fly today.
From the article:
“A drive down one of Buffalo’s streets arouses suspicion of a mysterious covenant between an asphalt siding cartel and the world’s architecture-school dropouts. Aside from a few new buildings in the downtown area (a library, a magnificent bank building, an ultramodern shopping and office complex and a burlesque house), Buffalo is a vast collection of yellow brick warehouses, factories, used-car lots, bowling alleys and stolid, boxy residences with front porches, punctuated by corner taverns where men gather to talk sports, consume draft beer and munch on a favorite local staple, cold beef in kimmelweck rolls, known simply as “beef on week.” The blue-collar men who populate the city fit the mold of William Graham Sumner’s original forgotten man: the middling white man who works hard, pays taxes, likes sports more than ideas and finds the modern world bewildering.”
That whole paragraph is one big HOLY CRAP.
Read the article for yourself by clicking here—> It is great read and glimpse into how our collective negative Buffalo psyche was born. I am also fascinated by the parallels to our modern Buffalo. There is also insight into why we didn’t get a Major League Baseball team and other historical tidbits.
(An interesting side note is that Brock Yates is a native Western New Yorker.)
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