The bond of the Buffalo Bills teams from the early-90s is one that can be seen, heard, and felt anytime those players get together every so often. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, and others are all members of that team that won so much, and had the talent to do it year in, year out.
To this point, only Kelly has seen his jersey get retired by the team. The No. 12 will never again be issued by the Bills after the team retired it in 2001. Smith is next, and he'll have those honors bestowed upon him at the home opener on September 15.
During his conference call with the media, Bruce Smith couldn't help himself, and had to tell a story about one of the most recent times that entire crew got together -- a story of the teammates, a few glasses of wine, and Smith being the instigator they all knew him to be.
"We were out in Sonoma Valley this past Super Bowl. I had a friend set up a trip for us, we also invited Thurman [Thomas], Andre [Reed], Jim [Kelly], actually Andre couldn’t make it, Darryl [Talley], Steve Tasker, and Cornelius [Bennett] and the wives and we invited everybody out. And we got around and right before the Super Bowl and we were there for about three or four days and it set up by a friend of mine.
"And we got around and we got to drinking and you guys know the relationship we give each other sh*t all the time, laugh, we joke and at the end of day nobody takes anything personally. And the subject of jerseys being retired come up, and you know me being a little, I like to instigate things and stuff like between Thurman and me.
I looked at Jim and said after about the third or fourth glass of wine and said, “Jim how did you get your jersey retired before us you weren’t even the best player on the team.” I mean he must have died laughing, and we just talked, and laughed, and ate for four days.
I got to tell you that trip probably brought us closer together, particularly since Jim was just getting somewhat of a clean bill of health from his tumultuous experience with going through cancer. We all needed that just to get together and not have anyone else around other than our family."