As most of you have already been informed by now, news broke last night of the passing of former Buffalo Bills center Kent Hull. This is the unfortunate part about life where too often our loved ones, friends and even sports idols are taken from us far too early. Like many of you, I have never had the honor to know him or meet him. But I don’t think I need to know him to say without question that this is someone’s husband, father, friend and former teammate and he will be missed tremendously.
Any Bills fans can associate Kent Hull’s name with Buffalo’s magical four-year run in which they won four AFC Championships and went to the Super Bowl four consecutive times. He didn’t carry the high prolife pedigree like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed or Bruce Smith. But Hull was perhaps the most important and vital cog in the Bills’ vaunted no-huddle offense. He was the anchor along the offensive line. Without him, the Bills probably don’t make it to four Super Bowls. For a decade (1986-1996), Hull was Buffalo’s best offensive lineman and arguably their greatest center in team history.
Hull was a three-time Pro Bowler (1989, 1990, and 1991) and 2002 Bills’ Wall of Fame Inductee. He played in 170 games over 11 seasons, third most in Bills’ history for a lineman. Hull joined the Bills in 1986 after beginning his pro football career with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL blocking for a couple of rather famous names throughout the football community: Doug Flutie and Hershel Walker.
Both Hull and Kelly signed with the Bills on the same day in August 1986. The story is that both players traveled from Buffalo to Fredonia to join the Bills at training camp. Kelly rode up in style in a limo. Hull, following behind Kelly’s limo, rode in an equipment van. That was probably the one and only time where Kelly led the way for Hull and not vice versa. Hull and Kelly arrived in Buffalo together in ’86 and ten years later, both went out and retired together.
For myself and everyone involved here at Billsgab, our sympathies go out to the entire Hull family. One last time, we salute the best center and one of the best lineman ever to wear a Buffalo Bills uniform
No. 67, Kent Hull