Meeting Itinerary
PFRA Meeting 2018

Dates: July 13-15, 2018
Location: Buffalo, NY, Buffalo History Museum
Member Cost: $40.00
Non-Member Cost: $90.00
Attendees will receive a free Convention t-shirt!!

Official PFRA Hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown
220 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 855-2223
Cut-off date for rooms is June 19, 2018.

Special Rate for Hotel:
$129.00 per night.
Ask for the 2018 PFRA Convention rate.

Meeting Itinerary

The 2018 PFRA Convention (formerly Biennial Meeting) will be held in Buffalo, New York at the Buffalo History Museum during the weekend of July 13-15, 2018. As we have done in the past, the actual meeting will take place during the evening of Friday July 13 and all day Saturday July 14. No activities are planned for Thursday July 12. The Museum will be hosting a sports related exhibit in its Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Gallery during our Convention weekend called Icons:The Makers and Moments of Buffalo Sports, featuring items from Buffalo’s rich professional sports history and including selected items from PFRA member Greg Tranter’s massive Buffalo Bills memorabilia collection, recently donated to the Museum by Greg. The Museum is acting as a co-sponsor of our Convention.

The Convention itinerary will include our usual mix of speakers and tours, plus the scheduled release of the second book in PFRA’s series on Great Teams in Professional Football History which will cover the 1958 Baltimore Colts, and the viewing of Ralph, a recent WNED documentary on the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the founder and former owner of the Buffalo Bills.

Two special add on activities have recently been added to the Convention schedule: a Behind the Scenes Tour of Greg Tranter’s Bills memorabilia collection on Friday afternoon and a tour of New Era Field on Sunday morning.

The Behind the Scenes Tour will be held from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the Buffalo History Museum Resource Center on Friday July 13. Parking is available at the Resource Center or Museum (the Resource Center is a 10 minute walk from the Museum). Reservations are necessary for the Behind the Scenes Tour. A $1 reservation fee will be charged if you plan to attend the Behind the Scenes Tour only. Please make your reservations no later than July 1.

The New Era Field Tour will be held from 9:00am to 12:30pm on Sunday July 15. We will depart from the Downtown Buffalo Hampton Inn at 9 by car caravan and travel to New Era Field in Orchard Park for the tour. The tour is 90 minutes in length. After the tour, attendees will be able to shop at the Bills Team Store before returning to the Hampton Inn by 12:30. The cost for the tour is $15 and is open to all Convention attendees. Reservations are required. Please make your reservations no later than July 1.

Note: We cannot guarantee access to the Convention or add on activities without a reservation.

Guest Speakers:

Thurman Thomas
Thomas had a 13 year NFL career with the Bills and Dolphins. Thurman was the AFC rushing leader in 1990, 1991, and 1993. He was voted to the All-Pro team in 1990 and 1991, was selected to 5 straight Pro Bowls from 1989-1993, and was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1991.

Ed Rutkowski
Ed Rutkowski played a variety of positions for the Buffalo Bills from 1963 to 1968, including wide receiver and quarterback. Ed was an AFL All-Star in 1965 and a member of the Bills AFL Championship teams in 1964 and 1965. He ended his career in 1969 with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Ed later served as a color commentator on Bills radio broadcasts.

Booker Edgerson
Booker Edgerson had a nine year NFL career playing defensive back with the Buffalo Bills (1962-1969) and Denver Broncos (1970). He was a member of the Bills AFL Championship teams in 1964 and 1965.

Scott Berchtold
Scott Berchtold is currently a Special Assistant in the Buffalo Bills Front Office. He was the Bills Senior Vice President of Communications from 2011 to 2016 and prior to that he was Vice President of Communications from 1999 to 2011. He joined the Bills in 1989 as the Manager of Media Relations and was promoted to Director of Media Relations in 1991. Prior to coming to the Bills he served as the Assistant PR Director for the Green Bay Packers from 1985 to 1989. He has been in the NFL for 34 years.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham is an insightful and provocative sports reporter currently working for The Athletic. Tim previously covered the NFL for the Buffalo News, ESPN and the Palm Beach Post. Graham hosts a weekly radio show on 1270 The Fan. The Show provides the latest news and thoughtful perspectives about the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and other Buffalo sports.

Bob Schmidt
NFL’s New York Giants (1959–1960), the AFL’s Houston Oilers (1961–1963), the AFL’s Boston Patriots (1964), and the AFL’s Buffalo Bills (1966–1967). He was a member of the Oilers’ AFL Championship team in 1961 and was an AFL All Star in 1961, 1962, and 1963.

Ed Abramoski
Athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills for a total of 37 years from 1960 to 1997. He also served as a part-time trainer with the Detroit Lions prior to coming to Buffalo. Abramoski was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 1999 he was inducted into the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.

Joe Ziemba
Joe is the author of When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL, winner of the PFRA’s Nelson Ross Award in 1999. Joe will speak on "The "Buffalo" Cardinals: The Forgotten History of the NFL's Oldest Team," highlighting the Cardinals' connection to Buffalo and stories about the formative years of pro football with the Cardinals.

Denny Lynch
Lynch has spent over 37 years in the Sports Administration field. He has worked in 5 different states at both the collegiate and professional level, and worked with the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots before coming to Buffalo to serve as the Director of Public and Community Relations for the Bills. He continues to be a consultant for the Bills as the liaison person for the Monday QB Club, Buffalo Bills Booster Cub, Buffalo Bills Alumni Association, and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Joe Bock
Bock had an eight-team pro football career including time with the Buffalo Bills in 1981, brief stints in 1982 with the New York Jets and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, replacement games with the St Louis Cardinals and Buffalo Bills in 1987, time with the Birmingham Stallions (1983 and 1985) and Houston Gamblers (1984) of the defunct United States Football League, and a season with the Chicago Bruisers of the Arena League in 1988. Joe appeared in Arena Bowl II with the Bruisers. In 2006, at the age of 46, he played briefly with the Rochester Raiders and New York/New Jersey Revolution in the old Great Lakes Indoor Football League, making him one of the few players to play in five professional leagues.

Brian Marshall
Brian is the chair of PFRA’s Canadian Football League committee and the author of a number of articles that have appeared in the Coffin Corner. In 2013, he won the PFRA’s Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award for his article “Rushing to Judgment: Recovering Jim Brown’s Lost Yardage in 1962” Brian will speak on “Cookie Gilchrist and How He Got to Buffalo,” outlining Cookie’s career before and after his time with the Bills.

Please stay tuned to The Coffin Corner and PFRA Forum for additional details and announcements. If you have any questions regarding the Convention, hotel reservations, or t-shirts please contact Convention Organizer George Bozeka at 330-867-1950 or

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