Preston Ridlehuber

Howard Preston Ridlehuber (born November 2, 1943) is a former American collegiate and professional football running back in the NFL and the American Football League (AFL). He played one season each for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the AFL's Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 11th round, pick 166 overall, in the 1966 NFL draft and by the New York Jets in the 19th round, pick 168 overall, of the 1966 AFL draft.

Preston Ridlehuber
Born:November 2, 1943 (age 75)
Greenwood, South Carolina
Career information
Position(s)Running back
Uniform number32, 37
CollegeUniversity of Georgia
AFL draft1966 / Round: 19 / Pick: 168
(By the New York Jets)
NFL draft1966 / Round: 11 / Pick: 166
(By the San Francisco 49ers)
Career history
As player
(1966)NFL Atlanta Falcons
(1968)AFL Oakland Raiders
(1969)AFL Buffalo Bills
Career highlights and awards
Career stats
Rushing attempts-yards12–55
Receptions-yards4–84
Touchdowns3

Education

Ridlehuber is a graduate of Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia where he was an all-around athlete in football, baseball, basketball and track. He received All-State honors as a baseball pitcher and football quarterback. He then attended the University of Georgia where he played quarterback on the football team rather than sign as a pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won the C.M. Hendricks MVP award in the 1964 Sun Bowl where Georgia defeated Texas Tech. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity at Georgia.

Football career

Oakland Raiders

Ridlehuber is best known for scoring a touchdown with 33 seconds remaining in a game against the New York Jets, by recovering a fumbled kickoff. It occurred in the Heidi Game, and was not seen by television viewers because NBC switched from football coverage to the 1968 film Heidi. The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl as it is also known led to a change in the way professional football is televised on network television; games are now shown to their conclusion before evening programming begins.

Buffalo Bills

His most notable Buffalo Bills highlight came during a game against the 0–5 then called Boston Patriots. Preston was a backup running back with the 2–3 Bills. O.J. Simpson had been concussed in Houston the week before and was not dressed for the Patriots game. Fullback Wayne Patrick (number 30) had run 17 times for 131 yards. Max Anderson (number 22) also known as Mini Max Anderson had 10 carries for 46 yards.

Mini Max was injured during a collision on the field. His face mask shattered and Anderson's teeth were broken and lying on the turf. While medical personnel were administering to Max, Bill's coach John Rauch called for Preston along the sideline. The score was tied 16–16 late in the 4th quarter. Rauch knelt down and drew a play out in the dirt. The play, a halfback option play, had been practiced for the last couple of weeks. It was originally planned for O.J. to throw a short pass to the Tight end. The Bills were in a short yardage situation, and this pass completion would keep the drive alive.

Preston took the play into the huddle and the play was set in motion. On the snap, Ridlehuber who had been a quarterback at Georgia, noticed that the Patriots cornerback was closing in on the Tight end. His better judgement told him, to look elsewhere for an available receiver. He then saw Bills wide receiver Haven Moses wide open. He tossed a pass to the open Moses and he scored a touchdown on the long 45-yard pass completion.

When he returned to the bench, Coach Rauch congratulated him, and said: 'Be glad it worked.' The play gave the Bills a 23–16 lead. This touchdown stood up and was the final score. Notably, during that game, his regular jersey number (37) was ripped; as such, a replacement jersey with the number 31 was given to him to wear instead. The number 31 was retired for most of the team's history to represent a generic player and the "spirit of the franchise;" Ridlehuber would be the only player to wear the number for the Bills until it was unceremoniously put back into circulation in 1991.

Preston now is Honorary Commissioner of the Preston Ridlehuber Football League. This fantasy football league has been in existence since 1991 and is named as a tribute to a man who made great plays before and after his time with the Buffalo Bills. A career-ending injury prevented the world from enjoying Preston's contributions on the field.

See also

References

1963 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1963 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1963 NCAA University Division football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 69th overall and 30th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Bear Bryant, in his sixth year, and played their home games at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Legion Field in Birmingham and Ladd Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. They finished season with nine wins and two losses (9–2 overall, 6–2 in the SEC) and with a victory over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.

The Crimson Tide opened the season with wins at Georgia, against Tulane in Mobile and at Vanderbilt en route to a 3–0 start. However, in their fourth game, Alabama was upset by Florida in what was coach Bryant's first loss at Denny Stadium as head coach. They rebounded the week that followed with a shutout victory over Tennessee and then won their next three games against Houston, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech.

In the annual Iron Bowl against Auburn, the Crimson Tide were defeated for the first time by the Tigers since the 1958 season. Although they lost, immediately after the game Alabama accepted an invitation to play Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl. Before the bowl, the Crimson Tide defeated Miami in their final game of the regular season. They then closed the season with a victory over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.

1964 Georgia Bulldogs football team

The 1964 Georgia Bulldogs football team represented the Georgia Bulldogs of the University of Georgia during the 1964 NCAA University Division football season.

1964 Sun Bowl

The 1964 Sun Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Georgia Bulldogs.

1965 Georgia Bulldogs football team

The 1965 Georgia Bulldogs football team represented the Georgia Bulldogs of the University of Georgia during the 1965 NCAA University Division football season.

1966 American Football League draft

The 1966 American Football League draft was held on Saturday, November 27, 1965. The AFL added the Miami Dolphins as an expansion team in 1966 to bring its total to nine franchises for its seventh season. The only Hall of Famer to come out of this draft was Jan Stenerud, who was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the Red Shirt portion of the draft.

This was the last competitive draft of the American Football League before the AFL–NFL merger agreement, which was announced in June 1966. The next draft of college players in 1967 was a common draft, held in mid-March.

The 1966 NFL Draft was held the same day, November 27, 1965.

1966 NFL Draft

The 1966 National Football League draft was held at the Summit Hotel in New York City on Saturday, November 27, 1965.The expansion Atlanta Falcons were awarded the first pick in each round as well as the final pick in each of the first five rounds. The first overall selection was Tommy Nobis, a linebacker from Texas. The league also provided the Falcons with an expansion draft six weeks later.This was the last draft in which the NFL and the AFL selected their players separate of one another. As a result, most players drafted by teams from both leagues chose to play for the more established NFL, but not all. Similar to 1965, the AFL draft was held on the same day. After the merger agreement in June 1966, a common draft was held in March 1967.

1968 New York Jets season

The 1968 New York Jets season was the ninth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The team had the most successful season in franchise history. Trying to improve upon their 8–5–1 record of 1967, they won the AFL Eastern Division with an 11–3 record. They defeated the defending champion Oakland Raiders in the AFL championship game, and earned the right to play in Super Bowl III against the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. In a stunning upset, marked by fourth-year quarterback Joe Namath's famous "guarantee" of victory, the Jets defeated the heavily favored Colts 16–7. The Jets have yet to return to the Super Bowl and makes them along with the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the only teams to have been to just one Super Bowl and win it.

On April 2, 2007, NFL Network aired America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, the 1968 New York Jets, with team commentary from Joe Namath, Gerry Philbin and Don Maynard, and narrated by Alec Baldwin.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays their home games at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills are the only NFL team that plays its home games in the state of New York. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.The Bills began play as an original franchise of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. The club joined the NFL as a result of the AFL–NFL merger for the 1970 season. The 1964 and 1965 Bills were the only teams representing Buffalo that won major league professional sports championships ("back-to-back" American Football League Championships). The Bills are the only team to win four consecutive conference championships and are the only NFL team to lose four consecutive Super Bowl games. The team was owned by Ralph Wilson from the team's founding in 1960, until his death in 2014 at the age of 95. After his death, Wilson's estate reached an agreement to sell the team to Terry and Kim Pegula, which was approved by the other NFL team owners on October 8, 2014. The Bills formerly possessed the longest active playoff drought in any of the four major professional sports in North America: they did not qualify to play in the NFL playoffs from 1999 until 2017 and were the last NFL team (and last team in the major North American professional sports leagues overall) to compete in the playoffs in the 21st century.

Earl Christy

Earl Oliver Christy (born March 19, 1943) is a former professional American football player who played cornerback for three seasons for the New York Jets.

Greek life at the University of Georgia

Greek life at the University of Georgia comprises more than three dozen active chapters of social fraternities and sororities. While most of the groups are chapters of national organizations, including members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, National Panhellenic Conference and National Pan-Hellenic Council, independent groups and those with other affiliations also exist. The Greek Life Office was located in Memorial Hall for many years but moved to the Tate Student Center in late 2008 as a result of the expansion to the Tate Center.

According to the 2017 UGA Factbook, students with Greek affiliation made up 26 percent (7,591 students) of the undergraduate student body as of Fall 2017, including 21 percent (2,587) of the males and 31 percent (5,004) of the females. Perhaps the most prominent features of Greek life at the University are the large, mostly Greek Revival and Victorian, mansions maintained by the national fraternities and sororities as chapter houses and lodges lining Milledge Avenue and South Lumpkin Street and the ubiquitous t-shirts worn by students on campus commemorating Greek social events.

Heidi Game

The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American Football League (AFL) game played on November 17, 1968, between the Oakland Raiders and the visiting New York Jets. The game was notable for its exciting finish, in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32, but got its name for a decision by the game's television broadcaster, NBC, to break away from its coverage of the game on the East Coast to broadcast the television film Heidi, causing many viewers to miss the Raiders' comeback.

In the late 1960s, few professional football games took longer than two and a half hours to play, and the Jets–Raiders' three-hour time slot was thought to be adequate. A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter AFL rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had originally ordered that Heidi begin at 7:00 p.m. ET, but decided to allow the game to air to its conclusion. However, as 7 p.m. approached, NBC's switchboards were jammed by viewers phoning to inquire about the night's schedule, preventing the planned change from being communicated. Heidi began as scheduled, preempting the final moments of the game and the two Oakland touchdowns in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers.

Response to the pre-emption by viewers and other critics was negative; the family members of several Jets players were unaware of the game's actual conclusion, while NBC received further criticism for its poor timing in displaying the final score of the game during the Heidi movie. NBC's president Julian Goodman formally apologized for the incident. The Jets and Raiders met again in the AFL Championship Game, with the Jets winning 27–23. They later defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

In the aftermath of the incident, NBC installed special "Heidi phones", with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones, to ensure that network personnel could communicate under similar circumstances. The game also had an influence on sports broadcasting practices; the future National Football League would contractually stipulate that all game telecasts be shown to their conclusion in the markets of the visiting team, while other major leagues and events adopted similar mandates. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.

List of American Football League players

The following is a list of men who played for the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969).

List of Atlanta Falcons players

This is a list of American football players who have played for the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL). It includes players that have played at least one game in the NFL regular season. The Atlanta Falcons franchise was founded in 1966. The Falcons have appeared in Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl LI, losing both games.

List of Buffalo Bills players

This is a list of American football players who have played for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). It includes players that have played at least one official game in an AFL or NFL regular season. The Buffalo Bills franchise was founded in the AFL in the 1960 and joined the NFL in 1970. The Bills played for three AFL Championships and won two. They have also had four Super Bowl appearances, but have yet to win one.

List of Georgia Bulldogs in the NFL Draft

This is a list of Georgia Bulldogs football players selected in the NFL Draft.

San Francisco 49ers draft history

This page is a list of San Francisco 49ers NFL Draft selections. The first draft the 49ers participated in was the 1950 NFL Draft, in which they made Leo Nomellini of Minnesota their first ever selection.

Sun Bowl

The Sun Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played since 1935 in the southwestern United States at El Paso, Texas. Along with the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, it is the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl. Usually held near the end of December, games are played at the Sun Bowl stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso; since 2011, it has featured teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Pac-12 Conference.

Since 2010, the game has been sponsored by Hyundai and officially known as the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Previous sponsors include John Hancock (1987–1993), Norwest Corporation (1996–1998), Wells Fargo (1999–2003), Vitalis (2004–2005), and Brut (2006–2009).

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