Paul Maguire

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Professional Football Player, Broadcaster

The transition from playing field to broadcast booth may appear to be a natural progression, but appearances are often deceiving. While many have tried, few have made the jump as successfully as the candid, colorful and controversial Paul Maguire.

Young fans who know Paul only for his work in television (distinguished as it is) miss out on a significant part of the Maguire chronicles. An outstanding high school player and a member of the Youngstown, Ohio Sports Hall of Fame, Paul attended the Citadel on an athletic scholarship and excelled there as well. As a senior, Paul led the nation with eleven touchdown receptions, and was an All-Southern Conference selection. Maguire landed in the American Football League in 1960 as an original member of the Los Angeles (later San Diego) Chargers.

The 1963 trade that brought Paul to the Buffalo Bills was significant, not only for the player but also for the city. Following as exceptional eight-year stint as a linebacker and punter for the Bills (and a key component of AFL championship teams in 1964 and 1965), Maguire remained a resident of his adopted hometown and, 31 years after retirement as a player, still call Buffalo home.

Maguire came to love and appreciate the Buffalo area and its people, choosing to raise his family and undertake business ventures here despite the siren call of NBC (and bigger markets) after his playing days. This affection for Buffalo has come through loud and clear on Paul’s national broadcasts for over 30 years. Buffalo has no stronger booster, no more vociferous supporter, than Paul Maguire.

Had Maguire never played the game, his broadcasting career alone would earn him hall-of-fame status. On the other hand it is precisely because Paul played the game that his analytical instincts are so sharp, his observations so relevant, his criticism so knowledgeable. Those traits, peppered with generous helpings of wit, humor and indignation, made him a star at NBC early on, and have sustained him and his followers through stops at a brand-new network known as ESPN (covering games of the USFL and a young future Bill named Jim Kelly), back to NBC (where he reached the pinnacle of his career as analyst to Dick Enberg and Phil Simms in two Superbowl telecasts), and back to ESPN in 1998.

Viewers may not always agree with the feisty, opinionated Maguire, but few would dispute the fact that, by national consensus, he belongs in the upper echelon of analysts, and fewer still can question his loyalty to Buffalo. In fact, in spite of his national notoriety, Paul maintains his weekly show, “Sportsline” on local cable.

Paul Maguire still holds various Buffalo Bills punting records, and undoubtedly holds the record for positive comments concerning Buffalo on national networks. His enthusiasm for football is matched only by his enthusiasm for Buffalo, and it is with like enthusiasm that Buffalo fans welcome Paul into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.