Why did the Bills change their name from Bisons?

From 1946 through 1949, the Buffalo Bills, an American football club with their home field in Buffalo, New York, competed in the All-America Football Conference. The team’s original 1946 season was played under the name Buffalo Bisons.

The squad was not one of the three AAFC teams that joined the National Football League before the 1950 season, in contrast to the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts. It was given Buffalo Bill’s name.

Why did the Bills change their name from Bisons?
Why did the Bills change their name from Bisons?

Owner James Breuil launched a name-the-team competition after just one season in an effort to select a more unique moniker; “Bisons” had been the favored brand known for Buffalo teams for many years.



“Bills,” a play on the name of renowned Wild West performer Buffalo Bill Cody, was chosen as the winning entry. Coincidentally, the same year a barbershop quartet[4] with the same name was created and went on to become famous.

The bison served as the town’s first mascot, and it was given the name Buffalo. Because the American bison resembles African buffaloes, it is called a bison.

Buffalo Bill Codey led to the mascot’s change to the Bills. That is the background. When people think of Tatanka (bison), they typically picture the big plains, but they were also present in western New York.