Caulton Tudor

Finally, there's good news for a good guy

Posted August 21, 2014

— My vote for best sports story of the week is Jim Kelly’s apparent recovery from a potentially deadly cancer.

The former Buffalo Bills quarterback has battled sinus cancer for more than a year, and although there were some signs of improvement along the way, the best news didn’t come until late Wednesday when his doctor in New York City said treatments have been successful.

"The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly's pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal," Dr. Peter Costantino of Lenox Hill Hospital said in a news statement.

Although I have interviewed Kelly, now 54, a couple of times over the years for stories about his former teammate and one-time NC State All-American center Jim Ritcher, I hardly know Kelly well. He was a standout at Miami, but long before the school joined the ACC. I never got to see Kelly play in person.

But I did follow his pro career, which actually started in the United States Football League with the Houston Gamblers for two years prior to his11 years with the Bills.

The thing that struck me first about Kelly when news surfaced regarding the serious nature his illness, was that he might die as the most underappreciated quarterback in NFL history.

That still may happen, but hopefully Kelly will be around long enough for enough fans outside “small-market” and occasionally snow-locked Buffalo to more value exactly what he and those tormented Bills teams of the late '80s and '90s did.

Of course, the thing everyone remembers most is that Kelly and those teams went 0-4 in Super Bowls, losing 20-19 to the New York Giants (1990), 37-24 to Washington (1991), and finally 52-17 and 30-13 to Dallas after the ’92 and ’93 seasons.

It had to be one of the most bittersweet runs in football history.

“It was so frustrating, so heartbreaking really, that it was even hard for the guys in the locker room to really appreciate the fact that we got to four straight Super Bowls,” Kelly said shortly after his final season. “And as disappointing as it was for the players, we knew it was worse on our fans. It was agonizing for everyone.”

Kelly threw seven interceptions in those four games -- another stat that minimizes what he accomplished overall as a career quarterback.

When Kelly was inducted into the Pro Hall of Fame in 2002, there was much national surprise over the staggering extent of his resume -- 237 touchdown passes, a career completion percentage of 60.1 and more than 35,000 yards. If you add in the two USFL seasons, he had 320 touchdown passes.

Not once in those 11 seasons in Buffalo did Kelly fail to play in fewer than 12 regular-season games. In six of those seasons, he played in either 15 or 16 regular-season games.

Marv Levy, the Bills coach during those years, often referred to Kelly as a quarterback “with the determination of a linebacker.”

To a large degree, Kelly and Levy probably will always be joined at the hip on the undervalued market.

But just for the heck of it, I did some research upon hearing that Kelly could be soon be back to sound health. Here’s my list of the 10 all-time most undervalued NFL quarterbacks.

1.Jim Kelly (Buffalo, 1986-96)
2.Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota, NY Giants, 1961-78)
3.Ken Stabler (Oakland, Houston Oilers, New Orleans, 1970-84)
4.Sonny Jurgensen (Philadelphia, Washington, 1957-74)
5.Warren Moon (Houston Oilers, Minnesota, Seattle, Kansas City, 1984-2000)
6.Ken Anderson (Cincinnati, 1971-86)
7.Jim Everett (LA Rams, New Orleans, San Diego, 1986-97)
8.Donvan McNabb (Philadelphia, Washington, Minnesota, 1999-2011)
9.Archie Manning (New Orleans, Houston. Oilers, Minnesota, 1971-84)
10.Dan Fouts (San Diego, 1973-87)

4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Doc Holliday Aug 22, 2014

    View quoted thread


    +1.....remember Jim Kelly being the ultimate competitor. Wish he had won him a SB...he deserved one for sure.

  • Jeanne Gunn Aug 22, 2014
    user avatar

    Kelly's good report is the best news in sports I've seen in a long time. So happy for him and his family! His prognosis was so bleak when his cancer returned, I was afraid there wasn't anything the doctors could do. I hope he lives a long and healthy life.

  • Rerun Aug 21, 2014

    Glad to hear Kelly is doing better.

  • Doc Holliday Aug 21, 2014

    Nice list but Archie? 35-101 as a starter. What value? Granted, he played with NO for the better part of his career but he never had a winning season.

  • Premier League Soccer : Manchester United vs. Leicester

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Dave Doeren Show

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Major League Baseball Washington Nationals at Houston Astros

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 95.7 The Ticket

AP Top 25
Sat, Aug 26
19
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
14
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
NFL Preseason
Thursday, Aug. 24
Miami 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:�
Philadelphia 
Carolina 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:�
Jacksonville 
Friday, Aug. 25
New England 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:�
Detroit 
Kansas City 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
Seattle 
Saturday, Aug. 26
Arizona 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:�
Atlanta 
Buffalo 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:�
Baltimore 
NY Jets 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:�
NY Giants 
Indianapolis 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:�
Pittsburgh 
Cleveland 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:�
Tampa Bay 
Oakland 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
Dallas 
LA Chargers 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
LA Rams 
Houston 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
New Orleans 
Green Bay 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST8:00 CT5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:�
Denver 
Sunday, Aug. 27
Chicago 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:30 PT2:30 MT3:30 CT4:30 ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 MST3:30 EST3:30 CT0:30 UAE (+1)16:30 ETNaN:�
Washington 
San Francisco 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
Minnesota 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Seattle04:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
Preview
Atlanta0
Washington05:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston0
Colorado05:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
Kansas City0
American League
Oakland04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore0
Boston04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland0
NY Yankees04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit0
Toronto04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay0
Minnesota05:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox0
Texas 7:08 PT8:08 MT9:08 CT10:08 ET22:08 ET2:08 GMT10:08 7:08 MST9:08 EST9:38 VEN6:08 UAE (+1)9:08 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
National League
Miami9Bot
7th
Philadelphia3
LA Dodgers04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh0
Chi Cubs04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cincinnati0
Arizona04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets0
Miami 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
San Diego05:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis0
Milwaukee 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Columbus 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Toledo 
Syracuse 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Lehigh Valley 
Louisville 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Indianapolis 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Rochester 
Gwinnett 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Durham 
Charlotte 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Norfolk 
Buffalo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Pawtucket 
Solheim Cup (LPGA)
USA: 16.5 | Europe: 11.5
Singles - Day 3
MatchScore
Hull1 up
LangF (18)
 
Thompsonhalved
NordqvistF (18)
 
Matthew1 up
LewisF (18)
 
Salas1 up
Ewart ShadoffF (18)
 
Creamer1 up
HallF (18)
 
Yinhalved
IcherF (18)
 
Kerr2 and 1
ReidF (17)
 
Kang3 and 1
PedersenF (17)
 
Sagstrom3 and 2
ErnstF (16)
 
Piller4 and 2
ParkerF (16)
 
Masson4 and 2
WieF (16)
 
Ciganda4 and 3
LincicomeF (15)
View Full Leaderboard
 
Paul Lawrie (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
Siem v OTAEGUI172 and 1
CARLSSON v Canizares163 and 2
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Aug. 22
Winston-Salem Open (ATP)
Second Round
(11) V. Troicki6 1 2   
C. Berlocq3 6 6   
(15) D. Medvedev6 2 66   
K. Edmund2 6 78   
(1) R. Bautista A6 6    
D. Lajovic4 3    
(12) A. Bedene4 5    
A. Seppi6 7    
(14) B. Coric4 6 6   
D. Young6 4 2   
(6) S. Johnson6 1    
Y. Lu4 0    
(9) G. Simon 
D. Dzumhur 
(17) J. Sousa 
M. Fucsovics 
(7) P. Lorenzi 
T. Monteiro 
(8) F. Verdasco 
H. Zeballos 
(10) Y. Sugita 
T. Fritz 
(3) J. Isner 
A. Kuznetsov 
(13) H. Chung 
A. Rublev 
(2) P. Carreno Bu 
J. Benneteau 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Aug. 22
Connecticut Open (WTA)
First Round
C. Suarez Nav6 4    
J. Cepelova4 0    
Second Round
T. Babos5 66    
D. Gavrilova7 78    
D. Kasatkina2 5    
E. Mertens6 5    
(1) A. Radwanska 
E. Bouchard 
(8) S. Peng 
M. Lucic-Baro