Bill named the Bills.

Yesterday I wrote about the oddity of The Cleveland Browns name and their mascot (after my wife pointed it out to me).

Today I highlight one more odd National Football League name choice:

The Buffalo Bills.

Before I did some research, I was under the impression that the Bills were named after Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody. Though the Bills have occasionally used the image of Bill Cody in their team’s iconography, this is not the origin of the name, nor does the team promote any affiliation with Cody today.


The Bills were named after a previous Buffalo Bills team in the now-defunct All-American Football Conference. That Buffalo Bills team ultimately merged with the Cleveland Browns in 1950 (of course), leaving the name available for the current iteration of the team. 

That original AAFC Buffalo Bills team was named for a young male bison, which is commonly referred to as a “Billy.” The name was chosen via a contest run by the team that was won by a man named Bill Keenan.

Did you follow that?

The Buffalo Bills were named by a guy named Bill who suggested the name Bills.

Bill suggested Bills.

No one thought that this choice might have been slightly self serving?