Tonawanda News — Having worked on the fringes of the Western New York media scene throughout this century, I have been introduced to most every famous name (and face) that exists in this market.
WGRZ’s mainstay sports director, Ed Kilgore, is not one of them.
After reading his book, I sort of wish he was.
“As I’ve Seen It” chronicles the 40 years he’s been on the Buffalo sports scene, as well as the early events in his life that led to him becoming a Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Famer. He also offers some fun stories of the teams he’s covered and revived some early sports memories that any reader would love to relive.
Those memories go back a long way. To put it in perspective, when Kilgore (whose given first name is Kim) arrived in Buffalo, the Buffalo Braves were battling the Boston Celtics for NBA supremacy. The Bills had just moved into the brand new Rich Stadium, and Kilgore — who spent his life in the West, Midwest and South — hadn’t seen NHL hockey before. The members of the Sabres’ French Connection quickly sniffed this out, so they initiated Kilgore to the Buffalo scene by doing interviews with the newsman posing as each other.
Kilgore quickly made a name for himself, though, opting to make Buffalo his home after brief professional stops in San Antonio, Houston and Alaska, where summer excursions during time off from the University of Missouri led to odd writing and broadcasting gigs.
He also became a trusted interviewer and friend to athletes and executives, which in the days prior to clamped-down journalistic ethics and instantaneously tweeted news breaks meant free trips, vacations with players and nights on the town.
Almost literally, if an athlete has ever made a name for himself in Buffalo, he’s had Kilgore to thank for that, at least in part. Kilgore was part of the Sabres’ broadcast team for nearly a decade, hosted shows with Bills ranging from Lou Saban to Jim Kelly and was on the scene at each of Buffalo’s heart-breaking sports moments (from his vantage point, “No Goal” really was a Stanley Cup-clincher).