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25 years ago, the Bills clinched AFC East, and 'Fandemonium' erupted


Scott Norwood

Scott Norwood, shown in a 1991 Buffalo News photo, kicked a field goal from 30 yards in OT to clinch the Bills' AFC East title in 1988.

It was Thanksgiving week 1988, 25 years ago. After seven non-championship years - including a pair of 2-14 seasons - the Buffalo Bills clinched the Eastern Division crown in the AFC with a 9-6 overtime win over the New York Jets. It was time for a town that has been knocked down and bad-mouthed to jump off the mat and proclaim its victory. "What do they call it -- Pandemonium?" linebacker Darryl Talley asked later. "This was fan-demonium. It was so much fun."

Here, from The Buffalo News archives, are the stories about that game: 

Nov. 21, 1988: Norwood's OT goal is first step as Bills get foot in playoff door

Nov. 21, 1988 Bills touch off 'fan-demonium'

Nov. 21, 1988: Vic Carucci: Celebration by fans 'amazing to see'

Nov. 21, 1988: Larry Felser: When Bills say jump, Fred asks how high?

Nov. 21, 1988: Monday billboard

Nov. 21, 1988: Bills pay physical price for clinching AFC East

Nov. 22, 1988: Editorial: Congratulations, Bills. We're all talking proud

Nov. 20, 1988: Game preview: Bills go after the clincher against the Jets

Nov. 19, 1988: Eyes of world are following Bills' success

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.