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Honoring Bill Polian

On Saturday October 6, 2012, Hanes Supply held our 10th Annual Kent Hull Hard Working Man Award Dinner, honoring Bill Polian, at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, New York. All who attended appreciated their time to meet with friends and enjoy a wonderful dinner.

We lost a great man and dear friend, Kent Hull in October 2011. Kent Hull, “The Big Guy” was certainly with us this Saturday evening …in our hearts and memories.

Former Buffalo Bills General Manager Bill Polian made the decision to bring Kent Hull to Buffalo and  was the architect of the Bills Superbowl teams. Mr. Polian certainly deserved the decision to be chosen 2012 Recipient of the Kent Hull Hard Working Man Award. Bill graciously accepted this award and entertained the dinner attendees with some great stories.

Our table of Roasters & Toasters included Booker Edgerson, Ed Rutkowski, Lou Piccone, Bob Koshinski, Rob Ray, Rene Robert, Dennis DiPaolo, Jim Kelly and Bill Hanes. These special guests provided an entertaining evening for all the friends that attended this event. The Hard Working Man of the evening, with great grace and humor returned much praise to the Head Table Celebrities there to honor him. Bill also became serious and paid tribute to Kent Hull. Our Best ever Buffalo Bills General Manager and the Future Pro Football Hall Of Famer told the three hundred attendees that he was proud to receive this award named for such a great Buffalo Bill and a football player that deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame alongside his best friend, Jim Kelly.

It was certainly and evening to remember. Hanes Supply is thankful to all of our special guests and customer friends who shared this dinner with our Hanes Supply  associates.

Hanes Supply is very proud to be associated with Kent Hull and all the Hard Working Man Award Honorees over the past ten years.

Ted Hanes
Hanes Supply, Inc.


No. 13 - Brilliant: Take time to listen to Bill on Sirius 88, the NFL Network. His knowledge of all topics and aspects of the NFL game and the league itself is unsurpassed. Bill had MANY opportunities besides the NFL network. Reality shows Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Call of the Wildman, and the Deadliest Catch all “Made Offers”. As always, Bill made the right move.
No. 12 - The Best Trade in Colts History:  Jim Irsay traded a 3rd round draft pick on December 20th, 1997 to the Carolina Panthers for Bill Polian. Once Bill became the President and General Manager, the future and identity of the Colts were bound for glory. This was the best early Christmas present the Colts fans, the players, and the entire organization could ever ask for!

No. 11 -  12-1/2 Weeks. 500 Hours: The time Bill spent reviewing film for the first pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. In retrospect, Peyton Manning was the obvious choice over Ryan Leaf.

Bill had the honor of signing two of the all-time greatest NFL Quarterbacks, Hall of Fame Buffalo Bill Jim Kelly (12 + 83 = 6) and future Hall of Fame Indianapolis Colt and now Denver Bronco Peyton Manning (18 + 88 also = 6).

Besides, Peyton made it very clear that if he wasn’t the first overall pick in 1998, Peyton would come back to HAUNT and kick the Colts and Bill’s gluteus maximus.

Archie Manning had an excellent observation on the Colts hiring Bill Polian in 1997. “That’s a great move right there,” Archie Manning told his son Peyton. “Polian’s smart and he wins EVERYWHERE he goes.”

No. 10 -  The Carolina Years:  The benchmark of Bill’s three years as the Panthers GM was turning a franchise into immediate playoff contenders. In 1996, the Panthers lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship. The Packers went on to beat the Patriots, and Bill Parcells, in Superbowl XXXI (31). No tears were shed over the Pats loss by all “Bills”.
No. 9 -  The Early Years:  Bill played football and was a captain at New York University in the Mid 1960’s. Bill coached at Manhattan College, Columbia University and the Merchant Marine Academy. These were different times in college and professional football. But they were important times, building the knowledge and foundation for the future.

No. 8 -  The Second Front:  Hanes Supply was the second front of our founder and father, Theodore C. Hanes whose "primary" career was the Buffalo Fire Department. Ted was a battalion chief and started Hanes Marine and Cable in 1956. The pictures may look a little faded but our memories of the chief are always bright in our minds.

Bill actually left professional football in the early 1970’s to support his family. But selling advertising for an agricultural magazine would and could not fulfill his passion for the game he loved.

The second front of writing player scouting reports kept Bill involved in football. Marv Levy reviewed Bill’s reports while Marv was head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. Marv knew there was a special person writing these in depth and superior reports. It was the beginning of a friendship that is lasting a lifetime.

No. 7 - America, the Land of Opportunity: Bill’s parents were immigrants from Ireland and Bill is very proud of his heritage. Their home in the Bronx would help mold Bill into the fiery, gritty, resilient, competitive and exceptional general manager who would dominate the NFL for 3 decades. Proudly Irish and Born in the USA.
No. 6 -  All Irishmen Have Their Favorite Local Establishment:  The Big Tree Inn is legendary, but Bill’s favorites were Hoaks in Athol Springs and South Buffalo’s Mud McGraths. Of course we all know, the ONLY place to go in for an Italian dinner in WNY for Irishmen of all nationalities is Ilio Dipaolo's. In fact, given the right evening and establishment, Bill has been known to grab the microphone and sing an Irish song or two. Tonight via the magic of youtube, the Irish Tenors will treat Bill to one of his favorites, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”.

No. 5 -  Trick or Treat, Toss Me a Biscuit for Halloween 1987:  “The trade of the decade” by the NY Times. When Bill found out that the Colts were going to Deal the Rights for Cornelius Bennett, he immediately jumped into action. The deal was not for the faint of heart. It was a complicated trade as the slide details.

The bottom line is, Bill signed one of the greatest all time NFL linebackers who was a key component to the Bills Defense for our Glory Years. In addition, holding on to the 2nd round pick in the 1988 draft was astute and critical for the future. Biscuits first game against John Elway and the Broncos was absolutely off the charts. Elway and the Broncos didn’t know what hit them, or which way to turn! Biscuit, Bruce, Darryl, Fred, Shane and the Bills “D” hit them often! Always clean hits, as Marv had his teams play hard, play clean and play to win!

No. 4 - How to Draft a Running Back and Who is Our Quarterback:  
  1. 2nd Round 1988 all time greatest Buffalo Bill Running Back and Hall of Fame Member Thurman Thomas. We ALL know Thurman’s accomplishments.
  2. 1st Round 1999, Edgerrin James 7 year Colt Player. Franchise Records 9226 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns.
  3. 1st Round 2006, Joseph Addai. Bill drafted the replacement for James who left the Colts. Addai had 6 productive years with the Colts. As a class organization, the Colts, under Bill’s leadership, gave James a Superbowl XLI (41) Ring even though he left the year before.

Per Bill Polian, Jim Kelly was the greatest Bills Quarterback ever. If you do not agree, you can a) not really be a Bills fan, b) must have been asleep from 1986 through 1996, c) really believe Elvis is still in the building, or d) all of the above.

No. 3 - The passion for the game and his teams, Bill always had the best interests of his teams first!:  Emotions always run high in the fast paced NFL. After the Bills lost to the Cowboys in Super Bowl 27 by a lopsided score of 52 to 17, Bill was asked if he was depressed. “Depressed,” Bill answered, “Try wounded beyond recognition”. All this was said even though Bill knew it was his last game as GM of the Buffalo Bills. Bob Koshinski’s last interview with Bill Polian on Empire Sports Network was just as depressing for all Bills Fans, Bill stated towards the end of the interview, “This is the last time ”I” will speak of the Buffalo Bills as “we”…. it sank in, Bill was moving on.
No. 2 - The List of Accomplishments Says It All:
  1. Six time NFL Executive of the Year.
  2. Architect of the Bills, Panthers and Colts success for 25 years.
  3. Do not be surprised if another NFL team knocks on Bill’s door for their GM position.
  4. 2003 Member of Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Proud to be inducted with #56, Buffalo Bill and KHHWM #3 Darryl Talley.
  5. Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame 2012.
  6. Winner of 5 AFC Championships and Super Bowl 41.
  7. Hired two of the finest coaches ever in the NFL, Marv Levy and Tony Dungy.
  8. Without question, a future member of the NFL Hall of Fame.
No. 1 -  Family:  Bill is extremely proud of his sons following his footsteps in professional football. Proud that his family life comes first and is separate from football. For Bill, at the end of the day, when it is all said and done, nothing means more than family!

This includes the Buffalo Bills family and all the great players Bill brought to and kept in Buffalo – Hull, Kelly, Smith, Thomas, Talley, Bennett, Reed, Lofton, Tasker, Conlan, Wolford, Richter, Smerlas, Hansen, Wright, Odoms, Jones, Ballard, Norwood , Christie and many more. Never again will such talent be assembled on one team.

Bill has been one of the key factors for many players in the past and the future of achieving the ultimate NFL individual honor  - The NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Thank you Bill Polian for all you have done for the game you love. Sincerely, the Buffalo Bills Organization, all the players, all the coaches, and all the fans.

Bill Hanes
Hanes Supply, Inc.

To view an HTML version of the TOP 13 list with visuals, click here.

To view 2011's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Fred Smerlas CLICK HERE.

To view 2010's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Booker Edgerson and George "Butch" Byrd CLICK HERE.

To view 2009's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Joe Delamielleure CLICK HERE.

To view 2008's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Thurman Thomas CLICK HERE.

To view 2007's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Steve Tasker CLICK HERE.

To view 2006's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Marv Levy CLICK HERE.

To view 2005's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Darryl Talley CLICK HERE.

To view 2004's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Jim Kelly CLICK HERE.

To view 2003's Hanes Supply - Kent Hull - Hard Working Man Award,
honoring Kent Hull CLICK HERE.

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