Buffalo in the ’50’s: Does football trump the important stuff?

By Steve Cichon

Bruce Shanks, the first of three Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists for The News, was wondering 60 years ago this week if Buffalo was paying too much attention to football and not enough to the events that shape our world.

It’s easy, perhaps, to see parallels all these years later, but like most things in life, it’s a bit more complicated than it was 60 years ago.

The idea of sports has grown both as a big business, but also plays a much larger role in our community’s idea of civic pride. Politics, meanwhile, has become more difficult to talk about as more Americans on both sides of the political spectrum become more extreme in their ideas and more entrenched in that extremism.

In our social media-driven world, saying “Go Bills” might help you gain friends, while saying “Go Candidate X” might get you unfriended or unfollowed.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.