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 writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.