Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, local students and Bills legend Darryl Talley announced the Buffalo Bills 6th round pick from downtown.
Besides a shared fan base, it was the citys own pro-football history that brought the NFL to Rochester. Back in 1920, a Rochester-based team was one of the first to play in the league during its inaugural season.
Mayor Lovely Warren announces Buffalo Bills pick from Rochester on NFL Draft broadcast
"For the NFL to come here and highlight the Jeffersons, one of the original teams is so exciting," Warren said.
"All of the history, its cool that it started here in Rochester," said John Steffenhagen of Rochester.
He says his great-grandfather, Leo Lyons, was an original member of the team that played on a Jefferson Avenue sandlot more than 100 years ago. As a player, Lyons was also the teams manager, groundskeeper, and doctor.
"He challenged Jim Thorpes favorite team in Canton, Ohio, which led to him being invited to Canton, Ohio, in 1920 to start the league. So he was there that day they all put the money in to start the league," Steffenhagen said.
In front of the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, Mayor Warren highlighted Rochester as the states leading city for technology and innovation.
"You know what, we have a rich history here. Because were highlighting the rich history of our city, it just shows we have an even brighter future [since] the NFL [came] here and [announced] this from the city of Rochester," Warren said.
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