Buffalo Bisons home run derby draws a unique NFL crowd

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Football players have a habit of showing up at baseball parks this time of year, either throwing out first pitches or showing off their abilities with a wooden stick.

On July 9, an eclectic mix of NFL figures will participate in a home run derby presented by the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

According to WGRZ-TV, Bills running back Fred Jackson, former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will participate.  (I wonder how Buffalo fans will receive Gronkowski?)

Also swinging for the fences will be former Bills, Panthers, and Colts G.M. Bill Polian.

Yes, Bill Polian.  The sixtysomething exec-turned-ESPN-analyst with a hard, crusty shell will be showing up and participating.

Polian comes off on TV as far more likeable — or, as the case may be, less unlikeable — than his longstanding reputation otherwise would suggest.  His willingness to participate in a home run derby shows a side that makes him even more likeable.

Or, as the case may be, less unlikeable.