Off the Field: Brad Butler

Butler talks about everything from his relationship with the late Jack Kemp, his love for the Sabres, what he'd do as president for one day, Forrest Gump and much more...

Tyler Dunne, BFR: What was it like to intern with the late Jack Kemp in Washington D.C.?

Brad Butler: To me, Jack was the epitome of what a good leader is. Jack always went out of his way to help the people that worked underneath him. I remember being invited to come visit him and then he offered me the job. He always sought me out to make sure I was getting everything done that I wanted to get done whether it was inviting me to lunch or inviting me to his house.

Butler and Jack Kemp shared a close relationship.
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He sought me out, even though I really didn't have anything to offer him. He wanted to help me grow. He was my mentor. For him to do that and take the time out of his life really meant a lot to me. And it's certainly something I'll try to remember when I grow older."

TD: Have you always been interested in politics?

BB: I was an American Politics major at the University of Virginia, but I spent most of my time working with finance when I was with him. I did a little bit of it all for him. I did some of the grunt work, sending faxes and writing faxes. But at the same time, if Jack had a big meeting, he let me come to the meetings and take notes if I wanted. I spent some time on Capitol Hill. Another point to show how great Jack was, there was a committee hearing and he said to go there for a few hours even though it didn't have anything to do with the job at hand there. From a political point, I didn't do as much there.

TD: What are some of your hobbies outside of football?

BB: I am an avid reader. I am a Buffalo Sabres season-ticket holder and a big hockey fan. I enjoy just being in the Buffalo community. I enjoy just going to Albright-Knox (art gallery), Bison games, concerts, Darien Lake, just taking in the Buffalo culture.

TD: What's it going to take for the Sabres to return to the playoffs?

BB: I was very spoiled when I got drafted. I came in right when the Sabres still had Briere, Drury and were making that playoff run. Some of my first games, when I was a rookie, were going to their playoff games. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them make the playoffs in the future. It's been great to turn it around as a football player. We don't really get to appreciate what it means to be a sports fan. To be able to go to a hockey game and sit in the stands and talk with everybody and talk about how the team is doing has been an interesting experience for me.

Butler went to the Winter Classic at The Ralph two years ago.
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The most special game I've been to is the Winter Classic. Being able to tailgate and go into my own stadium and sit in the stands and take in the whole experience was great. I really have a lot of respect for the Buffalo fans when they're sitting up in the stands and it's cold and snowing. I'm down on the field running around, sweating and on nice heated benches. I have a lot more respect for our fans because of that game.

TD: What were your tailgate essentials?

BB: We did a little bit of it all. We ate some chicken wings, had some hamburgers and hot dogs and we definitely had everything. It was me and a couple other offensive linemen. They make the individual players weigh in every week and we just had our last game. So we made sure to do it right because we didn't have to weigh in that next week.

TD: What is your favorite movie?

BB: Hands down, Forrest Gump. What I enjoy about it is the fact that it covered a little bit of everything. It had a little comedy in it, drama, some war scenes. It covered an array of things. I felt like you could really understand where Forrest was coming from. His character was one you could relate with really easily.

TD: As an avid reader, what are some of your favorite books?

BB: My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It was a book given to me by Jack Kemp. I read it a few years ago. That'd be my favorite book. Also, anything by Thomas Sowell, who writes economy books. And also, any biography on Winston Churchill is enjoyable. And the very last book I read was called The Shack.

TD: If you were president for one day, what would be a couple things you'd do?

BB: As I've always said, I represent the Bills first. I've been often asked, which party I lean but I represent the Buffalo Bills. I would say that if there's two things I could do tomorrow…right now we have the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world behind Japan. It's tough to attract new business to the United States when you have the second-highest corporate tax rate. That would be the first thing I would do. Another thing I would do is make everybody in the Congress and the Senate read Atlas Shrugged by Rand. The Library of Congress said it's the second-most important book ever written behind the Bible.

Tyler Dunne is the Publisher of and also writes for the Buffalo News, Olean Times Herald and Packer Report. Contact him at

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