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CINCINNATI BENGALS
American Football League
Expansion Team

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       The Cincinnati Bengals were an American Football League team only for the last two years of  the league's existence, 1968 and 1969.  The first player selected in the expansion draft was a quarterback, the University of Buffalo's John Stofa, from the Miami Dolphins.

        The Bengals restored professional football to the Queen City after an absence of thirty years.  In the two years they were in the AFL, they accomplished the remarkable feat of having Rookies of the Year in both years: Paul Robinson in 1968 and Greg Cook in 1969.

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Cincinnati Bengals
in the
American Football League
Hall of Fame

Sherrill Headrick
Bobby Hunt
Ernie Wright

Paul Brown*

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GREG COOK

        The University of Cincinnati's 6-foot-4, 220-pound quarterback Greg Cook stayed in Cincinnati to play Professional Football.  In his rookie year, he passed for 1,854 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Injury prevented him from reaching his potential with the Bengals.

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American Football League Rookie of the Year
1969

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One of a series of cards by American Football League fan and artist Jim Fish.

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SHERRILL HEADRICK

       An original Dallas Texan out of Texas Christian University, Sherrill Headrick was considered the Texans' and the early Chiefs' best linebacker, a hard-nosed, all-giving player.   He left TCU after three seasons and played one season at offensive guard, center and linebacker in the Canadian Football League (1959) before joining the Texans for the initial AFL season, signing as a free agent.
     His teammates called him "Psycho" for his rambunctious nature, a reputation he fueled by banging his head against his locker and working himself up to the point of nausea before games.   The nickname also befit his style of play: in his first year with the Texans, Headrick set the standard for playing hurt, after fracturing a vertebrae in his neck in a collision in warm-ups before a game with the Houston Oilers.   Despite feeling pain in his neck, he played the entire game.  He learned of the fracture five days later, but went on to play the following week.  Hank Stram said that Headrick, who refused to wear hip pads, had the highest pain threshold he'd ever seen in an athlete. Headrick payed with a broken neck, infected gums, and a fractured thumb. When an injury left the bone in his finger protrding from the skin, he popped the bones in place without missing a play.

       Headrick had fourteen interceptions during his eight-year Texans/Chiefs career, returning three for touchdowns.  He played in the franchise's 1962 and 1966 AFL title game wins and in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. 
         He was
All-AFL in 1960, and an American Football League All-Star  in 1961, 1962, 1965 and 1966.  
       
Headrick was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 AFL expansion draft and played for them one season. 
 

 

A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

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BOBBY HUNT


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   Bobby Hunt played college football at Auburn University.  He was drafted by the Dallas Texans of the AFL in 1962 and went on to play in the AFL for the Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was first team All-AFL his rookie year with the Texans.

  Hunt had ten interceptions in 1966, tying teammate Johnny Robinson for the league lead.  During his nine year career Hunt  had forty-two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He was second team All-AFL in 1964 & 1966, and was selected to play in the AFL All-Star game in 1964.

   He was an AFL Champion with the Chiefs in 1962 and in  1967, when he played for them in the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game

  
He was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 AFL Expansion Draft and played for them in 1968 and 1969.

   After his playing career he was an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills.  Hunt is a member of the  Alabama Sports Hall of Fame  class of 2015.

 

 
 
A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

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BOB JOHNSON

        Johnson was All-American at the University of Tennessee in 1966 and 1967.

        He was the Bengals' first-ever draft pick, the second overall selection in the 1968 draft.

         He played his entire career with the Bengals, 154 games over twelve seasons.
 

 
 

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American Football League All-Star 1968

One of a series of cards by American Football League fan and artist Jim Fish.

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KEN RILEY

        Ken Riley, of Florida A&M, spent his entire career with the Bengals, first in the American Football League in 1969 and then in the nfl from 1970 through 1983. He had 65 career interceptions, which was the 4th most in Professional Football history at the time of his retirement. But despite that, he was never once selected to play in an AFL All-Star Game or a Pro Bowl. In 2023, after decades of waiting, he was posthumously inducted into the 'pro football' Hall of Fame.

A member of the 'pro football'
Hall of Fame

One of a series of cards by American Football League fan and artist Jim Fish.

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PAUL ROBINSON

        Paul Robinson played only one year at the University of Arizona, but in his first year as a professional, he gained 1,023 yards rushing and scored eight touchdowns.  He was named All-AFL and led the Western AFL All-Star team to victory over the Eastern All-Stars.

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American Football League Rookie of the Year
1968

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One of a series of cards by American Football League fan and artist Jim Fish.

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JOHN STOFA

        Only the third Professional Football player from the University of Buffalo, where he set passing and yardage records, John Stofa began his AFL career with the Dolphins in 1966 and was traded to the expansion Bengals for their first season, 1968.
      He threw the first touchdown pass in Bengals history, to Bob Trumpy for 58 yards in the Bengals' win over the Broncos, 24 to 10.

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BOB TRUMPY

        A three-sport athlete at Springfield High School in Illinois, Bob Trumpy attended the University of Illinois and then Utah University, where he played tight end.

      After graduation he served in the U. S. Navy during the Viet Nam War, then was selected by the Bengals in the 12th round of the 1968 draft.

     He was a starter in his rookie season, and an AFL All-Star in 1968 and 1969, earning All-League honors in 1969.

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One of a series of cards by American Football League fan and artist Jim Fish.

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ERNIE WRIGHT


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RealPatch10Year.gif (2119 bytes) Ernie Wright, a native Ohioan from Toledo, played on the offensive line for Ohio State in 1958 and 1959.  Undrafted, he signed with the Chargers and played the 1960 season with them.  He was then drafted in the 1961 nfl draft, but chose to stay with the AFL's Chargers, through 1967.

      He returned to Ohio with  the Cincinnati Bengals after being selected by them in the 1968 AFL Expansion Draft.

   Wright was an
American Football League All-Star in 1961, 1963 and 1965.

    He was one of only twenty players who were in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence.

 

 

  
A member of the
American Football League
Hall of Fame

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Patriots Bills Oilers Jets Dolphins Broncos Chiefs Chargers Raiders CINCINNATI BENGALS

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2003  American Football League Hall of Fame  All rights reserved. Duplicate in any form you like, if you're an AFL fan.
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Last revision: 12 December 2023 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio, nospam.RemembertheAFL@aol.com
 

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