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The Original Bengal John Stofa dies | The first Bengals football player

John Stofa the First Bengal is dead at 79

John Stofa was the first Cincinnati Bengal and today he lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. According to reports, he was 79 years old.

In the inaugural 1968 season with the club, Stofa was the starting quarterback. According to the Bengals website, Stofa spent more time with Paul Brown than most of his players because he was his only player for about a month after Brown swung that day-after-Christmas trade with the Dolphins in 1967. After scouting Stofa at a Miami practice late in the season, Brown decided to send the Dolphins his expansion team’s bonus picks at the end of the first and second rounds.

Stofa played college football at the University at Buffalo. Stofa was a starting quarterback for the Bulls in 1962 and 63.

His license plate read 1st BNGL.

He played one season (1968) with the Bengals, completing 85 passes in 177 attempts for 896 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions as the Bengals went 3–11 in their inaugural season. Stofa shared time with fellow Bengals quarterbacks Dewey Warren and Sam Wyche.

Rest in Peace John Stofa. Forever a Bull/Bengal!

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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