Bob Trumpy was born on March 6, 1945 in Springfield, Illinois. He is a former AFL and NFL tight end who played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968 to 1977. After graduating from the University of Utah in 1967, Trumpy was selected by the Bengals in the 12th round (301st overall) of the 1968 Common Draft.
Trumpy Bursts onto the Scene
Despite his low draft selection, Trumpy worked hard in the off-season and managed to earn the starting tight end spot in the team’s lineup. He had optimal height and speed for a tight end and he didn’t disappoint in his rookie season, recording 37 receptions for 639 yards and 3 touchdowns, earning an AFL All-Star selection.
The next season, Trumpy had the best season of his career, catching 37 passes for 835 yards (a franchise record 22.6 yards per catch average) and 9 touchdowns. In a game against the Houston Oilers, Trumpy became the first Bengals’ tight end ever to record three touchdown receptions in a single game, assisting his team to a 31-31 tie, the only tie in franchise history.
Trumpy Puts Team First
Bob Trumpy was a Pro Bowl Tight End for the Cincinnati Bengals. In 1973 and into 1974, the emergence of a budding superstar wide receiver Isaac Curtis resulted in fewer catches for Bob Trumpy. Trumpy was quoted as saying, “When I was getting the ball all the time we were 4-10. With Isaac in there we’re 10-4. I’d much rather win than be famous.” (1) This quote epitomized Trumpy’s career. He wanted to do whatever was best for the team.
Trumpy and the Trick Play
Trumpy continued to play for the Bengals until 1977, earning 2 trips to the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in 1970 and 1973. In his final season, he caught only 18 passes for 251 yards and 1 touchdown, but his touchdown was one of the most memorable plays of his career. In a November 20th game against the Miami Dolphins during a driving rainstorm, Trumpy caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ken Anderson on a flea flicker play that involved 3 different players handling the ball before it was thrown to him. First, Anderson handed the ball off to running back Archie Griffin, who then pitched the ball to receiver John McDaniel running in the opposite direction. McDaniel then handed the ball back to Anderson, setting up his 29-yard touchdown pass to Trumpy. The Bengals went on to defeat the Dolphins 23-17, knocking them out of playoff contention.
"We're still in the picture," said quarterback Ken Anderson, who resorted to a flea-flicker pass off a triple reverse with 2:35 left in the rain-drenched game. Otto Graham, on hand for a reunion with Brown, his ex-coach watched the electrifying play and personally passed along his compliments. "A great play," Graham told Anderson in the clubhouse.
"We've been running that play for 10 years," said Trumpy, a rarely-used receiver who capped the razzle-dazzle play. "It works every time,” Trumpy said. "I drop it and I'm looking for a job sweeping floors somewhere," said Trumpy. "I don't get many chances anymore, but when I do I'm going to catch 'em." (2)
Trumpy Announces Retirement
On Monday, March 20, 1978, Bob Trumpy announced his retirement from the NFL and the Cincinnati Bengals. Trumpy finished his brilliant NFL career with 298 catches for 4,600 yards, and scored 35 receiving touchdowns, all Bengals’ records at the time of his retirement.
Trumpy to the Booth
After his NFL career, Trumpy became an NFL broadcaster. In 1978, he joined NBC and worked with Jim Simpson. He would later team with Don Criqui from 1982-1988. In 1992, he became lead color commentator alongside Dick Enberg until 1995 (when NBC went to a three-man booth with Paul Maguire and Phil Simms replacing him). The team of Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy called Super Bowls XXVII (1993) and XXVIII (1994). He would then be paired with Tom Hammond (1995-1996) and Charlie Jones (1997) until NBC lost football after the 1997 season.
Trumpy hosted a week-night sports talk show on WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1980-1989. He left the show to be able to work more assignments at NBC Sports, including the Olympics. He was replaced on the sports talk show by Chris Collinsworth.
He currently works as an analyst for CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One on Sunday Night Football, and has been with the network since 2000 (save for the 2005 season, when he was replaced by John Riggins), and also does programming for WLW-AM (700) radio.
During the first round of the 2006-07 NFL playoffs, Trumpy and Enberg were in the broadcast booth together for the first time since the 1994 AFC Championship Game, covering the Colts-Chiefs game for Westwood One. They were paired again for the Patriots-Chargers game the following weekend.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Bob Trumpy Biography Sources(1) Isaac Takes Glory From Trumpy (1974, October 18) Piqua Daily Call
(2) Bengals Reverse Way Past Miami To Stay in Picture (1977, November 21) Albuquerque Journal