The Cincinnati Bengals have a wealth of history largely untold. Much of it comes with a story that we hope to tell. That's when our little project landed on defensive tackle Steve Chomyszak.
Drafted by the New York Jets in the 12th round of the 1966 NFL draft, defensive tackle Steve Chomyszak played six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played during an age in football when quarterback sacks wasn't an official statistic but that doesn't matter. Evident via this short clip, Chomyszak will just throw your ass six feet under just for fooling him on the cadence.
Chomyszak played primarily beside defensive tackle Mike Reid, a former Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick during the 1970 NFL draft who would generate 49 unofficial quarterback sacks, two Pro Bowl selections, two All-Pro selections and four All-AFC awards. Before Geno Atkins there was Mike Reid. Yet after five seasons, Reid retired from football due to injuries, following a completely different path as a composer for musicals and even a country music artist, recording a Number One hit called "Walk on Faith."
Before Reid's retirement, Chomyszak made the biggest mistake you can with former old school head coach like Paul Brown. Chomyszak decided to play out the option year on his contract in 1974, then signed a future World Football League contract that was supposed to go into affect the following season. Yes. He signed another contract for 1975 while electing to play his option year in 1974 with the Bengals.
Paul Brown was pissed off.
Even filed a lawsuit, which he lost.
You have to remember. Paul Brown was old school, valued loyalty, hard work. Chomyszak didn't exhibit the loyalty part, so Brown shipped him off to the Buffalo Bills. A year later while in the WFL, Chomyszak wanted to return to Cincinnati and the NFL and the Bengals needed a defensive tackle after Reid's sudden retirement. Brown said, come on back. No hard feelings. He did. And Brown released him after the fourth preseason game.
"I was blackballed," Chomyszak told the Sarasota Journal on July 8, 1976. "Paul Brown said, 'You screwed me last year, so I'll screw you this year.' I know that for a fact."
Per Alan Lassila from the Sarasota Journal:
Chomyszak also claims that (the) Bengals hampered his efforts to collect unemployment compensation and even tried (blocking) his signing as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Not only do they get you down, but they stomp on you," said Chomyszak.
Still Chomyszak, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1988 at the young age of 43, had a successful career in the NFL, mostly all with the Cincinnati Bengals.