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This Birthday in? Buffalo Sports History; Ray Bentley - Nov. 25, 1960

Football player, coach, announcer ... children's book author. No one can say Ray Bentley's story is typical.

Bentley was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., and he's spent much of his life in that state. He went to college at Central Michigan, and was good enough to turn pro. But he didn't do it in the NFL; the linebacker joined the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League in 1983. He spent three seasons in the USFL, including one in Oakland.

When the USFL folded in 1986, the Bills scooped him up. He saw plenty of action in his first two seasons, and then was a starter much of the time from 1988 to 1990. Bentley played one more year in Buffalo in 1991 before moving to Cincinnati in 1992, where he completed his career.

Bentley did some broadcasting work before coaching the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League for two years. Since 2009, he's worked as a radio personality in Grand Rapids and been a high school football coach.

In his playing days, Bentley wrote children's books about "Darby the Dinosaur." He's said to be working on a novel.

— Budd Bailey

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