Jeff Blake throws a touchdown for the Bengals in 1994. (Michael E. Keating, Cincinnati Enquirer)
Last but not least, is Abraham Lincoln’s spot on Mt. Rushmore. There are plenty of solid choices for this final spot including Andy Dalton, Jon Kitna and even Greg Cook. Dalton may one day earn his place on here, but I am going in a different direction. To me, this spot belongs to a 90’s Bengals quarterback. That’s right, the one, the only, Jeff “Shake-N” Blake. Yes, I know, this is not a popular pick, but Jeff Blake was just so much fun to watch, and was about the only bright spot in the 90’s Bengals. There was never any doubt that Blake played with immense heart, passion and pride. Blake lifted the players around him and in 1996 Blake appeared in the Pro Bowl with teammate WR Carl Pickens. Blake ended up throwing a 92 yard TD pass to Yancey Thigpen in a 20-13 defeat in the 1996 Pro Bowl.
Unlike the real Mt. Rushmore which is carved out of solid granite in the mountains of South Dakota, this Mt. Rushmore is much more interchangeable. Again, in years to come it might be determined that Andy Dalton and his fire red hair earn a spot up there, but until that day, these are the four who have worn the orange and black well enough to sit atop the pinnacle of Bengals football.