Cincinnati Bengals Need To Establish Hall Of Fame

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Jun 14, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown watches from the sidelines during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown watches from the sidelines during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the Bengals celebrate their 50th anniversary, it’s time for a change. Former players need to have a Hall of Fame at PBS.

The Cincinnati Bengals are entering their 50th year as a franchise this season. During that time span, fans have been witness to some of the most exciting and heartbreaking football imaginable. From the Freezer Bowl to the last-minute disappointment of Montana-to-Taylor, the Bengals have provided excitement to the Queen City and beyond. Simply put, it’s time Mike Brown and the franchise did something to thank the fans.

Outside of mimicking the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the Bengals need to show former players there’s a place for them in the new era of Cincinnati football. Let’s think about it. In the 50 years of the franchise, there is only one player in the Hall of Fame. Only one Bengals player has been immortalized with a bust in Canton. Anthony Munoz is waiting patiently.

During the Bengals’ anniversary celebration on Thursday, Max Montoya calmly expressed his feelings on the matter. His words echoed what so many fans and football purists have said for years.

"“I don’t understand it. One Hall-of-Famer in 50 years?” Montoya commented, per Bengals.com. “After so many great players have come through here? I understand we lost the only two Super Bowls we were in. But my gosh. There are a lot of great players that have never been to a damn playoff that should be in the Hall.”"

Montoya’s thoughts are not in the minority. Cincy has produced two Super Bowl teams in the 80’s. Both squads were just a tick away from taking it all. Unfortunately, the votes go to players who have the winning ring on their hand. But, that’s no reason for the lack of acknowledgment from Brown and the Bengals. 

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To say that the Bengals haven’t had players worthy of the Hall is insanity. For those who can remember Ken Anderson, that’s the first name that defies the lack of respect. Munoz and Boomer Esiason have been pushing for Kenny’s addition to the HOF. Just looking at his numbers and comparing them to the players currently in the Hall are justification. But, it’s all about time.

Until then, there’s no reason why the Bengals can’t create a Ring of Honor or Hall of Fame at Paul Brown Stadium. Walking through the halls of PBS is a sterile environment. Pictures of the Super Bowl teams should be a constant reminder to fans of what can happen again. The connections to the past shouldn’t be lost because it seems a distant memory. My son didn’t know the Bengals played in the Big Dance until I told him. That’s…not…cool. He’s a newly converted fan. The fact that Bengals’ history is so murky is a joke.

It’s time the youngsters learned about Isaac Curtis, David Fulcher and Dave Lapham. Now is the time to put faces on the teams that played the most competitive Super Bowls. Even the Bengals that didn’t face Joe Montana and the Niners need to have a place in PBS. They deserve to be recognized.

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As the Bengals celebrate their 50th year as a franchise, it’s time Brown opened up and let the emotions loose. The only way to successfully move forward is to embrace where you been. The 2017 season is a good place to start. Creating a Hall of Fame would smooth out the edges.

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