Franchise founder and inaugural head coach Paul Brown and Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz are two people who will be the initial inductees into the Bengals Ring of Honor as announced on Thursday. Brown was the founder of the Bengals and Munoz the best player in franchise history.
Brown founded the Bengals in 1968 as a member of the American Football League and they joined the NFL two years later when the two leagues merged. In eight seasons as head coach, Brown led the Bengals to a 55-56-1 record. In his final season as head coach in 1975, Cincinnati went 11-3 to earn a wildcard playoff berth.
Cincinnati won three two division titles and made three playoff appearances under Brown, but never won a postseason game. After returning as a head coach in 1975 Brown remained the Bengals principal owner through 1982 and was the owner and general manager until he passed away in August 1991.
Munoz is the only player to spend his entire career with the Bengals who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Munoz was a nine-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-team All-Pro, 11-time pro bowler, and first-team NFL 1980s All-Decade and to the 75th and 100th NFL anniversary All-Time teams.
"“To know I had a chance to spend 10 of my 13 years around him every day was amazing. Now you get a chance to go into this Ring of Honor with him and it’s pretty cool. It is really exciting. It’s an honor…The organization has had some amazing, amazing players over the 50–plus years of existence.I think this is great because now we get to celebrate all the guys and that’s what it’s all about.”"
The announcement of the Bengals Ring of Honor was made by franchise executive vice president and Brown’s granddaughter Katie Blackburn via the team’s official website. Munoz paid tribute to Brown during the press conference in the above video. Two more inaugural inductees will join Brown and Munoz in the Ring of Honor.
Season ticket holders will vote on who will join Brown and Munoz. The first names that come to mind to join Brown and Munoz are quarterback Ken Anderson who led the Bengals to their first Superbowl, cornerback Ken Riley who belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and wide receiver Issac Curtis.