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Joe Walter Is A Hero For Special Olympians

Former Bengals right tackle Joe Walter hosting celebrity softball game benefiting the Special Olympics (Photo credit the New York Post)

Even though he missed out playing in Super Bowl XXIII after tearing an ACL in the final game of the 1988 regular season game against the Washington Redskins, former Bengals right tackle started 136 games for the Bengals in his 12-year career in Cincinnati. A favorite of mine back in the day for his nastiness, Walter has since moved on to more inspiring things, writes Adam Kiefaber. Aside from being a business relationship officer for Forcht Bank, Walter puts together events like his upcoming golf event that will raise money for the Northern Kentucky Special Olympians.

The money raised provides local athletes with programs to participate in, room and board for competitions and for medals. In fact, last year's golf outing raised enough money to allow the Special Olympics of Northern Kentucky to add flag football to its list of programs.

Speaking of football, the golf outing brings out many of Walter's former Cincinnati Bengal teammates including Max Montoya, Barney Bussey, David Fulcher, Cris Collinsworth and Dave Lapham. Foursomes can pay $250 per golfer to play with a celebrity on the Fox Run golf course. Golfers will also receive hole signage, shirt and a gift.

I know this isn't pertinent to what's going on with the team today. But we far too often tend to forget to honor the heroes we used to root for that made us fans in the first place and by extension, failing our younger fanbase who might not know former Bengals greats. No, young man, Collinsworth actually did play football. And he played for your Cincinnati Bengals!

In closing, you have to love how Walter became a starter.

In 1985, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Walter in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. The team already had eight offensive linemen and they didn't plan on keeping more than that. However, in a strange twist of fate, one of the returning linemen decided to leave the team to become an Indian reservation tour guide.