The Cincinnati Bengals finally revealed their plans to establish a Ring of Honor for their former players. The inaugural group will include two legends that are practically synonymous with football in Cincinnati with Paul Brown and Anthony Munoz, but Mike Brown helps shed some light on a huge reason the franchise has finally begun to honor their former legends.
“The Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore our players to a high degree and this is a way to honor them,” Brown told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I think a lot of our players have been overlooked by the Hall of Fame that deserve consideration. We can do something about that by honoring them here.”
There is a fairly sizable list of players that deserve Hall of Fame consideration from the Bengals’ past beyond Munoz and Brown, the only two currently in Canton. However, very few have even made it late in the process of voting.
“The fact we have only one player in the Hall of Fame, I hate it,” Elizabeth Blackburn said. “I know that the Bengals have a rich history with an amazing legacy and impact on the sport of football. If there’s something in our control that we can do to help celebrate that and remind fans, players, the community, other teams and former players of the beautiful past that we have, I want to do that.”
In recent years there has been a clear bias against some of the players who played in the 70’s and 80’s for Cincinnati. Probably the most egregious is the exclusion of Ken Riley who is surrounded at the top of the all-time interceptions list by players who were welcomed into Canton very early in their eligibility. You could also make very good cases for Ken Anderson, Chad Johnson and most recently Willie Anderson mad it pretty far in the voting process.
By making the Ring of Honor it gives a chance to give these legacies their moment to shine. It also helps put pressure on the Hall of Fame to actually consider a few more Bengals who would make great additions to Canton.