In the 2021 season, the Cincinnati Bengals have a renewed focus on remembering former players. We’ve seen the introduction of the new ring of honor, some cool social media activity with former players and some Bengal greats back in Cincinnati to lead Paul Brown Stadium in the Who Dey?! chant as the Ruler of the Jungle.
As the long, painful playoff drought came to an end, the celebration wasn’t limited to just the fans and guys in the current locker room. Bengals from the past were watching along, cheering their former team along every step of the way.
CJ Uzomah wearing Rodney Holman’s jersey in the post game tells me that he gets this team, he gets this city, and he understands what the past players and history mean to all of us. CJ’s jersey needs another “C” on it next season. #WhoDey pic.twitter.com/xjiiPLZTKL— The Way of The Anvil ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ (@EdwardEmerling) January 16, 2022
Another Bengal great who has kept his connection to Cincinnati since his playing days is former running back Ickey Woods. Woods, the creator of the famous “Ickey Shuffle” was chosen to be Ruler of the Jungle before the Wild Card game.
Woods is frequently seen attending games at Paul Brown Stadium and at times, he works concession stands in the 200’s level for charity. Featured on the walls in the concourses of the stadium, it is clear the affection comes from both sides.
A recent article from Geoff Hobson highlights some of the reactions from Bengals of the past as Cincinnati celebrated their first playoff victory since 1991.
Former tight end Tony McGee, who played all but one season of his career in Cincinnati before moving into local television and radio roles, was in attendance to see the weight seemingly come off of the city’s shoulders.
“I was at the field level and I got to hear the roar on that interception,” McGee says of linebacker Germaine Pratt’s game-ending interception at the Raiders 2. “You’re talking about chills goose-bumping down your spine. Bad knees and all jumping up and down. It’s how you want 66,000 to sound.”
The aforementioned Holman wasn’t in town for the win, but was rooting the team on from Louisiana. The article quotes Holman on finding out a current player chose to honor him by wearing his jersey.
“My daughter was telling me that was their first playoff win since ‘Home Alone,’” said Holman, who took her to see Bengals-49ers last month. “I found out he pulled my number. It’s (nice). Tell him congratulations.”
Of course, arguably the greatest Bengal ever, Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz was ecstatic for the team. A local hero featured in television ads and radio spots you’ll come across every single day, made sure he was there to witness the thrilling victory.
You can read the full article here and see additional reactions from several former Bengals after what was a historic Saturday night in The Queen City.