The Cincinnati Bengals’ history can’t be told without founder, coach and president Paul Brown. Brown was one of the best coaches in the history of his sport. He had incredible success with the Cleveland Browns, a team named after him that he co-founded prior to the Bengals.
Norfolk Ohio — Brown’s hometown — has decided to immortalize the memory of the Pro Football Hall of Famer with a statue in his likeness in front of Paul Brown Park.
Pro football wouldn't be what it is in the state of Ohio without Paul Brown, the co-founder and namesake of the @Browns who later founded the @Bengals.— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) October 23, 2023
In Brown's hometown of Norwalk, Ohio, a monument in his memory was unveiled on Saturday.
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The statue was unveiled at a ceremony that was attended by Paul H. Brown — the grandson of the coach and current Vice President of Player Personnel with the Cincinnati Bengals — as well as Bengals Hall of Famer left tackle Anthony Munoz.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be here today,” Brown said according to the Hall of Fame’s website. “It feels really good. My grandfather was an amazing person. To know that Norwalk felt that he was such an amazing person to do something like this is incredible. It means a lot to our family, and we’re very appreciative of everything today.”
Munoz also shared his thoughts of Brown — the man who drafted him — who had retired from coaching by the time Munoz was making his way to the NFL but had transitioned into focusing on being president for the Bengals.
Brown decided to draft the left tackle despite some injury concerns leading up to the draft. One Hall of Fame career later, it is safe to say that Brown made the right choice.
“Paul Brown gave me an opportunity after a lot of teams weren’t going to touch me because of the injuries,” Muñoz said. “They took a chance. I’m sure a lot of Bengals fans couldn’t understand it at the time. That was an incentive for me to prove they made the right decision.
“To be in Norwalk for the statue unveiling of Coach Brown along with the Brown family, Jim Smith (Hall of Famer Relations), and a guy I competed against in Garin Veris — this is a really special day.
“I’m thankful Paul Brown gave me the opportunity to be in the special fraternity of the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The man was amazing. It was 11 years I got to spend my career around him, and the history and information we learned from him was invaluable and priceless.”
It is safe to say Brown led an incredible life that left a stamp all over the state of Ohio as well as football itself. Now his life will be forever remembered in his hometown.