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Dave Lapham’s case for the Ring of Honor

The longtime analyst is a Bengals icon.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

The Ring of Honor has been a massive success since first being unveiled in 2021.

It can be argued that the ceremony was a catalyst for Ken Riley finally being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. And it is not far-fetched to think that Willie Anderson, a 2022 Ring of Honor inductee, will get to wear the gold jacket one day as well.

But after we move beyond the current six inductees—Paul Brown, Anthony Munoz, Ken Anderson, Riley, Anderson, and Isaac Curtis—it becomes less clear who deserves to go in next. Of course, all of the 2023 nominees (listed below) are deserving. But it’s a question of who makes it this year.

Now, if you go by playing career alone, you’d probably have guys like Boomer Esiason, Lemar Parrish, Chad Johnson, and Cris Collinsworth near the top of your list.

But Dave Lapham’s nomination raises some interesting questions. Should on-the-field performance be the only factor? Should the primary objective be to raises awareness that ultimately gets our players into the Hall of Fame? Or is this about honoring those who’ve made the biggest impact on the franchise as a whole?

Obviously, Paul Brown didn’t play for the Bengals, but he impacted the on-the-field results in ways that Lapham could never do as an analyst. The assumption about the former offensive linemen is that he is largely being considered on account of his playing career. He was drafted by the Bengals, played from 1974-1983, started in the franchise’s first Super Bowl, and, according to, helped mentor Munoz, the greatest tackle in the history of the NFL.

In support of the idea that Lapham is largely being considered as a player is the fact that his nomination is listed on the list of nominees with his jersey number (62), position (offensive guard), and a picture of him on the field. His short bio says the following:

Member of Super Bowl XVI team. Versatile lineman with the ability to play all five offensive line positions. Played in 140 games, ranking ninth in team history for an offensive lineman. Voted Bengals Man-of-the-Year by fans in 1980.

When you click “Learn More”, of course, his 35 years of experience as a radio analyst is highlighted as well. Indeed, Lapham is referred to as a “franchise fixture” for “45 of the last 47 years”.

So how should voters evaluate Lapham’s case? If it’s solely as a player, then he should probably have to wait another few years; Esiason, Parrish, Collinsworth, running back James Brooks, Johnson, Max Montoya, Corey Dillon, and David Fulcher all had bigger impacts on the field.

But if this is about honoring those who most enhanced the fan experience, then Lapham could go in ahead of those players.

We discuss Lapham’s case in the video below:

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below:

So what do you think?


When does Dave Lapham deserve to be inducted into the Ring of Honor?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    This year
    (78 votes)
  • 22%
    Next year
    (60 votes)
  • 47%
    Two or more years from now
    (126 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now