Paul Brown and Anthony Munoz will forever be Cincinnati Bengals legends, and they were officially recognized as such by the team Thursday.
The Bengals announced the formation of their Ring of Honor and named Brown and Munoz as the first two members of the inaugural class. The Ring of Honor, which will be displayed inside Paul Brown Stadium, was designed to "recognize former players, coaches and individuals who have played a significant role in the franchise's history and tradition."
Brown and Munoz will be joined by two others in the inaugural class that will be celebrated during halftime of a Bengals home game during the 2021 campaign.
"The Bengals Ring of Honor is a way to show our appreciation for individuals who have made a significant impact on our franchise," team President Mike Brown said. "We selected Paul Brown and Anthony Munoz. They are in the Hall of Fame in Canton, and it pleases me to put them out front as our initial inductees. We have a lot great players and coaches to honor, and it will be fun to reminisce as we go about this process."
It is difficult to imagine football in Ohio being anywhere near the same without the contributions of Paul Brown, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
He coached the Massillon Tigers at the high school level, and the school eventually built Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. He also coached the Ohio State Buckeyes for three seasons at the collegiate level before eventually embarking on his NFL career.
Brown was the head coach and general manager of the Cleveland Browns from 1946 through 1962 and was a three-time NFL champion. He then became the first head coach and general manager of the Bengals and stayed with the franchise from 1968 through 1990.
Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium is named after him, and his son Mike is still the team president.
As for Munoz, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in Bengals history.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 following a 13-season career in Cincinnati. The team selected him with the No. 3 overall pick of the 1980 NFL draft, and he became an 11-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro selection.
Munoz also helped lead the Bengals to two Super Bowl appearances and won the NFL Man of the Year in 1991.