If you’ve never been to Mount Rushmore National Memorial it’s a sculpture that needs to be seen to be believed.
The memorial idolizes four of the founding fathers of America – U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
When you talk about founding in the Cincinnati Bengals, there’s a great debate as to what players belong on the team’s Mount Rushmore.
Time will pass but if you go back into the history of the organization, there’s some great players that without a doubt make up the best in franchise history.
Today is time for the debate to rage on, but here’s our choices for the four players that belong on the Mount Rushmore of the Bengals.
1. Anthony Munoz
Munoz is the Bengals’ only Hall of Fame inductee, and a no-brainer for best player in the history of the franchise.
The beast on the line started 183 of 185 games for the Bengals between 1980 and 1992. His 185 games played ranks him fifth in Bengals history.
He anchored an offensive line that made it to the Super Bowl in 1988 and performed well enough to make 11 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1981-91, and to this day many lineman look up to the way that Munoz played the game and try to imitate the way that he did it – and for good reason.
2. Boomer Esiason
The lefty throwing quarterback had a magical run for the Bengals back in the last 80’s, and mostly will be remembered for his MVP season in 1988 when he led the team to a Super Bowl showdown with Joe Montana and the 49’ers.
The quarterback had his ups and downs with the team and its fans before he eventually left to play elsewhere, but overall should still be remembered for all the good things he did for the franchise.
He played in 134 games in Cincinnati, starting 123 of them. Esiason’s 27,149 passing yards are second in Bengals history. Boomer’s performance against the Rams in 1990, in which he threw for 490 yards, remains the best passing performance for the Bengals.
3. Chad Johnson/Ochocinco
If you want to talk about having a flair for the dramatics, no one that followed the Bengals in the late 2000’s can deny just how good Chad Johnson/Ochocinco was.
He dominated games for the Bengals at a time when they finally were gaining respect in the NFL with Marvin Lewis getting the team to the postseason.
Johnson’s 10,783 receiving yards is the most in Bengals history by over 3,000 yards. His six Pro Bowl appearances ties for second in franchise history, and his 66 touchdowns ranks first.
And just who could forget the touchdown celebrations that made the Top 10 in Sportscenter each and every Sunday?
4. Ken Anderson
Before there was Boomer there was Ken Anderson, a no-nonsense quarterback who threw the ball about as well as any QB in the NFL during the late 70’s and 80’s.
Anderson led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in January of 1982, overcoming the coldest game on record in NFL history in the AFC Title game at Riverfront beating HOF QB Dan Fouts and the Chargers.
He remains the franchise leader in passing yards with 32,838. His 197 touchdown passes also ranks first for the Bengals.
Anderson was a member of the Bengals.com Hall of Fame inaugural class, and 100 percent deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore for the Bengals.
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