Skip to main content

"Jungle to the Hall' Rallies For Bengals Greats

Bengals fans rally to get Anthony Munoz company in Canton
Bengals fans rally to get Anthony Munoz company in Canton

Bengal Jim Foster, one of the prime movers of Bengaldom's sprawling fan base, is expecting some from as far away as Florida and upstate New York when his group continues its press coverage to see the franchise's greatest players honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Saturday's "Jungle to the Hall."

With left tackle Anthony Munoz the only Bengal who played most or all of his career in Cincinnati to be enshrined, Foster's group is taking the case right to Canton in a stripe-spangled rally for eight former players deemed worthy of selection.

Under a tent adjacent to the Hall in an event from 1- 3 p.m., about 200 fans are expected to watch videos of highlights and endorsements focusing on the careers of quarterback Ken Anderson, right tackle Willie Anderson and cornerback Ken Riley. Anderson, the four-time Pro Bowler regarded as the best right tackle of his era, is scheduled to speak.

"We're just trying to give voice to support and back our Bengals we believe should be in the Hall of Fame," Foster says. "We're being respectful and positive. This is a celebration of Bengals history and we're going to watch and enjoy the videos and talk about why we think our legends are so deserving."

The Hall is also in the spirit. Along with renting the tent to the group and offering ticket discounts, the curators are featuring a Munoz display in the Hall Saturday. The Hall has also put together "a Bengals Theatre," presentation in the Gold Jacket Room at 3 p.m. and another at 3:30 p.m.

"Our group is big enough that we've had to split it into two," Foster says. "The folks at the Hall have been great to work with. They'll present artifacts and talk about the history of the Bengals and then after the presentation we can take self-guided tours."

Joining Anderson on the dais are Foster, who leads one of the team's most active tailgates and hosts the weekly podcast "Talking Football with Bengal Jim and Friends," as well as James Spink and Tom Justin.

Justin, the group's historian, is scheduled to state the case for wide receivers Isaac Curtis and Chad Johnson, cornerback Lemar Parrish, running back Corey Dillon and right guard Max Montoya as well as for the two Andersons and Riley.

Some of the videos have made the rounds on Twitter, but also to be unveiled are endorsements for Riley from Hall-of-Famers Mel Blount and James Lofton, as well as a message of welcome and thanks from the Riley family and a greeting from Montoya.

 The day starts where it all started in a 10 a.m. event that lasts until noon at Massillon High School's Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Brown, elected to the Hall in 1967 the year he founded the Bengals, first made his mark in coaching when he led the Tigers to national prominence.

The facility is open to the group for tours and that includes a look at the Massillon trophy room housing the hardware from Brown's nine seasons at his alma mater that encompassed six state titles, four national championships and just eight losses.