Fay: Fans and media get Bengals all-time top 10 players mostly right

CINCINNATI -- Everyone knew who was going to be No. 1. And No. 2 was a lock as well.

The rest of the Bengals' top 10 players? The fans and the media got it mostly right. Here’s how the top 10 came out:

  1. Anthony Munoz
  2. Ken Anderson
  3. Tim Krumrie
  4. Chad Johnson
  5. Jim Breech
  6. David Fulcher
  7. Cris Collinsworth
  8. Boomer Esiason
  9. Isaac Curtis
  10. James Brooks

The fan vote -- 160,000 ballots were cast -- accounted for 50 percent of the results. The other 50 percent went to a 24-member board of the media. (I was not on it, by the way). Players had to be retired.

The list, of course, is to honor greats during the franchise's 50th anniversary celebration.

My main objection is, I would have had Curtis as the No. 1 wide receiver. I think he changed the game and, man, did he have style.

I would not have had Breech in the top 10. Nothing against him. He was a great kicker. But I don’t think any kicker is in any team’s top 10.

I would have had cornerback Ken Riley in the top 10 instead.

When fans enter the equation, it’s a bit of the popularity contest. You could argue that Krumrie wasn’t anywhere near the third best player in the franchise history. But he was hardworking, tough guy. This town loves hardworking tough guys.

As I said, No. 1 was obvious. Munoz is the only Hall of Famer in franchise history. No. 2 was nearly as obvious. Anderson is the Bengal who most deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

The list was a great idea. The club has done too little honor its history. I’d enjoyed looking at all the lists.

The cool thing for old guys like me is I actually saw every one of these guys play.

John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at johnfayman@aol.com

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