CINCINNATI — A pair of Kens will join Hall-of-Famers Paul Brown and Anthony Muñoz in the inaugural class of the Cincinnati Bengals’ Ring of Honor, the team announced Thursday.
Cornerback Ken Riley and quarterback Ken Anderson were selected by season ticket holders as the other two former Bengals in the first edition of the team’s new honor.
The Ring of Honor will be unveiled at halftime of the team’s Thursday Night Football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sept. 30, a team spokesperson said in a media release. The Bengals will also honor the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Super Bowl team during a pregame ceremony of the same game.
The team confirmed in April a long-rumored addition to Paul Brown Stadium as a way to honor the team’s former greats. In May, fans were given a list of 17 former players to select to the inaugural class, joining the founder of the franchise Brown and former offensive lineman Muñoz.
“We have a long history of players, many of them great players. Ken Anderson and Ken Riley are at the top of that list of great players,” Bengals President Mike Brown said in the release. “They were the type of players that we like to think our team is all about. I am pleased they are the top picks of the fans.”
Anderson played 16 seasons with the team, the most by a Bengals player. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, played in 192 games, and won the NFL MVP in 1981 while leading the team to its first Super Bowl appearance.
“The Bengals organization is very special to me, and I’m so proud to be a part of the inaugural class,” Anderson said. “We have a great football tradition. It’s one of winning, it’s one of playing hard. That goes back to the Paul Brown days. I’m glad that can be recognized. I think back to those days because I think those days are coming again.”
Riley had 65 interceptions which is good for fifth all-time in NFL history and the most by a pure cornerback in the NFL. He holds the team record for interception return yards and interception returns for touchdowns.
Riley passed away in June 2020.
“The Ring of Honor is the Mount Rushmore for the Bengals. It’s incredible for my father to be included in the inaugural class,” Riley’s son, Ken Riley II said in the release.
“To be recognized by the fans, that makes it even more special. My father would receive so much love every time he came back to Cincinnati, and to have them vote him in makes it that much sweeter.”
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