(Munoz photos courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals)
Talk of Fame Network
Anthony Munoz was a power pitcher for the 1978 NCAA champion Southern Cal Trojans. He could have pursued a career in professional baseball. But he elected to play professional football.
Munoz went on to become the greatest left tackle in NFL history, according to last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. We asked our listeners and readers to select the best left tackle and, despite a slate of Hall of Famers, Munoz won going away with 45.3 percent of the vote. Tony Boselli, a semifinalist for the Hall-of-Fame’s Class of 2017, was next with 13.9 percent of the vote, followed by Hall-of-Famer Art Shell at 11.4 percent.
Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, Gary Zimmerman, Walter Jones and Willie Roaf rounded out the field, in that order.
It wasn’t a stretch that Munoz went football. He also won a national championship in that sport and was an All-America tackle for the Trojans. Munoz was the third overall pick of the 1980 draft by Cincinnati and played 13 seasons with the Bengals. He went to 11 Pro Bowls, all in succession, and started in two Super Bowls. Munoz also was selected the only left tackle on the NFL’s 75th anniversary team.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts were split in their vote with Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge voting Munoz and Ron Borges casting his ballot for Art Shell, who won three Super Bowls with the Raiders.
(Shell photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders)
“Art Shell was as dominating a left tackle as ever lived,” Borges said. “I’d hire him to protect my backside any day.”
Shell was selected to the 1970s NFL all-decade team and Munoz was selected to the 1980s allo-decade team.
“There’s a reason Munoz was on the league’s 75th anniversary team,” Judge said. “He was a gold standard against whom all others are judged. And he still is.”