(Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens)
Talk of Fame Network
When it comes to human shields, few stand taller than NFL left tackles.
Their job is one of the most critical ones in football. It is to protect the blind side and the back side of pro football’s most precious commodity: the quarterback. And according to our listeners, no one has ever done it better than the Baltimore Ravens’ Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, who outpolled fellow Hall of Famers Anthony Munoz, Art Shell and Willie Roaf by a wide margin in our latest poll.
Ogden pulled in a resounding 81.2 percent of the votes to Munoz’s 12.4. Shell, who anchored the legendary Oakland Raiders’ offensive line next to fellow Hall-of-Famer Gene Upshaw in the 1970s and early 1980s, polled 3.7 percent of the vote. Willie Roaf, who dominated for years for the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, finished fourth with 2.7 percent support.
Yet that landslide for Ogden didn’t sway the opinions of Talk of Fame co-hosts and Hall-of-Fame voters Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge, who both threw their support strongly behind Munoz.
“For a guy with a bad knee coming out of college at USC and thought to be a risk pick by the Bengals to wind up on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team, well, there’s only one pick here and it’s Munoz,” Gosselin said.
Despite Ogden’s huge public support, Judge agreed with Gosselin’s assessment, adding, “I never saw a more dominating tackle in my lifetime. I’ve always believed every conversation about left tackles begins with Anthony Munoz. Everyone else is playing for second place. I don’t care who you want there, but you start with the best — and Anthony Munoz was the best.”
Third man behind the microphone, Ron Borges, disagreed with both the voters and his colleagues, opting instead for Shell.
“Shell was a powerful force but yet so athletic he could pull out and lead the sweep,” he said. “He dominated his position for nearly 15 years and played one of the few perfect game’s in Super Bowl history when he erased Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Jim Marshall so completely that Marshall finished Super Bowl XI without a tackle, an assist or even a cameo appearance in the game film.”
That’s four points of view on who was the greatest left tackle in pro football history, an argument won in the public’s mind by Jonathan Ogden.