Fathers Day has been bittersweet for Anthony Munoz. The Bengals legendary offensive lineman never knew his father growing up in Ontario, California, but that didn’t keep him from having a Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati.
In 13 seasons, Munoz was named first-team All-Pro nine times, but just as important to Anthony is the two times he was named the NFL’s Man of the Year for his off-the-field activities.
Munoz was at Welcome Stadium Saturday with former Bengals kicker Jim Breech to talk with local fathers and their children as part of the All Pro Dad Experience, an organization founded by former NFL head coach Tony Dungy.
“It’s not just about being there for your kids,” Munoz said. “It’s also the way you treat your wife and the engagement with your family. It’s one thing to be there, but it’s another to be involved and know what’s going on with your kids.”
Munoz and his wife DeDe have two children and eight grandchildren. Their son Michael was an All-American lineman at Tennessee, and Anthony says even with growing concerns over concussions in football he wouldn’t tell his kids they couldn’t play.
“You can’t totally eliminate what’s going on,” Munoz said. “But I do think there are certain precautions you can take. I think a lot of it is the way the game is taught. Some of the rule changes are actually enhancing the game a bit so I think I would still be comfortable letting my kids play.”
Anthony spent his entire 13-year career in Cincinnati which included two losses to San Francisco in the Super Bowl. With that experience Munoz can offer a little “fatherly advice” to Bengals fans frustrated by the team’s failure to win a playoff game.
“I still think this team is going in the right direction,” Munoz said. “But all of us that played this game know the window closes in a hurry, but I still think this team is very talented.”