Anthony Munoz could be described as a Renaissance man. His deeds on the football field have been duly noted, but there are other areas of his career away from the gridiron that he has left a lasting impression to the community, and to his family and friends everywhere.
His journey to NFL stardom began in 1980 as the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. Despite knee problems, which already cast a shadow on his career even before it started, he became a starter in his rookie season and never left his spot at left tackle for 13 seasons.
He made the pro bowl eleven consecutive years, the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1981 and 1987 and 1988, and was honored as the NFL Players Association Lineman of the year in 1981, 1985, 1988 and 1989.
In 1994, he was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team, and was the highest ranked lineman in the Sporting News’ list of the 100 greatest football players.
In addition to his blocking expertise, Munoz also caught four touchdown passes from the tackle eligible position.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz talks with the local San Antonio, Texas media to promote the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (2004). Thanks to Chitrapa wikipedia.org for the picture.
One of the most exciting moments of his career was the two Super Bowls he played in. Although the Bengals narrowly lost to the 49ers in both games, Munoz kept the heat off both Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason. The fact he was able to play in those games so many years apart goes back to his longevity and talent.
The culmination of a great career came in 1998 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shortly after the honor, his hometown of Ontario, California renamed a city park, Anthony Munoz Hall of Fame Park. Ironically, it was that park where Munoz first met his wife DeDe.
When the words Renaissance man were mentioned earlier, there are several other things Munoz has contributed to off the football field which have gained notoriety. He was a pitcher for the USC Trojans national championship team in 1978. He served as a color commentator on Fox Sports' NFL telecasts, and has appeared in two movies, Borderline as "Guatemalan" and The Right Stuff as "Gonzalez". The Right Stuff was an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture.
However, he is most proud of the things he has done for others. He has been active in numerous charitable organizations and being active in several fundraising events. Because he has done so much work for so many worthwhile organizations, he decided to bring all of his work under one roof by creating the Anthony Munoz Foundation in April of 2002. The role of the foundation was to impact youth mentally, physically and spiritually, and to support children of all races and socio-economic backgrounds through the planning and executing of impact programs and the funding of youth-related activities.
We named Anthony Munoz to our NFL All-Time Team
. Check out the article to see who else made it.
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