The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

February 24, 2006

Rick Gosselin

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:08 pm

Rick Gosselin is a longtime sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News.  He is highly acclaimed and has written many times about Art Monk over his career. 

The conventional wisdom on the internet is that Gosselin opposes Art Monk’s induction into the Hall of Fame because he is from Dallas and because of one e-mail he sent to a fan on CPND a while ago.  However, he now refuses to answer e-mail’s about the question, and his published words send rather mixed signals on the subject.

I still think he is against Monk, especially since he most likely supports Michael Irvin over Monk, but I also think he is relatively honest in his assessment of Hall of Fame candidates and he is probably not as adamantly against Monk as some other voters.

Dallas Morning News
October 13, 1992
Redskins regain form to route Broncos, 34-3
Rick Gosselin

The Washington Redskins still own the AFC — and Art Monk now owns the NFL receiving record.

The struggling Redskins crushed the Denver Broncos, 34-3, Monday night in their first game against an AFC team since blasting the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl last January. It was Washington’s seventh consecutive victory over AFC competition and thrust the Redskins back into the NFC East race with a 3-2 mark.

The nationally televised game was a snooze — but those who tuned out early missed the record-setting performance by Monk late. He caught seven passes against the Broncos to overtake Steve Largent as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with 820 catches.

“This is a big burden off my shoulders,’ Monk said. “The anticipation was unbelievable. I was very nervous before the game, and that’s something I’m not used to. I’m excited. I don’t know how to act.

I’m just glad it’s over. ‘ Monk headed into the game needing seven catches to pass Largent, who had 819 in his 14-year career. Monk chipped away with catches in the first, second and third quarters, then added his fourth catch in the opening stages of the final period.

With the game in hand and only 4:14 remaining, the Redskins decided to get Monk his record. Mark Rypien completed passes to Monk on three consecutive plays with machine-gun efficiency — a six-yard hook, a flat pass that Monk turned upfield into an 18-yard gain and, finally, a 10-yard sideline out — to put him over the top.

“The only thing we padded for him were those last three,’ Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “The rest was all him. He’s such a class act. We decided, “Hey, it’s Monday night . . . let’s get this thing out of the way. ‘ I didn’t want to let it build another week. Now he can relax. ‘ The Redskins, who last week blew an 18-point lead in a 27-24 loss at Phoenix, also can breathe easier now that they are back in the race. They trail Dallas and Philadelphia by one game — and the Eagles visit RFK Stadium on Sunday.

Dallas Morning News
September 19, 1993
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin


Art Monk, Washington

Monk no longer starts for the Redskins but he still catches.

And history says no one catches any better. Monk is the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with 854 catches and continues to chug along in pursuit of his next record. If Monk catches a pass Sunday against Philadelphia, it will extend his pass-catching streak to 151 consecutive games – the second longest in NFL history. He currently is tied with Cleveland tight end Ozzie Newsome at 150.

Steve Largent holds the NFL record with catches in 177 consecutive games.

Dallas Morning News
July 31, 1994
Free agency eliminates uniformity
Rick Gosselin

The Washington Redskins let wide receiver Art Monk go after 14 seasons and an NFL-record 888 catches. The Kansas City Chiefs said goodbye to kicker Nick Lowery after 14 seasons and 1,466 points, fourth best in NFL history. Each now plays for the Jets. It’s sad they have to finish up such storied careers so far away from home.

The game will survive the system. It always does. Old stars leave, and new stars arrive. But with a salary cap, those old stars won’t be staying around as long, nor will they be staying in the same place. And that’s a shame. An Art Monk belongs in Washington – not New York.

Dallas Morning News
December 18, 1994
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin

Numbers Game

Art Monk, NY Jets

Monk is pro football’s all-time leading receiver with 932 catches and counting. He also holds the NFL record with receptions in 178 consecutive games and counting. Here’s a look at his Hall of Fame-bound career by the numbers:

0 – rushing touchdowns (in 63 career carries)

1 – NFL receiving title (106 catches in 1984)

2 – Career 200-yard receiving games

3 – Games held without a catch in his 219-game career

4 – Redskins’ receiving records (catches in game, season, career, career yards)

5 – 1,000-yard seasons

6 – Career catches vs. Jets, his current team

7 – Career touchdowns in post-season

8 – Pro Bowl receptions in three games

9 – Super Bowl receptions in three games

10 – 100-yard games against AFC teams

11 – Games missed because of injuries

12 – NFL quarterbacks with completions to Monk

13 – Career fumbles

14 – TD’s against Cardinals, Monk’s opponent high

15 – NFL seasons

Dallas Morning News
August 6, 1995
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2000 could be an impressive one. Start with Joe Montana and Art Monk. Tight end Mark Bavaro and safety Dennis Smith might join them. Karl Mecklenburg, Mike Kenn and Max Montoya also would receive consideration.

Montana, Bavaro and Kenn head the list of players who officially retired at the end of the 1994 season. Monk and Smith have not retired yet but both were cut by their teams in the off-season and a lack of interest may force them into retirement, too. Montana is the NFL’s second all-time leading passer and Monk the all-time receiver.

Rick Gosselin’s answer to my email RE: MONK
Rat Boy

Here’s the question that came up in the committee discussion last year — what was his signature catch? What was the greatest catch of his career? No one could identify it.
Rick Gosselin

Dallas Morning News
July 19, 2005
Brown’s toughest catch might be pass from Hall
Rick Gosselin

Tim Brown announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, signing a one-day contract with Oakland to go out as a Raider.

That puts Brown in position to be enshrined in Canton alongside Emmitt Smith in 2010.

But is it that obvious that Brown belongs in a class with the NFL’s all-time leading rusher?

Only two players caught more passes in NFL history than Brown and only one gained more yards. His 100 career touchdowns also rank third all-time among pass catchers. There’s no question Brown has the statistics to be in the Hall of Fame. But did he have the impact?

Art Monk won three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins and caught 940 passes – fifth on the all-time list – but can’t get into Canton. He’s been passed over each of the last five years. Clearly the measuring stick for pass catchers has changed with the explosion of receiving statistics in the 1990s.

Brown played one more season than Monk and finished with 150 more catches. But he also has three fewer Super Bowl rings, and team success has always weighed heavily in a Hall of Fame candidacy.

For all of his 1,070 catches in his 16 seasons in Oakland, Brown’s Raiders advanced to the playoffs only six times and reached only one Super Bowl, where they were blowout losers to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If Monk gets into the Hall of Fame in the next five years, Brown will likely follow him in. But if Monk is still on the outside in 2010, sheer volume may not be enough to get Brown in either.

Dallas Morning News
July 18, 2005
SportsSay Blog
Rick Gosselin

There’s been some interesting chatter over the weekend on TV, radio and in sports bars about Rafael Palmeiro. Jacques touched on it in the final blog item of last Friday — Hall of Famer or not? His statistics indicate he belongs. But the statistics indicate that Art Monk belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he remains on the outside.

There seems to be a trend by Hall of Fame voters in football to look beyond the stats these days in assigning greatness. I wonder if that’s the case in baseball, too? I wonder if the fact Palmeiro never played in a World Series hurts him at all? Maybe Gerry or Evan can weigh in on this one — is Palmeiro a slam-dunk Hall of Famer or not?

Dallas Morning News
February 5, 2006
Hall of Fame selection committee proves heart is in right place
Rich Gosselin

You could have selected any six of the 15 and produced a strong class. Art Monk didn’t even make the cut to 10. Thurman Thomas was eliminated in the cut to six. If there was an anti-Cowboys bias on this committee, there were plenty of other worthy alternatives.

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