The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

March 30, 2006

Vinny DiTrani

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:09 am

Vinny DiTrani is the longtime Giants beat writer for the Bergen Record of New Jersey.  He once helped a controversial candidate, Lawrence Taylor, reach the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.  He hasn't written much about Art Monk, so it's hard to tell how he might be voting.

Bergen Record
December 22, 1996
Novacek Gamble May Help 'Boys
Vinny DiTrani

RFK Stadium, where Gibbs enjoyed so much success, will host its
final game today. While it has become a somewhat dilapidated facility,
RFK nevertheless is one of the best places for watching a game in the
NFL. The fans are on top of the action, and the noise sometimes is as
great as any generated in a domed stadium.

To honor their longtime home (originally named DC Stadium but
changed to honor the late Robert F. Kennedy), the Redskins will have a
reunion of the greats who wore the burgundy uniform. Among those
expected to attend are Doug Williams, Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins, Art
Monk, Gary Clark, Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor, Monte Coleman, and Jim

Bergen Record
December 13, 1997
Showdown in the Meadowlands; Giants-Redskins Could Be Another Classic
Vinny DiTrani

Maybe the weather won't be as brutal as it was, say, for the 1986
NFC championship game. And maybe the teams aren't as talented as they
were when Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs coached them during that
remarkable period. But for two teams that have missed the playoff
excitement in recent years, this game will mean as much as any of the
previous battles meant to Lawrence Taylor or Phil Simms or Dexter Manley
or Art Monk.

Boston Herald
February 3, 2002
Not-ready-for-shrine time – Coach doesn't fit Bill, yet
Kevin Mannix

Vinny DiTrani of the Bergen (N.J.) Record is a member of the Hall of Fame Board of Selectors and a close friend of Parcells. He made the nomination comments for Parcells both yesterday and last year.

"He got to the final six this year because a lot more people realize that he is going to coach any more," said DiTrani who believes Parcells will be enshrined next year. "I said last year that I wasn't sure he wouldn't coach again but (yesterday) I said I was positive that he's out of coaching. I don't think he wants to go through the midweek preparation anymore. He doesn't like the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday part of coaching."

DiTrani, who used the term "unequivocal" to describe Parcells' decision to remain out of coaching.

"To me the most surprising part of the process is that there was no negative stuff about him," Zimmerman said. "The people who are against him held their tongues about their feelings. The comments in the room were all actually positive about him."

After the initial voting, Oakland punter Ray Guy, Browns-Ravens owner Art Modell and Steeler defensive back Donnie Shell were eliminated. When the field went from 11 to six, Giants linebacker Harry Carson, Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood, Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes, Bills-Packers wide receiver James Lofton and Redskins receiver Art Monk were all eliminated.

Bergen Record
January 5, 2006
Panthers receiver 'the Man'
Vinny DiTrani

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Smith is Carolina's one-man-show answer to the Giants' Tiki Barber. He became the NFL's first receiving "triple crown" winner since Green Bay's Sterling Sharpe in 1992 by leading in receptions with 103, yards with 1,563 and touchdowns with 12. He had nearly as many catches as the next four Panthers receivers combined (107). He became the first player since Washington's Art Monk in 1984 to lead the league in receptions playing for a team that ran the ball more than passed it.

March 29, 2006

03-29-06 News

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 11:47 pm

Another blogger wrote about Art Monk and the Hall of Fame here:
Art Monk, Bert Blyleven Overlooked as Hall of Fame Candidates
March 29, 2006
Tom Donelson

Sometimes in sports, numbers do not tell the whole story. Sometimes in sports, they do.

For the past several years, Art Monk has been denied entrance in the National Football League Hall of Fame. In the case of Mr. Monk, numbers tell a compelling story.

When Art Monk retired, he caught more passes than any other receiver in NFL history. His record has since been eclipsed but how does a man who's grabbed 940 catches for nearly 13,000 yards and still be slighted for football highest honor? Football writers have yet to find a place in Canton hallow grounds for Art Monk. Say whatever you want, there is no logic or excuses for such an oversight.

March 24, 2006

Shapiro campaigns for Tags (and Monk)

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 1:42 pm

Leonard Shapiro today urged voters to enshrine Paul Tagliabue next February, not forgetting of course to mention Art Monk:
Washington Post
March 23, 2006
Tagliabue Deserves a Quick Trip to Canton
Leonard Shapiro

Memo to my fellow members on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee:

If we fail to vote NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue into the Hall next February, we should be even more embarrassed than ever before, including the incomprehensible failure once again to get former Washington Redskins receiver Art Monk in the front door in Canton and the mean-spirited snub also accorded to Art Modell, one of the great behind-the-scenes league architects in the Pete Rozelle-era and beyond.

Peter Finney

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 1:36 pm

Peter Finney has covered sports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for over 60 years.  Unfortunately, my access to Times-Picayune archives is rather limited, and he hasn’t written much about Art Monk lately.

New York Post
January 28, 2001
Tuna’s Hall Call will Have to Wait
Mark Cannizzarro

Parcells, 59, watched yesterday as former Bills coach Marv Levy, former Steelers receiver Lynn Swann, former Vikings offensive tackle Ron Yary, former Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti, former Rams tackle Jackie Slater, former Oilers guard Mike Munchak and former Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood were voted in as the Class of 2001 to be officially inducted on Aug. 4 in Canton.

Seven other finalists – Dave Casper, Dan Hampton, Lester Hayes, Art Monk, John Stallworth, Ralph Wilson and Giants linebacker Harry Carson-failed to receive the necessary votes.

In what some of the voters called a surprise, Parcells didn’t even make it to the cut to 10 from 14 nominees. The process pared the nominees from 14 to 10 to 6, with the final six getting in.

“He’s going to get in, there’s no question about that,” veteran of the voting committee Peter Finney Sr., from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, said. “Remember, Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh didn’t get in in their first year.”

January 25, 2003
Rice great catch for Oakland
Peter Finney

When he left the 49ers after the 2000 season, rather than retire in red and gold, he opted for a new life as a free agent in silver and black. It’s a life that produced 92 catches this year, raising his career total to 1,456, which is 506 more than the previous record holder, Art Monk of the Redskins.

March 16, 2006

Ron Borges

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 1:21 am

Ron Borges is a well-known boxing writer, and he has covered the NFL for nearly three decades.  He is a relatively recent addition to the Hall of Fame voting committee, and his track record on Monk is decidedly mixed.

In 2002, before he got on the committee, he wrote: “My ballot (if I had one after 27 years covering the NFL) would read: Parcells, Guy, Monk, Allen, and Kelly, with a sentimental vote for John Stallworth.”  However, before the voting this year, he wrote: “Monk played 16 years in the NFL yet led his team in receiving only six times and was named to the Pro Bowl only three times. He was one of the premier possession receivers of his day, but how dangerous was he considered by opponents? According to some coaches who faced him, not very.”

He seems sympathetic to Monk, and my guess is that he would vote yes if Monk made it to the final 6.  However, I am not sure he is voting for Monk when they are cutting down the finalists, and he is certainly voting for Michael Irvin over Art Monk.

Boston Globe
January 6, 1991
Redskins put clamps on Ryan, Eagles
Ron Borges

That made it 6-0, Philadelphia, but it was subtraction by addition because those scores had made clear to the Redskins what they were capable of.

After those stands, the ‘Skins apparently thought they were the Russian front repelling Napoleon because the Eagles would not again get closer than the Redskin 26.

“People took turns making mistakes, and as the game went on, it was hard to mount something,” Eagles offensive coordinator Rich Kotite said.

Yet the Eagles still seemed in control of their fate even after Washington took the lead on a 16-yard Mark Rypien-to-Art Monk touchdown pass with 5:54 left in the half.

That was the third of three straight Rypien completions (for 28, 23 and 16 yards), but all that was erased when Earnest Byner was blasted to the ground by Smith with less than two minutes to play in the half.

As Byner tumbled earthward, the ball popped loose, Smith scooped it up and weaved his way 87 yards for a touchdown that would have made it 13-7 and reversed a half of broken promises for the Eagles.

But then the officials turned to the replay booth and George Sladky saw things differently.

“We had a good end zone shot that clearly showed he was contacted and came down with control and the ground caused the fumble,” Sladky said.

Boston Globe
January 12, 1991
49ers are facing stronger Redskins
Ron Borges

There is no question Washington has vastly improved its running game with Byner, who finished the year rushing for more than 100 yards four straight times. He has carried most of the offensive load the second half of the season, allowing Washington to control the ball late in the year as its defense stiffened.

In addition, the return of quarterback Mark Rypien has stabilized a passing game that features a three-live crew of wide receivers Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders that left the ‘Skins’ offense sixth in passing, fifth in rushing and fourth overall.

Boston Globe
January 27, 1992
Redskins trio has caught on
Ron Borges

The Posse got its man yesterday.

The Washington Redskins’ trio of wide receivers – the legendary Art Monk, the elusive Gary Clark and the mercurial Ricky Sanders – has over the years become known as The Posse and with good reason. Together they have become a dangerous group of marauders, a threesome that has corraled many an opposing secondary.

Super Bowl XXVI was no different. The three combined to catch 15 of the 18 passes Most Valuable Player Mark Rypien completed in the 37-24 trouncing of the Bills.

Perhaps fittingly, the effort was more balanced than most as both Clark and Monk caught seven, with Clark turning them into 114 yards while Monk had 113. Sanders, meanwhile, had only one reception but it was the longest of the day, a 41-yarder that set up Washington’s first score, a 34-yard field goal by Chip Lohmiller early in the second quarter.

“They completed some great passes,” said Buffalo linebacker Darryl Talley. “The one that Ricky caught was an outstanding pitch and catch. Bills’ safety Mark Kelso was all over him nice and tight, but things happen.”

They do when The Posse is riding high as it was yesterday, although after Sanders’ catch it took a break and running back Earnest Byner, who would make the only catches of the day not produced by The Posse, chipped in with a 10-yard touchdown catch that lifted the score to 10-0, but soon The Posse was riding high once again when Clark pulled down a 34-yard reception over the middle that moved the ball to the Bills’ 15 to set up a third second quarter score and an eventual 17-0 halftime lead.

“They blitzed a lot more than we thought they would,” Gibbs explained. “Because of that, we threw a little more than we thought we would. So offensively we threw quite a bit in the first half, which I wasn’t expecting to do.”

Gibbs may not have been expecting to throw, but he has grown to expect the members of The Posse to catch, which they did yesterday. Yet the elder statesman of the Redskins’ trio declined to acknowledge their efforts.

“I don’t think you can identify one person,” Monk said. “We all played great together. To accomplish our goal to win a Super Bowl is just fantastic. To me, this is the third one and it’s probably the best one for me because not only did we win but I was able to play in it and have a pretty active role in it.

“This is not a team of individuals. We all look for the team effort. We are committed to one another. We don’t run our mouths.”

“On some occasions I think they were able to get open on us,” conceded Bills’ cornerback Nate Odoms, not long after Clark had succeeded in getting open for receptions of 6, 10, and 14 as well as his final 30-yard catch on that series.

That effectively ended the Redskins’ passing attack for the day as Gibbs went into a conservative shell designed to protect the lead Rypien and The Posse had built. He succeeded.

And so did The Posse.

Boston Globe
January 9, 1993
‘Skins eye ground control
Ron Borges

With quarterback Mark Rypien in a year-long slump (13 touchdown passes, 17 interceptions after a 28-11 ratio in 1991) that some have attributed to tiredness from carrying around his bulging new contract, Washington has become a team that wins when it runs, despite the presence of explosive receivers Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark.

Boston Globe
January 20, 2002
Pro Football Notes
Ron Borges

Speaking of this year’s Hall class, since the league’s cloistered voting system prevents most people who have been around pro football from voting, here are my selections from the 15 finalists. Parcells, Ray Guy, and Art Monk are unassailable. Guy is the greatest punter of all time. I once saw him kick a ball off the TV screens at the Superdome in New Orleans in practice just to prove he could do it. Monk’s numbers speak for themselves, and so do Parcells’s. Of the other finalists, how do you deny Jim Kelly, who took four teams to the Super Bowl? George Allen will probably get in because old coaches always do. I think Dave Casper, Lester Hayes, and L.C. Greenwood also deserve inclusion, but they won’t all get in this time. My ballot (if I had one after 27 years covering the NFL) would read: Parcells, Guy, Monk, Allen, and Kelly, with a sentimental vote for John Stallworth.

Oakland Tribune
July 20, 2005
Brown not an easy pass into Hall
Bill Soliday

In a poll of a dozen members of the selection committee, the consensus is that [Tim] Brown will be voted in but not necessarily on the first try in 2010.

“I’d be very surprised if he was a first-ballot guy,” said the Boston Globe’s Ron Borges, who once covered the Raiders for the Oakland Tribune.

“They’re pretty stingy about that. And if Art Monk isn’t a slam dunk, I would certainly say Tim Brown isn’t.”

Boston Globe
January 15, 2006
Here’s One Call on the Hall
Ron Borges

Monk is an interesting case, because when he retired, he was the all-time leading receiver with 940 catches. His 12,721 receiving yards are third all-time. He would seem to be a sure thing, but upon further examination, questions arise. Monk played 16 years in the NFL yet led his team in receiving only six times and was named to the Pro Bowl only three times. He was one of the premier possession receivers of his day, but how dangerous was he considered by opponents? According to some coaches who faced him, not very.

Monk once had 91 catches in a season in which he scored only two touchdowns. Joe Gibbs argues that it was because of John Riggins. Perhaps, but Monk is not even in his own team’s Hall of Fame more than a decade after his retirement.

Compare his production with Irvin, who played only 12 years yet had nearly as many yards (11,904) and touchdowns (65 to Monk’s 68). Irvin also was a big-time postseason performer and a guy who averaged nearly 200 more yards a season than Monk. Both were debated and rejected last year, a fate Monk has suffered several times.

What will happen this time is unknown, but the debate surely will be lively, such as when the huge numbers of Moon are brought up – numbers he had both in the NFL and the Canadian Football League. But what did he win after leaving Canada? How much should that factor in to a quarterback’s place in the pantheon of the game’s greatest?

March 12, 2006

Sid Hartman

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 1:29 am

Sid Hartman has been writing in Minneapolis since 1945.  He is one of the elder statesmen of the Hall of Fame voting committee.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which way he votes on Art Monk, and my Star Tribune archives only extend back to 1992, just after the Super Bowl played in the Metrodome.

Star Tribune
October 26, 1992
Vikings’ front four on line with the best
Sid Hartman

Defensively, the Vikings shut out Art Monk, the Redskins’ great receiver, until 10 minutes remained. But a great off-balance throw by Rypien to Monk was the key play on the Redskins’ march to the winning field goal.

Star Tribune
February 1, 2004
Eller’s selection a big surprise
Sid Hartman

I pointed out that this same Hall of Fame committee had named Eller to the All-1970s team. And Eller had a lot of statistics in his favor, including being one of the career sack leaders with 138 1/2.

But the reason I was surprised is because the field was so tough. Elway and Sanders were a cinch to be two of the maximum six that can be voted in.

You had great candidates, like Chicago defensive end Richard Dent; Cliff Harris, Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright from Dallas’ Super Bowl teams of the 1970s; Art Monk, maybe the greatest receiver to play for Washington; Miami offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg; former Vikings and Broncos tackle Gary Zimmerman; and former New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson.

March 10, 2006

03-10-06 News

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 2:54 pm

Syracuse University Athletics
Monk And MacPherson On College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Former Orange wide receiver Art Monk and former head coach Dick MacPherson were listed on the 2006 Division I-A Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, announced on March 9 by the National Football Foundation (NFF). Seventy-seven players and seven coaches are vying for college football’s top honor.
At SU, Monk holds the single-game record for receptions in a game with 14, which he accomplished against Navy in 1979. He is tied for sixth all-time at SU in career receptions with 102. Monk’s 1,644 career receiving yards is seventh in school history, while his 47.0 yards per game average ranks ninth all-time.
Monk led the Orange in receiving three times. In 1977, he caught 41 balls for 590 yards and four touchdowns. In 1978, he caught 19 passes for 293 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Finally, in 1979, Monk recorded 40 catches for 716 yards and three touchdowns to earn first-team All-America honors.
In his NFL career, Monk participated in three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins and won two. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He finished his 16-year NFL career with 12,721 receiving yards on 940 catches. He had a 13.5 average and totaled 68 touchdowns.
The Hall of Fame class will be announced on May 16 in New York City at the Marriot Marquis. Inductions will take place at the NFF’s 49th Awards Dinner on December 5 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Inductees will be officially enshrined in the summer of 2007.

Edwin Pope

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:26 am

Edwin Pope has been covering football since the very first Super Bowl, and he has been a Hall of Fame voter for decades. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to write much about his votes. I have no idea what he thinks of Art Monk.

Dallas Morning News
December 12, 1999
Irvin on right track for Hall of Fame
Jean-Jacques Taylor

“The guys who do the selecting want guys who played for winners and won Super Bowls,” Pope said. “No matter how good you are, if you’re not a champion it hurts your chances.”

San Antonio Express-News
February 6, 2005
Voters deny Irvin entry into Hall
Tom Orsborn

Many voters, including longtime Miami Herald columnist Edwin Pope, say it’s cruel to reject any of the six finalists.

“I can’t understand why anybody would help a guy get all the way to the last six and then blackball them,” said Pope, who voted for Irvin and said he was “shocked” that the former Miami Hurricane was rejected.

March 7, 2006

Bob Gretz

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 8:48 pm

Bob Gretz covered the Pittsburgh Steelers before moving to Kansas City and covering the Chiefs.  He is currently the sports director for KCFX-FM, the flagship of the Chiefs radio network.  He also writes regularly for

In the current Hall of Fame voting, his loyalty is strongest to Derrick Thomas.  He also seems to support Michael Irvin over Art Monk, but it’s hard to tell where he sees Monk in relation to other candidates.

January 31, 2004
Familiar Look to Hall of Fame
Bob Gretz

Many Chiefs fans want to know why Otis Taylor is not in the Hall of Fame. I can’t answer that question since I was not part of the process when Taylor was eligible for the first 20 years after the end of his career.

But one reason comes down to statistics. Here are the numbers of Taylor, Hayes and Monk just for one comparison:

Taylor: 130gms 410rec 7,306yds 17.8ypc 57tds 3ProBowls
Hayes: 132gms 371rec 7,414yds 20.0ypc 71tds 3ProBowls
Monk: 224gms 940rec 12,721yds 13.5ypc 68tds 3ProBowls
With 39 fewer catches and 14 more touchdowns, Hayes could not make the Hall this year. With more games, catches, yards and touchdowns, Monk could not make the Hall.

These decisions are not made simply on statistics. The player’s effect on the game must always be considered, or as one selector asks when voting: if I’m writing the history of the game, do I have to mention this player? If someone is writing the history of the American Football League, they would have to take into account Otis Taylor.

February 3, 2006
Step 2 for D.T.
Bob Gretz

I think D.T. deserves to be in that class certainly as much as names like Michael Irvin, Warren Moon and Thurman Thomas, who are also part of the 15 finalists. Others are Russ Grimm, Rayfield Wright, John Madden, Art Monk, L.C. Greenwood, Harry Carson, Bob Kuechenberg and Claude Humphrey.

Every one of the selectors seems to have a different method of deciding who is a Hall of Famer. Let me tell you mine.

It starts with a simple question: is this candidate among the best of his generation at his particular position or skill? For instance, was he the best quarterback at any point in his career? Was he the second best? Was he the third best? Do the statistics reflect this? Does the voting of his peers and coaches for the Pro Bowl reflect that? Does the voting of the media for All-Pro teams show that? Does his standing in history compared with others at the position indicate he belongs?

Then next question in my formula is: did he have an impact on the game? Was he a player that opponents had to account for? Did his ability force his team to become creative in how he was used, or were opponents forced to create new schemes and styles in an attempted to stop him? Was he so good at his skill or position that rules were created because of him?

The final question is this: did he have an impact on his team? Did he elevate the play of those around him? Did he push the entire franchise to the heights of professional football? Did he perform in big games? Was he part of a championship team?

Tony Grossi Responds to my e-mail

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 2:47 am

I think this upgrades his vote from “Probably No” to “Maybe No”

Hey, Tony!
March 05, 2006
Tony Grossi 

Q: Hey, Tony: A few weeks ago you mentioned that you were keeping an open mind regarding former Washington Redskins receiver Art Monk and the other Hall of Fame candidates. How did you end up voting on Monk? – Ted Jou, Charlottesville, Va.

A: Hey, Ted: I listened in tently and simply could not put Monk into the final six of an extremely strong class. Having participated in the debate on Monk for years, I feel he is destined to make it – possibly next year. I actually think Russ Grimm may be the better candidate from those great Redskins teams.

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