The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

April 30, 2006

Bernie Miklasz

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 9:30 pm

Bernie Miklasz has been a sports columnist at the St. Louis Times-Dispatch since 1989.  He covered the NFL beat even before the Rams came to St. Louis.

On his own online forum, Bernie has said that he made his own presentation to the voting committee supporting Art in 2006 and that he has been very disappointed about Art not making it.

He is definitely one of Art's strongest supporters on the committee.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 26, 1992
Will Redskins' Rypien Be a January Man?
Bernie Miklasz

For the first time, Rypien started every game. ''Everyone was kind of skeptical about how he would play,'' wide receiver Art Monk said. ''Truthfully, he's kind of surprised everyone the way he's taken over the leadership role.'' Rypien passed for 3,564 yards in the regular season and added 398 yards and two more touchdowns in a pair of playoff routs.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 27, 1992
Rypien Tosses Aside Doubts in MVP Effort
Bernie Miklasz

In the second half, after the Bills had rallied to close to 24-10, Rypien gunned a 30-yard touchdown to wide receiver Gary Clark on a corner pattern. The touchdown put the Redskins up 31-10 and deflated the Bills. It was a clutch drive for Rypien. It was a drive that put him, and his team, over the top. ''Mark has come a long way,'' said wide receiver Art Monk, who combined with Clark to make 14 catches for 227 yards.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 15, 2005
Deserving Wehrli has slim chance to enter Hall
Bernie Miklasz

Only six, maximum, can be voted in. First-time eligible Dan Marino is a lock. First-timers Steve Young and Derrick Thomas are virtual locks. Another first-timer, Michael Irvin, will get votes. The two senior committee nominees (Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard) will receive significant support. And others who have made it to the final 15 in previous years — including Art Monk, Bob Kuechenberg, Harry Carson, Richard Dent and George Young — can count on a number of voters sticking with them.

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http://forums.stltoday.com/viewtopic.php?p=3319282
Bernie's Pressbox
04 Feb 2006
Pro Football Hall of Fame Update
BernieM

Very tough ballot. Amazing group of talent. We had spirited debate and discussion. Some of the longtime veteran voters said it was the most difficult ballot in the history of Pro Football Hall of Fame voting.

I am especially disappointed and surprised that Monk got eliminated at all — and stunned that it happened on the first ballot. I did a lot of research and made a secondary presentation on his behalf, but to no avail.

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http://forums.stltoday.com/viewtopic.php?p=3319282#3319282
Bernie's Pressbox
04 Feb 2006
Pro Football Hall of Fame Update
BernieM

On Art Monk's credentials…

Three Pro Bowls: Same as Swann and Joiner, and they're in the Hall of Fame.

The "heart" of that Redskins team was John Riggins.

Number of Pro Bowls for Riggo: 1.

Pro Bowls are just one barometer but hardly tell the entire story.

The dude (Monk) was the constant on a team that won three Super Bowls. He had four QBs during that time. The were three different 1,000 yard backs during that time. Charlie Brown started two Super Bowls opposite Monk, and Gary Clark started two Super Bowls opposite Monk. He was the one constant among skill position players. Yes, Joe Gibbs was the HC and offensive wizard. But Monk actually preceded Gibbs into Washington and was a productive WR before Gibbs' arrival.

I don't know….you star for three Super Bowl champions, and you retired with 121 more catches than any receiver who ever played in the NFL? Sounds like a Hall of Famer to me.

Moreover, Monk was a big WR and a great downfield blocker — Gibbs has told me many times that Monk was a key to their running game, because he could take on linebackers and create some room for Riggins, Rogers, Riggs, etc.

Monk was a very underrated postseason performer. Monk hurt in a couple of Super Bowls, but what about getting to the Super Bowls?

In his career, Monk played in 15 postseason games and had 69 catches for 1,062 yards and 7 TDs.

Compared to other Hall of Fame WRs, of the era that's more postseason catches AND yards than Biletnikoff, Lofton, Swann, Warfield, Stallworth. And all of them played roughly the same amount of postseason games except for Lofton, who played in 12.

People diss Monk because he didn't have a high TD total. This is true. Well, wonder why? In the red zone Gibbs pounded the ball. And Monk was routinely double covered. That's why. Some complain that he averaged 13.5 yards per catch….well, yes. he was a possession receiver. He moved the chains. He caught everything in traffic and pushed the Redskins up the field with his receptions good for first downs.

Until Monk, every WR who had retired as the all-time leading receiver was voted into Canton. I'm not sure why my fellow voters are drawing the line on Monk. He played for a ground-based team, and he played before the real explosion of WR totals, and he still had 940 catches for a team that won three SB rings.

Keeping him out of the Hall because he was a possession receiver is like keeping Tony Gwynn out of the baseball Hall because he hit too many singles.

I think it's crazy…. that Redskins team went to four Super Bowls and won three…. and they have ONE Hall of Fame player from that era… John Riggins. Seems wrong. Where are the Hogs? Grimm, maybe Jacoby? One of the best O lines in NFL history, and a WR who retired with more catches than anybody. But one Redskin is in there from that era. I don't get it. But that's just me.

April 28, 2006

04-28-06 News

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 11:29 am

There has been some chatter about Art Monk leading up to the draft and because he's a member of one of the groups bidding for the Nats, but here's two articles I found relating to Art Monk and the Hall of Fame:

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http://www.columbusdispatch.com/sports-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/04/28/20060428-F1-04.html
The Columbus Dispatch
Friday, April 28, 2006
Few from draft day will become legends
Todd Jones

There have been 70 drafts since the inaugural one in 1936, and only 205 players are in the Hall of Fame.

Twelve Hall of Famers entered the NFL as free agents, including quarterback Warren Moon, headed to Canton in the 2006 class of enshrinees.

So do the math: Each draft has produced an average of fewer than three players who eventually played their way into the Hall of Fame.

Of course, this might reflect as much on the Hall of Fame’s nebulous criteria as on the players themselves.

How else to explain that Lynn Swann (336 receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns in nine seasons) is a member of the Hall of Fame but Art Monk (940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns in 16 seasons) is not?

But we digress, at the risk of upsetting Swann fans in the Pennsylvania governor’s race.

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http://chazsports.blogspot.com/2006/02/unappreciated-work-of-art-art-monks.html
Chris's Sports Blog
February 2, 2006
An Unappreciated Work of Art
Chris Chase

Art Monk's name won't be among those announced Saturday when the NFL unveils its Hall of Fame class of 2006. Nor will he be enshrined next year or the year after that. Art Monk is never going to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And this is a travesty.
As more and more receivers with numbers similar to Monk become eligible for the Hall, the window of possiblity for the Washington Redskins' all-time leading receiver seems to have closed shut. After making the final-round of voting in each of his first three years of eligibility, Monk has failed to make it past the semi-finals in the past three.

April 24, 2006

Ed Bouchette

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:55 pm

Ed Bouchette is a longtime sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  He has written extensively on Monk but has not committed either way.  During Monk's early years of eligibility, Bouchette understandbly favored Swann and Stallworth, but that is no longer an issue.  I think it's pretty clear that Bouchette doesn't oppose the idea of Monk in the Hall of Fame, but whether he would vote for Monk over other candidates is an open question.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
December 11, 1994
Monk is great receiver but record for catching passes is insignificant
Ed Bouchette

Let us take a moment to react, along with everyone else, to Art Monk setting a National Fotoball League record for catching passes in 178 consecutive games:

Whoopdeedoo!

Years ago, no one paid much attention to how many games in a row a receiver caught a pass, just as they did not make note of how many straight games running backs ran for yards or quarterbacks completed passes.

Jack Ham, the Steelers' Hall of Fame linebacker, thinks Monk's a great receiver but he laughs at the record-keeping.

''I made at least one tackle in every game that I played,'' Ham said.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
December 3, 1995
Fish are flopping and coach may fry
Ed Bouchette

A funny thing happened as Jerry Rice honed in on Art Monk's career record of 934 pass receptions — Monk returned to play.

The Eagles signed Monk for the last four games of the season, which means his record of 934 may be extended. Rice has 905 catches.

''Oh, man, I thought this guy had retired! I don't have a chance now,'' Rice said in jest before turning more serious.

''I know Art still has talent. It surprised me no one picked him up in the earlier part of the season. I felt I had a legitimate shot at it. With Art's signing, it goes right out the window. It's OK. I'd rather see him back on the field. He can still play.''

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 21, 2001
Swann's Song
Ed Bouchette

"I'd like to believe I'm worthy of being inducted into the Hall of Fame," Swann said. "Part of me thinks, I wish I were. The other part thinks if I never go in it doesn't diminish anything I've done.

"But I'm much more an optimist than a pessimist."

Said Dan Rooney, "There's no question, he's one of the great receivers who ever played this game."

Besides Stallworth, Art Monk is the other wide receiver on the list, but this is his first year of eligibility.

Chuck Noll, the Steelers Hall of Fame coach, believes Swann should have been elected long ago, ahead of some who have made it.

"A guy like Tommy McDonald's in there who couldn't carry Lynn's jock," said Noll, who is not prone to hyperbole.

Which general manager in today's game would choose Art Monk over Lynn Swann in his prime? Which receiver in the Hall of Fame would a cornerback least prefer to cover than one who is not yet in, Swann?

Swann's statistics were held down by the offensive system in which he played and, admittedly, by his coach. But it was a system that produced one of football's greatest dynasties.

"I don't think there's a receiver who wouldn't want to get the ball all the time and have an opportunity to make catches," Swann said. "But if you ask me if I'd trade in our four Super Bowls for more catches in a season or a career, the answer is no.

"I certainly think I had a good impact in winning those Super Bowls and getting us to the Super Bowls. I wouldn't trade that for anything."

Lynn Swann, Steelers 1974-82 336 5,462 51

… and three who might deserve induction, too

Name, team Yrs. Rec. Yds. TDs

Art Monk, Redskins/Jets/Eagles 1980-95 940 12,026 65

James Lofton, Packers/Raiders/Bills/Rams/Eagles 1978-93 764 14,004 75

John Stallworth, Steelers 1974-87 537 8,723 63

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 2, 2002
Stallworth, Kelly Favored to Enter Hall
Ed Bouchette

For years, the vote was split between Swann and Stallworth, preventing either's election. After Swann broke through last year, many see this as Stallworth's time to follow. Of the 15 wide receivers in the Hall of Fame, Stallworth's yardage is better or comparable to 11. Two other finalists at wide receiver, though, are two of the most prolific in the game. James Lofton's 14,004 yards receiving is second only to Jerry Rice. Art Monk, a finalist last year as well, has 12,721 yards.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 12, 2003
So, What Exactly Makes a Player Hall of Fame Material?
Ed Bouchette

There are two shoo-ins on the list this year, quarterback John Elway and running back Barry Sanders. That leaves spots for one to four more men to be selected, and the debate will take place over the next 3 1/2 months.

Take wide receiver Art Monk. He has been eligible for several years and has not made it. Yet he has numbers that blow away every Hall of Fame receiver. Monk caught 940 passes for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns during a 16-year career. He has three Super Bowl rings with the Washington Redskins. By comparison, Lynn Swann caught 336 passes for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns.

Does Swann deserve to be in the Hall of Fame and Art Monk not? Both made three Pro Bowls and Swann has one more title ring. Arguments against Monk are that he was a product of the system, that he caught short passes and that he rarely did anything spectacular the way Swann did. But how do you ignore his sheer body of work? He has more yards receiving than any of the 17 Hall of Fame receivers.

On the other hand, Monk's accomplishments came during a more receiver-friendly era, when new rules favored the passing game and protected the quarterbacks and receivers more than during Swann's career. Still, a rookie receiver today would have to catch 100 passes a season for the next 13 seasons to top Monk.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 8, 2004
Higher Calling: Hall is an Exclusive Club; Not Everyone is Invited
Ed Bouchette

Pro football fans are angry over the non-election of various candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which took place the day before the Super Bowl and with the process that led up to that final vote.

The majority are not irate that John Elway, Barry Sanders, Bob Brown and Carl Eller were selected for induction in Canton in August. They're mad because others did not make it. They're mad in Dallas that two former Cowboys, Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright, weren't voted in. They're seething in New York that Harry Carson wasn't elected. They're in a dither in Baltimore that retiring Ravens owner Art Modell did not make it to the 15 finalists. Redskins fans cannot believe Art Monk is not yet in the Hall of Fame. Chicago fans don't understand why Richard Dent wasn't selected. Dolphins fans wonder why Bob Kuechenberg was ignored again.

For all we know, Iranians are ticked off that native son Shar Pourdanesh hasn't yet been put in.

Please, enough with the anger. This is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the Pro Bowl. There should be exclusivity. Canton is not where the Hall of Very Good resides.

As one of 39 voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I've heard and read about the outrage and I'm amused by it. Another selector, Sports Illustrated's Peter King, made a good point to me a few days before the voting. He was a guest on a radio show in Baltimore last year and was told that Ravens fans were — here's that word again — "outraged" because Modell was not in the Hall of Fame. King said it's funny that only Ravens fans are outraged and not those in other cities. Is there anyone in Pittsburgh outraged because Modell or Kuechenberg or Wright did not make it? Do fans in St. Louis care that Dent or Carson are not in the Hall of Fame? Are there fans in Dallas and Chicago who worry that Monk did not make it?

It's a partisan anger, King pointed out; only those fans in that city where the player spent most of his years are outraged.

First off, 39 of us — a media representative from each NFL city, six at-large representatives and an at-large member of the Pro Football Writers of America — met and discussed and argued for four hours that Saturday morning before we put four men into the Hall of Fame. This after culling a long list to 25 and then 15 in two mail ballots. Four is twice as many as baseball will induct this year, and we don't hear much outrage over those baseball players who were not elected.

Second, the people who run the Pro Football Hall of Fame want more selectivity, that is why they reduced the number of potential members for the 2004 class, and beyond, by one. Previously, each class could be a minimum of four and a maximum of seven. They reduced that to three-to-six this year. Why? Possibly too many borderline stars were selected as Pro Football Hall of Famers while getting into the baseball Hall was truly a special honor.

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http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?action=detail&pk=FBN-STEELERS-09-30-04
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 30, 2004
Polamalu Plan: Pick Palmer's Pocket
Ed Bouchette

"It would be a blessing for me to get my hands on the ball," said Polamalu, who speaks like a Tibetan Monk but plays the game like Art Monk. Polamalu gives the feeling that he would intercept Palmer and later apologize to him, the way the mafia kills and then sends flowers to the funeral.

April 23, 2006

Paul Domowitch

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 11:51 am

Paul Domowitch covers the Eagles for the Philadelphia Daily News.  He was there when Art came in 1995, and he has represented the Eagles on the Hall of Fame voting committee for several years now.

It's hard to tell how he feels about Monk.  He wrote a column in 2003 joking about the situation, but it's hard to read into a joke.

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The Sporting News
December 18, 1995
NFC Notes: Philadelphia Eagles
Paul Domowitch

The Art of receiving: Art Monk extended his record reception streak to 181 games with two catches against Dallas. ''That's why we brought him in,'' Rhodes says. ''He's a seasoned, cold-weather receiver who has caught a lot of passes. You want a guy who has made big plays in big games and he has made a lot of them.''… There's a chance wide receiver/ return man Kelvin Martin could return for the regular-season finale against Chicago. Martin has missed the last five games with a stress fracture in his foot. … Quarterback Rodney Peete has not thrown a touchdown pass in the last three games and has just six all season.

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Philadelphia Daily News
December 21, 1998
Wrap up gift-buying with a few good books
Paul Domowitch

"They're going to run it right up our gut," Rhodes said Wednesday.

He considered his decimated defensive line, missing the four players he expected to start entering training camp, as well as backup end Al Wallace. He considered his worn-out linebackers. He considered the Birds' bad run defense, Dallas's decent running attack, and injuries to stars Michael Irvin, the Cowboys' Hall of Fame-bound receiver, and Deion Sanders, their Hall of Fame-bound all-purpose player, and announced:

"They're going to bleed us."

Right-o, Ray Bob.

Emmitt Smith led the Cowboys to the NFC East title with 110 rushing yards on 25 carries. Eagles running back Duce Staley had 67 yards on 18 carries, putting him at 968 for the season, 32 shy of the 1,000-yard mark. 

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The Houston Chronicle
August 25, 2002
History aside, QB Cunningham deserves praise for his success
Paul Domowitch

While Randall never became as good as he could have been, he kept things interesting around here. And memorable.

That probably won't get him into the Hall of Fame. But it made him deserve a standing ovation Friday night at the Vet.

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http://www.nfl-world.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3351
Philadelphia Daily News
August 5, 2003
NFL Network: Something for everyone
Paul Domowitch

Sometime this fall, the National Football League will launch its very own TV channel, the NFL Network. For pro football junkies, it's a dream come true. All NFL, all the time. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. For the wives of pro football junkies, it's one more reason to hire a divorce lawyer.

How in the world are they going to come up with 168 hours of programming a week? Glad you asked. There will be a celebrity-laced talk show and an X's-and-O's matchup show for you serious students of the game.

Those always-compelling day-after-the-game coaches press conferences will occupy much of their Monday schedule. And they've got 100 million feet of film in the NFL Films library that they will rely heavily on.

According to my sources in the NFL Network programming department, here are some other shows the new channel is considering for their fall schedule:

"Monk'' – Follow former Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk through his memorable streak of 183 straight games with at least one reception. The last 10 minutes of each show will feature a D.C.-area sports writer telling us why a guy who earned just three Pro Bowl invitations absolutely, positively deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

**NOTE: This column was intended to be tongue-in-cheek according to Domowitch

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http://www.sptimes.com/2003/09/05/Columns/Fame_may_beckon_a_few.shtml
St.Petersburg Times
September 5, 2003
Fame May Beckon a Few Bucs
Gary Shelton

Keyshawn Johnson

Domowitch: "There are a lot more deserving receivers."

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Philadelphia Daily News
September 9, 2005
Chiefs' Peterson not expecting Vermeil back for 2006
Paul Domowitch

With Jerry Rice retiring this week, the 2010 Hall of Fame class will have three certain first-year-of-eligibility inductees: Rice, Emmitt Smith and Tim Brown.

April 22, 2006

Frank Cooney

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 11:12 am

Frank Cooney founded The Sports Xchange in 1987, and he sits on the Hall of Fame committee for the Oakland Raiders.  There isn't a lot of information about Art Monk in articles written by Frank, but he e-mailed a Redskins fan in February stating that he did vote for Monk.

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The Sports Network
September 27, 1996
Washington Redskins Team Notes
Frank Cooney

WAITING FOR A CHANCE: The NFL may think former Redskins Art Monk is retired at age 39, but he'd still like to play again. The only team to offer him a contract this year was the Philadelphia Eagles, who offered him a minimum deal for $ 275,000 with no incentives. When he insisted on incentives, they passed.

He thinks he can still play.

"I think I'm the same," Monk said. "I can still catch the ball. I'm running as fast as ever. I ran a 4.5 when I came in. I ran a 4.5 last year for the Eagles. My age is what everybody looks at. Instead of judging me for what I do, they judge me on my age. I don't think the mature athlete has really gotten the respect he deserves. I feel I can still compete with guys 10 years younger.''

He played the final three games last year for the Eagles,
catching six passes. That brought his total to 940, second on the all-time list to Jerry Rice's 964. He'd like to reach the 1,000 mark but that now appears out of reach. The 1982 and 1987 strikes cost him that shot.

April 20, 2006

Paul Zimmerman

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 10:00 pm

Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated has led the fight against Art Monk for many years.  His opinion of Monk has been consistent over two decades. 

When Art set the record for catches in a season in 1984, Dr. Z wrote that "his single-season reception record (106) was built on a lot of eight-yard hitches."  After Art's first bid at the Hall of Fame failed in 2000, Dr. Z wrote that "I know there are a lot of Monk fans out there who point to his overwhelming numbers. He was very valuable for what he did — sitting down in the zone and catching the 10-yard hook for a first down — but I feel that my top three did more."

He has continually argued with Art's fans over the years, but his opinion has never wavered.  As he wrote in 2004, "Every time I mention that I didn't vote for him because I simply felt that other people were more deserving than a guy who caught 900 eight-yard hooks, I wake up all the Washington diehards, who start screaming about my anti-Redskins bias. Start stirring, you folk out there. It will happen again."

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Sports Illustrated
December 24, 1984
The Doc's Dangerous Double Dozen
Paul Zimmerman

The wide receivers were also difficult choices this year. Rather, one spot was difficult. The Steelers' John Stallworth was in a class by himself. Injury-free at last, he had the finest season in his 11-year career — and that's without a Terry Bradshaw to get the ball to him. The other spot came down to a three-player shoot-out among St. Louis's Roy Green, Washington's Art Monk and Miami's Mark Clayton. I gave Green the nod over Clayton because Green didn't have another deep threat, as Clayton did in teammate Mark Duper, to take the pressure off. Monk was indispensable to the Skins' offense, but his single-season reception record (106) was built on a lot of eight-yard hitches, while Green was more of a threat downfield.

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Sports Illustrated
January 20, 1992
Call Me Crazy, But. . . .; Dr. Z sticks to his preseason prediction and picks the Bills to beat the Redskins
Paul Zimmerman

IF YOU WATCHED SUNDAY'S AFC and NFC championship games, there's no logical way you could like the Buffalo Bills over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI. But I do. Maybe it's just stubborn loyalty to my preseason Super Bowl pick: Bills 20, Redskins 17. It could be just a hunch or the memory of last year's NFL title game, in which the New York Giants came in by the back door and the Bills rode in on a chariot after having blown through the playoffs.

One of the proven theories of Super Bowl handicapping is, Go with the hot team. But last season, after Buffalo had crushed the Los Angeles Raiders 51-3 and the Giants had stolen a 15-13 win from the San Francisco 49ers in the conference championship games, the form chart got dinged and New York took it all in the Big One. Now the situation is reversed. The Skins are pushing all the right buttons, and the Bills are in on a pass.

Washington's 41-10 victory over the Detroit Lions in the NFC final was a cerebral as well as a physical triumph, the kind of game after which the winning coaches get together and say to one another, "See, I told you it would work." The Redskins defense — mixing things up just enough by throwing an odd assortment of blitzes at young Lion quarterback Erik Kramer and getting away from tendencies — suffered a slight lapse in the second quarter when All-Pro cornerback Darrell Green was sidelined with bruised ribs. But then it pitched a shutout after the intermission.

The Washington offense was typical Joe Gibbs: Set 'em up with one thing, hit 'em with another. He'll use the thunder of the heavy running game behind two or three tight ends, then the deep strike from quarterback Mark Rypien — 45 yards to Gary Clark, 31 to Art Monk, a 21-yard TD to Monk, 45 yards to Terry Orr. That last one left the fans smiling.

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Sports Illustrated
September 7, 1992
War Stories;Lance Alworth and Willie Brown, rivals from the bump-and-run era, recall their classic battles and reflect on today's less-physical game
Paul Zimmerman

"There's still a place for the big receiver," Alworth said. "I like watching Art Monk, the way he fights for the ball. You don't see a lot of guys doing that. And Jerry Rice is in a class by himself."

"Rice reminds me of you," Brown said. "So quick getting off the line, real fluid downfield, and then that extra gear, that overdrive and the leaping ability. Zoom, zoom, and it's over. That's what fooled people about Rice, coming into the pros. They didn't understand his speed. They went by the stopwatch, but he had competitive speed, football speed."

"One thing receivers like Rice and Monk have now is a system that allows them to break patterns," Alworth said. "They have their own optional reads. We had to run disciplined patterns. We couldn't break them. I knew what the defense was doing on my side, but I didn't pay attention to the whole design.

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

"Numbers can be cheap," said Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated, "because they don't tell you whether it was a quality catch or an eight-yard hitch. Guys in the league right now are setting new standards for receivers."

A receiver such as Art Monk, who caught 940 passes for 12,721 yards, put up Hall of Fame numbers, but there's no guarantee he'll ever get inducted.

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Sports Illustrated
July 24, 2000
Scorecard
Paul Zimmerman
 
Irvin is tied for 10th alltime in receptions. Let's look at the rest of the top 10, a list that makes up most of his competition for the Hall. Jerry Rice, the alltime leader, is a shoo-in. If Andre Reed, No. 2, doesn't catch on with a team this year, he'll be eligible at the same time as Irvin, and I'd vote for both of them; as a slot receiver, Reed was the key man in the multiple wideout offense that led the Bills to four Super Bowls. Art Monk, No. 3, has come up and been rejected; I would choose Irvin over Monk–just not enough action downfield for Art. Cris Carter, No. 4 and still active, will be another easy choice. Steve Largent, at 5, is in the Hall. Henry Ellard, sixth alltime, will be eligible in four years, but I see him as a case of being not quite as good as the candidates he'll be up against each year. Irving Fryar (7) and Tim Brown (8) are still active. James Lofton, ninth alltime, has come up and has been rejected, despite my yes vote–he was a more serious deep threat than any of the others in the top 10. If he's still on the ballot in five years, at the same time as Irvin, I'd probably go for both of them.

Finally, Charlie Joiner, who's tied with Irvin at No. 10 with 750 catches, is already in the Hall, and it's interesting to compare their numbers because they're so similar. Joiner had 242 more career yards and a 16.2 yards-per-catch average to Irvin's 15.9. They're tied with 65 touchdowns apiece. Joiner was a popular player, well-liked by everybody, hardworking, modest. But he was basically a workhorse, a cog in a great San Diego passing machine that had other weapons, such as Kellen Winslow and J.J. Jefferson and Wes Chandler. Except for the four seasons in which he teamed with Alvin Harper, Irvin and tight end Jay Novacek made up Dallas's passing attack. Irvin did it for many seasons without help, and he did it superbly. –Paul Zimmerman

Six Receivers Dr. Z Thinks Belong in the Hall

1. Lynn Swann (1974-82) His numbers aren't good enough is the argument. My pitch has been quality over quantity. He saved his best for when the stakes were highest.

2. James Lofton (1978-93) He was so dynamic downfield that people forget he could operate as a possession receiver as well.

3. Otis Taylor (1965-75) Classic combination of size (6'3", 215 pounds) and speed that everybody's looking for now.

4. Mac Speedie (1946-52) Finest receiver for the Cleveland Browns teams when they terrorized the old All-America Conference.

5. Harold Carmichael (1971-84) Gigantic (6'8") target who was amazingly effective downfield.

6. Art Powell (1959-68) Forgotten now, but the most feared receiver in the early days of the AFL.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2000/11/09/drz_insider/
Sports Illustrated
Thursday November 09, 2000
Meet the candidates
Dr. Z

Oh, man, what a roster. Lynn Swann, who will automatically go on the January ballot because he was a finalist last year, plus the following seven: Cliff Branch, Gary Clark, James Lofton, Art Monk, Drew Pearson, Ahmad Rashad and John Stallworth. Right now I'm looking at Pearson, Rashad and Lofton. I know there are a lot of Monk fans out there who point to his overwhelming numbers. He was very valuable for what he did — sitting down in the zone and catching the 10-yard hook for a first down — but I feel that my top three did more. As far as Stallworth is concerned, I keep telling the Pittsburgh guy on the committee to bring him up separately from Swann. Swann and Stallworth, as a paired entry, always serve to knock each other off. As far as Swann, I've always been in his corner. Not a tremendous amount of catches, but quality over quantity. He saved his best for when the stakes were highest.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2001/01/24/drz_insider/
Sports Illustrated
Wednesday January 24, 2001
My turn to give Hall passes
Dr. Z

Art Monk: His name has come up for years, and I've never voted for him and have always caught heat for it. My argument is always paired with my reasons for pushing hard for Lynn Swann. Quantity vs. quality. Monk caught a million passes, most of them eight-to-10-yard hooks. Swann made spectacular catches at the championship level. I can't gauge Monk's chances this time.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/2001/01/26/drz_mailbag/
Sports Illustrated
Friday January 26, 2001
Vintage whining
Dr. Z

Joe B. of Eau Claire, Wis., feels that Art Monk's durability, while he was running up his tremendous numbers, makes him more valuable than my man, Lynn Swann. Let's put it this way: If you were putting together a team, which one would you want, a guy who'd get you first downs or a guy who'd get you touchdowns?

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/news/2001/08/05/Outside_the_hof/
Sports Illustrated
Sunday August 05, 2001
Outside looking in 

Art Monk, Wide Receiver

Washington, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia (1980-95)

A first-round draft choice from Syracuse, Dr. Z says Monk was very valuable for what he did — sitting down in the zone and catching the 10-yard hook for a first down. However, his career numbers are eye-catching: 224 games, 940 catches, 12,721 yards and 68 TDs.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/12/18/drz_insider/
Sports Illustrated
Wednesday December 18, 2002
Calling Hall stars
Dr. Z

WIDE RECEIVERS 
Cliff Branch, Isaac Curtis, James Lofton, Art Monk, Drew Pearson, Sterling Sharpe, Wesley Walker. 

Well, they'd better pick their wideouts in a hurry, because the way things are going now, all the records are gonna drop fast. I think a Hall of Fame wideout has to be able to stretch the field, and that would eliminate Monk, a valuable receiver but a guy who made a career out of eight-yard hooks. Lofton had it all — size, speed, moves, intelligence — well, almost all, because he did drop the ball on occasion. But I like him the best of what's here. Pearson was extremely valuable to the Cowboys organization, and a great team guy. I wonder if Sharpe would talk to the media if he were enshrined.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/12/27/drz_mailbag/
Sports Illustrated
Friday December 27, 2002
Whine and cheese
Dr. Z

Joe of Bridgeport, W.Va., wants to know how I can accuse Art Monk of building a career out of eight-yard hooks when his lifetime average was 13.5 yards per reception. I used the expression figuratively, not literally. Monk was a valuable person in Joe Gibbs' bunch offense, the guy who sat down in the zone and got the Skins a first down. And he did it year after year. I just don't think that's enough of a skill for enshrinement.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/07/31/drz_insider/
Sports Illustrated
Wednesday July 31, 2002
Forsaking Hall others
Dr. Z

L.C. Greenwood, James Lofton, Art Monk and Harry Carson made it to the final 10 but not the last six. The only one I'm not behind is Monk, who at one time held the record for lifetime receptions. He wasa key member of Joe Gibbs' great offenses in Washington, but I don't think you make the Hall of Fame on 800 8-yard hook passes, particularly when I watched my two guys, Bob Hayes and Otis Taylor, real game-breakers who put their stamp on offensive football, get passed over year after year until they went from modern candidates to the Seniors pool, a swamp from which few people escape.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/dr_z/04/09/zimmerman.mailbag/
Sports Illustrated
Friday April 9, 2004 
Laying down the Law
Dr. Z

I wouldn't take out my feelings about Dan Snyder on a solid player such as Monk. And this year at the Hall of Fame meeting I didn't say a word about him, pro or con. The fact that he didn't advance from the final 15 to the final 10 shows that other people weren't on his side, either. Monk, to my mind, was very valuable in Joe Gibbs' scheme as a third-down receiver, a guy who could sit down in the zone and catch the eight-yard hook and buy the Skins a first down. A lot of them. Whether or not this qualifies a guy for the Hall of Fame is for the selectors to decide.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/dr_z/07/21/05.hof/index.html
Sports Illustrated
Wednesday July 21, 2004
Fame game
Dr. Z

Art Monk is another four-timer. A great possession receiver. Caught a lot of balls in Joe Gibbs' system. Every time I mention that I didn't vote for him because I simply felt that other people were more deserving than a guy who caught 900 eight-yard hooks, I wake up all the Washington diehards, who start screaming about my anti-Redskins bias. Start stirring, you folk out there. It will happen again.

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Orlando Sentinel
January 31, 2005
Speeding Into History: Jacksonville Native Bob Hayes Won Olympic Gold Medals and a Super Bowl, Yet Proper Recognition Wasn’t as Swift
Mike Bianchi

Hayes was nominated by the Hall’s Veterans Committee last season, and when he failed to gain enough votes for induction, Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated resigned from the committee and called those who voted against Hayes “assassins.”

“No, he didn’t catch as many balls as some other receivers, but he left his imprint on the game like few receivers have,” Zimmerman said. “He forced the zone defense and changed football. To me, that’s more impressive than Art Monk catching 108 balls on hook routes.”

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/dr_z/07/14/mailbag/2.html
Sports Illustrated SI.com
July 14, 2005
More Mailbag
Dr. Z

Q: Now that Tim Brown has retired, what are his chances of entering the Hall of Fame?
 
A: Good.

Q: Do you know how you will vote?

A: Yes.

Q: How does he compare to Art Monk?

A: Flashier but Monk had better hands.

And now we move on to … OK, OK, the unstated question. How will I vote? Negative. He dropped too many balls. All rippers for the next mailbag column, kindly check in with Andrew, who will issue you your registration form.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/dr_z/02/05/hof.qa/index.html
Sports Illustrated SI.com
February 4, 2006
Close but …
Dr. Z

SI.COM: How about Art Monk?

Dr. Z: Monk was hurt by Michael Irvin being eligible this year. It's done alphabetically, and Irvin was presented before Monk. I think that really hurt him.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/dr_z/02/04/hof.qa/1.html
Sports Illustrated SI.com
February 4, 2006
Hall of Fame Q&A
Paul Zimmerman

SI.com: Any other comments on the guys who didn’t get in?

Dr. Z: Russ Grimm and Bob Kuechenberg may have canceled each other out. And Gary Zimmerman may have been knocked out by Wright getting in. They aren’t going to put in two offensive tackles.

SI.com: What about Art Monk?

Dr. Z: The negative is that when you played the Redskins, you didn’t say, “How can I stop Art Monk?” He wasn’t a focal figure. The positive about Monk: All he did was help the team win. He was a good, sturdy team guy. But that wasn’t enough.

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