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.

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.

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.

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.

Bernie's Pressbox
04 Feb 2006
Pro Football Hall of Fame Update

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.

Bernie's Pressbox
04 Feb 2006
Pro Football Hall of Fame Update

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.


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