The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

May 4, 2006

Ira Kaufman

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 11:04 am

This blog is currently canvassing the Hall of Fame voters to find their opinions of Art Monk.  Ira Kaufman is a "Probably Yes," so with 30 of 39 voters profiled, the current count is:

4 No; 12 Yes; 14 Unknown/Maybe

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Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune has been covering the NFL for a long time, but he is a relative newcomer to the Hall of Fame voting process, joining the committee in 2005.  Last year, he voted for Art Monk in the cut from 15 to 10.

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United Press International
November 22, 1982
New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
Ira Kaufman

Theismann tossed scoring passes of 1 yard to Otis Wonsley and 39 yards to Charlie Brown, John Riggins added a 3-yard TD and Mark Moseley kicked second-half field goals of 37 and 29 yards as the Redskins won their sixth straight dating back to last season.

''Our offensive unit has a lot of confidence right now,'' said Art Monk, who caught 6 passes for 42 yards. ''Coach (Joe) Gibbs has instilled in us the killer instinct, the drive that keeps us going. It also helps that Joe's been on the mark all year.''

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United Press International
January 9, 1984
San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins
Ira Kaufman

Wright was flagged 27 yards for interfering with a Joe Theismann pass intended for Art Monk but officials played another pivotal role three plays later. On third-and-five from the 13, Theismann threw incomplete for Alvin Garrett, but All-Pro cornerback Ronnie Lott was whistled for holding Charlie Brown — giving Washington a first down on the 8-yard line.

Monk, at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds one of the biggest receivers in the NFL, felt the flag against Wright was sweet vindication.

''I definitely thought the penalty should have been called — in fact, I jumped up and pointed at Wright and almost hit the official in the face with my hand,'' said Monk. ''Then I saw the flag on the ground back up the field. It was justice.''

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United Press International
January 21, 1984
Super Bowl Preview
Ira Kaufman

Washington relies on the passing of Theismann to Art Monk and Charlie Brown and the power running of workhorse fullback John Riggins on offense. Brown burned the Raiders for 180 yards on 11 receptions in the first game while Riggins, a 6-foot-2, 240-pounder who was named the Most Valuable Player in last year's Super Bowl, set an NFL record with 24 touchdowns this season.

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United Press International
January 25, 1988
Super Bowl Thumbnails
Ira Kaufman

81-Art Monk, wide receiver, 6-3, 209, 8th, Syracuse. Expected back after rehabilitation from knee problems. Has averaged 77 receptions per season since 1984, when he set an NFL record with 106 catches. Nicknamed ''Money'' for his outstanding play in the clutch.

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Tampa Tribune
February 6, 2005
Rookie Gets First Taste Of Process
Ira Kaufman

My first session as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's board of selectors was both riveting and challenging.

Heeding the advice of my predecessor, Tom McEwen, I kept my mouth shut as the rookie in a room of 38 fellow judges.

I was struck by the thoroughness of the 15 presentations — and stunned that it took so long for senior nominees Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard to have their day in front of the committee.

When the presentations were completed, I quickly realized you could make a compelling case for all 15.

Comparisons were difficult, if not impossible.

How do you choose between a Hog (Redskins guard Russ Grimm) and a greyhound like Derrick Thomas, the late Kansas City linebacker who made a living sacking and stripping quarterbacks like few players before or since.

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Tampa Tribune
February 5, 2006
Hall Of Fame Voting A Daunting Task
Ira Kaufman

In my judgment, there were at least six other candidates more deserving, but I voted for Carson once he reached the final group because he was a very good player for a long period of time.

In reducing the field from 15 to 10, my ballot listed Aikman, Madden, Moon, White, guard Russ Grimm, wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard Bob Kuechenberg, wide receiver Art Monk, running back Thurman Thomas and tackle Gary Zimmerman.

My first cut eliminated Carson, Wright, linebacker Derrick Thomas and defensive ends L.C. Greenwood and Claude Humphrey.

But when the list of 10 was announced, Carson, Wright and Humphrey were still standing while Grimm, Monk and Zimmerman failed to survive.

May 3, 2006

John Clayton

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:47 am

John Clayton has been an NFL analyst for ESPN since 1995.  He covered the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune from 1986 to 1998.  Prior to that, he covered the Steelers for the Pittsburgh Press.

In a 2004 interview, he expressed his support for Art Monk:

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The Colorado Springs Gazette
February 1, 2004
Bob Brown finally a Hall of Famer
Milo F. Bryant

The former Washington Redskins wide receiver has been eligible for the Hall for four years. This year marked Monk's fourth year as a finalist, too. But this year, Monk failed to even make the voters' final cut.

The Hall's Board of Selectors cuts the 15 finalists down to 10 and the 10 down to six. Monk's name was left off the list of 10.

"I'm surprised he didn't make it," ESPN.com writer John Clayton said. Clayton is the board's Seattle representative. "I'm surprised he didn't make it to the top 10 – I mean 941 catches?

"Just because (the Redskins) didn't throw to him in the red zone, he still got them to the 10, to the 20. I thought he should have made it, at least more than Bob Hayes. That's one that kind of puzzled me."

May 2, 2006

Ira Miller

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:56 pm

Ira Miller has been a Hall of Fame football reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 29 years.  He is retiring this year, but he has been a strong supporter of Art Monk over the years.

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The San Francisco Chronicle
January 26, 1992
Rypien master of the super pass
Ira Miller

Washington's three wide receivers, Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, share the spotlight, but all would be a star by himself on almost any other team.

Monk, who is approaching many of the League's career receiving records, is a strong possession receiver who can almost always get open and, even if he can't, can out-fight most defenders for the ball.

Clark is the team's quick, deep threat, the man Rypien most often looks for in routes to the corner. This season, Clark averaged 19.1 yards a catch, and scored touchdowns on passes coverig 82, 75, 65, 61, 54, 50, 49, 41 and 38 yards.

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The Dallas Morning News  
January 27, 1996 
HALL MARKS; Five Cowboys have impressive credentials for Hall of Fame
Bill Nichols

"Super Bowls are taken into account a lot," said Ira Miller of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm not sure they might not be given too much weight. If you look back, too many players from past Super Bowl teams have been put in because of their Super Bowl association."

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Florida Times-Union
November 18, 2004 
Jags WR stats call for hall?; Smith has been hot, but likely needs more catches, Super Bowl trip to join list of NFL's finest
Vito Stellino

Miller said he wouldn't vote for Smith.

"Every selection meeting for the last several years, we've been discussing wide receivers, and you can't be mesmerized by stats," Miller said. "If you just went by the stats, you wouldn't have to vote."

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The San Francisco Chronicle
December 18, 2005
A strong class; Aikman, White, Dean, Guy among the deserving in Hall vote
Ira Miller

Michael Irvin: You can almost trace the end of the Dallas dynasty to the day Irvin sustained a career-ending injury. Yet it's hard to put him in the Hall of Fame ahead of Art Monk, Bob Hayes or Cliff Branch, and Irvin hurt himself with many voters with his recent arrest on drug charges, which indicates to many he hasn't reformed.

Art Monk: Considered by some a numbers guy, but he piled up those numbers on three teams that won the Super Bowl with three different quarterbacks. His time is overdue.

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The San Francisco Chronicle
February 4, 2006
Hall voting needs to be as open as the discussion
Ira Miller

It's an honor to be chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame or even to be one of the 39 people who vote for it, but it's also such a secret society that no one knows what the vote totals are, let alone who votes for whom.

That secrecy is at the heart of a controversy among voters, who find themselves swamped with e-mails sent by irate fans, many of them in Washington and Dallas, complaining about Redskins and Cowboys who have not been elected.

Although the full committee generally goes along with the senior recommendations, election is far from automatic. As recently as two years ago, Dallas receiver Bob Hayes, whose speed helped revolutionize the game, was voted down.

Hayes is not on the ballot this year. But Washington's Art Monk, who played on three Super Bowl winners, is, and he and Hayes have been the key names that instigate the barrage of e-mail from Dallas and Washington fans.

The 39-man selection committee includes one media representative from each NFL franchise city except New York (which gets two representatives because it has two teams), six at-large members and the president of the Pro Football Writers of America. The group will begin meeting at 4:30 a.m. PST and reduce the ballot from 15 to 10, then from 10 to 6, in a series of votes.

The final six are voted on individually, needing at least 80 percent, or 32 of the 39 votes, for election. If fewer than three receive 80 percent, however, the three highest vote-getters will be enshrined.

Voting totals never are made public, not even to the voters. Some on the committee, including your correspondent, have campaigned for a more transparent voting procedure, especially since the secrecy of the voting seems to defeat the purpose of discussing the nominees openly in a meeting.

But Hall of Fame officials, who make the decisions concerning the rules, have resisted any attempt to open the procedure — or even to announce vote totals. They reason that they want all the Hall of Famers treated equally, a goal they believe would not be met if it were known who got the most votes and who got the fewest.

May 1, 2006

Jerry Magee

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 5:30 pm

Jerry Magee has been a sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1956, and he has covered the Chargers since the beginning of the franchise.  He has been honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is certainly one of the veterans of the voting committee.

Despite this long history, he isn't one to talk definitively about his voting preferences.  He's probably somewhere in the middle of the road about Art.

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The Washington Post
January 7, 1981
Charger Assistant The Right Man; The Right Man for the Redskins: Gibbs, Creator of Charger Attack
Dave Kindred

If you stand next to Joe Gibbs for one minute as he diagrams a big pass play in a moment of joy, you will know this: "The guy is lousy with class," said Jerry Magee, the veteran sportswriter of the San Diego Union. "It's unbelievable for anybody to be that good-looking, that bright, that moral and that good a football coach."

Everything Dan Fouts sees Magee talking to Gibbs, the record-setting quarterback shoos the writer away. "I want to keep Joe a secret," Fouts said, "or some team will hire him away." Magee: "Dan's kidding on the square there."

You get the idea. Joe Gibbs is a good guy. He is a born-again Christian. A model of decorum. A sweetheart with the press. A demanding coach who knows how to smile at the right times.

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Chicago Tribune
November 10, 1991
Stats would put Lofton in 'Hall'
Associated Press

But Jerry Magee, pro football writer for the San Diego Union, wouldn't speculate on Lofton's chances.

"He had a period where he wasn't very productive," he said. "I think guys in the Hall of Fame should play well all the time. I remember him dropping balls all over the place. And I can't say his personal life has been exemplary. Some guys pay attention to that."

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

Then come players such as Sterling Sharpe, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Irvin.

"He wouldn't be a slam dunk," said Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union Tribune. "I know he had a distinguished career, but so have a lot of other receivers.

"I'm an old-timer and I've covered some of the great receivers in the game. He doesn't rank with Alworth or Rice. He's borderline.

"Alworth was a superb receiver and a dynamic athlete. He could outrun and outjump Irvin. He could do anything athletically."

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The San Diego Union-Tribune
February 4, 2006
Hall of Fame Candidates
Jerry Magee

Russ Grimm, G, Washington Redskins One of "the Hogs." A meritorious candidate, but this list of finalists is a stellar one. Only six can be enshrined.

Claude Humphrey, DE, Atlanta Falcons See Grimm, above.

Michael Irvin, WR, Dallas Cowboys When push came to shove, Irvin too often was doing the shoving. Pushing off is supposed to be a no-no.

Bob Kuechenberg, G, Miami Dolphins There are Dolphins in the hall that were not his equal.

John Madden, coach, Oakland Raiders Not many men have done more to popularize the game of our times than Madden, and he could coach. In another era other than the one in which he operated, his teams arguably would have created a dynasty.

Art Monk, WR, Washington Redskins The consummate possession receiver, but one has to question if that alone qualifies one to have his bust cast in bronze.

Warren Moon, QB, many teams in two leagues, CFL and NFL Exemplary credentials, talent, class and longevity. He has to be in the hall.

Derrick Thomas, LB, Kansas City When he was in the mood, he excelled, but too often he seemed to disappear.

Thurman Thomas, RB, Buffalo Bills Anybody who broke a Jim Brown record by leading the league in rushing four consecutive years has to be respected. The man had thrust.

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