Here’s an article from the American Enterprise Magazine, of all places. Skinsaphrenia! picked up on the article, and another blogger was recently considering modern-day receivers’ chances for the Hall:
The American Enterprise Online
July 28, 2006
Monk Deserves Induction
By David Damiani
And then there’s the notorious case of wide receiver Art Monk, who played between 1980 and 1995, primarily for the Washington Redskins. At one point late in his career, Monk held NFL records for most receptions in a season, most career receptions, and most consecutive games with a catch. He was considered a shoo-in for the Hall, so the Hall voters’ failure to induct him has become probably their biggest recent controversy.
Shunning the receiver with the greatest records prior to an explosion in reception totals in the mid-1990s has no logical merit. Indeed, it seems this statistical quirk, more than any other factor, keeps Monk out of the Hall; his 106 catches seem rather meaningless when there have been seasons where several receivers, including some forgettable ones, caught over 100. But a 106-catch season, for a run-oriented team with no credible #2 receiver, was phenomenal in 1984 when Monk broke a record that had stood for over 20 years, and it would be phenomenal now. Players must be evaluated in light of their eras; if we would keep Monk out of Canton because 940 receptions doesn’t seem so impressive now, then we would also have to excommunicate Lynn Swann, Paul Warfield, Don Maynard, and the like by extension of the argument. And how would we explain the inductions of the only two receivers whose careers were nearly contemporaneous with Monk’s—Steve Largent (1976-1989, 819 receptions) and James Lofton (1978-1993, 764 receptions)?
Hopefully, a vibrant online campaign for Monk’s induction will inspire Hall voters to reconsider Monk’s merits independent of more recent developments in passing offense, and to recognize his caliber as a receiver.
July 28, 2006
Annual HOF Debate Coming Soon
No matter how many times it’s been written, it will continue to get written even more and more and more. Especially that time of year when the NFL inducts the latest class into the Hall of Fame. Everyone knows, except SI’s Peter King and Paul Zimmerman that Art Monk belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Andy Benoit’s Blog
July 20, 2006
Hall of Fame Receivers: The Next Big Debate
There are only 17 players from the modern era in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The most recent inductee is James Loften, who retired in ’93 and was inducted in 2003.
Loften is third all-time in receiving yardage. Jerry Rice, of course, is No. 1 (his 22,895 yards dwarves history’s second-highest total of 14,934, held by Tim Brown). The only other Hall of Famer in the top 10 is Steve Largent, who is seventh with 13,089 yards receiving.
Recently, Andre Reed and Michael Irvin joined Art Monk, Henry Ellard, and Irving Fryer on the list of prolific wideouts who have not been invited to wear a yellow blazer in Canton. Considering all of these men (minus Irvin, who won three Supers Bowls in Dallas) rank among the top ten in NFL receiving history, one must wonder what exactly constitutes a Hall of Fame receiver?