The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

July 28, 2006

More Buzz about Art and the Hall of Fame

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 12:31 am

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
David Gaines

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
Andy Benoit

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?

July 20, 2006

07-20-06: Blogging about Monk

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 2:31 am

A good number of bloggers have written about Art Monk and the Hall of Fame over the past few weeeks.  Here’s two:

July 3, 2006
Lynn Swann and Art Monk Fighting for Votes
David Gaines

Every year as the Hall of Fame game approaches, we are reminded of those who still haven’t been chosen to be inducted. As a Redskins fan, we’ll cringe when we watch countless replays of a Cowboy (Troy Aikman), an Eagle (Reggie White) and a Giant (Harry Carson) as they get inducted, and fume when we wonder why Art Monk still hasn’t been selected. And our finger-pointing unintentionally gets directed to another WR who is in the Hall of Fame, Lynn Swann.

Hall of Famer Lynn Swann caught 604 less passes than Art Monk. As a matter of fact, Monk caught 393 passes in his first six years in the league compared to Lynn Swann’s career total of 336 in nine years. Just for numbers sake, Art Monk caught 31% of Lynn Swann’s career total in just one year!

Hall of Famer Lynn Swann had 7,259 less yards than Art Monk. That’s like an entire career’s worth of yards. As a matter of fact, it’s more than Lynn Swann caught in his career! Lynn Swann’s 5,462 doesn’t come close to Art Monk’s 12,721. How about this: Art Monk’s five 1,000-yard seasons is still 439 yards more than Lynn Swann’s Career. Lynn Swann never caught more than 900 yards in a season. He averaged 606 yards a season compared to Art Monk’s 795 yards, which includes a year in which he only played in three games for 114 yards. Take out that fluke statistical season and Art Monk averaged 840 yards.

As far as being in the league’s all-time top 50 in any categories, Lynn Swann is in no category. Art Monk is 5th in receptions, 9th in receiving yards, 27th in yards from scrimmage and tied for 29th in receiving TDs. Again, Lynn Swann is in none.

The one stat Lynn Swann leads in is number of replays of his acrobatic catches in the Super Bowl. Well, has anyone ever thought maybe it’s because the non-Hall of Fame QBs that Art Monk played with just didn’t throw that many bad passes? Is it Art Monk’s fault the ball hit him in the chest?

This isn’t a referendum on whether Lynn Swann belongs in the Hall of Fame or not. He was a playmaker. He was a game-changer. He was and still is very charismatic. This is simply a plea for the voters to review the facts and realize that Art Monk is not only Hall of Fame material, but he was a greater WR than Lynn Swann.

July 6, 2006
Peter Kings Likes Cowboy With His Latte

Without question, Michael Irvin should already be in the football Hall of Fame. As you said, with 750 catches for a three-time Super Bowl winner, he should be a gimmie. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t Art Monk be a lock because he has 900 catches for, again, a three-time Super Bowl winner?

I understand, and respect, your argument that Irvin was a locker room leader. Somebody had to sling the ‘ye to the other 44 guys in there. And, if not for Irvin, where but the bosoms and bare asses of naked strippers would Cowboys players have blown those lines? For that alone the man deserves a wing in Canton!

Seriously though (not that that up there wasn’t serious, it just seemed like a good transitionary phrase), I’m sure Irvin was a good leader in the locker room. Things like that should be taken into question when discussing a player’s Hall worthiness. Yet I’m nearly certain you’d say “Art Monk wasn’t an imporant a leader for the Redskins,” while dismissing his candidacy. And that, Peter, like telling your readers about your bowel movements, is just not cool.

Many factors, including loudness, more loudness, an affinity for the spotlight and thick-pinstriped suits, come into play when discussing Irvin’s leadership ability. Monk was different though.

He commanded respect through a quiet, workman-like attitude. This rubbed off on Joe Gibbs’ teams that didn’t have a swagger like those Cowboys teams, yet won just as much. Those Redskins simply went out and did their jobs quietly and won three Super Bowls in the process. Art Monk might never have led a rah-rah speech before the NFC Championship Game, but his quiet presence did just as much as Irvin’s loquacious rants.

Leaders lead in different ways. Patton was in his soldier’s faces. Grant was more unassuming. Both were among the best generals this country has ever had.
Michael Irvin belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But Art Monk needs to be in there first.

July 6, 2006

07-06-06 News: Dr. Z’s hate mail and some love from Nebraska

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 3:49 pm

Sports Illustrated
July 6, 2006
Showing up is half the battle
Paul Zimmerman

Now we come to a point that I’ve answered, oh, maybe, 5,000 times, but for the sake of poetic integrity, let me repeat the e-mail that Jimmy, who learned his trade from the Marquis de Sade, saw fit to torment me with … make that with which to torment me: “I hate you with a passion so deep, and I will continue to do so until you come to your senile senses, quit writing about wine in a sports magazine and put Art Monk in the hall.” Dear Dan of Silver Spring, Md.: Catching 800 eight-yard hooks does not make a Hall of Famer, which is the same reply I’ve given your two or three other correspondences … you remember, the ones you wrote on toilet paper in crayon.

Big Red Network
July 3, 2006
Former Husker Worthy of Recognition
Steve Hanway

In perhaps the closest thing the NFL has to a “Pete Rose” controversy, former Washington Redskin receiver Art Monk has been shut out of the Hall of Fame despite some impressive credentials. Art Monk never spoke to the press in his career and some believe that the Hall of Fame committee, made up of members of the press, is getting payback and perhaps sending a not-so-subtle message to other athletes that they either need to speak up or they will be shut out.

Sports Illustrated columnist and Hall of Fame voter Peter King is often labeled as the main opponent to Monk’s enshrinement. Among King’s criticisms have been that Monk wasn’t usually the most feared receiver on his own team, that his yards per catch were not that high, and that a number of players that came along after him were likely to surpass his career totals. However, faced with a constant barrage of “How can you leave Art Monk out of the Hall of Fame?” mail, King recently vowed to step back and approach Monk’s career once again with an open mind. Like Monk, one former Husker also deserves a double-take from Husker fans.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics they say, but in [Ken] Clark’s case the numbers don’t lie. Like Monk, he is an all-timer who was so consistent he gets taken for granted. Hopefully, things are rectified soon for Monk with the Hall of Fame and that Husker fans can remember the contributions of one of the most consistently productive backs Nebraska ever had.

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