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
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.