This debate is wrong on a couple points. First, the voters have always been subject to lobbying. Otherwise, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth would never have gotten in after more than a decade of waiting. Harry Carson is the most recent example of a lobbying effort making a difference.
Also, nothing has changed about Art’s career, but the difference is the other nominees. Art lost out to Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, James Lofton, and Bob Hayes, and now he is in a battle with Michael Irvin. It’s not that Art didn’t deserve induction in 2001 or 2002, it’s that the voters chose other players.
August 2, 2006
Tanier and Smith debate 80’s WR’s
Smith: At this point, if Art Monk gets in I think it sets an awfully bad message, implying that Hall of Fame voters are subject to lobbying.
Tanier: Voters subject to lobbying? Two words: Elvin Bethea.
Smith: Nothing about Monk’s career has changed, and if he didn’t belong before, he doesn’t belong now. I just can’t get over the fact that through most of his career, Monk wasn’t even the first option in his team’s passing game.