February 3, 2007
Monk Misses Hall of Fame Cut
Art Monk, the Washington Redskins wide receiver who was in his seventh year of eligibility, was not chosen.
Irvin, the former Dallas Cowboys receiver, who won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, got in on his third try. Irvin pleaded no contest in 1996 to felony cocaine possession. Four years later, he was arrested on drug possession charges, but they were later dropped.
The 40 Hall voters were criticized by two of Irvin’s former teammates, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, for previously bypassing the wideout, who retired in 1999.
They didn’t ignore him this time.
Tagliabue was eliminated in the first round of voting.
Also voted in were running back Thurman Thomas, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, defensive back Roger Wehrli and two nominees of the veterans’ committee — tight end Charlie Sanders and guard Gene Hickerson.
Those who argued passionately for Monk’s induction had been frustrated in recent years when he’d been included among the finalists for consideration but hadn’t been elected. Monk, 49, played for the Redskins between 1980 and ’93. He had 106 catches, then a single-season NFL record, in 1984. When he retired in 1995 after a season with the New York Jets and part of a season with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was the leading receiver in league history with 940 catches. Those records since have been surpassed but his coach, Joe Gibbs, regularly praised him as the model of reliability for the highly successful Redskins teams of his era.
Those who opposed Monk’s candidacy in previous years argued that he didn’t have enough signature moments in his career. Monk’s candidacy also might have been undermined by a reluctance to speak to reporters during his career.
The Hall’s board of selectors consists of one media representative from each pro football city with two from New York. A 33rd member is a representative of the Pro Football Writers of America and there are seven at-large delegates.
“A good man and legitimate Hall of Famer is being denied entry for reasons we never know, by people who secretly vote. Art Monk is a Hall of Famer by any measure. This is not right.” — Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder
“I’m disappointed that Art wasn’t recognized for election into the Hall of Fame today, but I remain confident that he will be recognized for all the positive contributions he has brought to the game. I can’t think of a more deserving player or person that possesses more Hall of Fame credentials than Art.” — Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs
February 3, 2007
Zimmerman must wait for Hall call
Voted in as the class of 2007 were wide receiver Michael Irvin, running back Thurman Thomas, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, defensive back Roger Wehrli and two nominees of the veterans’ committee – tight end Charlie Sanders and guard Gene Hickerson.
The 40-member panel deliberated Saturday to determine who among the 17 finalists would be enshrined. Two votes were taken, reducing the finalists from 17 to 11 and then from 10 to six finalists, who were each voted on individually.
Finalists Paul Tagliabue, Russ Grimm, Ray Guy, Bob Kuechenberg, Andre Reed and Zimmerman lost out in the first reduction vote. Fred Dean, Richard Dent, Art Monk, Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippett lost out on the second reduction ballot.