The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

September 7, 2007

Rick Gosselin on Art Monk’s Pro Bowls and Superbowls

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:43 am

Dallas Morning News
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Rick Gosselin on the NFL
Rick Gosselin

From e-mail: When will Art Monk get in the Hall of Fame, and why isn’t he there now?


Rick Gosselin: The wide receiver queue is getting jammed up now with Monk and Andre Reed already there and both Cris Carter and Tim Brown soon to enter. We’ve had lively discussions about Monk and he’s been close. I think we as committee are having a difficult time defining what a Hall of Fame receiver is. Is it statistics? Is it championships? Is it impact? Monk played on three Super Bowl championship teams and wasn’t a Pro Bowl receiver in any of those three seasons. Yet the Redskins had a Pro Bowl wide receiver in each of those three seasons – Charlie Brown in 1982 and Gary Clark in both 1987 and 1991. I can’t imagine the Cowboys winning a Super Bowl in the 1990s without Michael Irvin as their go-to guy and Pro Bowl wide receiver.


  1. No, Mr. Monk was not a Pro Bowl selection in those years. In both ’82 and ’87 he was injured partway through the season. In ’91 he was ostensibly on the downside of his career, but he still meritted consideration, even though he was sharing catches with Sanders, Clark, etc. Monk always seemed to really step up for the ‘Skins when he was needed most. He had some really bad luck with those injuries, but take a look at Monk’s playoff stats and compare them to the soon to be eligible Cris Carter and Tim Brown. You’ll find that Monk performed in big spots at a higher level than either of these guys. Brown and Clark were very good receivers, but their best years were when Monk was taking the defense’s attention off of them. Monk was not full strength in Super Bowl XXII, but he still was the recipient of Doug Williams’ first completion (a 40-yarder). Clark could’ve stepped up big in that game, but it was Sanders who set the Super Bowl record. When Monk was out for the ’82-’83 playoff run, it was Alvin Garrett, not Charlie Brown, who had the bigger impact. Monk seemed to accel even when every person in the stadium knew the ball was coming his way. That sounds like a Hall of Famer to me.

    Comment by remember the redskins — September 8, 2007 @ 7:48 am

  2. By making the statement that two more eligible receivers are coming up for voters and that is a viable reason to eliminate Monk as a candidate is like saying that candidates are not considered by their own merit. Wow, that would eliminate many previous HOF inductees. Maybe Charlie Sanders of the Lions should be removed and replaced with Jerry Rice because Rice was better. This type of veiwpoint will destroy the integrity of the HOF. Individual merit is the only course of action when considering a candidate.

    I have yet to hear one Football expert give credit to Art Monk for the quality of defenses that he regularly faced and still put up HOF numbers against. Buddy Ryan’s Eagles, the Cowboy Superbowl teams, and the Giants with Bill Parcel and Lawrence Taylor. These were Superbowl talented teams that blew through the League with 7 Super Bowl WINS (not appearances) in 10 years. Monk helped the Redskins to 4 SB appearences during that time, and of course they WON three times. You cannot say Jerry Rice’s divisional opponents blew throught the league in his hayday. Does that mean Jerry is less of a receiver than Monk? Absolutely Not! Rice should be judged by his own merit for his total career. He has earned a spot in the HOF. But his merit should not play a part in any other eligible receivers’ merit down the road.

    Monk quietly let his play speak for him. He has 3 SB rings. His stats are excellent. He held the #1 spot in several all time receiving records at one time or another. He was never one to ‘showboat’ in ‘Primetime’ and is unfortunately being ripped off by the HOF committee because of it.

    Comment by Roy Shields — September 18, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  3. In considering Monk vs. Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, it should be noted that Monk’s personal playoff stats are the best of the bunch. His yards per game, catches per game, and yards per catch numbers beat out those of Carter, Brown, and Reed. Carter and Reed have Very Small advantages in TDs per game, while Monk beats out Brown even in this category. Playoff TD numbers are close, even though all of these other guys played in passing-first offenses, while Monk’s Redskins teams were power running teams at heart. If you compare each of these guys’ numbers in NFC/AFC Championship games, Monk sweeps ALL categories, outgaining the next best candidate by nearly 40 YARDS a game!
    Not only this, but Monk and the Redskins faced Much better competition in their playoff games. If you compare these candidates based on the number of Super Bowl winners and losers they played during their post season exploits, you’ll find that Monk and the ‘Skins come out WAY on top.
    Consider these purely anectdotal facts: Carter and the Vikings lost their two NFC Championship game appearances to the Chris Chandler-led Atlanta Falcons and the Kerry Collins-led NY Giants. Monk and the ‘Skins NEVER lost a playoff game to a team that was more than 2 years removed from a Super Bowl championship. I’ve created a statistic to compare the greatness of playoff opponents called the POGQ (playoff opponent greatness quotient) which I will not trouble you with here. Suffice to say, Monk and the ‘Skins win out in that comparison. Not only that, the teams who Monk and the ‘Skins faced in the playoffs actually had a higher regular season winning percentage than those faced by Carter, Brown or Reed.

    So Monk put up better personal playoff numbers, while his team was winning a higher percentage of their playoff games, against stronger playoff competition, and bringing home Super Bowl rings.
    All those pro bowls these other guys went to must look pretty insignificant.

    I have prepared a powerpoint presentation on this subject. If the person running this site would like a copy, please e-mail me and let me know where I can send it as an attachment.

    Comment by remember the redskins — September 28, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  4. First off, he may not have been in the Pro Bowl in any of his three Super Bowl runs but he did visit Hawaii 3 times as a Washington Redskin. Plus, he had 940 catches when he retired not to mention 12,000 sum odd yards and was the leading reciever when he did retire after the 1995 season.

    Comment by Scott Sims — November 11, 2007 @ 12:30 am

  5. He (Art Monk) was the statistical leader of all the recievers he is finalists with for the Hall of Fame balloting. According, to his game film and his stats at the end of his illustrious career have him as a first ballot Hall of Famer. I may just be 14, but I do research on all the best Redskins of the past. So with that said, I think Art Monk should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. Here’s another stat for you, he lead recieving for the redskins in yards in all three of their Super Bowl runs.

    Comment by Scott Sims — November 11, 2007 @ 12:36 am

  6. To comments #4 and #5. “He (Art Monk) was the statistical leader of all the recievers he is finalists with for the Hall of Fame balloting”. ONLY when you look at his receptions. When it comes to yards, yards per catch and touchdowns Monk ranks low. In touchdowns and yards per catch, Monk is very, very, low.

    Why is it Monk fans concentrate only on ONE receiving statistic? He only went to 3 Pro Bowls in 16 years. The NFC takes 4 wide receivers every year. So, a player has to be voted in by his peers and has to be one of hte top 4.

    Are you telling us that Monk was one of the top 4 in the NFC only 3 times? That does not even include the top 4 from the AFC? He’s a “TOP 8” guy 3 times in 16 years. Something’s wrong with that when it comes to the “all-time” greats.

    Comment by Tom Ness — November 14, 2007 @ 12:33 am

  7. First of all Tom, it seems weird to me for people to be complaining about Monk’s yardage stats. He still ranks 11th in receiving yards all-time! Wanna complain about his Yards per catch? OK. His ypc is better than both Cris Carter’s and Marvin Harrison’s! His playoffs ypc is better than that of Carter, Irvin, Rice, Tim Brown, or Andre Reed! TDs? I find myself wondering where his TD numbers might have been if he’d played in a pass-first offense like ALL of the guys I just mentioned except Irvin, who Monk had more TDs than anyway.
    Monk’s playoff Yards per Game stat is better than: Cris Carter, Steve Largent, Lance Alworth, Tim Brown, Gary Clark, Boyd Dowler, Henry Ellard, Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Charlie Joiner, James Lofton, Don Maynard, Andre Reed, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, and Charley Taylor.
    That list includes 9 guys who are already in the Hall, 4 guys who are probably still going to get in, and about 12 Super Bowl rings.

    As for the Pro Bowl? Don’t make me laugh. The Pro Bowl is for losers who can’t win real games. Nobody cares about the Pro Bowl. Lots of the players don’t even want to show up for it. Nobody watches it. The voting has always been suspect, no matter who was doing it. There are at least three different years that Monk could have easily been voted in when he wasn’t. Does anybody really think that Mark Carrier was EVER a better player than Monk? The year Carrier was voted in, the next best WR on that 5-11 Tampa team had 50 catches for 673 yards. Nobody else was really being thrown the ball! Monk was sharing catches with Gary Clark, Ricky Sanders, and Earnest Byner, ALL of whom had more than 50 catches that year! And the Redskins were 10-6! Carrier being voted in ahead of Monk was a total joke.
    But it’s hard to get too worried about Pro Bowls when you’ve got 3 Super Bowl rings, and your playoff numbers are better than a lot of the guys you’re up against. The proof’s in the pudding, as they say.
    As you can see, we Monk fans are not only concerned with one stat. Is that the stat where Monk’s quality really stands out most obviously? sure. But if you think that’s where his quality ends, you’re sadly mistaken.

    Comment by remember the redskins — November 14, 2007 @ 11:35 am

  8. I think “remember the Redskins”, in his reposne to me is disrespectful, arrogant, and innaccurate. Yards-per catch: He says it is better than Marvin Harrison and Cris Carter. Neither are in the Hall of Fame. Also, both have double what Monk has in touchdowns. You Monk people pick and choose your stats very carefully, don’t you. On the one hand you say “Monk was #1 in catches, then yell it, “MONK WAS #1”. Then when a counterpoint is made you get ugly and pull out somehting that is not 100% true.

    Those who point out flaws are honest people who are point out inconsistencies.

    Then you dismiss touchdowns. 68 TD is not many for a guy hwo caught 940 passes. The Redksins offense passed plenty and WRs on the Redskins caught plenty ofTD passes, just not Monk. Why?

    Then you insult the Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl is not for losers whocannot win real games, the Pro Bowl is where the best of the best get votedto play in an all-star game. That is the reason it is important. Also, when Monk played it was voted upon by Monk’s peers.

    Then you pull one one example, thwn Mark Carrier made it. The point is Lots of receiverd were abke to make lots of Pro Bowls, why not Monk?

    Why is it when you Monk people have a negative point to address you get all nasty?

    If this is theb est you can do, then Monk better get some new friends, because if you keep being ugly and then dismiss the points of people who are being honest then you will hurt Monk. Maybe all your bitching is hurting Monk, No?

    Comment by Tom Ness — November 15, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

  9. Tom-
    I’m sorry if you felt that my response was nasty. The only part that seems all that chippy is in reference to the Pro Bowl, not to you. Let’s keep in mind that your first message was a challenge to a 14 year old.

    I just happen to feel that the Pro Bowl is pretty inconsistent in its validity. I understand that others may feel differently.

    Are there parts of Monk’s resume that are weaker than others? Sure there are. If you look hard enough, you will find weaknesses on the resumes of just about every guy who was ever inducted. Guys like Steve Largent and Charlie Joiner never made it to a Super Bowl. Guys like Swann and Stallworth had low overall career stats. These weaknesses were not enough to keep them out of the Hall of Fame, because their careers were so strong in other ways. This is the point. In the past, players appear to have been inducted based on the great things they acheived, not held out because of one or two things which they did not acheive.
    We Monk supporters believe that he acheived great things in service of his team. Unlike Joiner and Largent, he did play in and win Super Bowls (113 yards in SB XXVI). Unlike Swann and Stallworth, he had impressive overall career numbers (he finished his career with more TDs and yards than either of them and more catches than both of them combined; and oh, by the way, each of them also played in only 3 Pro Bowls).
    When we have brought these facts to the attention of the voters, we have been told that this or that writer wouldn’t have voted for those guys. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and saw quite a lot of Largent and Joiner in particular. I find it unfathomable that any reasonable person would not have voted for them. We continue to be told that Monk’s ypc is not high enough, but both Carter and Harrison have, so far, been treated like they are shoo-ins for induction when they come up. This is, in part, because of players like Monk, who have influenced the position of Wide Receiver to be played differently.
    I don’t dismiss Touchdowns. I merely point out that Monk had more career TDs than several guys who are already enshrined, and I have already brought up a valid point about the style of offense these different guys played in.

    I don’t mean to make you think that I am not listening, it’s just that we’ve heard all of this before.

    Comment by remember the redskins — November 16, 2007 @ 11:31 am

  10. Look,

    I think Monk is getting in this year, I really do. If not his year, then next year. I think he’s a worthy candidate. I just don’t think his waiting a few years is a great injustice. Lots of great players didn’t get in right away.

    That being said, I view Monk as very similar to Charlie Joiner, except with Super Bowl rights. That gives Monk the edge.

    WIth the change is passing rules in 1978, the game changed so much that WR numbers have to be examined closely and I think that is why it is taking this long.

    Also, Darrell Green is going to get in right away, so there will maybe to 2 Redskins that get in this year

    Comment by Tom Ness — November 16, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

  11. wow, that would be great. I sure hope you’re right.
    My feeling is that a lot of us were surprised, but not too concerned the first few years that he didn’t get in. Our level of concern grew as the years went on and guys like Carter and Rice and Brown began to loom. We have limited trust in the voters understanding the change in receiver numbers as a historical event and Monk’s unique place in that evolution. Then Irvin got in ahead of Monk last year and a lot of us went a little bonkers. Our best hope this year is to convince the voters that it would be no big deal to make Cris Carter wait a couple of years and to put in Monk this year. Next year brings Jerry Rice, who is a first ballot guy. The voters tend not to put in more than one guy per position recently, so the situation is very delicate. We have been waiting to see Monk honored for seven years now, and we’re getting nervous.

    Comment by remember the redskins — November 17, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  12. Well, a job well done and woth the wait. I think Monk deserves to be in and that his wait was not unjust. Carter waiting a year or two is also not an injustice, given his low yards-per-catch.

    I think Monk handled himself well (unlike Darrell Green, who was a jerk to everyone in Canton) and the ovation was very nice.

    I think in the end the process worked. The voters gave Monk a long look and it was found he belonged. Justice was served. I don’t think even the most ardent Monk fans would think he’s in the Jetty Rice–first ballot category.

    I think this website helped Monk and those involved deserved some credit. Good job.

    Comment by Tom Ness — August 14, 2008 @ 12:49 am

  13. I’m interested by Tom’s comment about DG. I read some whining in the Canton paper about Green not participating in the ($200 a head) autograph session in favor of his own event, but I didn’t hear any other complaints about him. What else are you referring to?

    Comment by remember the redskins — August 19, 2008 @ 7:02 am

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