The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

February 3, 2008

Monk ‘Humbled’ By Hall Inclusion

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 3:21 am

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/02/AR2008020202391.html?hpid=topnews
Monk ‘Humbled’ By Hall Inclusion
The Washington Post
February 3, 2008
Jason Reid

After many years waiting for a phone call that never came, Art Monk focused on work to distract himself each time another group was elected to the Hall of Fame. But Monk, a longtime standout wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, had to change his routine yesterday when he was among six former players, including Redskins teammate Darrell Green, voted into this season’s class.

Monk received a standing ovation as he entered a Dupont Circle hotel to attend a news conference that former Redskins defensive end Charles Mann arranged to honor his friend. Strangers congratulated Monk as he maneuvered through the crowded lobby, thanking him for his consistency in a 16-year career that included 14 seasons and four Super Bowls (three victories) with the Redskins.

Monk was unable to finish the project he started yesterday, but he didn’t seem to mind.”I never really expected this to happen even though there was the anticipation of it happening the past several years,” Monk said as he addressed family, friends and reporters. “I just sort of let it get by me without trying to notice it, but I’m extremely excited about the induction. I’m also extremely humbled at the same time.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined myself, as a little boy, getting to this point. Whether I actually deserve to be here or not is for [others] to determine. This is always something that was very [unattainable] for me growing up, playing in the NFL and obviously being considered a Hall of Famer. It’s a great honor.”

Two weeks ago, at a dinner hosted by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams hugged Monk and said: “This is it. You are getting in this time.”

An eight-time finalist, Monk, 50, had not given up hope of being elected. For his peace of mind, however, Monk needed to distract himself yesterday. He said he didn’t watch the selection show.

“I was home just doing some work,” he said. “Typically at this time of the year, I just put my mind someplace else. I watch TV, I go out and do something, just trying to keep myself busy. I just tried to keep my mind off of it.”

Monk should have been elected long ago, Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs said, because of his importance to Gibbs’s success in his first stint with the organization.

“One of the things on Art’s behalf is that he sacrificed for the team,” Gibbs, who resigned as team president and coach Jan. 8, said from North Carolina during a telephone interview. “As most people know, we used three wide receivers, but Art was the inside portion of the three wide receivers. We used him in there blocking a lot. And a lot of the passes he caught were across the middle, they were shorter passes, and he actually sacrificed so much for the team.

“If we had played him outside, his average per catch and everything would have gone up. The fact that he was so important to us, and he was a big receiver, we used him in a blocking role in there. He was unselfish, he sacrificed for the team, and obviously he did a lot for us. Obviously, all three of those guys [Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders] were fantastic for us, they all played huge roles. But I’m just thrilled that Art, after this long wait, finally got in. With his numbers and everything that he had, and particularly what he did for us . . . he was deserving.”

Monk was the first player with more than 900 career receptions, finishing his career as the NFL’s all-time leader with 940. Jerry Rice broke Monk’s reception mark during the 1995 season.

Monk, Washington’s first-round selection in the 1980 draft, also had 12,721 career receiving yards and 68 touchdown catches. He was a three-time all-pro selection (1984, ’85, ’86) and was voted to the 1980s all-decade team.

“And the numbers might have been a lot different if we were a passing team,” said Mann, Monk’s business partner in Alliant Merchant Services, an electronic payment services company. “We were also a running team. We had the threat to go deep, but Joe always had the threat to go deep so that we could run the ball. You can’t be a physical team if you’re only throwing the ball down the field.

Gibbs “always had the threat of throwing so he could always run you into submission. That was the offense that we ran. Art was subjected to that. But you know what? Art was Mr. Third Down. If you needed a third down and six or seven yards, he was the guy. He didn’t get the long bombs all the time. He got the for-sure catch to keep a drive alive.”

For Monk, being elected to the Hall of Fame with Green “just makes it even more special to know that Darrell’s in there with me. We had a lot of special times out there on the field. Even more importantly to myself and to him, was our relationship off the field.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together working within this community serving the underserved. We fellowship together at the same church. Our families are very close. Our children call each other aunts and uncles. It’s just really special to know not only that we’re in, but we’re going in together.”

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http://washingtontimes.com/article/20080203/SPORTS01/502866906/1001
Green, Monk, Thomas elected to Hall of Fame
The Washington Times
February 3, 2008
David Elfin

PHOENIX — Darrell Green said it best after he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday in his first year of eligibility, along with longtime Washington Redskins teammate Art Monk and former Redskins assistant coach Emmitt Thomas.

“It’s a Redskin day, baby,” Green exulted here after the selections were announced. “Everyone said, ‘You’re a shoo-in,’ but I never embraced that. And that’s how I think I was able to play at a high level for so long.

“Before they ever paid me $120,000 my rookie year, I was already overpaid. My whole career I was overpaid, overrespected and overcared for.”

Green, 48, set franchise records with 20 seasons and 54 interceptions when he was selected for seven Pro Bowls, the last one when he was 37 years old.

He had his signature moments when he ran down Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett from behind in his 1983 debut on “Monday Night Football” and when he returned a punt for a touchdown with pulled rib muscles to upset the Bears in frigid Chicago in a 1987 playoff game.

Monk, 50, played the first 14 of his 16 seasons in Washington.

Although Charlie Brown, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders at times made more plays downfield, Monk once held the NFL records for career catches, catches in a season and consecutive games with a catch.

In the 1984 finale against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monk set a season record by catching 11 passes, including a 20-yarder on a fourth-and-18 that helped give the Redskins a 29-27 playoff-clinching victory.

“We asked Art to block and run inside routes that took away some of his average per catch,” said former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who praised the character of Green and Monk. “Art was always unselfish, whatever it took to be a great teammate.”

Monk was Washington’s first pick in the 1980 draft, as Green was three years later for the defending champion Redskins.

They were teammates in three more Super Bowls. Thomas, who coached both men, joined them for the latter two title games, both Redskins victories. He was elected as a Seniors Committee candidate.

“I’m so excited we’re going in together,” Green said. “This is just so special. I want to say how much I appreciate the Washington Redskins and [then-General Manager] Bobby Beathard. People said how crazy it was to draft a guy who’s almost not as tall as the podium from Texas A&I.

“I walked on to the junior varsity in 11th grade. I walked on at Texas A&I,” he said. “I started one game that year and went home for a year and a half because of homesickness. I went back and, three years later, I was drafted.

“We went to the Super Bowl my first year,” Green said. “I didn’t do free agency. I was healthy enough to stay there, and the city embraced me. I was played in one city, raised my kids there and served my community for 20 years. I’m a very blessed human.”

Monk, who attends the same church as Green, felt the same way, despite having been denied as a finalist the previous seven years.

Monk credited previous Redskins Hall of Fame receivers Charley Taylor, his position coach for much of his career, and Bobby Mitchell, then the team’s assistant general manager, for helping him reach this point.

“I’m a little short on words right now,” Monk said by telephone. “I wasn’t really expecting this. I’ve always taken the attitude that if it happens, it happens. It would have been nice to get in first year, second, third year. But it’s a great honor. I’m excited about going into the Hall with [Darrell] and, of course, Emmitt.”

Thomas said he didn’t change Green’s fearless style when he became his position coach in 1987.

“Emmitt and [defensive coordinator Richie] Petitbon with Coach Gibbs’ blessing, they created a defense around me being the matchup guy,” Green said of always covering the top opposing receiver.

In one fell swoop, the Redskins of Gibbs’ first era leapt from having just one Hall of Fame player — running back John Riggins, who retired after the 1985 season before the third and fourth Super Bowls — to three, plus Gibbs. Taylor and Thomas were both elected as players.

“That era, I took such great pride in being a part of that,” the recently re-retired Gibbs said in a conference call yesterday. “You hope we’ll go ahead and have others who will be honored.”

Guard Russ Grimm, who played for the Redskins from 1981 to 1991, was a finalist for the fourth straight year. Grimm was eliminated in the initial reduction from 15 to 10 modern-era candidates.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who had criticized the selectors in previous years, was beaming at the announcement yesterday.

“I’ve been upset every year that Art didn’t get recognition,” Snyder said. “I’m thrilled that we’re finally at the point where the recognition is there. All of those disappointments go away pretty quickly with this announcement. It’s spectacular.”

February 2, 2008

Fellow receivers support Monk

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 5:32 pm

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080202/SPORTS01/192121085/1023
Fellow receivers support Monk
Washington Times
February 2, 2008
David Elfin

PHOENIX — Four of the NFL’s all-time great receivers believe Art Monk shouldn’t even be up for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today.

Each of them says the former Washington Redskins star already should have a bust in Canton, Ohio.

“It’s clear cut,” said former Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed, another one of the 17 finalists. “The guy was the standard for NFL receivers for years. He should have been in the Hall five years ago.”

Reed’s endorsement is echoed by former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, who said his election last year lost a little something when Monk fell short for the seventh time.

“As great as it was for me last year going into the Hall, that held a hole for me,” Irvin said. “I don’t think I necessarily deserved to be in before Art. How is it you can be No. 1 [in all-time catches as Monk was from 1992 to 1995] and not be in the Hall?”

The receiver whom Monk surpassed to be No. 1 — as well as the one who passed him and still ranks first — remain equally mystified by Monk’s omission.

“Art was a great receiver,” Hall of Famer Steve Largent said. “He was a playmaker and a leader on teams that won three Super Bowls. Of course he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

When he retired after the 1995 season, Monk held the records for career catches (940), catches in a season (106) and consecutive games with a catch (164).

Jerry Rice broke each of those records, but he doesn’t see how there’s a question about Monk’s spot in Canton.

“People want to question some of Art’s numbers,” said Rice, who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010. “He was incredibly productive for a very long time. What more do people want? He’s a Hall of Famer.”

Only eight Hall of Famers have more touchdown catches than Monk’s 68, but Reed caught 87 and newly eligible receiver Cris Carter had 130.

Only James Lofton and Largent have more yards among Hall of Famers than Monk’s 12,721, but Reed had 13,198 and Carter had 13,899.

And while Monk’s 940 catches are more than any enshrinee, Reed caught 951 passes and Carter had 1,101. But their careers lasted five and seven seasons longer, respectively, into the era that featured more wide-open offenses.

“You have to look at a player in his time,” said former Redskins linebacker Andre Collins, Monk’s teammate from 1990 to 1993. “Art was the best of the best in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Rice supporters probably would argue that point, and he has the Super Bowl hardware to match and pass Monk. 

But Irvin has an answer for those who question Monk’s lack of “signature moments” or his impact.

“We have a limited picture of what talent is,” Irvin said. “We like to think of talent as how high somebody jumps or how fast he runs. People talk about big plays. Big plays can be the catch for a first down on third-and-9 with the game on the line. People say what was Art’s flagship mark? His mark was the consistency of his play.”

While Monk is, at least indirectly, competing against Reed, Carter and former Redskins teammate Darrell Green, the lone cornerback among the finalists.

That should help Green’s candidacy, as should such memorable plays as chasing down Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett in his 1983 debut and his punt return touchdown to beat the Chicago Bears in a 1987 playoff game.

“Darrell was one of the best,” Rice said. “He was like a little gnat. You couldn’t get away from him.”

Irvin said Green, whom he battled twice a year during his 12-year career, should be a lock after playing a record 20 years at cornerback and making seven Pro Bowls, the last at 37 years old.

“Darrell was the first guy to say, ‘Show me your baddest man, and I’m eliminating him,’ ” Irvin said. “He was the first shutdown corner.”

While Monk’s chances for election are cloudy and Green’s are strong, the outlook is less optimistic for former Redskins guard Russ Grimm, a finalist for a fourth straight year after not advancing that far in his first eight years of eligibility.

Grimm is hindered by the injuries that limited him to 11 seasons, eight as a starter, and by the presence of more decorated offensive linemen Gary Zimmerman and Randall McDaniel on the ballot.

On Groundhog Day, Another Chance to Do Right by Hall

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 12:06 am

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/01/AR2008020102914.html
Four Local Football Heroes Vie for Induction Into the Hall of Fame, and There’s a Case for Each
Washington Post
February 1, 2008
Leonard Shapiro

PHOENIX — On Saturday morning, I’ll be heading into my 25th selection meeting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on a day when I’ll also be celebrating a birthday. Here’s hoping three of the finest players in Redskins history, not to mention a former Georgetown basketball star, will mark Groundhog’s Day, 2008, as a memorable date in their own lives.

Art Monk, Darrell Green and Russ Grimm are among 15 modern-era finalsts to be discussed by the selection committee as possible members of the Hall’s Class of 2008. The old Hoya in question, Paul Tagliabue — once a skinny New Jersey kid with very sharp elbows — always will be better remembered as the long-time NFL commissioner, a visionary deep thinker who guided the league to the loftiest of heights as the most powerful sports entity on the planet in the 21st Century.

Green has to be considered the only lock among the four candidates with ties to the Washington area. It’s his first year of eligibility, and the fact that he played 20 years on that lonely island all cornerbacks inhabit should be enough to attract voters to his cause. Of course, he also played the position at an extremely high level, and likely could have been a Devon Hester-like return man if Joe Gibbs would have risked it more often, making his candidacy even more appealing.Grimm will get in some day, but it may not be Saturday, not with four offensive linemen on the ballot, three of them finalists for far longer than Grimm has been. That trio includes Miami’s Bob Keuchenberg, who will move from modern day candidate to the senior category if he’s not voted in on Saturday.

Tagliabue should been elected last year, following his retirement after the 2005 season, no questions asked. You can’t write the history of the league without his name in the first paragraph, right after the first sentence on Pete Rozelle.

While the owners adored him for what he did for their bottom lines, he was a corporate lawyer by training and temperament, far from media friendly. Sadly, judging from the tone of the discussion a year ago, some media members on the selection panel are not going to be particularly friendly toward him again this year.

Shame on voters for making Tagliabue’s candidacy personal and not professional. His absence from the Hall diminishes the institution, as well as the selectors who insist on keeping him out.

Once again, Monk’s supporters — present company included — will point out all the relevant reasons he should have been voted in a long time ago. The statistical evidence is indisputable, from being the league’s all-time leading receiver when he retired, to the consecutive games with a reception, to being a member of four Super Bowl teams, three of which won championships.

More significant was what he meant to the franchise. Gibbs has described him as the heart and soul of so many of those teams, the quiet leader who may not have been chatty with the press corps but talked with his actions. He set an example with his rigorous offseason training regime, unselfish — often lethal — downfield blocking, his refusal to moan about not going deep as often as Gary Clarke or the Smurfs and his occasional brief, but powerful locker room talks to teammates in times of crisis.

In an age when wide receivers are constantly pounding their chests, preening for cameras and performing tiresome “look-at-me” diva routines, Monk was a player who shied from the glare of the spotlight and preferred to do his talking with deeds, not words or choreographed touchdown celebrations.

Monk frequently chose not to be interviewed, not because he was rude or a jerk, but because he felt uncomfortable talking about himself. He was a shy and private, and most reporters on the beat at Redskins Park generally respected his decision to stay far from the newspapers and cameras. Still, it must be said that there were plenty of times when he did sit for an interview if he felt he had something important to say.

You’d like to think that selectors in the room who were rebuffed by his silent treatment when they came to town to write the “Monk” profile stories editors demanded might not hold that against him. Again, shame on them.

Monk has also been the victim of a system that often sees worthy candidates stall because votes are split between players at the same position. We saw it for years with Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, the two Steeler receivers who both eventually got in. Monk has been on the ballot with that pair and other worthy receivers like James Lofton, Michael Irvin, Charlie Joiner and Steve Largent, all of whom were elected before him. He certainly lost votes that went to all of them, though in my mind it should have been the other way around.

This time, he’s on a ballot with first-time eligible Cris Carter, the former Viking receiver who finished his career second on the all-time receiving list, and Buffalo’s Andre Reed. Carter never played in a Super Bowl, and at times was a pill, despite his sunshine and roses demeanor in front of the HBO cameras. In my opinion, he is NOT a first ballot guy, and it would be a travesty if he or Reed, another man without a Super Bowl championship, get in ahead of Monk.

In recent years, some selectors opposed to Monk’s candidacy have at least been willing to pay more attention to his credentials. Several voters who said no in years past have told me this week they’ve been won over by arguments they’ve heard in the selection room and by research sent to them by enthusiastic Monk supporters far and wide.

So maybe this will be the year for Monk. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to see him smiling on that Canton stage in July, posing with fellow Redskin and long-time teammate Darrell Green for the photographers. Of course, Chatty Kathy Darrell probably would dominate the press conferences, but surely that would be just fine with Art Monk.

February 1, 2008

Uncertainty surrounds 2008 Hall of Fame selections

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 2:45 am

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/peter_king/01/31/halloffame/
Hall of a debate: Uncertainty surrounds 2008 Hall of Fame selections
SI.com
January 31, 2008
Peter King

PHOENIX — Trying to predict the Pro Football Hall of Fame class is always difficult, but I don’t recall a more difficult year in my decade and a half as one of the selectors. The reason: there are no gimmes in this group and there are varying degrees of support for many of the 17 candidates.

Voting for the Hall is Saturday in downtown Phoenix. The 17 candidates consist of 15 modern era and two Seniors Committee nominees. The announcement of the new class — a minimum of four and maximum of seven — should come late Saturday afternoon.

Last year I did a tote board with odds on who I liked and why. I’m not going to be that stupid this year because one of last year’s fair-headed men, Paul Tagliabue, didn’t come close to being elected. Here’s how I forecast his group.

Newcomers Darrell Green and Cris Carter — particularly Green, the two-decade Redskins standout — enter the room with the best chances of getting through. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. The leaders, from my sense of it, are wide receiver Art Monk, tackle Gary Zimmerman, linebacker Andre Tippett, defensive ends Richard Dent and Fred Dean, guards Russ Grimm and Bob Kuechenberg, and Seniors nominee Emmitt Thomas, a veteran cornerback and longtime assistant coach.

The reason I can’t give you a much better clue is that I think sentiments of the voters are all over the place, judging from my informal talks with them this week. So it’d be dangerous to say any single guy is a favorite, other than Green, most likely.

Talking with Pro Football Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan today I found I had a lot in common with someone who knows the Hall better than anyone. “I’m befuddled,” Horrigan said. “There’s great equality in this class, and it’s really hard to tell which candidates will get in first.”

It’s clear that a guy like Carter, with 1,101 receptions and 130 touchdowns, is Hall of Fame-caliber, but I just don’t know if the zeal of some voters to get Monk in the Hall after a decade of frustration is going to cause Carter to wait a year or two.

I’ll have more to say about this in a file on Saturday afternoon and again on Monday, in my regular column. But stay tuned, there’s going to be quite a lot of intrigue.

January 31, 2008

Dr. Z: “Just Put Him the F— In Already”

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 10:20 am

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http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/01/30/dr-z-on-art-monk-s-hall-of-fame-chances-just-put-him-the-f/
Dr. Z on Art Monk’s Hall of Fame Chances: ‘Just Put Him the F— In Already’
AOL Fanhouse
January 30, 2008
Michael David Smith

Sports Illustrated NFL writer Paul Zimmerman, better known as Dr. Z, has a reputation as the old curmudgeon of the football writing business. I met him today, and he lived up to that reputation.

I introduced myself to Zimmerman and told him I’d been reading his work for my entire life. He replied, “That makes me feel old.”

I then asked Zimmerman about the upcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame selection meeting, which is on the day before the Super Bowl. Zimmerman is one of the selectors, and he recently changed his mind about former Redskins receiver Art Monk, saying that after years of being the most vocal opponent of Monk’s enshrinement, he will now vote for Monk. So what changed his mind?

“I figured, just put him the f— in already,” Zimmerman told me. “I’m tired of being the a–hole.”

January 19, 2008

It’s up to Mr. Elfin, now…

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 3:17 am

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http://video1.washingtontimes.com/redskins/2008/01/make_it_a_triple_david_elfin.html
Make it a Triple
The Washington Times
January 15, 2008
David Elfin

Yours truly will be talked out by noon the day before the Super Bowl. That’s because as the Washington selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I have to present three of the 17 finalists who were announced this afternoon: receiver Art Monk, cornerback Darrell Green and Russ Grimm.

I have been unsuccessful the past two years in getting Monk and Grimm elected. Maybe the third time’s the charm. Or maybe I should have followed all of my male first cousins and gone to law school where I could have learned how to win an argument.

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November 16, 2007

Hall Voters on T.O. and Art Monk

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 10:38 am

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http://www.star-telegram.com/332/story/303777.html
Hall voters have their say
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Wed, Nov. 14, 2007
By CLARENCE E. HILL Jr.

John McClain, Houston Chronicle

“Right now, the jury is still out on T.O. There are a lot of great receivers with impressive numbers still deserving of the Hall of Fame. Art Monk, Andre Reed and Cris Carter, for instance. Others from TO’s era — Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Isaac Bruce, Rod Smith — have posted big numbers, too. Like T.O., they’re outstanding receivers with impressive credentials. The bottom line on T.O. and all of the others is that there’s going to be a lot of stiff competition from a lot of deserving candidates, so the jury is still out.”

Jarrett Bell, USA Today

“Here’s my take on Terrell Owens: Still undetermined. It is tough to merely glance at numbers as the determining factor. If so, Art Monk, Andre Reed and even Andre Rison would be in the Hall. The passing game numbers have become so inflated as the NFL has evolved, and that makes it difficult to rate receivers and quarterbacks from different eras by the same standards. I mean, Drew Pearson is Hall of Fame-worthy in my book, and he had 261 fewer career catches than Michael Irvin did. And I think Bob Hayes, who helped write the history of the receiver position in the NFL, deserves to be in the Hall, regardless of his numbers. Still, in Owens’ case, the career touchdowns are the numbers that support his case.

“Now, what’s the intangible? That whole T.O. persona. The bylaws state that we are to consider players based on what happens between the lines. But that can be interpreted in different ways. So, just as you might view Ray Lewis more favorably for his leadership, an argument might be made that Owens’ track record over the years for, well, events — with all the antics and selfish showboating, sideline blowups, in-house spats — should be weighed for whatever negative impact he might have had on his teams from a chemistry standpoint. Obviously, that’s a lot tougher to quantify than TDs or dropped passes.

“Still, when you get back to productivity and impact as a player, I don’t see where Terrell Owens brings anything less to the wide receiver position than Hall of Famers like Steve Largent, Tommy McDonald and James Lofton did when they played.”

November 8, 2007

Dr. Z sees the light

Filed under: News, Voter Articles — DjTj @ 10:54 pm

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/dr_z/11/07/hof/1.html
Early Call for the Hall
Sports Illustrated SI.com
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Dr. Z

I’m tired of being a negative. I’m tired of all the impassioned letters asking me what did he ever do to me. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this. OK, he caught a lot of short passes but he also bought a lot of first downs, and he was a terrific team guy, well-respected and a pleasure from whom to borrow money. Why must I continue to pound a shoe on the table?“Because the heel is falling off,” says The Flaming Redhead. Hey, can’t you see this is serious? What’s the matter with you?

Where was I? Oh yeah, Art Monk. OK. He’s got my vote. D.C. e-mailers can mail their contributions to me, care of the office.

October 17, 2007

Hall of Fame window can slam shut

Filed under: Voter Articles — DjTj @ 1:53 am

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http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/nwsltr/sports/fromthe50/stories/101707dnspofromthe50.1774a170f.html
Dallas Morning News
October 16, 2007

Hall of Fame window can slam shut
By Rick Gosselin

When tight end Shannon Sharpe retired after the 2003 season, I assumed he’d be a slam dunk for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Sharpe left the game with the triple crown for tight ends – most career receptions, yards and touchdowns. Statistically, there had never been anyone better at the position.

But that’s what we thought about Art Monk, too. When he retired after the 1995 season, he was the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with 940 catches. Being the best at what you do logically would qualify you for Canton.

But by the time Monk became eligible for the Hall of Fame, Jerry Rice had motored past him on the all-time receiving list. Rice became the new standard – and Monk was passed over by the Hall of Fame selection panel in his first year of eligibility in 2001. And every year thereafter – seven years up, seven years down.

Now five players are ahead of Monk on the all-time receiving list: Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison and Andre Reed. It’s tougher to sell the sixth all-time leading receiver as a profile in greatness than it is the first.

And as offensive statistics continue to explode in the pass-happy NFL, Monk will continue his slide down the receiving chart. Every year that passes makes it more difficult for him to secure a bust in Canton.

And that’s the potential pitfall facing Sharpe. By the time he’s eligible in 2009, he will not be the all-time leading receiver for his position. Here comes Tony Gonzalez.

September 7, 2007

Rick Gosselin on Art Monk’s Pro Bowls and Superbowls

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

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http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/misc/chat/stories/090707dnspochat.a9cfcae4.html
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?

Chuck

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.

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