The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

Dave Goldberg

Dave Goldberg of the Associated Press

Vote: Likely Yes (7/10)

Los Angeles Times
September 1, 1991
Bills Seem to Be Alone at Top of NFL Class
Dave Goldberg

The Redskins? Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders have been the best receiving trio in the NFL for the past five years. But the offense is still build around the offensive line as Joe Gibbs continues to re-create John Riggins with Earnest Byner and Gerald Riggs.

Hamilton Spectator
January 24, 1992
Bills, ‘Skins have offensive threats
Dave Goldberg

Ricky Sanders of the Washington Redskins, who has set some Super Bowl records himself, looks with awe at James Lofton and Art Monk.

“They’re like my grandfathers,” he says. “That’s what they are. Grandpas.”

The Redskins and Buffalo Bills enter Sunday’s Super Bowl with super sets of receivers, none more so than the 34-year-old Monk and the 35-year-old Lofton.

Each is within a couple of games of two of Steve Largent’s career receiving records. Each is flanked by a remarkably similar duo that threatens to make Sunday’s game into a shootout.

How similar?

Start with Lofton (Stanford) and Monk (Syracuse), the only two of the six to play Division I-A and the only two who were first-round draft choices. Monk, who has 801 career receptions, should pass Largent’s 819 early next season, while Lofton is just 55 yards behind Largent’s record of 13,089.

Continue with Andre Reed of the Bills and Gary Clark of the Redskins, two of the NFL’s most dangerous over-the-middle threats and two of the best runners after a catch. Both went to small colleges (Reed to Kutztown State, Clark to James Madison). Both entered the league unheralded (Reed as a fourth-round draft pick in 1984 and Clark from the USFL). And both go to the Pro Bowl regularly.

“Not quite,” Clark complains. “Andre goes to Hawaii every year. I just go once in a while.”

And finish with two more small-college guys, Buffalo’s Don Beebe (Chadron, Neb. State) and Washington’s Sanders (Southwest Texas State). They’re the speed guys.

Sanders is best known for his 80-yard reception in 1988 that started the Redskins’ 35-point second quarter against Denver. He had 193 yards in that game, second only to Jerry Rice’s 215 in the 1989 game.

Beebe, in his third season, had his coming out in the second game this year, when he caught 10 passes four for touchdowns, in a 52-34 victory over Pittsburgh.

Put all six together and they represent two of the best receiving trios in the league, approached only by Houston (Drew Hill, Haywood Jeffires, Ernest Givins) and Atlanta (Andre Rison, Michael Haynes, Mike Pritchard).

So Sunday’s game has the potential to be high scoring, especially because both teams have running games that can control the ball.

“Both teams have a problem on defence,” Washington head coach Joe Gibbs acknowledged yesterday as the players met with the media for the final time before the game.

“You have to decide if you defence the run or the pass. If you defence the run, both sides have three guys who can kill you.”

There are differences.

Washington usually keeps seven, even eight players to protect quarterback Mark Rypien, then may flood a zone with Monk, Sanders and Clark.

Clark most often has a first-down play action target 15 or 20 yards over the middle. Sanders is a threat deep on the sideline, and Monk is the guy Rypien will find 11 yards down on the sideline when it’s third and 10.

Running back Earnest Byner, who caught 34 passes, is the only other Washington receiver who’s utilized regularly. Terry Orr, one of three tight ends, averaged 20.1 yards on 10 catches, four of them touchdowns.

The Bills, with their no-huddle offence, generally use the five offensive linemen to block and then throw to tight end Keith McKeller (44 catches) and running back Thurman Thomas (61 catches) as well as Reed (81), Lofton (57) and Beebe (32 in 11 games).

The Annapolis Capital
September 24, 2000
Doesn’t get any easier for Skins
Dave Goldberg

Daniel Snyder was booed Monday night when he walked on the field at halftime to help induct Joe Gibbs, Art Monk and Dexter Manley into the Redskins’ Hall of Fame.

Buffalo News
August 5, 2002
On the Road Again; Bills Fans Have More Hall Journeys Ahead
Mark Gaughan

Joiner, the former Bills assistant coach, ended his career as the No. 1 pass catcher of all time but had to wait 10 years to get in. Art Monk was No. 1 in catches at the time of his retirement (in ’95) but didn’t make it the last two years he was up for election. Lofton has been up for election four times and made the final 15 twice.

“It’s no shame to not get in the first year,” said Len Shapiro of the Washington Post. “There are so many great players up each year. Lynn Swann had to wait 14 years. Sam Huff had to wait 12. George Allen had to wait 25.”

“There are a lot of receivers with really good stats from that era,” said voter Dave Goldberg of the Associated Press. “Andre’s one of them, but I don’t know if he separates himself from the others.”

MSNBC Sports
Nov. 21, 2004
Parcells, Gibbs should re-retire now; At 3-6, both teams tarnishing their coaches’ reputations
Dave Goldberg

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs never should have returned to coaching and should get out as soon as they can to preserve their dignity and reputations.

Their teams, the Cowboys and Redskins, are embarrassments at 3-6 and aren’t getting better. All their coaches can do by staying is to tarnish their deserved place in football history.

Blame the owners, Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder, who certainly have had a hand in the failures, messing things up long before Parcells and Gibbs got there. But also blame two of the three best coaches of the 1980s for failing to adjust well to the 21st century NFL, with free agency, a salary cap and a different breed of players.

Gibbs won Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, none close to being a Hall of Famer (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien).

And with Beathard dealing constantly, the team had only two first-round choices during Gibbs’ tenure: Mark May and Darrell Green. Art Monk was taken in 1980, the year before Gibbs got there. May and Russ Grimm, a third-rounder, were the only high picks on the offensive line (“The Hogs”) that formed the heart of the team.


  1. Vote for MOnk

    Comment by Cdawg — October 26, 2006 @ 10:48 am

  2. 81 Reasons to Induct Art Monk

    1) 12,721 Receiving Yards (#9 all time, eight years after retirement)

    2) 940 Receptions ( was #1, is now #5 eight years after retiring)

    3) 68 Receiving Touchdowns (still in top 30, all time)

    4) 224 Games played

    5) Caught at least one pass in 183 consecutive games (once a record)

    6) Helped Washington to three SB victories in four appearances.

    7) Three consecutive Pro Bowl Selections

    8) “Art was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice was” – Joe Theismann

    9) Record of 106 receptions in 1984 stood for eight years.

    10) “Quiet about his work, very loud with his results” – Mark Rypien

    11) First to record 106 receptions in one season

    12) First to catch at least one pass in 164 consecutive games

    13) First to catch more than 900 passes.

    14) Caught 58 passes as a rookie, unanimous All-Rookie Selection

    15) Redskins 1984 MVP

    16) 50 or more reception in a season 9 times

    17) 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season 5 times

    18) Master of the medium route over the middle, aka “No Man’s Land”

    19) First Redskin to produce 3 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons

    20) Prototype for the modern receiver

    21) 3-time 1st or 2nd team All-NFC Team selection

    22) In ’85, named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Pro Team

    23) In ’85, named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team

    24) In ’85, named to the UPI All-NFL Team

    25) In ’86, named to the UPI All-NFC Team

    26) Founded the Good Samaritan Foundation, with teammates.

    27) 1, 062 Playoff yards

    28) Largent, Lofton and Stallworth are already in.

    29) The consummate pro; made the big catch, went back to the huddle.

    30) Not a “Hot Dog”; let his play on the field do all the talking.

    31) Nicknamed “Money” by teammates, “Artist” by the fans

    32) Founded the Student Training Opportunity Program, with teammates

    33) Started the Art Monk Football Camp” in 1983, and it’s still going.

    34) 16-year career, 0 arrests.

    35) Named to TSN’s “100 Greatest Football Players” list

    36) Never once disappointed the team or the fans, on the field or off.

    37) A first round draft pick that played like a first round draft pick.

    38) Has more career catches than anyone currently in the Hall.

    39) Putting loud jerks in over Monk sends the wrong message to kids.

    40) Art does not lobby to get himself inducted

    41) First down machine on 3rd and long

    42) Still holds the club record for catches in a season (106)

    43) Still holds the club record for passes caught in a game (13, twice)

    44) Honored as one of the “Washingtonians of the Year” in 1992

    45) Focuses on the forgotten “high school aged” youth in DC.

    46) “I don’t know about the criteria, but whatever it is, I believe Art has achieved it” –Joe Theismann

    47) “He was big, he was strong, and he was intelligent. He had everything”-Joe Gibbs, HOF inductee

    48) “Art Monk was an example for Jerry Rice. That’s what Jerry always told me.”- Ronnie Lott, HOF inductee

    49) “There’s nothing negative to say. He has the numbers, the catches, the championships.” –Lott

    50) “Spend a day with Art Monk, and your life will improve by 10%”- Theismann

    51) “You have a Hall of Fame for all it represents. I know he represents all that it’s about. Integrity, love and passion for the game, community, what he gave back. Look how he conducted himself. Nobody I know deserves it more.” –Lott

    52) If he doesn’t get in, they might as well close the Hall.

    53) “There was never a classier player in this franchise’s history, or in league history, than Art Monk. You always knew the team would be getting Art Monk’s best effort day in and day out.” –Charlie Casserly

    54) “Monk is headed to Canton downhill on roller skates”- Bill Parcells, 1995

    55) Only one other player, linebacker Monte Coleman, has been on the field for the Redskins more than Monk.

    56) Art Monk is almost as proud of his relative anonymity as he is the record-setting numbers he compiled over a 16-year NFL career.

    57) When Monk spoke, it was usually with tough catches in the clutch moments of big games.

    58) Nothing came naturally for Monk, who spent countless hours on the practice field and many more behind the projector.

    59) I never saw Monk drop a pass. Period.

    60) Monk’s 40-yard catch with eight minutes left in the first quarter of SBXXII was Doug Williams’ first completion of what would be a record setting game.

    61) Named in a 1992 poll during the team’s 50th Anniversary Season as the most popular Redskin of all time.

    62) Participates in a “Kid’s Fishing Day” for underprivileged kids

    63) Has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, reciting children’s fairy tales with musical accompaniment.

    64) “He’s more than just his receptions. Few players have been able to achieve what he’s achieved.” –Richie Petitbon

    65) “He is a gifted athlete who takes great care of himself. He’s a guy who works at his craft, and responds to any challenge. However, he does it so quietly that his accomplishments are sometimes overlooked.”- Joe Gibbs

    66) Selected to the 1989 All-Madden Team

    67) Early in his career, Art arranged and scheduled charity basketball games for the Redskins.

    68) “I can’t see how a receiver could be more valuable to a team.” –Gibbs

    69) Fame is often hard earned. Character is often elusive to define. A man of great character himself, Art Monk encompasses what it means to be a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    70) Monk wasn’t a “SportsCenter” type of receiver — more like a “Masterpiece Theatre” type.

    71) You wouldn’t see Monk pull out a Sharpie to sign a ball after scoring a touchdown.

    72) “He embodied the old school, and for that alone he should be enshrined so that when a father takes his son through the Hall of Fame, he can say, “Son, here is a man who once caught 106 passes in a season when no one was catching 100 passes. Here was a man who caught a pass in 183 straight games. And not once did he ever pull a cell phone out to make a call after any of those catches.” –Thomas Loverro, Washington Times

    73) Football is a game of first downs and Monk was the receiver who would move the chains.

    74) He has since been passed in this pass-crazy era, but in the context of when he played, Art Monk was a Hall of Fame receiver.

    75) He did this while never playing with a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.

    76) Critics will say Monk benefited from playing in Joe Gibbs’ system. What might be the case is that the Gibbs system benefited from having Monk.

    77) “I believe he’s a Hall of Famer. I was a pro scout when he was playing, so it was my job to know who those guys were. I would put Art in that category, but apparently there are a lot of Hall of Fame voters who don’t feel Art Monk was in that category. It’s hard for me to believe they ever saw him play.” –Bill Polian, President Indianapolis Colts

    78) He was the anti-Terrell Owens.

    79) He was the standard-bearer, the mold-maker and the receiver every team of his era wished they’d had.

    80) He’s already a Hall Of Famer off the field.

    81) It’s time.

    Comment by Mark Barnette — January 10, 2007 @ 10:28 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 @ 10:09 am

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