The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

Ira Kaufman

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune
E-mail: ikaufman@tampatrib.com

Vote: Probably Yes (8/10)

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United Press International
November 22, 1982
New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
Ira Kaufman

Theismann tossed scoring passes of 1 yard to Otis Wonsley and 39 yards to Charlie Brown, John Riggins added a 3-yard TD and Mark Moseley kicked second-half field goals of 37 and 29 yards as the Redskins won their sixth straight dating back to last season.

”Our offensive unit has a lot of confidence right now,” said Art Monk, who caught 6 passes for 42 yards. ”Coach (Joe) Gibbs has instilled in us the killer instinct, the drive that keeps us going. It also helps that Joe’s been on the mark all year.”

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United Press International
January 9, 1984
San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins
Ira Kaufman

Wright was flagged 27 yards for interfering with a Joe Theismann pass intended for Art Monk but officials played another pivotal role three plays later. On third-and-five from the 13, Theismann threw incomplete for Alvin Garrett, but All-Pro cornerback Ronnie Lott was whistled for holding Charlie Brown — giving Washington a first down on the 8-yard line.

Monk, at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds one of the biggest receivers in the NFL, felt the flag against Wright was sweet vindication.

”I definitely thought the penalty should have been called — in fact, I jumped up and pointed at Wright and almost hit the official in the face with my hand,” said Monk. ”Then I saw the flag on the ground back up the field. It was justice.”

-=-=-=-=-=-
United Press International
January 21, 1984
Super Bowl Preview
Ira Kaufman

Washington relies on the passing of Theismann to Art Monk and Charlie Brown and the power running of workhorse fullback John Riggins on offense. Brown burned the Raiders for 180 yards on 11 receptions in the first game while Riggins, a 6-foot-2, 240-pounder who was named the Most Valuable Player in last year’s Super Bowl, set an NFL record with 24 touchdowns this season.

-=-=-=-=-=-
United Press International
January 25, 1988
Super Bowl Thumbnails
Ira Kaufman

81-Art Monk, wide receiver, 6-3, 209, 8th, Syracuse. Expected back after rehabilitation from knee problems. Has averaged 77 receptions per season since 1984, when he set an NFL record with 106 catches. Nicknamed ”Money” for his outstanding play in the clutch.

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Tampa Tribune
February 6, 2005
Rookie Gets First Taste Of Process
Ira Kaufman

My first session as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s board of selectors was both riveting and challenging.

Heeding the advice of my predecessor, Tom McEwen, I kept my mouth shut as the rookie in a room of 38 fellow judges.

I was struck by the thoroughness of the 15 presentations — and stunned that it took so long for senior nominees Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard to have their day in front of the committee.

When the presentations were completed, I quickly realized you could make a compelling case for all 15.

Comparisons were difficult, if not impossible.

How do you choose between a Hog (Redskins guard Russ Grimm) and a greyhound like Derrick Thomas, the late Kansas City linebacker who made a living sacking and stripping quarterbacks like few players before or since.

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Tampa Tribune
February 5, 2006
Hall Of Fame Voting A Daunting Task
Ira Kaufman

In my judgment, there were at least six other candidates more deserving, but I voted for Carson once he reached the final group because he was a very good player for a long period of time.

In reducing the field from 15 to 10, my ballot listed Aikman, Madden, Moon, White, guard Russ Grimm, wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard Bob Kuechenberg, wide receiver Art Monk, running back Thurman Thomas and tackle Gary Zimmerman.

My first cut eliminated Carson, Wright, linebacker Derrick Thomas and defensive ends L.C. Greenwood and Claude Humphrey.

But when the list of 10 was announced, Carson, Wright and Humphrey were still standing while Grimm, Monk and Zimmerman failed to survive.

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3 Comments »

  1. 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 @ 10:34 pm

  2. nice post, writing 81 reasons must have taken a long time, but I liked it.

    Comment by cupbeans — January 15, 2008 @ 5:35 am

  3. […] I’ve read Ira Kaupman notes about his experiences as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s board of […]

    Pingback by The late Derrick Thomas - A Salute to a Great Player | Kansas City Chiefs Fans — January 15, 2008 @ 5:50 am


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