The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

Ira Miller

Ira Miller formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle

Vote: Definitely Yes (9/10)

The San Francisco Chronicle
January 26, 1992
Rypien master of the super pass
Ira Miller

Washington’s three wide receivers, Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, share the spotlight, but all would be a star by himself on almost any other team.

Monk, who is approaching many of the League’s career receiving records, is a strong possession receiver who can almost always get open and, even if he can’t, can out-fight most defenders for the ball.

Clark is the team’s quick, deep threat, the man Rypien most often looks for in routes to the corner. This season, Clark averaged 19.1 yards a catch, and scored touchdowns on passes coverig 82, 75, 65, 61, 54, 50, 49, 41 and 38 yards.

The Dallas Morning News  
January 27, 1996 
HALL MARKS; Five Cowboys have impressive credentials for Hall of Fame
Bill Nichols

“Super Bowls are taken into account a lot,” said Ira Miller of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m not sure they might not be given too much weight. If you look back, too many players from past Super Bowl teams have been put in because of their Super Bowl association.”

Florida Times-Union
November 18, 2004 
Jags WR stats call for hall?; Smith has been hot, but likely needs more catches, Super Bowl trip to join list of NFL’s finest
Vito Stellino

Miller said he wouldn’t vote for Smith.

“Every selection meeting for the last several years, we’ve been discussing wide receivers, and you can’t be mesmerized by stats,” Miller said. “If you just went by the stats, you wouldn’t have to vote.”

The San Francisco Chronicle
December 18, 2005
A strong class; Aikman, White, Dean, Guy among the deserving in Hall vote
Ira Miller

Michael Irvin: You can almost trace the end of the Dallas dynasty to the day Irvin sustained a career-ending injury. Yet it’s hard to put him in the Hall of Fame ahead of Art Monk, Bob Hayes or Cliff Branch, and Irvin hurt himself with many voters with his recent arrest on drug charges, which indicates to many he hasn’t reformed.

Art Monk: Considered by some a numbers guy, but he piled up those numbers on three teams that won the Super Bowl with three different quarterbacks. His time is overdue.

The San Francisco Chronicle
February 4, 2006
Hall voting needs to be as open as the discussion
Ira Miller

It’s an honor to be chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame or even to be one of the 39 people who vote for it, but it’s also such a secret society that no one knows what the vote totals are, let alone who votes for whom.

That secrecy is at the heart of a controversy among voters, who find themselves swamped with e-mails sent by irate fans, many of them in Washington and Dallas, complaining about Redskins and Cowboys who have not been elected.

Although the full committee generally goes along with the senior recommendations, election is far from automatic. As recently as two years ago, Dallas receiver Bob Hayes, whose speed helped revolutionize the game, was voted down.

Hayes is not on the ballot this year. But Washington’s Art Monk, who played on three Super Bowl winners, is, and he and Hayes have been the key names that instigate the barrage of e-mail from Dallas and Washington fans.

The 39-man selection committee includes one media representative from each NFL franchise city except New York (which gets two representatives because it has two teams), six at-large members and the president of the Pro Football Writers of America. The group will begin meeting at 4:30 a.m. PST and reduce the ballot from 15 to 10, then from 10 to 6, in a series of votes.

The final six are voted on individually, needing at least 80 percent, or 32 of the 39 votes, for election. If fewer than three receive 80 percent, however, the three highest vote-getters will be enshrined.

Voting totals never are made public, not even to the voters. Some on the committee, including your correspondent, have campaigned for a more transparent voting procedure, especially since the secrecy of the voting seems to defeat the purpose of discussing the nominees openly in a meeting.

But Hall of Fame officials, who make the decisions concerning the rules, have resisted any attempt to open the procedure — or even to announce vote totals. They reason that they want all the Hall of Famers treated equally, a goal they believe would not be met if it were known who got the most votes and who got the fewest.

1 Comment »

  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

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