The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

John Clayton

John Clayton of ESPN

Vote: Definitely Yes (9/10)

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http://espn.go.com/classic/s/2003/0125/1498867.html
ESPN Classic
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Elway, Sanders head next year’s Hall class
John Clayton

Each year between four and six modern day Hall of Famers are selected. Two will be easy — Elway and former Lions halfback Barry Sanders. It’s hard to believe that Sanders has been out of the NFL for four years. Sanders retired so young and would have easily beaten Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record had he kept playing.

If there are only going to be four Hall of Famers selected next year, that doesn’t leave much room for those who didn’t make the cut this year. Once again, Gradishar will be battling Harry Carson of the Giants. Carson made the final six Saturday along with late Giants general manager George Young. Their names will be automatically placed in the final 15.

With Lofton making it, there is a good chance that Art Monk of the Redskins, who was eliminated from the cut down from 15 to 10, should have a good chance. For years, there has been a logjam at the receiver position that was cured when Lynn Swann and John Stallworth of the Steelers made in the past couple of years. Swann and Stallworth took votes away from each other and blocked other qualified candidates from getting votes.

Lofton made it after a five-year wait and three chances in the finals since 2000. Monk has been a finalist the past three years and is atop the list of eligible receivers. He caught 940 passes for 12,271 yards.

This is where backlogs can create problems, though. If the bulk of next year’s class is Sanders, Elway, Monk and Carson, there isn’t much room for the other candidates. Approximately 313 new players, including Sanders and Elway, are eligible next year. 

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The Colorado Springs Gazette
February 1, 2004
Bob Brown finally a Hall of Famer
Milo F. Bryant

The former Washington Redskins wide receiver has been eligible for the Hall for four years. This year marked Monk’s fourth year as a finalist, too. But this year, Monk failed to even make the voters’ final cut.

The Hall’s Board of Selectors cuts the 15 finalists down to 10 and the 10 down to six. Monk’s name was left off the list of 10.

“I’m surprised he didn’t make it,” ESPN.com writer John Clayton said. Clayton is the board’s Seattle representative. “I’m surprised he didn’t make it to the top 10 – I mean 941 catches?

“Just because (the Redskins) didn’t throw to him in the red zone, he still got them to the 10, to the 20. I thought he should have made it, at least more than Bob Hayes. That’s one that kind of puzzled me.”

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http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_4128342
The Devnver Post
August 3, 2006
Smith Playing the Fame Game
Mike Klis

“The receiver position is just so congested,” said NFL analyst John Clayton of ESPN, who has a Hall of Fame vote. “It seems like this is the second instance where it’s gotten backed up. It got backed up when John Stallworth and Lynn Swann were banging each other and taking votes away from each other. That resulted in taking Swann (14) years to get in. Now we’re having one in Art Monk and Michael Irvin, two guys who I feel deserve to go in.”

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3 Comments »

  1. What about Stanley Morgan?

    After reviewing this year’s list of 111 nominees for the NFL Hall of Fame, I am saddened and dismayed to find that Stanley Morgan has once again been ignored by the selection committee.

    At the time of his retirement following the 1990 season, Mr. Morgan should have been considered a sure-fire Hall of Famer. That he is not even being considered some 15 years later is ludicrous.

    When Mr. Morgan reached 10,000 yards receiving in 1989, he was only the 7th player to do so. (Five of the six players ahead of him at that time are in the Hall of Fame – Largent, Joiner, Maynard, Lofton, and Alworth. The sixth player, Harold Jackson, SHOULD be in the HOF. After all, Mr. Jackson was the FIRST player not named Maynard or Alworth to gain 10,000 yards receiving, and was the FIRST to gain 10,000 yds receiving in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Maynard and Alworth gained the bulk of their yards in the AFL); but I digress).

    Mr. Morgan retired following the 1990 season, and at that time was 5th all-time in receiving yardage. At that time he was also in the top 20 in total receptions (not sure where he ranked in that category exactly – he may have been in the top 10; his rank among wide receivers was even higher, as at least one of the players ahead of him (Ozzie Newsome) was a tight end).

    This year, 11 wide receivers are nominated for the Hall. Mr. Morgan gained more yards than six of them (Branch, Carmichael, Clayton, Curtis, Duper, Pearson); caught more passes than four of them (Branch, Curtis, Duper, Pearson); and scored more touchdowns than eight of them (Branch, Clark, Curtis, Duper, Ellard, Irvin, Monk, Pearson). The only players on the list to play in more Pro-Bowls were Reed, Irvin and Clayton.

    The passing game has exploded in the last 20 years. Mr. Morgan’s statistics certainly don’t stand up to the numbers put up by receivers who’ve come after him. But we have to compare him to the players of *his* generation. If we do this, I believe a VERY strong argument can be made for him actually being IN the Hall of Fame (let’s face it, some of the players on this year’s list (Isaac Curtis???) will never even catch a whiff of actually making the Hall, and are lucky just to be nominated). Stanley Morgan should DEFINITELY be on the list of finalists, and deserves serious consideration for actually being inducted one day.

    That Stanley Morgan is not on your list of finalists is a travesty. (The same needs to be said about Harold Jackson, but his is an argument for another day).

    I could go on and on, as I’ve done a lot of research comparing Stanley Morgan’s career to that of his contemporaries. But let me just leave you with this. Of all of the players to have caught 500 or more passes (and there are now a LOT of them), Stanley Morgan is #1 ALL-TIME in average yards per catch (19.2). To me, that makes him arguably the greatest deep-threat receiver the game has ever known. And yet, somehow, he has gotten lost in the shuffle and been forgotten.

    Next year, please remember Stanley Morgan, and give the Steamer his due.

    Comment by Hal — November 6, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  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 @ 10:38 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 @ 10:28 am


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