The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

Rick Gosselin

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News
E-mail: rgosselin@dallasnews.com

Vote: Likely No (3/10)

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Dallas Morning News
September 5, 1992
Monk taylor-made for Hall of Fame
Rick Gosselin

It was Draft Day 1980, and the anticipation level at Redskins Park was at a suffocating height.

The Washington Redskins had a first-round draft pick. Finally.

Forget that it was the 17th overall selection – too late to grab one of the franchise players in the draft. It would be the first time the Redskins had a No. 1 pick in an NFL draft since 1968.

General Manager Bobby Beathard had identified the areas of need on his 10-6 team – an aging pass rush, no speed in the backfield and the lack of a deep threat. The depth in the draft was at running back, and popular local opinion had the Redskins using their pick on Heisman Trophy winner Charles White, Joe Cribbs or Vagas Ferguson.

Instead, the Redskins claimed a former running back, Art Monk of Syracuse. It was a bit of a projection because Monk had been a runner until his senior year, when he was switched to wide receiver. He posted modest numbers in his one season on the flank – 40 catches and three touchdowns – and appeared to be a reach by the Redskins.

But not in Beathard’s mind. At the news conference after the pick, Beathard said Monk “can come real close” to being another Charley Taylor. Talk about putting a young player on the spot. Taylor had retired from the Redskins just two seasons earlier as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver.

Thirteen years later, Monk has not come close to Taylor – he has zoomed past him. And with 19 more receptions this season, Monk will have sped past everyone else, too. He ranks second on pro football’s all-time receiving list with 801 catches. Only Steve Largent has more.

“I knew I had some ability,” Monk said. “But I didn’t know whether I’d be able to compete at this level. When I signed my first contract, I thought I’d play out those years and that would be it. But I got excited, got some confidence in myself and wanted to play some more.”

Before Monk could begin his quest for records in 1980, he needed the stamp of approval of players whose records he would chase. Beathard was sold on Monk but wanted two other members of the organization to study him – administrative assistant Bobby Mitchell and Taylor, who was then a scout.

Mitchell and Taylor made successful switches from running back to wide receiver during their careers with the Redskins. Mitchell made the move in his fifth season in 1962 and Taylor in his third season in 1966.

Both were good running backs – Mitchell went to the Pro Bowl once and Taylor was the NFL Rookie of the Year – but both became Hall of Fame receivers. Mitchell retired in 1969 as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver with 521 catches. Taylor retired in 1978 on top with 649.

Who better to judge Monk’s star potential than the in-house experts on switching positions and catching passes? So Mitchell went up to Syracuse to see Monk in the fall, and Taylor made the trip in the winter.

For Mitchell, visiting Monk was like revisiting his former teammate Taylor. They had similar size (6-3, 210), speed and strength. They also were dynamic after the catch.

“I liked Art’s run ability,” Mitchell said. “As soon as he got the ball, you could see him divorce himself from the defensive player. Even if he ran a bad pattern, if the ball got there, he would still separate himself. He looked like a natural.”

So Mitchell gave thumbs up to Beathard.

Taylor saw a slightly more polished version of Monk when he visited Syracuse. Monk had a full season at the position by then. He still had a long way to go, but Taylor liked his chances. He also gave Monk his nod of approval.

“His talent was obvious,” Taylor said.

It took Monk five years before he slapped his name at the top of his profession with a 106-catch, 1,372-yard season in 1984. It gave him his only NFL receiving crown and first Pro Bowl berth. He has had four 1,000-yard seasons and two Pro Bowl berths since.

Monk has delivered for the Redskins in a variety of capacities. Early in his career, he was the club’s deep threat. But when Washington signed speedy Smurfs Clark and Sanders out of the USFL in the mid-1980s, Monk became the possession receiver. So he has been as flexible in the scheme as he has been productive in it.

Monk has averaged 66 catches per season in his career. But he has picked up the pace in his pursuit of Largent. Since hitting age 30, Monk has averaged 74 catches per year.

“I’ve always thought of Art as the Joe DiMaggio of football,” Casserly said. “DiMaggio always had the reputation of being a class act. He was a great player who never said much or showed much emotion.

“People might say well, Joe DiMaggio was a great player. But this guy’s stats were great, too, if not better. When you add it up in the end, you’ll have a guy who had the most catches in a season and in a career, three (Super Bowl) rings and no reason to not be in the Hall of Fame.”

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Dallas Morning News
October 13, 1992
Redskins regain form to route Broncos, 34-3
Rick Gosselin

The Washington Redskins still own the AFC — and Art Monk now owns the NFL receiving record.

The struggling Redskins crushed the Denver Broncos, 34-3, Monday night in their first game against an AFC team since blasting the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl last January. It was Washington’s seventh consecutive victory over AFC competition and thrust the Redskins back into the NFC East race with a 3-2 mark.

The nationally televised game was a snooze — but those who tuned out early missed the record-setting performance by Monk late. He caught seven passes against the Broncos to overtake Steve Largent as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with 820 catches.

“This is a big burden off my shoulders,’ Monk said. “The anticipation was unbelievable. I was very nervous before the game, and that’s something I’m not used to. I’m excited. I don’t know how to act.

I’m just glad it’s over. ‘ Monk headed into the game needing seven catches to pass Largent, who had 819 in his 14-year career. Monk chipped away with catches in the first, second and third quarters, then added his fourth catch in the opening stages of the final period.

With the game in hand and only 4:14 remaining, the Redskins decided to get Monk his record. Mark Rypien completed passes to Monk on three consecutive plays with machine-gun efficiency — a six-yard hook, a flat pass that Monk turned upfield into an 18-yard gain and, finally, a 10-yard sideline out — to put him over the top.

“The only thing we padded for him were those last three,’ Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “The rest was all him. He’s such a class act. We decided, “Hey, it’s Monday night . . . let’s get this thing out of the way. ‘ I didn’t want to let it build another week. Now he can relax. ‘ The Redskins, who last week blew an 18-point lead in a 27-24 loss at Phoenix, also can breathe easier now that they are back in the race. They trail Dallas and Philadelphia by one game — and the Eagles visit RFK Stadium on Sunday.

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Dallas Morning News
September 19, 1993
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin

Tracking

Art Monk, Washington

Monk no longer starts for the Redskins but he still catches.

And history says no one catches any better. Monk is the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with 854 catches and continues to chug along in pursuit of his next record. If Monk catches a pass Sunday against Philadelphia, it will extend his pass-catching streak to 151 consecutive games – the second longest in NFL history. He currently is tied with Cleveland tight end Ozzie Newsome at 150.

Steve Largent holds the NFL record with catches in 177 consecutive games.

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Dallas Morning News
July 31, 1994
Free agency eliminates uniformity
Rick Gosselin

The Washington Redskins let wide receiver Art Monk go after 14 seasons and an NFL-record 888 catches. The Kansas City Chiefs said goodbye to kicker Nick Lowery after 14 seasons and 1,466 points, fourth best in NFL history. Each now plays for the Jets. It’s sad they have to finish up such storied careers so far away from home.

The game will survive the system. It always does. Old stars leave, and new stars arrive. But with a salary cap, those old stars won’t be staying around as long, nor will they be staying in the same place. And that’s a shame. An Art Monk belongs in Washington – not New York.

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Dallas Morning News
December 18, 1994
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin

Numbers Game

Art Monk, NY Jets

Monk is pro football’s all-time leading receiver with 932 catches and counting. He also holds the NFL record with receptions in 178 consecutive games and counting. Here’s a look at his Hall of Fame-bound career by the numbers:

0 – rushing touchdowns (in 63 career carries)

1 – NFL receiving title (106 catches in 1984)

2 – Career 200-yard receiving games

3 – Games held without a catch in his 219-game career

4 – Redskins’ receiving records (catches in game, season, career, career yards)

5 – 1,000-yard seasons

6 – Career catches vs. Jets, his current team

7 – Career touchdowns in post-season

8 – Pro Bowl receptions in three games

9 – Super Bowl receptions in three games

10 – 100-yard games against AFC teams

11 – Games missed because of injuries

12 – NFL quarterbacks with completions to Monk

13 – Career fumbles

14 – TD’s against Cardinals, Monk’s opponent high

15 – NFL seasons

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Orlando Sentinel
January 31, 1995
Speeding Into History: Jacksonville Native Bob Hayes Won Olympic Gold Medals and a Super Bowl, Yet Proper Recognition Wasn’t as Swift
Mike Bianchi

Added Rick Gosselin, a Hall of Fame voter from the Dallas Morning News: “Impact is more important than statistics.”

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Dallas Morning News
August 6, 1995
Fourth and Inches
Rick Gosselin

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2000 could be an impressive one. Start with Joe Montana and Art Monk. Tight end Mark Bavaro and safety Dennis Smith might join them. Karl Mecklenburg, Mike Kenn and Max Montoya also would receive consideration.

Montana, Bavaro and Kenn head the list of players who officially retired at the end of the 1994 season. Monk and Smith have not retired yet but both were cut by their teams in the off-season and a lack of interest may force them into retirement, too. Montana is the NFL’s second all-time leading passer and Monk the all-time receiver.

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Albany Times Union
August 3, 2003
Receivers catching on at Hall
Rick Gosselin

The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomes James Lofton into its brotherhood this weekend. It marks the third consecutive year and sixth time in nine years that a wide receiver was enshrined.

Lofton certainly is deserving. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch in a 16-year career, and did it playing primarily in cold-weather cities Green Bay and Buffalo, where the passing game is challenged by the elements.

His was no easy path to greatness.

But my fear is that Lofton’s induction will close the door on a host of deserving candidates from another era. Lofton is the first of the 1990s receivers to gain enshrinement. He ushers in the generation of inflated statistics.

There was a proliferation of three- and four-wide receiver sets in the 1990s, and 100-catch seasons became commonplace. Everyone threw the ball. Wide receiver is a stats position — and the bar has been raised.

Steve Largent retired as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver in 1989 with 819 catches. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. Since then, six players have passed Largent: Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Art Monk and Irving Fryar. Rice, Carter and Brown all have caught more than 1,000 balls.

Rice already has his ticket to Canton punched. His statistics are absurd. He has 300 more catches than anyone else in history (1,456) and 7,000 more yards (21,597). You can make a case for Rice as the greatest player ever.

But I’m not sure if any of the next three on the all-time list belong.

The Hall of Fame should be about impact. Michael Irvin had an impact. He caught enough passes to rank 12th all-time. More important, his hands helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls. He’ll join Rice in Canton.

Brown and Reed never played on a Super Bowl champion, and Carter never even reached that game. What impact did all those catches have in a team sport?

But if you keep Reed and his 951 catches out, how can you even consider Bob Hayes and his 371 catches? Or Otis Taylor and his 410 catches? Or Cliff Branch and his 501 catches? You can make a case for all three and all were impact players on title teams.

Hayes scored a touchdown every 5.2 receptions and averaged 20 yards per catch at Dallas. Taylor scored every 7.2 receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch at Kansas City. Branch scored every 7.4 receptions and averaged 17.3 yards per catch at Oakland.

Carter, Brown and Reed don’t have the rings. Their quantity of catches also exceeds their quality of catches. But Hayes, Taylor and Branch lack the quantity. They played in an era when 50 catches sent you to the Pro Bowl. All six probably belong in the Hall of Fame. It’ll be interesting to see which three get in.

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http://mb20.scout.com/fcpndhardcorefrm43.showMessage?topicID=708.topic
CPND
January 15, 2004
Rick Gosselin’s answer to my email RE: MONK
Rat Boy

George,
Here’s the question that came up in the committee discussion last year — what was his signature catch? What was the greatest catch of his career? No one could identify it.
Rick Gosselin

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Dallas Morning News
July 19, 2005
Brown’s toughest catch might be pass from Hall
Rick Gosselin

Tim Brown announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, signing a one-day contract with Oakland to go out as a Raider.

That puts Brown in position to be enshrined in Canton alongside Emmitt Smith in 2010.

But is it that obvious that Brown belongs in a class with the NFL’s all-time leading rusher?

Only two players caught more passes in NFL history than Brown and only one gained more yards. His 100 career touchdowns also rank third all-time among pass catchers. There’s no question Brown has the statistics to be in the Hall of Fame. But did he have the impact?

Art Monk won three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins and caught 940 passes – fifth on the all-time list – but can’t get into Canton. He’s been passed over each of the last five years. Clearly the measuring stick for pass catchers has changed with the explosion of receiving statistics in the 1990s.

Brown played one more season than Monk and finished with 150 more catches. But he also has three fewer Super Bowl rings, and team success has always weighed heavily in a Hall of Fame candidacy.

For all of his 1,070 catches in his 16 seasons in Oakland, Brown’s Raiders advanced to the playoffs only six times and reached only one Super Bowl, where they were blowout losers to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If Monk gets into the Hall of Fame in the next five years, Brown will likely follow him in. But if Monk is still on the outside in 2010, sheer volume may not be enough to get Brown in either.

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Dallas Morning News
July 18, 2005
SportsSay Blog
Rick Gosselin

There’s been some interesting chatter over the weekend on TV, radio and in sports bars about Rafael Palmeiro. Jacques touched on it in the final blog item of last Friday — Hall of Famer or not? His statistics indicate he belongs. But the statistics indicate that Art Monk belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he remains on the outside.

There seems to be a trend by Hall of Fame voters in football to look beyond the stats these days in assigning greatness. I wonder if that’s the case in baseball, too? I wonder if the fact Palmeiro never played in a World Series hurts him at all? Maybe Gerry or Evan can weigh in on this one — is Palmeiro a slam-dunk Hall of Famer or not?

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http://sports.tbo.com/sports/MGBF7G7OAJE.html
Tampa Tribune
February 5, 2006
Hall Class Of ’06 A Classy 6
Roy Cummings

“This was one of the strongest fields of finalists we’ve ever had,” Gosselin said. “You could have taken any six guys from that group and had a representative class. Eventually I think all 15 of this year’s finalists will get in.”

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Dallas Morning News
February 5, 2006
Hall of Fame selection committee proves heart is in right place
Rich Gosselin

You could have selected any six of the 15 and produced a strong class. Art Monk didn’t even make the cut to 10. Thurman Thomas was eliminated in the cut to six. If there was an anti-Cowboys bias on this committee, there were plenty of other worthy alternatives.

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Dallas Morning News
August 8, 2006
From the 50: WR’s Caught in Hall Jam
Rick Gosselin

I feel for Michael Irvin. And Art Monk. And Drew Pearson. And Andre Reed. And just about anyone else who has lined up at wide receiver in the NFL over the last three decades.

As a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, we seem to collectively have decided no wide receiver is worthy of Canton until Jerry Rice becomes eligible. We’ve lost sight of what greatness is.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame needs to define what a Hall of Fame wide receiver is for us. Is it the statistics? Is it the championships? Is it big plays in big games? Is it longevity? Is it consistency? Is it sizzle? What? The selection committee needs some guidance here.

If it’s statistics, Monk would be in. He set NFL records for most catches in a season (106) and career (940) before retiring after the 1995 season. He also played on three Super Bowl championship teams. He’s been a finalist for the Hall of Fame each of the last six years but has been voted down by the committee every time.

If it’s championships, Irvin would be in. He won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys in the 1990s as Troy Aikman’s go-to guy. He also has the stats. Despite a career shortened by a neck injury after 12 seasons, Irvin still ranks 13th on the all-time receiving list with 750 receptions. Irvin has been a finalist for the Hall the last two years but has been voted down both times.

If it’s big plays in big games, Pearson belongs. Remember the Hail Mary? Yet he’s never been a finalist.

If it’s longevity, Irving Fryar with 851 catches in 17 seasons ought to be in. He’s another guy who can’t get to the finals.

If it’s consistency, Reed belongs in. He played for the Buffalo Bills for 15 years and caught at least 50 passes in 13 of those seasons. He went to four Super Bowls and ranks fourth on the all-time receiving list with 951. But he’s another guy who has never been to the finals.

If it’s sizzle, Bob Hayes belongs. The nickname says it all – Bullet. But Hayes was voted down by the committee in his only appearance as a finalist in 2004.

The committee elected Lynn Swann in 2001, John Stallworth in 2002 and James Lofton in 2003. Now, for whatever reason, the tap has been turned off.

I’m not sure any of those three would be re-elected if they returned to the 2007 ballot. If 1990s inductees Tommy McDonald, Charlie Joiner and Steve Largent had to repeat the process in today’s climate, I doubt any of them would get in, either.

The selection committee seems to be waiting on Rice, which is not good news for Cris Carter and Tim Brown. Carter ranks second all-time with 1,101 catches and Brown third with 1,070. The stats may be there, but neither wears a championship ring. Carter never even played in a Super Bowl.

So what does a Hall of Fame receiver look like? The selection committee needs to figure that out very, very soon. The queue is getting backed up at the position.

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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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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.

5 Comments »

  1. When you consider Irvin & Aikman and Emmitt, Reed had Kelly & Thomas his whole career(and Lofton for part of it), and Monk had no HOF QB, only had Riggo for 5 yrs, and that he came into the league before receivers started getting the ball a lot, Irvin’s stats Reed’s stats dont look all that impressive. Monk was the 1st receiver to record 100 catches in a season, 900 in a career,1 catch in 180 straight games(only Rice broke that record),and once ranked 3rd in rcvg yds. Now who do you think was the better receiver? I’d say Monk.

    Comment by joe — October 25, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

  2. Monk was also a smart player. He was on 3rd down, he always knew where the first down marker was and when he was near the sideline, he was made sure had two feet down before he went out of bounce to make the catch.

    Comment by joe — October 25, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

  3. Stats its Monk(held the single season reception record for 8 years,the all time record for almost 3 yrs and 2mo’s, the first player catch 9OO passes, and the 4th to reach the 12,000 yd mark(Joiner,Largent,Lofton are in), consistency is also Monk(183 straight games with a catch), he also wears 3 rings like Michael Irvin so put him under the championship category, too. He also reached the 800 catch mark in fewer games than everyone except Rice and Harrison.

    Comment by Cdawg — November 20, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  4. 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 @ 10:48 pm

  5. Only one reason Art Monk is not in the Hall of Fame. He didn’t talk to sports writers. The same one’s who do the voting (who knows why) for the Hall of Fame.
    I know I won’t be visiting the Hall until he’s in!!

    Comment by Michael Goddard — October 30, 2007 @ 11:56 pm


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