Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stop the Nonsense: Put Monk in the Hall of Fame




A quadruple amputee can count on his fingers and toes the number of wide receivers in the NFL Hall of Fame that have caught more passes than Art Monk.

Out of the seventeen wide receivers in the HOF, none have more catches than Monk. None have led their teams to more Super Bowl appearances than Monk. When Art Monk retired, he was the leading ALL TIME record holder in number of receptions. When he retired he owned the record for consecutive games with at least one reception. When Art Monk retired, he owned the record for most catches in a single season. And, again, he was the mainstay on four Super Bowl teams.

In four Super Bowl Seasons, Monk caught passes from four different quarterbacks, none of which will get to the Hall of Fame without a ticket. In four Super Bowl seasons, Art Monk lined up with three different running backs in the backfield. Only Riggins is in the HOF. In four Super Bowl seasons, Monk had two different number-two receivers on the opposite side of the line from him. In fact, the only thing all four Redskins’ Super Bowl teams had in common was Monte Coleman on defense, Joe Gibbs at Head Coach, and Monk as wide receiver. Joe Gibbs’ Hall of Fame record is the same record of the Redskins when Art Monk was on the roster. So why wasn’t Art Monk a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

Monk was rejected for the sixth time on Saturday in his bid to enter the HOF. By all accounts he missed each year--including his first ballot--by a couple of votes; thirty-one votes of 39 sports writers are needed. There are two writers who write for Sports Illustrated that have made it their campaign to stop Monk from entering the Hall: Zimmerman and King. In fact, they have written extensively on it and their comments seem so biased it appears to be personal. All I can say is, if Monk doesn’t get in next year, Tagliabue should start an investigation into the motives of some of the writers. Maybe the NFL needs some turnover in the Hall of Fame voting committee.

One last comment:

I’ve compared Monk’s stats with player “X’s.” Monk and player X are from the same era as their careers overlapped by roughly seven years. Each led their team to four Super Bowl appearances, so championships are not a deciding factor in this comparison and each was surrounded by an excellent supporting cast. As you have probably guessed, Player X is already in the Hall of Fame.

Monk:
Receptions: 940
Yards: 12,721

Player X:
Receptions: 873
Yards: 14,185

Pretty close, right? If player X is in the Hall, Monk should be also.



The amazing thing is that player X is actually the COMBINED statistics of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Monk has almost triple the number of receptions as Swann and double the number as Stallworth. Monk has more career TDs than both. Monk never had a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing the ball to him, so he certainly didn’t have one for nearly every year of his career like those guys. Monk didn’t have a Hall of Fame running back in the backfield for nearly every year of his career, either. Oh, and Monk never had a Hall of Fame receiver on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage like Swann and Stallworth either.

Keeping Monk out of the HOF when he retired as the all-time receptions leader, single-season receptions leader, and all-time leader in most consecutive games with a reception is tantamount to keeping Babe Ruth out of MLB's HOF because a couple of guys named Aaron and Bonds eventually broke his career home run record; or Maris and Sosa and Bonds eventually broke his single-season HR record.

King and Zimmerman have gone so far as to say Monk wasn't the only guy defenses focused on when they played the Redskins as if other HOF players on great teams didn't have talented teammates. I guess that when teams played the Yankees they ignored Lou Gehrig.

Apart from being the best receiver in the history of the game when he retired and a three-time Super Bowl champion, Monk is a tremendous citizen. The NFL Hall of Fame is quickly becoming a joke.

1 Comments:

At August 17, 2007 11:04 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Monk was the best receiver in the history of the game when he retired? That's ridiculous! He retired in 1995, by which point Jerry Rice had surprised him. Also it was obvious by then that guys like Irvin and Andre Reed were better receivers. Then of course we can look at guys like Maynard and Berry who many would also argue were better. I somewhat agree with you about Stallworth and Swann, but I still don't think Monk was good enough. I think Gary Clark was the best receiver on the Skins during the '80s.

 

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