Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sally Jenkins on Marvin Harrison

The Redskins play the Colts this weekend, so the Washington Post sent Giants fan and Post columnist Sally Jenkins to Indianapolis to interview Marvin Harrison and write a piece on him.

It was a wonderful column. She wrote about his overarching shyness; his refusal to celebrate flamboyantly—or at all—for doing his job. She wrote about his diligence and hard work to become the best receiver that he could. She compared him with other receivers who had an almost pathological need for attention. She then showed how Harrison put up better numbers than they did and would probably retire as the best receiver of all time and would certainly be in the Hall of Fame.

In short, Sally Jenkins could have written this piece ten years ago, replaced the name “Marvin Harrison” with “Art Monk” and she would not have had to change one thing about the characterization or accomplishments of Art Monk, only his supporting cast. Art Monk grew up in a different time with different parents, teachers, coaches and other people around him, but everything else she wrote about Harrison was true for Monk.

Monk did what no other receivers did before him in the NFL. He had the most catches in a season (in fact he was the first NFL player to break 100), most catches in a career, and most consecutive games with a catch. These are records that Harrison now owns or will own shortly. There are only three things that Harrison has not done yet that Monk has; Monk has three Super Bowl rings to Harrison’s zero.

Monk also refused to talk. He refused to celebrate. He went about his business and worked diligently to be the best. He was also a great teammate and solid citizen.

Now, you would think that with so many comparisons to Monk being true, that a sportswriter for the WASHINGTON Post would have written the name Art Monk at least once in her piece, wouldn’t you? Well, she didn’t. And, since sportswriters are the ones who elect players into the NFL Hall of Fame, Art Monk continues to be ignored and continues to be refused a spot in Canton. Will Marvin Harrison suffer Monk’s injustice? Will he be left out while he watches Terrell Owens get elected?


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