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Monk Snubbed Again

Feb 6, 2005, 2:01 PM EST

Contrary to what Yogi Berra once said, sometimes it is over before it’s over.

When John Mulbach, Jr., introduced as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, announced that Art Monk and Russ Grimm had made it through the first cut of nominees from 15 to 10, there was still some hope that one or both would be cast in bronze in Canton. But neither made the next reduction in the field to six so, before Mulbach announced the four new enshrinees, it was over.

Grimm was in his first go-around and his selection would have been cause for celebration, of course, but his exclusion was by and large expected

It was a different story regarding Monk. He once held three major receiving records—receptions in a career, receptions in a season, and consecutive games with at least once reception. He is a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. The reaction to his exlclusion here was, what?

Shocked? No, not even mildly surprised. If you check the blog archives you’ll find this entry dated January 13 under the headline HOF: Another Year, Another Disappointment?

Two star players from Joe Gibbs’ first stint as coach of the Redskins, Art Monk and Russ Grimm, made the list of 15 finalists that will be considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next summer. Monk has been eligible for induction for five years and has made it to the round of 15 every year, while Grimm has been eligible for nine years and this is the first time he has made it this far.

Don’t expect either to get in.

Angry? No, already expended enough of that on this subject. But many fans of the Redskins certainly were. Here’s a sampling of the reaction posted on one message board:

What a joke.

I am sick to my stomach.

If they can continually pass over a candidate whose peers and fans have consistently thought should be in, then there is some kind of prejudice going on with the committee.

Just sick.

Rot in hell Peter King and the rest of the idiots on the Hall of Shame selection committee. You are an embarrassment to the sport of football.

Back to the reaction here: Dumbfounded? Yeah, that’s it. Dumbfounded.

Even leaving aside the class with which he conducted himself on and off the field and the three Super Bowl rings, I just don’t understand how the man who once held those three records can be left out. I will say without looking it up that you can’t find a similar situation in any sport’s hall of fame. If you find one, my email address is posted above, please let me know.

I’m even more dumbfounded after reading this quote by Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated, who goes by the moniker “Dr. Z” :

SI.COM: How about Art Monk?

Dr. Z: Monk was hurt by Michael Irvin being eligible this year. It’s done alphabetically, and Irvin was presented before Monk. I think that really hurt him.

So, Monk is out because “I” comes before “M” in the alphabet? Irvin makes the final six and Monk is voted off the island by sheer luck? The granting of the status of immortality is dependent on such happenstance?

I would assume that it is the solemn duty of each selector to walk into the selection meeting brimming with knowledge about each of the 15 finalists. While there is some discussion, I would think that it would take some new and stunning revelation by someone in the room to swing even a single vote. If the attention span of the selectors is so short that they can’t consider each candidate in his own right, they need to get some new selectors or at least get some ritilan in the room.

Monk’s former teammate Doc Walker once said that “Art Monk doesn’t need the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame needs him.” One day, perhaps in the somewhat distant future, the voters will recognize that fact and enshrine him in the hall. Until then, though, it’s another year, another disappointment.

  1. Muccman - Feb 7, 2005 at 1:22 AM

    This is blasphemy. How could they continously disregard such a great player and character such as our beloved Art Monk. Redskin bias aside, he truly is a top candidate for the hall of fame. He not only represents a great statistical career, but the career of a champion, both on and off the field. What a great guy and what a great shame.

  2. Muccman - Feb 7, 2005 at 5:22 AM

    This is blasphemy. How could they continously disregard such a great player and character such as our beloved Art Monk. Redskin bias aside, he truly is a top candidate for the hall of fame. He not only represents a great statistical career, but the career of a champion, both on and off the field. What a great guy and what a great shame.

  3. oneampoet - Feb 7, 2005 at 2:30 PM

    I was talking to my friend whose an Eagles fan, and even he can’t believe they skipped over Monk again….I mean if even a Phili Fan recognizes that Monk should be in the Hall of Fame, then how stupid can these HOF voters be.

  4. oneampoet - Feb 7, 2005 at 6:30 PM

    I was talking to my friend whose an Eagles fan, and even he can’t believe they skipped over Monk again….I mean if even a Phili Fan recognizes that Monk should be in the Hall of Fame, then how stupid can these HOF voters be.

  5. mbarnes202 - Feb 7, 2005 at 5:29 PM

    Well,
    I agree, of course. I mean, 960 receptions and 12,000 yards (or whatever the totals are) are pretty darn amazing, considering that a whole, whole lot of those yards were ended with a crushing tackle over the middle.
    But I think the refrain we keep hearing is that “but he only went to 3 pro bowls,” meaning that even his peers and the coaches and fans who saw him every week did not think he was one of the best receivers in the league.
    I read this argument, and it’s not a good measure (in isolation) for HALL OF FAME candidacy, for exactly someone like Art Monk. I’d like to know who beat out Art Monk each of his years as a WR to be selected the NFC WR, and then ask, OK, what was that person’s career stats? A player’s career value is measured by more than simply whether in any given season someone was better.
    I still like my Eddie Murray comparison– never league MVP, often not even All-Star at 1B, but the guy ended up as one of only three ever to hit 3,000 hits and 500 HR. Does he not make the Hall of Fame because one year Don Mattingly was better, and then several years later Frank Thomas is better? Of course not! Neither had the career that Murray did. Similarly, just because early in his career, Andre Reed was better, and later in his career Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin was better doesn’t mean that as a career, Monk was never any good. He obviously deserves a spot.
    But, Chris Mortensen implied that Irvin will get in before Monk. Travesty!

  6. mbarnes202 - Feb 7, 2005 at 9:29 PM

    Well,
    I agree, of course. I mean, 960 receptions and 12,000 yards (or whatever the totals are) are pretty darn amazing, considering that a whole, whole lot of those yards were ended with a crushing tackle over the middle.
    But I think the refrain we keep hearing is that “but he only went to 3 pro bowls,” meaning that even his peers and the coaches and fans who saw him every week did not think he was one of the best receivers in the league.
    I read this argument, and it’s not a good measure (in isolation) for HALL OF FAME candidacy, for exactly someone like Art Monk. I’d like to know who beat out Art Monk each of his years as a WR to be selected the NFC WR, and then ask, OK, what was that person’s career stats? A player’s career value is measured by more than simply whether in any given season someone was better.
    I still like my Eddie Murray comparison– never league MVP, often not even All-Star at 1B, but the guy ended up as one of only three ever to hit 3,000 hits and 500 HR. Does he not make the Hall of Fame because one year Don Mattingly was better, and then several years later Frank Thomas is better? Of course not! Neither had the career that Murray did. Similarly, just because early in his career, Andre Reed was better, and later in his career Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin was better doesn’t mean that as a career, Monk was never any good. He obviously deserves a spot.
    But, Chris Mortensen implied that Irvin will get in before Monk. Travesty!

  7. Anonymous - Feb 7, 2005 at 5:41 PM

    Hey, at least Michael Irvin didn’t get in.

  8. Anonymous - Feb 7, 2005 at 9:41 PM

    Hey, at least Michael Irvin didn’t get in.

  9. Big Al - Feb 7, 2005 at 6:58 PM

    It is truly astonishing that only one player – ONE PLAYER from the Joe Gibbs years that won three Super Bowls and played in a fourth has been elected to the Hall of Fame. John Riggins was great and belongs in the Hall, but the team won two Super Bowls after he left.

    Why are there no Hogs – the unit that brought huge players and immense fame to offensive lines everywhere? The unit that led the team for so many years? Grimm and Jacoby should be in the Hall. An argument can be made for Bostic. People say it saw a great “unit” without great individual players. Isn’t football a team game? “Units” don’t excell without excellent players.

    Why are there no receivers? Monk is such an obvious, drop dead choice. That he is not in the Hall is a stain on some otherwise decent sports writers.

    Why are there no defenders? You think Darrell Green is a lock? I don’t. Not enough interceptions. Not enough jewelry. Never mind that he was a shut-down corner before Deion left high school. How about Dave Butz? He was a monster for YEARS. Monte Coleman?

    It’s time to face it – these players all deserve to be there, but won’t get there because they didn’t self-promote. Lynn Swann can’t carry Art Monk’s practice jersey, yet he’s in the Hall. What’s up with THAT?

    The Redskins have been snubbed before. Where’s Chris Hanburger – were NINE Pro Bowls not enough? Would 10 have made a difference?

    These players were clean, outstanding citizens who stayed out of trouble. Not enough room in the Hall, what with O.J., L.T., and soon Irvin taking up space.

    There are seven members of the 1970s Dolphins that won two Super Bowls. Five members of the 60s-70s Vikings that won NO Super Bowls. Nine members of the 1970s Steelers that won four Super Bowls. Three members of the late 70s/early 80s Chargers who won nothing. Hell – there are FIVE members of the late 60s/early 70s Redskins that won ZERO Super Bowls!

    Why this undeniable bias against the Gibbs-era Redskins? Do the Washington representatives (George Solomon and Mike Wilbon) get outmaneuvered and outtalked by Peter King and Paul Zimmerman? If they allowed one vote per team, it might be different. How many of the voters are from New York? How many are “national” writers? Not sure what the problem is, but at least the voters do tend to speak up and try to defend their selections, unlike the baseball writers.

  10. Big Al - Feb 7, 2005 at 10:58 PM

    It is truly astonishing that only one player – ONE PLAYER from the Joe Gibbs years that won three Super Bowls and played in a fourth has been elected to the Hall of Fame. John Riggins was great and belongs in the Hall, but the team won two Super Bowls after he left.

    Why are there no Hogs – the unit that brought huge players and immense fame to offensive lines everywhere? The unit that led the team for so many years? Grimm and Jacoby should be in the Hall. An argument can be made for Bostic. People say it saw a great “unit” without great individual players. Isn’t football a team game? “Units” don’t excell without excellent players.

    Why are there no receivers? Monk is such an obvious, drop dead choice. That he is not in the Hall is a stain on some otherwise decent sports writers.

    Why are there no defenders? You think Darrell Green is a lock? I don’t. Not enough interceptions. Not enough jewelry. Never mind that he was a shut-down corner before Deion left high school. How about Dave Butz? He was a monster for YEARS. Monte Coleman?

    It’s time to face it – these players all deserve to be there, but won’t get there because they didn’t self-promote. Lynn Swann can’t carry Art Monk’s practice jersey, yet he’s in the Hall. What’s up with THAT?

    The Redskins have been snubbed before. Where’s Chris Hanburger – were NINE Pro Bowls not enough? Would 10 have made a difference?

    These players were clean, outstanding citizens who stayed out of trouble. Not enough room in the Hall, what with O.J., L.T., and soon Irvin taking up space.

    There are seven members of the 1970s Dolphins that won two Super Bowls. Five members of the 60s-70s Vikings that won NO Super Bowls. Nine members of the 1970s Steelers that won four Super Bowls. Three members of the late 70s/early 80s Chargers who won nothing. Hell – there are FIVE members of the late 60s/early 70s Redskins that won ZERO Super Bowls!

    Why this undeniable bias against the Gibbs-era Redskins? Do the Washington representatives (George Solomon and Mike Wilbon) get outmaneuvered and outtalked by Peter King and Paul Zimmerman? If they allowed one vote per team, it might be different. How many of the voters are from New York? How many are “national” writers? Not sure what the problem is, but at least the voters do tend to speak up and try to defend their selections, unlike the baseball writers.

  11. Anonymous - Feb 8, 2005 at 3:29 AM

    Pro football loves a showboater. But Monk went about his greatness quietly. He was never a touchdown machine, and he never had huge signature plays. But he was the flawless foundation of the Redskins passing game for a decade. The perfect football player at the wide receiver position. Everything you draft for, train for, coach for. The fact that he’s not in is a testament to the fact that the Hall of Fame isn’t about who were the best football players, it’s about who the celebrities were. And that’s a crime.

    Don’t you think that if Art Monk had spiked a few balls, gotten some endorsements, and gone to TV after his retirement from football, that he’d be in?

    Makes you wonder if Grimm hadn’t become a well-liked coach, would he have been nominated at all?

    I think the Hall NEEDS to bring in the stalwart players who simply played perfect football. Make a statement that the NFL values FOOTBALL skills, sportsmanship, character, and longevity, and not celebrity.

  12. Anonymous - Feb 8, 2005 at 7:29 AM

    Pro football loves a showboater. But Monk went about his greatness quietly. He was never a touchdown machine, and he never had huge signature plays. But he was the flawless foundation of the Redskins passing game for a decade. The perfect football player at the wide receiver position. Everything you draft for, train for, coach for. The fact that he’s not in is a testament to the fact that the Hall of Fame isn’t about who were the best football players, it’s about who the celebrities were. And that’s a crime.

    Don’t you think that if Art Monk had spiked a few balls, gotten some endorsements, and gone to TV after his retirement from football, that he’d be in?

    Makes you wonder if Grimm hadn’t become a well-liked coach, would he have been nominated at all?

    I think the Hall NEEDS to bring in the stalwart players who simply played perfect football. Make a statement that the NFL values FOOTBALL skills, sportsmanship, character, and longevity, and not celebrity.

  13. Jim and Tot - Feb 9, 2005 at 11:57 AM

    hi, im irish and im sorta confused thisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss site looks really boring so why dont you go and get a few ideas from mine its jim-and-tot.blogspot.com so bye bye

  14. Jim and Tot - Feb 9, 2005 at 3:57 PM

    hi, im irish and im sorta confused thisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss site looks really boring so why dont you go and get a few ideas from mine its jim-and-tot.blogspot.com so bye bye

  15. Rich Tandler - Feb 9, 2005 at 12:08 PM

    Jim and Tot,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I would try ideas like using coherent sentences with capital letters at the beginning before going out and criticizing someone else’s work.

  16. Rich Tandler - Feb 9, 2005 at 4:08 PM

    Jim and Tot,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I would try ideas like using coherent sentences with capital letters at the beginning before going out and criticizing someone else’s work.

  17. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2005 at 3:16 PM

    he did belong to the fun bunch…that alone should keep him out of the hall of fame…(just kidding of course)

  18. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2005 at 7:16 PM

    he did belong to the fun bunch…that alone should keep him out of the hall of fame…(just kidding of course)

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