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Old 01-17-2005, 05:09 PM   #1
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Question Art Monk. Hall of Famer?

Now I am obviously bias, being a Skins fan starting from the time Monk was in his prime. But having read Peter Kings "Monday morning QB" today, my dislike for King has grown even more due to his reasoning for leaving Monk off his HOF list.

Monk career stats R.940 Y.12721 AVR.13.5 TD.68 and lets not forget, 3 Super Bowl rings.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...qb.divisional/
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:38 PM   #2
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I agree with King for the most part there. Stats shouldn't really decide a guy's greatness. Basically, Art Monk was consistently good/decent. A man can't run 8-yard buttonhooks his whole career and be considered a Hall of Famer.

But go by stats.... He led the league receptions once, cracked the top 5 in yards twice. He was in the top 10 in touchdown receptions once, tying for ninth in 1991. There really were no other good receivers to compete with him on those lists, as Jerry Rice didn't even lead the league in receptions until 1990. Monk was competing with Al Toon, JT Smith and Carlos Carson for the majority of his prime.

His case (to me) is sort of like Rafael Palmeiro or even Fred McGriff. They have to stats to get in. In fact... Palmeiro basically automatically gets in with the unwritten HOF rule (500 home run club). But he was never outstanding, he was never dominated the league, his opponents never feared him. Those were just two good hitters for a long time.

I was expecting Monk to get in earlier, though. Four Super Bowl rings got Lynn Swann and John Stallworth into the Hall of Fame... why not Monk's three?

I think Monk will get into the Hall of Fame, though. It's just a matter of time. However, with all of the stat inflation of the 90s and present, he better not wait to long or it's gonna be tough finding him a spot.
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:15 PM   #3
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To add a bit more fuel to the fire.

Charlie Joiner is in the HOF with almost 200 less receptions 500+ less yards, the same amount of Pro Bowls as Monk(3) and no rings. He also played 3 more years than Monk.

James Lofton is in the HOF with about 1300 yards more than Monk, but almost 200 receptions less and never led the league in yards, receptions or TD's. He did make 5 more pro bowls than Monk, but never got a ring losing twice in the Super Bowl, Ironically once to Monk's Skins in 91.

Lynn Swan only played 9 years, but never had a 1000 yard season had over 600 catches less than Monk and 7000 yards less. Like Jay said, I guess 4 rings were good enough for his selection.

John Stallworth is 400+ receptions down on Monk's number and over 3000 yards less, despite playing just 2 less years than Monk. He never led the league in stats and just like Monk, played in only 3 pro bowls.

Seems like 4 rings is the magic number instead of 3.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:46 PM   #4
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Monk would get my vote. His career was cut short because of concussions and was one of the top WRs in the game when he was playing.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:07 PM   #5
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Not entirely sure how a guy who played 16 years and was 37 when he retired had his career cut short.
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:41 PM   #6
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Peter King, Section One
King misses the point. He talks about putting receiving statistics in perspective... and then fails to do so.

You don't compare Monk to Marvin Harrison and Isaac Bruce and Terrell Owens, all of whom began their careers when Monk was in his last season or already retired. The game has changed immensely. Monk was past his prime when the stat-friendly "West Coast" Offense spread throughout the league; when expansion made it easier for the best players to outdistance the guys they play against; when receiving numbers hit previously unheard-of levels; when the league re-emphasized the illegal contact rule. In fact, Monk helped bring about some of changes. He is the prototype for today's big receiver.

Compare Monk to his peers and he stands out in a big way. When Monk caught 106 passes in 1984, no other NFL player had ever topped 95. No other player caught as many as 90 passes that season; Monk led the league by 17 receptions (almost 20%). The record stood for almost a decade.

Monk had to overcome some serious obstacles to accomplish what he did. His quarterbacks in Washington were Joe Theismann, Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien, of whom only Theismann was above average. Monk also had to split his catches with Gary Clark, one of the best wide receivers of the 1980s, and speedy Super Bowl XXII hero Ricky Sanders. Even the unreproachable coaching of Joe Gibbs may have held Monk back. In 1983, the year before he shattered the single-season reception record, the Redskins ran the ball more than twice as often as they passed.

From 1984 to 1991, Monk was one of the top five receivers in the NFC four times -- an especially difficult feat since Clark and Sanders combined to make the top five three times during the same period.

Monk was the last player to concurrently hold the NFL records for receptions in a career, receptions in a season, and consecutive games with a reception. Every eligible player who was ever the NFL's all-time leading receiver is in the Hall. Monk held the receptions record for two years and was ahead of everyone except Jerry Rice for four more. Guys like Isaac Bruce and Jimmy Smith don't outdistance their peers like that.

And of course, Monk's numbers would be even higher if he hadn't missed 11 games in his prime because of two strike seasons.

Peter King, Section Two
King also puts a lot of stock in the idea that the Giants "feared" Clark more than Monk. Clark was a deep threat; blink a you might see him in the end zone. But Monk was putting nails in the coffin on 3rd-and-7 and opening running lanes downfield for John Riggins and Earnest Byner. 940 nails in the coffin.

King buys into the idea of his colleague, Paul Zimmerman, that Monk was an "eight-yard hook" receiver. For one thing, it's not really true. Monk averaged 13.5 yards per catch, almost a full yard ahead of Cris Carter's 12.7, but I bet King will vote for Carter, and I know Zimmerman will. Harrison averages 13.2, and the SI guys won't vote against him.

More importantly, though, even if Monk had been an "eight-yard hook" guy... he caught more of them than anyone else. By a lot. He shattered the single-season receptions record. Broke Steve Largent's career mark by over 100.

Peter King, Section Three
King even brings up all-pro selections. Monk had two. Troy Aikman had none. Think King will vote against Aikman? Me, neither. Charlie Joiner was all-pro once in 18 years, and he's in.

King thinks Monk doesn't belong in Canton because he "only" made three Pro Bowls. Joiner only made three. Ray Nitschke only made one. Who cares? If Monk had been a flamboyant player, he probably would have been more popular. HOF enshrinement shouldn't be a popularity contest, but that's what the Pro Bowl is.

It's also worth pointing out that Terry Bradshaw, Ozzie Newsome, and Lynn Swann are other HOFers with only three Pro Bowls. King wants Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby in Canton; they both had four Pro Bowl selections. That one extra puts them over the top?

On the Boards...
JayS claims that Monk "was competing with Al Toon, JT Smith and Carlos Carson for the majority of his prime". What happened to Largent, Lofton, Rice, Joiner, Henry Ellard, Andre Reed, and Gary Clark?

Conclusion
Monk should be a no-brainer. He became the NFL's all-time leading receiver in 1992, set several other NFL records, has three Super Bowl rings, ushered in the era of 100-reception seasons, is still among the Top 10 in history in receptions and receiving yards, and was one of the classiest guys in the game. What more do you want? That he played with below-average quarterbacks and was surrounded by other talented receivers? That his stats could have been even better if not for missed games during two strike seasons? That he was a first-round draft pick (the Redskins' first in 11 years) who lived up to his potential? If anyone deserves not to be passed over again, it's Art Monk.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:03 PM   #7
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The HOF without Art Monk is not complete.
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:46 AM   #8
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Over a period of roughly 20 years neatly spanning the '70s and '80s the Redskins made only three first-round draft picks (having traded all the others away, this having been done by George Allen in the first half of this period and by Bobby Beathard in the second half). Art Monk was one of the trio; Mark May and Darrell Green were the other two.

Maybe the Skins should have held onto more of their #1s?
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Old 01-19-2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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But for every Art Monk or Darrell Green, there is a Heath Shuler. I'll take the 3 super bowls we got during that era over holding onto possibly more Heath's.

Great post Brad. Maybe you should forward that to King.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:32 PM   #10
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Thanks, pimpbot. I agree with you about draft picks, too. Anthony and I had this discussion a couple years ago.
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:52 AM   #11
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Shameless plug time:

I address this question in my latest S-C column:

https://www.sports-central.org/sport...ll_of_fame.php

As far as Art Monk in the Hall of Fame, IMO, the answer is no, at least not this year.

The HOF can induct a maximum of six candidates, and by my count, there are probably about eight finalists this year more worthy than Monk.

But I do think he belongs in Canton, and hopefully, he'll get here one of these years.
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Old 01-24-2005, 05:02 AM   #12
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Eric, I don't disagree with you often, but I think you're way off on this one.

Marino, Young, and Friedman are no-brainers: we're agreed on this. Your arguments against Carson and Monk are way off-base, though.

Comparing Carson, an ILB, to Lawrence Taylor, an OLB, is absurd to begin with. Who do you want to kick out of the HOF, Jack Lambert or Jack Ham? Lambert wasn't the best LB on his own team, so I guess he's gone. Ridiculous logic.

And only one receiver in an era gets in? The Hall would be pretty empty with only six receivers. No Lavelli, Mitchell, Maynard, Stallworth, Monk, Carter? I'm lukewarm on Irvin, but it's ridiculous that Monk isn't in already. Hey, he wasn't Largent or Rice. But he was a groundbreaker and a consistent and clutch performer. No WR not named Rice should get in until Monk has a bust in Canton.

I'm also not sold on Dent or Thomas. I'll never support Dent, and I'd prefer to go with someone like Wehrli this year -- DBs are badly under-represented in Canton -- and wait another year or two for more perspective on Thomas, who was really a one-dimensional player (zero career INT and unsound against the run).

This is a strong class, to be sure, but I'm not as sold as you are on the notion that almost all of them should be in. I might mellow in a year or two, but today, I'd go nay on a third of the field (Dent, Greenwood, Humphrey, Irvin, Thomas, and maybe Pollard).

If I had to guess, I'd say Marino, Steve Young, Thomas, Pollard, Friedman, and Irvin get in. Grimm, Humphrey, Monk, and George Young, I think, have almost no chance this year.
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:25 AM   #13
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Easily a HOF. Brad hits right on the head with pointing out the different eras right off the bat.

Hard to imagine guys, but even before Monk, there was a time when defenses ruled, and receivers took more punishment in a game than today's receivers take in 3 or 4.

Personally, I want Monk in. He's a likable guy, although that should have no bearing on it, just my opinon. Skipped school two weeks ago and went down to Canton and saw the new room with the busts in it. VERY NICE. Much better than the old room. This one is all in black, and has touch screens in it so you can find a HOF and see his highlights, stats, bio, and a bunch of extra goodies. Kudos to the Hall for doing this, although new, the room is very dignified and gives an aura of greatness. Special section on Pat Tillman complete with Army Ranger uniform as well, not in the HOF room.

ESP...

Sure about only 6 in one year? Saw a few years where 7 got in the bust room. Perhaps a new law? Not sure here.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:20 AM   #14
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Two years ago the Hall went from max 7 to max 6. They also upped the Seniors pool from one to two. I like both changes.

And I love the touch screens.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:47 PM   #15
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Thanks Brad for the info. The touch screens are awesome with all that data. I turned to my brother and said " hey, I want this in my house."
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