A response to Peter King: It is time to right a wrong on Art

Washington Commanders

A response to Peter King: It is time to right a wrong on Art Monk By Rick Anuck After many years of opposition to the nomination and induction of Art Monk into the NFL Hall of Fame, Peter King decided to reflect further and he has retracted from that position. In his own words: “As I made my rounds of training camps this year, I asked veteran coaches about Monk and the one word that kept coming up was “unselfish.” His downfield blocking prowess kept coming up. His long-term numbers were almost Yastrzemski-like (one or two great years, lots of productive ones, very reliable). But when I talked to Joe Gibbs on Friday, the one thing that stood out was the body of work we don’t see — the downfield blocking, the quiet leadership, and this: Unlike his louder receiving mates Clark and Ricky Sanders, Monk, according to Gibbs, never once said he wanted the ball more. “We used him almost as a tight end a lot,” said Gibbs, “and not only did he do it willingly, he was a great blocker for us. If he’d been a squeaky wheel, who knows how many catches Art would have had. But he cared about one thing — the team.” So many of the things Carson did can’t be quantified. Similarly with Monk. Not only did he lead the NFL in all-time receptions when he retired, but he blocked superbly and was the most important locker-room influence on a three-time Super Bowl champion. I’m voting for him. ” The argument to have James Arthur Monk inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame has had many tangible and intangible reasons over the years. Many of the tangible qualities that make Art Monk a worthy inductee in the Hall of Fame can only be described in numbers: Art holds numerous Washington Redskins records including most career receptions (888), most career receiving yards (12,026), most receptions in a single game (13 against Detroit in 1990), and most receptions in a single season (106 in 1984). He retired as the NFL’s All-Time receptions leader with 940 and the most consecutive games with a catch (183). He had nine 50-reception seasons. He made it three-times as a Pro-Bowler. The numbers of Art Monk during regular seasons, playoffs and Superbowls compare more than favorably with other contemporary wide receivers already inducted in the Hall of Fame: Regular Seasons Player name Career Receptions Yards TD’s Charlie Joiner 1969-86 750 12,146 65 James Loften 1978-93 764 14,004 75 Steve Largent 1976-89 813 13,089 100 Art Monk 1980-94 940 12,721 68 John Stallworth 1974-87 537 8,723 63 Lynn Swann 1974-82 336 5,462 51 Playoffs Player name Games Receptions Yds TD’s SB-Rings Charlie Joiner 8 33 599 5 0 James Loften 12 41 749 8 0 Steve Largent 7 23 434 4 0 Art Monk 15 69 1,062 7 3 Lynn Swann 13 43 830 8 3 John Stallworth 15 52 1,014 12 3 Super Bowls Player name Games Receptions Yds TD’s SB-Rings Charlie Joiner 0 0 0 0 0 James Loften 2 8 153 0 0 Steve Largent 0 0 0 0 0 Art Monk 3 9 179 0 3 Lynn Swann 3 16 364 3 3 John Stallworth 3 8 244 3 3 But it is also the quality of his play not captured in tangible numbers, which makes Art Monk a worthy inductee in the NFL Hall of Fame. His qualities and abilities are best captured by the nickname given to him by Richard Justice: the quiet hero . Justice best captured the human essence of Art when he wrote in the opening paragraph: “Few athletes handled success with less pretense than Art Monk. Yet sometimes the goodness of the person overshadowed the magnificence of the performer. Occasionally lost in all the accolades about Monk the man and Monk the teammate and Monk the husband and father is the simple fact that Art Monk was one of the best receivers in NFL history.” http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bf/Artmonk.jpg Art played with great skill and courage as a designated target against the toughest defensive backs in the League and he was able to consistently move the chains to keep countless key drives alive. His ability to attract coverage and his generosity to block tacklers opened up the game for other receivers. His work ethic made it possible for his team to win over an entire era. The NFL honored Monk by naming him to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team but the just recognition that he deserves for his work in the NFL has been taken away from him by a few influential voters so far. Ronnie Lott captured best the essence of this injustice when he said: “Art Monk was an example for Jerry Rice. That’s what Jerry always told me. There’s nothing negative to say. He has the numbers, the catches, and the championships. 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, is what he gave back. Look how he conducted himself. Nobody I know deserves it more.” Ronnie is right. It is about integrity, love and passion for the game. When those three words are put together, the name of James Arthur Monk comes to mind. I would like to believe that this attitude removes the last obstacle to have Art Monk inducted in the Hall of Fame. But after so many years of frustration, you will forgive me if I remain a bit skeptical and incredolous about this change of heart among other voters, such as Paul Zimmerman. If Peter Kink keeps his promise and Paul Zimmerman truly acts in accordance with the words quoted by Peter to him in this article, I promise to remove my signature and I will not oppose Sports Illustrated as an institution. It is time Peter. It is the honorable thing to do. It is time to right a wrong on Art Monk. Acknowledgements. Thanks to Joe Gibbs, Len Shapiro, Michael Wilbon, Bill Polian, Pat Kirwan, Harry Carson, and many coaches and players not named here. Thanks to the thousands and thousands of NFL fans who have recognized the value of Art Monk on and off the field. Thanks to our fellow posters Todd Westerfield, Mark Solway and Scott Hurrey for their constant support for this cause. There is a large number of videos and articles in support of the induction of Art Monk in the NFL Hall of Fame. The list provided below is very probably incomplete but each of these articles contains very powerful arguments. Interviews: http://www.usafootball.com/articles/19-press-box/95-featured-articles/354-interview-with-art-monk.php Interview with Art Monk by Hilary Strahota Videos: http://www.monk4thehall.com/ Monk for the Hall http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1313055692 Art Monk makes history http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWgVVVmGkLA Art Monk http://vidsearch.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1264126967 Art Monk and the Skins Articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51024-2005Feb24.html A Hall of Mystery by Leonard Shapiro. http://www.the-hogs.net/History/ArtMonk/ Quotes from Monk’s peers. http://www.the-hogs.net/History/ArtMonk/index1.html The Road to Canton http://www.the-hogs.net/History/ArtMonk/index2.html Not in the Hall? Flash Video http://www.footballcamps.com/default.asp?page=20&camp=1&psub=12 ‘Big Money’ Should Be in Pro Football Hall of Fame” by John Wiebusch. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47421-2005Jan29.html Monk Has Run Into This Pattern Before. George Solomon’s response to King. http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-406865.html Try Again, Pete, Steve Czaban’s response to King. http://czabe.com/daily/archives/2006/01/index.html#000186 Bettis Backyard No Longer Field of Dreams, Steve Czaban’s response to King, Part II http://www.redskins.com/news/newsDetail.jsp?id=5759 In HoF Voting, Monk Deserves Better, Gary Fitzgerald’s response to King http://www.protrade.com/… Hey Canton, Make Some Room for Monk! by Ben Alamar http://www.hailredskins.com/Pond.htm A View from Across the Pond by Andrew Williams http://czabe.com/daily/archives/2006/01/silent_as_a_mon.html Silent as a Monk, the HOF Snub Continues by Steve Czaban http://redskins.scout.com/2/493893.html?refid=400 Explaining the Obvious to the Dense by Rich Tandler http://espn.go.com/classic/s/2004/0805/1852886.html Immortality on hold by Ray Ratto http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020701115.html Before Moving Ahead, One Final Look Back by Leonard Shapiro http://www.redskins.com/news/newsDetail.jsp?id=5706 Good Samaritans Bowl’ A Redskins Effort by Ryan Basen http://archive.sportingnews.com/nfl/100/91.html Sporting News profile http://www.theredskinreport.com/2006/01/28/is-art-monk-a-hall-of-famer-part-one-introduction/ Is Art Monk a Hall of Famer? – Part 1 of 4 The Redskin Report http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/000960.html Art Monk up for Canton by Murdoc Online http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCL/is_9_32/ai_99378829 Art Monk: how’s this for selfless? The former Redskins wideout didn’t play in the game that stands out the most of him – The Game I’ll Never Forget by Chuck O’Donnell http://journals.aol.com/dcsportsguy/mrirrelevant/entries/613 Art Monk Is a HOFer by Jamie Mottram http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/archives/2004_02_01_default.htm#107582071983917682 Sports: Media Credibility and the Hall of Fame http://www.allsports.com/cgi-bin/showstory.cgi?story_id=50437 Art Monk deserves to be in the hall of fame by Derrick Pearson http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18640-2005Jan18.html The Chat House by Michael Wilbon http://www.sportscolumn.com/story/2005/2/21/112054/527/nfl/Is_It_Time_to_Tweak_the_Rules Is It Time to Tweak the Rules by Robert Janis http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20040117-121634-5779r.htm Art Monk deserves spot in Hall by Thom Loverro http://www.sportspage43.com/e_article000224543.cfm No Art Appreciation.How the Hall Punk’d Art Monk by Mike Bruckheim http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A1162-2004Jan31?language=printer Monk Is Passed Over Once Again. Elway, B. Sanders, Eller and Brown Are Elected to Hall of Fame by Mark Maske http://nesportsdudes.8k.com/e031504Monk.html How in the Hall? by Steve Eifler http://www.redskins.com/news/newsDetail.jsp?id=22717 Hall of Fame: New Hope For Monk by Gary…

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