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Art Monk Internet Reaction: Sad

Being neither a native Washingtonian nor a Redskins fan, I can't entirely share in the fanatical Art Monk worship that crops up around this time every year, but years of exposure have at least made me sympathetic to the heartbroken masses who hurt so badly, for whatever reason. So let's consider some of the reaction this week.

1) Wizznutzz react by calling themselves the Rednutz and creating Art Monk t-shirts. If I were the Wizznutzz, I would retire from blogging and being weird and just open a clothing store already.

Monk t-shirts. (From the Mothering Hut)

2) Daniel Snyder issues a statement: "A good man and legitimate Hall of Famer is being denied entry for reasons we never know, by people who secretly vote. Art Monk is a Hall of Famer by any measure. This is not right."

3) The tireless crusader behind Monk For the Hall also issues a statement, which runs to 1,542 words, 1,506 words longer than Snyder's. Even I get depressed reading it.

As I listened to the list of the six finalists read this morning and heard that Art Monk's name was not one of them, a feeling of absolute dejection came over me. And it was more than just the fact that Art was snubbed once again. It went deeper than that....This is not sour grapes. This is not Redskins vs. Cowboys. This is right and wrong.

Etc. The Michael Irvin thing, needless to say, made it particularly painful for Monk For the Hall.

4)'s Casey Hubbard writes an homage to Monk, entitled "Character Should Count." The message, as with Monk For the Hall, is that the measure of a Hall of Famer should extend beyond the playing field. The bitterness isn't well disguised.

For one thing, it sure seems like the distance between Dallas, Texas and Canton, Ohio is a great deal shorter than the distance between Washington, D.C., and Canton. At least as far as the last two Hall of Fame classes is concerned.

Last year when Monk and Grimm were shut out, Troy Aikman and Rayfield Wright were enshrined.

Another Cowboy goes this year, Irvin. The so-called "Playmaker" has always been quite a character, hasn't he?


5) FanHouse blogger Michael David Smith ensures he will get hundreds of comments by making dismissive comments about Monk and Redskins fans. It's a solid strategy, and one I know I should employ more frequently. (Aside: hockey is dead, soccer is boring, the Redskins should change their name, Georgetown is overrated, GW is a mid-major and Screech looks like a chicken.) Here's what Michael David Timothy Daniel Gregory Jones Smith writes:

Redskins receiver Art Monk's failure to get in means he's highly unlikely ever to get in. Redskins fans hate it, but it's time for them to understand that it's just not going to happen for him. This was the best chance Monk had, with a groundswell of support from some of the writers had been most vocal in opposition to him in the past.

6) Some jokesters for The Post make a borderline hilarious joke in this morning's paper about how maybe Monk fans should rally behind a different cause, for example, Tony Shalhoub for the Walk of Fame. Get it, Monk? Great work, gents.

7) Bog friend Hogs Haven sums up his feelings quite succinctly: "[Bleep]: Canton, Ohio."

8) Sporting News's Paul Attner calls it "ridiculous," Dan Shanoff calls it a "scandal," Rick Snider says "it's just sad" and voters are "just too chicken," Dr. Z calls Monk "very functional" (that's not a great thing), Mark Schlereth calls Hall voters "clowns," Sports Frog "agrees," The Longshot is angry, SuperSkin calls it "almost unfathomable," Power Line calls it "an injustice," etc. etc. etc.

9) WaPo commenter Gack has posted about this over on some other blog, but he e-mailed me, so I'll let him have his say. He and Monk For the Hall want to refurbish a rec center of do a Habitat for Humanity project or something like that in Monk's name. Which you'll admit isn't the typical vote-for-my-favorite-player gimmick. Gack writes:

Basically, we want to do something to let Art know how much he means to us, and also do some good in the community, something that will bear his name and represent what he represented to us: honesty, integrity, hard work, and teamwork. Secondarily, we feel that if we can get enough fired-up Redskins fans to really do this and make an impact, the media and HoF voters will have to take notice, much more than a bunch of e-mails that come off like sour grapes. Besides, I don't know of anyone else in the HoF whose fans took it upon themselves to do something like this just because they loved their favorite player.

I guess if you want you can e-mail me and I'll pass your address along to Gack, or he can post his e-mail here if he wants. And I suppose if building homes for the poor doesn't work, the inevitable next step for Monk fans would be hunger strikes and self-flagellation. And after that, revolution!

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 5, 2007; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Thanks for the love, Steinz. Still trying to see how many people would actually volunteer to help if we were going to do something. Right now, the outraged seem to be content to post vitriolic rants and sign Internet petitions, but few have shown an interest in actually mobilizing to do something more concrete (pun intended).

If you ARE interested, just post in this thread. If we get enough people willing and able, we'll take the next steps.

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Must . . . resist bait . . . over . . . hockey crack . . .

Posted by: FS | February 5, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

must . . . resist bait . . . over . . . hockey crack . . .

Posted by: FS | February 5, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Art Monk was the best...I'll join the cause.

Posted by: bbtp89854726 | February 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand all of the hand-wringing for a possession receiver not being elected to the PFHOF. I don't ever recall any of Washington's opponents saying "To beat the Redskins, we HAVE to stop Art Monk." Monk was more of a stats accumulator than anything else.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter with chickens?

Posted by: jhorstma | February 5, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

this sums up america today, vote in a an individual who has been arrested with prostitutes and cocaine, twice. and leave out a model citizen who had more receptions, more yards and more touchdowns. sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: tony r | February 5, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Do Hall of Famers get an extra check or something? Honestly, as much as I like football, I doubt I will ever make the trip to Canton to see how many Redskins busts are in the hall of fame. Seriously, couldn't they have come up with a better place to put that thing? The word Ohio kind of sounds like someone yawning.

Posted by: bachelorofArt | February 5, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lee, most of DC might agree with you if Art Monk were simply a possession receiver. We're not talking about James Thrash here.

Go to and watch the video. I challenge you to watch that and come back here, still maintaining that 81 was just a "stats accumulator".

Besides, there's some kind of double standard going on when it's not only allowed by demanded that we celebrate Cal Ripken for being consistent, durable, and a great role model, while otherwise being merely mortal. But look at a guy who had the same kind of career in football, yet played on more championship teams, like Art Monk, and suddenly we should downplay his significance?

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't fully understand the "possession receiver" label for Monk. Even if that is the case, don't his numbers reflect that he may be the best possession receiver of all time? Should Rod Carew or Wade Boggs not be in the HOF because they were "singles hitters"? And when people ask, "do you remember a famous Monk catch?" how many receivers have defining catches? Lynn Swann got in seemingly on his performance against Dallas in the Super Bowl, but particularly his one famous catch. Swann had 336 catches to Monk's 940. Monk has a higher yards-par-catch than Marvin Harrison. Is Harrison just a possession receiver? I just don't get it.

Posted by: Joe in Richmond | February 5, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Here are the stats of two NFL receivers:
Receiver #1 940 catches, 13.5 YPC scored as many as eight TDs once.

Receiver #2 814 catches, 13.0 YPC, Scored 10 TDs once and eight TDs three times.

Receiver #1 is Art Monk. Receiver #2 is Keyshawn Johnson. I rest my case.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I'd feel a lot better about that t-shirt if he weren't standing on a Dallas star.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 5, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Never mind...they've got a burgundy and gold one too...looks awesome.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 5, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

i want to make the argument that art monk was better than steve largent. if that argument holds water, then why is art monk not yet in the hall of fame?

Posted by: papple | February 5, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Leetee has burning loins giggle.

So what you've shown is that Art Monk was a more prolific receiver than Keyshawn Johnson even though the former played prior to the 1994 rule changes that made it easier to pass the ball.

So yes, I accept your additional evidence for Art Monk's Hall of Fame bid.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | February 5, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Lee, thank you for once again proving that anyone can prove anything using statistics, no matter whether it's true or not. If I had more time, I'd whip up some amazing stats that showed how the Wizards could not ever be beaten if only Roger Mason, Jr were allowed to take a 24-foot shot at the 5:00 minute mark of every 3rd quarter.

Or something like that.

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

this really was the best shot he had....ruined my sunday when i read the list and didn't see his name

Posted by: | February 5, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm the guy who put together the Monk video that can be found on While I'm really pleased to have seen that video become a part of the presentation for Monk, obviously it wasn't enough.

I wrote the commentary on my site hours after the vote was announced when emotions were very raw. They still are, but as I read them now, geez, they ARE depressing, aren't they?

Well, what can I say? In a sport where sportsmanship has deteriorated every year, we have a guy in Monk who stands for everything a professional should aspire to be AND someone who was a role model.

I mean, is there ANY player in history that has garnered this kind of support so long after his retirement? Do any of these voters ever ask themselves WHY that is?

And the fact that it's talked about him going up against Carter and other receivers NOT OF HIS ERA next year is equally ridiculous. The VOTERS have made this mess by leaving Monk to languish in limbo when he should've gone in IMMEDIATELY. Judging him against receivers from a different era is like judging two track stars from different eras. Athletes change, evolve and in the NFL, RULES changed to favor the receiver.

Ah, I'm going to write a novel again. Somebody stop me.

Posted by: Tom Kercheval ( | February 6, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'll tell you what really steams me about this whole thing. You have over a dozen Hall of Fame players and coaches who say Art absolutely deserves to be inducted, yet there are a bunch of fat, self important "sportswriters" with an agenda who refuse to do so. These are the same lot who scream bloody murder every time an athlete gets in trouble with the law and then turn around and induct a crackheaded criminal. These idiots have never set foot an an NFL field. What the hell gives them the right to say who gets in and who doesn't? They should be stripped of their voting priveleges and demoted to writing the obit columns.

Posted by: Chico | February 6, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

There is no legitimate excuse to keep Art Monk out of the HOF. It isn't as if the hall in Canton is solely the repository of the "all time greatest" like Jim Brown or Joe Montana. They let in Warren Moon, Charlie Joyner, Harry Carson, and a host of other borderline players whose intangible qualities resonated with fans. And now Micheal Irvin's induction will further lower the bar. In his era Monk was the top reciever. From 1982 to 1992 Monk was referred to by nearly everyone as a future Hall of Famer. Times change, Jerry Rice (the Jim Brown of Recievers) breaks all of Monk's records, a generation of NFL fans comes of age who only know of Art Monk from his stats, it becomes easy for Monk's detractors to misrepresent and disrespect his achievments.
Consider this, why do so many people care about Art Monk? If he really was nothing special why does his induction have so much fan support year after year after year? Monk was and is deserving of the HOF. We, and the many thousands of others, who support Monk ought not to ever give up.
If we ever do it will be the same as giving up on the legitimacy of NFL football as a sport. If Monk "isn't worthy", if the NFL is more about politics and entertainment then it is about sport, then why do we thousands of fans continue to support all things NFL with our dollars and devotion?

Posted by: Matt | February 15, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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