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Monk: Explaining the Obvious to the Dumb

Monk: Explaining the Obvious to the Dumb

Monk: Explaining the Obvious to the Uninformed

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
The reasons that Hall of Fame voters keep finding to exclude Art Monk from the Hall of Fame have gotten more and more ridiculous each year the former Redskin great gets excluded. The absolute worst one I’ve ever heard came from Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated, aka Dr. Z, who came up with this gem in an article on SI.com:

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.

This is the kind of nonsense that those in favor of Monk’s induction are up against in trying to make the case for Monk. My reaction at the time:

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? Perhaps the bylaws should be amended so that they go in inverse alphabetical order in even-numbered years. If not, how will Monk ever surpass Irvin in the minds of the selectors?

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.
The one supposedly rational, lucid argument is that Monk was very good for a long period of time and didn’t have any great seasons (completely ignoring, of course, 1984 when he became the first NFL player to catch 100 passes in a season). If there was a hall of very good, they say, Monk would be in, but he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

This holds absolutely no water. While you can argue about definitions of “great” and “fame”, there is exactly one objective standard for deciding who should be in a sports hall of fame: How does this player compare with players who are already in the Hall of Fame?

Every other player who has held the career receptions record has been elected to the Hall of Fame, including Steve Largent, the man whose record Monk broke. He finished third in receptions in 1978; his next-best season was sixth place. His teams played in a handful of playoff games and never played in a Super Bowl.

OK, Largent did lead the league in receiving yards twice and that’s a nice credential. But what about Charlie Joiner? You talk about someone who made it as a complier of numbers. He played for 18 yards and retired with 750 catches, the record at the time. In a single season, he was never higher than third in receptions, never better than fourth in receiving yards.

The very good for a very long time club in Canton doesn’t include just Largent and Joiner. Hall of Famers Jackie Slater and Dan Dierdorf on the offensive line, quarterback Len Dawson, tight end Jackie Smith, defensive end Jack Youngblood, linebacker Nic Buoniconti, and defensive backs Paul Krause and Lem Barney are other who were recognized for their sustained excellence over a long period of time rather than for a smaller number of dominant season.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to tear down Largent and Joiner and the rest of them to build up Monk. To the contrary, most of them are deserving of having their bronze busts Canton. But if they are in, you have to put Monk in.

If you want to try to do something about the refusal of some members of the committee to do something about this, there are a couple of avenues. Here on this site we have posted contact information for the writers who vote for the HOF. It is up to date to the best of our knowledge. It would be better if your communication had a respectful tone and it’s probably too late to contact anyone who has just a postal address since most of them will be leaving for Detroit on Monday and the balloting will be held next Saturday.
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There is also a new effort this year, an online petition at electartmonk.com. They have over 1,000 signatures so far. I don’t know if such a thing will help, but it’s certainly worth a shot.

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back