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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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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.