Those are the arguments against Monk? Very weak. He has more catches than all but the top 4 WRs of all time
King continues: "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' ... 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' ."
emphasis mine. A team-first WR? Hunted to extinction.
King admits: "I'd say over the last five years, receiver-wrangling has taken up more than its fair share of time in the meetings. We just can't agree on who belongs. I forget which year it was, but we spent 46 minutes debating the merits of Monk in one meeting. That's the longest debate I recall in my decade-and-a-half at this post ... We've enshrined most of the great eligible quarterbacks from 1980 and on -- Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Troy Aikman. We've enshrined exactly one of the receivers who played his way into the Hall for what he did after 1980, James Lofton. Eight quarterbacks, one receiver. Isn't that unjust?"
As injust as a toothless man let loose in a peanut brittle warehouse.
King concludes: "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 ... Add up the total catches of Swann and Stallworth, 873, and you still don't get to [Monk]."
Case closed, right? I just hope King's flip-flop convinces the other Sportsjacks. Or I'll find him, whip him with my belt and steal his tacos.
Notice that he did not explicitly mention that the articulate arguments on Monk's behalf which have appeared regularly on I Dislike Your Favorite Team were not responsible for his Grinch-like change of heart. However, seeing justice done is all the reward I need. Art Monk: 940 receptions, 12,721 yards, 68 TDs, 3 Superbowls. Final votes are cast the day before the Superbowl.