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RCDJ: Commentary: Monk finally gets the recognition he deserves


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Commentary: Monk finally gets the recognition he deserves

By Corey Davis/Richmond County

The Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles are all sports teams I simply hate to see be successful.

Nonetheless, there is one team that I despise even more passionately, and if you’re a Cowboys fan then you know who I’m referring to — the Washington Redskins.

The Cowboys-Redskins rivalry is one of the greatest NFL rivalries of all-time and one of the best in sports history. The two storied franchises have combined to win eight Super Bowl titles (Dallas five and Washington three), and the two NFC East teams have played epic and intense battles that have produced legendary games, plays and players.

A great player I hated seeing catch passes and touchdowns in that burgundy, gold and white uniform when I grew up watching football was James Arthur Monk — better known as Art Monk. During the Redskins’ glory years in the late 1980s and early 90s under Joe Gibbs’ first regime, Monk was Washington’s go-to-receiver.

He was a member of the Redskins’ wide out group nicknamed the “Posse” along with members Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders. Clark and Sanders were smallish receivers who were Washington’s deep threats, while Monk was the guy who moved the chains, went across the middle and caught balls in traffic.

Monk retired in 1995 and left setting NFL records for most catches in a season (106) and most consecutive games with a reception (164). He became the all-time receptions leader with his 820th catch in 1992 and finished with 940.

It would’ve seemed after the five-year minimum for players to be retired for eligibility in the Hall of Fame that Monk would’ve been a lock to be a first-ballot inductee, but that was never the case and for some reason Monk continued to get passed over.

Monk’s 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame was the prototype of today’s bigger and stronger receivers, but his personality was far different from what we’re accustomed to seeing today. While wide outs such as Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson are known for their big mouths as much as their big-time talent, Monk quietly went about his business.

He didn’t autograph a football after he scored a touchdown or go to the sidelines and make a mock proposal. No, Monk didn’t do any acts of shameless promotions to bring attention to himself liked today’s diva receiver do on a daily basis.

The same low key disposition Monk displayed on the gridiron was the same way he was off it, and he never publicly voiced any frustration or displeasure about being looked past. Monk had former teammates in the media who were outraged by him constantly being picked over come to his defense, and it was head-scratching to understand why over the years he still hadn’t gotten in.

Michael Irvin, who is my favorite receiver of all-time, was from the mold of a Monk with his strength and size. However, the two wide outs were different on and off the field. The “Playmaker” will be forever remembered for the passion with which he played the game and his hot-dogging style that also personified him. Irvin’s illustrious career was haunted by a series of off-the-field transgressions.

Despite his trials and tribulations though, Irvin’s impressive numbers during his 11-year career was enough for voters to overlook his troubled past and enshrine him before Monk into Canton. Monk’s numbers surpassed Irvin in all major receiving categories, but Monk’s lack of appreciation seemed to have come when his best years came when Washington didn’t win the NFL title while Irvin was at the height of his career when Dallas won three Super Bowls in the early 90s.

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What, no love for Darrell? I might have given him half a break if he once mentioned the other Redskin all-pro, class-act Canton was enshrining this weekend. Take your pick! Both Darrell and Art had more character in their pinkie fingers than that a**-wipe Irvin.

That guy can kiss my a**!


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