Should character matter?

Casey Husband argued at the official site that Character Should Count in the Hall of Fame. Needless to say I completely agree with him, as that would only strengthen an Art Monk bid. From Casey:

One of these years, it is hoped, the Hall's voters will get it right. In other words, they'll look more favorably on Art Monk, who has always been known for his character.

Not just because of the fact that on Oct. 12, 1992, he became the NFL's all-time receptions leader with career catch No. 820. But because of the fact that Monk brought character to the game.

We agree. The Hall of Fame Committee does not.

A recent article on Monk's Good Samaritan Foundation really drove that point about character home for me, although similar stories of selflessness, charity, and character from Monk aren't hard to come by. Emphasis mine:

That's important to Monk. The reticent former star, who has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is still shy about publicity - unless it's for the Good Samaritan Foundation.

"The foundation is something that's very important," he said. "We feel it's a responsibility that we have to do our part to look after the youth in Washington. ... It's not just something that we do to have people look at us and say, `Hey, we're doing a good job.' This is serious to us.

"We're not looking for a pat on the back. We're just looking to do good work."

I wonder whether Monk's aloofness (mentioned above as "shyness") to the media throughout his career worked against him so many years later, when that same club refused him entrance to the Hall of Fame over and over and over and over again.

Of course Michael Irvin should also be praised for his sterling reputation and character to which Keith Bilbray can attest:

He was very professional, very courteous...
Note: Duncanville Police Department Spokesman Keith Bilbray.

Just saying.

Update [2007-2-7 10:8:9 by Skin Patrol]: Kirkendell over at Cincy Jungle weighed in on the character issue and has some interesting thoughts. He agrees that Art Monk should be in, but also believes that character should not be "debilitating" on entry. Thoughts?

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