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Len Shapiro finally speaks!

Hat Tip: Extreme Skins.

Who is Len Shapiro? He's one of the 40 Hall of Fame Committee Voters. An At-Large voter, to be specific, but a Washington Post guy. He is one of the most enthusiastic Art Monk supporters which is great, considering John McClain insinuated (and Len Shapiro confirms) that Michael Irvin got in largely on the efforts of DMN's Rick Gosselin and Charean Williams. If Irvin was successful largely due to supportive voices, it doesn't hurt us to have Len Shapiro or Washington Times' David Elfin in the room making Monk's case.

Len correctly characterized Art Monk's snubbing as a tragedy. Few points from the article:

And I still don't get it. After 24 years on the selection committee, I honestly believed 2007 was going to be Monk's year, if only because he had waited so long and the number of can't-miss first time eligible players seemed rather thin.
Complete agreement here. Throw in Peter King recently supporting Monk (after years of arguing against) and this year's event had a certain amount of fate and expectation attached. And then, like a Behind the Music episode, Tragedy Struck.
Monk couldn't make it to the last six on a day when Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, in only his third year of eligibility, was among the exalted half-dozen. At that point in the process, the 40 selectors are asked to vote yes or no, and any candidate with 81 per cent of the yes votes gets his ticket punched to Canton.
But back to Irvin over Monk. Yes, the Dallas "Playmaker" had more touchdown catches than Monk and some very big postseason games, including three Super Bowl victories. Good for him. He's a Hall of Fame player, but I honestly thought my fellow selectors would take a "wait-your-turn" approach, and put Monk in this year and Irvin next.
We agree about the latter point. I think Irvin deserves to be in the HoF, but after Art Monk. Also I think Len Shapiro is simply mistaken about Monk's Touchdowns relative to Irvin. Art Monk had 68 career Regular Season TDs whereas Irvin had 65. They rank 30th and 37th all-time in that category respectively.

My first inclination was that perhaps Shapiro was including Postseason touchdowns, but then I realized that it wouldn't make a difference. Not many people know this, but Mr. Postseason Michael Irvin had 8 touchdowns in 16 postseason games, compared to Art Monk's 7 in 15. Whereas the former is widely and colloquially recognized as being a clutch postseason performer, Art Monk matches up quite well in postseason point production yet isn't known for producing in the playoffs. Why?

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Shapiro goes on to express his desire to consider Character as a reason for induction, and I couldn't agree with him more. That they don't is troubling, though not nearly as much as this (emphasis added):

His only semi-flaw? Perhaps some writers on the 40-man committee may still remember Monk's reluctance to wave his own flag back when he was playing, more than occasionally rejecting interview requests from his own local beat writers as well as out-of-towners when he was very much in his prime and a key part of the Redskins story. You'd like to think that wouldn't matter much in the selection process, but quite frankly, human nature occasionally takes over, and perhaps that's cost him a few votes.
But what would Shapiro know, he's just on the Committee! It's one thing if I'm questioning the integrity of the Committee (which I do) but an entirely different kind of monster when the Committee members themselves recognize the lunacy of it all.

Banging my head on keyboard while Taking It Personally.