clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Memo to John McClain

New, comments

the Houston Chronicle writer, not to be mistaken with Bruce Willis' John McClane of Die Hard. I don't dictate shit to that John McClane. He tells me my opinion.

But John McClain is a writer for the Houston Chronicle and a member of the Hall of Fame Committee. He recently blogged about the process and procedure (which is clearly broken) and added some illuminating thoughts in the comments section. I quote (emphasis added):

Memo to irate Art Monk fans:

Has it occurred to you that 30 of the 40 voters could have voted for Monk, and yet you continue to fire off nasty e-mails to everyone? Has it occurred to you that all those nasty e-mails insulting the intelligence of the committee just might make some of the pro-Monk crowd switch their votes? I'm not saying it will, but have you thought that you might actually be doing Monk damage? Didn't think so.

Whoa there... did a member of the Hall of Fame Committee just acknowledge that the people on said Committee would vote down a player out of spite for fans? If fans can "do damage" to Art Monk's career merely through emails, then I question not only the integrity of the process, but also of any individual in question who votes Nay because they dislike Art Monk's supporters.

We don't know if that person is John McClain. I can't find his vote on Monk.

Now, here's something I'd like for Monk fans to explain to me: During his 16-year career, the players and coaches voted him to the Pro Bowl three times. Why?

Why was he voted to the Pro Bowl? Because he was a Pro Bowl caliber receiver. Trick question?

Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Pro Bowls are split up by Conference, and it just so happens that he played at the same time in the same conference as James Lofton and Jerry Rice, among others. Or that he happened to be on the same team as Gary Clark, who put up similar numbers to Michael Irvin (now HoF) in his career. His lack of Pro Bowls with three (that's like Lynn Swann bad, and who ever heard of that guy??? Oh...) should be viewed, like everything else, in the context he played in. There were exceptional receivers in the National Football Conference when Art Monk played. James Lofton is in the Hall of Fame. Jerry Rice will be. Michael Irvin won Pro Bowls while Art Monk was playing as well, and he's in the Hall of Fame.

During his 16-year career, he led his team in receiving fewer than five times. Why?

But he led the team in receptions 7 times. Because Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders were speed receivers and were used as such, whereas Art Monk was the guy who generated first downs. Since moving the chains is at least as important to winning Football games as deep routes are, I wouldn't belittle Art Monk's contribution just because it wasn't always about the yards. Receptions are a better measure of one's involvement in the passing game than merely yards. And none of this takes into consideration what he's doing on running downs -- Art Monk was an excellent blocking WR. This is also where I mention leadership and class. Check.

During the prime of Monk's career, why did Gary Clark have more catches, touchdowns and a better average per catch than Monk?

Confused by the wording of the question. The obvious answer is that Gary Clark was an excellent wide receiver worthy of heaping praise upon. During the prime of Monk's career though, Gary Clark was in College. He enjoyed his best year in 1984 -- Clark joined the team in 1985. Is anyone surprised that the addition of another great receiver negatively affects the numbers of the other receivers?

As for the YPC issue, Gary Clark and Art Monk were simply different kinds of receivers. Gary Clark was a fast, deep threat. Whereas Art Monk was a possession receiver before possession receivers. That's what makes him a pioneer.

If the YPC metric is so important, then surely we should call into question Marvin Harrison's contribution to the Colts -- he's got fewer YPC than Monk. Art Monk didn't write his own Xs and Os. He ran routes and, more often than not, he was in a place one of his non-Hall of Fame QBs wanted to go with the ball. When Gary Clark was streaking down the field, as often as not, QBs chose to throw the ball at Art Monk in the middle instead. And chains were moved. And the team won. And won...

Here's a quick question I want John McClain to answer. Why is it that the same Hall of Fame Committee that seemingly needs to ask itself these effing questions about Pro Bowls and Yards Per Catch didn't bother asking them when you guys put Art Monk on the 1980s All Decade Team? Were those questions not prescient then?

And why is it that all his peers on that team, James Lofton, Steve Largent, and Jerry Rice, are either currently in the Hall of Fame or are destined for it? Wasn't Art Monk breaking Largent's receptions record and not the other way around?

But seriously, bla bla bla Gary Clark??