Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pro Football Hall of Famer's Art Monk and Darrell Green

Former Redskins Art Monk and Darrell Green were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Monk finally was chosen in his eighth year of eligibility. He played 13 seasons with the Redskins and was one of the NFL's greatest receivers. When he finished his career, Monk held the NFL records for most consecutive games with a reception (183) and career receptions (940). Both of these were surpassed but Monk didn't play in as wide-open an era on offense as many other receivers today. He was one of the most consistent possession and third-down receivers in the league.

I was at two games at RFK Stadium where Art Monk broke NFL records. One was on December 16, 1984 vs the St. Louis Cardinals where Monk set the then NFL record for most receptions in a season with 106. Another was October 12, 1992 vs the Denver Broncos when Monk caught his 820th pass to become the all time pass receptions leader.

Darrell Green was one of the NFL's fastest and most skilled cornerbacks for twenty years. He spent his entire career (1983-2002) with the Redskins. He holds the NFL record for consecutive seasons with an interception (19), and had 54 career interceptions for 621 yards and six TDs. He was a member of the 1990's NFL All-Decade team and made seven Pro Bowls.

He was a cluch player, period. A few examples: Green's first career game vs the Dallas Cowboys September 5, 1983 where Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett broke loose down the left sideline on a long run. All of a sudden, there was Green racing after him. Green caught up to Dorsett and tackled him and saved a touchdown.

January 17, 1988 NFC Championship game vs Minnesota, Redskins ahead 17-10. The Vikings have the ball on the Redskins 6 yard line, fourth down and under a minute to go. Green knocks down a Wade Wilson pass attempt to RB Darrin Nelson at the goal line, giving the Redskins the NFC Championship. The Redskins go on to defeat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII.

But the one play that will forever stand out in my mind happened a week earlier in the divisional playoff game on January 10, 1988 in Chicago. The Redskins vs the defending Super Bowl Champion Bears. The game was tied 14-14 and Green returned a punt 52 yards for what turned out to be the game winning touchdown. Green can be seen at the end of the return clutching his side. The reason: He tore rib cartilage while making a cut trying to avoid a Bears defender.

I always tell friends I was proud to have seen a lot of games in person of what is easily the greatest era in Redskin history. These two classy players are a big part of that history and it's great seeing them elected in together.

1 comment:

Dave Lifton said...

Even as a Skins hater, I was glad to see Monk finally get his due. Along with Largent and Toomer, he had one of the best sets of hands I've ever seen.

Green was a no-brainer. I got to meet him a couple of years ago at some function, and it was the highlight of the night for me.