Saturday, February 2, 2008

Art Monk. . .You Mean Art CHUMP

I know the Skins fans are not going to want to hear this, but Art Monk getting into the hall of fame while Andre Reed does not is an utter travesty against mankind. It is an abomination unto football. I defy you to make a case for Art Monk that does not DEMAND entrance for Andre Reed. I DEFY YOU!

Any for Monk case not based on moustache thickness falls apart under scrutiny

Let's look at the numbers; we'll do this JAWS style and take career and peak (peak was selected as best 7 years by # of receptions):

Art Monk v. Andre Reed, career:

Games: 224 v. 234
Receptions: 940 v. 951
Yards: 12,721 v. 13,198
Touchdowns: 68 v. 87
Yards/Rec: 13.5 v. 13.9

Oh, what's that? Andre Reed was BETTER ON LITERALLY EVERY MEASURE??? Maybe Art Monk was better during his peak?

Art Monk v. Andre Reed, best 7 years:

Games: 111 v. 111
Receptions: 567 v. 532
Yards: 7,617 v. 7,590
Touchdowns: 39 v. 50
Yards/Rec: 13.4 v. 14.3

Art Monk does a bit better here but not really. Andre Reed scored significantly more touchdowns and was a better big play threat. As the guys at pro-football-reference will tell you, a touchdown is worth significantly more than catching the ball at the one. I think that even during their respective peaks, Andre was a better receiver than Monk.

Andre Reed was even better regarded at the time, making 4 more pro-bowls and one more all-pro team.

But let's be honest. These guys are basically statistically indistinguishable. I don't want to go into the deep and absurd statistical nonsense that goes on over at PFR, but thankfully even a raw cut like this can show you that there is essentially no difference, and if anything, Andre was a bit better. In addition, I don't think there's even a case to be made in terms of supporting cast.

Yeah those early 90's Bills teams were awesome, which I will assert loudly and repeatedly when asked, and often when NOT asked. Someone may ask me if I'm going to get dessert, I'll just bellow that the '90 Bills were an unholy collection of talent that got unlucky in one game and if there was any justice they would be enshrined along side the '86 Bears and '72 Dolphins in the collective mind of football fans everywhere.

Yet those 80's-90's Redskins teams were also pretty good. They even won a couple of Super Bowls, a statistic that is pretty meaningless but I guess doesn't TAKE AWAY from how good they were. They were a solid team for Art Monk's whole career and even had a set of decent QBs.

It's obvious that Jim Kelly was infinitely better than Joe Theisman and Mark Rypien's best qualities combined. I'm just not sure how much that should be weighed when considering the relative qualities of Art Monk and Andre Reed. I'm obviously torn between my desire to elevate Andre Reed while not disparaging the amazing Jim Kelly, but I think that it's possible for Jim Kelly to be awesome and for Andre Reed to still be better than Art Monk. That's a deep conversation, I think, in terms of how much the QB's abilities influence the receiver's statistics.

Ultimately, I don't think that supporting cast lends a significant edge either way, so I'm pretty comfortable just looking at the raw statistics above. If you do that, there is no plausible case for Art Monk that excludes Andre Reed. I demand justice.

Ultimately, I think I will actually get it. Andre Reed will get in next year, facilitated by the admission of Art Monk. Bruce Smith will be a first ballot guy. Steve Tasker will get in someday. And I believe people will look at all of these hall of fame players on the same team, and say, damn, that was one freaking awesome team who played a couple of bad games at bad times.


Ryan Smith said...

Warning: this is kinda long…

I’m usually not a fan of “If X player gets in the HOF, then Y player deserves to be there, too” arguments. Too many unaccounted-for variables. In this case, I think you’re underestimating a QB’s impact on a wideout’s production. You mention it, but I think it deserves more weight than you’re giving it. Jim Kelly was far better than Theismann, Williams, and Rypien. Like, miles better. Don’t get me wrong: Reed was good in his own right. His success as a wide receiver was not simply a product of Kelly’s accuracy and arm strength. But it certainly didn’t hurt. Plus, it’s no small thing that, for the bulk of his career, Reed was catching passes from the same guy. I realize that something as nebulous and unquantifiable as “chemistry” is a silly thing to build an argument around, but in a game like football, where timing matters so crucially, I think there’s some truth to the fact that QBs and WRs have to “be on the same page” in order to move the ball down the field. Success on the football field hinges on these symbiotic relationships.

Still, this is really just a long-winded way of saying: I kinda agree with you. Andre Reed deserves to be in the Hall. Not because he’s as good as (or better than) Art Monk, but because he was one of the most-productive wideouts of his era – an era which was overshadowed by the perspective-shattering exploits of Jerry Rice.

Plus Reed was straight-up ill in Tecmo.

Love the “Someone may ask me if I’m going to get dessert…” line.

Srikant Narasimhan said...

andre reed is clearly punished for the fact that the bills didnt win a super bowl...and in fact lost 4. Also, comparing the pro-style redskins offense to the K-Gun doesnt make the numbers comparison fair. I think both belong though...but don't think its as big a travesty as you think.

Srikant Narasimhan said...

also james lofton was the deep threat...not reed.

Wilson said...

Andre Reed was a BETTER deep threat than Art Monk; that's all I meant. James Lofton was the deep threat the years he played for us, but that was only 3 years.

I agree that the K-Gun was radically different from the Redskins offense, but I think you'll find it was less pass-happy than you remember. That offense was really all about Thurman Thomas as the focal point. I haven't looked, but I would wager that in terms of passes thrown to wide receivers the offenses were very similar numerically.

Wilson said...

Moreover, the fact that Reed is being devalued based on the Super Bowls is the very injustice at work

Ryan Smith said...

HOF voting is rarely an exercise in objectivity. I really haven't paid much attention to football HOF voting over the years, but if it's anything like baseball voting, it's more or less a sham. Maybe if Andre Reed was more "feared" like Jim Rice, he'd have a better shot...

Wilson said...

Oh yeah the NFL hall of fame is more or less a joke; admitting everyone and their mother; and the baseball hall of fame is heading down that road rather quickly.

I lose my blogging license if I don't make an angry post about the Bills every now and again though.

Srikant Narasimhan said...

completely agree in re hof...and i also think that reed deserves it too...very unfortuante. That Bills team was one of the best ever, and will never get there due...