It's hard to believe, but when Art Monk and Darrell Green stand before their busts @ Canton this Saturday, they'll be only the 16th and 17th players/coaches who spent the bulk of their careers bleeding burgundy and gold. So while we wait for Saturday, allow me to bring a sense of realism to the festivities.
Since the overwhelming majority of you here in FanNation happen to be under 18, you have no clue as to the contributions of these two giants of Redskins folklore. That's where I come in. I saw both of them play in person, be it RFK Stadium or FedEx Field...so I can testify to their legendary exploits.
First, the "quiet man"...
Long before Jerry Rice came on the scene (and light years before T.O., Keyshawn and company), there was Art Monk. Here was a man who never screamed "give me the damned ball!!!". He didn't have to. He was money, when they needed him to get a crucial 3rd down. When he left the NFL, he stood atop the all-time reception list. Not to mention holding the record (at the time) of over 160 games with at least 1 catch. Nice work if you can get it...lol
(But apparently, Peter King of SI had a bug up his ****. This prick is why Art had to wait until now to make it to the Hall of Fame. The only reason you're breathing air on this planet, pal, is because you finally did the right thing this year. Otherwise, Redskins Nation would be hunting you down right about now...)
And now, to the "living legend"...
He showed up for 20 years, putting on the jersey with #28 on it, and proceeded to put fear in the hearts of WRs and RBs who dared to tangle with him. This, above all else, was (and continues to be) Darrell Green's legacy. Before anyone ever coined the phrase, you could honestly say Darrell was the embodiment of a "shutdown" cornerback. Notice, I didn't say original...just embodiment.
247 members of the HOF (including the group being enshrined Saturday)...and only 17 Redskins. Yo, that ain't right...
So what we Redskins fans need to do, is keep screaming from the mountaintops to get Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Charles Mann, Dave Butz and the rest of the Skins of the 1st Gibbs regime in the HOF. While I'm at it, how about showing some love for Chris Hanburger, Len Hauss, Larry Brown...hell, even Dexter Manley, too!!! (Hey, I defy you to prove me wrong on that last one. He's cleaned up his life now, so why not talk him up for the Hall??)
I know it's only August, but you can never stop thinking about who should be in the HOF. (As long as you don't put in any Cowturd. Never, NEVER do that!!!)
And now, the postscript (written 8/3/08)...
When Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas went in the HOF, Canton was awash in blue and white. Same goes for seeing the place in blue and orange, when Elway went in.
Last night, America saw Redskins Nation en masse to see our belief in Art Monk and Darrell Green vindicated. If it wasn't 95% burgundy and gold (as Steve Mariucci opined on the NFL Network last night), it was pretty damned near close.
Watching this on TV doesn't do it justice. I can only imagine what it must've been like for everybody there in person. You sit and tell me there wasn't a giant group cry there, and I'll call you a bleeping liar. This should happen every year, this coming together of Redskins Nation @ Canton. I'm not ashamed to say I was moved by all this, and not just by Art and Darrell.
It was nice to hear Emmitt Thomas' speech, and especially the line about how (looking over at Art and Darrell) they "overcame my coaching, and had stellar careers". That brought a smile to my face, and set the tone for the night. The only thing missing was seeing the stands rock, like RFK back in the day. That would've made the night complete.
I should take time out, and also congratulate the other inductees as well...Andre Tippett, Fred Dean, Gary Zimmerman, and Emmitt Thomas. Because this was intended to honor Art and Darrell, I didn't include them in the original blog. So this is a "make-good", to borrow from the term used in TV (when they run a commercial, and suddenly cut back to the action--then go back and run the commercial again to its entirety).
All in all, a good time was had by all.