PHOENIX, Ariz. -- It was a Hall of Fame day for the Washington Redskins, with Art Monk and Darrell Green elected to the shrine Saturday. Former commissioner Paul Tagliabue failed to get in for the second straight year.
"There's going to be a party at Redskin Park soon," Green said while talking by teleconference with Monk.
Also voted in were New England linebacker Andre Tippett, San Diego/San Francisco defensive end Fred Dean, Minnesota/Denver tackle Gary Zimmerman and senior committee choice, Kansas City cornerback Emmitt Thomas.
In his eighth year of eligibility, Monk finally was chosen. He concluded his career after the 1995 season with Philadelphia, but spent 13 years with the Redskins as one of the NFL's premier receivers. Monk held records for most consecutive games with a reception (164) and career catches (820). Both have been surpassed, but Monk didn't play in as wide-open an era on offense as many other receivers. He was one of the most consistent possession and third-down receivers in the league throughout his 14 pro seasons.
Green, one of the NFL's speediest and most skilled cornerbacks for two decades, spent his entire career (1983-2002) with the Redskins. He holds the record for consecutive seasons with an interception (19), and had 54 picks for 621 yards and six TDs. A member of the 1990s All-Decade team, Green made seven Pro Bowls.
"This is incredible. This is so special," Green said when informed of the vote. "This is out of this world. This literally transcends football, everything I have gone through to do what I was able to do. It was more than the ability to run and cover. It just goes so far beyond that."
The other player in his first year of eligibility, receiver Cris Carter, was not elected. Carter finished his 15-year career second on the career list in receptions and TD catches.
Inductions will be at the Pro Football Hall of Game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 2.
"I looked forward to the day we are going to Canton," Green said, breaking up with emotion. "Hopefully, there are several hundred thousand hotels there, and several hundred thousand tickets."
|Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com|
|Redskins cornerback Darrell Green speaks after the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008 was announced.|
Perhaps the most surprising outcome was Tagliabue again not getting enough support.
In his 17 years as commissioner, the NFL experienced no labor stoppages, while its revenues from TV contracts skyrocketed. There also were expansions to Jacksonville, Charlotte, Cleveland and Houston under his watch, and several teams moved into new stadiums, many of them built with public funds.
But many, including some reporters on the 44-member selection committee, found Tagliabue unapproachable and uncooperative.
Also failiing to get in were Redskins guard Russ Grimm, Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed, Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy, Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar, Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent, Miami Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg, Vikings guard Randall McDaniel, and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas.
Senior committee nominee Marshall Goldberg was not elected, either.
Tippett, who is in town as the Patriots' director of community affairs, was considered the best linebacker in the AFC during an era when Lawrence Taylor ruled the other conference. An outstanding pass rusher who also could handle coverage, he was a force against the run after coming out of junior college.
Although he weighed only 230, Dean was a fearsome pass rusher because of his speed and agility; blockers struggled to get their hands on him. He starred with the Chargers from 1975-81, then with the 49ers from 1981-85.
Thomas, who also was Green's position coach for years in Washington, was a superb bump-and-run and coverage cornerback for the Chiefs from 1966-78. He was the interim coach of the Falcons at the end of the 2007 season.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press