Even Jim Rice thinks Paul Tagliabue should be judged solely on the merits of his work. The AP’s Barry Wilner on today’s Cantonese menu :
It was a Hall of Fame day for the Washington Redskins, with Art Monk (above) and Darrell Green elected to the shrine Saturday. Former commissioner Paul Tagliabue failed to get in for the second straight year.
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.
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.