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Happy Birthday, Art Monk!

Posted by Stephen Czarda on December 5, 2014 – 2:47 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

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Washington Redskins legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Monk is celebrating his 57th birthday today!

Monk — the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (888) and receiving yards — played 14 seasons in Washington. He recorded 1,000-yard seasons three straight years starting in 1984, appearing in three Pro Bowls during that span as well.

But, while Monk’s exploits on the gridiron have been well documented over the years, The Redskins Blog wants to celebrate his big day by looking at another joy in his life — fishing.

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According to TheHogs.net, Monk received his first fishing rod from his family when he was five-years-old.

“The family lived in an apartment above the Shiloh Gospel Chapel, and attended services there. His unusual patience and ability to focus was evident at an early age. His sister, Barbara recalls Christmas of 1962, when she’d given the five year old Art a toy fishing rod as a gift. Lela had a small goldfish bowl in the apartment, and Barbara came home one afternoon to find Art fishing for them with his new rod. “There he was,” she says, “standing in the middle of the living room, holding the rod with the plastic hook in the bowl. Anything he would put his mind to, he would go at it.”

When Monk was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, his son, James Monk Jr., recalled their times on the water together.

When we were outside playing with our friends, I was always Art Monk. He taught me how to catch a football. He taught me how to catch a baseball. We just spent a lot of time together going fishing in the Potomac River, get up early in the morning when the water is nice and still and being able to have talks with him. No one else is looking, no one else is around, just me and Dad having a talk about life. Those were the times that really counted and mattered. I want people to know how great of a man he is outside of his being a football.

CHIME IN: Do you have a favorite moment from Monk’s Redskins career? Let us know below. 

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