Friday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. ET

George Solomon Talks About Darrell Green, Art Monk

George Solomon
Washington Post Columnist, Former Post Sports Editor
Friday, August 1, 2008; 3:00 PM

Longtime Washington Post sports editor George Solomon was online Friday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. ET to chat with fans about the induction this weekend of Redskins greats Darrell Green and Art Monk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A transcript follows.

Solomon served as assistant managing editor for sports at The Washington Post from 1975 to 2003. He continues writing a weekly Sunday column for the paper.


Washington, D.C.: I am happy that the 'Skins are playing in the HoF game, but why can't the NFL get rid of the 5 preseason games issue?

George Solomon: The NFL plays as many preseason games as they do for two main reasons: Team generate a great deal of money from these games and coaches get a chance to see prospects perform under game conditions. They also get veterans ready to play, as well.


Alexandria, Va.: Will Abe Pollin get another championship? I can't help feeling about him like I do about Joe Gibbs. A great guy, a Washington institution, but for mysterious reasons he can't grab the brass ring.

George Solomon: It will be tough, since the competition in the NBA is very stiff. But I think Abe has his best chance for a title this year since 1979, as long as Gilbert Arenas is healthy.


Washington, D.C.: What are your favorite memories of Darrell and Art as players?

George Solomon: Monk did not drop any key passes. Ever. And my favorite memory of Darrell Green is when he was honored as one of the 75 greatest Redskins, he took off his team jacket given to all the "75 greatest players" and went on the field to play against the Colts. Great moment.


Arlington, Va.: Why do you think it took so long for Art Monk to make it into the Hall? And do you think he should have been in much sooner or no?

George Solomon: He should have been elected several years ago. Other wide receivers were more spectacular, if not more efficient....and he was not a media favorite, rarely speaking during the season.


Canton, Ohio: George -- did you set the policy that Post writers can't vote for the Hall of Fame(s)...or any other athletic honors, for that matter.

George Solomon: I did set that policy. Journalists should cover news; not make news....

So I'm guilty of that one -- if you are looking for a guilty party.


Alexandria, Va.: Hi George, thanks for doing this. Can you talk a little bit about the Post's relationship with the Redskins since Dan Snyder bought the team? And a little bit about your philosophy about how a paper should regard a team it covers.

George Solomon: As with any team, this newspaper has its ups and downs with the Redskins. But it's always been that way. Teams are happiest when they're covered a lot, and the coverage is favorable. Most teams in town would like more coverage; that isn't a problem with the Redskins.


Washington: George What are your initial impressions of Jim Zorn? Is there any way to tell at this point if he is in over his head?

George Solomon: Jim Zorn seems very cool. He's not over his head at all; not nearly as over his head as I am on this chat. Cheers.


Harrisburg, Pa.: Do you remember when you first met Darrell Green and when you first met Art Monk, and what your first impressions of them were?

George Solomon: I met Darrell Green at a boxing match; he moved around a lot in the community. Did not hide, as some athletes do.

I met Monk after one of his earliest Redskins' home games; and at a charity event the same season.

Both are classy, first-rate individuals.


Arlington, Va.: While none of the current 'Skins will probably make the Hall, do you think any of them have a shot at the team's Ring of Fame? Would Sean Taylor have if he had lived?

George Solomon: Sean Taylor was a terrific player; he might have earned a lot of honors had he lived.

Who knows about the current crop: Portis, Moss, Cooley, Washington, Landry all good players.

Does Jason Taylor go into the Hall of Fame as a Redskin or Dolphin? Only kidding, of course.


Bethesda, Md.: Hi George -- in your opinion, why wasn't the 2nd Gibbs era more successful?

George Solomon: The game changed; but two playoff appearances in four year isn't bad.


Gaithersburg, Md.: So how do you like teaching at UM? Are you optimistic about the future of sportswriting? And why don't you appear on Washington Post Live?? You have a lot more insight than some of them!!

George Solomon: I do not appear on TV because I have a face for radio and a voice suited for print.

I do teach sports reporting at the University of Maryland, beginning my sixth year of doing so.

I see a bright future for journalism: In print, on the internet, TV, radio, etc. People want information.


Washington, D.C.: You hired a virtual Who's Who of sports writers and analysts during your time at The Post -- what did you see in folks like Wilbon, Aldridge, Kornheiser, Boswell, Richard Justice, etc. And what role did the paper play in developing their talents?

George Solomon: I did hire all of those people, although Boswell was on staff when I became sports editor in 1975 and I moved him from covering high school sports to baseball that summer.

Yes, all the people you mentioned owe me everything for developing their skills. I mean everythibng. As Joe Louis' manager once said, "look what I did for this guy."

In truth, they all made me look better than i was.


20165: Right now Gilbert Arenas is the main sports figure in DC. What does Jason Campbell have to do to supplant Agent Zero? Can he do it this year?

George Solomon: Add Alexander Ovechkin to your star list.

It would help Campbell to throw a touchdown pass in the last five minutes of a tight game.


Anonymous: How do you feel about the popularity of sports blogs? Do you read any on a regular basis? And how do you think they'll affect the future of sportswriting?

George Solomon: Sports blogs are popular. I read Steinberg occasionally. But I do not have a chance to read many other blogs.


Washington, D.C.: Hi George -- can you talk a little bit about your time as ESPN ombudsman? Is there anything you would have done differently?

George Solomon: I enjoyed my tour as ombudsman at ESPN. Of course, there are some aspects to what I did that I could have done better.


Annandale, Va.: Do you think any members of the Great Hogs O-line will ever get into the Hall? Grimm and Jacoby were mainstays on arguably the greatest Offensive Line in history, what are their chances?

George Solomon: I think Russ Grimm will make the Hall of Fame some day. He deserves it.


Induction Televised?: Any idea whether people can catch the induction ceremony? I wondered if ESPN would have it. Also do you know what time it is? Thanks

George Solomon: I'm sure the induction ceremony can be seen on Redskins Nation: Comcast, Fox, ESPN, 4,5, 7, 9 and likely to preempt the Reds-Nats game and any area fire that might occur.


Did you know?: Art Monk is related to Thelonius Monk? Really. The resemblance is there -- they're uncle and nephew I think. Doesn't that just make both of them that much cooler?

George Solomon: I do not know the answer to that question.


George Solomon: That's it, gang. Thanks for the good questions.

George Solomon


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