PHOENIX Like the two old friends they are, Darrell Green and Art Monk chatted about the latest news in their lives: making the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Never mind that thousands of people were listening to the conference call after Saturday's announcement. This was simply two former Washington Redskins sharing verbal hugs after receiving the sport's highest honor.
"May I just say to you when I first came to Washington, you had just won the Super Bowl, you guys worked me over for nine weeks and I hated all of you," Green told Monk, drawing laughter.
"I appreciate your words," Monk told Green, who covered Monk in practices for years. "I was trying to hear some of the comments that you made and I feel the same way."
For the second straight year, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue failed to be elected.
Other players joining Green and Monk included 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.
Monk finally was chosen in his eighth year of eligibility. 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.
"Whether I deserved to play in the NFL or deserve even to be in Hall of Fame, I just loved the game, loved to play, loved being out there," Monk said.
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.
Davenport falters in Fed Cup
The Fed Cup was supposed to be Lindsay Davenport's baby.
It sure wasn't Saturday, when the veteran faltered badly in a stunning loss on the opening day of a quarterfinal against Germany in San Diego.
Playing in her native Southern California, Davenport didn't have much go her way in losing 6-1, 7-5 to 18-year-old Sabine Lisicki, who was coming off an impressive performance at the Australian Open.
Ashley Harkleroad shook off her nerves and evened the best-of-5 series at 1-1 with a brilliant Fed Cup debut, a 6-1, 6-3 win over Tatjana Malek.
The final three matches are scheduled for Sunday, when rain is forecast. Weather-permitting, Davenport will get an immediate chance to rebound when she plays Malek in the first match. Harkleroad will play Lisicki, followed by the doubles match, in which Davenport is scheduled to play.The winner of this quarterfinal moves on to face either Israel or defending Fed Cup champion Russia, which are also tied 1-1 after Maria Sharapova won her Fed Cup debut.
Groves wins speedskating race
Kristina Groves won a 1,500-meter speedskating race Saturday in Baselga di Pine, Italy, to strengthen her hold on second place in the overall World Cup standings.
Groves finished in 2 minutes, 1.07 seconds, ahead of Martina Sabilkova of the Czech Republic in 2:02.93. Canada's Christine Nesbitt was third, 0.05 behind Sabilkova.