In the aftermath of Saturday's frustrating news that Curtis Martin will not make the Hall of Fame, many simply assume Martin will make the Hall next year. I am not so certain this is the case. I think about Art Monk who had to wait seven long years to gain enshrinement.
Monk retired with the record for most receptions in NFL history. He also held the record for most receptions in one season and most consecutive games with a catch. Despite these historic numbers, the writers did not think he was "dominant" enough for all of those years.
Monk was quiet and unassuming. He never rocked the boat or drew attention to himself. Michael Irvin made the Hall of Fame before Monk. Compare Irvin's numbers against Monk's numbers. Where was Irvin significantly better? Do you want to compare Super Bowls? Irvin won three with Troy Aikman, another Hall of Famer, throwing to him. Monk won three with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien throwing to him. The difference is Irvin had a big persona and drew media attention to himself. Add that to his production, and it creates the perception he was more dominant than the quiet Monk. The reality is different.
People are affected by Martin's quiet demeanor. That is why you read people claim Martin was not dominant despite running for 1,000 yards 10 straight seasons and winning a rushing title. Dominant means excellent on the field, not drawing attention to oneself.