"Holy Toledo!"

August 22, 2013

Ray Guy Nominated As Hall Of Fame Finalist

Filed under: NFL, Oakland Raiders — Bill @ 4:18 pm

Below is the article from Raiders beat writer Steve Corkran giving you all the details, but first here is a few personal thoughts…

Well this is interesting because the nomination comes from the Senior Committee as opposed to the regular Hall Of Fame voters. This will dramatically improve Guy’s chances of making it to Canton. With improved training techniques, growth hormones, & steroids today’s punters make Ray Guy’s NFL statistics look somewhat average, but there are several factors to consider:

1- Ray Guy was unquestionably the premier punter of his era & dominated his position

2- Numbers don’t accurately describe Guy’s effectiveness. His punt may have traveled 42 yards but because it was such a high soaring kick it gave his team more time to get down field to tackle the returner. Before Ray Guy it was uncommon for a punter to have his kick remain in the air over 4 seconds, thus the phrase “hang time” began. Just ask the groundskeeper at the Super Dome, when Guy became the 1st to ever hit the scoreboard that hung high above the playing field. Later the stadium had to raise the scoreboard to prevent this from happening again.

3- Later in his career Guy began perfecting kicking the ball out of bounds inside the 20 yard line, now commonly referred to as a “coffin corner” kick. These days the NFL has made “inside the 20” an official statistic for punters, which didn’t exist before Ray Guy.

4- Lastly there is one play that might define the true athletic ability that made Ray Guy one of the greatest punters ever. The play occurred in one of the biggest games, Super Bowl XVIII, when he was the oldest punter in the NFL. Early in the 2nd quarter a Raider drive had stalled at the Redskin 42, so on came the punting unit. Long snapper Todd Christensen hiked the ball to Guy, who stood on his own 44 yard line. The snap sailed high & to Guy’s right. He leaped as high as he possibly could, catching the ball with only his right hand, then in one fluid motion brought the ball down and gave it a mighty boot. Later an NFL Films slow motion camera would reveal the true beauty of this play.

As the ball was about to soar over Guy’s head his leap carried him high into the air. It was the tip of his middle finger on his outstretched right hand that barely snagged the pointed end of the football. Few wide receivers could have made that catch. As the Redskin rushers raced towards him he calmly & smoothly positioned the ball in front of him and kicked. For those that don’t recall, when Ray Guy punted a football his kicking foot would end up stretched above his head. With all that was going on during this play, under Super Bowl pressure, he remained true to his form. The kick soared high towards the point where the Redskin goal line met the sideline, bouncing into the end zone narrowly missing the coffin corner.

Had the Raiders employed any other punter besides Ray Guy (or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) the ball would have sailed over his head. Even had they reached the ball very few would have caught it cleanly. Turnovers of this magnitude usually result in a score for the other team, at the very least causing a major shift in momentum, so this play saved the Raiders. Then when you consider that he just missed kicking the ball out of bounds at the one yard line, well that is in my opinion a Hall of Fame play.

Let’s hope this is his year to make it!
Bill

By Steve Corkran

Former Raiders punter Ray Guy is one of two Senior Committee nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is joined by former Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey.
Guy played for the Raiders from 1973-86. He is regarded as one of the best punters in league history. No pure punters have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Guy was named All-Pro six straight seasons and selected to the Pro Bowl seven times during his career.
Current Raiders punter Chris Kluwe long has been outspoken about the fact no pure punters are in the hall of fame. Guy is one of the players he has pushed for enshrinement.
“He’s a guy who should be in the hall of fame because he changed the game at his position,” Kluwe said Wednesday. “Before Ray Guy, no one really tracked hang time because they didn’t understand that that was an important stat. Then they realized, ‘Oh, hey, wait a minute, this is actually helping the team a lot.’ So, if you’re any player who redefined the game at your position, that is the definition of a hall of famer by the fact that everyone knows your name. It’s great news.”
For induction, Guy and Humphrey need the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Selection Committee can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven.
Here’s how the HOF summed up Guy’s career:
He averaged 40 yards per punt in all but one of his 14 seasons. In 207 career games, he punted 1,049 times for 44,493 yards for a career average of 42.4 yards. He also was noted for his precision as he dropped punts inside the 20-yard-line 209 times from 1976 through his retirement after the 1986 season. Data for that statistic was not available during his first three years. Guy was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

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2 Comments »

  1. Another great play that Guy made was in Super Bowl XI when the Vikings blocked the first punt of his career. As the ball rolled back towards the Raider goal-line, Guy went in and made the tackle, setting the Vikes up with a first and goal. I believe it was 2nd down when the Vikes then fumbled the ball. We recovered, our offense took the field and Clarence Davis exploded off left tackle for a 37 yard run, setting us up to go down and score the first points of the game. Had Guy not made that play, the game could have easily been 7-0 Vikings early in the first quarter. Instead, because of Guy, it was 3-0 Raiders and we went on to dominate them 32-14. That’s TWO great plays in two Super Bowl’s!!!

    Comment by Jeff — August 22, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

  2. I sure do hope he makes it in he was great.

    Comment by uncle buck — August 23, 2013 @ 7:39 am


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