Ray Guy

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Ray Guy
No. 8
Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1949-12-22) December 22, 1949 (age 64)
Place of birth: Swainsboro, Georgia
Career information
High school: Thomson (GA)
College: Southern Mississippi
NFL Draft: 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Debuted in 1973 for the Oakland Raiders
Last played in 1986 for the Los Angeles Raiders
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Punts 1,049
Punting Yards 44,493
Punting Avg 42.4
Stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is a retired American football punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.[1] Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973.[2]

A 6-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be one of the greatest punters of all time and has been a 7-times finalist as a modern era candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On August 21, 2013, he was selected by the Seniors Committee as a finalist for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.[3] He was elected to the Hall of Fame on February 1st, 2014, becoming only the second kicker (after Jan Stenerud) and the first pure punter so honored.[4]

Hall of Fame[edit]

Former Raiders Player Ray Guy was elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Saturday [February 1, 2014][5][6][7]

Playing success[edit]

Guy was the first punter ever to be selected in the first round in the NFL Draft, in 1973. In his 13-year career, Guy:

  • Played in 207 consecutive games
  • Punted 1,049 times for 44,493 yards, averaging 42.4 yards per punt, with a 33.8 net yards average
  • Had 210 punts inside the 20-yard line (not counting his first 3 seasons, when the NFL did not keep track of this stat), with just 128 touchbacks
  • Led the NFL in punting three times
  • Had a streak of 619 consecutive punts before having one blocked
  • Has a record of 111 career punts in post season games
  • Had five punts of over 60 yards during the 1981 season

Ray Guy was selected to seven AFC Pro Bowl teams, and in 1994, he was named the punter on the National Football League's 75th Anniversary Team. His trademark was kicking punts that stayed in the air for so long that by the time the punt returner was able to field it, the Raiders' coverage unit had the field covered so well that a return was not possible. Guy's punts often left opposing offenses pinned in their own end of the field. The statistic for hang time was instituted in the NFL during his career, reportedly because of him. Joe Horrigan, the historian of the Pro Football Hall of Fame once said: "He's the first punter you could look at and say: 'He won games.'"

In Super Bowl XVIII, Guy punted seven times for 299 yards (42.7 average), with 244 net yards (34.8 average) and planted five of his seven punts in the 20. Due in part to his effective punting, Oakland easily won the game, 38-9.

He was also an outstanding placekicker at Southern Mississippi, once kicking a then-record 61-yard field goal in a snowstorm during a game in Utah. In 1972 he kicked a 93-yard punt in a game against the University of Mississippi. After his senior season at Southern Miss, Guy was named Most Valuable Player of the 1973 Chicago College All-Star Game, in which an all-star team of college seniors played the current Super Bowl champion. He was also a starting safety at Southern Miss; during his senior season, he intercepted a USM record eight passes, and was named an All-American defensive back. Guy also played quarterback in his early years; for much of his career he was the Raiders' emergency quarterback, replacing kicker-quarterback George Blanda in this position. During the early part of Guy's career, he would occasionally do kickoffs for the Raiders because the aging Blanda no longer had great range.

Guy has been inducted into both the Mississippi and Georgia Sports Halls of Fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. For many years before his induction in 2014, he was considered one of the most worthy players who had not yet been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[8] In 1994, he was the first pure punter to be nominated for enshrinement. On April 21, 2008, Guy was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.[9]

At the 1976 Pro Bowl, Guy became the first punter to hit the Louisiana Superdome video screen. Officials raised the screen from 90 feet to 200 feet. The NFC team pulled the ball and had it tested for helium; it was filled with regular air. On August 21, 2013, he was selected by the Seniors Committee as a finalist for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.[10] On February 1, 2014 Ray Guy was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

The Ray Guy Award[edit]

In 2000, the Greater Augusta Sports Council instituted the Ray Guy Award, to be awarded to the nation's best collegiate punter. Since many collegiate punters nominated for the Ray Guy Award are either former students or work at his kicking camps, Guy himself does not participate in the voting process to avoid accusations of favoritism.

Pro kicking camps[edit]

In 2005, Ray Guy helped organize and participated in two-day kicking camps, held throughout the United States, for high-school punters, placekickers, and longsnappers. In 2007, the camp was once again held on the campus of Colorado College. He has help from son Ryan Guy.

Personal[edit]

Guy is married to Beverly Guy. He has two children, Ryan and Amber. His son Ryan works at Harlem Middle School as a coach.

On August 14, 2011, Guy filed for bankruptcy and was forced to put up his Super Bowl rings for auction. [11] The auction of the rings brought in $96,216, slightly higher than the upper estimate of 90K.[12][13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]