Ray Guy

Ray Guy
Guy playing for the Raiders in 1985
No. 8
Position: Punter
Personal information
Born: (1949-12-22) December 22, 1949
Swainsboro, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Thomson (Thomson, Georgia)
College: Southern Mississippi
NFL Draft: 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Punts: 1,049
Punting yards: 44,493
Average punt: 42.4
Player stats at NFL.com

William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is a former American football punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL).[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] Guy was elected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. A six-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time.[3]

With his induction to the Hall of Fame on August 2, 2014, he became only the second pure kicker (after Jan Stenerud) and the first pure punter so honored.[4]

College career

He was both a punter and a 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.

Professional career

Guy was the first punter ever to be selected in the first round in the NFL Draft, in 1973. Ray Guy was selected to seven 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 inside the 20. Due in part to his effective punting, Oakland easily won the game, 38-9.

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.

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.

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

Hall of Fame

Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014 on August 2, 2014.[5][6] 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.[7] In 1994, he was the first pure punter to be nominated for enshrinement. In his enshrinement speech, he proudly proclaimed, "Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team."

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. On April 21, 2008, Guy was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.[8]

Career statistics

Regular season
Denotes Super Bowl–winning season
Led the league
Year Team GP Punting
PuntsYardsAvgLongBlocked
1973Oakland Raiders 14693,12745.3720
1974Oakland Raiders 14743,12442.2660
1975Oakland Raiders 14682,97943.8640
1976Oakland Raiders 14672,78541.6660
1977Oakland Raiders 14592,55243.3740
1978Oakland Raiders 16813,46242.7692
1979Oakland Raiders 16692,93942.6711
1980Oakland Raiders 16713,09943.6770
1981Oakland Raiders 16964,19543.7690
1982LA Raiders 9471,83939.1570
1983LA Raiders 16783,33642.8630
1984LA Raiders 16913,80941.9630
1985LA Raiders 16893,62740.8680
1986LA Raiders 16903,62040.2640
Career2071,04944,49342.4773

Ray Guy Award

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

In 2005, 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 life

Guy was married to Beverly Guy. The couple has two children, Ryan and Amber.

On August 14, 2011, Guy filed for bankruptcy and was forced to put up his Super Bowl rings for auction.[9] The auction of the rings brought in $96,216, slightly higher than the upper estimate of 90K.[10][11]

References

  1. "Ray Guy, P at". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  2. "USM's Ray Guy talks about getting left out of Pro Football Hall of Fame - again (poll) | gulflive.com". Blog.gulflive.com. 2013-08-03. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  3. Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Derrick Brooks headlines HOF class". ESPN. 2014-02-01.
  5. Tafur, Vic (August 1, 2014). "Ray Guy's long wait ends with his Hall of Fame induction". SFGate.com. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  6. "RayGuy.net". RayGuy.net. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  7. Joyner, K.C. (2009-01-24), A Case for Ray Guy Belonging in Pro Football Hall of Fame, The New York Times, retrieved 2009-03-02
  8. "Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame – 2008 Inductees". Bashof.org. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  9. Gloster, Rob (August 10, 2011). "Bankrupt Ex-Raiders Punter Ray Guy Auctions Super Bowl Rings for $96,216". Bloomberg.
  10. Gay, Chris (2011-08-10). "Ray Guy's Super Bowl rings sell for $96,000-plus | The Augusta Chronicle". Chronicle.augusta.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  11. "Ray Guy's Ring". Natedsanders.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
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