Ray Guy: Inside the Legacy of 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee

The NFL has long downplayed the importance of punting. Maybe that’s because a punt is an admission of failure of the offense or because monster punts don’t often make highlight reels.

Yet punting is important enough that teams haven’t stopped doing it. A 1992 game between the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills was the first game without a punt in NFL history. If there were others, good luck finding that information.

While punting may never be glamorous, if it weren’t for Ray Guy, there’s a chance we’d look back at punting as we do leather helmets. Guy changed the expectations of the position forever.

On Saturday, Guy will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the senior committee’s nominees. Guy was a finalist seven times from 1992 to 2008, but somehow the larger, 46-person selection committee always found players more deserving.

As you will see, if there were ever a punter deserving of induction, it’s Guy.


Guy Makes History

Thanks to the legendary owner of the Oakland Raiders, Guy made history before ever stepping on the field as a professional. With the 23rd selection of the 1973 NFL draft, Al Davis made Guy the first punter ever drafted in the first round.

Many people think kickers and punters are the least athletic players in the NFL, but that couldn’t be further from the truth with Guy. Not only did he handle the kicking and punting duties at Southern Mississippi, but he actually played safety and had 18 interceptions in three years.

Guy said via conference call that he actually had a hard time transitioning to just being a punter at the pro level.

When you’re doing so many things and contributing in so many areas, and then all of a sudden one of your life starts out where you’re only focusing on one thing, it’s tough to get ...

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