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Raiders’ Ray Guy, The First NFL Punter To Make The Pro Football Hall Of Fame, Dies At 72

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Ray Guy, the primary punter to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Thursday. He was 72.

Southern Mississippi, the place Guy starred earlier than changing into the primary punter ever taken within the first spherical of the NFL draft, stated he died following a prolonged sickness. He had been receiving care in a Hattiesburg-area hospice.

Ray Guy is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jason Miller by way of Getty Photographs

Guy was drafted twenty third total by Al Davis’ Raiders in 1973 and performed his complete 14-year profession with the crew. He was a three-time All-Pro choice. In 2014, he turned the primary participant to make be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame solely for his punting.

Punter Ray Guy of the Raiders in action circa mid 1980s.
Punter Ray Guy of the Raiders in motion circa mid Eighties.

Focus On Sport by way of Getty Photographs

“Ray Guy was a football player who punted,” the late John Madden stated in 2014 earlier than he offered Guy for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Guy was chosen to the NFL’s seventy fifth anniversary crew and the 1970′s all-decade crew. He was a three-time Tremendous Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowl choice.

The yearly award that goes to one of the best punter in faculty soccer is known as after Guy, who additionally turned the primary punter ever inducted into the Faculty Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

“He punted the longest, highest footballs that I had ever seen,” Madden stated then.

A local of Thomson, Georgia, William Ray Guy turned a multi-position and multi-sport star at Southern Miss.

Guy performed defensive again for the Golden Eagles and nonetheless shares the varsity single-season file for many interceptions with eight in 1972. His 61-yard subject objective at Utah State that season set an NCAA file on the time.

He averaged 44.7 yards per punt for his profession, which stays a college file, and as a pitcher on the baseball crew Guy threw certainly one of six one-hitters in class historical past.

In 2015, Southern Miss renamed the road exterior The Duff Athletic Heart on its campus “Ray Guy Way.”

Guy ended his NFL profession in 1986 with a streak of 619 punts with out having one blocked. But it surely took practically three a long time for him to be chosen to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He was a finalist for induction seven instances beginning in 1992 with out being voted in and didn’t even make it that far on different events.

“That kind of bothered me because they were saying that’s not a position, it doesn’t take an athlete to do that, it’s not important,” Guy stated earlier than his Hall of Fame induction in 2014.

“That’s what really got under my skin. It wasn’t so much whether I did or didn’t. I wish somebody had. It was just knowing that they didn’t care.

“That’s what kind of frosted me a little bit.”

His kicks went so excessive that one which hit the Superdome scoreboard 90 ft above the sector in a Pro Bowl helped put “hang time” into the soccer vernacular. His skill to pin the opponent deep with both excessive kicks or well-positioned ones was a key a part of the success for the nice Raiders groups of the Seventies and 80s.

“It was something that was given to me. I don’t know how,” he stated. “I’m really blessed in that category. It’s something I really appreciate and I advanced it and I made it into something great.”

Guy’s statistics look considerably pedestrian in comparison with at present’s punters. His profession common of 42.4 yards per kick ranks 61st all time and his web common of 32.2 yards (excluding his first three seasons when the statistic wasn’t stored by the NFL) isn’t even within the prime 100.

But, he nonetheless is taken into account by many as one of the best to ever play the place.

“He really set a precedent for punters being assets to their teams and I’m just really happy to be living in the shadow of what he established,” Panthers four-time All-Pro punter Johnny Hekker stated.

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