Another Hall of Fame Ray Guy Hater

Ray Guy's in Thomson this week holding his annual kicking camp at the high school there. And whenever he's in the area, one thing comes to mind: his annual Pro Football Hall of Fame snub. And with Guy as one of 25 Hall of Fame semifinalists for the 2010 induction, the same arguments arise.

Breaking news: some Hall of Fame voters still don't believe Ray Guy should be enshrined. The same ones who've shut him out the past two decades. 

He is only considered the greatest pure punter ever. Yet, no pure punter ever, make that EVER, has been elected. Instead, guys like Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would rather have Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, a 7-time Pro Bowler, immortalized. Fine. But there's still room on the ballot for Guy.

There are 44 members on the selection committee (see below). And they disagree with the fans, who believe Guy should be inducted. Check out fanschoice.com to find out who's leading fan voting for the Hall of Fame. Yep, the punter.

The argument for Guy is simple. 1) He revolutionized the punting position and 2) When you ask a number of people who the greatest punter ever is it's one person -- Ray Guy.  (He's a seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the prestigious National Football League 75th Annivesary All-Time team. 'Nuff said.)

Bouchette, who can be contacted at ebouchette@post-gazette.com,  disagrees. He wrote this in 2008:

Yet a punter, Ray Guy -- not even close to the best in the history of the game -- keeps making it to the final 15. The hall of fame should have a special wing -- make that a closet -- for special teams players. That would be better than having punters such as Guy -- who participated in probably an average of five plays a game -- somehow knocking real players such as Dawson out of spots in the finals. Put Guy in the special category, along with Steve Tasker if you must and a few kickers. They can even put in a long-snapper because, as the supporters of kickers and punters have argued for years, they are part of the game too.

And there's this gem he wrote earlier this month regarding the fan's vote:

A guy who trotted onto the field and swung his leg six or seven times a game and rarely came into contact with anything more than a football is the player the fans think most belongs in the Hall of Fame.

It's a good thing the fan vote does not count. Unlike fan votes for all-star teams, thankfully they will not determine who makes up the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

Last time I checked, it's not called the Pro Football Hall of Fame of Contact or the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Guys who Played 35-60 Snaps a Game. 

But we can stop worrying because thankfully we have 44 open-minded electors who will thoughtfully decide who gets elected in 2010 -- and not just some bunch of electors who cut backroom deals. Or worse, those darn fans who actually pay money to attend games and actually go the Hall of Fame. Who wants those nimrods voting anyway?

Because we have 44 electors we can trust we don't have to argue about stats. If we did so, we'd have to go this route. Let's mention a Hall of Fame QB who completed 50.1 percent of his passes and threw 173 touchdowns, 220 interceptions and had fewer career passing yards than Jake Plummer, Brad Johnson and Chris Chandler. Yet, Joe Namath is in the Hall of Fame. That one Super Bowl win carried him all the way to Canton, Ohio.

Namath helped changed the way the American Football League was viewed after that Super Bowl III victory. Guy helped changed the way people view punting. Two game-changers. Two great ones. One's in the Hall. Here's hoping the open-minded 44 voters decide to elect the other.

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(From profootballhof.com) Here are the 44 selectors:

Arizona Kent Somers, Arizona Republic
Atlanta Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
Baltimore Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV
Buffalo Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News
Carolina Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer
Chicago Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune*
Cincinnati Joe Reedy, Cincinnati Enquirer
Cleveland Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Dallas Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*
Denver Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
Detroit Tom Kowalski, Booth Newspapers
Green Bay Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Houston John McClain, Houston Chronicle*
Indianapolis Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
Jacksonville Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV
Kansas City Bob Gretz, KCFX Overland Park, KS
Miami Edwin Pope, Miami Herald*
Minnesota Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
New England Ron Borges, Boston Herald*
New Orleans Pete Finney, Times-Picayune
New York (Giants) Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record
New York (Jets) Gary Myers, New York Daily News
Oakland Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
Philadelphia Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
Pittsburgh Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
St. Louis Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
San Diego Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune
San Francisco Nancy Gay, AOL Sports/Fanhouse
Seattle Mike Sando, ESPN.com
Tampa Bay Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
Tennessee David Climer, The Tennessean
Washington David Elfin, Washington Times
PFWA Alex Marvez, FOXSports.com
At Large Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange
At Large Jarrett Bell, USA Today
At Large John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine
At Large John Czarnecki, FOXSports.com*
At Large Dave Goldberg, Associated Press*
At Large Peter King, Sports Illustrated
At Large Ira Miller, The Sports Xchange*  
At Large Len Shapiro, Miami Herald*  
At Large Vito Stellino, Florida Times Union  
At Large Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated  
At Large Charean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram

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Comments (14) Add comment
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Riverman1
86917
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Riverman1 01/01/10 - 08:31 am
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If he thinks punters mean

If he thinks punters mean nothing, I'd like to see two evenly matched teams play each other and one would not be allowed to punt.

jerryv31
28
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jerryv31 12/31/09 - 06:47 am
0
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How many games are won or

How many games are won or lost because of field position?  Ray Guy had the ability to pin an opponent deep, as well as dig his team out of a hole with a 70-yard blast.  He was in the top 5 in yards per punt 10 times in his career.  Mr. Guy was a game changer, if ever there was one, and he deserves his rightful spot in Canton.

getalife
4
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getalife 12/31/09 - 08:39 am
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The term "hang time" was

The term "hang time" was invented by Ray Guy.  He is the greatest punter ever.  Bouchette does not understand the game if he cannot see the effects of a punter on a game.

paulwheeler
124
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paulwheeler 12/31/09 - 10:09 am
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So this guy Bouchette, did

So this guy Bouchette, did he ever play the game at any level, or is he just another wannabe living off of his own words and the labor of someone else?  Personally, I don't think anyone should be able to make a living commenting on a sport unless they have actually played that sport at a higher organized level.

old man river
0
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old man river 12/31/09 - 01:35 pm
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I doubt any of the experts

I doubt any of the experts ever played a down of football. I bet that if the players were allowed to make the selection, Ray Guy would be a shoo-in. Why do writers get to pick anyway? If a guy snubbed them, they might vote against him for that. There are too many people voting and NONE with any football experience. John Clayton??? What's he weigh..a buck 40? The fans are the ones that support the game and keep it going. Therefore, fans should have a say so into who gets in and who doesn't. Maybe the CSRA as a whole can fire off some emails to the names on this list that vote and remind them of the greatness of the NFL's greatest punter ever. What say folks???

markmjtx
0
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markmjtx 12/31/09 - 03:53 pm
0
0
Good job Chris. Ray Guy

Good job Chris. Ray Guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. There is a long list of those deserving. Too many of the voters don't know the game and who played it. Jerry Kramer was voted for the 50th anniv. team, yet is not in the HOF. Claude Humphery, Tommy Nobis, Jim Marshall, Shannon Sharpe, Cris Carter, Gino Cappelletti, Andre Reed, Dick LeBeau, Richard Dent, Howard Mudd, Dave Robinson, Randy Gradishar are also missing. There are many more. Getting back to Guy, Bear Bryant said you need a good punter, because they don't call it arm-ball!

729
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Barry Paschal 12/31/09 - 05:20 pm
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Outstanding piece, Chris.

Outstanding piece, Chris.

Edward B. Turner
69
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Edward B. Turner 01/01/10 - 03:21 pm
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Terrific piece, Chris. Al

Terrific piece, Chris. Al Davis was wise to draft Ray Guy in the first round, and the three Super Bowl wins later with Guy punting and kicking off for the Raiders speak for themselves.Guy was a great all-around player, and could have played defensive back too as he did in college but Davis knew Guy was too valuable as a punter and did not want to risk him getting hurt. He was also the emergency quarterback for Oakland. Check out the recent piece on punters in last week's Sports Illustrated for more! 

shockproof
0
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shockproof 01/02/10 - 10:23 am
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If Ray Guy wasn't so in love

If Ray Guy wasn't so in love with himself and his "success", I'd say vote him in.

I know for a fact, he's been absolutely rude to "everyday" folk.

Riverman1
86917
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Riverman1 01/02/10 - 03:02 pm
0
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Ray Guy started in the NFL

Ray Guy started in the NFL kicking off, also, for a few years, I think. If that's true it would be a plus to get him in the HOF. (Pointcove is Riverman)

Chris Gay
90
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Chris Gay 01/05/10 - 12:38 am
0
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Thanks everyone.

Thanks everyone. Sacredground, I've never had a problem with Ray Guy -- and everyone I know has yet to say a bad word about him.

FYI, Ray Guy continues to lead at fanschoice.com

rwroma
0
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rwroma 01/23/10 - 04:36 pm
0
0
A fine piece. I live in

A fine piece. I live in Pittsburgh and often read Ed Bouchette's articles. He definitely has an anti-kicker/punter bias and very little in the way of reason with which to back it up. Also, he's written some far more unreasonable crap on the matter than what you've quoted here. Let us consider the name of the game, football. Kickers and punters are the only ones who actually advance the ball using their feet. Kickers actually score points with their kicks, quite a lot of points in fact. Along with Ray Guy I believe Reggie Roby should be inducted. As for kickers, Pete Gogolak is an obvious choice for having created the instep style of kicking a football. Other standouts include Gary Anderson and Morten Anderson. The induction of Jan Stenerud in 1991 seems to be the lone example of justice regarding kickers and punters in the Hall of Fame. 

rwroma
0
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rwroma 01/23/10 - 04:40 pm
0
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A fine piece. I live in

A fine piece. I live in Pittsburgh and often read Ed Bouchette's articles. He definitely has an anti-kicker/punter bias and very little in the way of reason with which to back it up. Also, he's written some far more unreasonable crap on the matter than what you've quoted here. Let us consider the name of the game, football. Kickers and punters are the only ones who actually advance the ball using their feet. Kickers actually score points with their kicks, quite a lot of points in fact. Along with Ray Guy I believe Reggie Roby should be inducted. As for kickers, Pete Gogolak is an obvious choice for having created the instep style of kicking a football. Other standouts include Gary Anderson and Morten Anderson. The induction of Jan Stenerud in 1991 seems to be the lone example of justice regarding kickers and punters in the Hall of Fame. 

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