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.)
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.
(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|