Start wanting it less

In the movie The Shawshank Redemption , Morgan Freeman's character is up for parole year after year. And year after year, he makes an impassioned plea. Year after year, he gets passed over.

 

Finally, one year he says he doesn't care if he gets paroled. And wouldn't you know it, that's when the board releases him.

Maybe that's the approach Ray Guy needs to take toward getting into the National Football Hall of Fame.

A former first-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders -- which seemed nutty at the time, cause no one picks a punter first, and no one has since -- the Swainsboro native and Thomson High School standout is arguably the best punter in football history.

Even the NFL seems to say so in its biography of him on its Hall of Fame Web site: "First punter ever selected in first round, Raiders 1973 (23rd player overall) ... Averaged under 40 yards only once in NFL career ... Only three of 1,049 punts blocked ... Career average was 42.4 yards ... All-Pro six straight seasons, 1973-1978 ... All-AFC seven times ... Played in seven Pro Bowls, seven AFC championship games, three Super Bowls ... First punter to hit Louisiana Superdome scoreboard, 1977 Pro Bowl ... ."

Ray Guy kicked so high that they started keeping track of punters' "hang time." And they once checked a football he kicked to see if it had helium in it.

This Guy is simply the best. He changed the game. He's in the Georgia and Mississippi halls of fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

So, after he was recently snubbed again this year, we have to ask: Why won't they let him in the NFL hall of fame, for Pete's sake?

The question is driving him, and his fans, nuts.

So maybe we just need to let go and quit wanting it so bad.

We need to keep telling his story, certainly. But this dance of anger every year he gets passed over isn't doing him or us any good, and it may be aggravating some of the Hall of Fame voters.

Indeed, Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock recently referred to "Harry Carson, the bitter 2007 inductee who whined his way into Canton."

That's not what we want for Ray Guy.

All we want is what he has coming to him.

Maybe we just need to want it less and it will happen.

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Wed, 06/28/2017 - 23:44

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