Special sections – extra pages of stories and photos and advertising – are an old tradition in newspapers. Some are staples that return year after year – the Masters Tournament Preview section, the graduation section, the Christmas holiday gift guide.
Others come and go based on reader or advertiser interest. Progress editions, high school football preview editions, back-to-school sections.
And then there are singular sections around a person or event – the death of James Brown, the life of Strom Thurmond, the ascension of Ray Guy into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
That section was in Friday’s print editions of The Augusta Chronicle.
Sports writer Chris Gay did a marvelous job capturing the tales of Guy’s time in Thomson and the stories people still tell. Chris tracked down two former teammates of Guy’s about his amazing career at Southern Miss. And he unearthed some vignettes about Guy’s time with the Oakland Raiders that every football fan would enjoy.
Columnist Scott Michaux details the inside story of how the sports writer who nominated Guy this past year did additional research to persuade fellow voters of the punter’s impact.
“You realize this guy was being used as a weapon in a different way,” Boston Herald NFL reporter Ron Borges told Scott. Borges describes this as the moment that made the case.
The pullouts by designer Traci Westin and Sports Editor John Boyette add perspective to both the unique nature of Guy’s achievement and the length of time his position had been dismissed.
Now that our special sections are more than print, three special videos on Ray Guy can be found on your digital devices. One features Guy’s friends, family and former teammates congratulating him on the Hall. One is an explainer by Chronicle staffer Steve Schretzmann on Guy’s hangtime – a term coined to describe a particular skill Guy made people notice.
The third is a 30-minute documentary featuring Guy telling the story of his career. These are all together at augustachronicle.com/rayguy from your desktop computer and tablets, or at rayguy.augusta.com from your smartphones, thanks to Digital Director Kim Luciani.
The videos will help you prepare to celebrate as Guy goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio.
Chris Gay is also in Canton on Saturday, along with Chronicle staff photographer Jon-Michael Sullivan. The Chronicle archives are filled with articles of Guy’s athletic exploits across the country, in addition to his long hangtime to be elected to the Hall for transforming the punter position.
The ceremony starts at 7 p.m. and is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2. Chris and Jon-Michael will have full coverage in social media and the Web on Saturday night and in Sunday’s print edition. And that will just be the latest addition to our Ray Guy collection.