Ray Guy knows the routine by now, but that doesn't make it any easier.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors met Saturday afternoon for its annual election process. Once again, the members gave Guy their stock answer.
Despite stellar credentials, Guy, 58, was rejected for the seventh time as a finalist in his bid to become the first pure punter elected into the Hall of Fame. The seven-time Pro Bowler, a member of the NFL 75th anniversary all-time team, Super Bowl silver anniversary team and all-time NFL team said it's about time Hall of Fame voters recognize punters.
"If that is not a position, don't have it," Guy said in a phone interview Saturday. "If it's not important, why in the hell have them? Why spend the time drafting them? Why spend money on them?"
Two former Washington Redskins -- wide receiver Art Monk and cornerback Darrell Green -- head up the 2008 class to be inducted, Aug. 2. Also voted in were New England linebacker Andre Tippett, San Diego/San Francisco defensive end Fred Dean, Minnesota/Denver tackle Gary Zimmerman and senior committee choice, Kansas City cornerback Emmitt Thomas, a member of the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff who finished last season as the interim coach.
"I can't be as disappointed as Ray is," said Paul Leroy, Guy's coach at Thomson High School. "I can't understand why they keep passing him up."
"Every year, I feel like it's going to happen," said Rick Sang, director of the Ray Guy/Prokicker.com Kicking Academy. "He always seems to be an automatic one."
Guy, a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, played 14 seasons for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders and won three Super Bowl rings.
Guy popularized the term "hang time" in reference to his sky-high directional punts. He posted a career 42.5 average. Of his 1,049 punts, not one was returned for a touchdown.
Despite the latest snub, Guy is receiving recognition. In January, he was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Alumnus of the Year. In April, he will be inducted into the Bay Area Hall of Fame in San Francisco.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS OF 2008
For the seventh time, Thomson native Ray Guy advanced to the final 15 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame but was not selected. Here is a look at the six who were elected Saturday:
Redskins, Jets, Eagles