Start wanting it less

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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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patriciathomas 02/11/08 - 07:51 am
Interesting theory. I wonder

Interesting theory. I wonder if any of the Hall of Fame voters have been asked why he's passed over.

Leve Tab La
Leve Tab La 02/11/08 - 11:38 am
The Hall of Fame voters know

The Hall of Fame voters know why he is passed over - he's a special teams player, and there is a serious bias against them. Any of Ray's peers will argue in favor of Ray going into the HOF, but the voters are comprised of writers, and they (wrongly) argue that specialists such as Ray do not deserve to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

rufus 02/11/08 - 04:50 pm
Try winning a super bowl with

Try winning a super bowl with a guy that only kicks it 30 yards

JBforHOF 02/11/08 - 05:39 pm
A lot of good guys aren't in

A lot of good guys aren't in the Hall, why?

Fans of John Brodie, QB of the 49ers from 1957 to 1973, and the great San Francisco 49ers, are helping get John R Brodie, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We are asking all fans of the 49ers to write or fax a nominating letter to the hall of Fame, for Brodie to be enshrined as a senior candidate.
We have made a webpage and there are addresses and sample letters you can use. The cut off date for a 2009 nomination is March 1, 2008, so we need the letters sent soon, please. Here is the address:
Send your letters to:
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Attn: Nomination Committee
2121 George Halas Drive NW,
Canton, OH 44708

or Fax: 330-456-9080

here is the page with the sample letters:

There is also a Myspace:

and an online petition, for fans to sign:
Thanks so much for your help, despite having suffered a severe stroke in 2000, Brodie is still active and follows his beloved 49ers.

"Many people we have contacted are surprised that Brodie is not already in the Pro Football Hall of fame because of his awesome stats as a football player. In his seventeen year career with the San Francisco 49ers, John Brodie was one of the foremost quarterbacks in football. A quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers from 1957 through 1973, a 17 year run, John Brodie threw for 31,548 yards and tossed 214 TDs in 201 career games. He appeared in the Pro Bowl in 1965 and 1970. He was named NFL/NFC's Most Valuable Player in 1970.
His statistics clearly show him to be worthy of the honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon a football player and John Brodie is more than worthy of such an honor. He was among the leading passers in the league throughout the 1960s. His best statistical year was 1965 when he led the League in passing average (3,112 yards) and 30 touchdowns. When John Brodie retired from the NFL, he ranked third in the NFL in career passing yards."

Former Augustan
Former Augustan 02/11/08 - 07:55 pm
Really, is this the most

Really, is this the most important subject for a lead editorial? Frankly, who cares, and what difference does it make in solving the problems of the natin?

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