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Ray Guy
Position(s)
Punter
Jersey #(s)
8
Born December 22, 1949 (1949-12-22) (age 60)
Swainsboro, Georgia
Career information
Year(s) 19731986
NFL Draft 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
College Southern Mississippi
Professional teams
Career stats
Punts 1,049
Punting Yards 44,493
Punting Avg 42.4
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is a retired American football punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. Coming from University of Southern Mississippi, he was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him in 1973.

Guy was a key member of three Super Bowl-winning Raiders teams: Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII. Arguably, his best performance was in Super Bowl XVIII against the Washington Redskins. When the Raiders offense faltered just outside the range of placekicker Chris Bahr, Guy, known for his power, showed a great deal of finesse by booting a 27-yard punt that pinned the Washington Redskins on their own 12-yard line late in the first half. On the very next play, the Raiders' Jack Squirek intercepted Washington quarterback Joe Theismann and returned it for a touchdown that gave them a 21-3 halftime lead. The Raiders would eventually win 38-9.

Contents

Playing success

Ray Guy was the first, and as of 2009, only punter, to ever be selected in the first round in the NFL Draft. Ray Guy retired in 1986. During his career, Guy:

  • Played in 207 consecutive games
  • Punted 1,049 times for 44,493 yards, averaging 42.4 yards per punt, with a 33.8 net yards average
  • Had 210 punts inside the 20 yard line (not counting his first 3 seasons, when the NFL did not keep track of this stat), with just 128 touchbacks
  • Led the NFL in punting three times
  • Had a streak of 619 consecutive punts before having one blocked
  • Has a record of 111 career punts in post season games
  • Had five punts of over 60 yards during the 1981 season
  • Never had a punt returned for a touchdown

Ray Guy was selected to seven AFC Pro Bowl teams, and in 1994, he was named the punter on the National Football League's 75th Anniversary Team.

He was also an outstanding placekicker at Southern Mississippi, once kicking a then-record 61-yard field goal in a snowstorm during a game in Utah. After his senior season at Southern Miss, Guy was named Most Valuable Player of the annual College All-Star game, in which an all-star team of college seniors played the current Super Bowl champion. And in addition to his kicking prowess, Guy was also a starting safety in college. During his senior season, he intercepted a USM record eight passes, and was named an All-American defensive back. Guy also played quarterback in his early years and was officially the Oakland Raiders' last-string emergency quarterback, ironically replacing kicker-quarterback George Blanda in this position. During the time that Blanda was still with the Raiders, early in Guy's career, Guy would occasionally do kickoffs for the Raiders because the aging Blanda no longer had great range.

Ray Guy has been inducted into both the Mississippi and Georgia Sports Halls of Fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame, and many feel he is worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[1] In 1994, he was the first pure punter to be nominated for enshrinement.

Joe Horrigan, the historian of the Pro Football Hall of Fame once said: "He's the first punter you could look at and say: 'He won games.'"

At the 1976 Pro Bowl, Ray Guy became the first punter to hit the Louisiana Superdome video screen. Officials raised the screen from 90 feet to 200 feet.

Ray Guy was known for punts with a high hang time; he once punted the ball with so much hangtime that the opponents pulled the ball and had it tested for helium. The hangtime statistic was also instituted in the NFL during his time, probably because of him. On April 21, 2008, Guy was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.[2]

The Ray Guy Award

In 2000, the Greater Augusta Sports Council instituted the Ray Guy Award, to be awarded to the nation's best collegiate punter.

Pro kicking camps

In 2005, Ray Guy helped organize and participated in two-day kicking camps, held throughout the United States, for high-school punters, placekickers, and longsnappers. In 2007, the camp will once again be held on the campus of Colorado College. He has help from son Ryan Guy.

Since many collegiate punters nominated for the Ray Guy Award are either former students or work at his kicking camps, Guy himself does not participate in the voting process to avoid accusations of favoritism.

References

External links

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