VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Guy's long wait for HOF comes to end

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Ray Guy built a Hall of Fame career of making other people wait.

Advertisement
Those anxious seconds for punt returners awaiting his booming kicks were nothing compared to the more than two decades Guy had to endure before finally getting the call that he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The seemingly interminable wait will come to an end Saturday in Canton, Ohio, when Guy gets to put on the Hall of Fame blazer for the first time as he becomes the first true punter to get inducted into the exclusive club.

As much as Guy wanted personally to be a Hall of Famer, he also wanted it for his position, which he believed got disrespected every time he was passed over for the honor.

''That kind of bothered me because they were saying that's not a positon, it doesn't take an athlete to do that, it's not important,'' Guy said. ''That's what really got under my skin. It wasn't so much whether I did or didn't. I wish somebody had. It was just knowing that they didn't care.

''That's what kind of frosted me a little bit.''

Guy was a finalist seven times starting in 1992 without being voted in and didn't even make it that far countless others, leaving him to wonder if the call would ever come. He finally got in as a senior's nominee this year, joining placekicker Jan Stenerud as the only kickers in the Hall.

Guy is the perfect player to get the honor because he is credited with revolutionizing the position after being the only punter ever taken in the first round when Raiders owner Al Davis drafted him 23rd overall in 1973.

His kicks went so high that one that hit the Superdome scoreboard 90 feet above the field in a Pro Bowl helped put ''hang time'' into the football vernacular. His ability to pin the opponent deep with either high kicks or well-positioned ones was a key part of the success for the great Raiders teams of the 1970s and 80s.

''It was something that was given to me. I don't know how,'' he said. ''I'm really blessed in that category. It's something I really appreciate and I advanced it and I made it into something great.''

Guy's statistics look somewhat pedestrian compared to today's punters. His career average of 42.4 yards per kick ranks 61st all-time and his net average of 32.2 yards (excluding his first three seasons when the statistic wasn't kept by the NFL) isn't even in the top 100.

Yet, he still is considered by many as the best to ever play the position and is widely respected in the fraternity of punters, including about 20 who plan to attend the induction.

''He should be first because he played his position in an outstanding manner in his era, and more important than that, he brought great notoriety to the position,'' said Sean Landetta, who punted for 22 seasons in the NFL. ''You're talking about the Hall of Fame and the most famous punter is Ray Guy.''

Guy also earned the respect of his teammates on the Raiders, who considered him much more than a specialist and a key component on three Super Bowl champions with his ability to change field position every time he kicked the ball.

''It should not have taken this long to recognize him,'' former Raiders defensive back George Atkinson said. ''He was quite a weapon for us. Not only could he get the ball up high with hang time, but he also had great placement.''

Those are some of the reasons why Davis bucked conventional wisdom and took Guy out of Southern Mississippi in 1973. One of the sad byproducts of Guy's long wait to get into the Hall of Fame is that one his biggest backers, Davis, won't be there to see it. The former Raiders owner died in 2011.

Guy also said he will be emotional thinking of his deceased parents and his college coach, P.W. Underwood.

With Davis not there, Guy has chosen his Hall of Fame coach, John Madden, to introduce him. Guy also said it is comforting to know that Davis' wife Carol and son Mark will be in the audience, along with many of his former teammates.

''That will make it a little bit easier, but the leader won't be there,'' he said. ''But he will be. All he's gonna say is, `Just win, baby.'''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: AFC West Snapshot
News: AFC South Snapshot
News: AFC North Snapshot
News: AFC East Snapshot
Raiders reward QB Derek Carr with deal
Prosecutors appeal Hernandez outcome
Green Bay confident city can host Draft
Jets owner Johnson nominated by Trump
Vick's father arrested on drug charges
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 2405
The Gold Sheet + 1747
Michael Black + 833
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 100
Marc Lawrence + 100
Doc's Sports + 100
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Don Anthony 65 %
The Gold Sheet 58 %
Michael Black 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1068
Don Anthony + 1067
Brian Edwards + 741
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1301
The Gold Sheet + 808
Michael Black + 641
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 1204
Jimmy Boyd + 961
John Fisher + 555
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership