Guy playing for the Raiders in 1985
|Born:||December 22, 1949|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is an American former professional football player who was a punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973. Guy was elected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. A six-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time.
He was both a punter and a placekicker at Southern Mississippi, once kicking a then-record 61-yard field goal in a snowstorm during a game in Utah. In 1972, he kicked a 93-yard punt in a game against the University of Mississippi. After his senior season at Southern Miss, Guy was named Most Valuable Player of the 1973 Chicago College All-Star Game, in which an all-star team of college seniors played the current Super Bowl champion. He was also a starting safety at Southern Miss; during his senior season, he intercepted a school-record eight passes, and was named an All-American defensive back.
Guy was the first punter ever to be selected in the first round in the NFL Draft, in 1973. Ray Guy was selected to seven Pro Bowl teams, and in 1994, he was named the punter on the National Football League's 75th Anniversary Team. His trademark was kicking punts that stayed in the air for so long that by the time the punt returner was able to field it, the Raiders' coverage unit had the field covered so well that returns were difficult, if not impossible. Although he rarely kicked for distance, Guy's punts often left opposing offenses pinned deep into their own end of the field. The statistic for hang time was instituted in the NFL during his career, reportedly because of him. Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan once said of Guy, "He's the first punter you could look at and say: 'He won games.'"
In Super Bowl XVIII, Guy punted seven times for 299 yards (42.7 average), with 244 net yards (34.8 average). Five of his punts left the Washington Redskins pinned behind their own 20. Due in part to his effective punting, the Los Angeles Raiders easily won the game, 38-9.
During the early part of his career, he was the Raiders' emergency quarterback, replacing kicker-quarterback George Blanda in this position. He also occasionally did kickoffs for the Raiders because the aging Blanda no longer had great range.
During a 1977 game against the Houston Oilers, Oilers coach Bum Phillips suspected that Guy was using footballs illegally inflated with helium because he had "never seen anyone hang kickoffs like Guy did", and that the ball was "hanging up there too long"; additionally, the Raiders were using a new ball for every punt, adding to his suspicions. Phillips said after the game that he would have the ball sent to Rice University for testing. Guy punted 3 times for 107 yards in the game.
In his 13-year 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 yards per punt 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
Hall of Fame
Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014 on August 2, 2014. For many years before his induction in 2014, he was considered one of the most worthy players who had not yet been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was the first pure punter to be nominated for enshrinement. In his enshrinement speech, he proudly proclaimed, "Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team."
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. On April 21, 2008, Guy was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
NFL career statistics
- Regular season
|Won the Super Bowl|
|Led the league|
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. 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.
Pro kicking camps
In 2005, 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 was once again held on the campus of Colorado College. He has help from son Ryan Guy.
Guy was married to Beverly Guy. The couple has two children, Ryan and Amber.
On August 14, 2011, Guy filed for bankruptcy and was forced to put up his Super Bowl rings for auction. The auction of the rings brought in $96,216, slightly higher than the upper estimate of 90K.
- "Ray Guy, P at". Nfl.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- "USM's Ray Guy talks about getting left out of Pro Football Hall of Fame - again (poll) | gulflive.com". Blog.gulflive.com. August 3, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
-  Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Derrick Brooks headlines HOF class". ESPN. February 1, 2014.
- "rayguy". Southern Miss. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "Why Shane Lechler will have a tougher time reaching Canton than admirers believe". SI.com. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- Little, Jeff. "NFL: Why Isn't This Guy in the Hall of Fame, Part I". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "Helium Hangtime Hunch". Eugene Register-Guard. November 14, 1977. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "Houston Oilers at Oakland Raiders - November 13th, 1977". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- Tafur, Vic (August 1, 2014). "Ray Guy's long wait ends with his Hall of Fame induction". SFGate.com. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "RayGuy.net". RayGuy.net. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- Joyner, K.C. (January 24, 2009), A Case for Ray Guy Belonging in Pro Football Hall of Fame, The New York Times, retrieved March 2, 2009
- "Ray Guy: "Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team;" Martin Gramatica gets a shoutout". The Kansas City Star. August 2, 2014.
- "Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame – 2008 Inductees". Bashof.org. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- Gloster, Rob (August 10, 2011). "Bankrupt Ex-Raiders Punter Ray Guy Auctions Super Bowl Rings for $96,216". Bloomberg.
- Gay, Chris (August 10, 2011). "Ray Guy's Super Bowl rings sell for $96,000-plus | The Augusta Chronicle". Chronicle.augusta.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- "Ray Guy's Ring". Natedsanders.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- Career statistics and player information from Pro Football Reference
- Ray Guy's Southern Miss career
- "The Guy Behind Guy" - Article about the Ray Guy Award statue
- "A Closer Look at Ray Guy’s Hall of Fame Candidacy" at NY Times blog