Blog Entry

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

Posted on: February 4, 2011 9:33 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 9:36 am
Ray Guy punting in 1974 (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – Tim Masthay surprised me the other day. I was asking him about punters and about the Hall of Fame and if punters deserved consideration for induction into Canton, Ohio’s most hallowed grounds.

Especially with the 44 sports writers voting for the 2011 Hall of Fame class this Saturday in Dallas, I asked Masthay about punting pioneer Ray Guy (who’s not on the finalists list this year, by the way) and if Guy should be allowed to break the punting barrier.

I expected a defense of Guy – or, at the very least, an explanation of why punters SHOULD be voted in. That’s not what I got from the Packers punter, though.

“I really don’t feel that punters are snubbed that much or that they don’t get the credit that’s due to them,” Masthay said. “I guess punters are like any other position in the sense that they can have a big impact on the game, but I don’t know all the criteria for getting in the Hall of Fame. Whether or not we should qualify, I’m not really sure. I really couldn’t say yes or no. But I know punters can be a big factor in games.”

Right, like the NFC championship game vs. the Bears, when after Green Bay’s offense stalled out for much of the contest, Masthay’s booming punts kept the Bears offense in bad field position while making returner Devin Hester largely irrelevant. One could argue that Masthay was the MVP of that game. If a game like that doesn’t engage a conversation, what will?

“I don’t really worry about that stuff,” Masthay said. “I can see why it’s tough, because the most you’re going to play is about eight plays in a game. I don’t really feel that punters are snubbed to be honest.”

I disagree. The only pure kicker in the Hall of Fame is Jan Stenerud, though that might change five years after Adam Vinatieri retires. But Guy was such a big part of revolutionizing the game with his talent and style. Hell, he’s been a finalist seven times but hasn’t taken that next step.

“He brought punting into the modern era, and if there was a patron saint of punters of the league, he’s it,” said Joe Reedy, the Bengals beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer and a Hall of Fame voter. “And he should be in. But with all special team players, it’s difficult. We see the backlog of players just among the final 15. I think all of them deserve to be in, but you can only get so many of them in at the same time.”

Reedy thinks Guy eventually will make his way into the Hall of Fame, but I’m beginning to have my doubts. Masthay doesn’t seem to mind either way.

“You look at the selectors, and every year, there are two to three different guys that cycle in who are new that kind of change the persona or change the outlook a little bit,” Reedy said. “Most of us growing up saw the special teams age and saw how valuable Guy was. It slants it more and more in his favor.”

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 8:14 am

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:28 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:00 am
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Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:18 am

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

Actually, another Raider punter, Shane Lechler, has the best all-time average. So technically, he is the best punter. That being said; Ray Guy should definitely be in because he revolutionized the position and completely changed the way the position was perceived and thus changed basic strategy to compensate for the threat/advantage, (depending on which side you're on).

Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:15 am

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

If he is not in because he's a Raider, what a shame, or is it a conspiracy to keep Ken Stabler out Also!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:03 am

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

totally agree.  Ray guy should be the only punter in my mind in the hall of fame...he was the greatest at his position all time and for that alone he should be in....side note adam vinitari should get in when he retires...besides that no kicker or punter need apply

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2011 9:59 am

Why is Ray Guy not in the HOF?

As much as it pains me to say this, Ray Guy does belong in the Hall of Fame, Punters are a part of Football.  In fact, you could make an argument that it is one of the best positions, not the stress of Field Goal Kicker, and if your good, you can make it a nice long career, isn't that right Jeff Feagles.

Guy should be in, he is the best known, and should be first in, he gets my vote.

Side note, here's a couple of things I miss in football
1.  Single bar facemasks
2.  Barefoot kickers

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