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Ray Guy believes his induction gives specialists “hope”

Ray Guy AP

Finally, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a punter among its membership.

Now, with Ray Guy earning induction on Saturday night as one of the Hall’s Senior Committee nominees, the longer-term question is when another punter gains the sort of traction necessary to make it to Canton.

It’s somewhat challenging to predict how the Hall voters vote in any given year, but another placekicker making the Hall wouldn’t be a major surprise, what with Morten Andersen being a modern-era finalist this year and Adam Vinatieri figuring to draw some interest when he becomes eligible. However, the Hall has just one full-time kicker in its ranks: Jan Stenerud, who was inducted in 1991.

It has always been tough for specialists to become Hall finalists, let alone get inducted. And supporters of Guy surely know, it’s been a real uphill battle for punters. Of the 126 modern-era candidates considered by the Hall in 2013, only punter made the cut: Sean Landeta, who was eliminated during the first cutdown to 25 candidates.

Of current punters, the Texans’ Shane Lechler would seem to have the best résumé. Like Guy, Lechler drew acclaim for his punting with the Raiders, earning NFL All-Decade honors in the 2000s and making seven Pro Bowls with Oakland.

On Saturday night, Guy told reporters his election sends a positive message to other specialists plying their trade in the often thankless field of special teams.

“It’s going to give the younger generation — the punters and the placekickers and the snappers and all that — it’s given them hope now that there’s a place for us and now it’s more recognized,” Guy said, according to the Hartford Courant.

It’s unlikely that Guy’s induction will open the Hall floodgates for punters. But it may invite discussion of what it will take for a second punter to make the Hall, and that’s a good thing.

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23 Responses to “Ray Guy believes his induction gives specialists “hope””
  1. lgbarn says: Feb 2, 2014 2:09 AM

    Long overdue. There is not a football fan around in the 70′s that didn’t know who that guy was. Congrats to him.

  2. Getoffmylawn! says: Feb 2, 2014 3:07 AM

    Finally.

  3. clubergo says: Feb 2, 2014 3:12 AM

    Changed the game period.

  4. rcali says: Feb 2, 2014 5:27 AM

    It’s official, soccer players are now allowed in the football hall of fame.

  5. nightofthehipple says: Feb 2, 2014 7:25 AM

    Long past due. I don’t care what position you played, if you were the best, you belong in the Hall of Fame.

  6. jacobknicks says: Feb 2, 2014 7:56 AM

    Special teamers: it gets better

  7. johnnycantread says: Feb 2, 2014 8:29 AM

    Congrats to Ray Guy… It’s about time.

    Now all they need is a long snapper and a special teams gunner inducted.
    Then all the positions will be represented.

  8. ghostofgilchrist says: Feb 2, 2014 8:36 AM

    The next special teams guy that should be discussed is Steve Tasker.

  9. charger383 says: Feb 2, 2014 8:39 AM

    About time

  10. nflfan4now says: Feb 2, 2014 8:42 AM

    Or how about another specialist, Steve Tasker!

  11. El Pollo Loco says: Feb 2, 2014 9:03 AM

    it’s a shame it took him this long to get in.Guy was clearly the best at his position for numerous years.

  12. bstngrdn says: Feb 2, 2014 9:41 AM

    Ray Guy deserves this. I wasn’t a Raiders fan, but used to marvel at what his kicks could do in terms of changing the outcome of games.

  13. spicymudbugs says: Feb 2, 2014 10:33 AM

    Morten Anderson deserved this way more than Ray Guy. How many game winning punts did Guy kick?

  14. djshnooks says: Feb 2, 2014 10:46 AM

    Steve Tasker paved the way for returners like Guy did for Punters or Vinatieri for kickers. Get Tasker in the HoF…

    Where he belongs.

  15. suhisbetterthanu says: Feb 2, 2014 11:55 AM

    Jason Hanson should be next. You really don’t see a career like his with just one team.

  16. realfootballfan says: Feb 2, 2014 1:47 PM

    Way over due. People who don’t understand his contribution to how those Raider teams played as far as setting field position consistently in their favor are underestimating his importance to their success during those years. It’s too bad that Al Davis won’t be around to give another one of those great induction speeches that he was so excellent at.

  17. arcross12042004scorp15 says: Feb 2, 2014 2:03 PM

    Steve Tasker should be next- The Special team position in the Pro Bowl was invented for him. People saw the impact that he had on games, blocking punts & field goals at critical moments. Returning punts, downing punts inside the 10 yard line. Being an outstanding gunner. he went to 7 Pro Bowls and would have gone to more if there was a place for a special teamer before he came along. Pete Gogolak also deserves consideration as he was the first soccer style kicker in the NFL ( They used to kick them straight) and was the first player to jump from the AFL to the NFL and helped to bring about the merger.

  18. cometkazie says: Feb 2, 2014 2:50 PM

    Is Ray the first from Southern Miss in the HoF?

    Someone is probably going to follow him fairly soon.

  19. roadtrip3500 says: Feb 2, 2014 3:24 PM

    Next punter should be the posthumous induction of Dave Jennings.

  20. eugenesaxe1 says: Feb 2, 2014 4:48 PM

    When you talk about the best QB/RB/WR ever, you get a bunch of different names. When you talk about the best punter ever, there is only Guy. Should’ve been in long ago.

  21. cuda1234 says: Feb 2, 2014 7:57 PM

    Can’t believe I’ve been censored off here twice today just for pointing out that Ray Guy is barely in the top 100 in career punting average. How is that HOF-worthy?

  22. radrntn says: Feb 3, 2014 12:39 PM

    east coast bias raider hating media is the only reason ray guy was not in any earlier.

    Andre Reed over Tim Brown is just another example.

  23. babygaga19 says: Feb 3, 2014 7:27 PM

    Now, when Jano gets in the Hall, Raiders will be known as the best kicking team of alllll time!!

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