Hall of Fame Punter Ray Guy Dead at 72

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL - Ray Guy, Hall of Fame Raiders punter widely considered the best punter of all time, has died, according to an announcement from his alma mater, Southern Missouri. Guy was 72.

Guy was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1973, becoming the first punter in NFL history to be drafted in the first round. Guy spent his entire career with the Raiders, making six First-team All-Pros and winning three Super Bowls. His punting efforts particularly helped the Raiders take home Super Bowl XVIII, where five of Guy's seven punts pinned Washington inside their own 20.

Guy is a member of both the NFL's 75th Anniversary and 100th Anniversary All-Time team. In his 13-year career, he averaged 42.4 yards per punt, with more punts inside the 20-yard line than touchbacks (210 to 128, although the NFL did not track punts inside the 20 until Guy's fourth year in the league). Guy held the record in career punts with 111 and had 619 consecutive punts before having one blocked. 

Guy was the first-ever punter to be nominated for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He was finally inducted in 2014, becoming the only punter to date inducted into the Hall. During his Hall of Fame induction speech, Guy said "Now, the Hall of Fame has a complete team."

In 2000, Guy was given the honor of being the namesake for the Ray Guy award, awarded to the nation's best collegiate punter. 


5 comments, Last at 08 Nov 2022, 9:52am

#1 by theslothook // Nov 03, 2022 - 12:32pm

Nice that he got to experience being a hall of famer. I am one of those people who thinks punting and kicking are important parts of the game and should be awarded hall of fame spots. 

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#2 by apocalipstick // Nov 03, 2022 - 1:00pm

Agreed. When it comes to freakish athletic gifts, the ability to whip one's leg around and drive a ball 40-60 yards with any degree of accuracy is uncanny. Anyone who slanders kickers as non-athletes is a goober.

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#3 by Tom Tulpa // Nov 03, 2022 - 7:28pm

1,049 career punts, 3 blocked. A man constructed from stout Swainsboro oak. The prototype for Robopunter. And when they name the positional award after you, you know you done good. Well played, brother.

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#4 by Raiderjoe // Nov 05, 2022 - 7:15am

Ray Guy: the 1976 Raiders of punters

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#5 by Jeff C-C // Nov 08, 2022 - 9:52am

Ray Guy was pretty much my favorite football player when I was a kid. Reading the obituaries, I see why. Ray rocked at whatever he did. Paraphrasing what Archie Manning said about him, "I hated playing against him, because we would always start pinned back in our own territory." Some people fear linemen; some fear linebackers; Peyton and Eli's dad feared a punter.

BTW, I think he wasn't just the first punter nominated and enshrined in the hall of fame. I am pretty sure that he was also the first punter to be pictured on the Wheaties box.

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