RAY GUY

RAY GUY

Class of 2014
Punter >>> 6-3, 195
(Southern Mississippi)
1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

William Ray Guy ... First punter ever selected in first round, Raiders 1973 (23rd player overall) ... Averaged under 40 yards only once in NFL career ... Only three of 1,049 punts blocked ... Career average was 42.4 yards ... All-Pro six straight seasons, 1973-1978 ... All-AFC seven times ... Played in seven Pro Bowls, seven AFC championship games, three Super Bowls ... First punter to hit Louisiana Superdome scoreboard, 1977 Pro Bowl ... Born December 22, 1949, in Swainsboro, Georgia.

Ray Guy became the first punter ever selected in the first round of a National Football League draft when the Oakland Raiders tapped him as the 23rd player chosen in 1973. The 6-3, 195-pounder from Southern Mississippi spent his entire 14-season, 207-game career with the Raiders. His career punting average was an excellent 42.4 yards and he averaged more than 40 yards 13 of his 14 seasons. The only time he fell below the 40-yard average mark came during the strike shortened (9 games) 1982 season, when he averaged 39.1 yards. Only three of his 1,049 punts were blocked and he ranked second all-time at the time of his retirement by punting 619 straight times without a block in a period from the 1979 season until the end of his career in 1986.

Guy led the NFL in punting in 1974, 1975, and 1977 and finished second three times and third once. A veteran of 22 post-season games, he added 111 punts for a 42.4 average to his career totals. He played in seven Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro six times and All-AFC seven times.  His top seasonal average – 45.3 yards on 69 punts – was recorded in his rookie season. His longest punt in the NFL was a 74-yarder against Denver in 1977. In the 1980 AFC Championship Game, he boomed a 71-yarder against San Diego.  Besides being a long-distance punter, Guy specialized in putting opponents in poor field position with his pinpoint punts. In the 11 seasons after such records were kept, he was credited with 209 “inside the 20” punts.  More than a third of them – 77 – came in his final three seasons.

Guy, who was born December 22, 1949, in Swainsboro, Georgia, was a collegiate All-America who averaged 44.7 yards on 200 punts. He doubled as a field goal kicker and once had a 61-yard field goal against Utah State. Guy also played safety and had 18 interceptions in three years. An outstanding baseball pitcher, he was drafted by major league baseball while in high school. His athletic versatility served the Raiders well. Guy not only handled the kickoff duties but served as the Raiders’ emergency quarterback as well.

Year Team
G
No.
Yards
Avg.
Lg.
Ins 20
Blk.
1973 Oakland
14
69
3127
45.3
72
na
0
1974 Oakland
14
74
3124
42.2
66
na
0
1975 Oakland
14
68
2979
43.8
64
na
0
1976 Oakland
14
67
2785
41.6
66
13
0
1977 Oakland
14
59
2552
43.3
74
11
0
1978 Oakland
16
81
3462
42.7
69
23
2
1979 Oakland
16
69
2939
42.6
71
16
1
1980 Oakland
16
71
3099
43.6
66
17
0
1981 Oakland
16
96
4195
43.7
69
23
0
1982 L.A. Raiders
9
47
1839
39.1
57
12
0
1983 L.A. Raiders
16
78
3336
42.8
67
17
0
1984 L.A. Raiders
16
91
3809
41.9
63
25
0
1985 L.A. Raiders
16
89
3627
40.8
68
32
0
1986 L.A. Raiders
16
90
3620
40.2
64
20
0
Career Total  
207
1,049
44,493
42.4
74
209*
3
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 3-2-54, 1 Int; Rushing: 11-43; Kicking: 0-1 PAT
* Does not include totals from 1973-1975, as they are not available.

Championship Games

1973 AFC – Miami Dolphins 27, Oakland Raiders 10
Guy had two punts for a 51.0-yard average and a long of 63 yards.

1974 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Oakland Raiders 13
Guy had five punts for a 43.4-yard average and a long of 55 yards.

1975 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Oakland Raiders 10
Guy had eight punts for a 37.8-yard average and a long of 44 yards.

1976 AFC Oakland Raiders 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 7
Guy had seven punts for a 44.0-yard average, one punt inside the 20, and a long of 60 yards.

1977 AFC – Denver Broncos 20, Oakland Raiders 17
Guy had five punts for a 36.0-yard average and a long of 44 yards.

1980 AFC Oakland Raiders 34, San Diego Chargers 27
Guy had four punts for a 56.0-yard average and a long of 71 yards.

1983 AFCLos Angeles Raiders 30, Seattle Seahawks 14
Guy had two punts for a 34.0-yard average and a long of 55 yards.

Super Bowls

Super Bowl XIOakland Raiders 32, Minnesota Vikings 14
Guy had four punts for 162 yards, a 40.5-yard average. One punt landed inside the 20-yard line and his longest punt was 51 yards.

Super Bowl XVOakland Raiders 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10
Guy had three punts for 126 yards, a 42.0-yard average. One punt landed inside the 20-yard line and his longest punt was 44 yards.

Super Bowl XVIIILos Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
Guy had seven punts for 299 yards, a 42.7-yard average. Five punts landed inside the 20-yard line and his longest was 53 yards.

All-Pro: 1973 (PFWA, NEA, PW) • 1974 (PFWA, NEA, PW) • 1975 (PFWA, NEA, PW) • 1976 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW) • 1977 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW) • 1978 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW)

All-Pro Second Team: 1979 (NEA) • 1980 (NEA)

All-AFC: 1973 (SN, PW) • 1974 (UPI, SN, PW) • 1975 (UPI, SN, PW) • 1976 (AP, UPI, SN, PW) • 1977 (UPI, SN, PW) • 1978 (UPI, SN, PW) • 1980 (UPI, PW)

All-AFC Second Team: 1979 (UPI) • 1981 (UPI)

(7) – 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981

 

(at the time of his retirement following 1986 season)

• [2nd] Most Consecutive Punts, None Blocked – 619 (1979-1986)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons Leading League, Punting – 3 (1974-1975, 1977)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Punting – 2 (1974-1975)

 

Super Bowl Records

• [2nd] Highest Average Punting, Career – 41.9
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Punts, Career – 14 (3 games)

Postseason Records

• [1st] Most Punts Career – 111 (22 games)
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Game – 56.0 (vs. San Diego, Jan. 11, 1981)
• [3rd] Longest Punt – 71 yards (vs. San Diego, Jan. 11, 1981)

Raiders records held by Guy
(Records through the 1986 season, Guy’s final season with Raiders)

• [1st] Most Punts, Career – 1,049
• [1st] Most Yards Punting, Career – 44,493
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Career – 42.4
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Season – 45.3 (1973)
• [1st] Most Punts, Season – 96 (1981)
• [1st] Most Yards Punting, Season – 4,195 (1981)
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Game – 57.6 (vs. Denver, Sept. 6, 1981)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Punts, Game – 11 (vs. Cleveland, Nov. 18, 1973)
• [2nd] Most Punts, Season – 91 (1984)
• [2nd] Most Yards Punting, Season – 3,809 (1984)
• [2nd] Highest Average Punting, Game – 55.6 (vs. Detroit, Sept. 27, 1981)
• [2nd] Longest Punt – 74 yards (vs. Denver, Oct. 30, 1977)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons – 14
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Season – 14
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Games, Career – 207
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Games, Career – 207
• [Tied for 3rd] Longest Punt – 72 yards (vs. Houston, Dec. 2, 1973)

Postseason Records

• [1st] Most Punts, Career – 111
• [1st] Most Yards Punting, Career – 4,695
• [1st] Most Punts, Game – 9 (vs. Houston, Dec. 28, 1980; vs. Cleveland, Jan. 4, 1981)
• [1st] Most Yards Punting, Game – 460 (vs. Houston, Dec. 28, 1980)
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Game – 56.0 (vs. San Diego, Jan. 11, 1981)
• [1st] Longest Punt, Game – 71 yards (vs. San Diego, Jan. 11, 1981)
• [2nd] Highest Average Punting, Career – 42.3
• [2nd] Most Yards Punting, Game – 374 (vs. Baltimore, Dec. 24, 1977)
• [2nd] Longest Punt, Game – 66 yards (vs. Houston, Dec. 28, 1980)
• [1st] Highest Average Punting, Career – 51.0 (vs. Houston, Dec. 28, 1980)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Games, Career – 22

League Statistical Championships
Punting Titles: 1974, 1975, 1977

Team Statistical Championships
Punting Titles: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986

• NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
• All-Time NFL Team (2000)
• AFL-NFL 1960-1984 All-Star TEam
• Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team
• NFL All-Decade Team of 1970s

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1973 Oakland Raiders 9 4 1 (1st)
1974 Oakland Raiders 12 2 0 (1st)
1975 Oakland Raiders 11 3 0 (1st)
1976 Oakland Raiders 13 1 0 (1st)
1977 Oakland Raiders 11 3 0 (2nd)
1978 Oakland Raiders 9 7 0 (2nd)
1979 Oakland Raiders 9 7 0 (4th)
1980 Oakland Raiders 11 5 0 (2nd)
1981 Oakland Raiders 7 9 0 (4th)
1982 Los Angeles Raiders 7 9 0 (1st*)
1983 Los Angeles Raiders 12 4 0 (1st)
1984 Los Angeles Raiders 11 5 0 (3rd)
1985 Los Angeles Raiders 12 4 0 (1st)
1986 Los Angeles Rainders 8 8 0 (4th)
* AFC regular season finish in strike-shortened season.
Qualified for Postseason in Bold

 

Full Name: William Ray Guy

Birthdate: December 22, 1949

Birthplace: Swainsboro, Georgia

High School: Thomson (GA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: February 1, 2014

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 2, 2014

Other Members of Class of 2014: Derrick Brooks, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams

Pro Career: 14 seasons, 207 games

Drafted: 1st round (23rd overall) in 1973 by Oakland Raiders

Pro Football Hall of Fame Field
August 2, 2014


RAY GUY: 
Thank you.  Thank you, Coach.  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.  Man, am I glad to be here tonight. 

Believe me, it's been a long and winding road from the farm lands of South Georgia to the hallowed halls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  There have been bumps, there have been curbs, detours and bridges to cross along this journey, but I have finally made it.  Even though there would be no more games to play, records to set or championships to win, but to be a part of this very special clubhouse called the Pro Football Hall of Fame and knowing it's forever is beyond my wildest dreams. 

But I didn't do it alone.  I've been very fortunate to be associated with great individuals who have influenced my life, some on the field of competition and others who just helped me learn life's lesson.  Believe me, I like to mention them all by name, but time simply won't permit.  I hope you'll all forgive me for that. 

However, several family members are here tonight that I must acknowledge, including my two wonderful children, my beautiful daughter Amber, my son, Ryan, and his family, my brother Al and his lovely wife, Kay.  My older brother, Larry, could not make it.  He so much wanted to be here for this week, but he is suffering from cancer right now and my prayers are with him and I hope yours are too.  But his daughter, my niece, Kim, and her husband and two sons are here, and I thank them. 

Many friends, including my high school coach, Raider coaches, my attorney and several Raider teammates are also here.  There is even a group of former old football punters that are here tonight.  I tell you, I was elated this afternoon to be around them, sitting with them and just talking with them about different things about punters in the NFL.  I want to thank you all. 

Unfortunately, there are two special friends in here who are no longer with us that I'd like to salute tonight.  One, my college coach, P.W. Underwood.  Coach Underwood gave me the opportunity to get an education and play football and baseball at Southern Mississippi.  Of course, the other is Raiders Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, who took a chance on me as a pure punter in 1973.  Al's lovely wife, Miss Carol and son, Mark are here.  Miss Carol and Mark and all my family friends are here tonight.  I would like for you to please stand and be recognized.  Everybody, please.  Thank you, thank you. 

The two greatest influences in my life are not seated here in front of me tonight, and that's my mom and my dad.  Even though they are not here, they are here.  They are up above watching and cheering.  I know they're looking down from above and smiling and beaming with pride and cheering me on as they always did during my playing days.  You know, as I think back, I don't know how my mom ever knew what was going on in the game because she never had her eyes open.  She kept them closed and I figured out why Dad would never sit with her, because she kept beating on him and asking him what was going on. 

As I look back on what I've achieved in my life, I realize it all started growing up in a very warm, loving and caring family life.  My parents only wanted what was the best for their three sons.  We were taught to appreciate the things we had and to take care of what we've got.  We were taught to respect the family life and our fellow man.  Life was simple back then, and I cherished all the great times I had growing up in that wonderful atmosphere. 

My dad was a disciplined father with a firm hand and a man of few words.  He didn't often praise or brag about your accomplishments, but you always knew he was very, very proud of his sons.  He taught by example how to be a man, to be the best at what you did and be proud of what you accomplished, and to believe in yourself and use your common sense.  Always be respectful and never shame the family name by doing wrong to others.  Everybody, according to Dad, was very equal.  When you gave your word, you honored it.  When you started something, you finished it.  You saw it through.  Quitting is the easy way out he would say.  Staying in and fighting and building character and success is hard.  You build honor and trust when others know you'll be beside them until the end.  I'm very proud of my father, and I still benefit from things he taught me. 

My mom was the strength of my family.  She was gentle, warm, loving and caring. She made sure we had food on the table, clothes on our backs, and she took care of us when we were sick.  She never complained about what she didn't have because she always focused on what the family needed.  I'm sure sometimes when she was alone she would shed a tear and worry, but she kept that from us.  All she ever wanted was a better life for us.  She always knew what to say and how to keep our hopes and dreams alive.  She was kind, friendly, and always volunteered to help whenever needed.  She was the force behind me that kept me going when things seemed like they might fall apart.  But she was also stern in her own special way. 

Oh, I remember when she got mad and she would say just wait until your dad gets home.  You'll get what's coming to you.  The worst part about that was worrying all day about getting our butts beaten when Dad got home. 

Since being selected into the Hall of Fame, I've looked back through my life wondering how and where this all started.  Did I plan this journey?  Was this supposed to happen?  Analyzing everything I did from childhood to the present, I cannot pinpoint a place in time where I said is this what I had to do?  Did I want to play just one sport, or do I want to have fun and play all of them? 

I never really had a teacher, a coach or a special camp to attend to learn the art of punting.  My high school coach, Paul Leroy, showed me two things about foot alignment and ball placement.  That was pretty much it.  All through high school and college I played other positions as well.  I was a good athlete and could have been a Major League pitcher or an NBA basketball player, but I knew God had something special for me. And eventually one sport would stand out beyond the rest, and it did.  Playing in the NFL with the Raiders was my destiny, and I never looked back or questioned my decision. 

After joining the Raiders, however, I realized I had to concentrate on just one thing, being the best punter I could be.  There was nothing too technical or complicated about how I punted a ball.  I was just totally committed to my craft and diligent in my preparation. 

Though I may not have realized it at the time, all those years of playing football, I was setting benchmarks for young athletes to follow.  I'd like to think I can continue to help others by teaching what I have learned and to inspire them as they begin to dream and to start their journey.  That's why I have the Pro Kicker Kicking Academy every year.  We teach young kids the basic fundamentals and mechanics of the kicking game, and to instill in them the importance of hard work, determination, and patience so that maybe someday they too can stand on this stage. 

A God-given talent is one of the greatest gifts an individual can be blessed with.  But to use a God given gift for just one's self is not the answer.  The true benefit of a gift is to share with others.  Even though I had a special talent, I was taught to keep my ego in its place.  I've always been a humble person.  I've never felt comfortable with attention that football brought.  I'd rather be in the background, just one of the people.  That's who I am. 

Often when I meet people and they say something like, “I can't believe how down to earth you are; or, man, it's easy to talk to you.”  That always makes me chuckle.  I tell them, I am who I am, and that's all you're ever going to get.  That simple phrase sums up what my dad taught me, "Be who you are, and no one else."  I've always been myself, believed in myself, and I am very comfortable with who I am and what I have accomplished. 

Back in January, a lady came up to me at a banquet that I had in Augusta, Georgia, for my Ray Guy Award that I give out, and she told me that the biblical meaning of the number 8 on my jersey meant A New Beginning. 

If that's true, then I'd like my enshrinement and number 8 to represent a new beginning for punters into the Hall of Fame. 

I hope I inspire young punters to achieve their dreams to one day play in the NFL and maybe even be elected into the Hall of Fame.  It's been a long, long overdue, but now the Hall of Fame has a complete team.  Punters are a very important part of the team, regardless how many times they step on to the field.  It only takes one play to change the outcome of a game.  So punters, keep the faith.  You are an important part of every game. 

You know, I've been lucky to be able to do what so many others only dream of, to play professional football.  I've been blessed to have the opportunity to be around so many great individuals like my fellow Hall of Famers.  To stand beside them, to compete with them or against them.  It's been great.  Having inspirational leaders like my coaches and team owners and a great family life and the support of great friends, I could not have asked for anything better. 

But now the roar of the crowd has faded, and as I said, there are no more games to play, no more records to set or break, and there are no more championships to win.  But one thing reminds me, the memories, and they will always be forever.  It's awesome to be considered one of the game's best and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  To know my legacy will forever be a part of pro football history and that my bust will be alongside the greatest athletes of all times.  It leaves this old punter speechless. 

So, in closing, all I can say is that it was for the love of the game that I am here tonight. Thank you, and God bless you. 

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