The day has finally arrived 23 years since Ray Guy was first eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he will receive his bust in the hallowed halls in Canton. He gets in via the senior committee who also voted in Claude Humphrey.
Guy will be introduced by John Madden, who was his head coach when he was drafted in 1973 and for his first Super Bowl win in 1977.
Guy's accolades are many. He was the first and only pure punter ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft and rightfully so. I mean, the award for the best punter in college football every year has his name on it. Before Guy came along, most punters pulled double duty with another position. Guy wasn't even solely a punter in college. He also played safety.
With Guy's big leg pinning opponents in the shadow of their own goal line over 14-year NFL career, the Raiders won three Super Bowls. And the rest of the NFL followed their lead in making pure punter a necessity in an attempt to have similar success.
Guy was named to the Pro Bowl 7 times and was named All Pro 6 times.
With all of these things going for him, the Hall of Fame committee still never recognized him as worthy. They didn't think a punter belonged in the Hall of Fame. Probably the best argument against that idea came from former NFL punter Chris Kluwe who was an outspoken advocate for Guy's Hall of Fame worthiness and was even fined by the league once for his demonstration of support for Guy.
"If you say a sport is a team game, well you need to recognize every player on the team and punters and kickers are part of the team as well." Said Kluwe during his preseason stint with the Raiders prior to last season.
The Senior committee recognized this even if the modern era committee never did. And as a result, Ray Guy will take the stage tonight in his yellow jacket to give his long awaited Hall of Fame speech and unveil his bust.
Joining Guy and Humphrey will be five modern era finalists: Former Seahawks offensive lineman Walter Jones, Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, Cardinals safety Aenaes Williams, Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, and Bills wide receiver Andre Reed.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will begin at 4:00pm Pacific Time (7:00pm Eastern) on ESPN2.