Ray Guy took the stage tonight for his long-awaited Hall of Fame induction speech. John Madden introduced him and he spoke for 15 minutes about a 14-year career and what led to this moment.
Guy mentioned the four people who he wishes could have been in the house
"Unfortunately, there are two special friends who are no longer with us and that I would like to salute tonight. My college coach P.W. Underwood. . . and of course the other is Raiders Hall of Fame owner, Al Davis, who took a chance on me as a pure punter in 1973."
He also mentioned his parents who have both passed away during the years while Guy waited 23 years for his entry into the Hall of Fame. That fact that it took this long for the first ever pure punter to enter the Hall of Fame would suggest the Hall of Fame committee doesn't see the position as important as other positions and certainly not worthy of a place in Canton.
Ray Guy becomes the first and as he said, "It's been long, long overdue, but now the Hall of Fame has a complete team." Said Guy. "Punters are a very important part of a team regardless of how many times they step onto the field. It only takes one play to change the outcome a game. So, punters, keep the faith. You are an important part of every game."
He told a story of a woman who came up to him earlier this year at the annual banquet for the college punting award that bears his name and told him his number eight meant "new beginning" to which Guy said "If that's true then I'd like my enshrinement and the number 8 to represent a new beginning for punters into the Hall of Fame."
There are quite a few punters out there who would like that very thing. The most worthy could be another former Raider - Shane Lechler.
As of now, the glass ceiling has officially been broken on punters. And how appropriate is that the guy to do it broke the barrier as the first pure punter and whose moon shots introduced the term "hang time".