Ray Guy, Raiders legendary punter passes away at the age of 72

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Ray Guy, Raiders legendary punter passes away at the age of 72


Ray Guy, Raiders legendary punter passes away at the age of 72


As news began to break on Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders legendary punter Ray Guy passing away, the accolades began to flood the NFL news cycle as Raider Nation would lose another great member of the Silver and Black.

William Ray Guy embarked on a legendary sports career that had options including MLB as a pitcher where he was drafted four times. The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to do so in the 14th round of the 1969 amateur draft out of high school but Guy went to college instead. In the secondary phase of the June 1971 amateur draft, he was selected by the Houston Astros. The Atlanta Braves would be the next team to take a shot at drafting him in the 17th round of the 1972 amateur draft. Finally, Cincinnati took a last chance in the January 1973 draft. The NBA was something he’d consider. However something told him it was football he was meant to play. While at Southern Mississippi, Guy both punted and played defensive back, having racked up the school single-season record for most interceptions with eight in 1972, he also had a boomer of a leg kicking a 61 yard field goal in the snow at Utah State. 

As his legend at Mississippi State grew, so did the potential of a career in the NFL. Managing General Partner Al Davis would draft the first pure punter ever in the 1973 draft with the 23rd pick overall. 

Guy was the goods. The Raiders punter was selected first-team All-Pro six times and second-team twice. He would play in seven Pro Bowls and was chosen to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team, the 75th Anniversary Team, and the 100th Anniversary Team, showing he didn’t just punt the football, he’d become an absolute weapon and factor in any game he played in. During his career in the Silver and Black, Guy punted the ball 1,049 times for 44,493 yards. He would average 42.4-yard per punt while having only three blocked. He would also be the centerpiece of a game plan where he wasn’t always punting for distance, as Guy could often pin opponents deep in their own territory. His kicks were known to go so high in the air that one hit the scoreboard sailing an amazing 90 feet up in the Superdome. He never missed a game in a 14-year career and never had a kick returned for a touchdown. He had a streak where he punted the ball 619 consecutive times before one was ever blocked, in addition to holding the record of 111 punts in postseason play. 

Perhaps the ultimate compliment came from another Raiders legend, coach John Madden who would present Guy for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The HOF coach said, “Ray Guy was a football player who punted”. 

A consummate “Southern Gentleman”, the Swainsboro, Georgia native would pass away at the age of 72, while receiving hospice care in Hattiesburg, MS. 


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