SUPER POLL 50 | 14: Ray Guy’s foot produced many firsts — and three Super Bowl titles

Our series on ASN’s 50 greatest NFL championship competitors of the past 50 years continues with No. 14 Ray Guy, originally published on Jan. 31.

14-Ray-GuySouthern Mississippi alum and former Oakland Raider Ray Guy cemented “hang time” in pro football parlance en route to becoming the first pure punter enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also helped the Raiders earn three Super Bowl titles.

“He’s only the greatest kicker who ever lived,” was how Guy’s former college head coach, Curley Hallman, once described him. The 6-3 Thomson, Ga., native was also the first punter to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Guy entered the NFL in 1973 as a first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders. Out of high school, Guy was selected as a pitcher by the Cincinnati Reds.

“He was the best punter that ever punted in the history of the game,” said John Madden, the former Raiders’ head coach and NFL broadcaster, in the Hall of Fame documentary on Guy’s induction. Madden coached Guy for two of the three Super Bowl rings that the punter earned.

In Super Bowl XVIII, a Raiders’ victory over the Washington Redskins, Guy showed his athletic ability when he fielded a high snap with one hand early in the game. Pulling it down at the Raiders’ 45, Guy strode forward to the midfield stripe and pinned the kick inside Washington’s 20-yard line.

“Probably the only punter that could do that,” said former Raiders’ quarterback, Jim Plunkett, in the HOF documentary.

During his undergraduate years at Southern Mississippi, Guy was both the team’s punter and a defensive back, and still holds the Golden Eagles’ record for interceptions in a season with eight.

As a pro, Guy was later named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL All-Century Team.


Above: As a defensive back at Southern Miss, Ray Guy still holds the school’s single-season record with eight interceptions. As a punter he was the first inducted into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and he was a first-round pick in the 1973 NFL Draft. (Photos courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics)
Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn is a freelance writer based in Baltimore.