Ray Guy, the man considered to be the best punter in the history of the NFL, died last Thursday at the age of 72 from an unknown cause of death.
His former team, the Las Vegas Raiders, announced on Twitter that the Hall of Famer passed away. After referring to him as the “best of the best,” the team announced they will continue to celebrate his life and legacy. Considering he was the first punter to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in 1973, his legacy deserved to be well celebrated. During the span of his 14-year-career in the NFL he punted a total of 1,049 times, only three of which were blocked by another team.
According to Guy’s former coach John Madden, the 72-year-old was the best punter he had ever seen. “When we first drafted him, it was a heck of a choice. I thought then he could be the greatest in the league, but I changed my mind,” Madden said of the former draftee. “I think Ray proved he’s the best of all time.”
Reflecting on the significant career of NFL star Ray Guy
In addition, his former school, the University of Southern Mississippi, recognized Guy as one of the best players in their football program’s history. “Ray Guy is a legend in every sense of the word,” the Southern Miss football team tweeted at the time of his death. “One of the most amazing athletes to ever play at Southern Miss, yet one of the most down-to-earth, humble people you will ever meet.”
“He loved this university and this university loved him,” the school continued. “He will be greatly missed by the Golden Eagle family.”
When Guy was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2014, he cited his high school coaches for teaching him the skill of punting. “I never really had a teacher, a coach, or a special camp to attend to learn the art of punting,” the legend said in his speech. “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,” Guy added. “Playing in the NFL with the Raiders was my destiny, and I never looked back or questioned my decision.”
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