Yahoo Sports – You can sum up his greatness in that one statement.
Punters don’t get the same level of respect as those who play offense or defense, but Guy did.
He is considered the greatest punter ever, the template for the position since he broke in with the Oakland Raiders nearly five decades ago.
The award given to the best punter in college football is the Ray Guy Award, which is telling.
Guy died at age 72, according to the NFL and University of Southern Mississippi. Southern Miss said he died Thursday morning after a lengthy illness.
“There are debates about the greatest player at just about every position in NFL history. You won’t get much debate about the punter on the all-time team. Guy is almost unanimously seen as the greatest punter of all time. That’s a special legacy.”
Guy was a legend in the sport. That’s a rare level to achieve for a punter.
Guy made history before he ever played an NFL game. He was the first punter ever taken in the first round of the draft. The Raiders took him 23rd overall.
Late Raiders coach John Madden said, according to Southern Miss’ announcement of Guy’s death:
“I thought then he could be the greatest in the league, but I changed my mind. I think Ray proved he’s the best of all time.”
That pick paid off right away. Guy was a Pro Bowler as a rookie…