Ray Guy is ever-so-close to becoming the first pure punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame's Senior Selection committee nominated the Raiders' legend, widely considered the greatest punter of all time, as a Class of 2014 finalist on Wednesday along with Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey. They will join 15 modern-day finalists, who have yet to be named, to be considered by the 46-person selection committee.
The official selection will take place on Feb. 1, 2014, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, but Guy's chances of being enshrined into the Hall of Fame have improved dramatically following years of rejection as a modern-day finalist. Senior Committee finalists almost always are selected.
Many on the election committee have been reluctant to include punters in the Hall of Fame because of their role as a specialist. Guy’s nomination may be a sign that times are changing.
“I’m thrilled that an incredibly deserving and groundbreaking player at his position may finally see his bust in Canton,” said CSN Bay Area/California managing editor Nancy Gay, an eight-year member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee who has campaigned for Guy’s enshrinement.
Guy is the only punter to be taken in the first round, and proved himself worthy of the selection. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a six-time All-Pro and a three-time Super Bowl champion who played his entire career with the Raiders. Guy and Humphrey, who are designated senior nominees because their careers ended at least 25 years ago, must receive 80 percent of the votes from the selection committee to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. The same percentage applies to modern-day candidates.