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Give Ray Guy his well-deserved due; he's earned NFL Hall of Fame glory

Maybe this will be Ray Guy's big year - the year that he's waited on for so long - his chance to be enshrined into the National Football League's Hall of Fame.

Lord knows, he deserves it. But as has been the case for several years, sportswriters don't seem to want to bestow such an honor to a punter. Instead, they would rather award the honor to others - all of whom play on offensive and defensive side of the football. A punter has never before been honored in such a manner.

We're not talking about just any punter when it comes to the name Ray Guy, however. We're talking about the best of the best. Many current and former players and coaches in the NFL, as well as others consider the 1967 former Thomson High School graduate as the greatest punter to have ever played in the NFL.

Justifiably so, I might note: Ray Guy is a living legend.

He's promoted the sport of football like an ambassador. He's done what he has done for the sport over the years simply because he loves high school, college and professional football. And he's not bashful about saying that to anyone.

Putting it as simple as I know how to say it, Ray Guy's time for glory is now - 2008! He's long overdue for such recognition by the sportswriters who have a standing vote in who is selected as the next group to be named to the NFL Hall of Fame. It's not like they'd be doing anything out of the way; it would simply be a way of them paying a belated tribute to a man who performed his best every time he ever punted the football during his 14 year career with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders.

Ray Guy deserves to be elected into the NFL Hall of Fame because he's earned it. He did it through being the best he could be every time he stepped foot onto the football field.

The same was true when he played for the Thomson High School Bulldogs. Even on the college level when be became a standout punter at the University of Southern Mississippi, the same was true.

He's always worked hard to become the best at whatever he did. The same is true today as he serves as a professional instructor with a nationally-famed kicking academy named after him. Through his academy, which has many instructors, including Guy's former high school head football coach, Paul Leroy, of Thomson, Guy has continued to give of himself - not only for aiding himself and his family financially, but to help thousands of youngsters around the country who aspire to become a great punter or kicker someday.

Ray Guy is the real thing - like a bottle of Coca-Cola. He's plain and simple spoken. He's a man with much knowledge about the art of punting and kicking. And he's become a great teacher and motivator to so many others.

Parents throughout the country drive several hours when they hear about a Ray Guy kicking academy. There's a reason. That reason is that parents know that their child will receive the best instruction that can be taught when it comes to punting, kicking and long snapping of a football.

Ray Guy recently broke the news that he and his wife, Beverly, a teacher at Thomson High School, will be moving from Thomson to Hattiesburg, Miss., when summer rolls around. Guy has taken a position as a special projects manager with his college alma mater to promote and raise money for the school's Centennial, which is set for 2010.

I sincerely hope and pray to the Lord that Ray Guy is finally elected to the NFL Hall of Fame this year. But before that happens, he still must surpass one other hurdle - that of being named as one of the top 15 finalists for possible selection. I'm hoping that he makes that list and goes on to become inducted into the 2008 Class of NFL greats.

Web posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008

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