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One Man's Opinion

Once again, the name Ray Guy is one of those nominated for induction into the 2010 Class of the NFL Hall of Fame.

After years of being nominated for the most prestigious honor in all of pro football, the former punter is likely to fall short again.

Of course, I hope that doesn't happen. During the past several years, I've written several sports columns encouraging sports writers to do the right thing -- vote Guy into the NFL Hall of Fame. I know of no one more deserving to be there than Guy, recognized by millions as the greatest punter of all time.

Guy also is my friend and will forever remain so.

The old saying that he's as plain as they come holds true in every way where Guy is concerned. He's never tried to be somebody that he's not. He's a man who tells it like it is. That's another attribute I admire about my friend.

He's never been flamboyant. He's never wanted anybody to give him anything. He's always worked hard for what he has.

Ray was that same way when he played football for 14 years in the NFL. He played for the same team under two different names, the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Raiders.

The same holds true today. Ray Guy has never changed a lot from the man I had the pleasure to meet when I worked at the Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services way back in the '70s. At the time, I was attending Thomson High School, where I graduated in 1975.

His character is like that of an old country boy.

Through the years, I've interviewed Ray on several occasions. I always look forward to those interviews. I always discover a little something that I didn't know about the man.

For the past three years, I've also attended the Ray Guy College Punter of The Year banquet, co-sponsored by the Augusta Sports Council and The Augusta Chronicle. The award is named in Ray's honor. The banquet is set for February in Augusta.

Once again, I'm looking very forward to attending and covering the ceremony.

Ray always looks forward to that time of the year, too.

Right now, he's still a busy man. A graduate of Thomson High School, Ray is working to raise money for his college alma mater, Southern Mississippi University. Southern Mississippi is preparing to celebrate its centennial next year.

Ray, who heads up the fundraiser, has done a phenomenal job.

I wouldn't have expected any less from him. Again, he's that kind of man -- a man who gets the job done whatever that job might involve.

Hopefully, this will be the year Ray Guy is selected to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Web posted on Thursday, December 03, 2009

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