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The 44 Hall of Fame Selectors

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following blog was written last week by Chris Gay, a sports writer with The Augusta Chronicle. We thought our readers might be interested in the timely article.)

Ray Guy was in Thomson last week where he held his annual kicking camp at the high school. And whenever he's in the area, one thing comes to mind: his annual Pro Football Hall of Fame snub. With Guy as one of 25 Hall of Fame semifinalists for the 2010 induction, the same arguments arise.

Breaking news:  some Hall of Fame voters still don't believe Ray Guy should be enshrined. They're the same ones who've shut him out the past two decades.  

He is only considered the greatest pure punter ever. Yet,  no pure punter ever, make that EVER,  has been elected. Instead, guys like Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would rather have Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, a 7-time Pro Bowler,  immortalized. Fine. But there's still room on the ballot for Guy.

There are 44 members on the selection committee (see below). And  they disagree with the fans, who believe Guy should be inducted. Check out to find out who's leading fan voting for the Hall of Fame. Yep, the punter.

The argument for Guy is simple.  1) He  revolutionized the punting position and 2) When you ask a number of people who the greatest punter ever is it's one person -- Ray Guy.   (He's a seven-time Pro Bowler and  a member of the prestigious National Football League 75th Annivesary All-Time team. 'Nuff said.)

Bouchette, who can be contacted at, disagrees. He wrote this in 2008:

"Yet a punter, Ray Guy -- not even close to the best in the history of the game -- keeps making it to the final 15. The hall of fame should have a special wing -- make that a closet -- for special teams players. That would be better than having punters such as Guy -- who participated in probably an average of five plays a game -- somehow knocking real players such as Dawson out of spots in the finals. Put Guy in the special category, along with Steve Tasker if you must and a few kickers. They can even put in a long-snapper because, as the supporters of kickers and punters have argued for years, they are part of the game too."

And there's this gem he wrote earlier this month regarding the fan's vote:

"A guy who trotted onto the field and swung his leg six or seven times a game and rarely came into contact with anything more than a football is the player the fans think most belongs in the Hall of Fame.

It's a good thing the fan vote does not count. Unlike fan votes for all-star teams, thankfully they will not determine who makes up the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010."

Last time I checked, it's not called the Pro Football Hall of Fame of Contact or the Pro Football Hall of Fame for  Guys who Played 35-60 Snaps a Game.  

But we can stop worrying because thankfully we have 44 open-minded electors  who will thoughtfully decide who gets elected in 2010 -- and not just some bunch of electors who cut backroom deals.  Or  worse, those darn fans who actually pay money to attend games and actually go to the Hall of Fame. Who wants those nimrods voting anyway?

Because we have 44 electors we can trust we don't have to argue about stats.

If  we did so, we'd have to  go this route. Let's mention a Hall of Fame  QB who completed 50.1 percent of his passes and threw 173 touchdowns, 220 interceptions and had fewer career passing yards than Jake Plummer, Brad Johnson and Chris Chandler. Yet, Joe Namath is in the Hall of Fame.  That one Super Bowl win carried him all the way to Canton, Ohio.

Namath helped changed the  way the American Football League was viewed after that Super Bowl III victory.  Guy helped changed the way people view punting. Two game-changers. Two great  ones. One's in the Hall. Here's hoping the open-minded 44 voters decide to elect the other.

ArizonaKent SomersArizona Republic
BaltimoreScott GarceauWMAR-TV
BuffaloMark GaughanBuffalo News
CarolinaCharles ChandlerCharlotte Observer
ChicagoDan PompeiChicago Tribune*
CincinnatiJoe ReedyCincinnati Enquirer
ClevelandTony GrossiCleveland Plain Dealer
DallasRick GosselinDallas Morning News*
DenverJeff LegwoldRocky Mountain News
DetroitTom KowalskiBooth Newspapers
Green BayCliff ChristlMilwaukee Journal Sentinel
HoustonJohn McClainHouston Chronicle*
IndianapolisMike ChappellIndianapolis Star
JacksonvilleSam KouvarisWJXT-TV
Kansas CityBob GretzKCFX Overland Park, Kan.
MiamiEdwin PopeMiami Herald*
MinnesotaSid HartmanThe Minneapolis Star-Tribune
New EnglandRon BorgesBoston Herald*
New OrleansPete FinneyTimes-Picayune
New York (Giants)Vinny DiTraniBergen Record
New York (Jets)Gary MyersNew York Daily News
OaklandFrank CooneyThe Sports Xchange
PhiladelphiaPaul DomowitchPhiladelphia Daily News
PittsburghEd BouchettePittsburgh Post-Gazette
St. LouisBernie MiklaszSt. Louis Post-Dispatch
San DiegoNick CanepaSan Diego Union Tribune
San FranciscoNancy GayAOL Sports/Fanhouse
Tampa BayIra KaufmanTampa Tribune
TennesseeDavid ClimerThe Tennessean
WashingtonDavid ElfinWashington Times
At LargeHoward BalzerThe Sports Xchange
At LargeJarrett BellUSA Today
At LargeJohn ClaytonESPN/ESPN Magazine
At LargeJohn*
At LargeDave GoldbergAssociated Press*
At LargePeter KingSports Illustrated
At LargeIra MillerThe Sports Xchange*
At LargeLen ShapiroMiami Herald*
At LargeVito StellinoFlorida Times Union
At LargeJim TrotterSports Illustrated
At LargeCharean WilliamsFt. Worth Star Telegram


Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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