Sunday, August 03, 2014

Hey You, Guy

I have a lot of problems with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, starting with the fact that it looks like a handheld orange juicer and working its way from there. Its voting processes are byzantine even by the standards of modern sports halls of fame; anything that makes the rocket scientists in Cooperstown look good and transparent by comparison may want to re-examine its processes. The logic of the voters is likewise unintelligible, and in a sport where such a high percentage of players don't get to put up "counting stats", the induction classes are heavily weighted away from those laboring in the trenches.

And yes, it is bloody difficult remembering who gets inducted from year to year. There's a fixed number, unlike in baseball, which means you're getting the combo plate every year no matter what. It's just a question of what the individual ingredients are.

(and before you argue, I want you to ask yourself: did you really know that Claude Humphrey was going in? Did anyone you watch football with know? Six months from now, will anyone remember? And I say that noting that I loved Claude Humphrey when he was with the Eagles, and I think he's more than worthy of enshrinement. He just doesn't have even Bert Blyleven levels of infamy.)

But this time, they finally got something right. They voted in Ray Guy.
Ray Guy, for those of you who don't know, was a punter for the Oakland Raiders during their glory years.

Correction: he was the punter, by far the best ever at his position. For him to have been kept out of the Hall for so long is a travesty, fueled by the silly notion that "punters aren't really football players".  This is of course nonsense, the usual jockocracy refusal to pay attention to what's actually going on in the games. Are punters massive behemoths who hit and get hit on every single play? No, but they affect the game to an incredible extent, and when they're on the field, they're always involved in the play.

Which is a nice way of saying that Ray Guy specialized in a specialized part of the game, but it's still part of the game. And it's a relief to see him finally being honored for being the best in that specialized part of the game.

Now, to see how long it takes to get a second punter in....

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