11 thoughts on “Would you rather?

  1. I’m curious to hear what made you choose this pair.

    Anyway, I hesitate choosing Guy primarily because being a punter (especially for a long time!) is kind of unappealing…but if we take that out of it, I think I’m lean towards having Guy’s career.

    1. Because Ray Guy died today. And I wanted to compare him to someone who was brilliant for a few short seasons in a glamor position but who probably won’t make the Hall of Fame, which Ray Guy did.

      The greatest player of all time at a position barely recognized in the NFL as critical, or a VERY good player, maybe the 50th best running back of all time?

    2. OK, got it.

      I like Guy, but the thought of being a punter doesn’t appeal to me, but Alexander doesn’t appeal to me…If you chose a very good RB that I really liked, I’d probably choose being that RB. Being a punter, kicker, or long-snapper just wouldn’t appeal to me–even if I was the greatest at that position.

  2. I would pick Ray Guy for sure.

    However, is Ray Guy better than even guys punting today? I don’t get that sense, but maybe I’m misremembering. If Ray Guy was playing today at his best, would he just be an average punter?

    1. If Ray Guy was playing today at his best, would he just be an average punter?

      I don’t know about average, but my guess he wouldn’t be exceptional.

      Field goal kicking has also improved dramatically. I think the league should consider making the goal posts more narrow. This would might separate truly exceptional kickers. And then there maybe two classes of kickers accurate, but limited range, versus greater range, but less accurate. I don’t think this dichotomy isn’t as pronounced now.

      1. In terms of accuracy though, I feel like more field goals were made before than now. But it could just be that longer field goals are attempted now, so more are missed. Or it could just be I’m not remembering well.

    2. My sense is that the overall quality of kickers is way better–both in terms of distance and accuracy. With the current distance for the extra point, I think you would see more missed kicks. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the accuracy of extra points was less than now.

  3. I think Shane Lechler is statistically the best punter of all time. When he went up for Hall consideration this year, I know some people at least considered him.

    Comparing Ray Guy to punters today makes him look mediocre. But in the context of the era in which he played, he was the best. People just couldn’t believe what he did with the ball. Bum Phillips accused him once of using illegal air in the ball. Later, after a game in the Astrodome, Phillips apologized to Guy after a game and said the only hot air in the stadium was from Bum Phillips.

    Based on observation alone, I say nobody kicked the ball like Ray Guy until Reggie Roby, who was even more impressive. But Ray Guy showed people how to do it.

    So here is some data to consider.

    Ray Guy: 3x Super Bowl champion, 6x First-team All Pro (remember: there’s only one punter on the all-pro team), 2x second-team All Pro, 7x Pro Bowl including every year from ’73 to ’78, 1970s all-decade team, 100th anniversary all-time team. Unrelated, but the college punting award is now called the Ray Guy award; his 44.7 yard punting average is still a school record at Southern Miss, where he also set the school record for most interceptions in a season with 8. Oh yeah, and also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Shaun Alexander: NFL MVP 2005, NFL Offensive Player of the Year 2005, First-team All Pro 2005, second-team All Pro 2006, 3x Pro Bowler, 2x NFL rushing TDs leader, NFL 2000s all-decade team, Seattle Seahawks ring of honor.

    So Alexander was the best offensive player in all of football for at least a season or two, something you couldn’t say about Ray Guy. An outstanding career for sure.

    I’m absolutely taking Ray Guy’s career over Alexander’s.

    So Don, which RB makes it a tough call for you? Like who would you have to really think about picking ahead of Ray Guy?

    1. What??? I didn’t know Alexander was an MVP. That’s pretty impressive, even for back in the day when RBs would be MVP. The RB, I first thought of was Curtis Martin. But I’m not sure if Martin was ever the best RB in the league. So maybe Alexander is a better choice as a RB against Guy.

  4. Based on observation alone, I say nobody kicked the ball like Ray Guy until Reggie Roby, who was even more impressive. But Ray Guy showed people how to do it.

    Yep (and I agree with everything you said before that). By the way, if I had to be any punter, I’d choose to be Reggie Roby, just because his style of kicking looked so cool…and maybe “badass” might be the more appropriate word.

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