“Good Guy” Feagles May Get Long-Awaited Distinction
The NFL has had some great punters. In the 1970′s there was Raiders’ Ray Guy, who could boot the ball to the moon. He is considered the forerunner of all things punting in this league, and is the odds-on favorite to become the first punter to earn enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Except, it hasn’t happened yet.
Guy has been eligible for enshrinement since 1991 but has never garnered enough votes to gain entrance. The collective school of thought is that if Guy does not make the Hall of Fame, then no punter should.
That school of thought may change now that Jeff Feagles has retired.
Feagles was as much a factor in games as Guy was. Guy would boom the ball and push opponents back while Feagles used finesse and savvy to trap them deep in their own territory.
Now, purists are rethinking their stance on who the game’s greatest punter was.
Feagles played in more games than any other player except two (kickers Morten Andersen and Gary Anderson), has punted the ball nearly 300 times more than runner-up Sean Landeta and kicked for 71,211 yards over a 22-year career. That’s over 40 miles…
He played in two Pro Bowls in his career – 13 years apart – and was voted team captain of the Giants three-times in his forties.
The other day at the press conference to announce Feagles’ retirement, coach Tom Coughlin could not shield his emotions in introducing Feagles. He ran the gamut from joy to sadness in describing Feagles and called him “one of the greatest Giants ever.”
Coughlin’s sentiments are echoed throughout the community here in New York. Everyone is a Jeff Feagles fan. He is a good guy who lasted over two decades in the game of football and is a great teammate and family man.
The media likes him, too, and those factors will bode well when Jeff Feagles’ name appears on a Hall of Fame ballot in five years. This could be good news for Guy, as well.
If the voters know Feagles is going to be hard to keep out of Canton, then Guy must go in also. Either way, Feagles is deserving. The NFL’s good guy will get his due.
You can read about Ray Guy’s accomplished career HERE.