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Standing up for Guy, Kluwe rips HOF voters

The Vikings' Chris Kluwe has skewered voters for not sending Ray Guy to the Hall of Fame.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Chris Kluwe is out supporting another cause, but this one hits a bit closer to home for the outspoken Minnesota Vikings punter.


Kluwe has written an open letter to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which was posted on Deadspin.com, and admonished voters for continually ignoring former Raiders punter Ray Guy, considered by many to be the best ever at the position.


Spurred by a Yahoo! Sports report this week about Guy, who is resigned to his exclusion from the Hall of Fame despite being a seven-time finalist in the voting, Kluwe took to his now familiar format with the letter on Deadspin.


"How dare you tell a man who devoted his life to perfecting his craft that he's not worthy of admission among the game's greatest," Kluwe wrote. "How dare you have the heartless effrontery to pronounce that football is a team sport, but that some positions are more equal than others? How dare you be so selfish, short-sighted, and just plain ass****-ish to declare that Ray Guy won't be recognized for his skills because you're too ***damned lazy to learn the subtleties of kicking?


"That's right, voting committee, you're lazy. You're indolent, slothful, petulant, ignorant, and flat-out stupid. You perpetuate the same small-minded ‘Oh, he's just a kicker’ stereotype every single time you refuse to acknowledge that Ray Guy belongs in the Hall of Fame, because YOU'RE UNWILLING TO LEARN."


Earlier this year, Kluwe wrote a letter published on Deadspin.com admonishing a Maryland politician for his comments about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who had spoken publicly in support of gay marriage rights.


Now Kluwe supports Guy, who was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro and was named the punter on the NFL’s 75th anniversary team in 1994. Known for his booming punts with incredible hang time, Guy is the only punter ever drafted in the first round and was the first pure punter nominated for the Hall of Fame. But Guy, who was forced to sell his three Super Bowl rings in August as part of a bankruptcy filing, has been continually passed over in the selection process.


Kluwe chastised the selection committee on Deadspin.com, saying "You have no desire to understand the fundamentals and complexities of trying to make a football travel over 60 yards using just your foot."


Kluwe later added: "No, instead you continue down the path of ineptitude and ignorance. You've elected coaches to the Hall of Fame, administrators to the Hall of Fame, owners to the Hall of Fame, players at every single position other than punter to the Hall of Fame, and every year, every single damning year that you continue this trend of stupidity, you cheapen the integrity of the game. You tell children that football is the ultimate team game, unless you happen to play a certain position. You tell players that it doesn't matter if you're the very best at your job, because you play a certain position. You tell fans that it's all about the 53 men on the roster, except for that one guy who does the job you can't be bothered to learn about."


Guy has now been out of the game for more than 25 years, which means he’s outside the time frame for regular voting. His fate will now rest in the hands of the Senior Selection Committee. Only one kicker, Jan Stenerud, is in the Hall of Fame.


"I used to anticipate (the call) but not anymore," Guy told Yahoo! Sports. "It crosses my mind, and it's just a fluke. I don't think about it anymore. I just go on. I guess that's the way for the older vets, older than I am, who aren't in the Hall of Fame. I know it bothers them. I mean they should be in the Hall of Fame. The problem they are running into is there are too many modern guys going into the Hall of Fame over these veterans. Reason being is because of their notoriety and they are seen a lot more than these older guys are now."


Guy is in the College Football Hall of Fame, and the award given to the best punter in college football bears his name. Yet the 44 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee — all media members — haven’t sent him to Canton, Ohio.


Kluwe added a parting shot, with his own ideas for the election process.


"Ignorance is not bliss," Kluwe wrote on Deadspin.com. "It's ignorance, and you should be ashamed. Also, why don't you just change the HoF entrance by position group instead of just a static number? For example, you could do 0-2 specialists, 2-4 offensive players, 2-4 defensive players, and 0-1 administrator/coaches each year. That literally took me all of 10 seconds to think of."


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