Raiders legend Ray Man, thought of one among the best punters in NFL historical past, died on Thursday on the age of 72 after a prolonged sickness, his alma mater, the College of Southern Mississippi introduced.
Man performed 14 seasons within the NFL, all with the Raiders, who made him a first-round decide within the 1973 draft.
“Ray Man was a soccer participant who punted,” the late John Madden mentioned in 2014 earlier than he introduced Man for induction into the Corridor of Fame.
Man was identified for his dangle time on punts and was named to seven Professional Bowls, was a six-time first-team All-Professional and was part of three Tremendous Bowl groups with the Raiders. He was additionally named to the Seventies All-Decade workforce and the NFL’s seventy fifth and one centesimal Anniversary All-Time groups.
Madden mentioned the primary time he watched Man punt in apply for the Raiders, he knew the workforce had one thing particular.
Comply with each sport: Reside NFL Scores
“He punted the longest, highest footballs that I had ever seen,” Madden mentioned then.
His kicks went so excessive that one which hit the Superdome scoreboard 90 ft above the sector in a Professional Bowl helped put “dangle time” into the soccer vernacular. His skill to pin the opponent deep with both excessive kicks or well-positioned ones was a key a part of the success for the nice Raiders groups of the Seventies and 80s.
“It was one thing that was given to me. I don’t know the way,” he mentioned. “I’m actually blessed in that class. It’s one thing I actually recognize and I superior it and I made it into one thing nice.”
A local of Thomson, Georgia, William Ray Man can be a member of the School Soccer Soccer Corridor of Fame and the Nationwide Excessive Faculty Sports activities Corridor of Fame.
He was elected to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2014 and was inducted within the School Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2004 for his All-American profession at Southern Miss.
At Southern Mississippi, Man additionally performed defensive again. He nonetheless shares the varsity single-season document for many interceptions with eight in 1972 and his 61-yard subject purpose at Utah State set an NCAA document on the time.
In 2015, Southern Miss renamed the road outdoors The Duff Athletic Middle on its campus “Ray Man Manner.”
Man ended his NFL profession in 1986 with a streak of 619 punts with out having one blocked. Nevertheless it took practically three a long time for him to be chosen to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.
“That sort of bothered me as a result of they have been saying that’s not a place, it doesn’t take an athlete to do this, it’s not vital,” Man mentioned earlier than his Corridor of Fame induction in 2014.
“That’s what actually received beneath my pores and skin. It wasn’t a lot whether or not I did or didn’t. I want someone had. It was simply realizing that they didn’t care.
“That’s what sort of frosted me slightly bit.”
Man’s No. 44 is retired by Southern Miss and the Ray Man Award is given yearly to the very best punter in faculty soccer.
Contributing: The Related Press