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Championship Guys


Omar Little and Bunk Moreland once said, “a man must have a code.”


I’d never say this to Haden unless it was true. And here we are, look at us…who would’ve thought we’d get through this winter and make it to March.

The third month of the year comes with new beginnings, and hope for many.


Hope.


A four letter word that keeps a lotta guys going, including me. Especially if you’re a guy who’s experienced adversity, a bad beat, or just flat out got your ass kicked before.


Hope springs eternal, and these guys never stopped believing.

The first punter ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft, Ray Guy punted for the Raiders through the entirety of his 14 year career.


Making an immediate impact for the silver and black, Guy’s personal accolades were instantaneous as he made the Pro-Bowl in his first three seasons…he also lost three straight AFC Championship games.


Before John Madden’s Raiders were lauded as winners, their motto felt more like, “Just Win, Maybe.” In 1976, Guy and Oakland snapped their Final Four skid, pummeling the Steelers in the AFC Chip game, and going on beat the Vikings in Super Bowl XI 32-14.


Before deflate-gate, in 1977 Ray Guy was falsely accused of pumping balls with helium by Buddy Ryan...but that myth was busted in 2006.

Guy had the last laugh on Ryan anyway. 3 Super Bowls, 7 Pro Bowls, 3 1st team All-Pro selections…and in 2014, a gold jacket. Becoming the first punter enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ray Guy went in as a football guy, not a me guy, stating, “Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team.”

With one Patriots reference already done, we might as well talk about another Pat.

A Cinderella story coming out of Arizona State in the 7th round. Lawrence Guy overcame a lot of personal obstacles early in his life to get a chance to play in the NFL.

Getting an opportunity to showcase your ability with one team comes with it’s own set of challenges as well, trust me, I know.


From 2011-2014 Guy played for three teams, being cut and/or waived three separate times, not including stints on practice squads as well. Finally, having been acquired by the Ravens into the 2014 season, Guy got a chance to stick. Finishing that season in Baltimore with 11 games played, he signed a 2-year deal with The Flock.


After proving himself to be a quality interior lineman, he inked pen to paper on a 4-year deal with New England in 2017. Becoming one of the Pats most trusted guy’s in the trenches, Lawrence Guy, became Bill Belichick’s glue guy.

Posting 2 solo tackles, and a QB hit, Lawrence Guy won Super Bowl LIII with New England. Guy suited up for all 17 games with Foxborough’s football team in 2021, but more importantly than that. He runs a non-profit organization that assists financially disadvantaged families…you can learn more his story, and foundation here.


https://www.lawrenceguyfoundation.org/about


The only guy here who’s sir name isn’t Guy, Guy Lewis propelled Houston hoops to new heights.


Playing for the Cougars in the 40’s, Lewis joined the coaching staff as an assistant, and became head coach in 1956. In-between his 30 year career as Houston’s leader, he was key to the transformation of college basketball in America.


Recruiting, and playing black players like Elvin Hayes, Lewis began a run in 1967 that saw him reach 5 Final Fours. The architect of Phi Slama Jama’s fast break, and above the rim style of play, featuring all-time greats like Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston made back to back Chip games in 83’ and 84’.

Dominating the regular season, and postseason tournament only to lose consecutively in the culminating game is something I’m all too familiar with.


It’s up to each guy to make a decision though, do you let that loss define you, or do you appreciate the consistent, and successful journey you achieved? Guys like Guy Lewis, a college basketball, and Naismith Hall of Fame inductee don't dwell on the losing, he was too busy winning 592 career games.

The madness of March leads us here. To a Guy who's been on both sides of the bracket.

After winning Indiana's Mr. Basketball award in 2016, Kyle Guy went on to Virginia, and led the Cavaliers to the 1 seed in 2018. Making the kind of history no guy wants to be a part of, Virginia became the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed.

One year later, the Cavs climbed their way back to the tournament as a 1 seed again, this time marching all the way to the title. Enroute, Guy extinguished the idea that he'd come up short in a big spot, and won the 2019 tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, in what is the most challenging competition in all of knock-out sports to win.


After a stint with the Kings, Guy's on a two-way deal with the Miami Heat and their G-League affiliate the Sioux Falls Skyforce. At the age of 24, he's the youngest Guy covered here, his pro career's story isn't done writing itself yet. Indiana's, Virginia's, and now Miami's Guy, The Encyclopedia will be watching, and rooting for Kyle Guy, 100% of the way.

The aforementioned Guy Fieri didn't make the cut for this one, and for good reason...Guy couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

Guys that have championship DNA are few and far between. You don't need to be a bracketologist to see that the four Guy's here have all been knocked down, but were able to pick themselves up off the floor.


If you don't keep going for yourself, who else is gonna do it for you? It takes a special kind of guy.


Heavy is the head for the Guy that wears the crown.