The Ray Guy Award watch list has been revealed and a travesty has been committed. No, I’m not referring to the absence of a Minnesota Golden Gophers punter on the list (we’re sad about it because we love love punting here at TDG but we know the decision is correct). I’m referring to the angst of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is feeling after his new fangled punter bot was not listed as a potential Guy Award winner:
It was a frustrating and very disappointing moment for our football team this week. I thought PB had earned a place on the [Ray Guy] watch list with his consistent performances in the off-season and through his recent media appearances. If there is one thing we take seriously here at Iowa, it’s punting. To have that go unacknowledged by the selection committee is a tough break.
Ferentz did not feel that the lack of being a real live human being should have played into the decision:
PB brings his best to the field every single day and the staff and I are just incredibly proud of the effort and the toughness he punts with. That’s the sort of thing the Ray Guy committee should be looking at, not the fact that punter bot lacks arms or legs. The kid has heart. Not a real heart you understand, but the metaphorical kind that is still very real.
On whether he hoped the Ray Guy Award would change for the future Coach Ferentz had this to say:
I don’t know if I’ve seen many better or any better than [punter bot] in my 20 years here. This level of disrespect is surprising and offensive to our coaching staff, the robot, and his designers. In the end, we can’t control what others think. All we can do is go out and get better at programming our robot week by week.