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Jerry Kramer Belongs In The Hall Of Fame

I had the privilege of interviewing former University of Idaho and Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer yesterday. It was easily one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done (the guy is an incredible storyteller), but I walked away from our conversation feeling like I needed to take action.

Kramer is one of the greatest offensive lineman (he was a right guard) to ever play the game. He was a five-time All-Pro, and also played in three Pro Bowls. He was a key to the Packers success from 1958 to 1968, winning five championships (three NFL titles and two Super Bowls). Kramer layed one of the most historic blocks in NFL history (it’s actually referred to as “The Block”) when he opened a hole for Bart Starr to score the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys in 1967. Oh, not to mention, Kramer was a kicker as well. He led the NFL in field goal percentage in 1962.

You can’t talk about Kramer without mentioning his toughness. When he was growing up in Sandpoint, Idaho, he was shot during a hunting accident. I’m not joking…he was shot. Just like many offensive lineman, Kramer had numerous surgeries during his playing career. He went under the knife 22 times. These weren’t always simple procedures. One time he had shards of wood removed from his abdomen (from another childhood accident), but he said the worst was his colostomy (he described it as “a horror movie that hasn’t been made yet”). The hulking lineman, who usually played at 245 pounds, dropped all the way down to 190 pounds. Despite all of the injuries and surgeries, Kramer played in 130 games over an 11 year career. 

With all of that said…Jerry Kramer is not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s an absolute shame!

Kramer was a finalist nine times from 1974-1987, and became a senior candidate in 1997. After all of these years, he still hasn’t been enshrined in Canton. This is where I feel like I need to take action. Jerry Kramer belongs in the Hall. I’m not the only one who thinks that. Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, who was never a teammate of Kramer’s (he played for the New York Giants and Washington Redskins), is one of the many players who have tried to sway the committees decision in Kramer’s favor. The media has his back as well. Kramer was the No. 1 player on the NFL Network’s list of Top 10 Players Not in the Hall of Fame (you should really watch this video). This is a no-brainer…I can’t figure out why he’s not in. It’s so obvious, that many of the players he runs into, past or present, assume that he’s already in the Hall and they’re shocked when they find out that he’s not.  

Kramer told me yesterday that he feels like he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it made him angry after years of rejection. At 74-years-old now, his attitude has changed. Kramer said it’s not worth it to be bitter anymore, because football gave him so many incredible memories. He also thanked all of the people who have fought for him over the years, but he says he’ll never politic for himself. Kramer told me that if he was to fight his way in , then he just doesn’t belong. That means everyone needs to keep battling for him.

I don’t know how much influence I’d have or who I’d even talk to to show my support for Kramer, so I’m going to do the best with what I can. It starts with this article, but that’s only the first step. I’m also putting together a series of stories for my television station over the next couple of weeks all pushing to get Kramer into the Hall of Fame. I’ll be sure to post the links when the stories are finished. I just keep thinking that all we need is a spark to start a fire.

Let me know what you think of Jerry Kramer not being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You might even think that he doesn’t belong in Canton. I would love to hear all opinions! You can leave a comment below, find me on Twitter @lewissports, connect with me on Facebook (be sure to like my page while you’re at it), or you can email me at tim@timlewissports.com.

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