The case for Jerry Kramer and the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Talk about a kid doing a parent a solid.
Jerry Kramer's daughter is spearheading an effort to get her dad into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She's using Twitter and Facebook, as well as a webpage, to martial fan support without putting undo pressure on those who'll actually make the decision. Kramer hasn't made the nominating short list in 15 years.
Here's hoping the omission ends, and the mission succeeds.
Kramer made the NFL's All Time team for it's first 50 years. He's a five time All Pro. Kramer was part of the offensive line Vince Lombardi constructed to not only protect Bart Starr but to also open holes for the likes of Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor. He and Fuzzy Thurston were the pulling guards that made Lombardi's power sweep an NFL innovation. Kramer multi-tasked, too: he was the Pack's fill-in place kicker, booting the field goals that were the margin of victory in the team's NFL title game win over the Giants in 1962.
Then there's "Instant Replay".
Kramer did what no player had done before--he took a notebook with him everywhere, jotting down what he saw and heard in the locker room, on the practice field, and on the gridiron itself. Fans never had such access, and the diary became a bestseller. Kramer became a celeb, but he brought his fellow offensive linemen with them. "Instant Replay" gave them a face, making them out to be something more than just big lugs who hit people.
And, Kramer's book chronicled Lombardi's last season in Green Bay, one that ended with Kramer's block that secured a third straight NFL title while punching the team's ticket to Super Bowl II where the legendary coach would win his final crown.
Kramer became the defacto face and voice of the glory-days Packers, never turning down a chance to talk on camera about Lombardi, his teammates and the life-lessons his coach instilled. Kramer would admit in a later book that he fell in love with the sound of his own voice and got a little too full of himself, the admission making him even more human and endearing, at least to this fan.
Let's hope his daughter succeeds. It's an unconventional effort she's launching, but then, her dad is no conventional NFL player. Jerry Kramer did a lot to bring glory to Green Bay. He took his teammates along for the ride, and made sure the coach who got him there would never be forgotten.
Kramer shouldn't be forgotten, either, certainly not in Canton. Let's hope he's there some summer afternoon in the not-too-distant future, assuming his rightful spot among so many of his Packers teammates.