13

April

Jerry Kramer, The Pro Football Hall Of Fame And The NFL Generation Gap

Former Packers Guard Jerry Kramer

Jerry Kramer leading the famous "Packers Sweep"

It’s one of the biggest travesties ever committed against a member of the Green Bay Packers.

For a player who was a foundational part of the “Packers Sweep,” a play that revolutionized the running game in the NFL, I can think of no greater offense given to him.  As a key player in the great Packers teams of the 1960s, not giving him his proper due is an insult to all those already in the Hall of Fame who have played against him.

I’m talking about the former Packer great and guard Jerry Kramer.  If you’re reading this, chances are you are a Packers fan and by default are already knowledgeable in Packers history.  You know how much Kramer has meant and still means to this franchise, the greatest in all of professional sports.

The fact that he is not included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is utterly insane.  In fact, I’d even argue it stains the reputation of the Selection Committee itself.

It’s clear where I (and countless other Packer fans) stand on the issue.  I’m not going to fire off a laundry list of reasons why Kramer should be in the hall of fame.  It’s the same list we recite every year.  We are always countered with the argument that there are “too many” of Lombardi’s players in already.  TOO MANY? There is no such thing as “too many” on teams as great as the 1960s Packers were.  I’d say the same for 1970s Steelers and 1980s 49ers too.

Instead, I think we need to explore the WHY of the whole argument.  Why isn’t a player, whose hall of fame credentials are crystal clear, constantly left out year after year?

Well first off, it’s of no fault of Kramer’s.   Any Packer fan who has had the pleasure of meeting him (which I unfortunately NOT had the honor of doing yet) say he’s first class to everyone.  Takes time to reminisce about the good ole days and share stories of what Lombardi really was like as a coach.  I look forward to hearing some of these stories someday soon.