26

September

Vince Lombardi to be Honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame Oct 2

Vince Lombardi, Hometown Hall of Famer

Vince Lombardi, Hometown Hall of Famer

Legendary Packers football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Vince Lombardi, is going to be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at his H.S. alma mater in New York with a special ceremony and plaque presentation.

This event at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, New York, is part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest coaches, players, and contributors.

John Lombardi, Vince’s grandson, will be on-hand at the ceremony to accept the plaque on his grandfather’s behalf and say a few words about his legacy.

Here is the full Press Release:

National Program Recognizes Pro Football’s Greatest Legends in their Hometown Communities

Canton, Ohio – Sept. 25, 2013 – Pro football legend Vince Lombardi will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Queens, New York, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, as part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest coaches, players, and contributors with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.

“’Hometown Hall of Famers™’ has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate the late Vince Lombardi and St. Francis Preparatory School on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to Queens.”

A legendary NFL coach and former high school standout at St. Francis Preparatory School, Lombardi will be honored with his “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque during a special ceremony at 1:25 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the school’s auditorium, located at 6100 Francis Lewis Blvd., Fresh Meadows, NY, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s students and athletes. John Lombardi, Vince’s grandson, will be on-hand to accept the plaque on behalf of the Lombardi family.

“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Queens is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate’s senior vice president of marketing.
The ceremony will be attended by St. Francis Preparatory School students, faculty, staff, alumni and Lombardi’s family members and close friends. Kyle Flood, Rutgers University head football coach and St. Francis alumnus, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

12

June

A.J. Hawk, Dave Robinson honored at Lee Remmel banquet

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

At the 14th Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet on June 11–what would have been Vince Lombardi’s 100th birthday–Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and Lombardi-era star Dave Robinson each received an award for their achievements on and off the field.

Hawk was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. Since being selected No. 5 overall by the Packers in 2006, Hawk has proven to be a reliable piece of the defense, playing in 110 of a possible 112 regular season games in seven seasons.

“From the very first step off the plane, we realized that there’s something special here,” Hawk said. “Something is different, and it’s so unique.”

Off the field, Hawk has remained active in the community, serving as the spokesman for the Wisconsin Special Olympics. Hawk has also supported the Donald Driver Foundation, the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, the Greg Jennings Foundation, the Al Harris Outreach Program, and the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which is fellow Ohio State alum Mike Vrabel’s charity.

“I love being able to play football here, and I hope to do it for as long as possible,” Hawk said. “I hope to bring many more Super Bowls back to Green Bay. I got one, but sitting next to a guy like Dave, that’s nothing. He laughs at that.”

Hawk was a starter on the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship team, whereas Robinson started for the Packers in Super Bowls I and II, which capped off an historic run of three consecutive World Championships.

While accepting the Distinguished Service Award, Robinson reminisced about the 1966 NFL Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys. With a berth in Super Bowl I on the line and facing a fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was in Robinson’s grasp before his desperation pass was intercepted by Tom Brown. The Packers ran the clock out and won 34-27, punching their ticket to the first ever Super Bowl.

“Without that game, the Lombardi Trophy may very well be called the Landry Trophy,” Robinson said. “And that just makes me sick.”

In Robinson’s ten years in Green Bay, the Packers never lost to the Cowboys, with the exception of one exhibition game in Dallas. Robinson, a member of the 1960s All-Decade team, still questions the Cowboys’ “America’s Team” label.

2

February

Packers News: Dave Robinson elected to Hall of Fame

Packers Hall of Fame LB Dave Robinson

Packers Hall of Fame LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson has been elected as a senior member to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A defensive end at Penn State, head coach Vince Lombardi converted Robinson to linebacker, where he’d become a key part of the Packers’ championship defenses.

Robinson was nominated as a Senior Committee candidate in August.  According to PackersNews.com, Robinson is the third Packer to be elected to the Hall of Fame as a senior finalist, joining running back Tony Canadeo in 1974 and defensive tackle Henry Jordan in 1995.

Jerry Kramer was a senior finalist in 1997 but was not elected to the Hall of Fame.

Robinson is the 11th Packer from the Lombardi era and the 22nd Packer overall to be elected into the Hall of Fame. The other Hall of Famers from the Lombardi era are Herb Adderley, Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, Paul Hornung, Henry Jordan, Ray Nitschke, Jim Ringo, Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Willie Wood.

Prior to Saturday’s announcement, the last Packers player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame was defensive end Reggie White in 2006.

Robinson played 10 seasons with the Packers from 1963 to 1972 and two seasons with the Washington Redskins. He appeared in 155 regular-season games throughout his career and was selected to the 1960s all-decade team.

Joining Robinson in Canton are coach Bill Parcells, wide receiver Cris Carter, defensive  tackle Warren Sapp, guard Larry Allen, tackle Jonathan Ogden and defensive end Curley Culp.

 

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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22

August

Packers News: Dave Robinson nominated for HOF, Jerry Kramer not

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its two senior nominees for 2013 on Wednesday. The class of 2013 will not be elected until February, but Wednesday’s news elicited two very different reactions from fans of the Green Bay Packers.

The good news–linebacker Dave Robinson was named as a finalist for enshrinement.

Robinson was selected to three Pro Bowls, while playing on three Championship teams under Vince Lombardi. The former Penn State standout played ten seasons with the Packers from 1963 until 1972 before finishing his career with a two-year run with the Washington Redskins.

But the bad news–offensive guard Jerry Kramer was left off the list.

It’d be a mistake to let the disappointing news about Kramer overshadow Robinson’s big day, but it’s hard to overlook the travesty of Kramer being left out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kramer was the subject of a well-organized and persistent campaign by his daughter, Alicia. Although Kramer, a ten-time finalist for Canton, appreciated the support, he told his daugther that if he would not want to see another campaign if he were not chosen this year.

However, the fight for Kramer’s inclusion in Canton is not yet over. There may not be a formal movement for Kramer next year, but regardless, Packers fans can nominate him on their own by going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Website. With the unrivaled support you can expect from Packers fans, Kramer is sure to be considered again next summer.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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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.

16

June

Aaron Rodgers’ Road To Canton: Off To A “Super” Start

It seems that like no matter what Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers does in his career, someone has a question about him.

First, there was the question of whether he was athletic enough to succeed as a starter in the NFL. That was answered in 2008.

Then there were the doubts of whether or not he could lead the Packers to the postseason. He checked that one off in 2009.

Next it became whether or not Rodgers could win a playoff game and truly replace Brett Favre in the hearts and minds of Packers fans. He finally sealed the deal on that one with a Super Bowl title in 2010 (although the hearts and minds of many were already won by the start of 2010).

Now there is another question involving Rodgers, but I don’t think he would mind this one being asked around too much especially this early in his career:

“Is Aaron Rodgers on the path to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?”

Before we can even begin to answer that question, there should be one huge disclaimer attached: Rodgers has played six NFL seasons and has seen enough meaningful action in three of them.  Hall of Fame enshrinement is judged upon a player’s entire career so to prognosticate Rodgers’ chances after three seasons as a starter is a little preposterous.

All that said, we can look at some trends from these past three seasons and try to play the role of Nostradamus in gauging how Rodgers will finish his career.

If you count just 2008-2010, Rodgers is averaging 4,131 yards per season with 29 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions plus four rushing touchdowns.  If Rodgers is somehow able to maintain that average for 11 more years when he turns 38, he would finish his career with 58,164 yards, 406 TD passes, 142 interceptions, and 57 rushing touchdowns.

Those numbers would definitely be Hall of Fame worthy, but it’s likely that pace will drop off a bit.  For one, every quarterback experiences an “off year.” Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have down years.  While they’re not horrible, they are lower than what they average each season.   The law of averages is sometimes simply too much to overcome.