Letters of Recommendation (Pro Football Hall of Fame) for Jerry Kramer

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Letters of Recommendation (Pro Football Hall of Fame) for Jerry Kramer

I have written many times about why Jerry Kramer of the Green Bay Packers belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There are many reasons.

Kramer made the All-Pro team six times, and would have been named to even more if not for injuries and illness. Kramer was also named to the NFL’s 1960’s All-Decade team.

He came up big when his team needed him in championship games. One example was the 1962 NFL Championship Game vs. the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium. The game was played in frigid and blustery conditions at the House That Ruth Built. 

Some Packers have said it was worse than the conditions of the “Ice Bowl” because of the high winds that were gusting up to 40 mph. The Packers won that hard fought battle 16-7.  The difference was three field goals kicked by Jerry Kramer, who did double duties as a right guard and a kicker on that intensely cold day.

Kramer received the game ball from his team that day because of his performance.

Kramer came up big three years later. The 1965 NFL Championship featured the Packers' one-two punch of Taylor and Hornung against the great Jimmy Brown. Brown gained just 50 yards in his last ever game, while Hornung ran for 105 yards and Taylor picked up 96. 

The game started with snow, which turned to rain, which turned Lambeau Field into a mud bath. The Packers' sweep dominated the Browns’ defense, as Kramer and left guard Fuzzy Thurston kept blowing up linebackers and defensive backs, leading the way for the Packers RBs. One play in particular stands out—Hornung’s last championship touchdown. Kramer pulled left on a power sweep and blocked two defenders as the “Golden Boy” scored.

Then there was the "Ice Bowl" in 1967. The Packers had to drive 68 yards with only 4:50 remaining, trailing 17-14. The playing surface that day truly was a frozen tundra, as the game time temperature was 13 degrees below zero. It came down to this:13 seconds to go, no timeouts, at the 1-yard line of the Dallas Cowboys. If the Packers run the ball and are stopped short, it is over. Starr, of course, scored on a QB sneak. 

Starr ran behind a perfect double-team block on Jethro Pugh by C Ken Bowman and Kramer. Kramer was the one who had to fire out first on that block and get leverage on Pugh, and he did. The ironic part of that play was that Starr called a 31 wedge play in the huddle, which calls for the fullback to get the ball. Starr, however, felt it was safer that he keep the ball because he could get better footing.  Kramer definitely got great footing and Starr happily followed his right guard into NFL immortality.

There are other reasons why Kramer should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary team, and is the only member of that squad not in Canton. 

Also, the power sweep was the signature play for Vince Lombardi and his Packers. Kramer was a key component regarding the success of that play. The final drive of the “Ice Bowl” was the signature series of the Lombardi Packers and cemented their legacy. Kramer again, had a huge role in that. The Bart Starr quarterback sneak in the “Ice Bowl” was led by the signature block of the Lombardi era. To many, the greatest block in NFL history. It was Jerry Kramer that made that block.

Finally, just look at some of the Pro Football Hall of Famers who have endorsed Kramer for the place where busts of them reside. These aren't writers who vote on whether a player should be in the Hall of Fame or not. These are players and coaches who actually played the game and were considered the very best in the history of the NFL. Many of them played either with Kramer or against him. Some of them in championship games.

In August of this year, the Seniors Committee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce the two senior candidates for the Class of 2013. Kramer should definitely be one of those nominees.

Once that takes place, the actual Class of 2013, will be named on Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans. Once again, Kramer should be be part of that class. His NFL resume says so and so do others in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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