Stacking up Jerry Kramer vs. all-time greats

Jerry Kramer. Raymond T. Rivard photograph
Jerry Kramer. Raymond T. Rivard photograph /

It’s now been 48 years since Jerry Kramer last suited up for the Green Bay Packers and here we are still talking about why he deserves to have his bust prominently featured in Canton, OHhio.

Various fans and members of the media point to reasons why he has been excluded, including one theory laying blame on his collaboration with famed sportswriter and broadcaster Dick Schaap on a controversial book titled “Instant Replay.”

Yet Lawrence Taylor faced no opposition when his HOF candidacy came up and was, in fact, inducted in his first year of eligibility despite his sordid off-the-field actions that resulted in multiple arrests.

Giants’ fans who blindly worship at the altar of the baddest pass rusher to ever slip on a pair of shoulder pads argue that L.T earned his place in the Hall based solely on his accomplishments as a football player.

Well, if that is the argument that clears No. 56 and paves the way for other future criminals to potentially enter the hallowed halls of Canton, then what’s keeping Kramer from being honored alongside the greatest athletes to ever play the game of football?

If we want to keep things to what takes place between the white lines, then the Montana native was undoubtedly the quintessential pulling guard of his day.

Mobile, fast, agile and fearless were just some of the terms used by Kramer’s contemporaries to describe one of the key elements that made the Packers Sweep the signature play that helped propel the Vince Lombardi Packers to five championship titles including two Super Bowl victories during the 1960s.

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Here’s another descriptor that made the one-time fourth-round pick one of the pre-eminent blockers of all-time: intelligent. It was Kramer who pointed out Cowboys defensive tackle Jethro Pugh’s tendency to attack the line of scrimmage from an upright position prior to the Ice Bowl.

Kramer’s keen eye gave him valuable information that he used on Bart Starr’s game-winning quarterback sneak  that put Green Bay ahead for good with 16 seconds left by combining with center Ken Bowman to undercut the six-foot-seven Pugh.

There are certainly several other accolades one can use to depict Kramer, but one of my favorites is toughness.

The 11-year right guard and part-time place kicker endured 22 surgeries throughout his career. He was the embodiment of Lombardi’s philosophy that was captured in the legendary coach’s quote that stated, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

So even with all that physical talent, character and titles to boot, Kramer, at the ripe-old age of 80, still stands on the outside looking in.

What can Hall-of-Fame voters possibly mention as a reason to keep this man out of his rightful place with his esteemed gridiron peers?

One can perhaps examine how Kramer compares with other Hall-of-Fame guards to determine if he was just a solid-to-very-good lineman or if he was only of the few that achieved true greatness worthy of a yellow sports jacket.

Here’s a quick tale-of-the-tape analysis of Kramer versus three other well-known Hall-of-Fame guards.

HOF Offensive GuardsAll-Pro SelectionsSuper Bowls/NFL TitlesAll-Decade-Team
Jerry Kramer551960’s Member
Joe DeLamielleure601970s Member
Larry Little521970s Member
Russ Grimm441980s Member


The numbers speak for themselves, Hall-of-Fame voters. Kramer, his family and legion of Green Bay Packers fans have waited long enough … let’s do the right thing and give this man his day in the sun.

Next: Yes, it's Jerry Kramer Hall of Fame Day?

If you’re interested in writing letters that are concise, pointed and respectful to those who make the nominations and vote for future Hall-of-Famers, check out the list below and get writing. Again, we ask you to recommend Jerry Kramer as a nominee to the Hall of Fame in a respectful way.

Pro Football Hall of Fame
Attention; Senior Selection Committee
2121 George Halas Dr. NW
Canton, OH 44708

HOF Facebook Page
HOF Twitter Account:

Seniors Committee

Frank Cooney   He runs and The SportsXchange, one of the country’s leading providers of sports data and analysis.
Sports Xchange
4632 Windsong St
Sacramento, CA 95834


Dan Pompei has covered more than 500 National Football League games, including 26 Super Bowls. He was given the 2013 Dick McCann Award by the Pro Football Writers of America for long and distinguished reporting in the field of pro football.
Bleacher Report

Twotter: DanPompei
Facebook: Dan.pompei.3

Rick Gosselin has covered the NFL for 31 years, including the past 14 as NFL columnist for The Dallas Morning News.
Dallas Morning News
508 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202

twitter: RickGosselinDMN
acebook:  richard.e.gosselin

John McClain since 1976, has covered the Oilers, NFL and Texans for the Houston Chronicle. He has been a regular contributor to The Sports Xchange, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the NFL Network, Comcast, Fox Sports 1 and Sirius Radio.
Houston Chronicle
4747 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Twitter: McClain_on_NFL
acebook: john.mcclain.52493

Ron Borges  A sportswriter for the Boston Herald. He has also written for the Boston Globe. Borges has been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sports Broadcasters five times since 1999.
70 Fargo Street
Boston, MA 02210

Twitter: RonBorges
Facebook: RonBorges.73

Bernie Miklasz – American sportswriter and sports radio personality. He was the lead sports columnist at the St. Louis Post Dispatch from 1999 to 2015. He hosts the morning show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis. Miklasz is a native of Baltimore, MD, and moved to St. Louis in 1985 to cover professional football for the Post-Dispatch. He has also worked at the Baltimore News-American and the Dallas Morning News.

101 ESPN St Louis
11647 Olive Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63141

email: ???
Twitter: miklasz
Facebook: Bernie-Miklasz

John Czarnecki  whose first pro football interview was of Johnny Unitas in Buffalo’s War Memorial stadium for the Rochester Times-Union, has been the editorial consultant for Fox NFL Sunday since its inception 20 years ago. He previously worked at CBS Sports. The winner of four Sports Emmys for work on NFL studio shows, Czarnecki wrote the book “Football for Dummies” with Howie Long.  Czar’s first full season covering the NFL was 1979 and he worked for such newspapers as the Herald-Examiner in Los Angeles and the The National Sports Daily. He has served nine times as a Super Bowl pool reporter and is a longtime selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a member of its Seniors Committee.


Ira Miller
Sports Xchange
4632 Windsong St
Sacramento, CA 95834


Jeff Legwold

Twitter: Jeff_Legwold
acebook: Jeff.Legwold


Full List of HOF Voters:

ArizonaKent Somers, Arizona Republic
AtlantaDarryl Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal – Constitution
BaltimoreScott Garceau, WMAR-TV
BuffaloVic Carucci, Buffalo News
CarolinaDarin Gantt, ProFootballTalk
ChicagoDan Pompei, Bleacher Report*
CincinnatiGeoff Hobson,
ClevelandTony Grossi, Radio
DallasRick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*
DenverJeff Legwold, ESPN/
DetroitDave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
Green BayPete Dougherty, Green Bay Press-Gazette
HoustonJohn McClain, Houston Chronicle*
IndianapolisMike Chappell, RTV6 – ABC Affiliate Indianapolis
JacksonvilleSam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV
Kansas CityRandy Covitz, Kansas City Star
MiamiArmando Salguero, Miami Herald
MinnesotaMark Craig, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
New EnglandRon Borges, Boston Herald*
New OrleansJeff Duncan, Times-Picayune
New York (Giants)Bob Glauber, Newsday
New York (Jets)Gary Myers, New York Daily News
OaklandFrank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
PhiladelphiaPaul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
PittsburghEd Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
St. LouisBernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch*
San DiegoNick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune
San FranciscoNancy Gay
SeattleMike Sando,
Tampa BayIra Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
TennesseeDavid Climer, The Tennessean
WashingtonDavid Elfin,
PFWAMary Kay Cabot, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
At LargeHoward Balzer, The Sports Xchange
At LargeJarrett Bell, USA Today
At LargeJohn Clayton, ESPN
At LargeJason Cole,
At LargeJohn Czarnecki,*
At LargeClark Judge, Talk of Fame Network and Yahoo Sports Radio
At LargePeter King, Sports Illustrated
At LargeIra Miller, The Sports Xchange*
At LargeSal Paolantonio, ESPN
At LargeVito Stellino, Florida Times Union
At LargeJim Trotter, ESPN
At LargeCharean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram
At LargeBarry Wilner, Associated Press