Jerry Kramer is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Kate Arhar, OTFB Reporter

 

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8  

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018, was announced this past weekend. As always, my favorite selection is the one from the Senior Committee. These gentlemen have been over-looked and under-appreciated when compared to the modern-era players. And, most importantly, they are the heart, soul, beginnings of this game I love.

They wore leather helmets and pads that were a puny excuse for protection. They got paid so little that most had second jobs during the offseason. They played because they loved the game.

While it was before my time, my dad would tell me stories about these great men and they’ve always stayed with me.  This year I was very excited to see that Jerry Kramer from the Green Bay Packers would finally be admitted into this great hall.

Gerald Louis Kramer was born 01/23/36 in eastern Montana. As a child, he moved to Idaho and then accepted a football scholarship to the University of Idaho. His jersey, #64, has since been retired by the university.  He was drafted by the Packers in 1958 and played for them for 11 years.

photo credit: www.allgbp.com

He was a 2x Super Bowl Champion (I, II), a 5x NFL champion, a 3x Pro Bowler, a 5x First-team All-Pro and is on the NFL’s 1960’s All-Decade Team.  He played right guard for those five NFL titles and the two Super Bowls, but he was also their placekicker! With career stats of 29 field goals and 90 extra points, he was a pretty reliable guy at that position as well!

As a key component in the Lombardi Sweep, he left his mark on football by clearing the way for running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor.  PLUS, he cleared the way quarterbacks like Bart Starr to sneak in for touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys (see:  Ice Bowl, 1967) and still put 177 points on the board with his kicks.

As I watched players hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night after the Super Bowl, I thought about Jerry and the fact that he hoisted Vince Lombardi HIMSELF back in the day! Talk about Football History!

photo credit: www.bleacherreport.com

Social media was ablaze with comments once the announcement was made. If you are a fan of lists, there’s one that contains the names of men who are NOT in the PFHOF but absolutely should be. Kramer was one of those men. He was on the modern-era finalist nine times but came up short. This was his second time as a finalist from the Senior Committee and I’m so glad he finally made it!

Kramer is the last member of the NFL’s 50th-anniversary team to get into the hall. That’s right – everyone else is in. He’s the 13th player from the Lombardi-era Packers to be inducted. Well deserved, Mr. Kramer – CONGRATS!

 

 

Mark your calendar for August 2-5, 2018 for PFHOF Weekend!  I’ll be there, cheering on Mr. Kramer and the other members of this year’s class.  Will you?

 

Talk Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8  

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