Kramer deserving of HOF honor

The Vince Lombardi Packers of the 1960's were among the greatest teams of all time.<p>

Under Lombardi, the Packers won 5 NFL Titles, including the first 2 Super Bowls, in 7 years. In the 9 years Lombardi coached the Packers, you could make an argument that the Packers could have won 8 titles.

The Packers won it all in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967. In 1960 they should have beaten the Eagles in the NFL Championship game, a game they lost 17-13. The Packers outgained the Eagles by a wide margin, but settled for field goals early in the game despite having outstanding field position. The game ended with FB Jim Taylor being tackled inside the Eagle 10 yard line. In 1963 the Packers finished 11-2-1. The Chicago Bears finished 11-1-2. The Bears gave the Packers their only 2 losses as Chicago won the NFL title. In 1964, had the Packers swept the Baltimore Colts, they would have won the Western Conference. However, the Packers lost both games to the Colts that year, by 1 and 3 points respectively, because Paul Hornung couldn't kick field goals effectively. For the year Hornung was 12-38 in field goal attempts.

The excellence of those Packer teams has been cemented in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Vince Lombardi of course, was inducted a year after his death. 10 Packer players were also inducted...FB Jim Taylor, OT Forrest Gregg, QB Bart Starr, MLB Ray Nitschke, CB Herb Adderley, DE Willie Davis, C Jim Ringo, HB Paul Hornung, FS Willie Wood, and DT Henry Jordan. One name is missing. The name is Jerry Kramer.

Jerry Kramer was All-Pro 5 times. He would have been named to more All-Pro teams if not for injuries and illness. He was named to the NFL's 50th Anniversary team. He is the only member of that squad not in Canton. He was also named to the All Super Bowl team. That makes sense...the bigger the game...the better Kramer played.

The 1962 NFL Championship game was played at Yankee Stadium in frigid and blustery conditions. Some Packers have said it was worse than the conditions of the "Ice Bowl" because of the high winds that were gusting up to 40mph. The Packers won that hard fought battle 16-7. The difference was 3 field goals. The 3 field goals were kicked by Jerry Kramer.

The 1965 NFL Championship featured the Packer 1-2 punch of Taylor and Hornung vs. the great Jimmy Brown. Brown gained just 50 yards in his last ever game, while Hornung ran for 105 yards and Taylor 96. The game started with snow, which turned to rain, which turned Lambeau Field into a mudbath. The Packer sweep dominated the Brown's defense, as Kramer and LG Fuzzy Thurston kept blowing up linebackers and defensive backs leading the way for the Packer backs. One play in particular stands out...Paul Hornung's last Championship touchdown. Jerry Kramer pulled left on a left power sweep and blocked one man, and than another, as the "Golden Boy" scored.

Than there was 1967. The "Ice Bowl". 13 seconds to go...no timeouts. If the Packers run the ball and are stopped short, it is over. Bart Starr, of course, scored on a QB sneak. He ran behind a perfect double team block on Jethro Pugh by C Ken Bowman and Jerry Kramer. Kramer was the one who had to fire out first on that block and get leverage on Pugh...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. The Packers played one more game that year...Vince Lombardi's last game as Packer coach...Super Bowl II. The Packers played that game for "the old man" as they whipped the Oakland Raiders 33-14.

1967 was also the birth of Jerry Kramer's literary career with the release of the best selling book "Instant Replay", the book he co-authored with Dick Schaap. Kramer and Schaap combined to write other books as well, such as "Lombardi", "Farewell to Football", and "Distant Replay". There is no question that Jerry Kramer has reached the pinnacle of success in the literary world. There is no question he also deserves the highest honor that Pro Football can bestow upon him.


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