Keep Building the Hall of Fame Movement for Packers Guard Jerry Kramer: We Cannot be Ignored

Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi's dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi's dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi’s dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Packers guard Jerry Kramer last played a down of professional football in 1968. He became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1974 and he immediately became a finalist.

Kramer has been a Hall of Fame finalist ten times, with his most recent near-induction coming in 1997. Unfortunately, that’s as close as he’s ever come. That is travesty. He needs to be enshrined.

Packers fans everywhere know his story. We know his credentials and share in his frustration of being shunned by the Hall of Fame. But, Packers fans aren’t ones to sit idle and stew over it. We take up action.

Support for Kramer’s bid to the Hall of Fame arises every now and then. However, we are in the building stages of another movement, and it’s one that could be great. It could be the one that finally turns the tide and gets Kramer the award he overwhelmingly deserves.

Previous campaigns for Kramer were conducted before the explosion of the internet and social media. This current movement in 2014 has the potential to go viral. If it does, his case can no longer be swept under the carpet of time.

I’m not sure why, but this campaign feels different. It feels like it has more growing momentum and the ability to really generate some noise. What’s most impressive is that this most recent one an organic, grassroots movement and is starting to get noticed. It’s catching on and gaining more steam.

But, now is not the time to relax and hope the noise has been made. It’s time to ramp up the efforts even more. People are starting to notice, and you could say that we’re just getting started.

Behind much of the movement is Jerry’s daughter Alicia, who has invested an incredible amount of energy bringing attention to her father’s accomplishments and highlighting his case for the Hall of Fame.

 

 

This summer, our own Jersey Al, with the help of Jerry Kramer and our sponsor Waukesha Sports Cards, promoted awareness by encouraging fans to write to Hall of Fame voters on behalf of Kramer’s behalf. Every time someone contacted a voter, they were entered in a drawing to win an autographed football by Kramer.

 

 

The response was overwhelming. Over 500 fans chimed in and the message was out.

 

 

Within a day from the start of this promotion, Hall of Fame voters began to notice. One vowed to further get the message out.

 

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The famous Packers fence, where notable slogans are painted every year, is getting into the action and held a contest to coin a catchy phrase for the 2014 season.

 


The winning line says, “Football History is Unfair Because Jerry Kramer is Not There.”

Furthermore, the generation gap, which has been blamed as a possible reason for previous waning interest in Kramer’s Hall of Fame bids, has been bridged, and young fans are voicing support. A third grader wrote the following letter and drew a picture in support of Kramer.

 

 

Last week, the blogosphere began to further push the message again. I wrote about it last week. Another popular Packers site wrote a very compelling message.

 

 

Most impressively, former Packers legend, and sure-fire Hall of Fame inductee, Brett Favre got into the discussion by publicly endorsing Kramer for the Hall of Fame.  

 

 

His letter said:

Hey Fans! 

We all know what a great honor it would be, being remembered for your career in the NFL by getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. There, the walls are adorned with the busts of some of the greatest athletes to ever take the field. However, in my opinion there’s one man whose presence there has been overdue for some time now; I’m talking about Jerry Kramer. 

His worthiness of a spot in this ring of honor speaks volumes; besides class and integrity his resume is very impressive. In his career with the Green Bay Packers, under the legendary Coach Vince Lombardi, as a right guard from 1958-1968, he played a pivotal role in the Packers 5 NFL Championships in only 7 years. In addition to that he was also named to the Pro Bowl 3 times, is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, a five-time First Team All-Pro selection, and a two-time Super Bowl Champion! 

Please help me make a stand, and show your support for NFL and Green Bay Packers great, Jerry Kramer! 

Thank you, 
Brett 

 

This all means the campaign is working. It means our message is out and we’re not going to be ignored. We have allies in high places that can help get Jerry the enshrinement he deserves.

But, we’re not done yet. Not yet.

What can you do to keep the movement growing?

Keep doing what we’ve been doing:

  • Respectfully write the Seniors Committee. They are the first line who can decide Kramer’s vote. Don’t overwhelm them by trolling, spamming, or harassing. This as will do more damage than good. Overwhelm them with respect and enthusiasm that exemplifies the unified voice of Packers fans. You can find a list of Hall of Fame voters here.
  • Continue to Tweet and post to Facebook and Instagram about Kramer. Be sure to use the hashtag #Kramer4HOF.
  • If you blog, continue to blog about Kramer’s credentials for enshrinement.
  • If you record podcasts, mention how Kramer needs to be inducted.
  • Call into sports radio programs and mention your desire for voters to recognize Kramer.
  • Write letters to the editors of your newspapers.
  • Continue to speak of Kramer and publicly promote his case for the Hall of Fame.

The movement is working. Keep it up, and hopefully this will be the last public campaign we will ever have to make to get the Hall of Fame to open up its doors. Continue to think positively and rally as the great Packers fans we are. Perception is reality, and the reality is there is overwhelming support to put Kramer in the Hall of Fame.

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Jay Hodgson is an independent sports blogger writing for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WIsports.com.

Follow Jay on twitter at @jys_h.

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  • Slim11

    Just sent this to Rich Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News…

    Dear Mr. Gosselin,

    I discovered your name and email address on a site showing you in a position to help Jerry Kramer be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I urge you to support Jerry Kramer for enshrinement.

    As I’m sure you know, his list of accomplishments is impressive. How many other NFL players are in their team’s Hall of Fame without being in enshrined in Canton? There are more than I can list here, but Jerry Kramer should not be on that list. As a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team, 1960s all-decade team, six-time All-Pro selectee (five first team and one second team), five time NFL champion and winner of the first two Super Bowls Jerry Kramer doesn’t just deserve this honor, he’s earned it.

    When I was 12 years old, I learned I could kick a football pretty well. The first professional kicker I followed was Jerry Kramer. That gives you an idea of how old I am. There is another kicker in the Hall of Fame who’s also a lineman and Kramer’s overall accomplishments are, in my opinion, equal to those of Lou Groza of the Cleveland Browns.

    I lived in the DFW Metroplex for six years. Many in my family went to Texas A&M and my nephew played high school football in Carrollton. I know Texans not only like, in some cases love, football from high school to the NFL. I also know Texans respect the game of football at all levels.

    Now, I live in Ohio because of my job. Here in Southwest Ohio, we frequently hear of how Pete Rose should be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame. Unlike Rose and major league baseball, Jerry Kramer represents the best of the Green Bay Packers and the NFL.

    Again, I urge you to support Jerry Kramer for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Thank you taking time to read this.

    Sincerely,

    Robert L. Whitman
    Major, Army National Guard of the United States (Ret…six years in Texas)

  • Jay Hodgson

    Well done! Fine letter there, Robert.

  • Stroh

    The campaign isnt’ working Kramer is no closer to Canton than he was before. Personally, I grew tired of Kramer’s self promotion for the HOF a long time ago.

  • Big T

    Anyone that would punch Vince in the ballsack like that, more than deserves the HOF…