Category Archives: NFL Hall of Fame

14

July

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.

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.

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7

July

Open Letter to NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee: Vote in Packers Guard Jerry Kramer

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.

Dear NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee:

As custodians of the NFL of yesteryear, you are charged with recognizing the remarkable players of a different era. I commend the job you have done as the Pro Football Hall of Fame is well represented with many deserving players from decades long ago. It is a highly subjective and difficult task that you have gotten right so many times.

However, there is one glaring omission in the hallowed hall. Guard Jerry Kramer, a cornerstone of the Packers dynasty of the 1960s, has not been selected.

His resume speaks for itself and is definitely worthy of enshrinement. Over the years, I have read possible reasons and excuses for why he has not yet been selected.

I will address these criticisms in hopes of garnering your attention and consideration. Jerry Kramer is deserving of enshrinement, and his last chances rest in your hands.

Hall of Fame Credentials

Jerry Kramer played right guard for the Packers from 1958-1968. He was highly skilled in run blocking for Hall of Fame running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, as well as pass blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. Kramer was integral to the legendary “Packers Sweep” that won an unprecedented five NFL championships in seven years.

His famous coach, Vince Lombardi, repeatedly said the sweep was the play they must make work, and must make work again and again. Kramer was a large reason this play swept the Packers into history. You can hardly find a diagram or picture of the sweep without seeing Kramer lead the way. Kramer has been described as the best pulling guard in the NFL during his time, and perhaps in the history of the league.

All those sentiments were validated when Kramer was named as the only guard to the NFL 50th Anniversary Team in 1969. However, he’s the only member of that honorary team not inducted into the Hall of Fame. That alone speaks volumes of an injustice.

Football is ultimately a team game. Without stellar blocking up front, there’s no way a team wins a single championship, let alone five in seven years, including a never-duplicated three in a row.

Career Honors:

5

December

Hall of Famer Dave Robinson chats with ALLGBP.com

Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.

Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson joined me for a phone interview Dec. 4. Needless to say, the 72-year-old Robinson had some great stories and a first-hand account of the Vince Lombardi-era Packers.

“He used to say there were players in the league that were bigger than us, stronger than us, faster than us, could jump higher,” Robinson said of Lombardi. “But we had that certain something, he said, that he saw that made you a Green Bay Packer. He took that little something and nurtured it.”

Robinson pointed out that people seem to lose sight of the fact that Lombardi was the also team’s general manager during his legendary run in Green Bay.

“On our defense, 10 of the 11 people  on our defense Vince Lombardi had acquired as the general manager,” Robinson said. “He was a big offensive coach, but he was sharp enough to acquire 10 of 11 (on defense). The only one he didn’t acquire was Ray Nitschke.”

Of course, Lombardi was the one who took Nitschke and turned him into a starter upon his arrival.

Robinson will be honored today (Dec. 4) in his hometown Moorestown, N.J. as part of the “Hometown Hall of Famer” banquet, presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. He spoke of his time growing up in New Jersey, going to college and meeting Joe Paterno at Penn State and, of course, the current Packers and the Aaron Rodgers situation.

Check out the whole interview below. Dave made it very worth your 15 minutes.

 

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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5

October

Cory’s Corner: Lombardi still resonates with Packers fans

Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi won five championships in seven years and is the only coach to win three straight.

Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi won five championships in seven years and is the only coach to win three straight.

 

Vince Lombardi is an expected learn. Not just in snowy Packer country where Lombardi made the rest of the NFL scream “Uncle!” but throughout the globe where his level of success and achievement has been unreachable.

I was born nine years after he passed away in 1970, but the most amazing thing to me is how much that man means to a fan base that after all those years cannot stop talking about him, crawling on his imposing statue outside the Lambeau Field Atrium and cannot stop drooling at the NFL’s top prize, rightly named in his honor.

“To this day that is one thing that I’m surprised at,” said Lombardi’s grandson John, who was in New York on behalf of his grandfather to be a part of the “Hometown Hall of Famers” celebration recently.  “I thought over time that he would fade from memory. I mean he would’ve been 100 this year. His 100th birthday was in June. And to still be so relevant and referred to is amazing.”

The “Hometown Hall of Famers” is a program that started in 2011 and its sole mission is to highlight the hometown roots of the NFL’s best players with a special ceremony and a plaque that remains in the hometown. The Lombardi family chose to keep the plaque at St. Francis Preparatory School, where Lombardi honed his craft as an offensive lineman en route to earning a scholarship to Fordham University.

It didn’t take long for Lombardi to put the rest of the NFL in a stranglehold. Two years after the Packers finished 1-10-1 in 1958 and were within a whisper of losing the franchise, Lombardi churned out a playoff team for the first time since 1944. Lombardi didn’t stop there as he racked up three NFL championships and two Super Bowls in seven years, numbers that would make any opponent cripple to its knees.

“The greatest achievement is winning three championships in a row which in the playoff era no team has done,” said Lombardi who worked for 10 years in football with the World League, the Cleveland Browns, Vanderbilt University and Tennessee Oilers/Titans. “A lot have won two but no one has been able to win that third one. So it’s that achievement level that I think they’re all chasing. That accomplishment in and of itself is something that everyone can look to who’s in professional sports.

26

September

Vince Lombardi to be Honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame Oct 2

Vince Lombardi, Hometown Hall of Famer

Vince Lombardi, Hometown Hall of Famer

Legendary Packers football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Vince Lombardi, is going to be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at his H.S. alma mater in New York with a special ceremony and plaque presentation.

This event at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, New York, is part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest coaches, players, and contributors.

John Lombardi, Vince’s grandson, will be on-hand at the ceremony to accept the plaque on his grandfather’s behalf and say a few words about his legacy.

Here is the full Press Release:

National Program Recognizes Pro Football’s Greatest Legends in their Hometown Communities

Canton, Ohio – Sept. 25, 2013 – Pro football legend Vince Lombardi will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Queens, New York, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, as part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest coaches, players, and contributors with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.

“’Hometown Hall of Famers™’ has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate the late Vince Lombardi and St. Francis Preparatory School on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to Queens.”

A legendary NFL coach and former high school standout at St. Francis Preparatory School, Lombardi will be honored with his “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque during a special ceremony at 1:25 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the school’s auditorium, located at 6100 Francis Lewis Blvd., Fresh Meadows, NY, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s students and athletes. John Lombardi, Vince’s grandson, will be on-hand to accept the plaque on behalf of the Lombardi family.

“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Queens is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate’s senior vice president of marketing.
The ceremony will be attended by St. Francis Preparatory School students, faculty, staff, alumni and Lombardi’s family members and close friends. Kyle Flood, Rutgers University head football coach and St. Francis alumnus, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

12

June

A.J. Hawk, Dave Robinson honored at Lee Remmel banquet

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

At the 14th Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet on June 11–what would have been Vince Lombardi’s 100th birthday–Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and Lombardi-era star Dave Robinson each received an award for their achievements on and off the field.

Hawk was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. Since being selected No. 5 overall by the Packers in 2006, Hawk has proven to be a reliable piece of the defense, playing in 110 of a possible 112 regular season games in seven seasons.

“From the very first step off the plane, we realized that there’s something special here,” Hawk said. “Something is different, and it’s so unique.”

Off the field, Hawk has remained active in the community, serving as the spokesman for the Wisconsin Special Olympics. Hawk has also supported the Donald Driver Foundation, the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, the Greg Jennings Foundation, the Al Harris Outreach Program, and the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which is fellow Ohio State alum Mike Vrabel’s charity.

“I love being able to play football here, and I hope to do it for as long as possible,” Hawk said. “I hope to bring many more Super Bowls back to Green Bay. I got one, but sitting next to a guy like Dave, that’s nothing. He laughs at that.”

Hawk was a starter on the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship team, whereas Robinson started for the Packers in Super Bowls I and II, which capped off an historic run of three consecutive World Championships.

While accepting the Distinguished Service Award, Robinson reminisced about the 1966 NFL Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys. With a berth in Super Bowl I on the line and facing a fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was in Robinson’s grasp before his desperation pass was intercepted by Tom Brown. The Packers ran the clock out and won 34-27, punching their ticket to the first ever Super Bowl.

“Without that game, the Lombardi Trophy may very well be called the Landry Trophy,” Robinson said. “And that just makes me sick.”

In Robinson’s ten years in Green Bay, the Packers never lost to the Cowboys, with the exception of one exhibition game in Dallas. Robinson, a member of the 1960s All-Decade team, still questions the Cowboys’ “America’s Team” label.

26

May

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived: 5-26-13

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Adam Czech is away in enemy territory this weekend (Chicago). Evidently, they don’t allow any Packers writing on Sundays in Chicago, so I’ll be filling in.

Before he left he mentioned he’d be going to Mike Ditka’s restaurant and not soon after, the news came across the wires that the Bears would be retiring Ditka’s #89. Cooincidence? Or is Czech a Bears double agent? An investigation shall commence.

In the meantime, when I heard the news about Ditka, my first reaction was, “what the heck took them so long?” Shouldn’t this have been done many years ago? He’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl Champion as both a player and a coach for the Bears. This should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, it seems that, unbeknownst to me, The Bears have a little problem when it comes to retiring numbers. Seems they have retired too many – more than any other team in the NFL!

Ditka’s No. 89 is the 14th jersey number to be retired by the bears, joining, No. 3 (Bronko Nagurski), 5 (George McAfee), 7 (George Halas), 28 (Willie Galimore), 34 (Walter Payton), 40 (Gale Sayers), 41 (Brian Piccolo), 42 (Sid Luckman), 51 (Dick Butkus), 56 (Bill Hewitt), 61 (Bill George), 66 (Clyde “Bulldog” Turner) and 77 (Harold “Red” Grange).

I can make a case for seven. Some of the others were chosen for sentimental reasons rather than talent. Some had the talent, but were not even with the Bears that long.

In any case, this presents a logistics problem for the Bears, and as such, they’ve announced that Ditka’s #89 is the LAST number they’ll be retiring.

Sorry Brian Urlacher…

Getting back to the Packers, Jason, Marques and Kris have put out another fantastic show, bringing you up to date with OTA news and other recent Packers happening. I promise you it’s worth a listen:

This Week’s ALL Packers Talk Podcast:

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If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Packers Talk Radio Network on itunes, you’re going to have some ‘splaining to do… Just click on the link, then “View in Itunes,” then “subscribe.”

Packers News, Notes and Links