The Hall of Fame Finally Opens Its Doors for Packers Legend Jerry Kramer

This article will take us on Jerry Kramer's journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

It has been fifty years since Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer dawned the Green and Gold at historic Lambeau Field for the final time.  In those fifty years, the stadium has expanded and the faces have changed, but the winning tradition has remained the same.  It is fitting that today, August 4, 2018, one of the greatest living patriarchs of the Green Bay Packers organization will finally be honored for the legendary career that he achieved during his time on the football field, by being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio.  

In the days leading up to Jerry Kramer's induction ceremony, I have thought about his fifty-year-long journey to be recognized by the Hall of Fame committee for his exemplary career.   His far too lengthy omission from Canton has baffled everyone for decades.  He certainly checked off all of the boxes of a hall of fame player.  He was a three-time pro bowler, a five-time first team all pro, a two-time second team all pro, a five-time champion, and was a part of one of the most iconic plays in NFL history when he, and center Ken Bowman threw the block that allowed Bart Starr to sneak into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the Ice Bowl.

It was clear that Kramer was recognized as a Hall of Famer by his peers, the fans, and members of the media and in 1969 he was named to the NFL's 50th-anniversary team.  Until this year, Jerry Kramer was the lone member of the NFL's 50th-anniversary team who was yet to be enshrined in Canton. Like many things in life, Kramer's fifty-year omission cannot be explained, however, it has lead to one of the most unique Hall of Fame journeys that any member has, or ever will embark on.  Instead of focusing on Kramer's omission from Canton, let us reflect on the journey that eventually opened the doors of the Hall of Fame for his enshrinement.  

This journey began with his daughter Alicia along with Packer fans worldwide writing letters of petition to the pro football hall of fame committee on Jerry's behalf.  Then when the pro football hall of fame committee overlooked the fans, Alicia leaned on Jerry's peers to write their own letters to the hall of fame committee on behalf of her father.  It was this outpouring of love and support from his peers and fellow Hall of Famers that validated to Alicia, that her father belonged in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Finally, after ten failed nominations, and five decades of frustration, Jerry Kramer received "the knock" on his hotel door that he had been waiting for, a knock that would open up the door to football immortality and put him alongside the greatest players in pro football history, and usher him into the Hall of Fame.  This unique journey to Canton Ohio is a microcosm of the culture that Jerry helped to breed, preserve, and pass down throughout the Packers organization.  This culture is one that champions, community, teamwork, dedication, hard work, perseverance, loyalty, winning, and excellence throughout society.  

This culture is what makes the Title Town district one of the country's most unique.  From the moment that you step foot in Green Bay Wisconsin it is evident that this culture has been passed down for generations and is embedded throughout the community.  

Jerry's Hall of Fame story includes pieces of every ingredient that the Title Town culture is comprised of.  In Jerry's story, we see the loyalty of his family, the community of his friends and peers, the teamwork of the Green Bay Packers as well as his peers, to persevere in their quest to see him elected to the Hall of Fame.  

Jerry's story also includes a lifetime of hard work and dedication to his craft which helped earn him seven all pro selections in eleven seasons in the NFL.  Finally, Jerry's Hall of Fame story was filled with winning and excellence which saw him win three NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls in the history of the NFL.  This personal and team success established the winning tradition that is associated with the Green Bay Packers organization today.

Jerry Kramer's Hall of Fame story will shine brighter now, then it would have almost five decades earlier because his story highlights a great man who was a torchbearer of something that was larger than just himself.  His story highlights the importance of team, winning, excellence, community, dedication, loyalty, and love.  Above all, the world will see the outpouring of love for Jerry Kramer that will be highlighted by his family, his fans, his teammates, his organization, and his peers that will celebrate this moment with him tonight.

Today, let us reflect on the five-decade-long journey that will celebrate the career, as well as the life of one of the greatest living patriarchs in the history of the Green Bay Packers.  Let us celebrate the accolades, the awards, and the championships that this great man was apart of as well as the legacy and tradition that he has passed down to countless generations of Green Bay Packers players.  Above all, let us smile with Jerry as his career and journey to the Hall of Fame intersect and will now be forever intertwined in Canton Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.                   

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (11)

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GBPDAN1's picture

August 04, 2018 at 12:57 pm

It was painful watching Jerry being dissed by the HOF on a yearly basis for 50 years. I'm so glad Jerry was still with us when his name finally got called so that he could experience this well deserved honor in person

Congratulations, Mr Kramer, enjoy!

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I bleed green more's picture

August 04, 2018 at 01:22 pm

I was able to see the Lombardi Packers play as many here were able to. Yup black and white tv those were the days. I tell you its exciting at any age to watch the Green and Gold its been a long time coming Jerry enjoy and sad it took so long.

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gr7070's picture

August 04, 2018 at 03:45 pm

Next man up... Leroy Butler!

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NickPerry's picture

August 04, 2018 at 05:15 pm

Congratulations to Jerry Kramer! WHY it took so long is beyond me but I'm happy Mr. Kramer was here to be able to be part of it!!

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John Galt's picture

August 04, 2018 at 06:59 pm

FYI - The ICE Bowl Video is available. It is very well done. I watched the game live when in the US Army before I got shipped overseas. What a game. A real classic.

I'm in Montana and there are not many Hall of Famer's born here. Now there is one.

Trivia Question? In the 1962 NFL championship game what Packer player in the 16 to 7 victory scored the most points? The answer may surprise you. Look it up. I was at the game. it was cold too.

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4thand1's picture

August 04, 2018 at 08:16 pm

JK 3 fg's

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Kb999's picture

August 04, 2018 at 09:01 pm

Great article. I actually watched the game live on black & white tv many moons ago. Why the hell did it take so long to get in the HOF. Congrats JK

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4EVER's picture

August 04, 2018 at 09:48 pm

Way to go Jerry!!!!!!!

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Tundraboy's picture

August 04, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Should of been years ago. So glad to see him there to bask in the glory he earned and so richly deserves. For me the epitomy of a great Packer and the greatest TEAM ever.

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Lphill's picture

August 05, 2018 at 07:13 am

I was at the induction Jerry gave a wonderful speech , recited poems from memory he was sharp as a tack very motivating I was very impressed.

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packanimal's picture

August 05, 2018 at 08:46 am

Watched the induction on TV and found his speech impressive in many ways -- articulate, thoughtful, generous, and much else. One sweet moment was his recollection of Lombardi cheering him up after a terrible practice. Too often Lombardi is caricatured as simply a negative, demanding monster, ripping players for their errors. He was more than that, and it worked for Kramer and others.

The handling of the obnoxious Terrell Owens was clever. ESPN showed a brief (but not brief enough) set of clips of his self-promoting antics right before Kramer's segment. The juxtaposition served to tear apart Owens's whining complaint about being overlooked for 3 years, when Kramer was unfairly passed over for much more than 3 decades.

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