CANTON, Ohio – Sandpoint native and Packer football legend Jerry Kramer was passed over by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Selection Committee Wednesday.
A source told KREM 2 News that Kramer was one of 15 finalists considered by five representatives of the Hall of Fame Senior Selection Committee and two Hall of Fame players in their annual meeting in Canton.
Since June KREM 2 News has run several stories showcasing Kramer’s career as an offensive lineman with Lombardi’s Packers of the 1960’s after all-star careers at Sandpoint High School and the University of Idaho. KREM 2 News has also highlighted the Hall of Fame Campaign by Kramer’s daughter, Alicia Kramer, and run by the Gallatin Public Affairs group in Boise. This campaign compiled an impressive list of letters from 30 current Hall of Fame members supporting Kramer’s nomination. The letters were compiled into a packet along with a CD of Kramer’s highlights for the senior committee to consider.
Idaho Congressmen and Governor Butch Otter all wrote declarations of support for Kramer’s nomination this summer. The Green Bay City Council did the same.
Kramer’s friend and teammate from those Packer teams, linebacker Dave Robinson, received one of today’s nominations. The other went to former Houston Oiler Curley Culp. The entire voting membership of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will decide in February if these two senior nominees will be selected as part of the 2013 class with modern era players.
Alicia told KREM 2 News in July that if her father was not selected this year that he didn’t want any more campaigns run on his behalf for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He told her he appreciated the support and loved the campaign, but that it’s time to thank his fans and move on.
But Kramer’s nomination isn’t done yet, even though he may not receive another formal campaign backing his nomination like this year. Any fan can nominate any player just by going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website so it’s a sure bet that Kramer will be nominated and considered in the future just as he’s been every year since he’s been eligible since the early 1970’s.
Kramer was very grateful about his football career and even being mentioned as a possible candidate for the Hall of Fame in an interview KREM 2 News did with him in 2010 when he said, “I just can’t get too angry about not being in the Hall of Fame because football has given me so many presents. So it seems a little small to be upset about one they didn’t give you. Life has been pretty good for Jerry Kramer and football has been very good for Jerry Kramer.”
Kramer,76, was listed by the NFL Network as the number one player who should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that is not. He was a five-time first-team All-Pro Selection for the Packers during his career in Green Bay from 1958-1968. He lives in Boise.
Gallatin released the following statement from Alicia on Wednesday following the vote:
“It may seem strange to say that you can be very disappointed and enormously gratified at the same time, but that is my feeling today. Disappointed, of course, that my Dad was not nominated by the Senior Selection Committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but at the same time enormously gratified by the coast-to-coast show of support, respect, even love that people have shown him.
I know my Dad will simply say – thanks for all the support and love. He’s very pleased for the guys who have been nominated, especially his teammate Dave Robinson. If our efforts did nothing more than widen the circle of fans who know more about his career, it has been a success. Jerry Kramer loves being a Packer and a part of some of the greatest teams in the history of pro football and, who knows, his time may still come.
Dozens of Hall of Famers endorsed his nomination and they know, as so many of us know, that he belongs in the Hall. We’ll never stop believing that. Thanks to all who helped and hoped. It is a good cause.”
You can show your support for Kramer on Alicia’s website.