Perhaps the 11th time will be the charm for Jerry Kramer.
After 10 unsuccessful nominations for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the former standout offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers is, for the first time, a senior nominee.
‘My stomach started jumpin and the heart started flippity-floppin’
Kramer still must receive a majority of votes from the Hall’s board of selectors, when they meet in Minneapolis on Feb. 3 (the day before Super Bowl LII), but a senior nomination traditionally carries a great deal of weight. That was why he was so excited when he received word about the nomination from Hall president David Baker.
“That was like something I’d seen on TV and was imagining somewhere and didn’t want to acknowledge it because it was really not true,” the 81-year-old Kramer told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “So my stomach started jumpin and the heart started flippity-floppin and I’m going, ‘Wow! Is this really happening?'”
‘I had a hundred presents from the game’
If Kramer is finally inducted, he will feel a great deal of satisfaction. If not, he will continue to have no regrets about his life or his football career.
“I had come to an accommodation with the situation and I had decided that football had been extremely good to me,” Kramer said. “I had a hundred presents from the game — named to the all-time teams and things like that. That was wonderful. And I figured that if there was one present I didn’t get, then I wasn’t going to let it spoil the hundred that I did get. I really had no complaints.”
‘She has just been a bulldog on this particular project’
His daughter, Alicia, has been Kramer’s strongest advocate for induction.
“She gives me a lot of instructions and tells me what to do and why to do it and where and when, and she’s right most of the time,” Kramer said. “She has just been a bulldog on this particular project. She got started on it four or five years ago and I kind of tried to discourage her a few times.
“And then she started getting letters and I got a letter from (Bob) Lilly, from Merlin Olsen, from Alex (Karras), from (Roger) Staubach, from (Frank Gifford), and just on and on and on. And pretty soon it was overwhelming.”
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