Jerry Kramer Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame
One of the most notable names from Vince Lombardi's Packers has finally joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jerry Kramer was voted into the Hall of Fame today, ending a long campaign for the former Packers guard.
Kramer was voted in as a senior candidate on what likely was his last and best shot at finally making it into Canton. His candidacy has been something of a minor controversy over the past few seasons with surprisingly heated arguments on both sides of the debate.
Supporters have long argued that as one of the most high profile members of one of the greatest NFL dynasties, Kramer is a no-brainer for the Hall. A five-time NFL champion, five-time All-Pro, and three-time Pro Bowler, Kramer's hardware stands up to that of virtually anyone in his era. What's more, Kramer was often the focal points of Lombardi's power sweep, leading the way around right end for Paul Hornung and others.
But detractors have pointed to his occasional struggle against high-end defensive line talent in Kramer's era, most notably Alex Karras of Detroit and Merlin Olsen of the Los Angeles Rams, which is a fair point but for the fact that both of those players are also in the Hall of Fame and gave virtually everyone fits.
Much has also been made of Bart Starr's comments at one time that Bob Skoronski, not Kramer, was the Packers lineman most deserving of a shot at the Hall of Fame. Starr has since thrown his support behind Kramer as well.
There's also the somewhat nebulous claim that too many members of the Lombardi-era Packers are already in the Hall of Fame, which seems reasonable on its face but breaks down under further investigation. Either these players were good or they weren't, and voting against them (or even for them) based on the merits of who they played with is just lazy. Kramer's candidacy should always have stood on its own merits.
But those arguments have finally been knocked down once and for all. Kramer is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, now and forever. No argument, however strong, can take his gold jacket and bronze bust away.