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Jerry Kramer, Dave Robinson, Bart Starr, and the HOF

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Peter king had an interesting part in MMQB today that included an interview with Bart Starr and some opinion on the HOF. Here is the section I am talking about. What do you guys make of it?

    Most people in and out of football thought if a glory-days Packer ever got nominated by the committee, it'd be guard Jerry Kramer. But Robinson has been highly recommended by a string of Hall of Famers over the years.
    As a sideline-to-sideline playmaker, he was in the shadow of middle linebacker Ray Nitschke for much of his prime, even though Robinson made more Pro Bowls, and Vince Lombardi always credited Robinson for his play, even though he didn't get the headlines of other Packer stars. "Outstanding player, and totally unselfish,'' Bart Starr told me Saturday from his Alabama home. "As a player, I don't recall anyone who had the sense of anticipation on the field Dave did. And I don't know if there was a better example on our championship teams of a player who constantly exhibited the commitment, unselfishness and team-player aspect of the game that coach Lombardi valued so highly. He is tremendously deserving."
    I've heard from many of you critical of Robinson over Kramer. That's your right. I said on Twitter the other day, regarding Kramer, that the men in the media who watched him play for 15 years never voted him in, so we would essentially be overruling the decision of those who watched his entire career. Many of you have asked me on Twitter a logical question: Well, isn't that what the Senior Committee is for? That committee is set up to correct the perceived wrongs of the past.
    Yes. Absolutely. But understand something about Robinson versus Kramer. Jerry Kramer retired following the 1968 season, and he was a Hall of Fame finalist nine times in his 15 seasons as a modern-era candidate: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1987, and then once again as a Senior Committee nominee, in 1997, once his modern-era eligibility expired in 1988.
    Kramer's case, then, has been heard before the full Hall of Fame selection committee 10 times over a 24-year span. Robinson has never had his case heard by the full selection committee. Culp has never had his case heard by the full selection committee.
    I don't serve on the Senior Committee; nine of the 44 Hall of Fame selectors make up the committee, and five meet in Canton every August to nominate two candidates for selection. The committee doesn't have as its stated objective to get the cases of the forgotten heard. But those are the players who make the most sense to me to get in the room.
    Back when the Pro Bowl meant something, Culp made five of them, Robinson three and Kramer three. Is it fair that Kramer should have an 11th time as a finalist while Robinson or Culp would again not have a chance to get in the room as a Hall finalist?
    I've always thought we should hear the cases of seniors whose candidacies fell through the cracks. Kramer never fell through the cracks. He was judged by those who watched him play 10 times in 24 years and deemed not as worthy as others. The fact that he was named to the NFL's 50th Anniversary Team and then not to the Hall of Fame ... I have no explanation for something that happened in 1969, but it's obviously curious that many of the same voters who judged him one of the greatest linemen ever then didn't back him for the Hall of Fame.
    One last point. On Saturday, Bart Starr told me there was one other candidate he felt strongly about. "Bob Skoronski,'' he said. "Forrest Gregg was great, and he protected me on my front side, at right tackle. Bob protected my blind side at left tackle, and you know how important the blind side is for protection to a quarterback. You'd look at their grades when the coaches graded the film after the game, and their grades were virtually the same, game after game. I am so disappointed he hasn't gotten in the Hall. Some of the guys [offensive linemen] who have been selected to the Hall over the years, I'm just aghast. Bob Skoronski is a level above them.''
    Skoronski and Gregg were the bookend tackles on the five Green Bay championship teams. You could hear Starr's passion for Skoronski -- who played 146 games between 1956 and 1968 for the Packers -- come through on the phone.
    I asked Starr if there were other players he wanted to recommend, and he said no.
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  2. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    I hope Kramer gets in while he is still alive.
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  3. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    What was your take on the article ?
  4. milani
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    milani Cheesehead

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    Skoronski, Kramer, and Robinson... Their immortal spirit will always be alive on Lambeau field.
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  5. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    bangs head against wall...

    Is no one seeing what I saw? Or for that matter reading the first post?

    I should have just titled it Bart Starr doesnt think Kramer belongs in hall. The masses would have flocked then.
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  6. gwh11
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    gwh11 Cheesehead

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    Very interesting piece. Judging from what Starr said (and didn't say), there is no ringing endorsement on his part for Kramer. Also, as far as I know, Starr did not write a letter to the committee recommending Kramer (Hornung did, for example, and also Willie Davis, I think).
  7. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    ivo610,

    Perhaps the reason you didn't get feedback on Starr's opinion on Kramer's HOF bid is some of us have heard it before. It continues to surprise me he is so adamant about it. Kramer ruffled some feathers around the league by writing his book Instant Replay. And he perhaps ruffled Starr's feathers by taking credit for "the block" in the Ice Bowl as that was a double team block with Ken Bowman and Kramer should have shared the credit. Or perhaps something else happened between Starr and Kramer. While it's been decades since I read Kramer's Instant Replay, I don't recall Starr being mistreated in it or anyone else saying he was. I do know some considered it crossing the line of 'what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room' but by today's standards is as milquetoast as it can be.

    As I said, I've heard the arguments Starr puts forward before and I'll add another: Some believe another Packers OG - Gale Gillingham - was better and he's not in the Pro Football HOF either. 'So he's not even the best OG on his team not in.' (In my biased opinion, Kramer, Gillingham, Skoronski, and Robinson all deserve the honor. And I think the argument there are already "too many" Lombardi Packers in the HOF silly.)

    I think Kramer deserves it because he was named All-Pro five times and he played a crucial position in Lombardi's signature play, the sweep. In addition to being a great OG, Kramer was the team's kicker for three seasons and in the 1962 Title game against the Giants he accounted for 10 points in the Packers 16-7 win. Kramer was tough as nails as he endured 22 surgeries in his 11 NFL seasons. But the biggest reason IMO he deserves to be in the HOF is he is the only member of the 50th anniversary team not in the Pro Football HOF.
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  8. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    The Peter king part has already been addressed when I brought it up last month yes, but what I was trying to point out was Starr not clam outing for Kramer. I knew if I started out the thread by titling it "Starr doesn't want Kramer in HOF" this would have 4 pages, instead I wanted people to discuss what they took from the excerpt.

    Was this the first you have heard of Starr not being in favor of Kramer? For me it was. I feel it's pretty significant as Starr is a pretty stand up guy.
  9. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    No, it isn't the first time - I should have been clearer about that. I heard Starr quite a while ago on the subject of Kramer during a radio interview and while he didn't go into detail it was clear he thought there were others more deserving. I agree about Starr being a stand up guy - he's at the top of my all-time athlete list in that regard - and I agree it's significant. That's why I mentioned perhaps something else happened between Starr and Kramer since I can't remember another person Starr has "disrespected" in this way.
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  10. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    I definitely think it is because of Kramer's books. IF I was Jimmy Taylor I will be looking for Jerry. Somethings just should stay in the locker room.
  11. 13 Times Champs
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    ^
    ^

    ???:confused:
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  12. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I believe that was put to rest a long time ago to them.
  13. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    Apparently not.
  14. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Why do you say that?
  15. 13 Times Champs
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    Could you elaborate on a continuing dialogue that is confusing?
  16. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    He was not elected
  17. 13 Times Champs
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    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    But what does that have to do with ...IF I was Jimmy Taylor I will be looking for Jerry????

    Confused as to the thrust of your post??
  18. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    IN his book he was very hard on Jimmy I thought. Said Taylor did not want to pay back loans to teammates. Kramer gave his opinion on many of his teammates. If you have not read the book well worth your time. His other books on the packers are also good. You see how Jerry feels about his fellow teammates. The good and bad.
  19. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    But why do you say it wasn't put to rest? Jim has been positive in recent years to Jerry.
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  20. Dan115
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    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    Looks like the writers and other hall of famers have a long memory. I only hope he gets in while still alive.
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  21. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    It wasn't the writers that seems strange, it was Starrs non endorsement
  22. DevilDon
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    Not terribly strange. Personalities are what they are. I met Bart once... should have asked him. It seems Kramer rubbed alot of people the wrong way, writers not being exclusive to that bunch.
    Be that as it may, he deserves the HOF. If you read his book you can see how players and press might not like his attitude. Problem is... just like in a forum it's sometimes hard to figure out someone's demeanor from a written word. Sometimes it's hard to see if he's being sarcastic or narcissistic. No matter, he was more than a guard, he was a kicker too, why are we beating this dead horse? If you can't see that he should be in the HOF it's incredible to me that you just don't let it die. I completely disagree with you and that's that.
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  23. Dan115
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    More than just Bart to NOT get voted in. Looks simple to me. I am in favor of ALL PACKER PLAYERS to be in the NFL HOF!!! G logo = GOD's TEAM!!!
  24. 13 Times Champs
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    ok, see where you are coming from now.
  25. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Where did I say he doesn't deserved to be in the HOF?

    I dont get why people on the forum just make sh*t up to pick a fight.
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