Interview with Alicia Kramer (Daughter of Football Legend Jerry Kramer) speaks to us about her campaign to get her father in the Football Hall of Fame.
Every day at our website we debate those who we feel should be considered for potential Hall of Fame induction in their respective fields. With the vast majority of names we list, cases could be made against those enshrinements. With Jerry Kramer, the number one selection on our second annual football list, we feel strongly that there is no argument against his place in Canton.
At its core the reasoning behind Kramer’s induction can be summed up by the fact that the legendary Packer was named to the NFL All Time 50th Anniversary team which would imply to even the most casual fan of Football that he is Hall of Fame caliber. Despite multiple nominations, Jerry Kramer remains the only man named to the 50th Anniversary team who failed to reach the Football Hall of Fame. We could spend paragraph after paragraph listing reasons for Kramer’s induction, but that is not what this article about.
As hard as it becomes to do our rankings it is mostly a labor of love for us. We don’t have an emotional investment in these lists and as much as we would hope to influence voting committees on our top candidates, we don’t become heartbroken when it fails. At Notinhalloffame we spoke with someone who is emotionally involved with the decisions in Canton, and has made her mission to right one of the biggest injustices in Hall of Fame history.
Alicia Kramer is the daughter of the Jerry Kramer and for the past few years has campaigned on behalf of her father. Like many other campaigns on the web, Alicia can point to the same empirical evidence that others do, but on a daily basis fans tell her about the impact he had on the gridiron, as have former NFL players. However her real motivation stems from the love of a daughter, who has watched her father struggle to deal with the one of the biggest snubs in Hall of Fame history. It was an emotional conversation where statistics and Super Bowl Rings were not really part of the equation. It was about a daughter trying to give back to her father.
The reasons why you are doing this are obvious. If you type in Jerry Kramer and Hall of Fame on Google, multiple sites and articles will generate discussing why he should be inducted. Was there a set moment that you decided “enough is enough” and I am going to see what I can do about it?
“It happened in May. There are so many splinter groups out there in support for my father, so it made sense to try and get these groups together to try and lead them. My friends have been so supportive. They have helped to give me the confidence to put myself out there. I never got to see my father play, but people always come up to me to tell me how great he was as a player and as a person. My dad has always been supporting me and my brothers all of my years in sports, and I have always wanted to give back. This has been a way in which I could. With all this encouragement, I have been doing things I would have never done before. It has been an amazing journey! I have reached out to Jim Tunney who refereed the Ice Bowl. He said he would personally write to Hall of Fame on my dad’s behalf. I have just a letter to John Madden too.”
Have any other past players, coaches or writers supported your cause?
“Oh yeah! Mike Lombardi’s on board. So is Vince Lombardi Jr. Just recently William Henderson lent his support. Marco Rivera, who was just inducted to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame mentioned what a shame it was that my dad wasn’t in the Football Hall of Fame in his induction speech. Donald Driver mentioned it too. These aren’t compliments that I or my dad is fishing for. These players are telling me this all the time. Media outlets are contacting me. I just wish I could to everyone fast enough!”
Have you contacted any of the voters themselves?
“No. I haven’t pursued any of them directly. That is a bit of a touchy subject. My dad isn’t comfortable with that. There are people doing that on my behalf though. I would rather reach out to people, the fans, those with experience in Football to have them reach out to the voters”
There have been two theories as to why your father is not in the Hall. One of which is that there is a belief that there is already too many Packers in from those 60’s Championship Teams. The other is in reference to the book he wrote (Instant Replay) and that there may be petty jealousies from writers towards your father for writing a successful book when many of them have may have not. Do you think that any of these may be the case?
“People have come up to me and have told me both of those theories. Mike Lombardi has told me that neither of them should make a difference. As long as we keep getting people with Football experience to write in and support the cause, it can certainly change. I just have to keep pushing it. This is a big part of my life now. This is a part of me. I will keep going for as long as I have to. I don’t want to chase something that is not plausible, but I believe that after talking with many people that it can be done. I want to do this for my father. He is a great man, and a great ambassador for Football. Every time someone wants five minutes of his time he does it. He always lends his name to charity events. He reaches out to the community. He’s 75! He is supposed to be retired and golfing every day, but he has three business trips coming up, he is always on the go. My father is an amazing guy and I am not saying this just because I am his daughter. He is working so hard to help other retired Football players. He just keeps going. Vikings fans, Lions Fans even tell me he should be in. I have been told by people who tell me they hate the Packers, but respect my dad. If they induct him after he passes, and I hate to think this way, I don’t know if the family would accept it. This is something that he has wanted for so long; it would be the cherry to the top of his great career. What is the point of giving it to him once he’s gone?”
Do you think there might be stubbornness at this point? His credentials are certainly there for all to see, and could this be a case where they just don’t want to admit that they have done something wrong? It is as if you put him now, it might seem to say that they were wrong all this time.
“It could be. This could be why dad has just left it alone. He has put the whole Hall of Fame in the background and he concentrates on his charity work. He would rather not discuss it in great lengths anymore.”
I imagine he must have been asked the Hall of Fame question a million times.
“Yeah. He has even been announced as a Hall of Famer in appearances. It is embarrassing. So many people already assume he is in the Hall. He has had to go up on the podium and say ‘thank you for the honor, but I’m not in’. It flatters him, but sticks to him too. I want to this for my dad so bad. He just doesn’t believe it will happen anymore. He just can’t open himself to the thought of it anymore.