Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer talks about his acceptance of not being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (April 14, 2015) Jim Matthews | Press-Gazette Media
Jerry Kramer didn't always feel the way he does now about the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
There was a time not so long ago when the Green Bay Packers' five-time All-Pro right guard salivated at thought of telling the Hall of Fame he wasn't interested in any type of induction after being passed over for so many years.
His daughter, Alicia, has even joined the fight to see her father enshrined. She's turned to social media to generate discussion for Kramer to be considered for a senior nomination for his role in the Packers' five NFL championships in the 1960s. So far, Kramer has yet to receive the call, and he's OK with that.
If it never comes, he's at peace with his legacy.
"The game of football has been very, very good to me. And it's just been a wonderful ride," Kramer said before leaving on the Packers' 10th annual tailgate tour Tuesday. "I was pretty emotional about it 30 years ago when my guys went in. I got my lip out and boy if they call me I'm going to tell them where to put it; I ain't going. But you do a lot of gymnastics mentally. But I am pretty comfortable right now."
Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer talks about his relationship with fans since retiring from the NFL. (April 14, 2015) Jim Matthews | Press-Gazette Media
Whatever bitterness Kramer once felt for the snub has subsided with age. He turned 79 in January and is grateful for his health, which allowed him to travel from his home in Idaho to take part in the Packers' five-day tour of Wisconsin.
Others from his era aren't as fortunate. His good friend Fuzzy Thurston passed away in December after a long illness. His quarterback, Bart Starr, is still recovering from a heart attack and stroke in the fall.
Kramer still would welcome an induction if it ever came along, but he's not losing any sleep over it when considering what many others are facing.
"There's just a wonderful groundswell of support here in the state for that, and it's just wonderful, but it's lost a lot of its glamour to me," said Kramer, who played from 1958-68. "So many of the guys that I played against or played with are no longer there, so there's a bunch of young guys that I don't know. It's like coming to a ballgame here with a bunch of guys that I don't know and have no relationship with and never really spent much time with it.
"It's OK, and it's fun and it's great to be with them, but there's not that relationship that you had with Bart and Paul (Hornung) and Max (McGee) and Fuzz and all the guys. It's just a totally different thing.
"I'm very comfortable with where I am and if the Hall comes along, it'd be great. If it doesn't come along, life is great."
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