Jerry Kramer belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a fact I feel completely confident of despite never having seen the University of Idaho standout and Boise resident play a single snap for the Green Bay Packers.
It was Kramers contemporaries who named him to the NFLs 50th anniversary team he is the only member of that team not in the Hall of Fame and to the 1960s All-Decade team. NFL Films Steve Sabol said Kramer is the best player not enshrined.
Thats good enough for me as I wrote in a February column.
That column, which detailed Alicia Kramers efforts on behalf of her father to get him inducted, spawned a much larger effort by Gallatin Public Affairs, a Boise public relations company.
Gallatin is hoping the word of 16 current Hall of Famers many of them Kramers contemporaries is enough to convince the selection committee that Kramer belongs in Canton, Ohio.
Frank Gifford, Roger Staubach, Chuck Bednarik, Alan Page, Larry Csonka and Joe Gibbs are among those who have written a letter of support, which are included in a book produced by Gallatin that includes statistics, old articles and a video touting Kramers credentials.
I know personally that there was no one better at his position, Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti wrote.
Gallatins Get Kramer to the Hall effort has received a boost from the University of Idaho and Gov. Butch Otter, who proclaimed Friday as Jerry Kramer Hall of Fame Day in the state.
For the past few months, as Gallatin reached out to Hall of Fame members, Alicia Kramer has continued her social media campaign, urging fans to write letters of support for her father. The response has been staggering.
Jerry Kramer, now 76, has stayed out of the campaign, a smart decision for the man who many believe is already in the Hall. He even made his daughter promise that this is it, the last effort to get him in.
Will it be enough? Will the letters and testimonials and glossy presentation and video convince the Halls gatekeepers to reverse course on Kramer?
After all, Kramer retired in 1968 and has been a finalist a record 10 times without success. The last time came in 1997 as a senior nominee, the same path his candidacy must follow this time around.
The nine-member senior selection committee, a subset of the 44-member Hall of Fame selection committee, began deliberations Friday, hence Otters proclamation.
It will pick up to two nominees for consideration by the full panel. The full committee releases its finalists by August and selects the 2013 class around the Super Bowl.
Many of them never saw Kramer play, either. Theyve heard the stories, seen the highlights, read the clippings and, hopefully, paid attention to those Hall of Famers promoting Kramer.
Lets hope they reach the same conclusion that many have, including at least 16 current Hall of Famers.
Jerry Kramer belongs in Canton.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444