By Mick Holien
I have long known that I shared a distant commonality with iconic offensive guard Jerry Kramer who long has been credited with the block on Dallas defensive tackle Jethro Pugh that opened the crease allowing Packer quarterback Bart Starr to score 50 years ago propelling Green Bay forward where the next time out they won Super Bowl II.
The “Ice Bowl” victory, played at kickoff temperatures of minus 13, allowing Green Bay’s to capture a third straight NFL Championship in what proved to be legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s final game.
A 2018 “senior” finalist, with linebacker Robert Brazile, for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Kramer has several Treasure State connections besides mine.
Kramer’s biography begins in Jordan, Mt., his birthplace in 1936. In fact one of his six children, who played on several NFL teams, is named after the town.
In the fourth grade Kramer’s family moved from Utah to Northern Idaho where he preceded me by eight years at Farmin Grade School.
After a stellar career at Sandpoint he joined future Detroit Hall of Famer Wayne Walker at the University of Idaho, then along with the Grizzlies a member of the Pacific Coast Conference, the predecessor of the Pac-Six Conference.
Not only did the Vandals win three straight “Little Brown Jug” contests during Kramer’s tenure but Montana struggled to even score, being shut out the first two matchups by a 45-0 count before falling 31-13 in his senior campaign after which he was named Idaho’s first All American.
Old No. 64 was drafted in the fourth round and played 11 years with Green Bay as not only a guard but in three seasons as the team’s placekicker – How’s that for a trivia for you – hitting 29 field goals and scoring 177 points. While undergoing 22 surgeries (something else we have in common), he played in 129 games and was named an All Pro five times.
It really strange why he hasn’t already been named to the Hall. A member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team, Kramer is the only player from that group not so accorded.
Watching the left side of that Packer offensive line lead the sweep was a thing of beauty and Lombardi was committed to it until you stopped it which sometimes was never.
The class of 2018, players who receive 80% of the votes, will be announced the night before the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
It has been an injustice to here so let’s hope the Montana born Kramer gets there as a senior finalist this time … Just say