STURGEON BAY - Legendary Packers guard Jerry Kramer returned to northeast Wisconsin this weekend and took part in the 2nd annual NFL Alumni Fishing Tournament. The event is hosted by former NFL offensive lineman and Sturgeon Bay native Casey Rabach. It benefits the fifth quarter foundation Door County Charities.
Kramer, who is an avid outdoorsman, was at home out on the water and was just as at ease in front of the microphone following the event.
Kramer said even though his team wasn't as successful reeling in fish as they might've like it was still a great day on the water. "We didn't catch a lot of fish, we lost a big fish had to be five pounds plus, in the first thirty seconds, and that was the biggest fish we saw all day long, and the only fish that got close to the boat all day long. It was a great morning on the water and a wonderful day."
Kramer lives in Idaho now but he said he always enjoys making it back to Wisconsin because of the way the connection he shares with the people here."Well you know, this is a very similar to your family, the guys and the fans, and all the folks here there is such a warmth of emotions and feelings, and they are just so great year after year after year. "
He went to say that when he first came into the league, he never could've imagined how things turned out for him. "When I wrote distant replay, I said something like, I would probably play for a couple of years, and then I would be drifting off into the mists of time and never be heard of again. Right well here it is I'm, bla bla years old already, and it is just wonderful to come back, and again its just a big family."
One of the members of that extended family, his former teammate Dave Robinson, will be inducted in August into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kramer said that despite the long wait for enshrinement that Robinson endured, he's a more than worthy Hall of Famer.
"Robby is a wonderful football player and that left side of the line, maybe the best defensive left side ever. Uhhh you got Herb (Adderly), you've got Willie (Davis), and you've got Robby. And what a wonderful threesome over there to anchor that line. All three of them were just great football players, and I am just tickled to death for Robby. He deserves it and he has been waiting a long time, it's a great thing," Kramersaid.
Of course Kramer, despite numerous accolades, has also not yet been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I told Kramer I knew another deserving player who was waiting to get the call from the hall as well. Kramer good naturedly replied, that guy has been getting a lot of applause. He was on the all fifty year team, was in the top ten Packers of all time, and the face of the franchise thing here a couple months ago," Kramer said.
Kramer seemed at peace with his place in NFL history whether he gets into the Hall of Fame eventually or not. ""He's getting a lot of applause, so he's feeling pretty comfortable you know, the game has been good to him, life has been good to him, and it has been a wonderful ride. I just can not get terribly upset about one prize they didn't give me because they have given me so many," Kramer said.
Even with being well recognized and beloved, I asked Kramer if he'd be willing to pick up the phone should the selection committee call his name. "I might be talked into it. We will negotiate," Kramer joked with a smile.
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