Hey NFL, what the hell is going on out here?

As I’ve written about before, I believe Jerry Kramer has earned a place in the NFL Hall of Fame. After yesterday’s announcement of the 2017 modern era finalists, though, I wonder if he even wants it.

Would a guy who has represented the NFL with dignity and class for 58 years really want his name listed next to a convicted felon?

Would anyone?

What could the NFL possibly be thinking by naming serial rapist Darren Sharper a finalist for the Hall of Fame? Does pride still matter at all?

Jerry Kramer spent 11 years as the right guard for the Packers and their iconic sweep. Darren Sharper is serving 18 years in federal prison in addition to a concurrent 20-year sentence in state court for crimes in Louisiana, California, Arizona and Nevada.

During his NFL career, Kramer, with his partner Dick Schaap, wrote the book on best-selling sports non-fiction. Their collaboration on Instant Replay gave all kinds of readers, sports fans or not, a behind-the-scenes look at an NFL locker room, and made Sunday afternoon football a family event.

During his NFL post-career Darren Sharper and his partner zolpidem wrote the book on how to prey on unsuspecting females. Their collaboration gave all kinds of horrified NFL fans a behind-the-scenes look at date rape, and made Sunday afternoon football players seem sleazy.

It pains me to write Jerry Kramer’s name in the same sentence as Darren Sharper. But, there it is.

Jerry Kramer, three-time Pro Bowl Player, five time first team All-Pro, five time world champion, proud member of the 1960s all decade team and NFL 50th anniversary team, can’t get a spot, even as a senior member, in the NFL Hall of Fame.

And Darren Sharper, five-time Pro Bowl Player, two-time first team All-Pro, one time Super Bowl Champion, nine-time convicted rapist (though, according to a Louisiana state judge there may be as many as 16 victims) earns a spot among the 2017 modern era finalists.

To quote our beloved Coach Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out here?”

Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer pulled for my mom, Peggy and my daughter Katherine at the NFL season opener in 2006.
Two of the greatest guards in Packer history and my mom gave my daughter Katherine a little pre-national anthem encouragement 10 years ago at Lambeau. Jerry Kramer has served as an excellent ambassador for the NFL for 58 years.
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He led the iconic sweep and, according to my dad, who lined up against him every day in practice for eight straight years, Jerry Kramer was one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He did double duty as a place kicker too. But, Jerry Kramer can’t seem to earn a spot in Canton. Take heart, though, Packer fans, because serial rapist Darren Sharper is a 2017 Hall of Fame finalist. So, there’s that. It’s possible, though hopefully improbable, that he’ll even be elected and pull that coveted yellow suit coat on over his jailhouse orange. 

I think this Lombardi quote sums it up, even if it appears, in this video, to be directed at my dad (good ole number 77)…

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