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Sports Then and Now



Will This Finally Be the Year for Jerry Kramer? 5

Posted on August 26, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Jerry Kramer (#64) should join his teammate Paul Hornung (#5) in the Pro Football hall of Fame in 2018.

Jerry Kramer (#64) should join his teammate Paul Hornung (#5) in the Pro Football hall of Fame in 2018.

In 1969, former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer was selected as the greatest offensive lineman of the first 50 years of the NFL. Unless the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee commits a true travesty next February, Kramer will finally be selected to the Hall of Fame as the NFL completes its 98th season.

Much has been written on this site and in many others over the years about how ridiculous it was that Kramer continued to be overlooked for the Hall of Fame. After retiring from the NFL in 1968, Kramer was first a finalist for the HOF in 1974 and was a regular selection finalist nine times between 1974 and 1987 and was also a senior finalist in 1997.

Each time, Kramer failed to the necessary support from the selection committee to earn enshrinement.

Over time, it went from Kramer being an obvious pick, to a theory that there were already a large number of 1960s Packers to in recent year’s disbelief at some of the players and contributors earning induction while Kramer continued to be on the outside.

It has gotten over the last decade to the point where almost every list that looks at potential Hall of Fame candidates listed Kramer as the most deserving player not currently enshrined.

Yet, since 2010 there have been a number of “head scratching” selections, especially among senior candidates (players retired 25 years or more). None of the senior players selected since 2010 were members of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team or had played on more than three NFL Championship teams. Read the rest of this entry →

10 Players That Deserve Induction Into The Pro Football Hall of Fame 11

Posted on August 06, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The running backs he blocked for are in the Hall of Fame, but 10-time finalist Jerry Kramer is not.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is where NFL greats take the next step and become immortal legends.  Since opening its doors in 1963, 260 former players, coaches and administrators have received football’s greatest honor, but there is a growing list of seemingly deserving players who for one reason or another have been unable to earn a bust in Canton.

Being recognized as a Hall of Famer is certainly an honor that should be reserved for those few players, administrators and coaches that were truly the best of the best. It should be hard and there should be a thin line between being a great player and earning Hall of Fame immortality.

However, after reviewing all members of the Hall of Fame as well as more than 250 former NFL greats who have not yet earned a spot in Canton, it is clear that the Hall of Fame selection committee has been inconsistent in their choices and not done a good job in ensuring that all deserving players are inducted in a timely manner.

The 2010 Hall of Fame class marks the first time since 2001 that the maximum allowed number of inductees, seven, will receive Hall of Fame busts. In back-to-back years of 2004 and 2005 the committee chose only the minimum of four players despite the fact that 12 players who later were chosen for the Hall of Fame were eligible for induction during those years.

In a previous article I outlined my disappointment that the Hall of Fame committee has often made players wait more than 30 years after retirement before being inducted though they didn’t throw a pass, score a touchdown or make a tackle during that time.

While I generally believe that the Hall of Fame committee has done a pretty good job of making selections of players who are deserving of induction, I did also create a list of the 10 players who maybe shouldn’t be in the Hall.

Below is my list of the 10 players who are not in the Hall of Fame who I believe are most deserving of induction. Several have been tantalizingly close to selection, while others have been annually by-passed in favor of players with similar or lesser accomplishments. Hopefully all of them will one day get the thrill of having their bust immortalized in Canton. Read the rest of this entry →

The 10 Players Most Deserving of Being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 16

Posted on August 08, 2009 by Dean Hybl
No player has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame more times than Jerry Kramer without getting into the Hall.

No player has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame more times than Jerry Kramer without getting into the Hall.

After two months of painstakingly looking at each position to determine which players that have been overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame are the most deserving, it is finally time now, on the eve of the 2009 induction ceremonies, to look at the 10 players that I believe to be the most deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame, but who are still waiting for that call.

To create the top 10, I again reviewed all 225 players that had earned mention in the top 25 lists for each position. I then narrowed the field based on overall career performance, perception when they retired (where they considered at the time a Hall of Fame caliber player), team performance and accolades received.

Read the rest of this entry →

Best Players Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Offensive Linemen 7

Posted on July 12, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Jerry Kramer

Jerry Kramer

In the fifth installment of our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we are looking at the position that has sent more than twice as many players to the Hall of Fame in the last 15 years than any other, the offensive line.

Since 1996, 17 offensive linemen have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. By comparison, in the same time period a total of only 22 offensive skill players (8-WR, 7-QB, 4-RB, 3-TE) have been selected.

Overall in the modern era, more offensive linemen (34) have been enshrined in Canton than players from any other position. Standing second is the defensive line with 27.

Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Original Patriot: Gino Cappelletti
      September 3, 2017 | 6:54 pm
      Gino Cappelletti

      Gino Cappelletti

      In recognition of the start of football season, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the original stars for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

      In many ways, Gino Cappelletti epitomized the early years of the American Football League. While the NFL was becoming more specialized and tougher to break into, the AFL provided former college stars with a new place to play and its “wild west” mentality allowed players to contribute in a wide variety of ways.

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