If you arrived at NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk on Wednesday for the debate on whether Brett Favre belongs on the Packers’ Mt. Rushmore, hopefully you stayed for the interview with legendary Packers lineman Jerry Kramer.
Kramer, a member of the Packers’ Super Bowl teams of the 1960s, remains a compelling and inspiring figure, decades after his playing career ended. And in sharing some of his favorite memories of coach Vince Lombardi, Kramer induced goosebumps.
“He believed that anything was yours provided that you were willing to pay the price,” Kramer said. “There’s a price to pay for achievement, there’s a price to pay for success. Sometimes it’s blood, it’s always sweat, sometimes it’s tears, sometimes it’s difficulty, but he believed in the human spirit. He believed in the drive, the hunger, the burn, the want, the fire, probably more important than the intellect, the want to. And he had a great energy himself and he had a great vision of where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do.
“One of his favorite sayings was, ‘All the rings, all the color, all the money, all the display, all the trophies linger only in a memory for a short time and are soon gone but the will to win, the will to excel, these are the things that endure and these are the things that are far more important than any of the events that occasion them. So develop in you the will to win, the will to excel.’”
That’s enough to make me run through a wall. Or at least to bounce off it trying.
To fully appreciate the words, you need to hear them as delivered by Kramer, in a voice that (as PFT co-host Erik Kuselias recognized) sounds a lot like John Facenda. Indeed, Kramer even threw in a “frozen tundra” at the end for good measure.