Jerry Kramer channels his inner Facenda

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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.

17 responses to “Jerry Kramer channels his inner Facenda

  1. “He believed that anything was yours provided that you were willing to pay the price…he believed in the drive, hunger, the want, the fire, probably more than the intellect…”
    Sounds like the Lombardi was the culprit & innovator for the derivative of concussions.
    So as of today, NFL player(s) in lawsuit for concussions, can suck it.

  2. It makes NO SENSE that the Hall of Fame itself voted Jerry Kramer the outstanding guard of the first 50 years of the NFL, and now more than 40 years after receiving that distinction, he’s still not in Canton. Even stranger, there are now several guards from that era who ARE enshrined. So the Hall itself says that he was the best, they’ve enshrined others they themselves determined were not his equal, but he’s not in. It simply makes no sense, and it lessens the integrity of the Hall.

  3. We have a nice little tribute to Jerry at the Ice Bowl Exhibit in Elk Mound, WI. Stop by and see it some time.

  4. Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jun 13, 2013 12:32 PM

    We have a nice little tribute to Jerry at the Ice Bowl Exhibit in Elk Mound, WI. Stop by and see it some time.

    I stopped by there on the way to the Dells a few years ago, and I have to admit, it wasn’t bad. Very interactive. The kids had a good time.

  5. I thought that dude fell off his roof while shoveling snow and died? Why would someone do that when they could pay Carl Gerbschmidt $5 an hour to do the job?

  6. Per the late Steve Sabol, John Facenda never uttered the words “frozen tundra.” That’s a Berman-ism.

  7. @buhbay

    Show a little respect. That was Max McGee, and in true mans man fashion, his wife told him not to do it, so he waited until she went out of town and did it anyway. RIP, Max.

  8. He had to ask why Bart over Brett? I know dozens of steeler, bears, giants and lions fans that would damn well know that. Idiot.

  9. Say what you want about Lombardi or the Packers but MANY if not MOST of his players went onto become rather successful businessmen after football.

    They also didn’t play in a time where they were set for life from their NFL play but had to go onto other careers just to eat. Many had part time jobs while ON the team.

    Lombardi instilled quite a bit into his players that had nothing to do with X’s and O’s.

    Probably why in corporate circles he’s quoted just as much as Drucker, Buffet or Welch.

  10. Are the writers who vote for the Hall holding a grudge against Kramer for his outspokenness?

  11. Kramer belongs in the NFL HOF. But he must have ticked off the wrong people because he is not in. Even more so when he was very good friends with Dick Schapp (wrote books with him) and his godson is Dick Schapp’s son Jeremy. If Dick Schapp could not use his influence when he was alive to get in Kramer who else can get him in?

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