Jerry Kramer can relate to Terrell Owens' frustration

Terrell Owens wasn't the first player to feel disrespected by the Hall of Fame voting process. He won't be the last.

Owens waiting three years to get into the Hall is child's play compared to what some other all-time greats had to wait through.

Look no further than T.O.'s 2018 classmate, Jerry Kramer.

Kramer is generally considered among the greatest Packers of all-time. The guard's accolades speak for themselves: named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1960s, made the NFL's 50th Anniversary Team, the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team, selected a first-team All-Pro five times (second-team twice), made three Pro Bowls, and won two Super Bowls.

Despite the pedigree, Kramer had to wait for the call from the Hall of Fame. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.

Kramer retired in 1968. He finally will be enshrined in the HOF next month as a Senior inductee.

Speaking on a conference call on Wednesday, Kramer said he understands Owens' frustration with the Hall.

"The emotional package that comes with this is all over the place," Kramer said, via Aaron Nagler of Packers News. "First, back when I was first nominated, there was high hopes and joy. I had made the all-time 50-year team and I'd made a lot of All-Star teams, so I kind of anticipated that I would go into the Hall of Fame. So, obviously, when I didn't get selected, there was disappointment.

"Then, somewhere around the fifth or sixth nomination, I got angry."

Kramer said that anger turned into resentment towards the Hall.

"I remember [thinking], 'Well, they can take that and they can put it where the sun doesn't shine,'" Kramer said. "I went through probably the same emotional package that Terrell is going through."

Owens will not attend his Hall of Fame enshrinement on Aug. 4, instead holding his own ceremony at his alma mater, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, after being kept out on his first two years of eligibility. Speaking on the ESPYS red carpet Wednesday, Owens said he isn't trying to disrespect Hall of Famers by staying away from the enshrinement ceremony.

"I respect all of those Hall of Famers that have gone in before me and going in with me and after me," said Owens, who also said he is open to the "possibility" of potentially playing in the CFL. "It has nothing to do with those Hall of Famers."

Owens has cited players like Kramer who had to wait years before being honored as one reason for boycotting the HOF ceremony.

"I went through a period where I didn't want to hear about the Hall of Fame, I didn't want to talk about the Hall of Fame. I wanted nothing to do with it," Kramer said. "I literally drove by the Hall of Fame three or four times and I wouldn't go in, because I was not invited in and I was not going in until I was invited.

"There's a huge range of emotions that you don't discuss, generally. You pretty much keep to yourself, at least in my case."

In the end, Kramer said his resentment faded.

"Packers fans have been so wonderful and so supportive and so nice, that it just occurred to me, if I was going to be angry over the one honor I didn't get and trash the hundreds of honors that I did get, that would be stupid. So I started to think about all the wonderful things that happened to me in professional football.

"I just ultimately felt that I had been gifted and it had been a wonderful ride. If I didn't get the Hall, I didn't get the Hall, but it wasn't going to ruin my life and it wasn't going to ruin my attitude."

Kramer's change in attitude is one reason many Hall of Fame players are saying Owens will one day regret his decision to skip the ceremony in Canton.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content