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From Sandpoint to Canton: Idaho's Jerry Kramer Inducted Into Football Hall of Fame

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It was six decades ago that Idahoan Jerry Kramer was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. His unlikely journey began while playing high school football in Sandpoint inthe early 1950s, which afforded him the opportunity to the University of Idaho on a football scholarship. But when the Packers came calling in 1958, Kramer's legend truly began, resulting in five NFL titles (in the pre-Super Bowl days) and two Super Bowl championships for good measure. During a decade with the Packers, Kramer was an All-Pro in five seasons.

In an eighteen-and-a-half minute speech in his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction Saturday night, Kramer took a very personal walk down memory lane: from Sandpoint, to the U of I, to the Super Bowl and ultimately to Canton, Ohio's Pro Football Hall of Fame. In his speech, Kramer reserved his highest praise for his former Packers coach, the late Vince Lombardi, recalling how Lombardi told him that after the big game was over, the true measure of a man was yet to come:

“After the game is over, the stadium lights are out, the parking lot’s empty, you’re back in the quiet of your room, the championship ring on the dresser, the only thing left at this time is to lead a life of quality and excellence, and to make this old world a little bit better place because you were in it.”

While most Hall of Fame inductees were introduced during Saturday's ceremonies by fellow teammates or coaches, Kramer chose his daughter Alicia to do the honors. In 2012, Boise Weekly spoke to Alicia Kramer about her dream to see her dad in the Hall of Fame:

"It's so emotional for me. When Dad recently stepped onto [Green Bay's] Lambeau Field, and the stadium cheered and cheered, he looked over at me with tears in his eyes. He's truly surprised that people still remember. Dad is a very humble man. All of his Packers stuff is in trunks. I'm the one who takes it out to look at it.