At 7 a.m. on Saturday, February 3, the fate of the candidacy of Green Bay Packers legendary guard Jerry Kramer will be in the hands of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee which will be meeting in the Twin Cities that day.
If 39 of the 48 members support the case that Dallas Morning News and Talk of Fame Network's Rick Gosselin will present at that hour and vote for Kramer, a 50-year wait for Kramer to finally be enshrined in Canton will finally end.
"I feel very good about his chances this year," said Gosselin in the latest "The Play-by-Play with Wayne Larrivee" podcast on WTMJ Mobile.
"This senior committee feels that strongly about Jerry Kramer. I hope the rest of the committee understands that."
Kramer's resume is undeniable, in the eyes of Gosselin. This leads him to believe that no member has been more wrongfully spurned by the committee than the guard who helped open holes for Hall of Fame backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, and protected Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr on five NFL championship teams - a record for one franchise in a decade - and an unprecedented three titles in a row.
"Jerry is the greatest omission from Canton right now. This puzzles me," said Gosselin.
"The same Hall of Fame selection board voted Jerry Kramer an all-decade guard in the 1960's. The same Hall of Fame selection board named him to the 50th anniversary team and identified him as the greatest guard of the first 50 years of the NFL. The NFL selection committee has a credibility problem. How can you declare Jerry Kramer one of the greatest guards in the history of the game, yet not put him in Canton? That's what's puzzling to me."
Gosselin will lay all that out before the committee as what he says will be the first of three votes to come that morning before the modern-era players are presented.
"I'll present Jerry Kramer and we'll have discussion on Jerry Kramer. It may go 10 minutes. It may go an hour...I've been in discussions where the thing went an hour. I don't think Kramer will go that long. Most of these people will know who Jerry Kramer is. After we do Kramer, we'll do Brazile in the contributor category and then we'll vote 'Yes' or 'No.' There are 48 voters in the room. Jerry needs 39 yes votes to be in the class of 2018."
He says that many voters on the committee simply never saw Kramer play because they didn't cover the sport at the time.
"A lot of the veteran eyes have left the committee. We have a lot of people on the committee now who started covering football in the 1990's, the 2000's. When I talk 60's Packers, 70's Steelers, even 80's 49ers, I'm talking Pig Latin. If they trust the Senior Committee, they'll trust the work we do with Jerry Kramer."
The full discussion about Kramer can be heard in the latter part of Wayne's podcast for Tuesday. Listen above in your podcast player or click here.