Gerald Louis "Jerry" Kramer (born January 23, 1936) is an American former professional football player, author and sports commentator, best remembered for his 11-year National Football League (NFL) career with the Green Bay Packers as an offensive lineman. As a 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 245-pound (111 kg) right guard, Kramer was an integral part of the famous "Packer Sweep", a signature play in which both guards rapidly pull out from their normal positions and lead block for the running back going around the end. Kramer was an All-Pro five times, and a member of the NFL's 50th anniversary team in 1969, but surprisingly, even after appearing on the list of finalists ten times since becoming eligible, has not been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was rated No. 1 in NFL Network's Top 10 list of players not in the Hall of Fame.
During his career, Kramer was often injured. Among these were surgery to remove sizable wood fragments embedded in his abdomen from a teenage accident, and a badly injured ankle suffered in 1961. In all, Kramer played in 129 regular season games; he also had 22 surgeries in 11 seasons, including a colostomy, which he described as "a horror movie that hasn't been made yet." Despite these setbacks, Kramer was selected as an All-Pro five times (1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967). He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. He is a member of the NFL's 50th Anniversary All-Time team, and the only member of that team not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In his penultimate season of 1967, Kramer collaborated with Dick Schaap on his first book, the best-selling Instant Replay, a diary of the season which chronicled the life of a professional football offensive lineman. The book climaxed with Kramer's lead block in front of Bart Starr to win the "Ice Bowl" championship game. Kramer and Schaap wrote two more books together. Kramer played one more year, under new head coachPhil Bengtson in 1968. After that season, in which the aging Packers fell to a record of 6-7-1, Kramer wrote a second book, Farewell to Football. After retiring in May 1969, Kramer briefly worked as a color commentator on CBS National Football League telecasts.
In 1970, following the death of Vince Lombardi, Kramer edited Lombardi: Winning Is the Only Thing, a collection of reminiscences from coaches, players, friends and family of Lombardi whom Kramer interviewed for the book.
In 1985, Kramer wrote Distant Replay, which updated the whereabouts of the members of the Packers' Super Bowl I championship team following a team reunion at Lambeau Field during the 1984 season.
Kramer was noteworthy for overcoming a series of accidents and health issues prior to and during his professional football career. The most serious was in 1964; he played the first two games then missed the rest of the season, later diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with actinomycosis. He reclaimed his starting position in 1965 and the Packers won three straight NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls.