Erik Kramer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Erik Kramer
No. 10, 12
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1964-11-06) November 6, 1964 (age 51)
Place of birth: Encino, California
Career information
College: NC State
Undrafted: 1987
Career history
Career NFL statistics
TDINT: 92–79
Yards: 15,337
Passer rating: 76.6
Stats at

William Erik Kramer (born November 6, 1964) is a former American football quarterback. He attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. After attending Los Angeles Pierce College and playing as their quarterback, Kramer transferred to North Carolina State University where he finished a successful college football career. He was not drafted by an NFL team, but did see action in 1987, when he played for the Atlanta Falcons as a replacement player during the NFL players strike. He would then spend some time in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. Kramer would return to the NFL in 1991, when he became a surprise starter for the Detroit Lions after injuries sidelined Rodney Peete. Kramer played in 13 games, led the Lions to a 12–4 record, their first playoff victory since the 1950s, and a trip to the NFC Championship Game.

Playing career[edit]

Kramer's nickname in Detroit was "Brass", a media-friendly redaction of "brass balls". The moniker apparently originated after Kramer called an audible on his first series as Lions' quarterback, having just replaced the injured Rodney Peete. One Lions' offensive lineman turned to another and said, "This guy's got brass balls." Kramer proved to be quite successful as a signal-caller in 1991 and the nickname stuck. His other nickname was "Cosmo", which was due to him having the same last name as the character Cosmo Kramer from the popular TV show, Seinfeld.

Kramer was not able to keep his starting job for the next three years, however, sharing duties with Peete and Andre Ware. In 1994, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears, and spent the next five years with the club. In his two full seasons as a starter (1995 and 1997), he was highly productive and passed for over 3,000 yards. Kramer currently holds the Bears' single-season record for passing yards (3,838) and touchdown passes (29).[1] Kramer signed with the San Diego Chargers in the 1999 offseason, but retired midseason due to a neck injury. Though he also missed much of the 1996 season with a neck injury, the two injuries were unrelated.

Kramer finished his 13 NFL seasons with 1,317 completions for 15,337 yards and 92 touchdowns, with 79 interceptions. He also rushed for 217 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns.

Post-playing career[edit]

After retiring from the NFL, Kramer went into sports broadcasting. He currently works for FSN Detroit, where he covers one of his former teams, the Detroit Lions, as an in-studio analyst. He also served as a color commentator on the Lions' preseason telecasts in 2007, and currently performs the same role for the Chicago Bears, working with Sam Rosen.

Kramer writes a personal blog for[2] at, where he discusses current events in the NFL and his former career and picks NFL games against the spread.

Kramer appeared as himself in an episode of Married With Children, during which the series' protagonist, Al Bundy, sells his soul in order to lead the Bears to the Super Bowl.

On Sun, October 30, 2011, Kramer's son Griffen, age 18 and a senior at Thousand Oaks High School, was found dead at a friend's home from a heroin overdose. Four people, including two juveniles, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance by Sheriff's investigators in the matter.[3]

Kramer survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound with non-life threatening injuries in an apparent suicide attempt on Wednesday, August 19, 2015.[4] According to Kramer's ex-wife, her husband has a "beautiful soul" but is not the same man she once married due to head injuries suffered during his time as an NFL quarterback.


External links[edit]