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Inbox: There was something special about each moment

It was a weekend steeped in history


Pancho from New Castle, PA

My thanks to everyone who helped paint a picture of the events during enshrinement weekend on I didn't leave a single posting unviewed. I would be interested to know what is the most enduring memory that our web team members took away from the event?

Too many to count. I plan to hit on a number of them in this morning's column, but I doubt I'll be able to cover them all. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the video work by Mike Atkinson on our digital team, plus the logistical help from Cathy Dworak and some photos provided by Bobbi Jo Eisenreich, both from community outreach. Can't thank them enough.

Matt from Houston, TX

What's the atmosphere like in Canton with the other HOFers with 64 FINALLY getting in? All the videos seem to show that everybody there knows it's long overdue and he's the Belle of the ball. Also, if you're gone, who's stealing Wes's lunch?

I definitely sensed a reverence and respect being shown to Kramer by the other inductees given his too-long wait. The modern-era players also know it was the Kramers who built the league's popularity and allowed them to enjoy the riches they do today. I'm not going to "rank" the inductions in this class, but all weekend every time it was Kramer's turn – to have a video played, to get his gold jacket, to speak – everyone in attendance knew there was something special about each moment.

Karl from Albuquerque, NM

Please give me the opportunity to give a public thank you to Jerry Kramer. In ninth grade I struggled to read. I was basically illiterate. My parents' concern even resulted in professionals being hired to evaluate my problem. However, there was no problem, I just needed something I was interested in reading. "Instant Replay" was the answer and it taught me to read and appreciate writing. Because of "Instant Replay" now I make my living reading and writing. THANK YOU Jerry Kramer No. 64 (and Schaap).

Thanks for sharing. To me, nothing broadens one's perspective like reading someone else's.

Tim from Spokane, WA

Mike! You got to interview the Golden Boy! How amazing was that?

A thrill. First time I'd ever had the pleasure of meeting him. I couldn't help but text my dad, a huge fan, right after we got done.

Maggie from Kenosha, WI

I was lucky enough to attend Jerry Kramer's enshrinement, and his speech was perfection. How did you enjoy your trip, Spoff?

It was a lot of work but a privilege to document it all. The very moving and thought-provoking content of his speech aside, I thought it was incredibly classy how Kramer did not dwell or even mention his wait of 40-plus years. It was an especially interesting omission given the tantrum in absentia thrown by an inductee who had to wait two extra years.

Kevin from Louisville, KY

Spoff, I read your story before I watched the speech, and you brought tears to my eyes. You deserve a thank you, too.

You're too kind. As I said on my Twitter account, I **was just trying to do justice** to what was a Hall of Fame speech in every sense of the phrase.

Stephen from Madison, WI

If the most recent HOF class isn't the best collection of players to be inducted at the same time, which group do you think stands out more?

It's very difficult to compare them. This collection of modern-era players is impressive, no doubt. When I glance through the lists, and not including the large charter group in '63, the class of '77 jumps off the page a bit – Gifford, Gregg, Sayers, Starr.

Cliff from Annapolis Royal, Canada

So Spoff just wrote a nice article about Jerry Kramer no longer being the best player not in the Hall of Fame. If Jerry is now out of contention, who in your opinion is? And who is now the best Packer not in the Hall of Fame?

Tony Boselli was a finalist this past year and might be the best player I'm familiar with who's not in, only because his career was cut short. I think he'll get more chances. Rick Gosselin mentioned Johnny Robinson, a 1960s All-Decade pick at DB whose earlier AFL years have been overlooked. As for Packers, it's clearly LeRoy Butler with Sterling Sharpe not far behind.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, congrats to Jerry Kramer and his induction, an honor long overdue. A big shout-out to his daughter Alicia who labored so long to see her father receive his jacket and his due. Parents provide so much for so long; how cool for her to be a major part of this celebration of her father's work.

It was a treat to meet Alicia for the first time and visit with her. She worked on her father's behalf when he didn't even want her to. The disobedient daughter. Another great part of this great story. Quick digression … another person I met at Kramer's party was a lifelong friend of one of Kramer's sons, and he happened to be the guy who, as a teenager working at Lambeau, gave Ezra Johnson the famous hot dog to eat on the sideline during that 1980 preseason game.

Jason from San Jose, CA

Hey Spoff! Did you cry when Kramer got his jacket? Come on! You cried!

I did not cry, but I honestly got chills watching it. When I went to Canton two years ago for Favre, at the Gold Jacket Ceremony I was in awe when the other Hall of Famers were introduced and they were all right there in front of me. This time I was fixated on the new inductees, and to see the very raw and very real emotions of Brian Dawkins, who only had to wait a year beyond his first of eligibility, provided a mental/psychological backdrop to Kramer's later moment that I felt in my chest and spine.

Rex from Laramie, WY

I enjoyed Mike's interviews with Paul Hornung and Dave Robinson. He asked both of them about the Bears having 28 Hall of Famers to the Packers' 25. It seems there are several guys who really made their mark with other teams, but did play for them at some point (e.g., Ted Hendricks for the Pack and Alan Page for the Bears). How many "real" Packers and Bears are in the Hall (played most if not all their careers for that team, or at least their best years)? Favre and White count for us.

The 28 and 25 numbers are the "real" claims. The Packers don't count Hendricks or Jan Stenerud in their 25, for example. In the coming years, the Packers will be adding Woodson and Rodgers, and I think the Bears will get Hester. That'll get Green Bay one closer. Beyond that, it'll take Butler and Sharpe for the Packers to further shrink the gap anytime soon.

Jordan from Summerville, SC

Don Chandler. What an incredible story about football.

Of all of Kramer's incredible stories, that might be the best one.

Steven from Green Bay, WI

Is there going to be a game where Jerry gets his HOF ring? If so, which game will it be?

Week 2, Minnesota. His name will go up on the Lambeau façade.

John from Flagstaff, AZ

Which NFL team had the largest number of Hall of Fame players on its roster in a single season?

With Kramer in, the '61 Packers had 12 Hall of Fame players on the roster, including one the Packers don't consider "theirs" in Emlen Tunnel. That's the record. Others, including multiple Steelers teams in the '70s, had nine (not including coaches).

Dan from Jimboomba, Australia

Wowee! What a speech. I watched every second of that and the recurring thought was I guess 50 years gives you a lot of time to plan for it. What an amazing moment made so much better by the fact that Jerry's still here to tell his story. What did that mean to you to be there Spoff?

Jerry still being here to experience it is the true blessing of it all. As much as it required a pivot to Plan B coverage-wise, when I heard Kramer was skipping his press conference Friday to rest up, I was glad, because he was doing what he had to in order to truly enjoy the most important moments.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Sitting here watching all the videos is posting for the Jerry Kramer induction, and I can't help but marvel how rich Packer history is! Being a person who loves family ancestry and history, it means so much to me that the Packers organization works so hard to honor the Packers history and those who have gone before them. Spoff and Biff, looks like you were raised well in honoring the generation before you. Do you two ever take a step back and have moments of awe of the history you cover?

All the time, and spending a weekend steeped in history was a blast. Walking around the Hall of Fame to see the various Packers artifacts on display – Favre's uniform when he broke Marino's career yardage record, Rodgers' jersey when he became the fastest QB to 25,000 yards, McCarthy's jacket from Super Bowl XLV, among others – provided more reminders. The current display of football cards in the Hall was neat, too. I found the 1991 Topps Stadium Club rookie card of Favre, pictured in his Southern Miss uniform, with his last name spelled wrong (Farve). I also found a 1964 Philadelphia card that listed Herb Adderley as a halfback and had his last name spelled wrong (Adderly), and a 1957 Topps card of Bart Starr with an illustration of him wearing a No. 42 jersey, for whatever reason. Cool stuff.

Jared from Kenosha, WI

With all of the Hall of Fame activities ongoing in football and baseball, I was curious to hear your guys' take on the role of the media as the gatekeepers for halls of fame. Do you believe there is more integrity in this selection process than, say, if fans or players were involved? Do you feel the changing landscape of the media will influence how the halls are viewed?

The selection processes are not perfect by any means, and biases can never be totally eliminated, but having the most esteemed media members hash out their views in the voting process is still the best way to me. The public opinion of the media in general is certainly changing, but I would hope true fans would appreciate the efforts of those media members who have dedicated their careers to covering their favorite sports, because those I know who are involved in the process take it immensely seriously.

Kyle from Los Angeles, CA

I was wondering when Brian Gutekunst was going to make his "Spoff's Away" roster move...Now I'm wondering if the new LB will play inside or outside.

I was afraid Bakhtiari's injury was going to be the big news I missed while I was gone, but it sounds like he and the team dodged one.

Christian from Champaign, IL

Good to see D-Bak's injury shouldn't force him to miss any regular-season action. Aside from 12, is there any single player whose absence would be felt more than 69's?

Probably not, but Davante Adams and Corey Linsley also come to mind.

Josh from Denver, CO

If every true legend has a moment you can picture, what would be Rodgers' moment?

Maybe he hasn't had it yet.

Jay from Janesville, WI

Of all the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks not in the Hall of Fame, I believe Phil Simms is the most deserving. He threw a fantastic ball and was a true gamer. If you put him in San Fran with that offense in the '80s he'd be considered one of the best ever.

I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but if Simms doesn't get hurt in December of 1990 and leads the Giants to the Super Bowl title that his replacement, Jeff Hostetler, ultimately won that year, I think as a two-time champion he's in the Hall.

James from Durango, CO

Hey Insiders, given the injuries thus far on defense and Earl Thomas' demands in Seattle, when would you start to contemplate considering a trade? I think to make up for the lack of perceived depth at edge rusher you need to strengthen the line, which has been done, and make the secondary as insufferable as possible to opposing quarterbacks.

Anytime I start to contemplate considering anything, I just get confused.

The Packers held practice inside Lambeau Field Saturday night in front of a packed house

Kelly from Antigo, WI

I am also of the opinion that Lambeau is too quiet on game days. The fact that they sell out every game and the season-ticket holder list is a country mile long is great. But the downside of that is we have what I will call a more "mature" crowd that has sat in the same seats for years and they just don't get as into the game as someone who only gets to go once per year or less. Granted Lambeau has its moments, but overall it pales in comparison to some other stadiums in the NFL. Just my opinion.

Pales in comparison is a tad strong. I think there's an appreciable distinction between a stadium's noise level and its overall atmosphere. I don't necessarily consider Lambeau one of the loudest venues, but its atmosphere distinguishes it.

Bob from Green Cove Springs, FL

I'm confused about how the new kickoff rule may affect onside kicks. If the receiving team cannot block in the first 10 yards, what would happen with a pop-up kick that goes exactly 10 yards without hitting the ground? Your receiving team members will need to stay inside the opposing 45 since they cannot be blocking in front of that line but the kicking team can be coming at them full speed. Sounds like a potential for injuries, close penalty calls and potential advantage to the kicking team.

Everyone is making this too hard. The restraining line and restricted blocking area go out the window if the ball is in that area.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

It is very interesting watching guys being interviewed and how they handle themselves. Have there been any guys that stand out as being better interviews as their careers have progressed?

Many, but one who always stood out to me was Nick Collins. He was rather uncomfortable if not downright shy in front of the camera when he first arrived, but in time he not only became very insightful with his thoughts but a spokesman for the entire defense.

Don from Stevens Point, WI

Chicks dig the long punt.

Especially if it's a spiral. Happy Monday, everyone.