Here is our transcript of the interview with Alicia Kramer. Actual date of this interview was in June.
Vandal Nation: What is the University of Idaho’s role in all of this?
Alicia Kramer: When I first started this campaign on twitter and stuff, I reached out to the University singularly through a number of different people. I was contacted by the Gallatin group. They contacted the University of Idaho and got the whole school on board. That was just really awesome, to make an official statement. It really meant a lot that they jumped on board. Dad loves that school, went to that school, supports that school. They’ve helped me contact news outlets, set up interviews, all sorts of stuff. It’s really brought this campaign up a few notches. My focus was in Green Bay and Wisconsin, but to have the University and home state behind it, it really took off.
VN: Mark Sclereth has joined the campaign. How has he helped?
AK: A lot of people already assume that dad is in the hall of fame. Mark has such a large following, that even for him to tweet out that he supports Jerry Kramer for hall of fame, people will come back to me and say “Your dad isn’t in the hall of fame?” and it starts that conversation so I can let them know what they can do.
VN: Where we are in the process?
AK: The voters have met and are meeting right now. They’re widdling down a list of senior selection candidates, announced in August who those nominees will be. I stopped a letter writing campaign at the end of May, but I’ve been encouraged by people who are watching the campaign to keep going, keep sending letters in, all the way until nominations are announced. Nominees have been announced in August and I’m campaigning until they say stop.
VN: What have you heard as to why your father isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet?
AK: I’ve heard that there are too many Lombardi era Packers in the hall of fame, the voters who happen to be writers are jealous of his success with “Instant Replay”. That he hasn’t garnished enough support in second round of the process. When he makes it past nominations he has to gain at least 80 percent of support. Voters have changed, some have gone on and done other stuff, some have passed away.
The thing about there being too many Lombardi era Packers is that dad was a star among stars. There was so many guys on that team that did so much that maybe his position wasn’t as glamorous as some others that he didn’t get as much recognition.When the Hall first began they inducted a lot of Packers, Bears and Steelers so they felt like they needed to focus on the rest of the league.
Through social media I’ve been able to talk to some of the voters and some of them have never seen him, heard of him or seen his portfolio in front of him. And what they have stressed to me is that they need to hear from Jerry Kramer’s opponents. From Frank Gifford, Roger Staubach, players he played against.
We have a lot going on now but I’m not confortable enough, I want more, I want to over whelm that hall of fame committee.
VN: Are you planning a visit to Moscow?
AK: I love coming up to the University of Idaho but It’s one of my favorite places. I’ve been going up there since I was a little girl, accompanying dad on trips. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to make a trip up there.Another thing is that is a problem is that there is a generation gap. People from my dad’s era, they are the ones who are really pouring out. But if I were going to go up there today, there are a lot of kids who might have heard of him but wouldn’t know much about his football career. I just don’t know how much they would know about his football career or who he is. Vandal history there is part of my tradition in my family, if I can make it up there it’d be great.
VN: What is your fathers role in all of this?
AK: Sitting back and enjoying it, and that’s what I wanted him to do. When I started it, he wasn’t too happy with the idea. This will be the eleventh time nominated if it happens. After a while of being nominated and not having this succeed, you just move on to the things in your life that you can control and you can do something about. Your family, your business. Whether this happens or not I think he is in a really good place about it. The support that is coming out from people he played against so long ago is making him feel really humble. He can’t believe that Packer fans, football fans, Vandal fans and all these Hall of Famers are coming to his behalf, he just feels really humble by it. It’s really neat to see.
It’s neat to say “Hey, dad, Roger Staubach wrote a letter of support for you.”
This wasn’t his idea, and I asked him what if he doesn’t get in and he said “this is it” and I had to promise him that.
VN: What role has social media played in all of this?
AK: Social media has been really powerful. It’s been exponential in some ways. Having a ripple in the pond impact, if I share something with one person and they like it, they share it with their friends and so forth, it’s exponential.
The response to it has been staggering. I honestly can’t judge it. I have a group of people in my social network that I see and feel and that I gauge from, but I can’t see what they are doing and what their friends are doing so it’s hard for me to judge sometimes how we are getting across.
When it comes to reaching hall of famers and voters, that’s the old fashioned way. That’s writing a letter, that’s putting in a phone call. A lot of them are older, retired and aren’t on twitter. Roger Staubach, Frank Gifford, those guys aren’t on twitter. To general fan people, to people who are excited bout football, that’s how I reach them. Then the support that generates from them gets the world. And that’s been overwhelming. A lot of people have stories.