There aren’t enough words to describe the one and only Bart Starr.
Starr was someone who embodies what it means to be a great football player on and off of the field. He brought the Green Bay Packers up and put them on the map and into a playing field that became the standard, the Lombardi Packers. Vince Lombardi could not have done what he did without Starr and would not have the legacy that he does today. Lombardi/Starr was Belichick/Brady before Belichick and Brady. In fact, there has hardly been a dynasty as close to what the Lombardi Packers were.
Brady and Belichick have had quite the run, but Starr and Lombardi have defined what it means to be a dynasty in the National Football Leauge.
Starr and Lombardi together won 5 championships. The first three were NFL Championships, and the last two were victories in Superbowls I and II. Starr was the MVP of both of those Super Bowls.
Starr played for the Packers for 16 seasons, which is a feat few accomplish.
In his career, Starr threw for 24,718 yards, 152 touchdowns, and 138 interceptions.
Star had many moments that could have defined him. It could have been the fact that he won the very first Super Bowl with coach Lombardi. Hence the Lombardi Trophy. That could not have been accomplished without Bart Starr.
Then, of course, comes one of the defining moments for Bart Starr, the Ice Bowl. On December 31st, 1967, Bart Starr led the Packers to victory over the Dallas Cowboys at a frigid Lambeau Field. The temperature was 13 degrees below zero. The Packers were down late in the game and Starr punched in a QB sneak for a touchdown with no time left on the clock to lead the Packers to victory. He sealed one of the most iconic games in professional football history.
What made Starr special was the way he lead. According to Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer (and former teammate), the Ice Bowl is where Starr proved himself a leader, “Bart took us down the field and we scored. Then he gets stitched up, never misses a play, we win the ballgame and Bart Starr was proven to me.” Bart was pouring out blood due to a previous play, and he continued to play anyway.
All of Starr’s quotes are still relevant today, words everyone can use to apply to their own lives. Starr once said, “If you work harder than somebody else, chances are you’ll beat him though he has more talent than you,”. Perhaps the modern day saying of “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” stems from Starr’s version of this quote.
One quote from Bart Starr is something every Packers fan should take to heart or at least should have over the past few seasons, “Anyone can support a team that is winning – it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage.” Over the past two seasons, the Packers have not lived up to the Green Bay standard set by Starr and the Packers decades ago.
Brett Favre, who brought the Packers back up out of the ashes and to that standard, had this to say about Starr:
Aside from Brett Favre, there have been a monumental amount of tributes and kind words for Starr.
Donald Driver, who played with Brett Favre, had this to say on twitter about Starr,
Despite having won multiple championships, that isn’t what most people remember Bart Starr for. They remember him for the presence he held off of the football field. He bestowed what it meant to be a Green Bay Packer.