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The Legend Himself Bart Starr Passes Away at 85

Bart Starr at Lambeau in 2017

Oct 22, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr waves to fans in the first quarter during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Green Bay Packers lost a legend, as former quarterback and head coach Bart Starr passed away on May 26th at the age of 85. His health had been failing since suffering a serious stroke in 2014.

After playing college football at Alabama, Starr was drafted 200th overall by the Packers in 1956. He started at a backup, making only one start in 1956. Starr struggled some in, throwing eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions and went 3-8 as starting quarterback. Serving as back up much of the time through 1959, Starr became starting quarterback and became a star — advancing the Packers to the NFL Championship Game in 1960, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Packers went 24-4 over the next two seasons with Starr leading the way to NFL titles over the Giants both seasons. Starr lead the league in completion percentage in 1962, connecting on 62.5 percent of his passes.

Returning to the NFL championship game in 1965, Starr and Packers began their three-year run as NFL champions. During the time, the Packers won 29, lost eight and tied two. Starr lead the league in completion percentage, lowest interception percentage, passer rating and yards per attempt in 1966. His efforts earned him NFL MVP and First-Team All-Pro honors. Starr remains the only quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to three consecutive titles, including the first two Super Bowls. The victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl II was Lombardi’s final game as head coach.

Approaching the tail end of his career in the late 1960’s, Starr still lead the league in completion percentage in 1968 and 1969. He struggled to an eight touchdown and 13 interception season in 1970. Starr started in three of the four games he played in his final season in 1971, failing to throw a touchdown with three interceptions. Starr retired with an NFL best at the time 57.4 percent completion rate, threw for 24718 yards and 152 touchdowns. Starr was a four-time Pro Bowler, five-time NFL passer rating leader and member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. He is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1977.

Starr made the transition from player to coach immediately, taking over as quarterbacks coach for the 1972 team that won the NFC Central division with a record of 10-4. After two years as a broadcaster, Starr was hired as head coach of the Packers to a three-year contract. Although Starr coached the Packers for nine seasons, his tenure at coach was much less successful, in terms of wins and losses, than his time as a player. He posted an overall record of 52-76-2, making the post season in the strike-shortened 1982 season. The Packers defeated the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs that season before losing to the Cowboys. Starr was let go from his coaching duties following an 8-8 campaign in 1983.

Starr’s retired number 15 makes him one of only six in Packers history to have their number retired. The others are Tony Canadeo, Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, Reggie White and Brett Favre. In addition, Starr has an award named after him that is awarded yearly to an NFL player with outstanding character. The award sums up Starr’s life. As great a player Starr was, he was an even greater man with incredible character that will be sorely missed by the Packers and the rest of the NFL.

 

 

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Ed Rooney

Just a guy with too much free time trying to help out.

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12 Comments

  1. Kato May 26, 2019

    Man. RIP. Didn’t have the opportunity to watch him. It is always refreshing to hear about how good of a guy he was. Saw a Troy Aikman tweet saying Starr visited him in the hospital and he still has no idea how Starr knew where he was. I wish more football players show the kind of character he did. Including a couple of the Packers more current great QBs

  2. Mitch Anthony May 26, 2019

    A great football player, an icon of a human being. A real prince among men. Bart Starr was the person who role models looked up to.

  3. Brian Porter May 27, 2019

    He was my boyhood hero and is the reason I’m a Packer fan. He signed and returned four football cards I sent o him. What a class act.

  4. Skinny May 27, 2019

    Disappointed in Rodgers and Favres lack of acknowledgement to this. Rodgers with no response on Twitter and he just threw up a few pics he got off google images to his Instagram. Really? You dont have any personal pics of yourself and Starr together? The Packers dont? And Favre just puts up a calculated response that he probably didn’t even think of himself then five minutes later goes back to tweeting about Southern Miss Baseball. Donald Driver and Tom Crabtree had more sentimental responses then Favre and Rodgers.

    1. Savage57 May 28, 2019

      Only here will you find commentary condemning former and current QB 1’s for not Tweeting appropriately.

      Judgmental old biddy.

    2. PF4L May 28, 2019

      Lol…That’s ok….. some people in here have condemned QB1’s former and current girlfriends. Going so far as to place blame on said girlfriends for the Packers not winning. Not to mention….condemning the couples little doggie (i’m assuming the pooch was innocent). The intellect runs high in here my friends.

  5. MMSUCKS May 27, 2019

    I remember watching him as a young boy growing up in Wisconsin. One of the greats! Packer Nation lost an Icon that is irreplaceable. RIP #15 God speed.

  6. Deepsky May 28, 2019

    People knock Starr because they say that it was a different era then and you can’t compare him to today’s QBs. However, Starr not only lead the league in passer rating for 5 seasons, he also on average had a QB rating about 30 points higher than the average QB at at that time. Favre and Rodgers had multiple Pro Bowl receivers and tight ends, yet for his entire career Starr had only 2 Pro Bowl receivers and 1 Pro Bowl tight end.

    The Packers didn’t think much of Starr as they drafted Randy Duncan with the first overall pick in the 1959 draft. He promptly signed with a Canadian team. Also, Starr was not Lombardi’s first choice for QB. Lombardi didn’t think Starr was a good enough QB and traded a third round pick for Lamar McHan who actually started for the Packers at the beginning of 1959. He was injured and Starr came in, but when McHan was healthy again, Lombardi again replaced Starr with McHan. McHan got drunk and got mad at Lombardi for starting Starr and that was the end of McHan’s career in Green Bay.

  7. Cheesemaker May 28, 2019

    Bart Starr was my first hero. Definitions of class and decency should be accompanied by his picture.

    1. PF4L May 28, 2019

      People try and compare Starr to QB’s of today’s era, Not only is it impossible, it’s totally foolish.
      **********
      You judge him from his peers, in his own era, he was elite in his own right.
      *********
      Us Packer fans that didn’t watch football in that era, should be more impressed with the man off the field, and what he contributed to society. Maybe even more so….how many lives he’s changed in a positive manner. My only memories of Bart Starr is that every time i saw him on TV or wherever, he was always doing things for the benefit of others.
      ********
      A selfless and giving man until the very end.
      *******
      R.I.P.

  8. Cheese May 28, 2019

    Years ago the Packers had a FanFest where you got to meet former players and Bart Starr was one of them. I remember thinking “man, that would be sweet to meet Bart Starr.” Tickets were like $80 I believe. I didn’t end up going and figured I would just go the next year. Well, the lady running the event stopped doing it and they never had it again. I always view that as a missed opportunity to meet one of the greatest Packers to ever live.

    1. Kato June 1, 2019

      Ugh. That would kill me. Any of those guys I always try to meet. I even met Gale Sayers when the opportunity presented itself. I think it was like 25 bucks and it went to charity