Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr passed away this morning in Birmingham, Ala. Starr was 85. Starr played for the Packers from 1956-71. His first years, 1956-1958, were tough years before Vince Lombardi came along. Starr coached the team from 1975-83. Starr is remembered as a great quarterback and an outstanding human being. Starr has been involved with several charities including Rawhide, a faith-based charity offering programs for at-risk youth in Wisconsin. Starr was an NFL “star” and then he used his influence to create a special legacy of charity and service.
Taken From Pillars of the NFL by Patrick McCaskey, Copyright 2014, Sporting Chance Press
Bart Starr joined the Packers in 1956 from Alabama where he led the Crimson Tide to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title in 1953. Due to an injury and coaching change, Starr did not see much action his last two college seasons and was a long shot in the draft. Selected in the 17th round, he lived through some rough seasons with the Packers when they went 8–27–1 in his 3 years before Lombardi. Lombardi believed Starr would excel regardless of his checkered college and early-professional career. Lombardi encouraged Starr and built up his confidence. Starr became an excellent leader who could play especially well in the big games. Especially revered for his decision-making capabilities, Starr was a smart quarterback. He was also one of the most accurate passers in the league. Because the Packers had such a great rushing game, which Lombardi nurtured, Starr would never have the kind of statistics that he might have had if he had played for a team that focused on the pass. However, the balanced attack was what made the Packers great and Starr was a major player in their achievements. Starr would be counted as one of many Hall of Famers who played for Lombardi.
Under Lombardi, Starr won five NFL championships as a starting quarterback. He completed 1808 passes on 3149 attempts. His completion percentage was 57.4 for 24,718 yards, 152 touchdowns and his quarterback rating was 80.5. He was named NFL’s MVP in 1966. Starr’s victory in Super Bowls I and II included the Super Bowl MVP award for both years. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times.