By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
The NFL community lost a legend this past weekend with the passing of Hall of Fame quarterback Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr.
Credited with being the foundation of the Green Bay Packers dynasty, Starr lead them to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl victories. While many credit head coach Vince Lombardi with turning the Packers into champions, we all know how important finding the right QB is and Star was most definitely one of the greats.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1934, he considered both the University of Kentucky and Auburn for his collegiate career. Luckily for Alabama fans, he chose to stay closer to home. Fun fact: he eloped with his high school sweetheart, Cherry Morton, in 1954 and they kept the marriage a secret because at that time, college’s could rescind an athlete’s scholarship if he was married.
— NFL (@NFL) May 26, 2019
In the 17th round of the 1956 NFL Draft, Starr was selected by the Packers, with the 200th overall pick. Yes, you read that correctly… 17th round! Tom Brady isn’t the only guy to come from the later rounds to have a successful NFL career!
While many of his records have been surpassed now that we are in the “passing era” of the game, is still holds the record as the league’s most efficient postseason passer.
Statement from the Starr family:
“We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather and friend, Bart Starr. He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.
While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit.
Our family wishes to thank the thousands of friends and fans who have enriched his life – and therefore our lives – for so many decades and especially during the past five years. Each letter, text, phone call and personal visit inspired him and filled him with joy.
His love for all of humanity is well known, and his affection toward the residents of Alabama and of Wisconsin filled him with gratitude. He had hoped to make one last trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers this fall, but he shall forever be there in spirit.”
Social media has seen an outpouring of love and sadness since Starr’s passing.
America lost a great athlete but more important, a truly great individual with passing of @packers legend Bart Starr. Bart was not only a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he was a humanitarian and tireless philanthropist, who spent over 50 years helping at-risk youth (@rawhideinc).
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) May 28, 2019
“He was the best of us & epitomized everything a human being should aspire to be.”
Celebrating the extraordinary life & career of Bart Starr in today’s Insider Inbox ?https://t.co/5D2j5vNKT6
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) May 27, 2019
Mannn. Rest In Peace To An Absolute Legend And Warrior, Bart Starr! pic.twitter.com/nZyYnh9tpU
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) May 26, 2019
Bart Starr was a true gentleman and one of the kindest people I knew. I had elbow surgery following our ‘95 Super Bowl in Birmingham and Bart made a visit to the hospital. To this day, not sure how he even knew I was there. #ripbart
— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) May 26, 2019
Bart Starr was the most kind, thoughtful and classiest person you could ever know. I consider myself extremely lucky to have called him friend and to have been mentioned in the same breath. Deanna and I are praying for Cherry and the Starr family. #RIPBartStarr
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) May 26, 2019
I know most of us aren’t old enough to have seen Starr play the game, but he was someone my dad spoke of often during my “formative years” and always a man I respected and awed for what he accomplished. We MUST remember the brave men who started this game we love so much today. As time goes forward, we lose more of these giants who are the pillars on which our Sundays stand firm.
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8