Bart Starr: Hall of Fame Player and Human Being
Bart Starr collapsed at the end of a speech in Madison yesterday but apparently, and fortunately, he's okay. Reading about the incident got me to thinking about my former coach so today we'll skip the usual Packer stuff and focus on Bart.
I played for him for 9 years, his entire time at the helm. Bart did take the job with very little coaching experience and it showed early on, but Bart's a smart guy and a worker, and he became a good coach. Actually he was at his best when his era came to an end, but 9 years without getting to the top is a long time in the NFL.
There were extenuating circumstances. Back then, the non-football powers that were, meddled in football. Can you believe the Packers let a first round pick, Bruce Clark, a defensive tackle, go to Canada over money? They also allowed Mike Butler, a good defensive end, to sign with the USFL. Consequently, in the early 80's, when we had that high octane offense with Dickey and Lofton, we had no defense and couldn't stop anybody. Sure we beat Washington 48-47 on Monday night football, but we also lost to Atlanta 47-41. Track meets are fun to watch but all offense and no defense is no way to win consistently. And to some extent, Bart's hands were tied when it came to fixing our defense.
Water under the dam now, but the best lesson i learned from Bart was everything you do is reflection of your attitude. His words, not mine, and they're so true. Attitude, it's like the wind. You can't see it, you can't hold it in your hands, but you sure can feel it.
Bart Starr, Hall of Fame player, and more importantly, a Hall of Fame human being.