Former Pro Football Player, NFL Football
Hall of Fame
American professional football
player, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National
Football League (NFL) through five NFL championships and
the team's first two Super Bowl titles. He was elected to
the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. Born Bryan Bartlett
Starr in Montgomery, Alabama, he played college football
at the University of Alabama. The Packers drafted Starr in
1956. With Starr as quarterback the Packers won the NFL title
in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967. In 1967 and 1968 the
team won the Super Bowl, and Starr was voted the most valuable
player in each game. He retired before the 1972 season and
became an assistant coach of the Packers. In 1975 he was
named head coach of the Packers.
Super Bowls I (MVP), II (MVP) By Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
As I observed the number of media representatives who were at the first Super
Bowl, it was obvious that it was going to be something special because we saw
more coverage at that game than we had at any previous National Football League
We were overwhelmed with the numbers of reporters who were
there. We had no way of knowing how rapidly it would grow
into the event that it has become
today, but you had a feeling it was going to be special because of the amount
of coverage, even back then in 1967. Coach Vince Lombardi told us he felt it
was appropriate that we were representing the NFL in the Super Bowl. He said
the Packers had earned the right and that the history and tradition of that
great league — the NFL — were being placed on our shoulders. He
knew that we were ready and anxious to uphold that.
We had a tremendous amount of respect for the Kansas City Chiefs. Players and
coaches know very well the capacity and talent of their opponent and we could
see they were an extremely talented group. They were bigger, faster and stronger
than we were. The biggest advantage that we had was total team experience.
That was the difference.
At halftime it was a close game. We led 14-10. But in the 2nd half our experience
began to show and we were able to slowly pull away from them to win 35-10.
The feeling of winning that first Super Bowl will always be something I'll
Max McGee stepped in for an injured Boyd Dowler that day and caught two touchdown
passes. He was one of the true clutch performers we had on that team. He was
an astute, gutsy guy. That represented the entire Packers organization at that
time. There was no swagger with our team. But we quietly went out and did our
job. I have never been around a group of more committed individuals.
In Super Bowl II, we were a mentally tired team in the week leading up to the
game against the Oakland Raiders. Having won the NFL Championship in 1965 (before
there was a Super Bowl), then Super Bowl I, and then winning the NFL Championship
that season, it allowed us to have won three NFL Championships in a row - something
no one else had done. That was a great accomplishment for us. We could also
see the hype for Super Bowl II being ratcheted up from the previous season.
I don't think anyone knew that it would be coach Lombardi's last game coaching
the Packers, but there were hints throughout the week because he made some
emotional comments a couple of times when he literally had tears in his eyes.
After the game he told us how proud he was of us, and how pleased he was for
us because of what we had been able to accomplish. Lombardi was an exceptional
gentleman who had a major impact on me personally.
From the first day we met him he was someone who was an inspirational, driven
leader who loved to teach. He had a true living, breathing quest for perfection.
He was quick to tell you it was unattainable, but that we were going to chase
the heck out of it, and in the process, we would catch excellence. He was not
remotely interested in being good, he wanted you to seek to excel. Every single
day of his coaching career for nine years you see someone like that standing
in front of you and that will make a major impact on you over time.
Lombardi always had his life in order: God, family, and the Green Bay Packers.
He went to church every morning, and if you ever heard him chew us out in the
locker room you'd know why he had to be there each day!
After our initial meeting with him, we took a break after
about an hour. I called my wife back in Alabama and all
I said to her was, "Honey, we're
going to begin to win." It was that obvious. What we lacked was leadership
and he provided that immediately when he came in.
Bart Starr lives in Birmingham, Alabama
and remains an avid fan of the Packers and the NFL. He's chairman
of a Nashville-based company that develops medical office buildings
around the USA.