Rest in Peace, Bart Starr
Green Bay Packer’s quarterback Bart Starr passed away on Sunday, May 26th, 2019 at the age of 85. During his playing career, Starr won five NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls ever played. His quarterback sneak into the end zone to defeat the Dallas Cowboys as time expired in the Ice Bowl is still one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.
Starr’s success on the field never changed his appreciation for the fans who allowed the Green Bay Packer’s organization, which occupies the smallest market in all of pro-sports, to thrive. According to ESPN:
“Strangers from all over would show up at his Green Bay doorstep, and Starr was forever willing to pose for their pictures or even invite them inside. As a young boy at Packers training camp, Bart Jr. asked his old man why he had just spent so much time signing autographs for so many fans.
‘Everybody who wants an autograph will get one as long as I’m not holding up the team,” Starr explained to his son. “One thing you have to remember: These are the individuals who make this team possible.'”
Starr didn’t just transform the lives of sports fans in Wisconsin, he also started the Rawhide Boys Ranch, an organization dedicated to helping at-risk youth in the area. According to the organization’s website:
“During the early years Bart helped generate needed financial support. Bart donated the Corvette he received as MVP from Super Bowl II to complete the down payment on the Rawhide property, raising over $40,000 in 3 days, which was over ten times the car’s list price at the time. Over the years, Bart and Cherry have been actively involved in tirelessly promoting Rawhide. They have donated countless hours sharing the Rawhide story, helping raise funds, visiting with the boys, and producing dozens of public service announcements for radio and TV.”
“My dad is so proud of what he was able to accomplish while playing with the Green Bay Packers. But he viewed that as a stepping stone to do something of even greater significance, and that was to make a difference in the lives of individuals who might otherwise not be able to turn their lives around. We will never know what would have happened without Rawhide, but we certainly know what has happened as a result of Rawhide,” said Bart Starr Jr.”
Bart Starr was a great player, and an even better person. RIP, Bart.