Bart Starr, a Hall of Fame quarterback who turned the Green Bay Packers into a dynasty and the recipient of the MVP award for the first two Super Bowls, died Sunday in Birmingham Alabama of a stroke. He was 85.
Long before the argument over if Joe Montana and Tom Brady on who was the greatest, there was Bart Starr. Starr retired from the NFL with the second-best passer rating of 80.5. He finished his NFL career with 24,718 passing yards, 152 touchdowns and 138 interceptions, and a 57.4 completion percentage. Today, these stats seem pedestrian, but in the 1960s these stats were unworldly. The game has evolved quite a bit since then and Starr can be credited to some of that change.
He also holds the best career postseason passer rating in at 104.8. The postseason is where he shined as well. In addition to winning the first two Super Bowls, Starr won five NFL championships and only lost one playoff game as a starter.
We are a San Francisco 49ers site first and foremost, but Starr is one of the few quarterbacks whose play in that era has fingerprints in the development of the greats like Steve Young and Joe Montana as well as quarterbacks across the league today—even if it doesn’t look like it. There is the argument that Vince Lombardi had some of the best things around Starr and Starr merely responded to Lombardi’s coaching, but again: one postseason loss. We haven’t even talked about that 1966 season where he walked out with a 105 passer rating.
A 105 passer rating. In 1966.
He didn’t have the arm strength that wow’d you but his completion percentage was something else for the time. Don’t discount those numbers, it goes with the Montana/Brady GOAT argument of the different eras of quarterback. Starr could be considered the greatest in that era.
While Starr’s passing is felt through the country, his play and charity work off the field will ensure that he is never forgotten. Both as a player and as a person.