An Appreciation: Bart Starr Part 2

An Appreciation: Bart Starr Part 2

NameThe Game before the Money(Starr painting by Robert Hurst) Bart Starr Appreciation Part 1 located here. Bart Starr remains the only quarterback to win 5 NFL championships. Tom Brady’s closing in with four, and Otto Graham might have won 5 NFL championships had the Browns started in the NFL rather than the AAFC. Regardless, Starr stands alone with 5 rings, and is also the only quarterback to win 3 straight NFL championships. Yet in the “Greatest of All-Time” discussion, many garner more attention. People often mention  Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, and Peyton Manning first. Even quarterbacks without championships – Dan Marino comes to mind – often find themselves introduced into the conversation before Starr. The situation isn’t unusual to Starr. Although listed in the heritage of great Alabama quarterbacks, his college career differs greatly from Tide icons like Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. Starr played a considerable amount in his freshman and sophomore years, but an injury knocked […]

An Appreciation: Bart Starr Part 1

Name(Painting by Robert Hurst) Before I had the privilege of meeting Bart Starr, I repeatedly heard the same things from his teammates and others who had met him. “Oh, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.” “Bart’s the perfect man.” “Salt of the earth.” Bart’s one of those rare people that all those good things you hear about him beforehand turn out to be true. I first met him at a Tri-Star autograph show in Houston, hoping to interview him for The Game before the Money. He didn’t have time that day to interview, but gave me a number to reach him at later. He did, however, have time to chat with everyone who wanted to meet him. He granted everyone who wanted to meet him a good amount of time, and was kind and respectful to all. He and I had a pleasant conversation about Wisconsin, the people and the weather there. I could do a post on how […]

Packer Legend Terdell Middleton Passes Away

NameThe Green Bay Packers website announced that Terdell Middleton passed away. Middleton was a popular player for the Packers in the late 1970s. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in 1978. The effort landed him on the cover of the 1979 Packers yearbook. Middleton starred at Memphis State in college and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals dealt him to the Packers during the preseason. An occasional return man, he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown his rookie season. He became the franchise’s fourth 1,000-yard rusher in his second season, but never played a full 16-game slate afterward. The Packers released him before the 1982 season, and he played two years for division rival Tampa Bay before returning to his hometown to play for the USFL’s Memphis Showboats. After leaving football, Middleton reportedly spent 15 years as a firefighter. He passed away just a few days shy of his 60th birthday.

Classic NFL Games — 1962 NFL Championship — Second Half

NameThis is part two in a two-part series, covering the second half of this classic contest. Part one, covering the first half, can be found here. The game summary is in present tense to hopefully give a feel for events unfolding in real time. The Packers lead 10-0 at halftime. The brutal weather conditions curtail the Giants prolific passing game. A potential 17-point lead looks insurmountable. Green Bay receives the second-half kickoff an opportunity to take that sizeable advantage. Tom Moore fields Don Chandler’s kick. Moore breaks down the sideline. He races all the way to the 50, but fumbles as he goes down. Ken Iman recovers for the Packers. Green Bay’s fortunate to recover all of their fumbles today. Jim Taylor is stuffed by Dick Modzelewski on first down. The Packers line up strong right on second, and Bart Starr completes a pass to Boyd Dowler at the Giant 41. On 3rd and 1, Tom Scott forces Taylor to fumble at the line of scrimmage. […]

Classic NFL Games — 1962 NFL Championship — First Half

NameIn honor of the NFL playoffs and the recent passing of Allie Sherman, we examine an overlooked classic. This is part one of a two-part series. I’ll write the game’s action in present tense, hopefully giving a feel for the events unfolding live. The 1962 NFL Championship was a heavyweight showdown. The prizefighters were the Green Bay Packers, entering the game with a 13-1 record, and the 12-2 New York Giants who hadn’t lost since mid-October. Both head coaches – Allie Sherman and Vince Lombardi – had been assistants with the Giants under Jim Lee Howell. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season. Their last rendezvous was the 1961 NFL Championship at Lambeau Field, a 37-0 Packer victory. The Giants hungered to avenge the embarrassment. Fans also wanted revenge. A “Beat Green Bay! Beat Green Bay!” chant thundered from the stands, and one fan hoisted a “OK YA – Make Green Bay Pay” sign in the end zone seats at […]

Classic Games — The Ice Bowl (original broadcast)

NameBART STARR PAINTING BY ROBERT HURST. PRINT WITH AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN OUR SHOP FOR $50. The 1967 NFL Championship, often called the Ice Bowl, was played on December 31, 1967. Tomorrow’s NFC Divisional Playoff between the Cowboys and Packers will be the first time these two legendary franchises have met at Lambeau Field in the playoffs since that iconic day. To celebrate, we’re posting the original Cowboys radio broadcast of the epic final drive. Be sure to listen to the post-game interviews of Dan Reeves, Lee Roy Jordan, and Mel Renfro in the Cowboy locker room.  Priceless.   The Ice Bowl is covered in depth in The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL, as interviews with Bart Starr, Carroll Dale, and Bob Skoronski of the Packers liberally detail their memories of the game, along with insight to what Coach Lombardi discussed in the locker room and on the […]

THIS MIGHT SURPRISE YOU: WHAT WAS THE WORLD LIKE LAST TIME YOUR TEAM WON A TITLE?

NameThis is the first in a four-part series. Knowing how much I love history, my wife bought me a birthday card listing facts about the year I was born. I started wondering what was happening the last time teams won a championship. Let’s find out, and I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had researching. We’ll start with the NFC East and NFC North Divisions. Some of the most decorated trophy rooms in football reside here, their championships might seem longer ago than one might think. As Bruce Springsteen says, “Glory Days – They’ll pass you by.”   NFC EAST DALLAS COWBOYS – Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, and Company dominated, winning 3 out of 4 Super Bowls. For their last title, the Cowboys topped Carnell Lake (remember him?) and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 30.  That January of 1996. Bill Clinton’s first term in office. Hootie and the Blowfish had the number one […]

Letter From a Champion — Robert Kahler of the 1944 Packers

NameWe tracked down Bob Kahler a while back. At the time he was the last surviving member of the 1944 World Champion Green Bay Packers. He requested we asked questions via snail mail rather than by phone. True to his word, Mr. Kahler promptly wrote us back. Here are his responses in his own outstanding penmanship. (Click to view larger.) Perhaps Kahler’s speed impressed Coach Lambeau. Bob set an American indoor record on the 70-yard low hurdles at Nebraska, making it to the finish line in 7.8 seconds. The Packer’s “high school facilities” paled in comparison to Nebraska’s, but what perhaps surprised Bob most was the cigarette smoking in the Packer locker room. Even Don Hutson, whom Bob had the unfortunate assignment of covering during practice, puffed away. Kahler, who was born in 1917, passed away in April of 2013 at the age of 96. He was one of only a handful of men alive who played for Curly Lambeau in Green Bay. Those Packers […]

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