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Bart Starr Passes Away....

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by Pokerbrat2000, May 26, 2019.

  1. Pugger

    Pugger Cheesehead

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    IMO he was the greatest QB in franchise history. We all love Brett and Aaron and they had/have more physical skills but nobody in league history knew how to win big games like Bart did. RIP :cry:
     
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  2. weeds

    weeds Fiber deprived old guy.

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    Very true.

    ...but man, this one feels kinda personal.
     
  3. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Well, when I go I hope somebody throws a party instead of having a bunch of people in black huddled around an urn weeping. And once they are all sufficiently lubricated I hope they'll be able to say the bad things about me to go along with the good.
     
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  4. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    HRE, I like you more all the time.
     
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  5. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    IMO, Bart was one of the greatest QB's to ever play the game. A consumate pro on the field, and a true gentleman of class, dignity, and integrity.
    I know he was 85 and in poor health for some years, but this one hurts.
     
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  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    In that respect he was a lot like a Montana or Brady. Never the best athlete or the biggest arm, but a great mind and emotional disposition for the game.

    It's worth remembering that back in the day there was no helmet speaker or hand signals or placards held up on the sidelines. Some teams experimented with rotating OGs bringing in the plays, but that never lasted very long and it didn't happen in Green Bay. In those days, once the coin was flipped, the game was put in the QBs hands.

    Over the years, Starr has drifted down the list of all-time greats as is the habit of all such things as personal memories fade or go to the grave. There's always the next GOAT. Today, and to some degree at the time, those Packer teams are viewed as Lombardi teams packed with great players. That should never have diminished the accomplishments of a true field general. It doesn't help that when Lombardi went on to Washington he called Jurgenson the best QB he'd ever coached. Of course Lombardi had a weakness for the tall, fair and handsome, Hornung over Taylor, Jurgenson over Starr. It remains something of a Lombardi paradox.

    10 or 20 or 50 years from now, as memories fade, the consensus may drop Brady down the list as a Belichick creation which to some degree is the appraisal today of Montana under the wing of Walsh.

    But when you get down to QBs, it isn't about the stats or their athletic abilities. It's the wins.

    There are no GOATS. There are only all-time great players. Starr was one of them.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  7. weeds

    weeds Fiber deprived old guy.

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    Yep, me too. Just prop me up a corner and party 'til ya puke folks. :)
     
  8. red4tribe

    red4tribe Cheesehead

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    Two more stats to put Starr's career in perspective- when he retired, his completion percentage (57.4%) was the best of all time and his career passer rating (80.5) was second best, only trailing Otto Graham. While those numbers aren't impressive by today's standards, when you put his career in context, he is one of the greatest to ever take the field.
     
  9. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

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    Well said. When trying to label someone the GOAT there will always be room for arguments for more than one player. Most of the time, if you are honest with yourself and not a bleeding homer, you can respect the arguments put for for several players. To me its not who is the GOAT that matters it is who belongs in the discussion and like you said Bart Starr certainly belongs in that discussion.
     
  10. Pugger

    Pugger Cheesehead

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    I suspect the reason he has drifted down the list is because he never had the raw numbers like we see today. He was the ultimate field general and a true winner. If I had to pick a QB from any era when I knew I had to win he'd be at the top of my list.

    I agree with you that there really will never be a GOAT. Some are coronating Brady today but some one will come along one of these days and he'll be the next great one.
     
  11. Pugger

    Pugger Cheesehead

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    Back in his playing days QBs were not protected like they are today. Isn't his post season passer rating still #1?
     
  12. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Yes, Starr's playoff passer rating (104.8) is still the highest among all qualifying quarterbacks in NFL history.
     
  13. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That's the least of it. The most consequential rule changes in how the game is played came in 1977 - 1978:
    • Prior to 1978, an O-Lineman could not extend his arms and block with open hands. Blocking was done with the forearms close to the chest with closed fists. To do otherwise was an illegal use of hands penalty. At the same time, several of the cut and chop blocking techniques used in the run game that have since become illegal were still in play. Somewhere along the line since 1978 it also became "legal" to grab the defender's jersey inside the pads so long as control of the defender is maintained. It seems now the jersey grab only gets called when it inhibits the defender's sudden change of direction which has given rise to defenders flopping when out of the play to draw a holding call.
    • The 5 yard "chuck rule" was introduced in 1978. Prior to that season, a defender could press or shove a receiver all over the field up to the point where the ball was thrown in that receiver's direction. While defensive holding applied prior to this rule change, the defender could knock a receiver off his route disrupting timing. This rule change brought about the popularization of the short timing routes as run substitutions characteristic of the Walsh version of the West Coast offense.
    • Prior to 1976, a pass rusher could wail away on the pass blocker's helmet, the "head slap", not invented by but brought to high art by Deacon Jones. In 1976, the double-slap was banned, whomping the blocker's head one way and then the other whereby, as Jones put it, the blocker would be looking out his ear hole. In 1977 the single head slap was banned.
    It is easy to see the near immediate impact of these changes in the passing stats.

    Here's the 1977 stats: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1977/passing.htm

    The median (15th. ranked) in various passing categories for qualifying QBs were as follows:
    • Attempts: 258, Tarkenton
    • Yards: 1,823, Livingston
    • QB Rating: 62.3, Pastorini
    By 1980 [https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1980/passing.htm], in the 3rd. year of adaptation of scheme and personnel to the new rules, the median stats were:
    • Attempts: Danny White: 436
    • Yards: Ferragamo, 3,199
    • QB Rating: Ferguson, 74.5
    Further, in comparying eras, race is an underappreciated factor in the rise of the passing game.

    In the 1960's, the game was still in the early stages of racial integration. With the exception of running back, the best black athletes were put on the defensive side of the ball. While it is obvious that a black QB would have been unthinkable until Marlin Brisco in 1968, it was also the consensus that black athletes were not smart enough to play O-Line or WR.

    Prior to the mid-60's, with Hayes and Warfield, you have took pretty hard to find a star black player at the WR position. You'll find Lenny Moore and Bobby Mitchell, but both were Pro Bowl running backs having played that position for several years before converting to WR. Charlie Taylor entered the AFL in 1964, however he too started out as RB.

    The first snaps taken by a black WR drafted as such currently in the HOF were taken by Paul Warfield and Bob Hayes in 1964. Warfield was a college halfback. Hayes was a 7th. round pick, a flyer on the 100 meter world record holder coming out an all-black college. Charlie Joyner, the next black WR to make the HOF, took his first NFL snap in 1969 following a college QB career at all-black Grambling. College ball trailed the NFL in racial liberalization at the WR position leaving a small pool for the NFL to draw from even when so inclined until we get into the 70's.

    Lombardi was probably the most racially progressive coach of his era. But when you look at the Packer HOFers of that era, and the racial composition of those players on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, you get the picture.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It's not that somebody might come along along and surpass Brady in rings and stats. It's that the idea of identifying a GOAT is, I dare say, frivolous. It's not done in other realms of human endeavor.

    You're not going see any serious discussion of whether Archemedes, Newton, Einstein, or another esoteric choice is the GOAT physicist. Who's the greatest novelist? Is it Dickens or Melville or Joyce or fill in the blank? Who's the greatest painter? DaVinci or Van Gogh or Picasso or whoever is currently drawing the biggest money at auction?

    While these other human endeavors are matters of considerable academic analysis and where one giant builds on or reacts to the accomplishments of predecessors, sports (and particularly football) are not so thoroughly considered. Further, there is not a lot of visual evidence of football performance prior to video tape. Such matters are left to institutional memory. You're not going to find many 80 year old former players/coaches/media with blogs arguing the merits of Graham or Unitas. Who? ;)

    Here's a thought. Transport Tom Brady back to the 1940's. That funny sidearm-ish throwing motion common in the day, as we see in the little film available from the era, was a byproduct of the fatter football with still some remant of the rugby ball. See "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh. The game was brutal. A QB had to be one tough mofo. How would Brady do? Could he play two ways at defensive back, as Baugh did, and how might that affect his offensive performance? Could he punt as Baugh did?

    You probably are not going to find many current commentators on the hunt for clicks comparing Brady to Otto Graham. First, they never saw Graham play. Second, the youth market has no interest in hearing about some guy from 70 years ago who's stats would laugh him out of any fantasy league.

    Getting back to Starr, I believe there is a fair comparison to Brady. They were winners. Neither was regularly a statistical leader in any one season. Neither was a great athlete. Both played for among the great coaches of all time (another false GOAT topic), both subject to questions of being "system QBs". Starr was the beneficiary of the Power Sweep (which had many variations run off of it). Brady was the beneficiary of Belichick's innovation in the use of the slot receiver. We could make a similar comparison to Montana/Walsh in a transitional era of the way the game was played as illustrated in my previous post.

    At the time of Starr's retirement, Graham as the so-called GOAT was already fading in comparison to Unitas, a Starr contemporary, throwing more often with bigger numbers but fewer rings than either Graham or Starr. Statistical distortions are nothing new. And we cannot underestimate the bias of recent memory.

    I see no reason not to put Starr on par with Brady. It's almost like the answer to an SAT question. Starr is to Unitas what Brady is to Manning. Now, one might say that Brady throws the ball twice as often as Starr. That makes winning and losing more dependent on the QB than in Starr's era. Hmm. But Starr called his own plays. There are no field generals anymore in the true sense. QBs are passers, and increasingly valued as runners when things break down. Calling audibles is a vastly more restrictive control of the game than calling the play in the huddle with the full play book at the QBs disposal.

    When you start thinking about differences in context in one era versus another, picking among potential GOATs is comparing apples to oranges. Going by stats is like asking, "If Newton was so damn smart, how come he didn't come up with General Relativity? Gravitational theory, calculus, meh. There are no women in "Moby Dick"; that makes it just half a story."

    There are no GOATs. There are the greats, and then there are the other guys. And the greats are great in different ways in different contexts in different times.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  15. weeds

    weeds Fiber deprived old guy.

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    Damn HRE... THAT is some good posting.
     
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  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Remind everybody of that at my funeral party. Also, after a few drinks, remind them that this SOB always thought he was the smartest guy in the room. ;)
     
  17. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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    my first football hero. RIP Sir.
     
  18. rmontro

    rmontro Cheesehead

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    Ha. Makes me nostalgic for those old electric football games with the linemen in that pose, with the closed fists up to the chest. They still sell electric football games, but the linemen aren't in that pose anymore. I can't imagine they're anywhere near as popular now, since the advent of video games.
     
  19. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    Nothing is as popular since the advent of video games and a device in every child's hand. Soccer maybe, but that's because nobody played soccer when I was a kid except in gym class.
     
  20. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

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    As a lineman during my short football career I still recall vividly how the coach would yell "arms up, elbows out, grab you jersey" It was natural then but looking back I can't believe how awkward it was and I wonder how we could actually block anyone. If you've never done it just try it sometime. Grab the front of your shirt, stick your elbows out and try to keep someone from getting past you. Not only does it feel awkward it looks stupid as hell. It wasn't so bad for run blocking since you pretty much just pushed ahead but pass blocking was more or less just try to stay in the guys way.
     
  21. ShockwaveRider

    ShockwaveRider Cheesehead

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    Spent most of my seemingly interminable childhood pretending I was either Bart Starr or Carrol Dale, or even both of them at the same time, throwing the ball high into the air and catching it myself.

    First time I blubbered at the news of another human being passing away in a long, long time.

    Rest in peace Bart, and thank you for establishing (for me anyway) that the Green Bay Packers being NFL Champions was "the natural order of the universe".

    For that all-too-brief period in the 1960s, anyway.

    Shockwave
     
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  22. Curly Calhoun

    Curly Calhoun Cheesehead

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    Obv
    Obviously, everyone loved this guy, and he will be missed.

    He lived a good life, and we should all be grateful to have been alive at the same time as he was. The world is a better place for Bart Starr having been a part of it.

    Go with God.
     
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  23. PhilaPackersFan

    PhilaPackersFan Cheesehead

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  24. PhilaPackersFan

    PhilaPackersFan Cheesehead

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    Yes, it was a sad day in PACKERS history, a great QB has left us. I have a great memory back in 2003 when I had a brief moment to have Bart hold my Packers mini-helmet and take a quick photo. I shook his hand and thanked him for the brief 15 seconds that will last forever. I met him at a annual sports convention in Atlantic City , NJ. Paul Horning was there also, I have a photo of him as well.
     
  25. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I was at Lambeau for a thing they did for a couple years called Fan Fest. The proshop was upstairs from where it is now and there was a small vestibule off on the side with elevators. I had just put an old print of the stadium in my vehicle because i didn't want to carry it around and have it ruined and we walked back in and there 4 feet away from me was Starr. hundreds of people all over, except in that area, it was about 6 of us including me and Starr. I was too nervous to say anything but Hi, and he sat there and talked to all of us for about 20 minutes like he was just our friend from next door. He signed some things for people, I wish I had that print I had just put in my car. Oh well. I didn't want to miss listening to him either to run and get it. I guess i'm the person that watches the concert rather than tries to obstruct someone's view with my cellphone so I can show everyone I was there later LOL
     

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