As a football fan, the start of each New Year brings big time games. The weather might be cold outside, but the football matchups are hot! These games include college football bowl games, playoffs, and National Championship game. Additionally we have the NFL playoff games and the Super Bowl, which is one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world.
Super Bowl 1 was played on January 15, 1967, between the Vince Lombardi coached Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. Each year the winner of the National Football League championship game, the Super Bowl, is awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named in honor of the legendary NFL coach.
In 1959, Coach Lombardi’s first year as the Packer’s coach, he named Bryan “Bart” Starr as his quarterback. Bart wore the number 15 and was the quarterback of the Packers from 1956-1971. During that time he became the only quarterback in NFL history to lead a team to five championships (1961, ‘62, ‘65, ‘66, and ’67) as well as Super Bowls I and II. The Packers are the first, last, and so far only team to win three consecutive NFL titles since the playoff system was instituted.
Bart Starr received countless awards, including four Pro Bowl selections, two Super Bowl MVP awards, and an NFL Most Valuable Player award. In 1970, President Richard Nixon spoke at a testimonial reception honoring Starr saying, “we honor him not only for his technical skill, but as I’ve indicated, also for something that is just as important: his leadership qualities, his character, his moral fiber…” Perhaps his greatest honor might just be the one that was named after him, The Bart Starr Award, which is given annually to a NFL player of outstanding character.
Bart Starr was not only a great professional football player; he was an even better role model. He is arguably the greatest athlete to ever wear the number 15! It is fitting that we mention him in this 15-IN-2015 edition that highlights members of our community who also exhibit great character. These individuals are residents, business owners, and leaders in our Saline County community; but they also go above and beyond the call the duty. Coach Lombardi once said, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Each individual highlighted in this issue of Saline County Lifestyles exemplifies this quote and the character of Bart Starr. Your town. Your life. Your magazine.