It was our distinct honor and pleasure to speak for 15 minutes on Tuesday to Bart Starr, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. The Pro Football Hall of Famer, five-time NFL champion, and MVP of the first two Super Bowls first wanted to talk about his addition to the "Hometown Hall of Famers" program, which is an initiative put together by Allstate and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to recognize some of the greatest players in NFL history at their high schools.
Starr will join Barry Sanders (who we also talked to) and Walter Payton as members of this elite group when he's recognized at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Ala.
"This program is about celebrating the hometowns that helped pave the way for future Hall of Famers to become the legendary football players we all know and love," said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. "Together with Allstate we are proud to recognize Bart Starr with his 'Hometown Hall of Famer™' plaque where it all began here in Montgomery."
"Hometown Hall of Famers™ presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate" is the Hall of Fame's first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of its 50th anniversary in August 2012. For more information on the program, fans can visit www.profootballhof.com.
After we discussed this unique honor, it was time to talk about the history that made Starr so worthy of renown — his development from a 17th-round draft pick in 1956 to Vince Lombardi's only real starting quarterback for a decade with the Green Bay Packers, to his unique ability to match his talent the situation (there are few better "big game" quarterbacks in league history), how he and Lombardi worked together, and how the Packers' offense was secretly explosive (a bit like Starr himself).
We also asked this former great Packers quarterback about the current man under center for his team — not surprisingly, Starr's pretty much in line with those who believe that Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball as well as anybody we've seen in a long time.
It's a great podcast and a special look at football history, so please take time to enjoy it.