I recently had the chance to watch ESPN's newest edition of their SEC Storied series, "Bart Starr: America's Quarterback."

I didn't know Byron Bartlett Starr or get to meet him. My wife used to get her hair done at the Hoover salon his wife Cherry uses, but that's as close as I came.

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Now, after watching the triumphs and tragedies detailed in this one-hour special, I have a deeper knowledge and new-found respect for Starr and the things he went through during his life.


Starr played his high school ball in Montgomery, the same town I grew up in. He met Cherry at Lanier High School. What I didn't know until seeing the special was that had Cherry not attended Auburn, Bart might have signed and and played for Paul "Bear" Bryant at Kentucky.

But Bart didn't want to be that far away from the love of his life, so he chose Tuscaloosa, where he led Alabama to an SEC title his sophomore season. Injuries beset him after that. Though the special doesn't discuss it, one of those injuries was a result of hazing when he was initiated into the A-Club. Cherry revealed many of those details after Bart passed away.

Bart's dad was tough on Bart and even more so when favorite son Hilton Starr died at 10 years of age when Bart was 12. It was only after Starr went on to lead the Green Bay Packers to glory and won the first two Super Bowls that the two became close.

Former Alabama coach Bill Curry both played and coached with Starr with the Packers. Curry said in the special, "I viewed Bart as a super human. That probably wasn't fair."

And maybe it wasn't, but Curry was far from the only one who saw Starr as a hero. Remember, Green Bay called itself "Titletown" long before Tuscaloosa adopted that mantra. Starr was, and always will be beloved there.

My advice is use your TV's Guide feature to find out when you can see "Bart Starr: America's Quarterback." You won't regret it, whether you're a fan of Bama, Green Bay or football in general.

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