Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Magical But Wet Night At Lambeau

Tonight, at half time int he game between The loser team of the Chicago bears and the Green Bay Packers, the Packers will retire Brett Favre's #4 jersey.
Also, Bart Starr, the Packer legend and my favorite all time football player, will be with Favre when his number is retired
Unfortunately, there is a 100% chance of very cold rain- rain and the temperatures in the mid 30'sF, will make for a miserable night to play football and have Favre's and Starr's ceremony.
But for Starr to even be at Lambeau, he has gone through a lot in the past year or so, when he had strokes, seizures and a heart attack..
For more on this remarkable adventure for Starr, this article from ESPN shows Starr to be as tough in old age as he was playing in the Ice Bowl:
Bart Starr sits quietly in his favorite chair in the corner of his study, his hands clasped tightly on his lap. He is wearing the uniform of an athlete in retirement -- faded golf shirt, dark sweat pants, light-gray sneakers. He is 81 years old, and his trim build and erect posture suggest he is ready to spring out of that chair any minute now to start a three-mile jog through his Birmingham neighborhood or to play a quick game of tennis on his backyard court.
On the wall over his left shoulder are two framed Sports Illustrated cover shots of Starr in his Green Bay Packers prime, and on the wall to his right is a photo of the quarterback walking onto the Lambeau Field grass with his wife and two sons on the 1973 day the team retired his number, 15. On Starr's desk stands a captioned photo of Vince Lombardi quoting one of the coach's many enduring lines. "Perfection is not attainable," it reads, "but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
Starr is wearing a Lombardi Classic logo on the left breast of his shirt, so it seems a good time to make small talk with the iconic quarterback about the iconic coach. But a few sentences in, it's already clear Starr is not connecting with the name or the memories of the man who helped him win five championships in the 1960s, including the first two Super Bowls. His eyes narrow and search for meaning in words that drift aimlessly in the air.
Now it's time to head into the kitchen for lunch, and it's the job of the three women in the room to get him there. Leigh Ann Nelson, the personal aide. Denise Williams, the nursing assistant. Cherry Starr, the 81-year-old wife. A guest motions to Cherry that he's willing to help, but there is no need.
They surround Starr, place their hands under his arms and remind him that the snap count is three, always on three. The women count in unison -- one...two...three -- and drive this dignified 180-pound man to his feet. This is what the women in Bart Starr's life do. They pick him up and move him from one monumental challenge to the next.
Their ultimate goal is to return him to Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night, when Brett Favre's retired No. 4 will be unveiled. Favre delayed his ceremony a year to give Starr a puncher's chance to make it, and Bart's family and support network of friends, neighbors and employees are forever telling him he must meet that objective.
I sure hope Fox or whoever is televising the game will show the ceremony.

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