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Falling Starr – Bart Starr As Head Coach Of The Green Bay Packers 1975-83
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Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: It’s the last, great, untold story of the Green Bay Packers, the near decade the legendary Bart Starr served as head coach of the NFL’s most storied franchise. This is not just another football story. This is an epic drama told on a grand scale. After the crisis filled four year reign of Dan Devine, Starr was hailed as the team’s savior, the unanimous choice of fans and management. But Lombardi’s right hand man turned out to have feet of clay, making poor personnel choices, ignoring key scouts who begged him to draft Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott and losing All-Pro linebacker Ted Hendricks to free agency. Starr became a lightning rod as he carried on a protracted battle with the local press while alienating members of management that led to his being forced to give up the position of general manager in 1981.

But amidst the chaos, Bart slowly emerged as a competent coach, building his team around a modern passing game powered by quarterback Lynn Dickey and future Hall Of Famer James Lofton. After a playoff run in 1982, the Packers emerged with the most exciting offense in the NFL, highlighted by an epic 48-47 upset of the defending Super Bowl Champion Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. But in the end, Starr’s 83 club fell three points short of a division title and he was unceremoniously fired, ending 26 years of service with the team.

This book reexamines Starr’s nine, tumultuous seasons as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in detail. Every game, including preseason, is examined, every personnel move, draft, trade and off field battle is detailed. Deemed a failure at the time of his dismissal, Packer historian and author Stanton Greene reaches a new conclusion, one that doesn’t whitewash the ugly, losing seasons, but brings into contrast the fact that even in defeat, Starr was a champion. He was the right man for the job in his time, a man who learned from his mistakes and became a unifying force to his players, who left behind a competitive team with a modernized scouting organization and training facilities. Beaten up by the press and fans, Starr remained, unbowed, unwavering from his commitment to excellence. Sometimes victory cannot be measured in the won-loss column. Sometimes victory can only be measured in the excellence of character.

From The Author: I feel this is my finest book about the Green Bay Packers. It’s meticulously researched, heartfelt and honest. That Starr’s previous biographers have chosen to bypass the coaching years has done a disservice to Bart. It’s as though it’s a shameful period, one we dare not broach for fear of tarnishing the great man’s reputation. If we pretend it didn’t happen, it will go away. There’s nothing to sweep under the rug. Bart was Bart during those nine years. He was tenacious and dedicated, loyal to a fault and most importantly, he learned and he got better at his job which is all that anyone can ever do.

This is why I wrote Falling Starr, because someone had to tell the story of Bart’s years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Bart Starr was a decent, if not spectacular coach, who did return the Packers to respectability, if not greatness. His story as coach needs to be told. I wrote it as much out of a feeling of obligation to Starr as anything else. He was my hero and I wanted to set the record straight. I hope I have. I believe that Bart Starr is the hero of his life and many others. As a player and coach, he exemplified hard work and dignity. That he found little success as a coach, only made him the more accessible; the more complete a human being. As a Packer fan and pundit of five decades, I have nothing but admiration for Bart and offer my thanks for his epic contribution to the greatest team in the history of professional sports.

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