Ice Bowl King

Updated: December 31, 2003, 2:07 PM ET
By Mike Puma | Special to ESPN.com

Signature Game

Dec. 31, 1967 -- Bart Starr's one-yard touchdown sneak gave the Packers a 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game better known as the "Ice Bowl" (the temperature in Green Bay was minus 13 degrees).

With 16 seconds left and the ball on the Cowboys one, Starr called the Packers' final timeout to discuss the options with coach Vince Lombardi. Starr already knew what play he wanted and received clearance from Lombardi to make the call.

He returned to the huddle and called "brown right 31 wedge," a play in which fullback Chuck Mercein would run up the middle. But Starr had no intention of handing off to Mercein.

"Although our blocking was sound, our running backs could not accelerate without slipping," Starr wrote in his autobiography.

With Mercein expecting the ball, Starr followed guard Jerry Kramer and center Ken Bowman's blocks to cross the goal line, sending the Packers to Super Bowl II. "During three hours on an arctic sheer of frozen turf, I encountered adversity, elation, despair and exhilaration," Starr said.

Odds 'n' Ends

  • When Bart was 13, his younger brother Hilton died from tetanus. The eleven-year-old had been playing barefoot in a field and stepped on a dog bone.

  • Starr almost quit the Laney (Ala.) High School football team, but reconsidered when his father told him he'd have additional chores around the house.

  • Starr was the 10th quarterback chosen in the 1956 draft.

  • In each of his first five seasons, Starr threw more interceptions than touchdown passes.

  • Starr finished fourth in passing yardage in 1961, his highest placement in any season.

  • In the playoffs, Starr completed 61 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.

  • Four times he was the NFL's highest rated quarterback.

  • Starr had only five 300-yard passing games in his career.

  • He twice threw four touchdown passes in a game.

  • His longest career completion was a 91-yard touchdown pass to Boyd Dowler on Dec. 17, 1960.

  • In 1964-65, Starr established a franchise record by throwing 294 passes without an interception.

  • Starr appeared in a TV commercial for the hair-care product Vitalis following the 1965 championship.

  • Starr's three interceptions in 1966 are the fewest by a starting quarterback in Packers history.

  • Starr threw a career-worst five interceptions against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 24, 1967.

  • He rushed for 1,308 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career. He scored a career-high three touchdowns in 1964.

  • Before becoming Packers head coach for the 1975 season, Starr served as a commentator for CBS Sports.

  • Other members of Starr's Hall of Fame induction class in 1977 included Gale Sayers, Frank Gifford and Forrest Gregg.

  • Starr's 52 victories as Packers head coach rank fourth in franchise history.

  • His replacement as head coach was Gregg, his former teammate.

  • Starr served as a commentator for CBS Sports in the early 1970s.

  • The first Bart Starr award was presented in 1989. It's given annually to the player who best exemplifies character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.

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