Plans being finalized for Green Bay celebration of Bart Starr's life
GREEN BAY – Plans for a celebration of Bart Starr’s life in Green Bay are being finalized and could be announced as early as Friday, his son Bart Starr Jr. said.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy told WTMJ-AM 620 last week a celebration would be planned around “an early home game” this fall. It’s unclear whether that means a halftime ceremony, a separate celebration on the Saturday before the game or both.
“We’ll know something soon,” Starr Jr. said Thursday. “I’m hoping, actually, within maybe 24 to 48 hours we’ll get all the details finalized on that. That’d be great.”
Starr, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and leader of Vince Lombardi’s championship teams, died May 26 in Birmingham, Alabama. His health had declined since he suffered a near-fatal stroke in September 2014. He was 85.
A public memorial of Starr's life is set for Sunday at Samford University in Birmingham. Potential speakers, pending travel arrangements, include Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker and former teammate and Packers center Bill Curry, among other friends and family.
“We’ll have a few speakers,” Starr Jr. said. “Just sort of a nice, upbeat tribute.”
A private ceremony was held last week in Birmingham. Among Packers representatives at the service were quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre, as well as Murphy.
Starr Jr. said the appearances by Rodgers and Favre were unexpected but greatly appreciated. Both spoke briefly upon request from Starr’s wife, Cherry.
“You can imagine what a delightful surprise that was,” Starr Jr. said, “and they didn’t have to do that. That shows you the kind of people, and they’re not trying to get any credit for that. They were doing it behind the scenes, quietly. They had a moment to contemplate whether they should even do something like that. They chose to, and it certainly filled all of us with gratitude, and you can imagine what my mom thought about that. She’s close to both of them.
“Mom asked them if they would just say a couple words, and I thought that was very kind of them to do so.”
Packers minicamp closed to public
The Packers announced Friday that their mandatory minicamp practices, set for Tuesday through Thursday at Clarke Hinkle Field, will be closed to the public.
Fans were able to view the three OTA practices that were open to the media, but that will not be the case next week.