My Call from No. 15
A guest post today from my Gallatin colleague Randy Simon.
At this point in my life I like and appreciate my morning office routine. I turn on the computer, fix a cup of coffee and check the daily headlines before tackling the day’s tasks. Call me a creature of habit, but I typically don’t like early morning surprises unless of course they involve getting a phone call from Green Bay Packer legend Bart Starr.
Which is exactly what happened today.
Halfway through my coffee and the phone rings showing a 205 area code. Like most people I’m hesitant to answer an unfamiliar number, but this time I’m glad I did.
“This is Randy”
“Hi Randy, its Maggie from Bart Starr’s office. Bart would like to speak with you.”
“Um, err, yeah, I mean yes, that would be great.”
“Hi Randy its Bart Starr, how are you?”
At this point I wanted to say, “Are you kidding me? Bart Starr? The guy who was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls and arguably the most recognizable quarterback in the history of the NFL. I’m great! In fact I’m awesome now that I’m talking to you,” but I managed instead to squeak out, “I’m well Mr. Starr, how are you?”
“Call me Bart. Mr. Starr is too formal.”
What ensued was an incredible 15 minute conversation with an NFL legend and Hall of Famer, who at 78, is still on top of his game.
For the past few months we’ve been working with Alicia Kramer to help her dad, Jerry Kramer, another Packer legend receive what is well over due – induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Marc Johnson, who usually writes in this space, wrote a convincing piece recently about why Kramer is so deserving of Hall of Fame recognition.
As part of our effort to secure support for Jerry, I had recently sent Bart a letter asking for his endorsement. I never expected a phone call, but was happy to hear that Bart has been sending letters to the Hall of Fame voters for several years endorsing Kramer’s nomination. Like us, Bart still can’t believe Kramer has not been inducted – and he should know. Bart had the best seat in the house to watch Kramer leading the way on those famous “Packer Sweeps.”
Bart is still an icon and continues doing things the right way. To this day, if you donate any amount of money, no matter how small the amount to his charity Rawhide Boys Ranch, he will sign the memorabilia you send him and pay the postage to return it to you.
Now, he’s repaying Kramer and backing a teammate who had his back for so many years. It’s a conversation I will never forget.
I wish everyday started this way.
By the way, you can support the Kramer to the Hall effort by sending your own Bart Starr-like endorsement to:
Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Drive N.W.
Canton, OH 44708