Favre vs. Starr: Debate continues

I asked for feedback on the question of best quarterback in Packers history, and you delivered.

Last week, I wrote a story marking Bart Starr's 75th birthday headlined Best Packers QB: Favre or Starr?. I laid out their career highlights, then asked Packer Report subscribers to choose between Green Bay's two iconic quarterbacks.

Here's what you said, and thanks for your comments. As I suspected, there was no consensus. Choosing between Starr and Favre is like choosing between a Ferrari and a Porche. You might like one better than the other, but you wouldn't turn down either.

Both won, but in different ways

That's a tough one. I have had the opportunity to watch both of them play. You would have to put aside all of the stats. The question then would be, who played best for the team? Another tough question. Bart was not just a QB, he was also Lombardi's field general. Bart had the rare opportunity to play for the same HC during his career. Brett has played for, I think, six different coaches. Bart had the luxury of playing in the same system for years where as Brett had many changes to work under.

Bart was always calm under pressure and limited his mistakes that put his team in a bad situation. Brett is a gunslinger, pure and simple. Whereas Bart-led teams were more methodical, Brett-led teams were always in the mix and much more exciting to watch, kind of like the cardiac kids. You never knew what was going to happen.

You win championships with QBs like Starr, you get high blood pressure and heart attacks with the Favres. Both win, you just have to ask yourself, which one do you want, pedestrian or NASCAR? My pick would be Starr first and Favre second. Both win, they just do it in different ways.

— Danlew, in Lambeau Level forum

There's more to it than championships

This is a tough one! At first, I would have said Favre easily! But after reading Bill's article and factoring in everything. It became much more difficult to decide!

Favre — his toughness, durability and passion was second to none, IMO. His playmaking ability was awesome! But at the same time, it made me cringe in fear of a turnover. That's why we loved Favre so much. Easily the most exciting player ever!

Starr — Look at the talent he had around him — WOW! However, when you look at Starr's completion percentage,decision making, leadership and the titles he won! It's amazing how great he was for those Packer teams! 

When you gather all the information on these two legendary QBs for our Green Bay Packers, you can look at each one's success and debate forever on who was better. (I've been debating with myself.) But, I'm going with Favre! His talent, toughness and passion outweighs Starr being the more successful QB (championship-wise). I don't believe in the stereotype of using championships as a deciding factor! Also, I never seen Starr play in person. That was huge for me in deciding, as well.

Go PACK Go!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Norbyrohl, in Lambeau Level forum

Five titles in seven years is hard to ignore

I agree — ignore the stats. At the end of the day, what do they look for .... WINS!

Starr will always rank up there in the top 5 all-time in my book. From what I've read, only guys like Otto Graham and possibly Terry Bradshaw and/or Joe Montana come close (off the top of my head). I'll have to read up on the likes of Sid Luckman, and scrape away the cobwebs about Johnny Unitas.

Five championships in seven years is very, very hard to ignore. No one cares later on about how many games in a season someone might have won — they look for the trophy(s). Starr put two of them in the Hall of Fame and Brett put the third. All will be appreciated. Certainly wish there'd been more!

Intelligent/decisive dissection of opponents is what I like to watch.

Favre kept you on the edge of your seat. I'll grant that. But, he also left you wanting.

— IPBprez2, in Lambeau Level forum

Look at Starr's supporting cast

How many offensive linemen that played with Starr are in the Packer Hall of Fame? How many made the Pro Football Hall of Fame? How many for Favre? How many will get in for Favre? How many years did Starr have the same five guys up front? How many Hall of Fame running backs did Starr have? How many receivers, tight end included?

How many more times did Starr get the ball and in greater field position because of the defense he had? How many Hall of Famers are from the Starr era on defense that made the Hall?

I really do not see why anyone wants to compare the two. Way to much difference between the teams around them. Plus, the competition now is much more difficult than back then in the 1950s and '60s.

It seems to me that many people what to find somebody, anybody that they can spin to be better than Favre, who only played every single game for 16 years for the Pack. You should enjoy what he did here and move on. He is gone now, so he will be missed. But you got to move on.

— BuildDF, in Lambeau Level forum

Favre's interceptions cost team in playoffs

Being a Packer fan since 1960, I had the opportunity to see both Brett and Bart play, in-person and on the tube.

For my money, I would have to side with Bart as the best all-time Packers QB. Main reason is he played smart. Never took unnecessary chances, as his 9-1 playoff record proves. Brett, on the other hand, "chance" is his middle name. How many rings would the Packers have if not for stupid picks! Possibly seven more rings during his career: Dallas in 1995, two picks; San Francisco in 1998, two picks; 2001 Rams, six picks, 2002 Falcons, two picks; 2003 Eagles, overtime pick; 2004 Vikings, four picks; and the capper was 2007 Giants, two picks, including one in OT that cost us the game. If he wasn't so much of a gunslinger, the Packers could have had at least three of four of those seven games won and possibly three or four more Lombardi Trophies.

Is Brett a Hall of Fame QB? Without a doubt. Greatest Packer QB? No way. That distinction belongs to Bart Starr, and he will always be the greatest based on playoffs and championships. For my money, stick with Bart!

— Tom DeCaro, tdecar8257@msn.com

Amazing passes, yearly success define Favre

I take Brett Favre.

He may not have always had the greatest numbers, but he always seems to do things that should never happen, like that fourth down against the Dolphins in Week 1, where he just threw it up seemingly randomly to Chansi Stuckey for a touchdown, or the playoff game last season against the seahawks, where he was about to fall down and just tosses it underhanded to Donald Lee.

Also the fact that he has only ever had one season where his record was worse then 8-8 is pretty incredible for a 17-season career. In my opinion, he is the best quarterback ever, but I'm sure that in five years, all of his records will be lost to Peyton Manning.

— Oliver, wazzup244@hotmail.com

Championships are what matters

I'm 51 years old. I've been a Packer fan since 1964. I suffered through Jim Delgazio, John Hadl, Rich Campbell, etc. By far, Bart Starr is the greatest QB of all time, not only for the Packers, all time. Bottom line is winning championships and not just putting up statistics. Your last paragraph says it all! End of story — Bart Starr.

— rackis@msn.com

Titles give nod to Starr by light-years

This really isn't a question that needs to be asked.

The only pertinent stat in any team sport is championships. To lead Green Bay to five championships puts Bart Starr light-years above Brett Favre.

Starr was the prototype team player with class and the ability to win the big ones. 

On the other hand, Favre padded his statistics during the regular season, only to show up in the postseason as just another quarterback.

It's a shame the number of good teams with Super Bowl potential with Favre as QB that failed miserably in the postseason. There are many reasons why, but a Hall of Fame QB leads your team down the field for the winning field goal in overtime in postseason action. He doesn't throw ill-fated passes to the opponent.

When Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl as a Packer, he will also move ahead of Favre. It will happen.

— dnewlin@centurytel.net

Getting right to the point

Brett Favre is the best quarterback in Packers history. Hands down.

— moira@new.rr.com

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.


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