Big Thomas Rayam blocks Ray Tarasi's field goal attempt with :13 to give Alabama a 17-16 win over Penn State in University Park. The Lions were literally inches away from the goal line when Coach Joe Paterno opted to go with what appeared to be a cinch field goal. The block becomes known in Alabama football folklore as "Desperation Block."
Born January 9, 1934 in Montgomery, Alabama
Born Bryan "Bart" Bartlett Starr on January 9, 1934 in Montgomery, Alabama. He would become one of the legends of the National Football League.
Bart Starr was the son of an Air Force non-commissioned officer. Playing for Lanier High School he earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Alabama. During an injury plagued tenure with the Crimson Tide, he lettered 1953-55 including trips to the Orange and Cotton bowls.
Starr was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 17th round as the 200th overall selection of the 1956 NFL draft. After the arrival of Vince Lombardi as the Packers coach, Starr got his chance to start midway through the 1959 season that would begin one of the most storied eras in professional sports.
The Green Bay Packers were NFL champions in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1967 under Starr’s leadership. In the January 15, 1967 first "Super Bowl" between the NFL and the AFL Starr was named the MVP. A feat he would repeat the next year in Super Bowl II.
During Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs, Starr completed 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards. Two touchdowns throws to Max McGee highlighted the 35-10 victory. Though both NBC and CBS telecast the game only two short clips from the broadcasts remain to be used today. Game tickets were $12.
One of the most famous games in NFL history was the "Ice Bowl" played December 31, 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin was a bone-chilling minus 13 degree at kickoff. Near the end of a hard fought struggle the Packers called time out with 16 seconds left on the clock. The situation: fourth down and goal on the Dallas one yard line. Starr and Head Coach Lombardi confer and decide to call a running play with Starr keeping the ball to avoid the risk of a handoff. Behind the blocks of center Ken Bowman and guard Jerry Kramer, Starr dove into the endzone to lift the Packers to a 21-17 victory and a berth in Super Bowl II.
Bart Starr was selected to the Pro Bowl team four times in his career. He was NFL MVP for the 1966 season. Long respected for his off the field accomplishments, Starr was honored with the Bryon "Whizzer" White Award for Citizenship. Bart Starr and his wife Cherry co-founded the Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London Wisconsin in 1965 which he still supports today. The Athletes in Action organization, in cooperation with the NFL, annually presents the Bart Starr Award to one NFL player of outstanding character. In 1999 Sport Illustrated selected Starr number 41 of the top 100 players of all-time. His number 15 jersey is retired by the Packers. He was selected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in the class of 1976. The following year he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
After his retirement from the Packers in 1971 he was replaced by another Alabama quarterback, Scott Hunter. In 1972 he was an assistant Packer coach then worked as a TV analyst for CBS before serving as the Green Bay head coach 1975- 1983. He now works in the healthcare industry.