Karle's Korner: NFL legend Bart Starr: How the Packers hero saved the life of a man he never knew

Karle's Korner: NFL legend Bart Starr: How the Packers hero saved the life of a man he never knew
Source: WBRC video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:

The email came my way as I was preparing to air my TV interview with Bart and Cherry Starr over the Super Bowl weekend:  As comments poured in from around the world following the posting of a clip of the piece, it was a note from a life-long Green Bay Packers fan that grabbed my attention. I was politely asked if I would be interested to hear his story of how Pro Football Hall Of Fame Bart Starr saved his life- the catch? Neither men knew one another. This resident of Wisconsin warned me that his story was a bit too lengthy to post on Facebook and asked if he could offer up his story via email.

As promised, the email came my way a few days ago. My reaction? Shock, sadness, empathy, the list goes on. Yet, after finishing his story, I realized the impressiveness of not only this fan but his sports hero.

After talking with this fan today, I received his blessings to post his story, as I promised him that I would keep his name anonymous.

A quick perspective before you read his story: To this day, Bart and Cherry Starr remain heartbroken over the loss of their own son. It was Bart who found his 25-year-old son Bret dead in 1988 at Bret's Florida home. Bret had fought drug addiction for years. Since that dreadful day, the Starrs have helped troubled teens via their Rawhide Ranch in Wisconsin, and have also founded the Bret Starr Memorial Fund that helps those struggling with drug addiction.

So then: Here is the amazing story of a life saved by an NFL hero. The video above includes comments from Cherry Starr about her late son and the video below includes my piece on Bart and Cherry that ran after Super Bowl LI:  As always, your comments are welcomed.

I frequently think about Charles Barkley's controversial statement from many years ago about being a role model. I believe Charles' meaning was that athletes shouldn't be role models; ideally, it should be parents or other people, like teachers or coaches or policemen or soldiers. And I agree with that, but we don't live in that ideal world. We live in a world full of evil people, some of whom are parental figures. If a child is lucky, he has someone to look to as a role model, and if that child is unlucky, he or she may only have TV, and the world of sports.

This story has indeed been shared with Bart and Cherry, who are grateful this man is doing well. Their prayers are with him.

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