Minocqua man remembers advice he gave legendary quarterback Bart StarrSubmitted: 09/18/2019
Story By Mazie Vincent

Minocqua man remembers advice he gave legendary quarterback Bart Starr
- MINOCQUA--Bart Starr and 24 other Green Bay Packers hold places in the NFL Hall of Fame.

But Starr's quarterbacking skills didn't totally define him as a man.

He built his legacy as a beloved sports hero, a good Samaritan and family man.

Starr remains the only quarterback ever to lead his team to five NFL titles in a single decade.

But for Randy Gilson, Starr is the one Green Bay Packer who took advice from a seven-year-old statistician in 1963.

"Life was simpler but it was fun being a Green Bay Packer fan," Gilson said.
Randy grew up in Algoma, Wisconsin just outside of Green Bay. His dad worked for the Packers during a few training camps. That's when the love of the green and gold grew in young Randy.

"I studied everything I could, if there was a book or a magazine, I would pick it up," Gilson said.

On a Sunday afternoon in the 1963 season, Randy asked his parents to take him to the airport to welcome home a winning Green Bay Packer team.

It was another chance for him to share the latest stats, starting with Bart Starr.

"I said well congratulations with the 17 passes you threw without an interception you now hold the all-time Packer record," Gilson said.

Randy said Starr acknowledged the stat and then asked him who is favorite player was.

"I said mister Starr can you remind how many offensive starters we have. He said eleven so I said eleven offensive starters, defensive starters, a kicker and a punter. So I said you are somewhere around my 20th or 21st favorite player and he said how can that possibly be," Gilson said.

Randy's response takes us all back to the 1962 Thanksgiving Day Massacre between the unbeaten Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

"That was our only loss and I said and back in the old days you called them quarterback tackles not sacks so I said you got tackled ten times in that game and you also threw two interceptions. If you are going to be in this league, you got to get rid of the ball quicker," Gilson said.

Randy is convinced the small but strong piece advice stuck with Bart Starr his entire career.

"After I gave him the advice he went on to throw 113 more touchdown passes, over 17,000 yards in passing yards, he won four more NFL championships, including four Super Bowl titles and was MVP the Super Bowl twice," Gilson said.

Looking back on the conversation, Randy realized he might have been too harsh but his seven-year-old self just wanted the Packers to win.

"It was a person that I saw on television, he was a celebrity and so I'm going tell the truth. I'm going tell him how I feel and if I could help him if I could help you somehow help the Packers I wanted to help them," Gilson said.

Now one of Randy's most prized possessions' is a signed photograph of Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr and Zeke Bratkowski from the Ice Bowl in 1967.

"I'm to the point to where if I don't care about the Packers anymore, I won't be alive," Gilson said.

Bart Starr passed away on May 26 at the age of 85. The Packers dedicated the 2019 season to honor Bart Starr and his legacy.

"He was a great teammate, just an all pro. He did it the right way and he was a winner, he was a winner in life. He was a leader without trying to be a leader and so I think that's a cool thing," Gilson said.

Randy Gilman is a Packers season ticket holder and has been to more than 150 games in his lifetime.

Next Sunday look real close at the Packers uniforms. You will see a No. 15 decal on their helmets to honor his life and legacy. 

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