Exclusive: Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr's interview with Lance Allan

There is no bigger star in Packers history than Bart Starr.

Bart: "Cherry and I are so excited about our trip to Green Bay."
Cherry: "Brett and Deanna, we are so happy to be a part of your special night."

Well fell in love with him years ago, when he became the only Packers quarterback to lead the team to five championships.

He's moving a little more slowly these days after two strokes and a heart attack, but you can still see the twinkle in his eyes. His sense of humor is also definitely intact.

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The Hall of Fame quarterback hits the gym in Birmingham, Alabama three times a week, and it's the same hard work he put into becoming a football legend. That's helping him now - he's exceeding everybody's expectations for his recovery.

Trainer Brian Burns: "I believed him and I knew he could do it, but he has taken it so much further than what I could have imaged."
Lance: "Heart of a champion. Athlete. Competitor."
Brian: "He's the man."

The two-time Super Bowl champion has even surprised his wife Cherry.

Lance: "What have you seen him do that he couldn't do before? I mean, today we were even talking about when I showed you the picture of him throwing the football overhanded you were like, 'really?'"
Cherry: "Yes, I have not seen him do that. That was exciting to see you throwing the football again."

And it caused Bart's trainer to shake his head in disbelief.

Brian: "I was looking back at the film when he used to play and he uses the same throwing motion. Kind of going more up top with the way he's throwing it. His hand eye coordination, he's still got it."

When training ended, I sat down with Bart and Cherry at their home. They've been married 61 years, and now Cherry does most of the talking for Bart.

Lance: "Were you afraid in those dark days that you were going to lose him or that something was going to happen?"
Cherry: "I was told the first trip to the hospital after his heart attacks and strokes that he probably would not live through the night. It's very tough. Bart is such a strong man and he was a very, very sick man for a long time and had multiple problems, but he's worked hard. Sometimes I say he's an impatient patient."

In addition to physical therapy, the Starrs flew to Mexico to take a chance on two experimental stem cell treatments.

Cherry: "And I really think in my mind the stem cells were really working for him at that point."
Bart: "I do too."

Both of them are excited about the game on Thursday. Bart Starr and Brett Favre share a close bond off the field. Favre has always helped out with a cause near and dear to Bart's heart - the Rawhide Boys Ranch.

Cherry: "He's very motivated and of course this event we remind him that he's going to do something very special this Thanksgiving day. It's been a great motivator for him."
Lance: "What do you have to say to the Packers fans and the well wishers because I know people have just ..."
Cherry: "Oh my goodness, Lance. We've received over 1,000 pieces of mail saying they are coming to the game and they're wearing Bart's jersey and they're going to be there to cheer him. It's unbelievable, really."
Lance: "People want to see you, Bart."
Bart: "Yep."
Cherry: "People are excited about it. And this quite possibly will be our last trip to Green Bay."
Bart: "Yeah."

 

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