Bart Starr - Role Model
 by Bryan Wagner

In January, I had the great privilege of attending the Athletes in Action Breakfast at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. As a boy growing up, I had many heroes in the world of sports, so you can imagine my delight at finding out that the keynote speaker for that breakfast was the one and only Bart Starr. In case your memory needs refreshing ... or (gasp!!!!) you've never heard of him before ... he quarterbacked the Green Bay Packers for 16 years ....was named MVP in Super Bowls 1 and II ? He was named to the Pro Bowl Team 6 times .... and returned to the Packers as head coach from 1975 to 1983. In 1977 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not a bad resume, huh? The following is exerted from his speech to a spellbound audience in which he defined focus words that meant a lot to his life and his relationship with Jesus. I think we'll all find them helpful in putting things into their proper perspective with God, family, friends and the world around us.

"ATTITUDE" - "With the proper attitude, it's amazing what we can accomplish. It?s the single most powerful word and weapon of strength we have. If our attitude is such, we can overcome the things which keep us from God and Jesus."

"GOALS" - "What are your goals? What is your mission statement? What do you want to do? What do you want to be? Live a life of integrity and make a difference in the lives of others."

"PRIDE" -  "Be proud to be in a family of God, one of God's children. When people see and sense that, they want to be with us. They want to be around us."

"ENTHUSIASM" - "When we are enthusiastic, it's amazing what we can do in someone's life. Enthusiasm is contagious."

"TALENT" - "God gives us the talent. His challenge to us is to go out and enhance it. He gives us the talent of awareness and courage."

"PRIORITIES" - "God, family, and others- in that order."

"DISCIPLINE" - "Elijah Pitts and I played together for almost 9 years and he never made a mental error. He never knew if he would ever start, but he was so disciplined, so sound fundamentally, so well prepared and so organized that he never made a mental error."

"GOODNESS" - "We read so much about the misfits today but there are still by far more good people. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society that has such sympathy only for the misfits, the maladjusted, the criminals. Should we have sympathy for them? Yes! But I think it's time we stood and cheered for the winner, the leader -someone who looks for something extra to do for his God, his family, his country."

"INTEGRITY" - "If we are honest, if we earn trust and respect of others it is amazing what those people will give us in return."

"RESPONSIBILITY" - "How responsible are we? We don't want to step up up and take responsibility for our actions. God looks to us to be responsible, not to blame someone else. God tells us to put it on His shoulders."

"TEAMWORK" - "If your team is strong at home, it will be strong at the office. We have to be team players wherever we are."

"COMMITMENT" - "We won't do any of this unless we have a burning desire, a true commitment to do something."

"LOVE" - "The benevolent concern, compassion for someone else. I think we need to display that. It's amazing what we can accomplish within our family, our team, our organization, wherever we might be."

"EXCELLENCE" - "Not a casual happening. We create it be seeking to enhance the God-given talents which we have and take them up to the next level. Seek to excel!

"SENSE OF HUMOR" - "Tough things will happen to us. I think we need to be able to laugh at ourselves."

I hope you can take Bart Starr's focus words and apply them to your life, as I will strive to do. May God bless you!
Bryan Wagner is a former NFL punter. He played on several teams during his career including the original Cleveland Browns. Bryan currently works as a financial consultant, and lives in Northeast Ohio, with his wife Robin and their three children.