Ailing Bart Starr won’t attend Super Bowl celebration with Goodell

Former Packers quarterback Bart Starr broke his hip last December and is still recovering.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor/USA TODAY Sports

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr, who won MVP in Super Bowls I and II, and his wife Cherry have declined an invitation to attend Super Bowl 50 with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell due to health reasons.

After suffering two strokes, a heart attack and several seizures in 2014, as well as a life-threatening bronchial infection last summer, the 82-year-old Hall of Famer is now recovering from a broken hip suffered last December. A setback with the hip seems to be the reason for the Starrs not attending.

Via Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY Sports:

I wanted so much for Bart to be able to do that. I would have given anything.

If his progress had continued at that point (of his hip injury), there’s no question we’d be out there with you right now (at the Super Bowl). I wish we were. I’ve been a little bit sad knowing we can’t be there, and of course Roger has been so sweet checking in on us on a weekly basis. He’s just been so precious.

Starr’s last public appearance was Thanksgiving, when the Packers retired Brett Favre’s No. 4 jersey. He made the trip up to Lambeau Field from his home in Alabama and received an exceptionally warm welcome from the Green Bay faithful during the halftime celebration, even though it was a rainy night that ended with a 17-13 loss to the rival Chicago Bears.

Even though he won’t be in attendance at Super Bowl 50, Starr’s name will still hold some significance in San Francisco this weekend. His son, Bart Starr Jr., will present the Bart Starr Award to Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis on Saturday.

The award named after Starr goes to the NFL player who "best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community."

Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter: @KevinBoilard