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Legendary quarterback Bart Starr lost only one playoff game playing for Vince Lombardi — their first one together, a 17-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Franklin Field. The Packers had missed the playoffs in Lombardi’s first season in 1959, going 7-5. In 1960, they improved to 8-4 and earned a berth in the title game.

The fact that Starr led the Packers to five championships in seven years — something not even the modern-day Starr, New England’s Tom Brady, can boast among his six Super Bowl championships — is astonishing.

Vince Lombardi once called Hornung “the best all-around back ever to play football,” and while leading Lombardi’s 1960s Packers to three championships, Hornung certainly lived up to that lofty praise with his versatile game. As the left halfback and Lombardi’s “key operative” in the fabled power sweep, Hornung was often the one who would “run to daylight” on the famous play. But he also was an adept passer — Hornung played quarterback at Notre Dame, winning the 1956 Heisman Trophy as a senior — and highly effective as a kicker, pass-catcher and blocker.

There is some debate among historians whether Lombardi considered Gregg or Hornung to be the best player he ever coached. But there’s no doubt that Lombardi thought very highly of Gregg, who was selected to nine Pro Bowls during his career and in 1994 was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary team.

One of the greatest football careers in history nearly never happened. Long before Tom Brady was winning six Super Bowls and overcoming the odds as the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Bart Starr followed a similarly unlikely career arc.