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Zeke Bratkowski (1931–2019), Bart Starr’s backup

Getty Images / Kidwiler Collection / Diamond Images

Quarterback behind Starr during the Packers dynasty years

Zeke Bratkowski was the longtime backup quarterback to Bart Starr during the Green Bay Packers dynasty years in the 1960s. He was one of the best college football quarterbacks at the time for the University of Georgia. He was drafted by the Bears and played one season before missing two seasons by serving in the Air Force. He then played for the Bears and the Rams before going to the Packers. Bratkowski won two Super Bowl rings with Green Bay and finished his NFL career with over 10,000 passing yards. His most memorable moment came in 1965 when he subbed for an injured Starr and led the Packers over the Colts in overtime to win a playoff game. The Packers would win the NFL Championship the next weekend over Cleveland.

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Died: Monday, November 11, 2019 (Who else died November 11?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 88.


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On playing behind Bart Starr: "I've tried to pattern myself after Bart. We study the movies together and go over the game plan together. I try to think as much like he does as I can so the team will not have to make a big adjustment if I'm needed." —Bratkowski said in 1967, according to the Packers

Full obituary: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Related lives:

  • Bart Starr (1934–2019), legendary Packers quarterback
  • Jim Taylor (1935–2018), legendary Packers running back
  • Forrest Gregg (1933–2018), legendary Packers offensive lineman