Green Bay Packers legend Max McGee died Saturday after he fell off his roof.
He was 75.
He died as he lived, full of life and doing it his way.
Max was a member of the Vince Lombardi Championship Green Bay Packers of the ‘60s, arguably the greatest team in sports history, and a long time color commentator for the team’s radio broadcasts.
Max was a very good wideout for the Packers and finished his career with the second highest per catch average in team history with an 18.4yard per catch average.
Max was one of the party guys on that Packer teams and gave many gray hairs to Lombardi. One of the most famous anecdotes of his late night indiscretions happened on the eve of the team’s appearance in the first ever Superbowl.
McGee was near the end of his career and didn’t believe he’d play in the game at all. So after 11pm bed check he sneaked out and partied all night in Los Angeles, returning in time for the team’s breakfast. He caught an hour’s nap on the bus ride over to the game.
As luck would have it, Bode Dowler, the team’s starting wideout was injured during the game and Lombardi ordered McGee into the game. McGee didn’t even have his helmet and had to borrow someone else’s.
He went on to have one of the Superbowl’s greatest performances, finishing the game with seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Packers to humiliate the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
I grew up during those times, and Max had always been one of my favorites because of both his play on the field and his down-to-earth nature off the field. He was a regular guy with a great sense of humor.
Another anecdote tells of the time that Lombardi completely disgusted with the team’s play after a loss came into the team meeting saying they were going to go back to learning the basics, and holding up a ball, said, “Now this is a football.”
McGee, from the back said, “Hold on, coach, you’re going to fast.”
Goodbye, Max, you’ll be missed.