Sunday, October 21, 2007

RIP, Max McGee

The hero of the first Super Bowl, Max McGee, is dead at age 75 after falling off his roof. McGee's Super Bowl story is a classic of old school sports heroism: He didn't expect to play in the game and was up all night drinking. The Packers' starting wideout went down, and McGee stepped in to score two touchdowns.

As a kid, I read every childrens or young adults history of football and history of baseball book I could get my hands on. Also in the mix were football and baseball stars bios and books such as The Linebackers: The Tough Ones Of Pro Football (that one written by SI's own Dr. Z.) So the Max McGee Super Bowl I story was known at an early age. Though I would like to look at the book or books that contained the story - they said that McGee had been up all night, but I doubt drinking or a severe hangover were mentioned. (Historical aside: Super Bowl I was at the time actually known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Of Football.)

The story from the Strib contains a couple of classic McGee quotes:

- "When it's third-and-10, you can take the milk drinkers and I'll take the whiskey drinkers every time."

- McGee once teased Vince Lombardi when the coach showed the team a football on their first meeting and said, "Gentlemen, this is a football."McGee said, 'Not so fast, not so fast.'"

Rest in peace, Max McGee.