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  • R.I. P. Max McGee

       October 21, 2007

    A few months ago, I wrote about the reaction to the death of Phil Rizzuto. I had no idea who Rizzuto was, but I understood the affection New Yorkers had for him because of the way I felt about Bob Uecker, Jim Irwin and Max McGree. Max McGee died yesterday after falling from his roof while blowing leaves. As Joe from Sheboygan said on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel forum, "We've all lost a favorite uncle".

    Nationally, most people know McGee as a hard partying Packers receiver who played through a hangover to have a spectacular game in the very first Super Bowl. There was so much more to McGee than that. He was an Air Force pilot. After his playing career, he helped start up the Chi-Chi's restaurant chain. He founded a research center to help fight juvenile diabetes. He was named Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year ten times.

    I can remember listening to Max's color commentary on Packers games since I was a little girl (that is, when his words weren't drowned out by my Dad yelling about the "goddamn Packers"). Even though he was an ex-player, he was somehow the people's representative in the booth. Max said what the rest of us were thinking (and he was also probably drinking what the rest of us were drinking ;-). It's easy enough to find clips of Max's work online. You can even listen to a rebroadcast of Super Bowl XXXI.. But, it's the little moments that made Max so much fun to listen to. For example, Jim Mick relates this story on the aforementioned Journal Sentinel forum:

    I remember after a bud commercial during a game Max said, October 22 or something like that. Jim Irwin asked what he was doing and Max said that he was just reading the Born On Date on his beer.

    That's pure Max. I found this great Max quote this morning:

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

    It goes without saying that Max McGee was a whiskey drinker. He'll be missed. Rest in peace, Max.

    Posted by at October 21, 2007 12:26 PM

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    #  October 21st, 2007 6:56 PM      kris
    Another good McGee story:

    Lombardi once showed the team a football at a meeting and said, "Gentlemen, this is a football."

    "McGee said, 'Not so fast, not so fast,"' Remmel said. "That gives you an index to the kind of humor that he served up regularly."



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