Max McGee: One of the best
When Vince Lombardi landed in Green Bay as the team’s head coach, Max McGee was already one of the wide receivers in place on the roster.
McGee was steady at wide receiver and was a star throughout the 1960s, growing with a franchise that, under Lombardi, he became the best in the business.
But it was that first AFL vs. NFL Championship (otherwise known as Super Bowl I) when he burst onto the national scene – even though it was his final game.
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His early-game insertion was a thing of lore, but when he made those juggling catches, they became very real at the time.
Bart Starr won the MVP award in that game, but it could have easily been McGee who walked away with that award. Everyone should remember that.
McGee caught 345 passes for 6,346 yards (18.4-yard average per catch), and 50 touchdowns over his 12-year career – all in Green Bay.
With that in mind, we look to John Maxymuk, the author of “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them.”
Here is how Maxymuk describes McGee:
"“Cool in the clutch was Max McGee. The bigger the game, the more tense the situation, the better he played. He had a remarkable ability to relax in any environment and to enjoy himself both on and off the field. He grew up in Texas and enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he not only led the team in rushing for three years while also lettering in baseball and basketball, but also took full advantage of the extracurricular advantages offered by the Big Esy. And he earned a useful degree in business, as well. He was the Packers fifth round draft choice in 1954 and wen on to catch nine scring passes as a rookie, in addition to holding the job as the team’s punter. After two years in the Air Foce where he served with future teammate ad roomate Zeke Bratkowski, Max returned to Green Bay in 1957. Over the next few years, he esablished himself as the struggling team’s deep threat. In Lombardi’s first year, 1959, McGee led the league with an average of 23.2 yards per catch. In the 1966 championship game against Dallas, Starr threw the last of his four touchdown passes 28 yards to McGee, wide open on a corner route for what would be the clinching score. Two weeks later came the game for which he is remembered, Super Bowl I against Kansas City."
McGee died in a freak fall from a ladder at his home several years back, but Packers fans will never forget what he brought to the franchise.
Packers players who wore #85 since 1950: