Max McGee

William Max McGee (July 16, 1932 – October 20, 2007) was a professional football player, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. He played from 1954 to 1967, and is best known for his seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the first Super Bowl in 1967.[2][3][4]

Max McGee
No. 85
Position:Wide receiver, Punter
Personal information
Born:July 16, 1932
Overton, Texas[1]
Died:October 20, 2007 (aged 75)
Deephaven, Minnesota
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:White Oak (TX)
NFL Draft:1954 / Round: 5 / Pick: 51
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving Yards:6,346
Player stats at

Early life

McGee played high school football in White Oak, Texas, and was the first player in high-school football history ever to rush for over 3,000 yards in a single season. He rushed for 3,048 his senior year as a White Oak Roughneck in 1949.[5]

McGee played college football at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he was a fullback and a top punter.[6][7] At the time, Tulane was a member of the Southeastern Conference.

Professional career

McGee was selected in the fifth round (51st overall) of the 1954 NFL draft by the Packers. He was the punter during the first few years of his career. In his rookie season in 1954, McGee led the NFL in punting yards while catching 36 passes for 614 yards and nine touchdowns. He missed the next two seasons (1955 and 1956) to serve as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, but returned to become the Packers' leading receiver from 1958 to 1962. McGee was one of the few bright spots on the 1958 team, which finished the season with a league-low 1-10-1 record, the worst in Packers history. During 1958, he led the NFL in yards per catch average (23.2), punting yards (2,716), and net yards average (36.0).

After Vince Lombardi took over as head coach in January 1959, McGee may be best known for his performance during the first Super Bowl game. He helped the team to six NFL championship appearances, five NFL championship wins, and two Super Bowl titles during the remaining years of his career. He was a Pro Bowl selection during the 1961 season.

Despite reductions in playing time due to injuries and age, McGee's final two seasons were the ones for which his career is best remembered. In the 1966 season, McGee caught only four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown as the Packers recorded a 12-2 record and advanced to Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs. McGee did not expect to play in the game, and he violated his team's curfew policy and spent the night before the Super Bowl out on the town. The next morning, he told starting receiver Boyd Dowler, "I hope you don't get hurt. I'm not in very good shape," alluding to his hangover.[8] Dowler went down with a separated shoulder on the Packers' second drive of the game, and McGee, who had to borrow a teammate's helmet because he had not brought his own out of the locker room, was put into the game. A few plays later, McGee made a one-handed reception of a pass from Bart Starr, took off past Chiefs defender Fred Williamson, and ran 37 yards to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. This was a repeat of his performance in the NFL championship game two weeks earlier, when he had also caught a touchdown pass after relieving an injured Dowler. By the end of the game, McGee had recorded seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, assisting Green Bay to a 35-10 victory.

The following year, he recorded a 35-yard reception in the third quarter of Super Bowl II that set up a touchdown in the Packers' 33-14 win over the Oakland Raiders. McGee retired shortly after the game and finished his 12-season career with 345 receptions for 6,346 yards and 12 carries for 121 yards. He scored 51 touchdowns (50 receiving and one fumble recovery). On special teams, he punted 256 times for 10,647 yards, an average of 41.6 yards per punt, and returned four kickoffs for 69 yards.

Career as a celebrity restaurateur

McGee entered into a restaurant partnership with Packer left guard Fuzzy Thurston; they operated the Left Guard Charcoal Houses in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire. They also operated the Left Guard Steak Houses in Menasha, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis–St. Paul, and the Left End Steak House in Manitowoc. In addition, McGee co-founded the Mexican restaurant chain Chi-Chi's.

Life after the NFL

After retiring from football, McGee became a major partner in developing the popular Chi-Chi's chain of Mexican restaurants with restaurateur Marno McDermott.[9]

McGee was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1975.[10] His ties to the Packers continued from 1979 to 1998 when he served as the color commentator for radio broadcasts of Packers' football games.[5] With droll wit and keen insights, McGee was extremely popular as a color commentator and was named Wisconsin "Sportscaster of the Year" an unprecedented 10 times over his career — in 1975-76, 1978, 1980, 1983–86, 1988, and 1989.

McGee founded the Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes in 1999 at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He raised money for diabetes research.[5]


McGee was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 56 in April 1989, but it was caught early and he recovered after surgery.[11]


In 2007, at the age of 75, McGee died after a fall at his home in Deephaven, Minnesota, a suburb west of Minneapolis. He fell from the roof on October 20 while removing leaves with a leaf blower.[3][4][12] His wife said he had been suffering from an early form of Alzheimer's disease for the previous five years.[2][13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "Max McGee". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Layden, Tim (December 29, 2015). "The man behind the legend: McGee's story goes well beyond SB hangover". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Goldstein (October 22, 2007). "Max McGee, first to score in Super Bowl, dies at 75". New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "First Super Bowl's unlikely star". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. Wire services. October 22, 2007. p. 7X.
  5. ^ a b c Patrowsky, Kevin. "Max McGee: Packer great, H.S. football pioneer". Max Preps. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "Tulane's McGee leading punter". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. Associated Press. October 8, 1952. p. 16.
  7. ^ "Tulane whips Vandy, 16 to 7". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. November 16, 1952. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Real-Man Revisted: Max McGee". Barracuda Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  9. ^ "Max McGee". Find A Grave. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  10. ^ "Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame". Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Bauman, Michael (June 19, 1989). "McGee takes a new view". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1C.
  12. ^ Karnowski, Steve (October 21, 2007). "Ex-Packers star McGee dies in fall from roof in Deephaven". Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
  13. ^ Aamot, Gregg (October 28, 2007). "Green Bay stars from '60s recall glory days at Max McGee funeral". USA Today. Associated Press.
  14. ^ Nickel, Lori (October 29, 2007). "Teammates, family honor McGee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1A.

External links

1954 Green Bay Packers season

The 1954 Green Bay Packers season was their 36th season overall and their 34th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 4–8 record under new head coach Lisle Blackbourn and finished fifth in the Western Conference.

In a season of streaks, the Packers lost their first three games, all at home, climbed back to .500 at 4–4, then lost their final four.

1958 Green Bay Packers season

The 1958 Green Bay Packers season was their 40th season overall and their 38th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 1–10–1 record under first-year head coach Ray McLean for a last-place finish in the league in 1958 and the worst record ever posted by a Packers team.

In the immortal words of New York sportswriter and Green Bay native Red Smith: "they overwhelmed one opponent, under-whelmed ten, and whelmed one." The tie came in week two and the three-point win in week five; during the seven-game losing streak to end the season the Packers lost by an average margin of over 22 points and got no closer than ten. The Packers finished 1958 allowing a league-worst 382 points in the 12-game season (31.8 points per game).

McLean was the top assistant on the coaching staff in 1957 and was given a one-year contract as head coach after Lisle Blackbourn was fired in early January 1958 with a year remaining ($25,000) on a five-year contract. Following the final game of the 1958 season, McLean resigned on December 17, which paved the way for the historic hiring of Vince Lombardi in January 1959.The underachieving 1958 team was loaded with talent, with future hall of famers Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg, and Jerry Kramer, as well as future All-Pros Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Bill Forester, and Dan Currie.

1959 Green Bay Packers season

The 1959 Green Bay Packers season was their 41st season overall and their 39th season in the National Football League and 41st overall. The club posted a 7–5 record in the 1959 season under first-year coach Vince Lombardi to earn a third-place finish in the Western Conference.

It was the Packers' first winning season in a dozen years, the last was a 6–5–1 mark in 1947. Green Bay had just one victory during the previous season in 1958 with the worst record in the 12-team league, and were 3–9 in 1957, tied for worst.

1960 Green Bay Packers season

The 1960 Green Bay Packers season was their 42nd season overall and their 40th season in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–4 record under second-year head coach Vince Lombardi to win the Western Conference and a berth in the NFL championship game. It was the Packers' first appearance in the title game since winning it in 1944. After a Thanksgiving Day loss at Detroit, the Packers won their final three games, all on the road, to win the crown.

The championship game was against the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Eagles (10–2), played at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Monday, December 26. Two years earlier in 1958, both teams had been last in their respective conferences, winning a combined three games.

In a close game, the Packers led in the fourth quarter, but lost 17–13. Green Bay returned to the title game the next two seasons and won both.

1966 Green Bay Packers season

The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 48th season overall and their 46th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.

The Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game, the Packers' second consecutive NFL title, fourth under Lombardi, and tenth for the franchise. Two weeks later, the Packers recorded a 35–10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.

Quarterback Starr was named the league's most valuable player (MVP) in 1966. Said Cold Hard Football Facts about Starr's 1966 season, "Starr, always underappreciated, was at his classic assassin-like best in 1966, his lone MVP season. He led the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating, while his 4.7-to-1 [touchdown-to-interception] ratio remains one of the very best in history. Starr, as always, cranked out great performances when he absolutely had to: the 1966 Packers, for example, were the worst rushing team in football, with a meager average of 3.5 [yards-per-attempt] on the ground, despite the reputation Lombardi's Packers still carry with them today as a dominant running team." Cold Hard Football Facts also notes that 1966 Packers had the best passer rating differential (offensive passer rating minus opponents passer rating), +56.0, in the Super Bowl Era.

In 2007, the 1966 Packers were ranked as the 6th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.

Bob Monnett

Robert C. Monnett (February 27, 1910 – August 2, 1978) was a professional American football player who played halfback for six seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973.

Boyd Dowler

Boyd Hamilton Dowler (born October 18, 1937) is a former professional football player, a wide receiver in the National Football League. He played twelve seasons from 1959 to 1971, eleven with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Washington Redskins.

Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Dowler grew up in Cheyenne, where his father Walter was a high school history teacher. He was also a former football coach who had played college football at Wyoming. Boyd was a three-sport athlete at Cheyenne High School. He played college football at the University of Colorado as a single-wing quarterback under head coach Dal Ward.

Dowler led the Big Seven conference in receiving as a junior in 1957, but spent more time as a passer and runner during his senior season. While at Colorado, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

The 25th overall pick in the 1959 NFL Draft, Dowler was the NFL rookie of the year in 1959, Vince Lombardi's first season as head coach. Dowler was a two-time Pro Bowler in 1965 and 1967, and a key contributor on the Packers dynasty in the 1960s, assisting the team to five NFL championship wins and victories in Super Bowls I and II. A late hit by Dallas Cowboys defensive back Mike Gaechter in the end zone following a third quarter touchdown catch resulted in a shoulder injury in the 1966 NFL Championship Game. Dowler aggravated the shoulder early in the first quarter of the first Super Bowl two weeks later, allowing seldom-used Max McGee to be a significant contributor in the game with two touchdown catches. Dowler made a big impact the following year in Super Bowl II with a 62-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bart Starr in the first half. He finished the game as the top receiver for the Packers, with two receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Dowler is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team.

After eleven seasons with the Packers ending in 1969, Dowler played one year for the Washington Redskins in 1971.

Dowler retired with a career record of 474 receptions for 7,270 yards and 40 touchdowns. He led the Packers in receptions for seven seasons.

Dowler is currently a scout for the Atlanta Falcons.

Charley Brock

Charles Jacob "Charley" Brock (March 15, 1916 – May 25, 1987) was an American football center and linebacker.

Gerry Ellis

Gerry Ellis (born November 12, 1957

in Columbia, Missouri) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

Hank Bruder

Henry George "Hank" Bruder Jr. (November 22, 1907 – June 29, 1970) was an American football player in the National Football League. He played nine years with the Green Bay Packers from 1931 to 1939 and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. Bruder attended Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.He was part of the offensive line that blocked for Pro Football Hall of Fame back Johnny "Blood" McNally.

Hank Gremminger

Charles Henry "Hank" Gremminger (September 1, 1933 – November 2, 2001) was an American football player, a defensive back in the National Football League for eleven seasons. He played ten seasons for the Green Bay Packers (1956–1965) and one for the Los Angeles Rams in 1966.

Jesse Whittenton

Urshell James "Jesse" Whittenton (May 9, 1934 – May 21, 2012) was an American football player who played nine seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Green Bay Packers.

Whittenton also played on the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1980s. His best finish was T-21 at the 1989 Showdown Classic.

Jim Irwin (sportscaster)

Jim Irwin (February 7, 1934 – January 22, 2012) was a longtime sportscaster at WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is probably best known as having been the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers for 30 years. He worked with former Packer Lionel Aldridge, and was paired for 20 seasons with Super Bowl I hero Max McGee. Irwin also called Milwaukee Brewers baseball, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball games. He joined the Packers radio broadcasts as a color commentator in 1969 and assumed play by play duties in 1975, a position he held until his retirement after the 1998 season, along with morning sportscasting and commentary duties on WTMJ's morning program. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2003. Irwin continued to contribute occasionally to WTMJ after he retired.

Prior to his longtime career as the voice of the Packers, Irwin began his broadcast career in 1964 as sports director at WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

He was born in Linn Creek, Missouri. Irwin served in the U.S. Army in Korea and then enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he majored in speech.

Irwin died of complications from kidney cancer on January 22, 2012 at the age of 77.

Larry McCarren

Larry Anthony McCarren (born November 9, 1951 in Park Forest, Illinois) is a former American football player for twelve seasons in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers. McCarren had a long career as the Packers' starting center. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1982 and 1983. After his playing career ended, he was inducted in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

He began a television and radio broadcasting career in 1988 at WFRV-TV and he was named the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year four times. McCarren has been working on the Packers Radio Network as the color commentator for the Packers' radio broadcasts since 1995.

List of Green Bay Packers broadcasters

The Packers are unique in having their market area cover two media markets, both Green Bay and Milwaukee, and blackout policies for the team apply within both areas, though they rarely come into effect due to strong home attendance and popularity.

The Packers' flagship radio station is Milwaukee-based WTMJ-AM (620), with the games airing in Green Bay on WTAQ (1360) and WIXX-FM (101.1). Wayne Larrivee is the play-by-play announcer and Larry McCarren is the color analyst. Larrivee joined the team after many years as the Chicago Bears' announcer. Jim Irwin and Max McGee were the longtime radio announcers before Larrivee and McCarren.

The preseason rights for games not nationally broadcast and Packer Shows like The Mike McCarthy show are held by WGBA (Channel 26) in Green Bay and WTMJ (Channel 4) in Milwaukee, WAOW 9 in Wausau, WQOW 18 Eau Claire, WXOW 19 in LA Crosse, WKOW 27 in Madison, KQDS 27 in Dulth/Superior, NBC 6/Fox UP in Escanaba/Marquette, MI. Also, on various stations in Iowa, Northwest IL, Nebraska, SE South Dakota and Alaska. The previous preseason rights for games in Green Bay belonged to WFRV (Channel 5), which was previously owned by CBS Corporation until April 2007, when the station was purchased by Liberty Media.

Preseason coverage was produced by CBS, using the NFL on CBS graphics package with the CBS eyemark replaced by the Packers logo. The graphics are currently used from NBC Sunday Night Football, with the Packers TV Network logo. The TV play-by-play announcer, Kevin Harlan , is the son of former Packers president Bob Harlan. In the 2008 pre-season, all of the Packers preseason games on the statewide network were produced and aired in high definition, while two games on WTMJ instead aired over WVTV (Channel 18) due to Channel 4's obligations to 2008 Summer Olympics coverage in Milwaukee.

ESPN Monday Night Football games, both pre-season and season, are broadcast over the air on ABC affiliates WBAY (Channel 2) in Green Bay and WISN (Channel 12) in Milwaukee, while the stations airing Packers games in the NFL Network Run to the Playoffs package have varied.

The team's intra-squad Lambeau scrimmage at the beginning of the season, which is marketed as Packers Family Night, is broadcast by WITI (Channel 6) in Milwaukee, and produced by WLUK (Channel 11) in Green Bay, both Fox affiliates which broadcast the bulk of the team's regular season games. The scrimmage is also broadcast by the state's other Fox affiliates.

List of National Football League annual punting yards leaders

This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in punting yards.Record-keeping for punting yards began in 1939, when Parker Hall led the league with 2,369 punting yards, while playing for the Cleveland Rams (now known as the Los Angeles Rams). Hall also became the first player to lead the league in punting yards in consecutive seasons, leading in 1939 and 1940. Since then, Dave Zastudil has set the record for punting yards in a season, when he led the league in 2012, with 5,209 punting yards, while playing with the Arizona Cardinals.John James and Shane Lechler share the record of most seasons leading the league in punting yards, with four each. James led the league in 1974, 1976, 1977, and 1978, while Lechler lead the league in 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2017. James played for the Atlanta Falcons throughout all four of these seasons, whereas Lechler played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003, 2008, and 2009, and then with the Houston Texans in 2017. James is also the only player to have the led the league in three consecutive seasons (1976–1978), although many other players have been able to lead the league in two consecutive seasons. Johnny Hekker was the most recent player to accomplish this, leading in 2015, while playing for the St. Louis Rams, and again in 2016, when the team relocated to Los Angeles.

Nate Barragar

Nathan Robert Barragar (June 3, 1907 – August 10, 1985) was an American collegiate and professional football player.

Overton, Texas

Overton is a city in Rusk and Smith counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Overton lies in two counties as well as two metropolitan areas. The Rusk County portion of the city is part of the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Smith County portion is part of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The population was 2554 at the 2010 census.

Whitey Woodin

Howard Lee "Whitey" Woodin (January 29, 1894 – February 7, 1974) was an American football player. He played with the Racine Legion and the Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973. After retiring from football, Woodin remained in Green Bay and worked for many years at Falls Power and Paper Company.

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