You surely remember Don Majkowski, the Majik Man, the once and future savior of the Green Bay Packers in the late 1980s and early ’90s. You probably also remember that after his magical 1989 season, he was always injured. In some cases, he’s still feeling agonizing pain from those injuries.
Other than throwing for a league-leading 4,318 yards in 1989 and finishing second in MVP voting that season, Majkowski is most remembered as the guy who injured his ankle in the third game of the 1992 season, making way for the Brett Favre era.
More than 20 years and 11 surgeries later, that ankle is still fucked.
“It’s just locked in place now,” Majkowski said. “I can’t move my foot at all.”
That wasn’t the first major injury Majkowski suffered with the Packers, though. Perhaps the most memorable — only because it essentially derailed all momentum the team had built in 1989 — was the separated shoulder Majkowski suffered in 1990 when he was body slammed by the Cardinals’ Freddie Joe Nunn.
“That 1990 shoulder injury killed my career,” Majkowski said of the damage caused to his throwing arm. “I played six more years, but it was through incredible pain in that shoulder. My shoulder never came back to its normal shape like it was before then. I always had to keep it to myself. I had to keep everything to myself because I wanted to continue to play.”
Add to that the concussions and degenerative disk conditions in Majkowski’s back and neck and the Majik Man is literally falling apart. His health is to the point where he can’t golf or work and he had to give up coaching his son’s football team because of the pain.
The situation also has him pushing his son Bo, who plays quarterback for his eighth-grade team, towards baseball. But would he do it all over again? Hell yeah!
“I don’t regret it,” Majkowski said. “That’s the sickening part of it. Of course I’d do it all again. It was my childhood dream and I worked extremely hard to achieve that and be in the NFL. It was a privilege and a dream that only a small percentage of guys ever get to do.”
On a side note, if you’re wondering about the image, it’s from the Majik Man poster that came out during the ’89 season. That very poster hung on the back of my door and in hindsight, it’s totally homoerotic. It’s also still probably the greatest Packers poster of all time!
Don Majkowski = One Solid Dude
The only thing that blows this picture up is the elbow-length Miss America gloves. What genius came up with that, and more importantly, why didn’t Majik or his peeps speak up and kill that look?
The Packers earlier version of Chris “Crystal Chandelier’ Chandler. Guy just broke too easy to survive in the NFL. Makes what the guy that followed him did more amazing when you compare the two.
People talk about he who cannot be named, all he did for Green Bay. The culture actuallly started to change with the Majik Man in 1989. He showed the way out of the wilderness. Would love to meet the guy some day.
I had this poster as well as about 4 others of the Majik Man in my room as a kid. He will always be one of my all time favorite Packers.
Lindy Infante effed him. First by refusing to stand up for him and insist that Braatz resign him in 1990. Instead, Infante believed that his system was so good that we could win with Anthony Dilweg. When the reality was that the only time Infante’s “Pass to Daylight” system worked is when the team was behind and the defense was sitting back in zone.
Without Majkowski, the Packers started out in a hole in 1990 and by time they were beginning to dig their way out and looked ready to make a push for the playoffs, Freddie Joe A-hole threw the Majik Man on his shoulder, changing his career arc forever.
After Majik finally returned, he was the most sacked QB in football as teams quickly figured out that the way to beat Infante’s system was simply to blitz. The poor guy got his ass kicked.
Sad to hear his injuries still bother him. His ’89 heroics will always been the stuff of legend around here.
If you want to go all ‘butterfly effect’ here consider this.
Suppose Freddie Joe A-hole never touches Majik. Suppose he doesn’t get his ankle eaten up against the Bengals.
Do we even remember the name “Brett Favre” then?
Who is this Brett Farve that you speak of?
I appreciate the comments people. You Packer fans are always in my corner. I gave everything I had to that team and you fans. One of you guys hit the nail on the head when you said the Packers thought that any QB could run that great offense and when my contract expired after a pro bowl year how could you not pay your QB and make him hold p out and lose all the teams momentum. Look at the present times w Brett and Aarom, they make sure those guys are resigned w two years remaining on their deals. That’s awesome for the players, team and fans!! Keep your star players happy and reward them for what they’ve done. Aaron is the best QB in the league and the Packer management recognizes that and don’t mess around with not paying him. They took care of him and I commend them for doing so. I wish it would have been like that when I played. Very unfourtunate. It’s true that from all the physical abuse back then I’m not doing that great today. I know I chose that profession and I absolutely loved it. So a big thank you to all of you who had those posters back in the day. It sure was different than Green Bay was used too for years. I loved every minute of it but regret not being able to get the team to at least the playoffs where anything can happen. Thank all of you for your support when I played. It was some pretty fun times on and off the field!!!!! Go Pack!!!!