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So Long, Lindy

Lindy Infante

Former Green Bay Packers coach Lindy Infante passed away on Thursday at the age of 75.

A lot of you probably don’t remember Infante. He coached the Packers for just four seasons — from 1988 to 1991.

A lot of us, especially of a certain age, certainly do remember him though.

Infante came to the Packers during what was arguably the worst decade in Packers history. Arguably, only because of the 1950s.

If you grew up in the 1980s like I did, you know what I’m talking about. The Packers were dog shit.

As great a player as he was, Forrest Gregg was the exact opposite as a coach. And although we love the fact that he allowed his players to take cheap shots at the Chicago Bears, the Packers didn’t have one winning season under Gregg.

And if he was a bad coach, he was a worse general manager. Maybe THE worst.

Like not just for the Packers, but in the history of the NFL. I don’t know. That’s a pretty bold statement, but suffice it to say, Gregg was an awful GM and completely unable to adapt to the changing landscape of the NFL — one where guys didn’t think much of playing for the Packers.

He still thought it was the 1960s and operated like Lombardi.

Of course, Gregg followed Bart Starr as coach. While we wouldn’t say Starr was a bad coach, he was definitely in over his head and even he has admitted that.

The point here is, not much winning in Green Bay in the 80s.

So on came Infante, who was billed as a bit of an offensive genius. And yes, the Packers were no good in 1988, but then came 1989.

If you witnessed that season, then you know it is and will always be one of the most memorable in Packers history.

Hell, I remember more about that year than I do about 1992 — Favre’s first in Green Bay — or 1996 — the Packers’ first championship year since the 1960s.

It was the year of the Cardiac Pack. Down often, but never out.

Four one-point victories that season, most in NFL history.

It was the year that Don Majkowski was the best quarterback in the league. It was the year we finally beat those fucking scumbags from Chicago.

It was the year we went to San Francisco and shocked the defending champs.

It was the year winning — finally — came back to Green Bay.

The Packers finished 10-6 that season.

Infante was coach of the year.

The Packers barely missed the playoffs.

I vividly remember the final night of the season. The Cincinnati Bengals had to beat the Minnesota Vikings for the Packers to make the playoffs.

Infante showed up to The Lindy Infante Show with a Bengals pennant and hat.

Always a great sense of humor, even when things weren’t going so well.

Unfortunately, they didn’t go particularly well after 1989.

Majkowski was always hurt and you weren’t winning a lot of games with Anthony Dilweg and Blair Kiel at QB.

Then Ron Wolf was hired and wanted his own guy. So, injuries be damned — and there were plenty of those — Wolf canned Infante.

I don’t think any of us would change how it worked out for the Packers, but I always felt Lindy got a raw deal.

I’ll always think fondly of him, though.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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13 Comments

  1. Feck October 8, 2015

    Still my go to pregame warmup song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He77-gmglzk

    Madison, Wisconsin’s band “Poopshovel” and their 1991 track “One Pass Away” from the album “I Came, I Saw, I Had a Hot Dog.” This track is about the famous 1989 game between the Packers and the Bears, which has come to be known as the “Instant Replay Game.” Listen carefully to the lyrics, and you can pick out the names of several Packers players, including Don Majikowski, Sterling Sharpe, and Chris Jacke.

  2. JD October 8, 2015

    Nice job Monty, kind of like Dave McClain began to turn the Badgers program around after Jardine. The John Jardine era was so painful the 5th quarter was established.

  3. MrBobHarris October 8, 2015

    Well done on the article – definitely remember 89 as the year I realized the Packers didn’t always have to lose, and that Sundays could be filled with relatives cheering rather than swearing.

    Thanks Lindy!

  4. Skinny October 8, 2015

    Yea Monty 89 unreal. Majik was runner up for MVP behind Montana that year, think about that for a minute. I believe they also knocked off the 49ers in San Fran late that season which was fucking unbelievable at the time.

  5. TyKo Steamboat October 8, 2015

    Me too, Monty!

    3 other fun facts about Gelindo Infante:

    1.) He played RB for the Florida Gators

    2.) It was Infante that was pounding the table in the War Room in the 1990 draft demanding the Pack select LeRoy Butler in the 2nd round

    3.) He gave his neighbors Packers Zubaz as Christmas presents & was often seen in Green Bay wearing Zubaz in & around his home & in the off season

  6. Shawn October 8, 2015

    Until 2011, when the Packers were unbeatable and the undisputed champs of the NFL, 1989 was the greatest Packer regular season in my memory. I was at the game against New Orleans with the crazy Packer comeback in the 2nd half, finished off after Jeff Query converted a 4th and 17. I will always remember where I was when the Packers beat the Bears on 4th down with 40 seconds left. The last second field goal to beat Tampa Bay. Beating San Francisco at home, 1 of only 2 teams to beat San Fran that whole year. And destroying the Bears in Chicago near the end of the season.
    Very talented team that was derailed the next season when Freddie Joe Nunn threw Majik on his shoulder. That single play changed the history for Majik, Lindy and the entire Packer organization. The Packers would have made the playoffs in 1990 if it had not happened. Tom Braatz may not have been fired. Etc… Etc…

    1. Deepsky October 9, 2015

      Remember too in 1990, Majkowski held out and the Packers started out very slow. But then about mid-season, the Majik got hot again and the Packers started winning games – games they were not favored to win.

      Then Freddie Joe Nunn ruined Majkowski’s career and the Packers future. And even though the Packers and Majkowski said his throwing arm was fine everyone could see it was ruined.

      1. icebowl October 10, 2015

        Liked majik there was that game he beat the bears. By not stepping over line of scrimmage….
        I was at that game in Phoenix, terrible sight only made worse by the pla of Tony Dilweg….

        Those were truly dark days, bummer for lindy to have to take heat…

  7. dandevinesdog October 8, 2015

    grateful for the many “measured”-perspectives acked and those not-acked…

    turmoil. change. times.

    lots and lots of years.

    _Everyone_ did _Really_Well_ ™!

    can we all leave it at _that?_ (or _must_we_ _not_!!!) ???

    it’s a _Game_.

    we’re talking about stuff 40-ish-some-years-Old!!! at Exactly-_what_point_ does ‘loyaly’ become ‘History’??? I _dare_ ya–answer _That_ with a _Bright-Line_–I __dare-ya__and you’ll __KNOW__ __ALL__ of __OUR__ answers!!!!

  8. knucklehead October 9, 2015

    Yeah, who can forget that. the majik man and all. It was quite a turnaround from the years of “rebuilding.” Nice story on the man.

  9. Deepsky October 9, 2015

    Majkowski, using Infante’s option route offense, passed for 4318 yards in 1989. Favre, in 16 years with the Packers, only surpassed that number once.

  10. David October 9, 2015


    Deepsky:

    Majkowski, using Infante’s option route offense, passed for 4318 yards in 1989. Favre, in 16 years with the Packers, only surpassed that number once.

    On occasion… Brett Favre had a running game. Something both Lynn Dickey and Don Majkowski never had.