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Real-Man RevisitedMax McGee
He was famous for making fantastic catches in tight situations, indeed, he made a juggled reception to score the first Super Bowl touchdown ever. But he was also a notorious playboy with a laid-back attitude. He was the respectful joker on Vince Lombardi's sternly coached late-60's Packers squad.
Max McGee of the 1966 Green Bay Packers

...He traveled to Los Angeles with his teammates as they prepared to battle the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I. But no one, including McGee himself, thought he was going to play. Considering offers to work as a commentator, McGee decided he would retire from pro football after the Super Bowl.

Once in L.A., the Packers were put under a strict curfew, and anyone missing bed check would be fined $10,000. (This was a particularly steep fine, as each player would only receive about $15,000 if they won the game.)

An assistant coach stopped by McGee’s room for bed check the night before the big game. He found McGee tucked quietly under the covers and said, “Good thing you’re here. Lombardi told me to check you first. Don’t you sneak out, you sonofabitch.”

When the coach closed the door, McGee sprung from under the covers, fully dressed in a suit --coat, tie and all.

“I practically ran him over getting out the door,” says McGee. “I was strictly on standby the next day. I knew I wasn’t going to play. So, I went out and had a nice time in Hollywood. And technically, I wasn’t actually out that late. I made it to breakfast with the rest of the team in the morning. I told Boyd Dowler, ‘I hope you don’t get hurt. I’m not in very good shape.’ But Dowler just shrugged it off.”

As the game started, McGee was busy on the sidelines discussing plans for teammate Paul Hornung’s Las Vegas stag party when Lombardi started screaming for him.

“When I heard him hollering like that, I thought I was busted,” says McGee. “It went through my head that he was going to fine me the $10,000 right there. I didn’t know any other reason that he’d yell at me.”

As it turns out, three plays into the game, Boyd Dowler had gone down with a separated shoulder, and Lombardi was yelling for McGee to go in. McGee had not even brought his helmet out of the locker room. As he ran into the game with a borrowed lineman’s helmet, Max McGee, at age 34, was the oldest player on the field.

Under pressure from a rush, Packers quarterback Bart Starr threw a wobbly pass downfield to McGee. “I stuck my hand back just to try to break up the interception, and the damned ball stuck to the palm of my hand. I had no idea I was trying to catch it,” jokes McGee.

He tucked the ball under his arm, broke free from double coverage and ran. The run took him 24 yards downfield and into the end zone. The hungover veteran had scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history.