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!