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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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It wasn't the call of the winning touchdown that got me, but the run up by Jim Irwin and now the late Max McGee.

I love when TMJ radio does this. On the bye week, they'll replay the radio broadcast of an old Packer game. Did you listen this weekend as they replayed Brett Favre's first appearance for the Green Bay Packers in 1992? Remember, Don Majikowski went down, and with him, the hopes for us being any good that year.

Then this kid who's last name I couldn't figure out, entered the game, and set the place on fire.

Down by 6, Favre starts the Packers final drive inside the 10 yard line with little over a minute to go. What caught my attention yesterday afternoon (since we already knew how the drive, and hence the game was about to turn out) was the way Max and Jim were preparing to call the final moments. You could tell in their voices they had virtually no expectation of the Packers pulling the game out.  

As Favre was settling in to work, Jim sets up with the line, "...well (chuckle) if you get the touchdown and kick the extra point you could win the game..."

He chuckled as he delivered the line. Why wouldn't he? What evidence did he have that the lowly Green Bay Packers... especially with a new coach and their starting QB out... what evidence did they have that the Pack was capable of going nearly the length of the field in a minute for the win?

That's what changed in that moment, in that game, in that season. Never again in similar circumstances with Brett Favre under center would I question the Packers' ability to come back and win the game. Often times they don't, but I wouldn't turn the TV off. Often times, Brett makes a ridiculous mistake, and the game ends on an interception (4th and 26 game in Philly). Often times the Pack comes up just short (Superbowl 32... Chmura dives to keep drive alive, but not to be).

Still... it's alive. How many game winners have we seen? Favre dives into the end zone in the final game at County Stadium for a win over the Falcons. Favre lays one on Antonio Freeman's hip in a prime time game against the Vikings at Lambeau. The list is long, but it began with that September, 1992 toss to Kitrick Taylor.

Rest in peace Max McGee. I didn't know him, only met him once or twice. I'll offer this one personal observation. I've met a lot of people in this business who "appear" to love what they do. I believe Max did love his work with the Green Bay Packers as player and as radio personality. He loved sharing the same story 1000 times. He loved meeting Packer fans. He loved the game, and he'll be missed.



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