Friday, January 20, 2012

The "Majik Man"

Sports Illustrated is currently running a photo gallery of 1980s sports posters. Packers fans of a certain age will recognize this one:

Photo: Courtesy of the Costacos Brothers
and Adam Shopkorn, New York

Ah, yes. Don Majkowski. All-Pro quarterback out of Virginia, most remembered these days for being the Packers' version of Wally Pipp.

Majkowski was injured during the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, and his backup came in to lead a comback 24-23 win in the final seconds of the game. The Majik Man never got his job back, as that former backup went on to start the next 253 Packer games (and a handful for some other teams we won't mention).

Majkowski was a good quarterback—he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2005—he just wasn't Brett Favre.

Although you can barely see his Packers jersey under that shredded cutaway coat, Majkowski played during the "silkscreen era" of the 1980s/early 1990s. You can see it more clearly in this photo:

Sewn-on tackle-twill numbers wouldn't return to a Packer uniform until the blue and gold 1994 throwbacks (and for good with the 1995 home and road jerseys).

Majkowski is also notable for his uniform number. When he first started with the Packers in 1987, he was issued Paul Hornung's #5.

In his second season, Majkowski changed to #7, which he would wear for the remainder of his time in Green Bay. He explained the number switch this way:
People kept asking me how it feels to wear Paul Hornung's number. I kept hearing that, and I realized the impact Hornung had. I wanted to wear a number people could remember me for."
That helps date the poster to 1988 or later.

Note also Dad Braisher's "G" logo on the sleeve - that was part of Forrest Gregg's 1984 uniform overhaul.

The "Majik Man" poster is part of a gallery exhibition:
On January 21, Country Club and Mondrian in Los Angeles is opening its "For the Kids" exhibit, which will feature the classic sports posters of John and Tock Costacos. The brothers were originally sports T-shirt manufacturers, but started a side business creating "fantasy" sports posters that gave professional sports heroes a larger-than-life look and appeal.
I certainly remember this poster. I didn't have it on my wall, but plenty of my friends did.


Jeremy said...

HA! I remember that poster fondly. It hung on my wall as a kid. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

I am also guilty of a man-crush on the Majik Man back in the day.

Thanks for this awesome blog - keep up the great work!