Don Majkowski's story should be a cautionary tale for football players present and future.
The former Green Bay Packers quarterback, who finished second in MVP voting in 1989 and eventually gave way to a youngster named Brett Favre, is now 49 and living in a world of pain.
Paul Imig of FoxSportsWisconsin.com caught up with the player once known as the "Majik Man." Now living in Atlanta, Majkowski is hobbled by 11 surgeries on his left ankle, post-concussion syndrome and degenerative disk disease in his neck and back.
Majkowski sold a real estate investment company a few years ago because working was too painful. He had to stop coaching his son's youth football team, and he can't even play golf anymore.
"I haven't worked, I haven't coached, I haven't done anything," Majkowski told FOXSportsWisconsin.com. "It's very difficult to even sit for five minutes. It's been a nightmare."
Majkowski spent six years with the Packers, throwing for 56 touchdowns and nearly 11,000 yards. His 1989 season, in which he tossed 27 touchdowns, threw for 4,318 yards and led the Packers to a 10-6 record, is one of the best single seasons by a quarterback in franchise history.
But during a game three years later, Majkowski tore a ligament in his ankle, and a 22-year-old Favre came on to replace him. The rest is history, at least as far as Favre is concerned.
Majkowski's career was mostly downhill from that moment. He started eight games in four years after that, but lingering ankle and shoulder injuries limited his effectiveness.
Now Majkowski's life is full of doctor's appointments. But that's not his only struggle. He also had to fight with the NFL to receive workers compensation, a process which he calls "grueling."
"It's absolutely ridiculous what former players have to go through to get workers comp paid for to win your case," Majkowski told FoxSportsWisconsin.com. "I talked to so many guys going through the same thing. Owners are trying to get rid of workers comp totally for former players because it costs too much. They don't want to pay for any future health care."
Majkowski spent some time a few years ago coaching his son's youth football team, but it became too painful for him to stand on the sidelines. He said that after his experience on the gridiron, he's pushing his son toward baseball.
And even though he's struggled through countless surgeries and court proceedings alike for the past few years, Majkowski is hopeful that his condition is improving.
"It's getting there," he said. "It takes time. I was miserable, but hopefully I'm on the road to getting much better. I haven't been out much in recent years, so I have a lot of catching up to do."
To read Imig's full story, see here.
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