By Tori Wittenbrock
ASHWAUBENON – On Nov. 5, 1989, history was made at Lambeau Field for the Packers by quarterback Don Majikowski in the final seconds of the game.
The ‘Instant Replay Game’
In a historic face-off against the Chicago Bears, the final minutes of the game would prove to be a major turnaround for the Packers after an eight game losing streak against their most significant rival that lasted from 1984.
“The ‘89 game was really something,” said Majikowksi. “The Bears had dominated the Packers for four years before that game.”
With a score of 13-7 and a minute and half left on the clock, the Packers were faced with immense pressure with the ball just seven yards away from the endzone.
Fans were skeptical of their chances at victory when Majikowski fumbled the ball on a sack, although it was recovered around the 14-yard line.
A few plays later, the Packers found themselves with a fourth down, 41 seconds on the play clock and an immense crowd of fans cheering them on.
A blitz from the Bear’s defense evoked a sense of urgency from the Packers, and Majikowki was able to find the hands of Sterling Sharpe, as the Packers erupted with excitement for their victory — a burst of excitement cut short by a flag from the officials alleging that Majikowski had thrown an illegal forward pass.
However, after further review, the replay official overturned the call, awarding the Packers with the final points needed to clinch a 14-13 win.
The win provided the team with a winning 5-4 record , which would ultimately become 10-6 for the season and earned the ‘89 team the infamous title, “The Cardiac Pack.” Majikowski also earned himself the title, “Majik Man” for this most memorable play.
Memorable Moment Award
At the Packer Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, Aug. 31, Majikowski was honored for his contribution to Packers history with his infamous play in the 1989 Instant Replay Game.
“To win on the last play of the game, in the final seconds, at Lambeau Field, in such dramatic fashion was unforgettable. The Bears had no chance of beating us for a lot of years after that,” said Majikowski. “We had the first winning season since ‘72, and it really got the fans excited and turned things around.”
Although the fans — and many of the players — were unsure if victory was in the cards for them, Majikowki said there was one person who made it known that he was in his corner during the final minutes of the game.
“My coach at the time, Lindy Infante, grabbed my facemask and said, ‘You keep your head up because you’re still going to be the hero of this game,’” said Majikowski.
It has been over thirty years since the Instant Replay Game, but the ‘Majik’ created on the field that day has lasted in the hearts of Green Bay Packer fans and players, and will continue to be honored through the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame with the most recent Most Memorable Moment Award from this year’s 2023 Banquet.