Big night for Majik, Bennett

Don Majkowski, known for his magic with the Packers in the late 1980s, and Edgar Bennett, who helped power the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in the mid-1990s, will be the newest inductees into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Both former players will be honored at the 35th Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on tonight in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Majkowski rose from a 10th-round draft pick in 1987 out of the University of Virginia to finish his Packers career in fifth place with 10,870 passing yards on 889 completions in 1,607 attempts, with 56 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. He also had nine rushing touchdowns during his six-year Green Bay career.

"This is by far the greatest award, individual honor, that I have ever been awarded in my athletic career," Majkowski said of his induction. "It exceeds being nominated to the Pro Bowl by a lot. ... To have the type of career I had here and to become the starting quarterback for an organization that's so rich in history, like the Green Bay Packers, without question was a dream come true. I am so appreciative of the opportunity that I had here."

Majkowski will long be remembered for his role in the famous "Instant Replay Game" against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field in 1989. His controversial touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe on the final play of the game helped the Packers edge the Bears. It was one of four one-point victories for the Packers in that 10-6 season.

"Without question, it was my most memorable moment," Majkowski said of the Instant Replay Game.

Majkowski had a Pro Bowl season in 1989, passing for 4,318 yards, six 300-yard games and 27 touchdowns.

His 10,870 passing yards ranks fifth in team history.

But the Majik man's sweet ride came to an end three games into the 1992 season when he injured his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field. The unheralded Brett Favre, acquired during the off-season in a controversial trade for a first-round pick, threw a last-second, long-distance touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor. Favre hasn't left the lineup since. Majkowski, meanwhile, signed with Indianapolis as a free agent in 1993, spending two seasons there and two more with Detroit.

"It's so much easier on my ego, my pride, knowing that the guy who replaced you is probably one of the best ever," Majkowski said. "If it was a guy who only lasted a year, it would have been harder to handle, so I personnally want to thank Brett for turning out to be as great as he is."

Packer Report correspondent Tom Andrews will present Majkowski at the banquet.

Bennett aboard in '92
Majkowski's final season with Green Bay was Bennett's first. The Packers selected Bennett in the fourth round of the NFL Draft out of Florida State. The fullback showed his knack for running the ball when he rushed for 107 yards against the Bears — the first 100-yard game by a Packers rookie since 1969.

Bennett became a starter in 1993. In 1995, Bennett was moved to halfback, and made Mike Holmgren look like a genius by rushing for more than 1,000 yards — the first time that had happened since 1978.

He was a key component of the Packers' explosive offense during the 1996 Super Bowl season. In the divisional game against San Francisco, Bennett rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns. In the NFC championship against Carolina, he rushed for 99 yards and another score. He is the team's all-time leader in postseason rushing with 561 yards. Bennett says Green Bay's victory over New England in Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans was one of many highlights from his career. "It wasn't one game in particular, it was really the journey of it," Bennett said.

Bennett, who made up for his lack of speed by having a knack for finding the hole, ranks ninth in team history with 3,353 yards rushing. His 242 receptions are 15th; his 78 catches in 1995 is team record for a running back. Some of his best games were in the mud and slop of Lambeau Field during the playoffs.

His Packers career came to an end during the 1997 preseason when he tore an Achilles' tendon during a preseason game. He concluded his playing career by spending 1998 and 1999 in Chicago.

He'll join other Packer greats like Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Donny Anderson, John Brockington, and Elijah Pitts to be inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame.

"What a tremendous honor this is to just be mentioned with some of the guys that are already part of the (Packer) Hall of Fame," Bennett said. "For me, when I was first drafted here by Green Bay, I never really thought about the (Packer) Hall of Fame, and things like that. I just wanted to come in and do a great job and help the organization win football games. To have this opportunity to be in this type of fraternity is a tremendous honor, and one that I truly appreciate and my family will forever."

Bennett, who will be presented by former Packers coach Mike Holmgren, joined the Packers' front office in 2001 as director of player development. He was promoted to running backs coach in January.

In addition to Majkowski and Bennett, Dorothy Hanke will be inducted as a fan.

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