Maybe you’ve heard this story. It’s been told a lot, although perhaps not like this. The upshot is that before the first ever NFL-AFL championship game (the precursor to the Super Bowl) a 34-year-old backup Green Bay Packers receiver named Max McGee stayed out really late drinking and partying. He figured he wasn’t going to play in the big game, so why not?
And then the first-string receiver got badly hurt. Suddenly a VERY hungover player was called upon to play championship-level football in front of thousands of people. Remarkably, he succeeded, scoring the first touchdown in Super Bowl history and putting up near-MVP numbers in a Green Bay victory.
If you have heard this story, it’s probably been with a chuckle of admiration, but we need to stop and think about how horrifying that must have been. Anyone who’s ever been asked to perform when they were ill-prepared or otherwise unqualified (as it turns out SB Nation's Clara Morris very much has) knows how sickening that feeling must be.