Saturday, September 29, 2012


I found this and thought it was very interesting. I always had a great respect for Jim, I don't have to get into his good/bad points because they are discussed in the article. But the point I found so important is all the talk over the last few years about concussions, and the deaths of some very young hockey players. The age 53 is so young and your life is still just taken for granted at that age. But to have your mind slowly go, which is a terrible thing at any age. This must be, and is devastating,  and something that franchises from any sport should be looking at very, very, closely. If there is any problem because this article has been borrowed please delete.


Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon says he wishes he had played baseball

(Getty)In my family, the members of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears team ranked just slightly behind the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. In fact, as a 6-year-old I was taught the "Super Bowl Shuffle" by a Franciscan nun, so that ranking could be muddled at times. Walter Payton was at the top of the list, but I couldn't help but be crazy about the rebellious, mouthy, "Punky QB known as McMahon."
The way he would play football made me misunderstand the quarterback's role as a child. Aren't all quarterbacks supposed to jump over the top of the pile? Don't they all take punishing hits then pop back up for more? Why would a quarterback slide for a first down when he could get an extra half-yard by taking the big hit?
During his career with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and other teams, McMahon never started a full season. His tough and sometimes reckless style of play meant he suffered many, many injuries. Now, 16 years after he retired, he is experiencing an injury that can't be fixed by a surgery or therapy.
At 53, McMahon is in the early stages of dementia. He is part of the group suing the NFL that says they hid the effects of concussions. Though his career resulted in a Super Bowl ring and a Pro Bowl appearance, he still says he would have played baseball if he knew what concussions would do to him.
"Being injured, if you don't play, you don't get paid. If I was able to walk out on that field, I was gonna play," he said in an interview with Chicago's WFLD-TV at his Arizona home. "Had I known about that stuff early on in my career, I probably would have chosen a different career. I always wanted to be a baseball player anyway."
McMahon played football while at Brigham Young University, but said he would have stuck with baseball had he received a scholarship for that sport.
He is a group of more than 2,000 players who need help from the NFL after concussions have filled their retirement with dementia, memory loss, and in some cases, a bitter end. McMahon's teammate, Dave Duerson, committed suicide and asked for his brain to be studied. He was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same disease found in other players who have died under tragic circumstances.
The NFL has made strides in improving how concussions and head injuries are treated. Though problems still exist, like Colt McCoy being sent back in the game last season when he was not healthy, the culture around head traumas is changing.
But the retired players who sacrificed their bodies to create the exciting game we all know and love today should not be forgotten. When one of them says he wishes he didn't even play the game that won him fame, it's a cry for help that should not go unheeded.


Zebster said...

Thanks for sharing that, Jake. This is unfortunately getting to be to heard far too often. And welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back, Jake. Thanks also for sharing this. I worry about the generation of athletes I watched as a youth and young adult. Many of them are dying prematurely and nothing is being done about it to prevent the next generation of players from suffering the same fate.

Brent said...

Welcome back Jake.

It is a shame that there are far too many of these stories out there. And yes, the players are bearing the brunt of the problems. However, I find it hard to believe that the government, big business, and all the professional sports leagues in North America hid concussion studies and reports so they wouldn't have to face up to the facts that concussions were so horrible.

tpubgu said...

I hated Jim McMahon because he played for the hated Bears; however, he ended his career by backing up Brett Favre during their Super Bowl XXXI in 1996, so I always cut him a huss in my book.

After reading about his current problems, the play that always causes me to cringe is the cheap, late hit Packers defensive lineman Charles Martin laid on him where he basically pile drove him into the artificial turf after an interception. At the time, I was glad McMahon got a season ending injury because he was the QB for the hated Bears, and I remember the cheap shots they tried against Chester Marcol, the placekicker in the 70's.

So I cringe with shame remembering these feelings and not understanding the long-term effects of injuries.