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Jim McMahon on Cutler, lockout, brain injuries and girls at BYU

Jim McMahon AP

Former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon was brash and outspoken in his playing days. At the age of 51, that hasn’t changed.

McMahon weighed in on a wealth of subjects in an ESPN Radio interview today, talking about subjects ranging from the NFL lockout to suffering brain damage on the football field to how he got away with breaking the honor code during his time at Brigham Young University.

And McMahon took his former team to task for the way they handled the injury suffered by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler during the NFC Championship Game. When McMahon was with the Bears he didn’t often see eye-to-eye with the Bears’ management, and all these years later McMahon says the Bears’ management still doesn’t do enough to defend the players. McMahon believes that the Bears should have released an immediate statement saying the doctors wouldn’t let Cutler back into the game, and that if they had, Cutler wouldn’t have been criticized around the league for sitting out.

“I think they just handled it poorly,” McMahon said. “Somebody should have come out and said, hey, he hurt his knee. But nobody said anything. . . . I think if they handled it better, people would have realized what was going on.”

McMahon has spoken recently about how he thinks he suffered brain damage during his playing career, and that he attributes memory loss today to those injuries. But he also thinks the NFL has gone way too far in protecting quarterbacks.

“I think it’s a joke,” McMahon said. “I think it takes away from what the defensive guys have been taught their whole life. It’s a violent game and guys are going to get hurt sometimes. Some of the calls that some quarterbacks get I think are ridiculous. Other guys get pounded and don’t get a flag. As long as they’re consistent I think everybody would be happy, but they’re not consistent with it.”

Overall, however, McMahon said he’s doing OK, despite the problems with memory loss.

“There are times when I walk into a room and I’m like, ‘Why did I just come in here?’ and I have to go back and start again,” McMahon said. “It gets a little frustrating but it’s not like I’m retarded.”

McMahon was in the NFL during the 1982 and 1987 players’ strikes, and he doesn’t think highly of either side in the current labor dispute.

“It’s got to get settled,” McMahon said. “There’s too much money to get lost by both sides. It’s ridiculous and the fans are the ones who are going to suffer in this.”

McMahon had an interesting answer when asked about BYU basketball player Brandon Davies, who was suspended from the team this season, reportedly for violating the school’s honor code by having premarital sex. McMahon said he had a simple method for maintaining his football eligibility when he played at BYU: “You had to find girls who kept their mouths shut.”

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40 Responses to “Jim McMahon on Cutler, lockout, brain injuries and girls at BYU”
  1. spikeit2times says: Apr 11, 2011 10:08 AM

    McMahon said he had a simple method for maintaining his football eligibility when he played at BYU: “You had to find girls who kept their mouths shut.”

    McMahon is into dead girls, who’d a thunk it?!

  2. argel830 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:20 AM

    I guess it depends what you want her to do…

  3. ArtModellsPimp says: Apr 11, 2011 10:25 AM

    I was never a Bears fan, but always a McMahon fan. Dude was Noe Willy Namath-cool X 10…

  4. deejsev81 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:34 AM

    “You had to find girls who kept their mouths shut.”

    but open sometimes…

  5. dempsey63 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:35 AM

    Apparently McMahon sought out those women who secretly yearned for a missionary position?

  6. ocgunslinger says: Apr 11, 2011 10:37 AM

    And this is why I have always been a Jim McMahon fun…..the guys speaks what he believes…..even if he does have some loose screws he is right on.

  7. egls7 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:40 AM

    Jim mcmahon is awesome

  8. rockymtnphinfan says: Apr 11, 2011 10:43 AM

    BYU honor code: “it’s more of a guideline than a rule”

  9. bukes111 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:50 AM

    How this guy survived 4 years at BYU is amazing. And I’m sure 90% of BYU athletes have girls who can keep there mouth shut. Still feel bad for that basketball player.

  10. bukes111 says: Apr 11, 2011 10:51 AM

    @ rockymtnphinfan

    If it’s more than a guideline than a rule, how did that kid get suspended?

    And how is BYU able to recruit w/ this crazy code?

  11. 90ragtop says: Apr 11, 2011 10:57 AM

    “There are times when I walk into a room and I’m like, ‘Why did I just come in here?’ and I have to go back and start again,” McMahon said. “It gets a little frustrating but it’s not like I’m retarded.”

    *******************

    Uhhh, hellloooo. I have the same thing happen every day. I’m 52 and never played a down of contact football in my life. That forgetfulness comes from the aging process, pure and simple.

  12. ggeden says: Apr 11, 2011 11:03 AM

    So many ex-NFL QBs keep coming out to say something about anything and everything currently. I tipped it lol.

    But of all the ones who did and could come out, McMahon is one of the few who merits an audience.

  13. dgforreal says: Apr 11, 2011 11:32 AM

    Uhhh, hellloooo. I have the same thing happen every day. I’m 52 and never played a down of contact football in my life. That forgetfulness comes from the aging process, pure and simple.

    I’m 34 and that happens to me also lol.

    Not to take anything from his injuries though, I’m sure his circuits are a bit scrambled, but it’s good to hear that it’s only minor stuff like this so far.

  14. mike106 says: Apr 11, 2011 11:34 AM

    Jim does she have a sister.. I got divorced because i found one who couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

  15. salmen76 says: Apr 11, 2011 11:38 AM

    Nice to see ole Jimmy Mac doin good. Even though i’ve always been a Saints fan i’ve always respected and liked Jim McMhaon. I couldn’t help but snicker to myself when Jim said he walks into a room and forgets why he’s there. Ha Ha. Same thing has been happening to me since years ago when i reached my 40s. I never had any football related concusions but i have experienced a few from dirt bike crashes and water ski spills. But here’s what i think causes most memory dificulties, “The absence of youth”. Ha ha. Sums it up pretty good. Geaux Saints!

  16. carolinethedog says: Apr 11, 2011 11:39 AM

    90ragtop says: Apr 11, 2011 10:57 AM

    Uhhh, hellloooo. I have the same thing happen every day. I’m 52 and never played a down of contact football in my life. That forgetfulness comes from the aging process, pure and simple.

    *******************************************
    True. But, I’m going to go out on a limb (just a bit) and suggest that it may be possible that McMahon did a little bit of partying. Just saying that maybe, he did….allegedly.

  17. carolinethedog says: Apr 11, 2011 11:44 AM

    I was born in Chicagoland in ’83. Like any other kid my parents let me choose my Halloween costume every year. From the ages of 3-7 I was Jim McMahon EVERY YEAR for Halloween. Hahaha

    I hope and pray that when I have a kid, I have a son that does something that bad-ass. I even had the “Rozelle” headband and the sunglasses. Man, I’ll be so pissed if I have a daughter.

  18. jlb10 says: Apr 11, 2011 11:59 AM

    mike & mike are on delay here in denver. it was a good and fun interview.
    he did say that about the women but was also a bit noncommittal

  19. metalhead65 says: Apr 11, 2011 12:10 PM

    I was a big mcmhon fan untill the way he treated flutie when the bears got him. maybe they would not have taken a chance if you would have stayed on the field. plus he said after getting a ring as backup to favre that it meant more to him than the bears one so screw the loud mouth jerk. he did nothing once the bears got rid of him.

  20. glen1904 says: Apr 11, 2011 12:11 PM

    “I’ll be so pissed if I have a girl” no you wont. I had the boys first and first fish and all the things I dreamed of doing were great then years later the little girls came and their first fish stuff was too, but so is what I thought I would dread. Disney on ice with them looking at “the real” princess costumes on display before the show through the eyes of 5y/o twin girls was as good as it gets.
    always loved Jimmy Mac!

  21. packerrube13 says: Apr 11, 2011 12:13 PM

    Are they going to vacate his stats at BYU now?

  22. dobolina says: Apr 11, 2011 12:13 PM

    Uhhh, hellloooo. I have the same thing happen every day. I’m 52 and never played a down of contact football in my life. That forgetfulness comes from the aging process, pure and simple.

    **********************

    I heard the interview–he wasn’t saying that was from the concussions he received while playing football. Actually, he was trying to downplay his previous comments, and was saying that it was simply age that made him forget things.

  23. breeshasabush says: Apr 11, 2011 12:20 PM

    is it bad that i have the same problems at 26??? So BYU is not ok with pre-maritial sex but ok with polygamy…? Gotta love Jimmy Mac, but dont have to like the bears.

  24. joetoronto says: Apr 11, 2011 12:26 PM

    I’ve always been a big fan of his, even more now.

  25. peanutbutter&jelly says: Apr 11, 2011 12:37 PM

    maybe jim McMhon should tutor warren moon on how former qb’s should talk about other people & events that are going on and maybe mr. moon whould have more people saying what a great guy he is

  26. wethog66 says: Apr 11, 2011 1:41 PM

    God I miss Jim McMahon. He was front and center when I started getting into the NFL. He was damn fun to follow back then and he was responsible for some of my most memorable NFL moments (In McMahon’s case, during one game he was playing for the Eagles he got sacked hard and had to come out of the game for a play. The reason for coming out was the best part. Instead of having a body part hurt because of the hit, he was nausea’s because he was sacked so hard he swallowed the wad of chewing tabacco in his mouth. The camera caught him just when he was spitting the leavens out.)..

    McMahon needs to be in a TV booth for one of the networks. Talk about must see TV. I wouldn’t miss a game he did.

  27. Chris Guest says: Apr 11, 2011 2:07 PM

    Jim McMahon was once asked what was the best thing was about BYU

    His Response: Leaving

  28. dexterismyhero says: Apr 11, 2011 2:22 PM

    The punky QB. I like seeing him in those celebrity golf outings. No shoes and a beer in hand.

  29. acmepacker says: Apr 11, 2011 2:23 PM

    I’m a lifelong Packer fan but I always thought he was pretty cool and I loved it when he came to Green Bay to backup Favre. The day that Martin body slammed him is the one time I was ashamed of the Packers.
    That should have been Charles Martin’s last play as a Packer.

  30. groomerofthestool says: Apr 11, 2011 2:54 PM

    acmepacker

    That was a brutal play. Old Jimmy Mac was never the same ….

  31. taiwan92 says: Apr 11, 2011 3:10 PM

    McMahon when in Miami recently, said that if he had it to do all over again, he would still go to BYU, and that he learned more about football there, than all his years in the NFL. Inspite of his problems with the honor code, that is some high praise for his alma mater.

  32. thefiesty1 says: Apr 11, 2011 3:14 PM

    He needs to release a new Super Bowl Shuffle at age 51 and keep quiet about today’s Bears. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

  33. dempsey63 says: Apr 11, 2011 3:22 PM

    As a Packers fan, it didn’t bother me in the least when Jim McMahon opened his sportcoat at the White House to reveal a Bears jersey underneath. And, of course, his Chicago Super Bowl ring SHOULD have meant a lot more to him!

    It was no different than when Favre and the Vikings went to the White Hous…oops, there goes my memory again.

  34. moggy6actual says: Apr 11, 2011 3:28 PM

    90ragtop says:
    Apr 11, 2011 10:57 AM

    Uhhh, hellloooo. I have the same thing happen every day. I’m 52 and never played a down of contact football in my life. That forgetfulness comes from the aging process, pure and simple.

    ——————————————–
    Maybe you played in the NFL and all the violent hits you took made you forget? You should sue the league! :)

  35. Deb says: Apr 11, 2011 3:55 PM

    “Some of the calls that some quarterbacks get I think are ridiculous. Other guys get pounded and don’t get a flag. As long as they’re consistent I think everybody would be happy, but they’re not consistent with it.”

    McMahon may have some memory issues but he’s still got more common sense than Goodell on his best day. Knew there was a reason I always liked this guy.

  36. pol2324 says: Apr 11, 2011 5:41 PM

    “McMahon maybe isn’t the most polished linguist, but the more I hear him speak, the more I appreciate the fact that I remember watching him play as a kid, and if it wasn’t for Charles “F’n” Marten, he could have had a HOF career…”

    Marten or no Marten, McMahon never would have had an HOF career. He wasn’t that good. Slightly above average, nothing more.

  37. domehead says: Apr 11, 2011 9:18 PM

    90ragtop hit the nail on the head. Uh Jim…you and I have the same medical condition and it has nothing to do with concussions. It’s called being in your fifties.
    It also means….that…uh, what were we just talking about?

  38. smokehouse56 says: Apr 11, 2011 9:52 PM

    “And how is BYU able to recruit w/ this crazy code?”……That is the kind of statement I would expect from a moron.

  39. idahospud007 says: Apr 11, 2011 11:08 PM

    howdy folks. i was in lavell edwards stadium when the byu great all american qb’s took the feild in sept, last year. up till coach edwards took the feild the greastest sound was when the real number 9 took the feild. prove still love’s their catholic quarterback. prodigal son. yet i remember jimmy mac. miss ya bro. really cool to be an arm chair qb and ridule a guy to took everything the old powers in football college and pros threw at him. set records in ncaa that will never be broken. check them they are next to him in ncaa hall of fame 72 of them. hes allways spoke his mind. we love him for that. what you see with jimmie mac is what you get. back in 85 it wasnt walter left walter right opps walter up the middle. ok we got a good defense wow. its was willie gault on a fly and jimmie mac on a frozen rope.it made that defense free. think about it folks pappa bear hired mike ditka. the next year he gave hime a first round pick out of byu the rest is history

  40. idahospud007 says: Apr 11, 2011 11:23 PM

    just had to add god rest in peace sweetness i wasnt knocking your beloved memory. the good lord knows i miss you. we are left behind to admire the greatest pure athleite ever known. those are dikas words about sweetness

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