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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Tony Romo

11/2011 Historical Player Profile: Jim McMahon

November 5th 2011 14:54
To continue my NFL historical player profiles that take a look at some noteworthy former players, I take a stop to the Chicago Bears teams of the 80's to write about their quarterback; Jim McMahon.

The fifth overall pick by the Bears in the 1982 NFL Draft out of BYU, McMahon began slinging passes the year Mike Ditka became head coach of the Chicago Bears. In fact, the coach and injury-prone QB were known to have clashes. We all know the whole headband story when he wore a headband under his helmet that said "Rozelle" to irk then-commissioner Pete Rozelle.

One of the best play-action passers in history, McMahon threw exactly 100 touchdown passes in his career and is 100th on the all-time passing touchdowns list. He made only one Pro Bowl, and that was in the famous 1985 season. When we look at his career in general, he was merely an average quarterback who was famous because of his personality and the defense behind him. I don't think anybody refutes that at all either, but he is an interesting player to look at from a historical perspective.

Not many people know that McMahon wore contact lenses while playing, because he is legally blind in one eye after an accident from his childhood. A dynamic rookie in the '82 season, McMahon soon became one of the best passers while rolling out thanks to his unique form in squaring up his shoulders.

Jim McMahon had a 15 year career, and he spent the first seven of those seasons with the Bears. In 1988, he had four rushing touchdowns, as the Bears wanted to use the quarterback sneak during McMahon's reign as their QB. His on-field awarness and instincts made up for some rather poor accuracy. At the time, McMahon was one of the most clutch quarterbacks, and he led the NFL in 1987 with three fourth quarter comebacks.

The injury prone "Mad Mac" was the 1991 Comeback Player of the Year, after recording a career-high 60.1 completion percentage and a respectable 80.3 QB Rating coming off of a serious injury that derailed his first season as an Eagle. So while McMahon wasn't really a special player talent-wise, pretty much every football fan knows him for the "Super Bowl Shuffle" and all the other crazy stuff he did while with the Bears.
Known as "Darth Vader
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2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Matthew Lottice (Book It)

November 5th 2011 21:27
I always thought Jim McMahon was an underrated QB because he was overshadowed by those incredible Bears defenses and an all world running back. McMahon was one of those rebellious individuals who liked to challenge authortiy. Maybe that's why I liked his character so much. I heard a few years ago he fell on hard times financially but saw him when I went out to South Lake Tahoe for the Edgewood Golf Course celebrity and ex-athlete golf tournament held in July. He was out there with brightly colored checkered pants and playing barefoot!

And there was always those sunglasses he wore due to being partially blind but I always thought they were a cool look. Tony Sparano does the same thing since he suffered an eye accident as a teenager working in a restaurant. Something about wearing those darks shades makes people think all men are trying to be like Corey Hart (of "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night") fame.

Comment by Joe Soriano

November 6th 2011 06:39
Thanks for dropping by, and I believe that he was nicknamed "Darth Vader" and "Black Sunshine" because he wore those sunglasses. Not sure about the second nickname though, mainly because I'm a young guy who started following football in the early 2000's. These profiles are as much about me learning more about players, as it is me writing about them haha.

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