Brad Rock: Jim McMahon forever BYU's favorite rebel


Return To Article
  • nitroboy
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    Hey Sniggy and Canadiany,

    The best thing about Jim is that he could care less what you think about him.

  • Duh
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:29 p.m.

    I think some are misunderstanding of Hedgehog. He is actually sitting back, having a beer and dip and relishing over how goog BYU football is. Good job Headgehog. I knew you could do it. Now what are all your other Ute fans going to think? HAHAHA

  • sniggy
    Sept. 4, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    A thumbs up for your comment Canadiandy, you are right on.

  • Canadiandy
    Sept. 4, 2010 6:17 p.m.


    According to the article, "McMahon mooned a news helicopter, blew his nose on a sports writer, agreed to coach in the Lingerie Bowl, endorsed male enhancement products and got stopped on a DUI." And all that pales in comparison to giving your word to live by a moral code, breaking that word, and then instead of facing up to breaking his word and apologizing, he bad-mouthed BYU?

    This guy's past arrogance and immaturity make McEnroe look like Mother Theresa.

    My only hope is that he gets that, and it doesn't look like he does.

  • Montana Mormon
    Sept. 4, 2010 5:18 p.m.

    Great article about an amazing quarterback.

    However, just for the record this word nerd, Jim McMahon wasn't one to flaunt the BYU honor code. He was one to flout the BYU honor code.

  • sniggy
    Sept. 4, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    I am not sure which game it was but a reporter asked Lavell how he felt about McMahon a Catholic winning the game for the Mormon School. Lavell said he didn't win the game, a Mormon did by kicking the xtra point.

    Not a quote just remember it that way

    Jim McMahon is awesome and so is Lavell Edwards

  • jpc53
    Sept. 4, 2010 1:16 p.m.


    Jim has lived his life on his terms, Something we would all like to do. Who are you to decide if his decisions have been good or bad? He has a great marriage and wonderful family and isn't that what we all strive for.
    As a former Chicagoan (and still rabid Bears fan) the only negative I can say about him is that he was a terrible dancer and singer on the Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.
    Don't change a thing Jim!

  • manaen
    Sept. 4, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    Loved watching McMahon play, on and off the field. Just recently realized why: as LDS, we're to find our own answers follow them without regard to the world's opinions; Paul taught that without the Spirit, the things of God are foolishness to the natural man; Jim McMahon, without having (yet?) the Spirit found his own answers in response to what was foolishness to him. He actually exemplifies the Mormon ideal, without the Spirit, of someone who acts instead of being acted upon in their life, right down to the men-are-that-they-might-have-joy part.
    The closest parallel I have in mind while waiting for the Washington kickoff is Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, creator of the Rat Fink and wildly customized cars in the 1960s. He also set his own way but did read the BoM and received the Spirit. He moved to Manti and told the LA Times that he sometimes received ideas for new cars while in the temple there.

  • Canadiandy
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    All those identifying his football success only remind me of an old 80's song, "nice legs, shame about the face."

    Perhaps the phrase would go,

    "Great arm, shame about your life."

    I truly hope he has the courage to see the bad decisions he's made and turn his life around. I suspect he has it in him.

  • OlpuebloguyInWyo
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:35 a.m.

    Jim and Steve were the best BYU saw on the field. Hands down. Who else could go to the pros and compete? AND get a ring to boot?

  • Not_Scared
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    Jim McMahon, good standing, be darned, Jim McMahon. It's all about winning. Jim McMahon did send a message about BYU. :-) It's a shame he was a one trick pony compared to Steve Young.

  • BlueCoug
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:03 a.m.

    A little history lesson of the Jim Mac era:

    1978 - Randy Gomez leads the Utes to an upset of BYU in the final minutes. Between 1972 and 1988 it was Utah's only win over the Cougars. BYU (9-4) still wins the WAC championship over Utah (8-3).

    Utah 23, BYU 22

    1979 - Marc Wilson gets a little payback for the Cougars and leads BYU to an undefeated regular season. The most lopsided shutout in the last 50 years.

    BYU 27, Utah 0

    1980 - Jim McMahon leads BYU to most lopsided win in the BYU-Utah rivalry.

    BYU 56, Utah 6

    Jim McMahon then tops that, by leading BYU to their first bowl win ever--the Miracle Bowl.

    1981 - The first BYU-Utah game that would decide a conference championship. Jim McMahon threw for 565 yards and 4 touchdowns in a record setting performance.

    BYU 56, Utah 28

  • XZoobie
    Sept. 4, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    Out of all the quarterbacks at BYU, I'd take him over anybody hands down. If you had a two minute drive to score... nobody does it better. I hope he gets into the BYU HOF.

  • Alwaysright
    Sept. 4, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Jim, we love you. We are taught unconditional love at BYU, and that's what I have for you.

    The funniest story I remember about Jim: Steve Young was being interviewed on Jay Lenno, and he told a story about Jim when the team was staying at a hotel, and the team was sitting there watching TV, and they saw someone swinging from a bed sheet from the room above, NAKED, and it was Jim, just messing around like the crazy man he is. Hilarious!

  • PapaSmurf
    Sept. 4, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate his talent more, his 'antics' less. If his 'flaunting' of the honor code had just affected him then fine, so be it. The fact that he drew others into the 'antics' irk me.

    In today's BYU program, no way he makes it past a season. The standard for behavior is higher. But yet he has such talent. That must have been a tough thing to balance back in the day, the on field pluses and the off field minuses.

    Time to forgive and forget, I guess. Hope he gets the 10 hours, gets put in the HOF and all is well for him and his family, especially his father.

  • Bluto
    Sept. 4, 2010 10:14 a.m.

    Jim, don't ever let a few pinheads cloud the debth of love BYU's fans had/have for you. You are our prodigal son, thanks for coming home to day.

    You're Always welcome.

    You put us on the map. The best BYU QB ever, period.

    WE were pushing you hard for the Heisman, and long before "That Guy" from Michigan posed for the Heisman in the endzone, it was you Jim, that first posed in the "Period Heisman Uniform".

    And before Doug Flutie's, over-rated Hail Mary at Miami, it was BYU's Catholic Connection, McMahon to Brown...Hail Mary pass and comeback, that to this day dwarfs Fluties drama.

    You are the Originals, Original. Iconic, super-bowl shuffle man.

    Get your 10 hours Jim, you can take 2 or 3 classes on line, and CougarTown will celebrate your induction into the BYU Hall of Fame.

    And never forget, that it was BYU's guys who pushed you for the "College Hall of Fame".

    side note....

    The College Hall of Fame now also requires a degree from your school prior to induction, Jim was exempt by only 1 or 2 years.

    Welcome Back Jim

  • southjordansarah
    Sept. 4, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    Sounds like he needs to finish his degree through the Bachelors of General Studies program offered at BYU and get into the school's hall of fame.

  • Henry Drummond
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:50 a.m.

    I saw Jim point to the scoreboard on a number of occasions. It was simply his answer to taunts from opposing players and from the crowd. I thought it was perfectly appropriate way of saying he did his talking on the field and was willing to let the results speak for themselves.

    Jim understood competition and respected his opponents. I remember once when he was hit out of bounds after running for a touchdown, Jim was asked if he thought the opposing player had taken a cheap shot at him. Jim answered, "no he was just playing good aggressive football."

    Jim may have been unconventional, outspoken, and rebellious, but he was not one to taunt or take a cheap shot at his opponents. At the end of the day I felt he understood and practiced sportsmanship better than many of those who are always reminding us of how their high their standards are.

  • Where's Stockton ???
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Welcome Back Mac...You'll always be BYU's Most favorite Saturday's Warrior in most of our eyes. Now just get the 10 credits and get it over with...and while you are at it get ole Craig James to forgive you for ripping his heart out 30 years ago. Maybe he'll quit ignoring/ragging on BYU football on ESPN. The guy's such a whiner...It's time he got over the 80 Holiday Bowl.

  • elvisroidutexas
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    Excited for the season and for tonight's grouping of all the great QBs. BYU FOOTBALL RULES !!

  • Uncle Rico
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    We need a statue of Jimmy Mac on Campus next to Brigham Young.

  • Patrish
    Sept. 4, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Oh man I love and miss the mighty Jim McMahon! Always have, always will. (and I'm a Ute!)

  • utahmtnman
    Sept. 4, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    It is interesting you bring up Max Hall. Of all the Y quarterbacks, Max Hall is most like Jim McMahon--moxy, drive, fight, spite, in your face. Did you see him play the other night?--his game with the Cardinals was on after the ute game. He just might make it in the NFL afterall, and then perhaps he'll be remembered better for his college career.

    What made the Holiday Bowl even more spectacular, is I think it was the Cougs first bowl win. Is that right?

  • Resolute Voice
    Sept. 4, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    Every major university that has a winning tradition has an enigma. These people have left an indelible mark on their program, their university, and their sport. We love to love them when the miraculous happens and we love to hate them when their behavior is unexplainable and bizarre. This is the story of Jim McMahon. He is the unique player in BYU history. While both parties may have a strained relationship at times both share a connection that is not easily understood. This weekend Provo witnessed if even for a brief moment the return of the official Mad Man. When I watch the Miracle Bowl 30 years later, it is still amazing. There has been no other miracle like it in BYU football history, all courtesy of Provo's unofficial rebel, the intractable, Jim McMahon.

  • Commontater
    Sept. 4, 2010 7:58 a.m.


    Clueless, as usual. Are you sure you are not Nancy Pelosi's son?

  • bgl
    Sept. 4, 2010 7:57 a.m.

    Ute fan here, but this guy was a kick in the pants. I ALWAYS loved watching him play and he really was one of the best college qb's I've ever seen. Plus--he wasn't a hater (Max Hall)--and his love of the game and his fire made big games bigger. Welcome back, Jim. I hope you get those 10 credit hours taken care of, because not having Jim McMahon in the BYU HOF seems sort of insane.

  • Crusher
    Sept. 4, 2010 7:56 a.m.

    I hope as BYU alumni we can remember all the good in others and brush away and toss over our backs anything that might of been negative. I mostly remember Jim McMahon for his heroics on the field. He was a great player and just happened to have some faults, just like all the rest of us. One refreshing thing about Jim McMahon is the fight in him. He never gave up as evidenced in the "Miracle Bowl". For that I will ever remember him with fondness and with great hope for him and his family. Never give up, Jim. We love you!

  • Mountanman
    Sept. 4, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    No, no hedgehog, it's the Utes who dip and throw beer...Ahh yes, Ute football!

  • Timpman
    Sept. 4, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    Besides his competative spirit, McMahon had such a sense for the game. He would often wheel behind a diving blindside linebacker. It was like he had eyes in the back of his head. He regularly threw passes before the receiver made his cut, knowing exactly where they would be. McMahon was a delight to watch, including his personality.

  • The Disillusionist
    Sept. 4, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    Easily the best competitor and arguably the best QB to ever play at BYU.

    My top 13:
    1) Jim McMahon
    2) Ty Detmer
    3) Steve Young
    4) Robbie Bosco
    5) Steve Sarkisian
    6) Marc Wilson
    7) John Beck
    8) Max Hall
    9) Brandon Doman
    10) Gifford Nielsen
    11) John Walsh
    12) Gary Sheidi
    13) Virgil Carter

  • hedgehog
    Sept. 4, 2010 5:43 a.m.

    A big fat dip and a can of beer.

    Ahh Yes, BYU football!

  • BleedCougarBlue
    Sept. 4, 2010 1:23 a.m.

    Jim McMahon was the kind of guy I'd like to go to war with: tough, no-nonsense, in-your-face, I don't care HOW MUCH WE'RE DOWN BY WE D-O N-O-T QUIT kind of guy.

    If I live to be a thousand I will never, repeat NEVER forget McMahon to Clay Brown in the Miracle Bowl and running outside in the black, quiet of night and screaming my guts out in sheer, joyous wonder. A sensation of such overwhelming joy you don't even think about neighbors or what time of night it was because you just don't care.

    Jim, we know you often had a rough time at Cougartown, but we'll always, always love you.

    Good luck getting your degree!

  • thelogicalone
    Sept. 4, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    loved him! didn't like the way he lived but dang he was good.

  • Wild Blue
    Sept. 4, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    Welcome back Jim.

  • SportzFan
    Sept. 4, 2010 12:46 a.m.

    "As the morning moved on and tee times approached, McMahon took his leave, having been neither defensive nor outrageous, just a little edgier than the others. He rose to the occasion by declining to rate the BYU quarterbacks, but offering an unsolicited evaluation of former assistant coach Wally English.

    "That guy was terrible," he said."


    Insightful, too!

  • SportzFan
    Sept. 4, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    Jimmy Mac. My all-time favorite QB, college or pro.

    I heard Kyle Whittingham answer the question, "Who is the best quarterback you've ever seen," with "Jim McMahon" before the last word of the question was spoken.

  • BlueCoug
    Sept. 4, 2010 12:15 a.m.

    Thanks for the memories Jim. The 1980 Holiday Bowl was my first bowl game ever. BYU has had many great quarterbacks, but you've always been my favorite.