BYU Football legend, Jim McMahon was on campus yesterday visiting the Athletic Department offices. The reason? Not exactly known. Some believe he might be enrolling in school again this fall to finish his degree and be inducted in the BYU Sports Hall of Fame. Or maybe McMahon was making the trek south from Montana down to Las Vegas and he just so happened to make a pit stop at his old stomping grounds.
There is something special about Jim McMahon. There just is. Just go search Jim McMahon on Twitter from yesterday and you will see a ton of BYU fans tweeting how excited they were to see McMahon back in Provo. He has a personality that you just can’t ignore.
I wish I could have lived during his days setting NCAA records left and right while donning the BYU blue & white. He was one of a kind, and one that should always be remembered amongst all of Cougar Nation in a positive light. Jim McMahon was the Quarterback that took BYU to national prominence. Ty Detmer has a Heisman Trophy today because of Jim McMahon. Gifford Nielsen, Virgil Carter, Gary Sheide, Marc Wilson, and others brought consistency and a brand to BYU, but McMahon took it to another level, a national level.
This graduation rule for the Hall of Fame is nice and all, but BYU needs to evaluate this on a case-by-case situation. And in Jimmy Mac’s situation, the ruled should be waived and the greatest Quarterback at Quarterback U. should be inducted into the school’s athletic hall.
I always remember reading Jim McMahon Sr.’s letter to BYU Athletic Director, Tom Holmoe in 2009. The elder McMahon told Holmoe that his son deserved to be in BYU’s hall already. McMahon Sr. also went on to say that he doesn’t have much time left on this earth and it is one of his wishes to see his son honored by BYU. The younger McMahon isn’t in the best of health either as he is in the early stages of dementia. Would hate to see a day where BYU finally comes to their senses and gets this recognition done but the elder McMahon isn’t there to enjoy it with his son.
I get it, McMahon could come back to school and finish the degree and oblige to the rule. That’s not Jim McMahon though. He’s a cool customer. A brash personality that did things his way, and that’s what I’ve always grown to admire about McMahon. Yeah he was a bit wild at BYU. But that’s what I love about the guy. He had personality. He had swagger on and off the field, and that’s what made him great. What’s wrong with someone that would pound a few beers and go tear apart opposing defenses on Saturdays, while all along having one of the best personalities the football world has ever seen?
McMahon was under the microscope so much during his time in Provo, yet he never was booted until his final collegiate game was played. In 1981, after a Holiday Bowl win over Washington State, McMahon was dismissed from the school for breaking the Honor Code. A guy that brought BYU unparalleled success, the school’s first 12-win season, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and many other accolades. But when that was all over, the school cut McMahon loose.
Many players would be done with a school if they were treated like that by their alma mater, and for a time McMahon was. In 1986, his biography titled, McMahon! Jim said, “Happiness was Provo in his rearview mirror.” And who could blame him? He loved the football program and LaVell, but the culture around campus was ridiculous for a guy who wasn’t about the childish games.
Yesterday, was only the third time since Provo was in his rearview that McMahon has been to BYU. 1998 for a College Football Hall of Fame Induction at Halftime against San Diego State, 2010 against Washington where BYU honored the legendary Quarterbacks, and yesterday at the athletic offices rubbing shoulders with Holmoe. McMahon also appeared on the Quarterback Factory program during BYU’s 2013 Media Days programming. Jim McMahon still cares about BYU Football. Now, BYU and Tom Holmoe need to do what’s right and get McMahon in the Hall of Fame, and have his jersey retired. It needs to be done.
To steal from the LDS commercials, isn’t it about time?
Jim McMahon Bio
- Broke 75 NCAA Records
- Threw for 9,536 yards in his career. An NCAA record at the time in 1981.
- Consensus First Team All-American in 1981
- Davey O’Brien Award Winner
- 1st Round Pick / 5th Overall to the Bears in the 1982 NFL Draft
- Starting QB of Super Bowl XX Champion, Chicago Bears in 1985