Bears’ Jim McMahon opens up about ‘devastating’ career injuries

He’s one of hundreds of ex-football players suing the NFL. Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon says league doctors lied to them about their injuries and now they’re paying the price.

McMahon was honored tonight by the Sports Legacy Institute, an organization co-founded by a retired pro wrestler, dedicated to supporting research on concussions.

It’s something the 54-year-old star of the ‘85 Bears knows all too much about.

The hard hits of the gridiron and the effects of repeated concussions add up. McMahon spoke about them in an incredibly frank way including the symptoms of dementia he’s experienced and the thoughts of suicide.

“The bad days are just – I don’t want to do anything. I want to lay in my room and tell Laurie to just leave me the hell alone,” McMahon said.

It seems unbelievable to those who remember the audacious, dynamic quarterback of yesteryear. McMahon’s still that guy, but struggling.

“I’d do it again. But now that I know what I know, I would not have played a lot of those games that I was dinged-up,” he said.

McMahon did not talk about the NFL lawsuit or his allegations that team doctors life to players about their head injuries and broken bones.

8 comments

  • Laquisha

    So nice to see that the Sun-Times caters well to the personal injury industry and publishes every press release they get.
    All this head injury crap in the NFL is a brazen attempt by the players to shake down the owners for money. it is had to document these complaints adn it's anyone's guess whether these mentalchanges are a result of injuries and/or years of substance abuse by many of these players.

    • JP

      Are you insane? You do realize this is a medical fact, right? You understand that there have been numerous medical studies done on the effects of multiple blows to the head? This doesn’t just include NFL players, but college and high school athletes as well. Why shouldn’t they be compensated? And where do you get your facts about substance abuse? When has substance abuse been attributed to dementia? Please go away.

  • Friday

    Last I checked football, be it professional or college, was a voluntary sport. Players can elect to pursue a professional career with their degree or pursue football. These guys chose football and lived lavish lifestyles while doing it. They knew the risks. Time to live with the repercussions.

  • Laquisha

    so now they are fat, middle-aged and out of money. sure, i owuld be depressed too. what better way to pay your child support than to sue for head injuries. there's lawyers lined up fpr miles to help you with your claim. By the way, the suicide rate for pro football players is no higher than other men that age.

  • ismael

    I bet that after a few thousand dollars from the NFL He will be o.k. again. When You run out of money and have no job You have to try to get money somewhere.

  • Jim Thomas

    Ismael…way off with your figures. Jim McMahon does not need money. He has enough for several lifetimes. he is in pain, just not the same old Punky QB we know and loved. Check your facts before you type any garbage! Bears Fan Yes sir, but compassionate Human first!

  • ismael

    Jim Thomas You check your facts. You did not check your facts so let me give some places to check. First Google Jim Mcmahon. No. 2 read his story on Wikipedia. There You will see all his autobiography with all His financial troubles. No need to apologize You must be either a friend of his or from Chicago. Now who wrote garbage You or Me?

  • retiredinAz1

    I do agree that there could be some long term affects with being hit in one’s career chice…buit, hey, it was a choice! You PLAY for a living and then cry when the fame & fortune are done? No Way! Should have invested the millions correctly in the first place……and look at Jim’s Scottsdale home now….yeah, he is sure living a hard life (not)

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