McMahon, Jim (2) “Jimmy Mac”

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1989 Update, ProSet 1991, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Home
Sent: 10/12   Received: 10/24  (12 days)
See Also: Jim McMahon

So I had gotten Jim almost 20 years ago on a card during a golf tournament, and decided after reading about his recent struggles in “Sports Illustrated” to write him. It was really striking to read about his battles with confirmed early stage dementia from blows to the head that he suffered from over the years playing football. His situation has gotten to a point that his short term memory sometimes gives out. For example, he will know he is going to the airport, run into somebody and have a conversation with them. Two minutes later he’s already asking himself who that person was.  In other words he has little short term memory. Over Jim’s time playing for the Bears, Chargers, Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals, Browns (only in the preseason), and Packers, he suffered at least 3 concussions. On one vicious hit against the Packers, he was picked up and piledriven into the turf. Jim never was taken out of a game for a concussion, and in fact, in a game against Detroit, doctors said his concussion, “Cleared up by halftime.”

Jim is open about his time, and said that if he could do it over- he’d have done baseball instead, but he ultimately knows that football paid his bills through college, as a professional and then on into retirement. McMahon lends some ‘star power’ to the concussion lawsuit group that has greater than 2,500 players as plantiffs against the NFL and helmet makers for knowingly risking head trauma to former players.  Looking at McMahon now, you can see the brash, punky, cavalier image is still there, but clearly he has been worn down as the concussions and the 18 surgeries have taken their toll. He’s granted numerous interviews to media outlets and radio stations, even doing a candid piece for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”.

He tries to spend a lot of time golfing, and working charity events. He’s involved with design of his apparel line, “SwangWear”, which focuses on quality, functionality, and fun, for the golfing enthusiast.  Jim also gives a percentage of the profit to his sister’s memorial fund, The Lynda McMahon Ferguson Memorial Fund, to help promote literacy. McMahon continues to give time back to the community by being involved with St. Jude as an ambassador and the Wounded Warrior Project.

I am very interested in the lawsuits and the further medical research. I myself suffered 4 concussions before I was 18. I suffered one from heading a soccer ball as a child, one from Scouting where I blacked out for 10 seconds, one from fighting, and finally one from football from constant hitting. I hope that something can be done, as I worry about my own short term memory.

These are some great cards of Jim here. I really wanted to get at least one Bears card signed of his though. I realized that I had not included any of them to send out and had to remove some other great Eagles cards I had to get this ProSet 1989 in. Still getting two of him on these great Chargers cards, just doesn’t do him justice, as his stay was so short there in San Diego. The ProSet 1989 Chargers card would be rushed out so fast that this one is an error card missing the ‘traded’ corner strip. (Still it is worthless because of the sheer overprinting the Pro Set Corporation did of their card lines.) The Fleer 1990 card was the first one from the manufacturer to hit the market since the 1950s. It is generic, but something about it is original in the framing of Jim and how he breaks the picture plane into the yellow. The helmet seems thrown on there arbitrarily along with the hideous shine, but in a sense this added to the naive fun of the product. Again another Eagles card with the ProSet 1991 card. By then McMahon was a full time devotee to the helmet eye shield and still wore the headband, but I like the ‘standing tall’ in the pocket look here.  A great card of on the field action with just the right distance and cropping on the image. Pro Set’s 90 and 91 sets design-wise really run fairly seamlessly together into the 92 series 1 set, before a complete and confusing departure from their design struck the 1992 series 2 cards and ran the company off the tracks.