“Mad-Mac” & “Hot-Rod”

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Brian Vickers

The Chicago Bears drafted Jim McMahon in 1982, in his rookie season McMahon instantly showed an ability to get the Bear offense into the end zone; he also showed poise in the pocket, and the mental toughness necessary to avoid mistakes that his predecessors were prone to make. Also in his rookie season McMahon established himself as a resourceful scrambler and thrower; he became a quarterback that could roll out of the pocket and buy time from his receiver to get open, or into a saloon, with equal ease; McMahon earned the respect of his teammates, he also earned NFC rookie of the year honors in the strike shortened season of 1982, McMahon came in second to Marcus Allen for rookie of the year league honors.

In 1985 McMahon came to training camp with a new hair-cut; which his wife (Nancy McMahon) almost divorced him over it. However, during the third game of the season against the Minnesota Viking, which McMahon did not start because of an injury; the character Mad-Mac was born. With the Bears trailing 17-9, and the offense going nowhere fast, McMahon entered the game. The play that was sent into McMahon was designed to be a screen pass to be the legendary Walter Payton; but McMahon changed the play in the huddle. As McMahon went back to pass, he stumbled. And with the help of a block thrown by the great Walter Payton, in the face of an all-out blitz by the Viking defense, McMahon gave the Bears the lead for good-with 70 yard touch- down pass to Willie Gault. After the play Coach Ditka asked McMahon “why did you throw it to Willie?” and McMahon said “because he was open.” McMahon would also throw another touchdown pass on his second play from scrimmage, in which he once again changed the play that Ditka sent in, which gave the Bears the lead for good. McMahon threw his final touchdown pass on his eighth play from scrimmage also. McMahon rallied the Bears to a 33-24 victory, after that game McMahon would forever be remembered as “Mad-Mac.” Through out the 1985 season McMahon further established himself as an NFL passer that was unselfishly willing to go beyond the normal duties of a Quarterback, which included being on the receiving end of a half-back option pass from future Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton; furthermore, McMahon also displayed that he was a “Blue-Collar Quarterback” willing to pay any price to advance the Chicago Bear offense. The day after the Bears suffered their only loss of the 85 season to the Miami Dolphins, the team recorded the famous song “The Super bowl Shuffle;” when it was McMahon’s turn to sing, he introduced himself as the “Punk QB.”

McMahon capped off a wonderful 1985 season by leading the Bears to their first and only Superbowl championship. For the rest of his tenure with the Chicago Bears McMahon would continue to call his own plays, or change plays in the huddle, or at the line of scrimmage; McMahon would also call an audible seemingly at will. This was a practice that would frustrate Head Coach Mike Ditka, but it would lead success for the Chicago Bear offense. Next to Joe Montana, Jim McMahon had the second highest winning parentage amongst quarterbacks. McMahon’ s tenure with the Chicago Bears would be cut short because of injuries and confrontations with Head Coach Mike Ditka-and team president Michael McCaskey. Once McMahon left the Bears, they would find out how much his leadership was needed; because McMahon’s successors (Mike Tomczak, Jim Harbaugh, and Eric Kramer) were not able to lead the Bears on another Super Bowl run.

Rod Blagojevich “Hot Rod,” was a two-term Democratic Governor of the state of Illinois, and his gubernatorial tenure was filled with clashes with lawmakers that were designed to block everything that he would try to implement for the betterment of the constituents that elected him to govern the state of Illinois. While Blagojevich was in office, Illinois became the only state in America to provide free healthcare for children; the state of Illinois also became one of the few, if not the only state in the union to provide senior citizens with free access to public transportation. Rod Blagojevich would also implement the I-Save Prescription drug program, which was an idea that was given to him by then-Congressman, and now Chicago Mayor-Rahm Emanuel; this was a program that was designed to help seniors afford groceries that they needed to live on, along their medicine. Illinois became the first state in America to defy the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) by providing seniors with cheaper medicine on the open trade from Canada; the I-Save Prescription drug program gave seniors the convenience of being able to mail in their order of prescription medication also. However, the inception of this program, in the eyes of the Illinois State Legislature and General Assembly, was an impeachable offense; however, the Governors of Wisconsin, Vermont, and Kansas worked with Rod Blagojevich to be able to implement the I-Save Prescription drug program not only in the state of Illinois, but in their states also. In order for Blagojevich to get things done for people, he often times had to use the helpful advice of lawyers to go around the Legislature to be able to give seniors-citizens free rides on CTA, and give uninsured women free access to breast and cervical cancer screening. Blagojevich also helped save the life of a 19 year old young man, in the person of Omar Castillo, who had a rare kidney disease, and was in need of a kidney transplant that would save his life.

In his last official act as the Governor of the state of Illinois, Blagojevich ordered the criminal history of Jimmie Beck and Fred Latsko expunged; making it possible for both men to be able to find gainful employment. Blagojevich’s maneuvering around “the system of checks and balances” to provide for the people who hired him may have infuriated his fellow Democrats in the legislature, particularly Speaker of The House Michael Madigan; however, Blagojevich proved that he was a politician willing to go to any lengths to get things done for people who relied on the “the system.” Rod Blagojevich became a target of ridicule not just for the indifferent way governed the state of Illinois, but the unique way he wore his hair, and his commute to and from Springfield, not to mention his residency. Rod and Patty Blagojevich choose to live amongst their constituents on the northwest side of Chicago-instead of living in the Governor’s mansion in Springfield; because he and his wife Patty wanted to instill a sense of humility in their children, they didn’t want their children growing up spoiled, with a sense of privilege and entitlement, because their father was Governor of the 5th largest state in America.

It has been two years since the impeachment and removal of Rod Blagojevich as the Governor of state of Illinois; and it did not take long to see just how much better off the constituents of Illinois were with him as Governor, versus his successor, Pat Quinn. Since the very day that he took office, has shown he is solely interested in “business as usual,” and meeting the demands of House Speaker Michael Madigan, by attempting to sock it to the tax payers with higher taxes. Moreover, Pat Quinn has neither the willingness, nor the gumption to take on tough lawmakers, and/or go around the legislative process the way Rod Blagojevich did to make government work for the people, instead of at the expense of the people.

Jim McMahon and Rod Blagojevich both defied “the powers that be,” and proved to be very-good at doing the jobs that they were hired to do. Jim McMahon won ballgames for his team by unselfishly willing to do anything for his team to win. Rod Blagojevich used the executive authority of a Governor to get things done for people, and in the process, his administration literally saved lives, without burdening the middle-class with “phony politics.” The type of phony that socks it to the tax-payer, the type of phony politics-where politicians talk a good game, but really are not interested in getting anything done for people who elect them to office.

 

CCNM
I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.