"He would rather sleep with his football," says Troy Aikman, a former Bruin who has become a friend and mentor to McNown.
Vicki disputes some of what is said about her son's goody-goody image. "Cade will say 'goshdarnit' once in a while," she claims, but then adds, "What makes him a good athlete is the way he practices, and it's the same with people. Cade knows that to be the man he wants to be, it takes practice. That means surrounding himself with the right kind of people, participating in the right kind of activities, even listening to the right kind of music."
All this may come as a surprise to the folks in Hollister, because McNown admits to having been something of a bully while growing up there. His father still gets a chuckle recalling the time Cade wrapped a friend's car around a pole, the time Cade snuck off with the family Jeep and got it stuck in a flooded riverbed, the time.... "I guarantee you people in Hollister have a different perception of me than the people in West Linn," says Cade. "Just goes to show that people can change, even if small towns never do."
It's a sunny summer day at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, in Cornelius, Ore., and McNown is showing off an unusual talent. This has nothing to do with the fact that he hits a volatile mix of majestic 300-yard drives and ground balls to shortstop. He's taking a pop quiz on Heisman Trophy winners.
"John David Crow."
"Bo Jack.... No, Herschel Walker."