SI Vault
McMahon with a golden arm
Pat Putnam
November 30, 1981
With one last fling Jim McMahon became the top college passer—ever
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 30, 1981

Mcmahon With A Golden Arm

With one last fling Jim McMahon became the top college passer—ever

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Some believe BYU quarterbacks operate by just throwing the ball into the air and hoping someone will catch it. Check this: Not only did McMahon set career passing records for yardage (9,536) and for touchdowns (84), but he also broke Danny White's career passing-efficiency record of 148.9 with a final grade of 156.9 (1,060 attempts, 653 completions, 84 TDs and only 34 interceptions).

After the game McMahon sat in front of his locker and called for the tape cutters. His left leg had been wrapped from the top of his thigh to his ankle. More tape around his middle held a large pad securely against his lower back, where he had been speared by a Utah helmet in the second quarter.

"Damn, my kidney hurts," he said, grabbing his back and trying to grimace and grin at the same time. "Now one more bowl game and then...." He smiled and started to peel away the tape.

"Then the pros?" someone asked.

"Why not? I like this game, and I don't like working. I'm not an 8-to-5 guy sitting behind a desk."

"But they're so big."

"I know. But I figure it doesn't matter what another guy weighs if he can't catch me. I'm only small and fragile if they get hold of me. And I never worry about getting hurt. I run a lot. That's because I can't stand pain."

1 2 3