New Sports Illustrated cover

By |  September 10, 2012

It was interesting to see last week’s Sports Illustrated cover. It has former Bears QB and golf nut Jim McMahon on the cover.

I met McMahon about five years ago at a celebrity golf event, back when I was writing the “Reflections” page regularly in Golf Course Management. My dad was a huge Bears fan, so it was exciting to meet the former Super Bowl champ.

McMahon was funny and nice. He had a few empty Coors Light cans in his cart at the time, so he was feeling fine. I caught up with him as he was signing autographs after his round. He signed for anyone who approached him, not in any rush. He was the same way with me when I asked him for an interview.

After you do so many of these interviews, you can hear when a source gives you the sound bite you need. It’s an instant relief — you know you have something you can print, something you can show as a result of your trip. With McMahon, we kept talking, but I wasn’t able to get that sound bite.

I wanted him to give me something about why he appreciated a beautiful golf course. But all his answers were mostly about his game. He seemed indifferent to the quality of the golf course.

Finally, after I asked him if he had one golf course that was his favorite, he smiled at me and said, “Not really. Every time I play golf I have a few of these (shaking his beer can) and I’ve been hit in the head so much that… I don’t really remember most golf courses after I play them.”

He was smiling when he said it. I figured he mostly was referring to the beer. But now that I read that he has early-onset dementia, it just bums me out. He really can’t remember golf courses after he plays them.

I love the NFL and I watched a ton of football this weekend. I don’t know what the answer is, but it sure is sad to see these players suffering after they retire from the game.

This is posted in Columns

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