McMahon: Trubisky will be loved forever if he wins

More than 30 seasons have passed since Jim McMahon quarterbacked the iconic 1985 Bears to a Super Bowl championship.

Seven of McMahon's 15 NFL seasons were spent in Chicago as he went on to play for five other teams, including the hated Green Bay Packers. Yet he's still revered in the Windy City as the "Punky QB" who played through pain and came up clutch with the Bears' only Super Bowl trophy.

So, as the Bears rolled out the orange carpet on Friday to begin the Bears100 Celebration of the franchise's 100th season, McMahon had some simple advice for Chicago's current signal-caller, Mitchell Trubisky.

"All he has to do is play hard here," McMahon said via the Chicago Sun-Times. "If he plays hard, people understand that. They're very knowledgeable fans. They'll love him if he plays hard.

"And if he plays hard and wins, they'll love him forever."


It's an emphatic statement by McMahon, but it's one that's arduous to argue.

Football fans in Chi-Town still recall -- at least in name -- Sid Luckman. Luckman won a quartet of NFL Championships, but he retired in 1950 and passed away in 1998.

Franchise quarterbacks are hard to find for one of the NFL's most storied franchises.

Trubisky's been the Bears quarterback for but two seasons. However, he made the Pro Bowl in 2018 and became the first Chicago QB to do so since McMahon's one and only all-star appearance in 1985 (Erik Kramer had a case in 1995, but the NFC North had a huge QB year).

Just like McMahon in '85, Trubisky is a quarterback on a team that's identity is linked to a dominant defense. In contrast, McMahon played for the legendary Mike Ditka, who favored a more deliberate offense than the current Bears employ under Matt Nagy.

"[Trubisky has] got a great offense to play in, from the little bit that I've seen," McMahon said Friday. "That's the kind of offense I would like to play in. I know coach Nagy came from the Chiefs with Andy Reid, and Andy Reid was my tackle [at BYU]. So I've known him forever."

Times have changed.

McMahon's college tackle is coaching the AFC's most high-octane team and Chicago's most renowned football team celebrated its silver anniversary long ago.

No matter how the autumns pass in Chicago, though, the rare winning quarterback will be remembered for years to come.

Trubisky already ended the Bears' drought of Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Perhaps if he ends their Super Bowl dry spell, he will indeed live on forever in Chicago lore.

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