Are you kidding? Jim McMahon was a Brown? This fan was surprised to discover that there were quite a few quarterbacks who were former Browns and also have Super Bowl rings. In McMahon’s case, he was the starting quarterback for Da Bears of 1985, regarded as one of the greatest teams in NFL history.
McMahon was as famous for his off-beat personality as his ability to launch footballs. He also had a tendency to get banged up by refusing to protect himself and took the maximum beating possible from NFL defenses. Eventually Bears management tired of him and let him go. He became an NFL vagabond, playing in San Diego, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Arizona, and Green Bay. In between, he was brought in to back up Vinny Testaverde in the ill-fated 1995 season.
Steve Doerschuk of CantonRep.com tells the story of how McMahon was lured to Cleveland. Allegedly the Browns were going to pay him even though he was not on the roster, and then bring him onto the 53-player roster when they could free up a spot. They eventually did activate him, but never paid $100,000 which McMahon alleges was promised to him by Belichick general manager Mike Lombardi and owner Art Modell.
"“I got up (from the quarterbacks meeting) and was going to the restroom and here comes Mike Lombardi. I’d had it with this guy, because he was the one who kept giving me the runaround. I said, ‘Look, Mike, I really need it. My wife just got in a wreck, and I didn’t want to get insurance involved. I need the cash.’ Like a smart (aleck), Lombardi says, ‘Well, maybe we’ll pay you, maybe we won’t.’ “I lost it. I grabbed him by his neck. I started hitting his head on the wall. I said, ‘You’re going to pay me my money, you little (expletive).’ Then I realized what I was doing. I look around the hallway and I realize there’s nobody there. And I whacked him again. He slides down the wall, onto the floor. “I walked into the training room and called my attorney and said, ‘You’d better get me cut right now. I’m gonna kill this guy.’ So he calls me back in a minute or two and says, ‘They’ll release you if that’s what you want.’ “I said, ‘Perfect.’ So I walk back into the quarterback meeting. I’d only been gone 10 minutes. I said, ‘Boys, I’ll see you all later.’"
Despite a successful Ohio State career, Mike Tomczak was an undrafted free agent, signed by the Chicago Bears in 1985. Tomczak did not have a great arm, was not big enough and too slow, or so the scouts said. Nevertheless, he played in the NFL for 14 years. His record as a starting quarterback is 42-31-0.
If you question whether Tomczak was really a member of Da Bears, kindly find the youtube video of the Super Bowl Shuffle, and look closely. In the back, playing guitar is Number 18, young Mike Tomczak.
In fact, Tomczak is the answer to another trivia question: Who was the last member of the 1985 Bears to retire? That would be Tomczak.
He started eight times for the Browns in 1992, filling in for Bernie Kosar, going 4-4 while throwing for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.