No coach in sports may elicit more of a visceral reaction than Bill Belichick.
There seems to be no middle ground – you either love him or you hate him.
And when it comes to this Super Bowl winning quarterback, there can be no mistaking where he stands as he recently claimed Belichick is a “lying piece of s**t.”
Former Chicago Bears Super Bowl winning quarterback Jim McMahon has always been known as a rather colorful character.
He has apparently harbored a deep-seated hatred of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick for over 25 years as well.
Back in 2015, as the Patriots were embroiled in the rather ridiculous “Deflategate scandal” – a “scandal” that was blown way out of proportion by the media and NFL – McMahon injected himself into that conversation to let the world know just what he thought about Belichick.
At that time, he claimed that when he was part of the Cleveland Browns during the 1995 preseason, Belichick, who was the Browns head coach at the time, lied to him about the team’s intentions with him.
But now, six years later, McMahon is bringing the story back to the forefront, and taking things a step further in the process.
In a recent radio interview with a Cleveland sports radio station, McMahon said that the way he remembers it, Belichick had assured him that the Browns were only releasing him at the start of the 1995 season temporarily, so McMahon moved his entire family to Cleveland.
“After training camp [Belichick] called me in and says, ‘Hey we’re gonna have to release you. We’ve got a lot of guys hurt. We need some roster spots,’” McMahon said on 850 ESPN Cleveland. “Then he said, ‘Hey no. But we really want you, we need you here.’ I said what are you telling me, Bill? He goes, ‘I want you to move here.’ If I’m gonna be here. I move my family here. They’re gonna be here for six months with me. I gotta find a hockey team for my sons. They were big into hockey at the time. So don’t screw me around. And he said ‘We’re gonna take care of you. . . . We’ll pay you to sit out.’”
Of course, if the team was actually paying him to sit out, that would be a violation of NFL rules, even as far back as 1995.
Regardless, McMahon said that Belichick told him he would only have to sit out a week or two before being back on the roster, but it ended up being quite a bit longer than that.
“He said it’s probably only gonna be one or two weeks,” McMahon recalled. “So I ended up finding a house . . . to rent, found a hockey team for my sons. So I called in the first week on a Friday to get my check and get the runaround. I’m thinking first week jitters. The second week I called in for my check, got the runaround again. I sat here for seven weeks doing nothing in Cleveland. . . . They finally signed me back week Seven or Eight.”
After not receiving the pay he was under the impression he was getting for “sitting out,” McMahon says he then confronted the Browns general manager about getting paid and, as one may expect, that wasn’t exactly a friendly conversation.
“He’s coming down the hallway and I said, ‘Hey man, I need my money. My wife was just in a wreck and I don’t want to deal with insurance,’” McMahon claimed. “He looks at me and says, ‘Well, maybe we’ll pay you, maybe we wont.’ And I lost it. I just snapped. I grabbed him by the neck and threw his head against the wall and said, ‘You’re gonna pay me my money.” Then I started realizing what I was doing and I’m looking around the hallway to see if there were any cameras. I stopped hitting him and he slid down the wall.”
From there, McMahon supposedly ducked into the team’s training room, called his attorney to get him released from the team, and then proceeded to go back into the quarterbacks meeting that he had walked out of in order to assault the Browns General Manager.
“So I walk back into the QB meeting — it was Vinny Testaverde, myself and Eric Zeier and just said ‘Hey boys, I’ll see you all later. I’m outta here,’” McMahon said. “The coach said, ‘Have you talked to Bill?’ I said, “You can tell Bill to kiss my ass. He’s a lying piece of s**t.’ Then I was gone. The very next day I was up in Green Bay.”
It’s obviously quite the story, even for a guy like Jim McMahon who seemingly brings a little extra flare to everything he does.
And while McMahon used the story as a way to make Belichick look bad and to call him a “lying piece of s**t,” it actually makes McMahon look more than a little crazy.
Moving your family for a job is totally understandable, but to move your entire family to a new city on a promise that you have no way of knowing will be fulfilled isn’t exactly the smartest decision.
On top of that, unless you’re a 1960’s era member of one of New York’s Five Families, assaulting someone you want to give you money probably isn’t the best way to go about getting paid.
Despite McMahon’s claims that Belichick is a liar, it’s also entirely possible that Belichick wasn’t lying to McMahon at all when he said he wanted him on the team.
As ProFootballTalk pointed out, the first time McMahon made this claim in 2015, Belichick did say publicly in 1995 that he may resign the quarterback within a matter of days depending on what transpired with some injured players, just as Belichick had allegedly said to McMahon.
Regardless, what matters most here is that Jim McMahon hates Bill Belichick, and he’ll most likely never change his mind about that.
But at least we got a good story out of it.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.