Former Bears coach Mike Ditka had a pretty good seven-season run with Jim McMahon as his quarterback in Chicago.
McMahon wasn't always healthy enough to start for the Bears, but when he was, they usually won. From 1982 to 1988, McMahon started a total of 61 games for the Bears and went 46-15. McMahon and Ditka also won Super Bowl XX together.
The quarterback never played a full 16-game season during his time in Chicago though because he was usually battling some sort of injury. Whether it was a shoulder, neck or arm injury, McMahon was always aching.
For McMahon, one way to fight those aches was to smoke marijuana, something his coach was aware of.
The quarterback strongly hinted on Sunday that Ditka knew his players were smoking pot.
"Mike Ditka would say, 'Oh, all you guys, you pot smokers,' That's what he'd call us. 'You pot smokers.'" McMahon said at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We'd say, 'It's better than being drunk out here. We're still functioning.'"
McMahon told the Chicago Tribune in January that he had been smoking pot illegally until 2010, when he got a medical marijuana card in Arizona. The former Bears quarterback said he was popping 100 Percocet pills a month to help dull the pain from his playing days in the NFL.
At the conference, McMahon described some of his injuries.
"I have arthritis pretty much in all my joints," McMahon said. "My head problems have been pretty severe at times. [Marijuana] makes all that pain go away. I just forget about the pain."
Both McMahon and Ricky Williams were at the conference to talk about the virtues of letting NFL players smoke marijuana, instead of taking pills, to help with pain,
As for Ditka, if it sounds like McMahon's throwing him under the bus, it wouldn't be a complete shock. Back in 2014, Ditka said that if any of his former players were addicted to pills, it was their own fault.
"If you don't want to take them, don't take them," Ditka said of painkillers. "I don't think anybody ever forces anyone to do anything. If you don't want to take it, don't take it."
Ditka made the comments because a group of retired players, including McMahon, filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming the league illegally supplied them with painkillers and narcotics without getting prescriptions for the players or warning them of possible side effects.
McMahon has been struggling with his health recently. Back in 2013, the former Bears quarterback admitted that he suffers from dementia and that he used to have suicidal thoughts, but doesn't anymore.