Marijuana

The Super Bowl Shuffle to The Mint

From left: Eben Britton, Jim McMahon and Kyle Turley.
From left: Eben Britton, Jim McMahon and Kyle Turley. Britton: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images; McMahon: Michael Cohen/Getty Images; Kyle Turley: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM
In 1986, when young Raul Molina was watching Jim McMahon quarterback the Chicago Bears to a win in the Super Bowl, Molina couldn't have imagined hanging out with "Mad Mac" McMahon 36 years later. Especially inside a cannabis kitchen and dispensary in Tempe that Molina and his partners built from the ground up.

"I remember growing up and watching Jim McMahon winning the Super Bowl and then doing The Super Bowl Shuffle," Molina recounted in a recent interview with Phoenix New Times. "I even did the McMahon headband and sunglasses look."

"The Super Bowl Shuffle" was a rap song performed by several Chicago Bears players in 1985, prior to the team going on to dominate in the Super Bowl.

Fast forward to August 31, and metro Phoenix residents can rap or dance their own version of the hit tune in front of McMahon and fellow former football stars Kyle Turley and Ebon Britton at The Mint dispensary at 5210 South Priest Drive in Tempe.

"It's awesome to meet these NFL greats and even cooler to see them pouring their time, effort, and passion into the cannabis industry," Molina said.

McMahon has resided in Scottsdale for more than 12 years. He said in an AP Football Podcast that he's smoked weed since 1973 and continued doing so throughout his NFL career in the 1980s. He played for the Arizona Cardinals in 1994.

"When I moved out here to Arizona, I got my medical marijuana license. I've been exclusively using that since, and my body feels a hell of a lot better. It's a medicinal herb. We're supposed to be using it. My mind is a lot clearer. It's done me wonders," McMahon told the podcast.

Turley was an offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He retired in 2007 and got into music. Admittedly hooked on opioids and other prescription meds, Turley quit with the help of cannabis. He parlayed his love for the plant into a "canna biz" and co-opened  Shango, a budding dispensary in Moreno Valley, California, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

"Kyle Turley and his bad boy attitude on the field is now focused on growing his cannabis brands," Molina said.

McMahon and Turley have said they suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury sustained from repeatedly hitting their heads during their football careers. Turley has said in media interviews that his CTE symptoms have subsided since using cannabis.

"Because I chose cannabis as an alternative and to understand it the way I have, it saved my life," he told USA Today. "It kept my family together. I have my wife. I have my kids. I have an amazing business partner and an amazing shop to craft this conversation into the light and bring it to the people the way it deserves."

Then there's Britton, who played with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Bears.

"Eben Britton went to UofA, but we will forgive him for that," Molina said. "He was an incredible All-American and created incredible memories for our friends in Tucson. Now he is creating opportunities for himself and others in cannabis."

After Molina gives the three former football players a tour of The Mint next week, there will be a meet-and-greet for fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The trio will then head to the monthly mixer of the Arizona chapter of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association, where they will speak more about their cannabis advocacy.
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