June 15, 2006

McInally continues to perfect the Wonderlic

Do you ever wonder what became of your favorite college football stars from yesteryear? Do you think about how often they're reminded of their crowning achievements?

Wonder no more.

Rivals.com is spending the summer tracking down some of the college players who delivered the most memorable moments of the last generation.

The events which made them famous or infamous may have happened years ago, but in many ways they may as well have taken place yesterday. The moments are still that fresh in the minds of each player.

They are often asked about their achievements. And they're only too happy to share their memories.

Pat McInally, Harvard wide receiver/punter
Name: Pat McInally
Age: 53
Residence: Corona Del Mar, Calif.
Claim to fame: McInally was an All-American wide receiver at Harvard in 1974. He finished second in the nation in receptions in 1973, and he was a two-time All-Ivy League pick. But he's best known for being the only player to this day to record a perfect score on the Wonderlic test. It's an IQ test administered to prospects by the NFL.

How often he's reminded about his college career: "It's the intellectual annuity (his perfect score on the Wonderlic). It comes up every year. With the Vince Young situation (the Texas QB reportedly scored a six but sources said mistaken information had been leaked and he actually scored a 16), there were hundreds of articles written."

Memories of the Wonderlic: "It really did seem like an easy test at the time. One of the reasons I did so well is because I didn't think it mattered. So I think I didn't feel any pressure at all. It was more of a lark, and that's when you do your best.

"If I took it 100 times I'd probably never do that again. I didn't find out till years later that it hurt me in the draft.

"How did it hurt me in the draft? Coaches and front-office guys don't like extremes one way or the other, but particularly not on the high side. I think they think guys who are intelligent will challenge authority too much.

"One of my fondest memories was playing in the College All-Star game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I scored the game's first touchdown. I think the Steelers were so upset that this Ivy League guy scored that they tackled me as I was going into the end zone and broke my leg. No, it wasn't a dirty play or anything. But I can remember there was a picture in Sports Illustrated of me in the end zone after that play with this big smile. What an idiot, I was lying there smiling with a broken leg.

"That injury forced me to miss what would have been my rookie season with the Bengals, but it probably worked out for the best. They had a lot of good receivers, but a couple of them had moved on by the next year and I was able to make the club."

Pro career: McInally handled the punting chores for the Bengals from 1976-85. He was a fifth-round choice by the Bengals in 1975. He averaged 41.9 yards per punt for his career. He also played some at wide receiver, and he finished his career with 57 receptions for 808 yards and five touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl as a punter in1982.

"It was pretty rough going as a receiver in the AFC Central at that time. Going against those great Steelers teams twice a year was tough. As I accumulated concussions through the years I had six I was hospitalized for my role as punter became more prominent. I was a punter only in my last couple of years in the league. Punting got to be so boring it was the right time to leave.

"I remember a game in 1982 against the Steelers. We had a goal-line situation and I was lined up as a tight end on the 3-yard line. My job was to go off the line and bounce off (Steelers Hall of Fame middle linebacker) Jack Lambert, then go out in the flat. I knocked him on his can because he hit a patch of ice. He went flying. Well, he remembered it. We played together in the Pro Bowl that year and he knocked me down in practice twice."

What he's doing now: McInally was the founder of the Kenner Starting Lineup action figures, the first of their kind for athletes. He received royalty checks on the toys for 14 years, and, as he says, "That's why I'm able to do what I want to do." One thing he has wanted to do since getting out of the NFL is write articles for the parents of young athletes that try to help them and their kids have positive experiences. "That's my primary focus, to try to make sports fun for kids."

He also has been hired recently by the Wonderlic Co. as director of marketing and testing.

"I've gotten to know Charlie Wonderlic after all of these years, and it is fun to work with him. One goal the company has is to keep kids eligible in high school and college.

"We're trying to get the Wonderlic to be part of the testing of athletes in high school for colleges. Wonderlic has a number of tests, one of which relates to how kids will do on the SAT, one about personality, etc. We test for a lot of things college coaches would want to know. It will be interesting to see how it evolves."


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