I’m watching 30 for 30, and they’re reviewing the career of Bo Jackson.
I saw Bo Jackson play both baseball and football. I’ll say this: Bo Jackson was the best football player I ever saw. He possessed both speed and power. After tearing off a 91-yard run against the Seasquawks, he destroys Brian “The Boz” Bosworth on this play:
Bo Jackson was before the era of televising everything at all times. Otherwise he would have been way above some of the guys we talk about today. We would see him play with the Royals against the A’s; then go to LA and watch him play for the Raiders. BSP does not use the superstardom word very often, but he was a Superstar. Dude would break off 90 yard runs like nobody’s business.
This is crazy talk. Bo Jackson, despite having the fastest Combine time (4.12) and being a big man; he had the best ARM I’ve seen, with the possible exception of Cal Ripken, Jr. He’s clearly the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen play.
He remains the only player to play in the MLB All-Star Game and the Pro Bowl.
I had the displeasure of seeing Bo Jackson’s final NFL game, a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He got hit on a seemingly innocuous play and never returned. After the game, we stood above the tunnel on the way out of the LA Coliseum, and watched Bo limp out. I said “he’s limping, but he’ll be back.”
Actually, no. No he didn’t.
He went on to play a few more seasons in baseball but he was never the same player. Crazy, he played with an artificial hip.
Jackson did something unique: He didn’t go off the deep end once he retired. Instead, he has encountered much commercial success, including working for a community bank in Illinois, guest appearances on some TV shows, and an interest in archery. He didn’t hang around the game like he had nothing else to do. It’s admirable.
It was a blessing to watch that dude play. As great as he was, I still can’t say he’s a Hall-of-Famer. He just didn’t play long enough. Longevity is a big deal, and he didn’t have the depth of career that the Hall-of-Famers do.