The legend of Bo.: Bo Jackson didnít believe the hype, saying he was just another guy. But really, he was superhuman. The Kansas City Star's Joe Posnanski waxes nostalgic about Bo Jackson twenty years after his rookie season with the Royals.
posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 12:59 AM - 34 comments
Bo Jackson was in my opinion the best (not just most talented or fastest or some other limiting compliment) Running Back in the NFL and although not the best baseball player he was hands down the most electrifying ballplayer I have ever seen. He had a legitimate shot at being a two sport Hall of Famer. If he had had a chance to mature as a hitter I am sure plate discipline would have caught up to his tremendous talent. Thanks for the post.
posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:14 AM on May 30
Electrifying is right. Was it Bo who exploded down the sideline in a Monday night game, scored a touchdown and ran right into the locker room?
posted by rcade at 06:13 AM on May 30
He had a legitimate shot at being a two sport Hall of Famer I couldn't agree with truer words. I loved watching Bo Jackson when he played for the Royals (baseball) and the Raiders (football) even though neither team was my favorite, I just loved watching Bo play. I loved watching Dion Sanders when he played as well since he also was a two-sport athlete (and was just as electric), but he paled in comparison next to Bo Jackson and Dion might just be a Hall of Famer. It was all about Bo Jackson and if it wasn't for that hip injury, he was a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame for both sports. Simply incredible. Was it Bo who exploded down the sideline in a Monday night game, scored a touchdown and ran right into the locker room? Yes sir, that was Bo Jackson at his best. He was running so fast that he needed the extra yards just to stop.
posted by BornIcon at 06:26 AM on May 30
Bo was one of the finest athletes ever. Here's a Bo memory that not too many people know about: the speedy Harold Reynolds is on first, takes off on a hit-and-run, the batter crushes the ball down the left field line, where it one hops the wall. Bo barehands the ball, Reynolds is all ready halfway to third. Bo throws, flatfooted, the most fantastic laser that I've ever seen to home. When Reynolds sees the ball beat him to the plate the look of surprise on his face was priceless!
posted by whitedog65 at 07:48 AM on May 30
Bo was one of the finest athletes ever. Here's a Bo memory that not too many people know about: the speedy Harold Reynolds is on first, takes off on a hit-and-run, the batter crushes the ball down the left field line, where it one hops the wall. Bo barehands the ball, Reynolds is all ready halfway to third. Bo throws, flatfooted, the most fantastic laser that I've ever seen to home. When Reynolds sees the ball beat him to the plate the look of surprise on his face was priceless! Anyone who read this article knows this story.
posted by tommytrump at 08:46 AM on May 30
Bo knew how to amaze. My dad was a fan of baseball, he just really enjoyed, understood, and knew the game. He instilled in me his love of the game. Very few players amazed him. Bo Jackson, Roberto Clemente, and Jackie Robinson were three of his absolute favourites. It was just the way they played the game. I'm old enough that I did get a chance to see Bo play, and he was indeed something very very special. Injury took Bo off the field of play far too soon, but wow, he was great. Thanks again Bo!
posted by tommytrump at 08:59 AM on May 30
While I don't believe he would have ended up in the baseball hall, Bo was none the less one of the most exciting players to watch at the plate and in the field. His all-star homerun is one of those childhood baseball moments I will never forget. As NL All Star Manager Tommy Lasorda said, "When the ball hit the bat it sounded like he hit a golf ball." It left the park like a John Daly struck golf ball as well.
posted by gradys_kitchen at 08:59 AM on May 30
And let's face it -- most dominating video game character ever.
posted by holden at 09:32 AM on May 30
Sorry, I wrote my comment before reading the article. Guess my recollection must have been pretty close!
posted by whitedog65 at 10:13 AM on May 30
O.k. Bo was an amazing athlete, and certainly had the tools to be a hall of famer in either sport (though he would have needed to concentrate of baseball). But he wasn't going to be in the baseball hall of fame. I'm guessing this is a case of the legend is growing. His 1990 stats, the year before he got hurt, his 5th year in the league, were good, not great. Certainly not hall of fame level.
posted by justgary at 10:49 AM on May 30
Besides being a great athlete, Bo Jackson was and probably still is an excellent role model for todays generation. He was damn good but let his on field talents speak for themselves.
posted by Ironhead at 11:52 AM on May 30
One of my favorite moments in sports was the Monday night game when Bo on the left side sweep, literally ran over Brian Bosworth (one of the biggest bust players ever) on his way into the endzone. Priceless.
posted by Atheist at 12:54 PM on May 30
Is it me or is it coincidence that there's a Bo Jackson 'while playing for the Raiders autographed poster' link on the side of this post? Great stuff.
posted by BornIcon at 01:05 PM on May 30
Bo knows hyperbole.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 01:09 PM on May 30
It's just you, BI. Bo knows Google Ads.
posted by jerseygirl at 01:19 PM on May 30
Holy crap - graphic ads? I love the "Over 50?" ad with grandma and grandpa pic I'm seeing now. Any way we can turn the Google Ads back to text only?
posted by worldcup2002 at 01:33 PM on May 30
I wonder if Bo is using the same internet we are using.
posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:34 PM on May 30
It's just you, BI. Bo knows Google Ads. Now that's funny.
posted by BornIcon at 01:39 PM on May 30
If I'd gotten home from school ten minutes earlier I'd have seen Bo's running over Bosworth live. My dad called from work and was going crazy just telling me what I'd missed.
posted by Newbie Walker at 01:49 PM on May 30
If I'd gotten home from school ten minutes earlier The game was on Monday Night Football. That's some detention you served... Also, what justgary said. I felt then, and now, that Bo's talents as a baseball player, while definitely above average, were not as unprecedentedly spectacular as some of the media and fans made them out to be.
posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:02 PM on May 30
OK. Now, I love Bo, but I have to say something about Brian Bosworth here, just for a moment. It seems there are only a few memories of the Boz. The Mohawk in college, "Stone Cold", and two Bo Jackson-related plays. One of the plays already mentioned was totally legit, yes in a Monday Night game Bo Jackson literally ran around Boz to the sideline (and Boz absolutely had the angle) and trucked down the sideline for a long, long touchdown. Sweet. The other play, where Bo supposedly ran Boz over for a touchdown. The line of scrimmage on that play was the two yard line, they hand off to Bo, he meets Boz at the goal-line and Boz brings him down about five yeards into the end zone. The fact was that Boz made the tackle, and i fthe line of scrimmage had been the fifty then nobody ever remembers this play. Jesus jumping Christ on a pogo stick, am I fucking defending BRIAN BOSWORTH? The Seahawks drafted Boz in the SUPPLEMENTAL draft. All 30 teams or whatever there were in the league got one name in the hat and they drew for the pick. Boz was the only player worth a shit, and the Hawks despite the long odds got the pick. He was in that sense a steal. Two of his three seasons were very productive. Sorry to derail. I love Bo much, but to define Bosworth's career in terms of what Bo did to him is silly.
posted by vito90 at 02:08 PM on May 30
I remember when Bo steamrolled Bosworth the absolute feeling of demoralization was palpable in our living room. It had solidified the fact that the "Boz" was a complete bust, and that our (Seattle fans) hated nemesis, the Raiders, had probably the best athlete in pro sports. And we all couldn't wait to see him touch the ball again. Hell, as a kid I thought Bo could chew up chain link fence and spit out nails. Bo probably didn't define Bosworth's career, but he sure did leave a lasting image.
posted by THX-1138 at 02:26 PM on May 30
It's kind of sad that the numbnutz who made the tackle that ended Bo's career was, I believe, Rod Jones, a Bengal cornerback we in Cincinnati not-so-lovingly called "Toast". Cuz really, who got to see more exciting plays by Bo than Bengal fans? I remember at least three occasions where he just made our entire defense look silly, including that final play. It was probably destined to be another 60+ yard td run, but Jackson ran out of gas and the incredibly fast, yet startlingly untalented Jones caught him. Unless my memory fails me. I spent those years smoking a lot of Thai stick and occupying various administration buildings.
posted by tahoemoj at 02:42 PM on May 30
Unless my memory fails me. I spent those years smoking a lot of Thai stick and occupying various administration buildings. Dad? I too call for an end to the revisionist flogging of The Boz. He may not have been the best 'backer in the NFL, but he was far from lousy, and just like Bo, injuries brought him to an early end. Stop equating his career with his crappy movies.
posted by wfrazerjr at 02:46 PM on May 30
Cuz really, who got to see more exciting plays by Bo than Bengal fans? I don't know, man, I think that tecmo link above was taken from an actual play from a Seattle game.
posted by THX-1138 at 02:52 PM on May 30
The Boz largely brought this upon himself. He really was only considered a bust because he could never live up to all of the incredible hype he created for himself. He was a serviceable player, to be sure. The problem was that he had marketed himself as the absolute best in the biz, which he wasn't. Ok, ok, and pixellated Seabass fans.
posted by tahoemoj at 02:55 PM on May 30
Bo Jackson could have been the best running back in the history of the NFL. But we will never know...
posted by yay-yo at 03:02 PM on May 30
Actually the play where Bo ran over Boz was great. The Raiders were close to scoring and ran the sweep to Bo around the left side. Boz read the play well and was in position around the three or four yard line to tackle Bo for no gain. Bo accelerated and literally stepped on Boz's chest and waltzed into the end zone. Leaving boz laying on his back. I will never forget that play. FWIW Boz was a dominate player at Oklahoma but his physical abilities were largely due to his size and speed and appeared to be chemically induced. When he got to the NFL where testing was stricter, he lost most of the advantage he had. He seemed to get smaller and the big boys in the NFL handled him with ease.
posted by Atheist at 04:24 PM on May 30
When he got to the NFL where testing was stricter, he lost most of the advantage he had. The NFL instituted drug testing in 1987. They didn't have suspensions until 1989. They didn't have year-round random testing until 1990. By the time the NFL had any kind of strict policy, his career was over. He probably just looked smaller because he was around much bigger guys.
posted by bperk at 04:50 PM on May 30
Who you callin' pixellated?
posted by THX-1138 at 04:55 PM on May 30
Just about everything that could be said about Bo has already been posted here except that when he had the ball or was at the plate look out and watch out because he made things happen.. All star game in baseball hit a homerun at Angels Stadium that was out so fast nobody could believe it and that was a game that Nolan Ryan made the NL look like kids at the plate. And in his football games he looked like at times a man playing against boys. God he was so fast in his cuts and turns and had unbelieveable power to run over people aka running over Boz..
posted by The Old Man at 05:59 PM on May 30
After watching holden's link I am envious of anyone who's NES is still working and has Tecmo Superbowl. Hands down the greatest video game athlete ever.
posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:15 PM on May 30
(Are we sure Kyrilmitch isn't Bo..?) and he couldnít turn back time by flying around the world and reversing the rotation of the earth. How would we know if he could? I mean I did it that one time...
posted by bobfoot at 09:20 PM on May 30
After watching holden's link I am envious of anyone who's NES is still working and has Tecmo Superbowl. It's a shame that Tecmo superbowl couldn't let you build your team, because the QB Eagles/Bo Jackson combo would be unstoppable. And I always just thought my brother was better than me at video games.
posted by drezdn at 09:53 AM on May 31
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