>> Friday, June 12, 2009
We're bringing a new segment to The PMB...weekly "Old-School Athlete Tributes." Everyone has an athlete from their past that holds a special place in their sport's world. Bo Jackson was a once in a century athlete, whom was equipped with natural gifts that would make Jesus jealous.
Bo Jackson began his career with a choice. Bo was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees, but chose to attend college at Auburn University and was a three sport star. Bo not only won the Heisman Trophy in 1985, but also excelled on the diamond and on the track. Bo batted a whopping .401 with 17 homers and 43 rbis in 1985 and qualified in the 60 yard dash as a freshman and sophomore. Bo was eventually drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first pick in the 1986 draft, but chose to play baseball and joined the Kansas City Royals.
Bo joined the Royals major league club in 1987 where he belted 22 home runs in his rookie campaign. Bo was an All-Star talent in baseball, but football was still calling his name and he returned to the game following the 1987 season, "As a hobby." Bo ran for 2,228 yards and 12 touchdowns over a three year span, before the wheel fell off, so to speak.
Bo Jackson was injured in the 1991 playoffs against the damned Cincinnati Bengals (Who Dey), ending a promising NFL career and threatening his MLB career. Bo became the storybook back. The athlete who would have been the best all time, but was derailed by unforeseen circumstances. As kids and/or adults, we all remember the "Bo Knows" campaign that Nike possessed and the cult following that it developed.
Since his retirement, Bo Jackson returned to Auburn to complete his degree and is now a successful business man in Chicago.
While Bo Jackson stories have become more embellished over the years since his retirement, the fans who saw his performance versus the Seattle Seahawks or had the pleasure of watching him bash a baseball 450 feet, knew one thing....Bo Knew Sports.
*and yes, I just stole Kris's hero for my old school athlete tribute...little payback for the Kentucky steal the other day.