Bo Jackson, childhood idol of this guy and many others, is in the short argument for greatest two-sport professional athlete, with Deion Sanders. He spawned a national ad campaign dealing on his sports versatility with “Bo Knows.” He wowed with huge plays in both football and baseball, running through the Seattle Kingdome tunnel on Monday Night Football, throwing runners out from the warning track.
If you look at Jackson’s stats in the two sports, you may wonder why he is viewed as one of the best. He split time and attention between the two sports. In a different time, he may have been more focused. He sat down with MMQB and provided the following, in regard to the current information on head injuries:
If I had young kids, to be honest, and if they came and said, Dad, I want to play football, I’d smack them in the mouth. No. No. Because if I’d have known back then what I know now, to be honest with you, I probably would have taken a different path. I probably just would have played baseball.
Jackson, of course, suffered a severe hip injury in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs following the 1990 season. He had just turned 28 years old. That baseball season, at age 27, he set his career high in on-base percentage at .342, and slugging percentage at .523. Who knows where he would have gone over the next two or three years focusing just on baseball.
Jackson was also asked about Tim Tebow. I’m sure there was no hint of disdain on Tebow being compared to him as a football/baseball player when he said, “With Tebow, I never even knew he played baseball. And he says he hasn’t played since high school? That’s not going to be easy. I wish him all the best.”