ESPN 30 for 30 You Don't Know Bo: Documentary Displays Jackson's Mythical Talent

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

1990:  Bo Jackson of the Kansas City Royals swings at the pitch during a MLB game in the 1990 season. ( Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

No star shone brighter than Bo Jackson when he was in his prime.

ESPN has come under fire recently. There was the Lynn Hoppes fiasco, Tebowmania and the emergence of Skip Bayless.

But 30 for 30 is one of the things the network gets right time and again. The documentary series encapsulates everything that's great about ESPN and what it's capable of when it throws its resources behind the right projects.

The newest addition to the series, You Don't Know Bo, focused on the incredible ability of two-sport star Bo Jackson. He remains the only player in history to be named to the NFL Pro Bowl and MLB All-Star team.

Unfortunately, his career is surrounded with "what ifs." He suffered a hip injury during an NFL playoff game in 1991 from which he never fully recovered.

The documentary was very similar to a previous edition of 30 for 30, The Best that Never Was, which chronicled the rise and fall of Marcus Dupree. His career was curtailed by injuries as well, but the circumstances surrounding him were much different from Jackson and some might argue self-inflicted.

Jackson's career was cut short exclusively due to injuries. No one will argue that he squandered the gifts given to him.

He won the Heisman Trophy in 1987 and ran a 4.12 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. This was in addition to being a player of equal ability on the baseball diamond.

In terms of Jackson, young fans might have heard his name in passing terms, but it's through You Don't Know Bo that his almost mythical ability is properly conveyed.

It's one thing for your dad or friend to tell you about Jackson's infinite talent. It's quite another to hear from Hall of Famers like Howie Long and George Brett discuss just how special Jackson was.

Using the phrase once in a lifetime to define Jackson might not do justice to how great he was as it would imply that fans are that frequently spoiled by such a player.

You Don't Know Bo is full of archival footage of his collegiate and professional careers, which will cause sports fans to look on in amazement.

There's the video of his 91-yard run against the Seattle Seahawks. It was of course the same night he ran for 221 yards and almost single-handedly destroyed the career of Brian Bosworth.

Those were just some of his exploits on the gridiron. There was his home run in the 1989 All-Star Game that caused former president Ronald Reagan to gasp. He could snap a bat in half either over his thigh or even his head.

Fans who weren't able to see Jackson in his prime should revel in watching You Don't Know Bo. It's a documentary that was very worthy of highlighting such a spectacular player.


    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report