As a young man I idolized Bo Jackson. I wanted to be the first white Bo Jackson in a manner of speaking. I loved sports and still do. I played them as often as I could with the neighborhood boys.
I was unfortunate to not have very good support from my parents in playing sports throughout my junior high and high school years. I played one year of football, my senior, and in a different town.
I grew up in Alaska and my town did not have a football team when I was going to high school. I did however try out for baseball. My coach did not take me and when I asked why I was told that I missed too many try-out practices. The reason for that is that my parents felt it better for me to work than play sports.
So I, like many children in this world, missed out on what it was like to play and try to be the best to win a scholarship (I am not making that mistake with my child. She is now into soccer and my wife and I are supporting her, and will support her with whatever sport she wants to try).
Bo was the best in his day. He could run the ball with ease and run over linebackers that other ball carriers feared. Brian Bosworth can testify to this. So can many others.
His football career was one of awe inspiring moments. Baseball was no different. His amazing catches, running up and flipping off the back wall, his throw from outfield to home just in time so the catcher could tag out the runner, his bat breaking ability.
Everyone was talking about the things he did over the weeks as I went to school.
Okay, here is how big of a fan I was. I read his books. I tried to get my hands on all his cards. I was obsessed some may say.
I remember in seventh grade I offered to do a guy's science home work for the Bo Jackson football/baseball card. I had looked everywhere and with all the cards I bought I still could not get one. This kid had one and I was good at science so we bargained.
At the end I lost out. When all was said and done he told me that someone stole the card out of his locker. I should have tore up the homework and walked off, but I was so pissed I just handed him the work and left.
If I would have known that the kid was going to end up in prison by the time we were freshmen I would never have messed with him at all.
I was and still am a Bo fan. I feel that he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame for baseball and football just for being the first of his kind. I know that Jim Thorpe was technically the first to play multiple sports, but not on the level as Bo. Cocky Deion Sanders was good, but was no Bo Jackson.
Bo was kind to the fans and those around him. He was not a cocky jerk that thought the sport or the fans owed him like others today.
So for all the Bo fans, let us hope that the NFL and MLB will give us what we want and put Bo where he belongs. The Hall of Fame.
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