Bo Jackson had the talent to make the Hall-Of-Fame in either football or baseball, but trying to do both proved to be too much stress for even his gifted body. Instead, his legend outstrips his accomplishments on the field. His highlight reel is as impressive as any superstar in either sport, but he didn’t last long enough to dominate either game.
Oh, what might have been.
Today, he’s known as the greatest all around athlete that many people have ever seen in their lives. Generations who came after still hear rumblings about his legendary feats on the field, but the grainy video before HDTV don’t quite do him justice. You can get hints at what watching him in his prime was like, but you don’t get the full impact.
Bo Jackson also showed how sports stars could become media sensations that transcended sports in an era when the 24 hour news cycle was just beginning with the proliferation of cable television. That trend has exploded since the internet came along, and gave immediate access to an ocean of data on demand.
Now, fans can instantly find out everything they want to know about their favorite athlete with a simple Google search. Yet, due to the incomplete video record, Bo Jackson still exists as a mythic figure today. The legend looms larger than both his statistics and the scattered videos we can find about his achievements on the field.
Bo Jackson remains a sports superstar for the ages.