Bo Jackson is the first athlete I ever loved. He's the reason I became an Oakland Raider fan. He's the reason I (almost) became a Kansas City Royal fan. His career-ending injury is the reason I still feel a little bitterness to this day toward the Cincinnati Bengals.
I was 6 or 7 in his heyday and I was in awe of him: at the way he could hit home runs farther than anyone else, at the way he could snap baseball bats like toothpicks, at the way he could bust off 90-yard runs in football at the drop of a hat. Even now, over 20 years later, I can still vividly recall several of his most amazing plays. And one of the most incredible things of all is that those same plays are still amazing now -- they're not the product of my trumped-up imagination. They're just absolutely spectacular plays.
So naturally I was excited to read that ESPN's tremendous 30 for 30 series of sports documentaries is returning and planning a piece on Bo. And I was overjoyed to read this piece about Bo from SBN's Jon Bois and Bomani Jones. And I was delighted to watch this touching piece on what Bo Jackson has been up to lately, via ESPN's Outside the Lines.
Technically, this has nothing to do with Iowa sports. But without Bo, I would never have become the sports fan that I am today. Bo got me started on the path that led to where I am now, writing thousands of words about black-and-gold athletes in pads and helmets, in jerseys and sneakers, in singlets and headgear. Thanks, Bo.