Bo Knows

Never question the greatest athlete ever.

Jim Rome
October 29, 2020 - 10:00 am
Bo Jackson

USA Today


Let me preface what I’m about to say with the following statement: Bo Jackson is the most impressive athlete I’ve ever seen. Period. The most impressive athlete I ever seen, in my lifetime. It’s not just that he played professional baseball and pro football at the same time. There have been a few other guys who’ve done that, but they didn’t come anywhere close to the “holy crap” moments in both sports that Bo produced. I’m talking about a guy who was an all-star in both sports: a guy who not only could have been a hall of famer in one, but a hall of famer in both: yeah, I said, if he doesn’t get hurt, and Bo wanted to spend his career doing both, he probably would have ended up with two busts: he was that explosive; that much of a freak show.

If you’re the right age and I say Bo Jackson’s name, you might think of the frozen rope he threw to gun down Harold Reynolds at the plate. Or the home run in the All-Star Game. Or the home run he hit with one hand on the bat. Or the wall run.

Or you might go football and think of him humiliating Brian Bosworth and the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. He was an unbelievable talent, a fierce running back whose career ended way too soon.

You want to talk about a two sport star??? This guy was so talented that one time he was on my show, doing an interview, and eating a salad at the same time.

Caesar salad with calamari and doing an interview. Legend. Nobody else has ever done that.

So again, let me say loudly, proudly, and clearly: Bo Jackson is the most impressive athlete I’ve ever seen.

Having said that, Bo Jackson was on the 21st and prime podcast this week and he said the following: "Nobody wrap up and tackle no more. With me being a ball carrier, my coach taught us, number one, he said, 'I know you can run, but I'm gonna teach you how to carry that football.' He said, 'that football is like your newborn baby, don't ever put it on the ground. And keep it away from the enemy.'”

Okay. Nothing too crazy there. A former player saying that the guys today don’t tackle the right way isn’t exactly breaking news. It’s not particularly surprising. That is kind of what former players in just about every sport do – they say it was better back when they played.

But then Bo went a step further: "It's like this - and I watch technique - I don't see nobody hitting or wrapping up. Everybody's running into each other and trying to use their shoulder pads to knock the ball carrier down.”

Okay. Cool. Again, I’m fine with this. Maybe wrapping up really is a lost art. Maybe guys are too focused on trying to hit guys with their shoulders and knock them down instead of tackling.  And not focused on proper technique and fundamentals.  I see you, Bo. 

And if you start to think about it, and you watch Derrick Henry run the way he’s running, you might start to imagine what it would look like if Bo Jackson played in today’s game. What kind of damage could he be doing on a weekly basis?

Funny you should ask, because Bo has been thinking about that too. And while you were doing the Alfredo, he did the math.

“And I'm like, if I played during this era, man, I'd be averaging 350-400 yards a game ... Because nobody wraps up anymore. They run into each other with their pads."

Wait, what? Bo Jackson just said he would be averaging 350-400 yards per game? In the NFL? Because I could see that happening in Tecmo Bowl. The only thing more impressive than real life Bo Jackson was Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson.

Tecmo Bowl Bo was going for 350-400 per game every time out. He was doing that in the first half. But in real life? 350-400 yards per game in today’s game?

Look, there are two dudes that I do not mess: Mike Tyson. And Bo Jackson. I’m still afraid of Mike. Especially since he admitted he wanted to kill me. And I have such profound respect for Bo: so those are the two dudes I will never mess with. And I’m never going to be the guy to say Bo Jackson can’t do something or couldn’t do something, because he did some things that were freaking impossible. Things the best of the best couldn’t even imagine, let alone actually execute. The worst place on the planet is standing between Bo Jackson and his goal. Because he will bleep you up. 

But Bo averaged less than 75 rushing yards per game when he played and he’s going to more than quadruple that in today’s game? I’m going to need to pump the brakes on that one.

Because 350 yards in three games would be great. 350 yards in two games would be damn impressive. And 350 yards in a single game would be a record. It would be 54 yards more than the best rushing game in NFL history. But Bo thinks he would average that.  ? Like win in and week out, he’d just be throwing down 350, 375, 400 yards? If Bo thinks that, then Bo DOESN’T KNOW. 

Then again, maybe he does.  Because he’s got a backup.  Legitimate backup.  Credible back.  Back up in the form of a jungle legend and one of my favorite NFL’ers ever.

Hall of Famer Kevin Greene saw a tweet from PFT about Bo’s claim and he responded: Bo’s correct. He’d munch folks. If you don’t have a physical mentality coupled with great tackling technique and fundamentals, he’d scarf your tail. Those attributes seem to be missing in today’s play, especially on the backend. LB’s are suspect as well...

What an incredible tweet. This has always been a Kevin Greene house, but I have even more respect for him now after he dropped that: “He’d munch folks.” Blast. 

And he chased that with “If you don’t have a physical mentality coupled with great tackling technique and fundamentals, he’d scarf your tail.”

That’s one tweet that includes “he’d munch folks” and “he’d scarf your tail.” Honestly, that tweet is so good, it has me rethinking this whole thing: like think of the most absurd thing ever: if Bo Jackson says you might agree it. But if Bo Jackson it and Kevin Greene says he’s right, then he must be. Hell yes, Bo would average 3 fitty a game on the ground if he played today! He said it: Kevin Greene agreed with so I believe it! Forget that no one has ever once done it, Bo, if he played today, would do it every single week!! Don’t believe me? Go ask the Bo’s? Go try and stand in front of Bo when he’s running down hill: you’ll get your ass munched. And scarfed. You do the Alfredo because I’ve done the math and that translates to roughly a 6000 yard season. And if he were playing today, not only would he do it, he’d do it every single year. And then finish his career with 60,000 yards plus rushing. Bo’s right and so is Kevin Greene: shout to both you legends: miss you both here in the jungle.