Very few people can relate to Kyler Murray’s situation the way Bo Jackson can, and the former NFL and MLB All-Star thinks Murray may find playing two sports slightly more challenging now than it was 30 years ago.
Jackson was in attendance for the MLB Draft on Tuesday, and he was asked about Murray remaining at Oklahoma to be the team’s starting quarterback despite being drafted No. 9 overall by the Oakland A’s.
“The sporting world’s a little different now than it was when I played,” Jackson said. “They have more talent — way more talent. The talent pool is deep. I can’t tell the young man what to do. Whatever sport he chooses, concentrate on it.”
Jackson’s career path was a bit different than the one Murray is expected to take. After he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1982 MLB Draft, Jackson went on to spend four years at Auburn University, starring as a two-sport athlete and winning the Heisman Trophy in 1985. Many expect Murray to play just one season at Oklahoma, though Sooners coach Lincoln Riley appears to be holding out hope the 20-year-old could change his mind.
There’s a reason Jackson is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in pro football and baseball. While Murray should be able to juggle playing two sports in college, doing that professionally is simply unheard of in this day and age.
Bo Jackson is one of very few people who have played both football and baseball at the professional level, and he is widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes to ever live. But if he could go back and relive his remarkable career, would he do anything differently?
According to Jackson, he probably would just stick to baseball.
While Jackson says he is lucky enough to not have many long-term effects of head injuries, he understands how serious they can be. And because of that, he would advise young children to not play football.
Had he known during his playing days what science has discovered about concussions and head trauma in recent years, Jackson says he would have only played pro baseball.
“Because if I’d have known back then what I know now, to be honest with you, I probably would have taken a different path,” he said. “I probably just would have played baseball.”
He may not feel any long-term effects of concussions, but Jackson has experienced at least one.
“Something in my brain was telling me to get up, and don’t let these guys see that you are hurt,” he said of one time he suffered a head injury. “I got up and walked to the sideline. I got through the crowd and went to sit on the bench, and right when my butt hit the bench, someone grabbed my arm and said, ‘You’re on the wrong side, motherf—er.’ So yes, I got my bell rung and it’s true. When you get your bell rung, you don’t hear nothing but a [bing]. You got 80,000 people screaming, but all you hear is [beeeeeeeeep].”
Jackson is not alone. Some of the NFL’s most notable legends — and biggest tough guys — have said they would not want their children playing football. Some believe that will be a major problem for the sport going forward.
When discussing his UFC return earlier this week, Brock Lesnar compared himself to Bo Jackson. That’s pretty bold, but Jackson was not offended.
Simply put, it’s hard to be offended by something that someone you have never heard of says. When TMZ asked him about Lesnar’s comparison, Jackson claimed he has no idea who Lesnar is.
“I don’t know who Brock Lesnar is, man,” the NFL legend said. “I don’t watch (MMA). Not on my radar. If I didn’t make money doing it, I don’t know nothing about it.”
Jackson was named the MVP of the 1989 MLB All-Star Game. He was named to the Pro Bowl, the NFL’s all-star game, the following year. While Lesnar is an incredible athlete, he gained most of his notoriety in the WWE. He’s just not on Jackson’s level.
As for Jackson having never heard of Lesnar, we doubt that’s true. Bo’s own daughter tweeted about Lesnar’s comparison, so the former Los Angeles Raider must have seen that. He probably just doesn’t want to give Lesnar the satisfaction.
The Oakland Raiders and Bo Jackson’s daughter would like to remind Brock Lesnar that he is not Bo Jackson.
Lesnar called himself “the modern-day Bo Jackson” in an ESPN SportsCenter interview on Monday, a reference to his prowess as a college wrestler, a pro wrestler, and a UFC fighter, not to mention an aborted attempt to make it in the NFL.
As you might imagine, this did not go over too well in certain circles. One of those disapproving was those behind his former NFL team’s Twitter account. Jackson played for the L.A. Raiders, and the Oakland Raiders Twitter account delivered a reminder that couldn’t possibly be coincidental.
Bo Jackson was a guest instructor at Chicago White Sox spring training, and not only did he dispense valuable advice to the players, but he also gave out free history lessons.
Bo was mic’d up and in this clip can be seen talking with Drake LaRoche, who is the 13-year-old son of Sox first baseman/DH Adam LaRoche. At first Bo patiently takes the young LaRoche through his baseball-playing career, and then he eventually let’s on to the youngster that he was a Pro Bowler in football and All-Star in baseball.
Little LaRoche was pretty clueless about Bo’s athletic prowess — you know, that Bo is pretty much the greatest athlete to walk the planet (and this scouting report proves it) — and kept getting his hat lid slapped by Bo as a result. I wonder how inadequate Adam must feel about the lack of sports education he’s giving his son in light of that video.
We’ve all seen this “back in my day” look from an elder before:
Bo Jackson was in attendance for the Auburn-Missouri SEC Championship Game on Saturday, and he looked every bit like the Heisman Trophy winner he once was.
CBS showed the former Auburn running back on the sidelines and he looked as into the game as the coaches and players. He was down on the ground looking like a sprinter ready to burst out of the blocks, and he looked pretty muscular, no surprise.
Jackson, 51, has been following this Auburn team during the season and has been supportive of his Tigers. He tweeted this following Auburn’s Iron Bowl win over Alabama:
I just witnessed the most incredible sporting event I've ever seen in my life. War damn eagle. Only 1 more second.
The Internet gave us a great gift on Tuesday when a 1985 baseball scouting report of Bo Jackson surfaced via Reddit. The scout who evaluated Jackson billed him as the “best pure athlete in America today.” The scout also correctly predicted that Bo would win the 1985 Heisman Trophy.
The scouting report was filled out after the scout watched Jackson play a pair of April games during his junior season at Auburn. Bo batted .401/.500/.864 with 17 home runs in 42 games that season per Wikipedia.
It was truly a joy to see the evaluation of Jackson before he developed into an MLB All-Star. The only comments I would give is that I’m surprised the scout projected Jackson as a 6 for hitting when he turned out to be more of a 5, and I’m shocked Bo didn’t get an 8 for running speed. He was one of the fastest athletes on the planet, how did he not get an 8?!?