There is only one person in the history of American sports who managed to participate in the games of two professional leagues. His name is Bo Jackson. He is the only one to be named an All-star in both baseball and football.
Bo Jackson was famous for his not always ordinary behavior on the baseball field. Once he broke the bat on his sports helmet on his head and pretended that nothing had happened. Taking into account the universality and success of the athlete, many people began to wonder: “Did Bo Jackson use steroids?”
Bo Jackson’s biography
“The fact that I was born in a small town in Alabama eventually gave me the chance to become an athlete,” Jackson recalled. “In my native Brisbane there were no gangs, no drugs, no girls, nothing at all. There was absolutely nothing to do there. So the only thing I could devote my free time to was sports. I was doing everything in a row: playing baseball, basketball, football; but I never competed with my peers. It was much more interesting for me to go out to the playground or on the field with the guys two or three years older than me and kick their ass. I was stronger than them, I ran faster than they, I jumped higher than them.”
By the time Bo graduated from the school, almost all of Alabama knew his name. He was twice the state champion in the decathlon, several times he pulled school teams into the playoffs of the Alabama football (as a running back) and baseball (as an outfielder) championships. He finally was chosen the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1982 MLB draft. Bo could go to New York and make a career in baseball, but such a decision would automatically mean that he would have been closed to the NFL, where he also wanted to get through. He had to go to university.
He was always a fan of the University of Alabama and would happily go there, but their coach once mentioned that there were many good running backs in their football team and without him, and that he would have to wait for the third year to gain a foothold in the start. Such a state of things did not satisfied Bo, so he chose Auburn.
While studying and some time after it, he played both in American football and in baseball. In 1989, he played in a match of all MLB stars. In 1989, Nike deployed a powerful advertising campaign around Bo, in which the sporting multifunctionality of Jackson was advertised.
In general, Bo was one of the most successful and sold athletes in America for a short time. In 1991, he got a very severe hip injury. He fell from sport for two years, returning to baseball (he did not want to return in football) only in 1993.
“Although my strength was with me, I no longer had the speed with which I could sometimes dominate in baseball,” this is what Jackson said of his return. “In 1993 I won the Comeback Player of the Year award of the American League, but it did not bring me joy. I did not know why I should continue my career; having lost the opportunity to play football, I lost a part of myself.”
In 1991, Tecmo company released the game Tecmo Super Bowl, which was crazy arcade football simulator, which became the most popular sports game on the console (even now you can find websites where adult men share various modifications of the Tecmo Super Bowl and organize leagues for playing it online). Bo was the so-called “deadly player” in this game.
By his own admission, Bo gives autographs on cartridges with Tecmo Super Bowl more often than on soccer balls. Perhaps, if he played only in football, he would have had much more strength to cure the injury that ended his career, perhaps he would have at least one ring of Lombardi Trophy, a pair of MVP leagues, and other prizes.
Perhaps, he would have been remembered as not only a video game character, but also one of the greatest running backs in the history. But we cannot say that he is completely unknown nowadays. He is a unique universal player of his kind.
Recent Jackson’s statements
Bo Jackson has recently said that he would have never practiced American football if he knew about the numerous head injuries that players receive. Jackson defended the colors of “Los Angeles” from 1986 to 1990, while simultaneously playing baseball for the MLB club “Kansas City”.
“If I knew then what I know now, I would never play football” Bo said. “It’s a pity I did not know about all these head injuries. But then almost no one knew this. And those who knew did not speak. I advise children to play baseball, basketball, football, golf … Anything, but not American football.”
Bo Jackson and steroids
According to the story by nutritionist Ellen Coleman which was published in 2005, Bo Jackson had problems with hip because of using illegal steroids in large quantities.
After that his lawyers made a complaint against Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (California newspaper), which quoted the nutritionist who supposedly personally knew this fact. The lawsuit was against the media itself, sports writer Jim Mohr, and some employees of the company.
Bo Jackson gave the interview on the conference devoted to the White Sox’s vs Cleveland Indians game. He said that he had nothing to conceal from the society. He welcomed everyone who had the desire to check his medical past, check his blood test for the presence of steroids drugs in his body. He insisted that he had never used steroids (like testosterone cypionate and nandrolone) for any purposes.