Bo Jackson was the definition of a freak athlete. You open up a Webster’s Dictionary and I guarantee his picture appears under “freak athlete.” The man could do it all.
At Auburn University he was a standout on both the football field and the baseball diamond. He won the 1985 Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Tigers. As a baseball player in ’85, Jackson swarmed the outfield snagging anything that came his way while hitting .401 at the plate to go along with 17 long balls.
Jackson took his baseball talents to the MLB after being selected in the fourth round by the Kansas City Royals in 1986. He would go on to play five seasons in Kansas City, to go along with another two in Chicago for the White Sox and one final season for the California Angels.
The 1989 all-star game MVP made highlight play after highlight play while playing in the outfield during his eight year MLB career. Probably the most famous play was when he ran along the outfield wall in Baltimore after making a running catch. He was a hassle to deal with at the plate, totaling 598 hits and 141 homers all while batting .250.
During his short four-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Raiders, Jackson rushed for a total of 2782 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He tallied 16 touchdowns for the Rams and was selected to the 1990 Pro Bowl. Jackson would go on and suffer a hip injury during a 1991 game against the Cincinnati Bengals that derailed his NFL career.
What Bo Jackson did during that time frame is something we’ll probably never see again in sports history. He was that dominate in both leagues.
Brock Lesnar, who is now a UFC fighter again, was on SportCenter earlier today promoting his upcoming fight against Mark Hunt for UFC 200. He spoke about why he wanted to fight again, who he was fighting and possible plans for the future. During his interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, Lesnar gave himself the title of a “modern-day Bo Jackson.”
For Lesnar to go on SportCenter and say that he’s a “modern-day Bo Jackson” is asinine. And his reasoning was because he’s a cross over athlete is even crazier. Lesnar couldn’t even make the Minnesota Vikings final roster back in 2004, let alone get a small taste of what Jackson accomplished back in his heyday.
Lesnar is an entertainer and no more than that.
His “success” in the WWE comes from what writers want him to become. They could make him champion of the world one day and a nobody the next. That takes nothing away from what wrestlers go through physically on a match to match basis too.
But his WWE accolades mean nothing. Lesnar’s only real accomplishments have come from his off and on UFC career.
If Lesnar was fighting in the UFC during the Spring and sacking quarterbacks in the Fall on a consistent basis, then yes, he could call himself the modern-day Bo Jackson. Instead Lesnar is entertaining the masses in the WWE and fighting in the UFC, what seems like every blue moon.
To compare yourself to arguably the greatest athlete of all time and say you’re the modern version of him, when you yourself aren’t even a top 500 athlete of all time is an insane statement to make.
Try being a true cross sport athlete like Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders or even Jarryd Hayne before you compare yourself to one.