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Iconic ’80s Sports Moments: Bo Jackson – The Two-Sport Sensation


In the ’80s, Bo Jackson was a force to be reckoned with in both football and baseball. He was an incredible athlete, possessing speed, strength, agility, and an unstoppable determination. Jackson accomplished many notable feats throughout his career, becoming a household name in the process. In this article, we’ll delve into some of Bo Jackson’s most iconic moments and explore what made him such a legendary two-sport sensation.

Early Years and College Career

Bo Jackson was born in Alabama in 1962 and grew up in a family of ten children. Even as a child, he showed exceptional athletic abilities, excelling in football, baseball, and track and field. Jackson attended Auburn University on a football scholarship, and while there, he also played baseball. In his junior year, he won the coveted Heisman Trophy, given to the best college football player in the country.

Breaking a Bat on His Knee

In a demonstration of his incredible strength, Bo Jackson once broke a baseball bat over his knee. The moment occurred during a game against the Seattle Mariners in 1986. Up at bat, Jackson accidentally fouled off a pitch that hit his foot. In frustration, he took the offending bat and snapped it over his leg with ease, leaving the crowd in awe.

Unforgettable Rookie Football Season

In 1987, Bo Jackson joined the Los Angeles Raiders as a running back. It was his rookie season, but that didn’t stop him from making an impact. One of his most memorable moments that season was a Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson ran for a 91-yard touchdown, a feat that is still remembered as one of the greatest runs in NFL history.

Injury Challenges

Despite his astronomical success, Bo Jackson’s career was cut short due to injury, proving that even the most talented athletes are not invincible. In 1991, Jackson sustained a hip injury while playing for the Raiders that ended his football career. He attempted a comeback a year later with the Chicago White Sox but could never regain his previous form due to lingering health problems.

Bo Knows Nike

Bo Jackson transcended the world of sports and became a cultural icon, even appearing in a series of Nike commercials. The memorable “Bo Knows” campaign featured Jackson showcasing his abilities across a smorgasbord of sports, from basketball and hockey to tennis and cycling. It’s safe to say that Bo knew how to make a lasting impression.

The End of an Era

In 1994, Bo Jackson retired from baseball due to injury. His career was marked by incredible displays of athleticism and a true passion for the game. Jackson’s legacy as a two-sport sensation has continued to inspire and awe fans, as well as future generations of athletes.


Bo Jackson proved that being a two-sport athlete was not only possible but could also be incredibly successful. His impressive feats on the field and the diamond have cemented him as an icon in the world of sports. Despite his early retirement, Bo Jackson’s legacy lives on as a reminder of what pure athleticism and determination can achieve. So, the next time you find yourself in need of some inspiration, just remember – Bo knows.