Tag Archives: Bo Jackson
Lots of hoopla, as it were, over Nike’s new ad campaign…
… which made me think of this recent tribute to Knowshon Moreno sent from Japan’s Chris Shelling Jr…
(…. says Shelling Jr. “gosh bama fans are lame… i would never make a website using a pun to show that he is in fact not better than the only pretty good running back alabama has ever had.”…. and, yeah, Georgia fans should be thankful for that there is a difference, otherwise Knowshon might be wearing clothes designed by Blayne from Project Runway like S. Alexander is, which kinda brings this whole girlicious post sorta full-circle…)
… which led me to come up with my own punpaign weighing very past players from one team against current players from another (teams that, you know, aren’t even huge, huge rivals, I mean they are, but you know)… and this one actually works…
It’s the ephemerality — the trades, the strikes, the other stuff — that have kept me from anything close to affection for a professional sports franchise.
The fickle whims of megalomaniac millionaire nerds can be a hard pickle to swallow when the team to whom you’ve whored your identity from youth runs off with a younger city. And yesterday — the darkest of their history, according to ESPN columnist David Schoenfield — Seattle sports fans were surely gagging.
But their pain is our trickle-down pleasure in that, by ranking the cities’ collective sporting woes from 1-10, all-around Seattle fan Schoenfield has given Auburn fans guilt-free license to hyperlink away precious time in reflection on a particularly memorable display from our greatest living accomplishment.
That’s right — Schoenfield ranks Bo’s short yardage ruination of Brian Bozworth as the 9th darkest hour in the history of Seattle sports. The irony? Schoenfield also heralds that scene as the best illustration of…
… the ineptitude of Ken Behring, one of the worst owners in sports history, a California real estate developer who constantly threatened to move the team.
In other words, the waxing of The Boz by the great champion of the most spirited university ever serves as a squint-and-you’ll-see-it metaphor for just why the college game is so vastly superior.
Well, I just watched it, and I suppose the compelling cultural context of Bo over Boz, rather than its actual on-the-field representation, is what makes it memorable; there’s only so much action that can happen in 5 yards (though he did plow through him). But afterwards, I noticed one of those related videos, one I’d never seen before, one that has all the clips I’ve searched for but never found — the wall run, the warning track rocket, the bat over the head, and more football runs than I’ve ever dreamed of.
My God, people. We were visited. Behold this truth as evident:
Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Bear Bryant’s death. I’ve always felt that, in a certain sense, when Bo Jackson went over the top, he effectively drove the final nail into Bryant’s coffin, so to speak — sounds crass, but if you accept the notion that Bryant was a dead-man walking without the fire of football to keep him warm (after predicting it’d take a week, he died 28 days after coaching his last game), and if, as John Forney claimed, Bryant was “exhausted and despondent” the Sunday after his last Iron Bowl, a game won by Bo Jackson, a recruit he couldn’t land, then it’s not that much of a stretch. Bryant’s retirement from coaching wasn’t reported until two weeks after the Auburn game. While his health factored significantly, in announcing his decision he cited his poor coaching throughout the ’82 regular season, which ended in three straight losses. The Iron Bowl was the capper. So basically, the events leading up to and hastening Bryant’s death were literally the end of one era and the start of another, which brings us to our question:
Can anyone tell me what two blue-chip recruits committed to Auburn the very day that Bear Bryant died? There were actually three, but I’m looking for the two big names.
I’ll think of some sort of prize and mail it to you. Or perhaps you’d rather simply settle for your name in the glorious lights of The War Eagle Reader? Totally your call. So c’mon, lets see some comments. Think dammit! These guys were big Auburn stars, and here’s a hint: the answer can be found in a story by Charles Hollis in the Jan. 27th, 1983 edition of The Birmingham News. Page 4-B.
*** Bo Knows Bo… and Only Bo. I remember reading in his book that Bo Jackson wanted to come back as a dolphin or an F-16 but I’m pretty sure it was just for effect; if I was a Georgia fan, I’m unsure as to how I’d process Herschel Walker’s recent revelation that he has multiple, actual personalities. Should be an interesting book.
*** Florida’s 2008 recruiting class in on the verge of being named #1 by Rivals.com, even without Julio Jones, yes, the Julio Jones that Alabama has fondled in their crimson daydreams as a done deal, who was reportedly told to cut short his latest trip to Gainesville because of his stumping for… Oklahoma. Florida however thinks they might now have a shot with Enrique Davis, the Five-Star tailback who vexingly cited concerns about the Tiger’s new spread offense upon de-committing to Auburn last week. Davis’ father played cornerback for the Gators in the 1970s. Auburn running backs coach Eddie Gran and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin visited Davis at Hargrave Military Academy on Wednesday.
*** Speaking of Franklin, after getting off the plane in Virginia, he took time out — probably 6 minutes — to answer questions on The Paul Finebaum Show. “I believe in doing what it takes to win,” Franklin said. “If that means you throw it 60 times a game, you throw it 60 times a game. If you have to run it 60 times, you run it 60 times.” Enrique… seriously, man.
Wait! This just in! The ol’ Gran-Franklin one-two apparently might have knocked a little sense back into him. Abiding by my subscription agreement, I will only say that that current headline on AuburnSports.com is “AU back in it?” What does that mean? Who can say? Charles Goldberg, that’s who…
By C. Davidson
As a freshman sitting in the southeast corner of Jordan-Hare, I recall the thrill of watching a tiny halfback dart around Tennessee tacklers and flatten linebackers who outweighed him by 50 pounds. That was The Little Train, Lionel James, whom Pat Dye called “No. 6 in your program, No. 1 in your hearts.” In fact, the story was that James wore No. 6 because he was too small to fit two numbers on his jersey.
Lionel was a talented, fearless player. Along with another candidate for this list, Tommie Agee, Lionel cleared holes for the greatest Auburn Tiger of them all and made clutch run after clutch run. He was also Bo’s mentor in 1982 and ’83. When he was presented the Sugar Bowl MVP trophy, Bo handed it over to Lionel.
From Bo Knows Bo, a classic…
The greatest sports memory of my life was being in Legion Field for the 1982 Iron Bowl when we broke the nine-game losing streak. Of course, Bo Over the Top was the game winner. But that probably would never have happened without Lionel’s 14-yard touchdown run on third and 10 when we were down 7-0. Later in that game, The Little Train also made a huge block on a 53-yard run by No. 34.
David Housel is given to hyperbole on occasion, but I think he has this exactly right: “The coaches at that time obviously saw something in him that was greater, that was more important than his physical size. They saw something inside, in his heart, that made him special. Coach Jordan used to say that if he could look into the heart, mind and soul of anybody, he could make them into an athlete. I think Lionel James is the kind of player he had in mind when he said that.”
Many thanks to Charles. Other than a comment by “George Bush” naming Randy Campbell, a quarterback during the Jackson dynasty (am I seeing a trend?), his has been the only response — and it was a good one — to TWER’s solicitation for a little somethin’ on whomever you’ve deemed the most underrated Auburn player ever. I knew Little Train would be up there – the nickname almost demands it. Send your ruminations to email@example.com and yes, it can be Lionel James again if you really feel it… speaking of, Will Collier wrote a
piece novel on James for ITAT back in ’96, well worth checking out…
We apologize for becoming a YouTube annex this week, but we’ve both been busy and the pun just came to me and it was so strong… deeper stuff next week, I’m sure of it.
It ain’t hip to sip…
And now… the one, the original, the only… Vince “TheBO” Jackson, from his Raiders days, my Lord… it makes me want to cry.