I just finished watching ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary on Bo Jackson. This is a must watch. As I gather my thoughts, I can honestly say that this is the first time that I can remember wishing I was born at a younger age to have watched this guy during his apex, however brief it was.
As time has progressed, it is pretty difficult to argue that athletes in the 1950s were on the same footing as the ones we watch today. In some cases, even looking back at the 1990's in a lot of sports looks like ancient history. More modern training techniques, nutritional enhancements, and the springing up of an industry around athletic performance has taken natural, God-given trait advantages and magnified the chasm between great athletes and average joes.
What made Bo Jackson so special, in my estimation, is how this was simple, unadulterated athleticism at its peak. Professional athletes are all abnormal to begin with, but to see a guy who made those around him look like guys at the local gym is pretty remarkable.
As a sports fan, I feel like it is great to watch LeBron James in his prime. People often have said they wonder what it would be like to watch him play pro football. I picture this as being the closest comparison in modern day sports to what seeing Bo would have been like, but this is only conjecture. What is amazing is that someone actually did excel at a remarkably high level in two major sports, and I'm sad that I missed it. Oh well, at least I have YouTube.
Check out the video below to see some of his best real life plays, or take a look at his video game greatness in Tecmo Bowl here.