Monday, August 2, 2010

On Bo

I've started doing interviews for the book, and one of the prime topics, unsurprisingly, is Bo Jackson. Everybody wants to know about Bo, about the sheer impossibility of his accomplishments, about the marketing and the myth and the man himself. I was fortunate enough to spend a day with him a couple of years ago, and I'm not going to lie--it was one of the most intriguing experiences of career. Bo is probably the self-contained athlete I've ever met. And it would appear USA Today's longtime baseball writer, Bob Nightengale, found the same thing when he interviewed Bo last month.

There's a lot of amazing stuff in there--stuff I wished I'd gotten myself, like the fact that Bo's license plate reads BROKE--but this is my favorite quote of all, because this sums up the endearing quasi-egotistical quasi-innocent individualism of Bo:

"When I was born, God gave me a natural greenie, a built-in steroid," Jackson says. "I was always faster than people, stronger than people. So when I found out what guys were doing, I figured guys were cheating just to catch up to where I was.

"But I didn't know. To be honest with you, I was so focused on what I was doing, people could have been doing steroids right under my nose and I wouldn't have known.

"But you know what I always wondered, why the guys were drinking all of this milk after games. I'm going to have a beer or drink some water, and I'm thinking, 'Why are all guys drinking all this milk?' I found out later it was because they were coming down from greenies. I didn't even know what a greenie was. I swear to God I didn't know."

There aren't a lot of athletes I believe anymore. But I believe Bo.


Cookie Jarvis said...

"He always loved track most of all"

Who wouldn't?

WarningTrack said...

Hey, who doesn't love 'Track? Har-de-har-har.


Anyway, the very first thing I thought of when I saw Bo in that picture was this:

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