My first time inside Arrowhead Stadium was on Oct. 16, 1988. I had seen the venue many times. Our traditional family vacation brought us all the way across the state of Kansas after wheat harvest was over to watch the Kansas City Royals. They play in Kaufman Stadium, which is also part of the Harry S. Truman sports complex. You can easily walk between the two stadiums.
I was on another traditional trip. My Jr. High football coach had a tradition of taking all of the eighth-grade players that went out for football on a “field trip,” if you will. We had spent the previous day watching Colorado‘s Eric Bieniemy, now the Chiefs’ running backs coach, shred the Kansas Jayhawk defense at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan. This day I was excited to see another running backs’ performance, and he wasn’t going to be wearing the Red and Gold.
I had seen Bo Jackson play that summer just across the parking lot, but I’d never seen him play in pads and a helmet. This was to be his first game back with the Los Angeles Raiders after the completion of the Royals baseball season, and it was going to be in KC. There was a banner hung in the southeast corner of the stadium that was deemed not to be “family friendly” by security and removed. It simply read, “GO BO U M- F-!”
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with Michael Jordan? I had a discussion awhile back regarding multi-talented athletes. Jordan, of course, attempted to be a two-sport professional athlete and failed to make the Chicago White Sox‘s major league roster. Other names came up like Deion Sanders, and even Garth Brooks. Sanders obviously was successful in both football and baseball at the highest level. Brooks unsuccessfully tried out with the San Diego Padres. The conversation ended with me mumbling two words… Bo Jackson.
The room fell silent. Everyone just looked at me, nodded and then went about their business. No argument was muttered. The guy won the Heisman Trophy and carried two-time Dick Butkus Award winner Brian Bosworth effortlessly into the end zone. He threw out Harold Reynolds flat-footed from the warning track without a cut-off throw. He hit home runs in four-consecutive at bats in 1990, the last off a pitch by Randy Johnson. He hit a first-inning/first-pitch home run in the All Star Game, qualified for the U.S. Olympic track and field team and acted on Married With Children.
Bo Knows (and owns) Jordan.