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Sports Then and Now



Bo Jackson: The Best Dual Sports Athlete Ever 3

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Mike Raffone

MIKE Comic 132 Bo JacksonNow, he’s the most entertaining star of television’s Heisman House football commercials.

But, back then, this fabulous football and baseball player was all the rage. Many sports fans regard him as the greatest dual sport athlete ever.

A 1985 Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson not only dominated on the football field for the Auburn University Tigers. He also excelled at two other sports – baseball and track.

Voted #8 on ESPN’s list of the top 25 NCAA football players ever, Jackson dazzled as a fast and powerful running back while at Auburn. The 6’1” and 230 lb. Jackson rushed for an amazing 6.6 yards per carry. He amassed a staggering 4,575 career yards and scored 45 total touchdowns (43 rushing and 2 receiving).

This Heisman Trophy winner became the number one overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

However, because the Bucs inappropriately contacted Jackson outside of NCAA rules and regulations, the running back became ineligible for baseball during his senior season in 1986. As a result, Jackson chose not to sign with Tampa Bay and agreed to play professional baseball with the Kansas City Royals organization instead.

While at Auburn, Bo Jackson starred in two other sports. The football star qualified for the United States Summer Olympic Trials twice in the 100 yard dash. Jackson’s incredible speed became extremely evident during the spring of 1985 when he recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time ever at 4.12 seconds at the NFL Combine.

In addition to track, the former Auburn Tiger excelled on the baseball diamond. In 1985 he batted .401 with 17 home runs and 43 runs batted in while starring defensively in the outfield as well.

After graduating from Auburn, Jackson played eight years in Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the California Angels. He also left his mark in the NFL while playing four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

This phenomenal athlete is still the only athlete ever to be voted an all-star in two different professional sports – Major League Baseball and National Football League – and NOT be voted into either sport’s Hall of Fame.

Sadly, Bo Jackson’s brief but memorable dual-sport career ended prematurely.

Without his hip injury, he undoubtedly could have been a Hall of Famer in two professional sports…..

…..a fact, thanks to the 2012 ESPN Films 30 for 30 “You Don’t Know Bo” documentary, that every sports fan now knows. And not just Bo!

MIKE – on sports!

 

College Classic Rewind: ‘Bama wins Iron Bowl on Last-Second FG 4

Posted on November 22, 2011 by A.J. Foss

The rivalry between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers is one of the most storied and intense rivalries in all of college football.

There have been many great games in the series known as the “Iron Bowl” such as Ken Stabler’s “Run in the Mud” in 1967 or Auburn returning two blocked punts for touchdowns in the 1972 “Punt, Bama, Punt”.

Another memorable chapter occurred in 1985 in a game that is simply known as “The Kick”, referring to Van Tiffin’s game-winning 52-yard field goal as time expired to give Alabama the victory.

The Crimson Tide entered the 1985 “Iron Bowl” with a 7-2-1 record but unranked in the AP Poll as they were led by third-year head coach Ray Perkins, the successor to Bear Bryant who retired following the 1982 season.

Perkins had not exactly endeared himself to the Tide faithful as he had gone a modest 20-12-1 during his tenure in Tuscaloosa which included the first losing season for Alabama in 27 years with a 5-6 season in 1984.

With Mike Shula, the nation’s second most efficient passer, and all-American linebacker Cornelius Bennett, ‘Bama fans hoped that brighter days were ahead and that the Tide would soon back as one of the country’s most elite programs.

The Tide were underdogs to the #7 ranked Auburn Tigers who entered the game with a 8-2 record after starting the season as the #1 team before a loss in September to Tennessee.

The Tigers were coached by Pat Dye, who took over in Auburn in 1981 and led the Tigers to a 23-22 victory over ‘Bama in the 1982 “Iron Bowl” to snap the Tigers’ nine-game losing streak to the Tide.

In that game, freshman running back Bo Jackson scored the winning touchdown as he went “over the top” to score the one-yard touchdown run that gave Auburn the victory.

Jackson ran for 256 yards in Auburn’s 1983 victory over Alabama, but missed a block on a 4th-and-1 from the one-yard line that cost the Tigers dearly in the 1984 “Iron Bowl” as they lost to the Tide 17-15.

Jackson was in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy in 1985 as he had rushed for 1,644 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in the Tigers’ first 10 games of the season, but broke two ribs in the game against Georgia two weeks earlier.

Despite the pain, Jackson would play and help contribute to one of the greatest “Iron Bowls” ever played. Read the rest of this entry →

Welcome to the APSA: A New Professional Sports League Based on Loyalty and Longevity 0

Posted on September 13, 2009 by John Wingspread Howell

APSAI believe that franchise loyalty to the community and  player loyalty to the franchise are my two highest values regarding pro sports.

As I’ve been thinking about this, I have come up with the perfect design of a professional sports organization that would foster these values.

We’ll call it the American Professional Sports Association (APSA). The new league has some very different features than its competitors.

First, the local community must have a majority stake in the ownership of the team. Ownership can be divided between private enterprise, wealthy individuals, local governments, players, and fans. But at least 51 percent of ownership must be local.

Second, franchises would not be portable. According to the charter of the new league, a franchise would be permanently located in the community in which it is established.

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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