Ten Foot Mailbag: Could Bo Jackson Have Been The Best Ever?
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By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Way to go NHL. Thursday night, you doused a fleeting shred of hope of a season with kerosene, lit a match, and made its mother take pictures.
I want the NHL back, I really do. But this has become a farce wrapped in a joke shoved inside a dog carcass that Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are both gnawing on. And what it’s doing is causing maggot eggs of apathy to hatch.
The owners suck, but the players have fubared this pretty good, too. They seem to not realize they’re pushing against an immovable object. They also seem to not realize that in doing so, they are now in a critical risk of losing a much bigger object forever—fans. I almost always side with labor, but this has all grown incredibly stupid to the point where my concern is about as big as that charred hope shred.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
If Bo Jackson never got injured and only played football, he would’ve been the greatest RB ever, right? #TFMB—@PARecSpecs
Well, if my aunt had a prostate issue she’d be my uncle. This question makes me sad. “Woulda coulda shoulda” questions in sports always do because it seems that in no other walk of life do we examine “what could have been” in a person as we do with athletes, and it always scrapes jaggedly at the heart of anybody with one to see unfulfilled potential, whether from one’s own doing or that the stars just seemed to will it so.
I was born in 1982, so even though this poster hung in my bedroom, my actual major consuming of Bo was via his commercials (can you spot the casual racism?), his sad stint with the White Sox, and, of course, the greatest football video game ever created, Tecmo Super Bowl, often referred to as just “Tecmo.” When playing Tecmo Bowl it was often a rule between my friends and me that nobody could pick the Raiders because Bo could rarely be stopped to the point where it was often comical. In retrospect, that helped make me the man I am today due to the tenacity I showed in being forced to nurture Karl Mecklenburg into becoming a savage force in the game.
But greatest running back ever had Bo stayed healthy and given up baseball? That’s a tough call. Most exciting? Most athletic? Those were for sure. While what we did see of Bo on the football field was often fabulous (notice the amount of runs vs. the Bengals, and yet it was Bengal Kevin Walker, a marginal player in the grand scheme, who ended Bo’s NFL career), and in your ideal settings he could very well have ended up with Hall of Fame credentials, he gave us too small a sample size to assume he’d rank above Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, or Walter Payton. Not saying he couldn’t have, but it’s hard to just suppose.
Phish or Widespread?—@dustin_42
As per the actual music, neither because I don’t smoke weed and am no longer 15. In high school, I was heavily into The Grateful Dead because all kids in Beverly that age were heavily into The Grateful Dead in the 1990s. I had bootleg concert cassettes and various tie-dyed shirts and a Terrapin Station hat made from hemp and all the Dick’s Picks and holy hell was I a special kind of dork. Because of that I was also sort of bound to what everyone considered the neo-Dead—Phish.
But I never got into Phish all that much. The whole super long jam thing never quite appealed to me, even when the Dead did it (“Space,” for example, sucks). By the time I was in college, I had grown out of my Dead phase (as I had my grunge phase prior to that). I learned there was other, more diverse, and better stuff out there. Widespread Panic never entered into that.
Music that seems beholden to a certain drug culture is something I have a problem with, too. If the majority of your fanbase feels compelled to be on some controlled substance in order to enjoy your work, maybe your work isn’t all that good. That’s the case with most jam band stuff.
I will certainly give the nod to Phish between the two groups, though, if for nothing more than its fans playing a role in my being here right now. While Phish fans are often odd and uncomfortable to be around, they’re pretty good-hearted folks for the most part, and I’m very thankful for the kindness of a big group of strangers. Even if many of them voted for me for selfish message board pride reasons.
You forgot Archie Manning on your list of ginger QBs—Erik
No, I didn’t. Manning “used to have red hair,” but he willfully abandoned his Gingerosity. He’s a traitor to the noble Ginger race is what he is.
With all the intolerance my people have long endured, what is often most heartbreaking is those who were once with us abandoning us. Archie Manning is a weak man, a coward. There are those capable of being a Ginger, and there are the soft. He was also a pretty crappy QB, for the record. Perhaps the Saints should have instead drafted just his testicles.
He makes no list of mine that is fit to print. He forfeits all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained, et cetera, et cetera. Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera… Memo bis punitor delicatum! You lose. Good day, sir.
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.