Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bo Jackson and Kansas City Sports

I finally watched the 30 for 30 special on Bo Jackson last night. It was really good, and it makes a very salient point that Bo came along at the end of a more innocent era. In that era, sports pages were dominated by sports instead of steroid use, prison sentences, fake girlfriends, etc. Anyway, I think I have a post coming some day on why I turn the radio channel every time the sports talk is about any of the previously mentioned distractions.

But today, I simply want to acknowledge the bittersweet feeling of watching a time when Kansas City sports mattered. I was a kid then, and I loved Bo Jackson. I met him when I was 12 at the KC airport, and he was extremely nice and gracious to an excited kid asking him to sign the title page of a Garfield comic book. To me, it was totally natural that my favorite Royal was on commercials and cartoons. As an adult, I can hardly imagine what it would be like for a Royal to be in the national spotlight in the same way. I can't imagine it from a Chief either.

The special last night said that the Royals were derided for taking Bo in the MLB draft. Everyone thought he would abandon baseball for an assured Hall of Fame career in the NFL. But the Royals believed it was the right move. They had just won a World Series and didn't have much to lose anyway. Back then, the Royals could do almost nothing wrong. Nearly three decades later, they can do almost nothing right. And the Chiefs just played badly enough to earn their first ever number one pick in the NFL draft... a draft that nearly everyone agrees has the worst crop of quarterbacks (their biggest need) in years.

That is just KC sports these days. Everyone assumes the Chiefs will pick a bust at number one, and that Wil Myers is destined for greatness because the Royals traded him. Hard to blame anyone for thinking that way. Bo has been gone for a long time.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I can remember when out-of-town visitors wanted to go to Royals Stadium for the baseball, not just the fountains. But now I'm sounding like an old, old man.


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