There will never be another Bo Jackson.
So says Jackson, the former Royal and ultimate two-sport star.
“I think the era of the dual-sport athlete on the professional level is kind of extinct from the standpoint that the talent pool is so deep,” Jackson said after throwing out the first pitch Monday before the Royals’ season opener against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
“If you are trying to split your time between two sports in this day and age, you’re going to end up riding the bench in both or failing at both.” Among Jackson’s many post-athletic endeavors is his youth sports academy in Lockport, Ill. He’s seen first-hand that kids are better athletes than when Jackson was growing up in Alabama.
“Kids are more advanced: bigger, stronger, faster – well, I’m not going to say faster – than my generation was when we were coming up,” Jackson said. “I think the era of the two-sport athlete is over.” Why retract on the faster comment?
“Nobody has seen that 4.1 mark yet (in the 40-yard dash),” said Jackson, who reportedly ran a 4.12 at the NFL Combine. “Guys are stronger, but kids have access to so much these days and they are training year-round, and you have to in order to stay in shape to compete. To compete at the high school level, college level. Back when we played, we took the summer off and trained two, three weeks before the season started. Now kids are training year-round.”
And Jackson likes it that way.
“That is good for the sport (the kid is playing),” Jackson said. “It’s very good for the sport. Like I say, idle time is the devil’s workshop. You keep kids busy and kids can’t get in trouble.”
Well, Bo knows, right?