While plenty of professional athletes are larger than life, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth took things to the next level. Whether he was rocking his signature mohawks, calling out the NCAA, or calling out Bo Jackson, The Boz always did things his own way. Not all of his shenanigans, however, ended poorly.
During the 1987 NFL season, Bosworth did his best to whip Denver Broncos fans into a frenzy. What they didn’t know, though, was that their anger put money directly into the linebacker’s pocket.
Brian Bosworth’s rise to football prominence
During his time at the University of Oklahoma, Brian Bosworth established himself as a dominant linebacker. His college career, however, also featured some notable off-field incidents.
Bosworth was named a unanimous All-American during his sophomore and junior seasons; he took home the Butkus Award as the top collegiate linebacker during the same two campaigns. The Boz also was a finalist for the 1986 Heisman Trophy, finishing in fourth place.
That 1986 season wouldn’t end happily for Bosworth, however. While his Sooners made it to the Orange Bowl, the linebacker was suspended for the game after testing positive for steroids. He still managed to make headlines, though, wearing a shirt that referred to the NCAA as “National Communists Against Athletes.” He was promptly dismissed from the program and headed to the pros.
Failing to find success in the NFL
From the start, Brian Bosworth’s career was anything but conventional. He intentionally missed the deadline to enter the NFL draft, choosing to enter the supplemental draft instead. That tactic, combined with telling certain teams he wouldn’t play for them, was designed to help the linebacker land in a major media market. Things, however, didn’t work out as planned.
Despite his disinterest, the Seattle Seahawks selected Bosworth and inked him to a massive contract. That decision, however, would turn out to be a major bust. The Boz had plenty of talent, but he simply couldn’t stay healthy.
Bosworth’s entire NFL career lasted 24 games; he played 12 as a rookie, 10 in 1988, and two more in 1989. He was more known for his antics and outspoken personality than for anything he did on the field.
Brian Bosworth once managed to outfox plenty of Denver Broncos fans, though
During his playing career, Brian Bosworth had no problem talking trash. On one occasion, however, he used that talent to raise some money for a good cause.
During his rookie season, the linebacker called out John Elway. Before a date with the Denver Broncos, Bosworth said that he couldn’t “wait to get [his] hands on Elway’s boyish face” and threatened to hit the quarterback, even if it meant taking a penalty. Unsurprisingly, no one in Colorado appreciated those sentiments.
When the game arrived, roughly 10,000 Broncos fans showed up wearing t-shirts reading, “What’s a Boz worth? Nothing” and “Ban the Boz.” There was a catch, however. The sale of those shirts put money in Bosworth’s pocket.
“But if they had looked inside the shirt at the little tag that said Boz 44, Inc., they would have realized they paid fifteen dollars for a shirt made by my company,” Bosworth explained in Jonathan Rand’s The Wildest Stories And Craziest Characters The NFL Has Ever Seen. “We gave all the profits to the Children’s Hospital. We just wanted to prove how oxygen-deprived Denver fans are.”
While injuries prevented Brian Bosworth from making it as an NFL player, he was certainly a master of self-promotion. In this case, he managed to mess with the opposing team’s fan base and earn some money for a good cause.