Bo Jackson is one of the best pure athletes in the history of sports. He’s the only man in history to be named to the NFL Pro Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game. He also may be the most dominant player in the history of sports video games.
While the former Heisman Trophy winner played just four seasons in the National Football League, he’ll forever be remembered as being absolutely unstoppable in “Tecmo Bowl” on the original Nintendo.
Bo Jackson was a beast on the football field
Plain and simple, Bo Jackson was a force on the football field. After being drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school, Jackson chose to attend Auburn University on a football scholarship after promising his mother he’d attend college.
Jackson was a monster for the Tigers, racking up 4,575 yards and 45 touchdowns in four seasons, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1985. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft but he refused to play for them as he felt they had tried to sabotage his baseball career. He instead turned his attention to baseball and joined the Kansas City Royals, becoming an instant star.
Unable to sign him, the Bucs forfeited the rights to Jackson and the then-Los Angeles Raiders selected him in the seventh round of the 1987 draft. Bo joined the Raiders following the end of the baseball season and rushed for 554 yards in seven games his rookie year.
Bo Jackson always played limited games in the NFL due to his commitments to Major League Baseball and rushed for 2,782 yards and 16 touchdowns in four seasons with the Raiders. He suffered a hip injury in a playoff game in early 1991 and never played in the NFL again, instead deciding to stick to baseball.
Bo knows ‘Tecmo Bowl’
Before the “Madden” series ever became the biggest sports game in history, there was “Tecmo Bowl” on Nintendo. Yes, there had been football games before but “Tecmo Bowl” was the first game to have actual NFL players included. It was first released on NES in 1989 and it was spectacular. For the first time, fans could actually play as their favorite team, with the actual players, and the makers of the game made Bo Jackson a beast.
As he did in real life with the Raiders, Jackson shared running back duties with Hall of Famer Marcus Allen. But anyone playing against the Raiders could tackle Allen. Bo? Not so much.
A classic YouTube clip that’s racked up more than 2.5 million views over the last 13 years proves this point. After purposely taking a kick back to the 1-yard line, the gamer shows off Jackson’s super-human ability by taking up nearly a full quarter of play in one 99-yard run in which Bo makes a fool of the defense. Running in circles and breaking tackles, Jackson finally waltzed into the endzone after running for four minutes and 37 seconds.
That’s one amazing halfback dive.
Bo Jackson hilariously joked about his Tecmo Bowl dominance in a TV spot
Bo Jackson has appeared in a number of television commercials over the years but none have been more hilarious than the spots he did for Kia back in 2017.
In a series of ads for Kia, Jackson runs out of the stadium and gets into a Sorento. He drives it back into the building, actually called the Tecmo Bowl, and proceeds to weave an 8-bit version of the vehicle through a helpless defense, obviously ending up in the endzone. Classic Bo Jackson.