Bo Jackson was the greatest running back ever
Debate Rounds (5)
Bo was a different breed; naturally big, very fast and as brian bosworth found out pretty dang powerful!!! Bo only played 4 short seasons (played baseball until October) but his stats are pretty impressive when you look at them especially with sharing the backfield with Marcus Allen.
I stated in my opening argument that Bo's career was cut short and so he doesn't have the stats over a 9-12 year period like some.
Bo had the longest rush in the NFL in three of the four seasons he played. Jackson and O.J. Simpson remain the only two players to record the league"s longest rush in three different NFL seasons.
Bo rushed for a 90-yard touchdown in a game" twice in his career. Ahman Green is the only other player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. But the former Raider was more than just two runs or some highlight films. In 1987, 1989, and 1990, Jackson averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry and rushed for at least 70 yards per game; the great Jim Brown and Dan Towler, another one of the game"s great power/speed backs, are the only two other players to ever have three such seasons (and no one has had four).
There are other ways to capture what Bo did in his brief career. Because he was busy being a baseball player, Bo missed the first third of the season each year. If we look at the data starting in week 7, from 1988 to 1990, Bo compares pretty favorably to the elite running backs of his day. Over that span he ranked third in rushing yards while averaging over five yards per carry.
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com:
see table at http://www.footballperspective.com...
He only played in the NFL for four years, from the ages of 25 to 28. To level the playing field, let"s compare him to every other running back in league history, but only at those ages. Among players with at least 500 carries, Jackson averaged the most yards per carry:
see table at http://www.footballperspective.com...
In the 4 years Bo played football these are his career statistics
Games Attempts Yards TD Long Y/A Y/G A/G Rec Yards Y/R TD Long R/G YScm
38 515 2,782 16 92 5.4 73.2 13.6 40 352 8.8 2 27 9.3 3134
if averaged over 10 years
160 2168 11,712 68 ?? 168 1482 8 13194
Bo's stats at Auburn
650 4303 43 6.6 26 272 10.5 2 4575
One needs to imagine if he was in football shape and stayed healthy enough for 10 years he would probably have even better statisctics. Like I said he also shared the backfield. Walter, Barry and emmitt didn't.
I guess the lack of sleep is catching up with me. I wanted to debate this because I needed one more debate and couldn't think of anything. I am a Raiders fan and I believe in a 4 year period as shown here at http://www.footballperspective.com...... that I posted earlier he was and could have been the greatest of all time.
I will continue the debate on the facts that he was not in football shape because of baseball, he had limited plays when he was in, he shared the time in the backfield with Marcus Allen and he had a mediocre line at the time. The team was terrible going through 3 coaches in 4 years and posting records in Bo's 4 seasons of 5-10, 7-9, 8-8 and 12-4. If he hadn't dislocated his hip at the end of the playoff win against Cincinnati they may have beaten buffalo the following week and went to the super bow. I know a lot of ifs but you can not deny the man's greatness.
A combination of unprecedented speed and power created Bo Jackson"s legacy on the field. He evaded initial attempted tackles at the defensive line and outran the rest of the defense en route to his final destination, the end zone. His unforgettable run with the Raiders against the Seattle Seahawks for nearly the length of the football field and into the tunnel displayed his blazing speed. In that same game, his display of sheer power provided another sensational moment when he literally ran over the Seahawks" Brian Bosworth at the goal line for a score on Monday Night Football. Countless other captivating plays dominate his career highlight reel.
Jackson finished his career with an average of 6.6 yards (6.0 m) per carry, which set the SEC record (minimum 400 rushes).
In 1985, Jackson rushed for 1786 yards which was the second best single-season performance in SEC history. That year, he averaged 6.4 yards per rush, which at the time was the best single-season average in SEC history. For his performance in 1985, Jackson was awarded the Heisman Trophy.
With the Raiders
He had the strength and the guts to play. During the 1991 playoffs, Jackson was tackled by Kevin Walker of the Cincinnati Bengals, causing a serious hip injury that ended Jackson's football career and seriously threatened his baseball career. After Jackson was tackled and lying in pain on the ground, he allegedly popped his hip back into place. In an interview on Untold, his Royals team mate George Brett, who attended the game, said he asked the trainer what had happened to Bo. The trainer replied "Bo says he felt his hip come out of the socket, so he popped it back in, but that's just impossible, no one's that strong."
Following surgery and rehabilitation on his injured hip, it was discovered that Jackson had a vascular necrosis, as a result of decreased blood supply to the head of his left femur. This caused deterioration of the femoral head, ultimately requiring that the hip be replaced. Amazingly, Jackson was able to return to baseball toward the end of the 1991 season as a member of the White Sox after the Royals released him. Jackson missed the entire 1992 baseball season. When he announced soon after his surgery that he would play baseball again, many thought that goal to be unrealistic, especially at the Major League level.
Additional superlatives include 1989 and 1990 second-team All-Conference selections, a Pro Bowl roster nomination in the latter year and qualifying in the top-three for best average per rush in two consecutive seasons. He also led the 1989 Raiders with 950 yards on a remarkable 5.5 yards per carry.
Greatness doesn't always have to be defined in a long period of time. Sometimes you just know greatness when you see it. I remember in Gretzky's 3rd year they were already calling him the great one. Michael Jordan was called great when his team couldn't get past Isaiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons at first!
If all we do is use statistics then Michael Jordan is not the greatest in basketball because Bill Russell had 9 straight titles, 8 as a player under Red Auerbach and one as the coach of the Boston Celtics.
Statistics are great but it is what you contribute to a team. Bo was as electrifying as Barry, as powerful as Campbell or Riggins, as elusive as Dickerson and as fast as any other to play.
Your argument started well but now it is all ifs and buts. You can't say what we would call Gretzky or Jordan had they only played five years and you can't say what Bo would have done if he played longer. He was hurt in college and in the pro's and recovered from both. He has proved his durability, he just chose baseball over football. He was also a track and field champion and a very good basketball player. He was a naturally gifted athlete and if for no other reason that is why I believe he was the greatest. He was humble, smart and could play any sport. To sit there and say he might have gotten worse is a poor argument. He may have become better too! Like I said before he shared time with Allen, he had 3 coaches in 4 years, a mediocre (at best) line and yet in any 4 year period of any running backs career he had the best yards per carry average 5.5!!!! That is amazing for a guy who only played half a year and was still learning the playbook each year with a new offense!!!
Statistics are great but it is what you contribute to a team. Bo was as electrifying as Barry, as powerful as Campbell or Riggins, as elusive as Dickerson and as fast as any other to play."
Bo was a major contributor to a bad and latter, a mediocre team. Bo was able to set or tie records in many categories that take other players 10-14 years to make. I stated his career was short but no one can deny he was great in his time.
If you look at the title it says running back not baseball player. I mentioned it because that is why he didn't play full seasons.
Apparently you can't understand what he did under very unusual situations. If any of the backs you claim as great had to play under those same situations they would not have done as well.
1. Very large in size. Bo was 6'1 1/4"
2. Larger in size than others of the same kind. Bo was one of the largest RB's
3. Large in quantity or number: A great throng awaited us. See Synonyms at large. Great throngs awaited him!
4. Extensive in time or distance: a great delay. Covered 92 yards very quickly
5. Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent: a great crisis. Many outstanding plays
6. Of outstanding significance or importance: a great work of art. Very significant to the team
7. Chief or principal: the great house on the estate.
8. Superior in quality or character; noble: "For he was great, ere fortune made him so" (John Dryden). As mentioned before he was; smart, humble and talented.
9. Powerful; influential: one of the great nations of the West. He definitely had power but of a different sort and he was influential with Al Davis.
On November 30, 1987, during the Monday Night Football game following the big Thanksgiving weekend, Bo Jackson and the Los Angeles Raiders would visit the Kingdome in Seattle and manhandle the Seahawks.
Going into the game, the Raiders were at 3-7 and had not proven to be much competition so far during the year. The Seahawks on the other hand were 7-3 and were having a very nice season. The Seahawks got on the board first behind a 19 yard touchdown pass from Dave Krieg to Daryl Turner. The Raiders answered back fairly quickly with a 46 yard touchdown pass from Marc Wilson to James Lofton. The first quarter would end just like that with the game all tied up at seven. The Raiders would be the first to score in the second quarter when Marc Wilson connected for his second TD pass of the game, this time for 14 yards to Bo Jackson. Jackson would score again in the quarter on a 91 yard run that took him up the left sideline, through the end zone, and into the players" tunnel. Chris Bahr would add two field goals for the Raiders, who would lead at halftime 27-7.
The second half started the way the first ended, with the Raiders scoring again. Bo Jackson would add his third and final touchdown of the day, this one on a two yard run that is famous for him winning the goal line battle with the Seahawks" popular linebacker Brian Bosworth. Bahr would add a third field goal of his own in the third quarter and Seattle would respond with a three yard touchdown pass from Krieg to tight end Mike Tice. With no scoring from either team in the fourth quarter, the final score would show the Raiders defeating the Seahawks 37-14.
Tell me that isn't greatness!?!
I guess the argument will go back and forth with ifs and buts. I thought this would be kind of fun but I guess it is really hard to argue opinions. We can throw in some facts and statistics but it think it comes down to personal choice. I imagine a steeler fan would probably throw Franco Harris or Jerome Bettis in the mix. Packer fans would probably want to throw in Paul Horning and some others.
Well thank you for the debate and take care. FOOTBALL the best sport in the world... my opinion again!
I urge you vote for con and thanks for the debate
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