For American football fans, the word “The Catch” reminded me of the 41-year-old image of Joe Montana touching down to Dwight Clark, giving the 49ers a 28-27 victory and a place for the Super Bowl. “You just beat the American team,” Ed’Tootall’Jones told the quarterback. “F ** kAmerica’s Team”, Montana is back. Post-season matches between teams became symbolic in an instant.
Saturday’s visit to the Las Vegas Raiders’ Cincinnati Bengals has no cowboys-49ers rivalry romance and resentment. However, when the two AFC franchises last met in January, the game contained an incident that had a significant impact on American culture. It’s almost forgotten. But if you know, you know.
The 1991 split contest itself was unobtrusive. The Raiders were nearing the end of their time in Los Angeles (in the UK, regular NFL coverage began in 1982, the year the team moved south from Auckland, and many fans were enthusiastic about this franchise. I only knew as LA Raiders). The game was played at the Coliseum and did not stir the imagination of the general public. It failed to sell out and the Raiders had to hand out a ticket tranche to a local school to avoid a power outage on the local TV.
The home team won 20-10. The decisive moment came in the third quarter. Raiders running back Bo Jackson was tackled at the end of Bengals linebacker Kevin Walker’s 34 yards. Jackson dragged off the field with a lower back injury. No one knew, but his football career is over. The impact has spread far beyond the NFL.
Jackson was the biggest sports star in the United States. It’s bigger than Michael Jordan. He was the man who made Nike the dominant sportswear brand in the United States, and at the time of his injury Jackson was the most marketable athlete in the world.
Raiders running back played two sports, grid iron and baseball. He was enough to play two major league all-star games. Participating in the NFL Pro Bowl in 1990 means he is the only individual to be selected as an All-Star in both fields. But it was a television advertising campaign that pushed him beyond the world of sports to public awareness.
Nike was huge in 1989. They took advantage of Jordan’s developmental position as the greatest player in basketball history, and Air Jordan was the most valuable athletics shoe brand. The catchphrase “Just Do It” has become global. There was only one problem. Chicago Bulls superstars couldn’t push Nike to the top of the market. Reebok, a company founded in Bolton, continued to grow sales. Until Jackson arrives at the scene.
One of Nike’s creative teams saw the Kansas City Royals slugger hit a home run in an all-star game and thought that Jackson could be projected as a universal athlete, a man who could dominate all the sports he tried. I came up with it. The “Bo Knows …” campaign for cross trainer shoes began with this concept.
It started with something simple. “Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.” It was extended from there. The big names on Nike’s sponsorship list have been drafted to play their part. Jordan joined to provide the “Boknows basketball” line. Ian Rush told the British audience: [ital] Genuine [ital] football. “Jackson was shot with various kits and using special effects, a group of bosses praised each other’s sporting prowess.
A little humor helped. Another Nike powerhouse, Wayne Gretzky, saw Jackson on the ice and, unexpectedly, shook his head and simply said “no.” A series of ads, Tour de Force, show Jackson with a guitar on stage with Bo Diddley, and a veteran bluesman shakes his head to a sportsman and mutters, “Bo knows Diddley.” rice field.
Much of Reebok’s sales came from celebrities. Mick Jagger was hooked on a freestyle pair in a “Dancing in the Street” video with David Bowie. Jane Fonda wore them in her very popular aerobics video. However, the “Bo Knows” campaign has crossed the sports culture firewall and raised Nike above its rivals. Even Jackson’s injury did not stop the company’s momentum.
Running back playback in the NFL has stopped. He had avascular necrosis, a loss of blood supply to the bones. Jackson claimed that his hips were dislocated by a tackle, and he manually repelled his joints, exacerbating his condition.
Later, Jackson became a single-sports athlete, severely undermining his baseball career. He played for another three seasons, one of which missed a hip arthroplasty, but never regained its former brilliance.
As Jackson began to disappear from the scene, Jordan grew taller and led the Bulls to the first of six NBA Championships five months after the fateful afternoon at the Coliseum. However, the basketball icon’s attempt to play top-notch baseball did not work as well as Jackson’s attempt. Jordan never got out of the minor league.
There is a school of thought that if Jackson hadn’t been injured, he might have been the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in both sports. If that happened, how would it affect Jordan’s position? Was Jackson the best person in the 1990s?
In retrospect, the man who won the Heisman Trophy as the best performer of college football at Auburn University in 1985 believes it was a mistake to play in the NFL. If he had focused on baseball, which is physically less dangerous, his legacy might have been stronger.
Bengals fans remember the game well. Since then, they haven’t won the playoff games. There is a story about the “Curse of Bo” in southwestern Ohio. There is a more likely explanation for the inadequacy of Cincinnati over the next 30 years.
Finally, when Jackson left the field of the Coliseum, no one knew the extent of his injury. He was accompanied by two young sons and seemed quite out of control for a television interviewer. Immediately afterwards, some Southern California sports radio station phone fans thought that running backs did not fully respect the legend of microphone-based games.
Jackson didn’t seem to have any time for a particular OJ Simpson. Perhaps the ad was correct. Bo knew all the time.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Las Vegas Raiders: Two Franchises Update Key NFL Rivals
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