My Summer Lair Chapter #243: Much Do You Know About Bo Jackson?
Welcome acclaimed sports writer, Jeff Pearlman who visits My Summer Lair to talk about his latest sports biography The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson.
The Last Folk Hero is a deep dive into the extraordinary life and legendary status of one of the most iconic athletes of our time: Bo Jackson. Jeff knows Bo now. Well…sorta.
Our conversation is anchored by myth and mystery and mystique: how sports mythologies are crafted. And the stories we choose to share about the athletes who thrill us with their style of play.
I dig the title of Jeff’s book is The Last Folk Hero. That’s such a fitting description for Bo Jackson who played two sports: Bo played Major League Baseball from 1986-1994 (694 games total for the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox) and in the NFL from 1987 to 1990 (for the Los Angeles Raiders) before a freak injury forced him to retire from football.
What made Bo special is we’d never seen anybody like that before: Bo was truly unique with that size and speed and ability. But when I say we’ve never seen anybody like Bo that’s a white lie…he effectively retired in 1994. Pre-internet, pre-cell phone cameras and especially in college it meant many of his tall tales were oral stories. We have no footage of them.
It’s like seeing Superman in action then trying to describe that to your friends later on.
You of course know sports writer Jeff Pearlman; Winning Time on HBO Max is adapted from his book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. (At the end of this interview I urged him to write a Larry Bird book. It’s time: Larry is a beast!)
For now though let’s explore the extraordinary Bo Jackson. Bo Knows you’ll enjoy this episode of My Summer Lair.
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Friday November 11, 2022 at 1:00 pm EST
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