NFL

What Bo Jackson Just Said About Playing Football May Surprise You

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Bo Jackson sat down with The MMQB in Los Angeles in mid-August, a couple weeks before the season began.

DOM BONVISSUTO: Nobody knows better than you how difficult it is to play two sports professionally. How hard will the transition be for Tim Tebow as he looks to start a baseball career?

BO JACKSON: I wish him all the luck in the world, but it’s not going to be easy. I struggled with it, and I played baseball through high school and college. Deion Sanders was the same way. We were two of the fortunate ones to get to the majors and stay there. With Tebow, I never even knew he played baseball. And he says he hasn’t played since high school? That’s not going to be easy. I wish him all the best.

BONVISSUTO: Why are we seeing so much specialization in youth sports today? Do you think kids, or their parents, are making a mistake by focusing on one sport?

JACKSON: I think kids should be kids, from the time they start playing sports at a very early age. Let them do whatever they want—baseball, football, soccer, it could be Frisbee. Let kids be kids. As you get older, you have to taper that down to what your heart is set on doing. The reason I did two sports was to stay out of trouble. I think a kid trying to split his time between two sports means one thing: He is going to spend all his time on the bench. The talent pool is so deep that is hard to crack that No. 1 spot just playing a single sport, yet alone two. Not trying to brag, but I came through the system at the right time. I did it constantly from junior high to high school to college to pros. That’s all I knew. I never had that gap.

“If I had young kids, to be honest, and if they came and said, Dad, I want to play football, I’d smack them in the mouth. No. No.”

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