I guess some of you don't remember Bo Jackson—I do. The greatest athlete I ever saw, and I was in the arena that night Michael Jordan scored 51 for the Washington Wizards.
Bo was an electrifying combination of speed and power, an all-star in two professional sports. He'd do things you'd never see anybody do before or since, like run along the outfield wall or break a bat over his head or outrun the entire Seattle defense on a Monday night in 1987, even though they had the angle on him.
Not to mention that in his first at bat against the New York Yankees after his hip replacement surgery, he hit an opposite field home run. Tell that to your grandmother the next time she whines about slipping on the ice.
Legendary sportswriter Dick Schaap voted him the greatest athlete of the 20th century.
My little brother knew Bo personally back when they were both students at Auburn and said he was a wonderful guy. I never met him myself, so my Bo story comes second hand through my law school roommate, who was pals with the kid who was the starting pitcher for Samford the day Bo and the Auburn Tigers baseball team came to Birmingham to play. In Bo's first at bat, the kid threw him a slider low and away that Bo lined off the rightfield fence for a double. "No way he hits that pitch for a double again," the kid said. So the next time up, he threw the same slider, low and away. This time Bo lined it over the fence for a home run.
The kid was out of the game by the time Bo came up again. I think the final score was 15-1. Good times.
Named for Katie-Bar-The-Door, the Katies are "alternate Oscars"—who should have been nominated, who should have won—but really they're just an excuse to write a history of the movies from the Silent Era to the present day.
To see a list of nominees and winners by decade, as well as links to my essays about them, click the highlighted links:
Look at me—Joe College, with a touch of arthritis. Are my eyes really brown? Uh, no, they're green. Would we have the nerve to dive into the icy water and save a person from drowning? That's a key question. I, of course, can't swim, so I never have to face it. Say, haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?