According to Bo Jackson, football was just a hobby he did in the offseason. In reality, it was baseball that should have been a hobby.
...For as much of a specimen Jackson was on the baseball field, he was a high-strikeout, low average home run hitter. His best season, 1989, saw him strikeout 172 times to just 39 walks. Today, his career .309 OBP would overshadow any of his muscles or athletic plays on the field. From 1986-1990, there were 141 players with a higher Wins Above Replacement than Jackson. Among them were Brett Butler, Mike Greenwell and current Mets third base coach Tim Teufel. None of those individuals had national commercials or an ESPN documentary made about them.
Remember, we were in the infancy of cable television. Anecdotal stories were still the main thesis of sports reporting for both the electronic and print media. Bill James and his advanced stats were better known amongst Strat-O-Matic players. Today, he might be called one of the most overrated players of that time period. Breaking bats over your knee or climbing the outfield wall like Spiderman is nice, but doesn’t mean you an All-Star, much less on track for the Hall-of-Famer. It certainly doesn’t justify the big commercials and being among the highest paid players in the game.
...Bo Jackson could have been a Hall-of-Fame NFL running back. In baseball, he was nothing more than another high-strikeout power hitter in an era full of them. If we had the knowledge of what makes a good ballplayer courtesy of some modern day statistical theories and common sense, Bo Jackson probably would be treated with as much skepticism as another Kansas City Royals outfielder – Jeff Francoeur.