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I watched the 30 for 30 tonight and I couldn't help but remembering this...
I was a diver at Auburn in 87-90... And I had just missed Bo's hay day here at Auburn. But I would love to share a story about something I saw Bo do that solidified him in my mind as the greatest natural athlete I've seen.
We all know about Bo's incredible football career and baseball career... He was amazingly strong and amazing fast... His hand eye coordination was second to none...
Being a multiple sport athlete in high school... football, baseball, track, and diving... I know a little about what it takes to be elite in all of those sports...
In reality, I was too small and too slow at the time to ever seriously compete at any of those sports at the D-1 level... Except for Diving...
Anyway... Diving is a sport that very few people have a gift for mainly because it takes a tremendous amount of kinesthetic awareness... (knowing where your body is in space) It all happens in a micro seconds... And it takes a very long time to master.
So just to digress for a second.... Coach Mel Rosen was the track coach at the time and being an athlete a lot of us took classes that he taught... He loved to test different athletes from different sports and put us in unusual situations... He liked to make us compete against each other in funny obstacle courses or drills...
Obviously most of the football and track guys would smoke the swimmers, divers, baseball players and basketball players in the speed drills. But when it came to kinesthetic type of drills most football, and other athletes were terrible...
So I always thought to myself when they beat me... Well... those football guys are fast and strong but they could NEVER do what I do in the air...
Well... One day I came to practice and there was a lot of commotion going in the auxiliary gym... So I poked my head in to see what was going on...
They were shooting one of those Nike Commercials we all came to love... "BO KNOWS"...
To me it was incredible to watch. I'd never seen Bo that close in person before. He was dunking and slamming a ball so easy it wasn't even funny... I was in complete awe... I would have stayed and watched him all night but I didn't want to be late for practice so I bailed and went to the pool...
About an hour into our practice... Bo walks in... Needless to say it stopped practice a second, we couldn't believe Bo wanted to watch us... He asked the our coach if he could stay and of course he said "yes!"
I don't know about the other divers but I was doing my best to impress him... We were doing our optionals (which are basically all of our multiple flipping and twisting dives ... 2 1/2's ... 3 1/2's things like that)
Anyway after watching us dive for a while BO walks over to our coach and says "Hey do you think I can try that?"
Our coach looks around and says "Sure... why not." So BO disappears for a while... Then comes back in some shorts...
I remember looking at one of my teammates and saying "This should be good... I bet BO doesn't KNOW DIVING!"
99% of the people who have zero experience in diving ALWAYS wipe out and it's ALWAYS good for a laugh...
So we all kinda cleared the boards so we could watch BO play around...
But BO didn't start on the 1-meter like most normal people would... Bo goes right up to 3-meter...
I'm thinking "Bo is about to bust he ass!" - "I can't wait to watch this!!!"
So... BO bounces the board for a second... then walks back... he takes a second... then starts an approach...
He hits the end of the board remarkably well.... and throws a nice 1 1/2 pike... Really... REALLY HIGH..!
BO goes a bit long washing over on his back...
He comes up and of course WE are all clapping... That was pretty impressive...
I said to one of my teammates "WOW!!! That was better than I thought... but everyone can do a 1 1/2..."
BO doesn't say anything... He goes right back up to the 3 meter... Bounces the board again... Then walks back for his approach...
He hits the end of board bouncing higher than most divers than I've ever seen and throws a FRONT 2 1/2 TUCK!!!
He kicks out perfectly and goes straight in on his head!!!
I about fell out of my chair... He comes up and we were all clapping in amazement!!!
I looked at my teammate and before I could say a word... My teammate says... "DUDE... BO KNOWS WHATEVER BO WANTS TO KNOW... WOW!"
BO who has ZERO experience in a sport... walks in watches it for a few minutes and then pulls off something as complex as a front 2 1/2... I couldn't @#$@ing believe my EYES!!!
From that moment on... I knew I had just witnessed something so special that I would never see the likes of it for the rest of my life...
BO JACKSON just blew my theory that a football player could "never do what I do" right out of the water in a matter of a few bounces!!!
You guys may or may not care about this story but I can assure you it is very true... I still think back on how effortless it was for Bo to pull that off... And I just say WOW!!!
I am so glad I got see that.
War Eagle Bo you are truly amazing!
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by XlentAU 16 months ago
That is an awesome story. Thanks for sharing.
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round.
Great story and thanks for posting! He truly was one of the greatest that I got to see in person, in the pros, etc, etc! Doesn't surprise me one bit that he could do that, but I understand fully where you are coming from - you've been there and done that! Thanks again for the story and your perspective!
"There's no doubt, we're going up."
Only 2 things I am afraid of, women and the police. Gator McClusky
Auburn '99, Beta Zeta of Theta Xi
#HUNH try and stop us!!!!
That should have been in the 30/30 show! Great story.
Thanks for sharing your story, I always love to hear Bo stories. Really good show last night on ESPN, too. I loved hearing Coach Baird recount some of his memories.
Reading your story is just another real life example of the greatest athlete in our times. Thanks for posting...
I think the best story of the special last night was the gentleman that recounted when he heard Bo blast a home run right after joining the Royals, that he had only heard that sound off the bat two times before; one of which was Babe Ruth.
This post was edited by hec1 16 months ago
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