|Durrrrr Hai gais me BO!|
You know the story of Bo Jackson already. He was an icon in the 80's, you could argue that he paved the way for MJ by becoming Nike's first commercial megastar. He was the best all-around athlete ever, excelling at football and baseball at the same time, something not done since Wa-Tho-Huk aka Jim Thorpe in 20's. He was on top of the world until a 1990 hip injury that he incurred in the NFL Playoffs, which he never fully returned from.
Now listen to the story from the eyes of a Royals fan.
The year is 1986. We're coming off our first World Series win and are known as one of the top five elite American League franchises. The core of our lineup is aging with Willie Wilson, Hal McRae, Frank White and George Brett all on the wrong side of 30. We're an elite destination for a young superstar, so we took a gamble on drafting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers #1 Overall Pick in the 4th Round of the MLB Draft.
It was a forgone conclusion that he'd sign with the miserable Bucs... but damn it we were the Royals. The ROYALS! Who wouldn't want to play for our elite team? Bo Jackson shocked the world and agreed.
We were set. We had the cornerstone of our franchise for the rest of the 20th Century. Bo displayed power and speed like we had never seen! Better yet, Bo Jackson let it be known that he was a baseball player through and through. No more football. That held true for a few short months until Bo received a phone call saying that Al Davis and the Raiders had selected him in the 7th Round.
If you have followed sports for more than 10 years, you know that Kansas City hates Oakland. Davis and Lamar Hunt founded two successful AFL teams that beat the living hell out of each other for decades. In 1968, Charlie O. Finley took our baseball team and moved them to Oakland. Kansas City hates Oakland and Oakland hates Kansas City. The Sport Gods decided it'd be funny if these two cities had to share their chosen son.
Whatever though. We dealt with it. Bo's progress in baseball was pretty awesome to watch. He flew around the OF, smacked balls over the fence, ran up walls and fired baseballs like bullets. In 1989 America's collective jaw dropped when Bo Jackson made the National League look like punks in the All Star Game. Things were a little less sunny in KC, but with Bo at the helm it was reasonable to think the 90's would be as good as the 80's had been.
|No, your hips aren't supposed to move like that.|
|Somewhere Freddie Patek slowly wept.|
When you think of Bo Jackson, you think of a likable guy with amazing athleticism who unfortunately lost his career from a freak injury. When we Royals fans think of Bo Jackson, we think of the man who was our everything. With Bo we had a future, a bright future. Now when we think about Bo, we can only think about what could have been for us and what actually happened for us. The less we can be reminded of Bo Jackson, the better, and the Royals organization seems to understand that.
BUT NOT EVERYBODY DOES!
Good Lord! You'd think he was still an active player! These are just a fraction of the cards that Topps has produced over the last 12 months with Bo Jackson in his Royals uniform. What's worse is that's all we get! If we're lucky there will be a George Brett card in the set as well, but otherwise it's BO BO BO!!!
I respect the guy, but please Topps, enough is enough! I understand that he's collectible for 29 of the 30 teams and even some Royals fans who don't know any better, but for most of us this is just painful. I'm not asking you to not include Bo Jackson. The problem is that without Bo, there are often no noteworthy Royals cards included. Give us somebody else too. I can't buy into group breaks because the prices are jacked up because of Bo. I can't buy team sets because the prices are jacked up due to Bo. I don't want to chase Royals parallels because half of them are of Bo.
Leaving Bo out of products is bad business, I get it! But if you're going to put him in our uniform, don't do it as a gift to us. Torture us, that's fine, but please give us something to make up for it. Whether that's more George Brett or one of our other great but not HOF-worthy players such as Amos Otis, Paul Splittorff, Hal McRae, Dennis Leonard, Dan Quisenberry (so collectable), John Mayberry, Frank White, Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, or even Mike Sweeney. Just give us something so it's not Bo or nothing. Please? I don't want to know Bo any mo' than I have to.