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This is an article from the Dec. 14, 2009 issue
EXCERPT | Dec. 14, 1987
Baseball was his job. Leveling linebackers? A "hobby"
Already an All-Star outfielder, former Heisman winner Bo Jackson was breaking out as a Raiders rookie running back. Ralph Wiley reported.
You would have to say that so far Vincent Edward (Bo) Jackson is doing a fair job of moonlighting. The Bo Show got a 19.9 rating in its first appearance on Monday Night Football, from Seattle on Nov. 30, and raves nationwide, as Jackson gained 221 yards, scored three touchdowns and said to the camera, "We've got nothing to lose, baby." When Jackson went 91 yards on a dead run, nobody breathed.
In October he completed his rookie year as an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals with 22 home runs. On Sunday he played his sixth game for the Los Angeles Raiders, a 34--21 defeat of the Buffalo Bills in which he ran for 78 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes, including one for a TD. Now the questions are: How well can he do both, and for how long?
Some football players who watch Jackson seem almost spiritually moved. "He's a Hall of Fame back. If anybody had to break my record, I'm glad it was Bo," said former Raiders back Clem Daniels, who held the team's single-game rushing record of 200 yards until Jackson ran over linebacker Brian Bosworth and by everybody else in Seattle. "I kind of expected it. His attitude impressed me from the start. He talked about himself in the third person: 'Bo will do this. Bo will do that.' I liked that. Your ego has to be big enough to give you the drive. I saw Jim Taylor at the NFL alumni golf tournament. He still had that attitude: I'm an ass-kicker. Bo believes that too."
Jackson would play four NFL seasons, gaining 2,782 yards, and eight MLB seasons, hitting 141 homers, before a hip injury forced his retirement.
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World Cup 2010
SI's Grant Wahl analyzes Team USA's fortunate World Cup draw and its opening-round match with England next summer. The U.S. last played England in 2008, in a 2--0 loss at Wembley Stadium
If you're the U.S., playing your toughest group game first is a good thing. (Remember its big win over Portugal in the 2002 World Cup opener?) What's more, England is a traditionally slow-starting team in World Cups. Still, there's even more to the U.S.'s lucky draw. If the Yanks advance to the knockout rounds, the World Cup bracket structure will allow them to avoid meeting any of the top four teams in the FIFA rankings (Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy) until the semifinals. That's right: The world's top four teams are all on the other side of the bracket. What does this all mean? It means the U.S. will have no excuses if it fails to reach at least the knockout rounds. It won't matter if the Americans are still missing key players like Charlie Davies, Jay DeMerit and Oguchi Onyewu due to injury. It won't matter because this is just about the kindest draw you could imagine.
SI writers also take an in-depth look at Team USA goalie Tim Howard (left) and break down
David Beckham's chances of making England's national team atSI.com/soccerPlus ...
Gabriele Marcotti's group-by-group analysis of the entire World Cup draw