When Bo Jackson announced in 1987 that he was going to play running back for the Los Angeles Raiders after finishing his season as an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, he referred to baseball as his priority and football as his hobby. Jeff Demps would like to take a similar approach.
Demps, the former Florida running back who left football to focus on track and field, then signed with the Patriots after last year’s Olympics, says he’d like to offer Patriots coach Bill Belichick an arrangement in which Demps will spend the next six or seven months focusing full-time on track, then join the Patriots in the middle of the regular season.
“Listen coach, I want to do both but in order for me to get where I want to be on the track and field side, it will take a full year of preparation, and after the [track] season, if you guys are willing to let me come back probably midseason and work out and train and get ready for the season I’ll be able to do that, but if not then I guess I’ll focus on running,” Demps said he would tell Belichick when asked about his relationship with the Patriots in an interview with Sports Talk Florida.
There are two problems for Demps if he wants to be the next Bo Jackson: First, the NFL has changed a lot in the quarter century since Jackson debuted for the Raiders, and it’s not as feasible that a player could play part-time. And second, Demps isn’t as good a football player as Jackson and won’t be able to just step onto the field and have an instant impact on the NFL.
In other words, it seems highly unlikely that this is going to work. If track is Demps’s first sport, it’s probably going to be his only sport.