With Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson dabbling in baseball and musing about the possibility of playing, the ultimate two-sport star has some free advice.
Don’t do it.
Bo Jackson, whose legendary baseball-football career came crashing to a halt when he suffered a hip injury during a routine tackle in January 1991, believes that Wilson — and any other athlete who could play multiple sports — should focus on one.
“Stick to what got [Wilson] in the headlines, not baseball,” Jackson said Tuesday, via CSNChicago.com. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I did it, I’m not trying to say anything negative about other athletes, but the talent pool wasn’t that deep. In this day in age, with all the high-tech training, computer-engineered workouts and the proper food and diet, if you try to concentrate on two sports, I guarantee you’re going to ride the bench in both because the talent is that deep. Stick to whatever sport you’re comfortable with and let everything else go.”
Jackson, whose made baseball his primary sport and football a mere hobby, would have that same advice even for a modern-day version of himself.
“I probably couldn’t, no,” Jackson said regarding his ability to play two sports at the professional level. “Just because the talent pool is that deep now. If my kids want to do both sports, ‘No. No. No.’ . . . If you try to do both you’re going to be riding the bench in both. You’ll never get to that level that you want to get to if you split your time between multiple sports.”
Jackson is right. Every elite athlete at some point needs to pick one sport and hope that he made the right decision. For Wilson, who has become a Super Bowl winner in only two seasons, it’s safe to say he made the right choice.
That’s not to say Wilson shouldn’t be willing to use baseball as leverage to get the football contract he’ll be eligible for after the coming season. But he should still never try to actually play both sports.