Bo Jackson came out of Auburn with a Heisman Trophy in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. He spurned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a career in professional baseball and then was taken by the Los Angeles Raiders in the following draft. His first season was somewhat magical as the entire nation watched what this two sport superstar could do. He split time in the backfield with eventual Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and had a very good season.
It was one particular game though that would stick in the minds of Raiders fans, and anyone who watched it, though. On November 30, 1987, during the Monday Night Football game following the big Thanksgiving weekend, Bo Jackson and the Los Angeles Raiders would visit the Kingdome in Seattle and manhandle the Seahawks.
Going into the game, the Raiders were at 3-7 and had not proven to be much competition so far during the year. The Seahawks on the other hand were 7-3 and were having a very nice season. The Seahawks got on the board first behind a 19 yard touchdown pass from Dave Krieg to Daryl Turner. The Raiders answered back fairly quickly with a 46 yard touchdown pass from Marc Wilson to James Lofton. The first quarter would end just like that with the game all tied up at seven. The Raiders would be the first to score in the second quarter when Marc Wilson connected for his second TD pass of the game, this time for 14 yards to Bo Jackson. Jackson would score again in the quarter on a 91 yard run that took him up the left sideline, through the end zone, and into the players’ tunnel. Chris Bahr would add two field goals for the Raiders, who would lead at halftime 27-7.
The second half started the way the first ended, with the Raiders scoring again. Bo Jackson would add his third and final touchdown of the day, this one on a two yard run that is famous for him winning the goal line battle with the Seahawks’ popular linebacker Brian Bosworth. Bahr would add a third field goal of his own in the third quarter and Seattle would respond with a three yard touchdown pass from Krieg to tight end Mike Tice. With no scoring from either team in the fourth quarter, the final score would show the Raiders defeating the Seahawks 37-14.
Bo Jackson’s day was impressive though and it couldn’t have come on a bigger stage than Monday Night Football after a long weekend of Thanksgiving games. He would finish the game with 18 carries for 221 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He added to that with one reception for 14 yards and another touchdown. Many football fans look back at this game and wonder what could have been if Jackson’s career had not been cut short by injury a couple of years later.