Brian Bosworth will forever be remembered as an outspoken and opinionated football player whose pro career ended far too soon. Today, he’s making movies like Revelation Road—with TNA wrestler Sting—out now on DVD. We caught up with “The Boz” to talk about movies, steroids, and the biggest problems facing the NFL and NCAA.
Muscle & Fitness: Are you aware of how you’re remembered? Does it bother you that you’re often called a bust?
Brian Bosworth: Usually the people who are saying he’s a bust are people who have their own agenda, they either didn’t like me or had a preconceived notion of who I was. They didn’t like “The Boz”. I would be surprised if any of those guys have any knowledge of what a bust truly is. If you go back and chronologically look at the career that I had, albeit short, I came in late, came in at a different position than I had in college, played two games then went on strike for four weeks, came back played another seven or eight games, was defensive player of the game on a couple of different occasions. And under intense scrutiny and intense pressure, on a very old football team, still made the playoffs for the first time in seven years, was second on the team in tackles, and dislocated my shoulder against the Houston Oilers and continued to play on it anyway. If anyone took the time to look back and see what really happened to Boz, what was the undoing of him physically as a football player—having all of those interruptions as a first-year player… when we went to the NY Jets to play my rookie year, it wasn’t the Seattle Seahawks against the Jets. It was Brian Bosworth. So it was a complete clown show.
Then you get into year two, I was told before the season even started by my doctor, “Don’t play. You need surgery. If you play on it, there’s a good chance you can end your career.” Then you have the Seattle Seahawks, who, the owners, the Nordstroms, they wanted to be as popular as possible because they were trying to sell the team. So if you take the only player who has name recognition and you put him on the sidelines, then suddenly they’ve become the same old Seattle Seahawks, that team up there in the Northwest. So by playing that second year, and being encourage by the coach and the GM that, “Oh, it’s a minor injury and we’ll take care of it after the season and we’ll just continue to shoot your shoulder up with pain medication, and by the end of the season, because we’re so close to the Super Bowl and you’re going to lead us there, and oh, by the way, we’re going to take you from that position we were going to play you in last year…”
You’re talking to a kid who’s 22 years old and was raised in the atmosphere with his father who coached me when I was 8, 9 years old in the pup leagues—and I’m bleeding out of the eyes and ears, hurt, and your dad is screaming at you “You’re not hurt, get back out there!” You’re programmed to turn pain off. So I’m turning pain off and ignoring my body. I’m 75% at the beginning of the year, and my play diminished. They said, “Oh, he can hit the guy, but he doesn’t wrap him up.” Well, I can’t wrap anybody up because my shoulder doesn’t work. Are you going to define me as a bust based on the fact that I broke my shoulder? Bo Jackson is another great example. He pulls his hip out, and now he can’t run as fast, hit as hard, get around corners. If that had happened in his first or second year, they’d call him a bust, too. So they say, “Oh, well his injury caused him to have a joint replacement.” Well, guess what? I’ve got two joint replacements.