Interviews

Bo Jackson Talks Fitness, Business, and Pork

The NFL and MLB legend shares his current endeavors with 'M&F.'

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Bo Jackson Talks Fitness, Business, and Top Priorities
Courtesy of Pork & Mindy's

Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson is the only athlete to be named an All-Star in both the NFL and MLB. The pro sports legend, now a successful businessman, talks strength feats, cycling, and pork.

As told to Steve Mazzucchi

PRESS CONFERENCE

I’ve never really lifted weights, but I was blessed to get good genes from my mother and my grandfather. Coming back to Auburn after summer vacation, the football team had to go into the gym. And I’m not bragging, but the coaches made me stop bench-pressing at about 435 or 440 because they didn’t want me to pull anything. Granted, this was when I was 19, 20 years old. As far as lifting stuff now, hell, I’d pull a muscle lifting the toilet seat in the morning.

PEDAL PUSHER

With fitness, to be honest, I try to do as little as possible. I was known as a runner, ever since I was a kid, running from butt whoopings. That’s how I stayed in shape. But I don’t run anymore. Having an artificial hip, I try not to do any high-impact work because I want to last as long as I can. So I’ve become a cyclist. That’s the way I keep my legs and my lungs in shape. Carrying 265, 270 pounds around, I get the crap kicked outta me by the hills. I hate ’em.

CHARITY RIDE

Bo Bikes Bama came about after the horrible tornado tore through my home state in 2011 and took almost 400 lives. I decided to do something where everyone can be involved, and that’s riding a bike. In six years we’ve gone from 300 riders per day to a one-day ride where we have to cut it off at about 1,500. I’ve had Hall of Famers and Formula One racers come, Lance Armstrong has ridden every year except one, and all the funds raised—more than a million dollars—are used to put in tornado warning systems and build community tornado shelters across the state.

BO KNOWS BITES

I know about as much about today’s sports as your unborn grandkids. I’ve moved on to a new life. I’m still a fan, but I don’t watch baseball, football, or basketball. I’m all about my business, and the new partnership between Bo Jackson Signature Foods and Pork & Mindy’s Creative BBQ, a hungry bunch of guys trying to make a difference in the food industry. If I put my name behind something, you can bet the farm that it’s all about quality, it’s all about integrity, and it’s priced right. That’s what brings customers back.

JERKY BOYS

Before, if I was gonna snack on something between meals, I would go get something like a jerky. So after a lot of experimenting and sampling, we’ve come up with a couple of flavors for my first product with Pork & Mindy’s, Pig Candy, that are outstanding. It’s a pork jerky that comes in Original and Sweet Heat varieties. It’s a great source of protein, with just a little bit of sugar, that’ll get you through to your next meal.

BIG FISH

I’m an avid outdoorsman. That’s the way I get my kicks now, getting with buddies and going fishing, bird hunting, and so forth. I just took my nephew, a college freshman, out fishing in the Gulf, and he was a little tired from reeling in a couple of fish that were 30, 40 pounds. So he got another fish on the line, and hooked into it, and I end up fighting and landing a 611-pound Bluefin tuna. It took me two-and-a-half hours, and as soon as we got it in the boat, I took a shower and laid across the bed and passed out for three hours. But it’s fun. It was all about getting my nephew out to do something besides watch TV and play video games.

ALL-STAR DAD

I became a father during my sports career three times, and that has to be the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. When I was with the Royals, my daughter, the baby of the family, was born on a Saturday morning. And I made up my mind to get kicked out of that day’s game during my first at-bat. I took strike 3 right down the pipe. You couldn’t have painted a better strike. And I jumped in the ump’s face and called him a name and he kicked me out, and I ran for the locker room and changed and went to the hospital and spent the evening with my baby girl.

POWER OF PERSPECTIVE

Growing up, I didn’t know my family was poor. I was just a kid. But I’ve always had bigger dreams. And don’t get me wrong when I say Bo Jackson was good for sports, but sports were great for Bo Jackson. They allowed me to expand my horizons to do things that I would have never gotten the opportunity to do. But sports were never the center of my universe. I was just a lucky person that sports happened upon. So when I got out, it was easy to turn that page. And now being 25, 30 years down the road, I still find myself being challenged by the businesses I’m in. And I’m learning something every day.

Order up some of Bo’s Pig Candy at porkandmindys.com.

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