The Boz

The Boz

Brian Bosworth (b.1965), also known as the “The Boz,” is a former American professional football player. He played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and was a two-time All-American. He played professionally for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. In college, he was known for his radical hairstyles and criticism of the NCAA as much as his play on the field. Bosworth was never one to shy from publicity or controversy.

On more than one occasion he referred to the NCAA as the ‘National Communists Against Athletes.’ He wore a shirt bearing that slogan during the 1987 Orange Bowl. Banned from the game because of steroid use, Bosworth unveiled the shirt while standing on the sidelines to the shock and outrage of many, including his own coach, Barry Switzer. While Switzer was known for running a loose ship, this incident was too much even for him, and he threw Bosworth off the team.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Bosworth was a very good student who graduated a year ahead of his freshman class. In 1988, Bosworth wrote an autobiography, ‘The Boz,’ with Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly. In it, Bosworth said the Sooner program was laden with drug use, gunplay in the athletic dorm and other wild behavior. Although many Sooner boosters dismissed it as the rantings of a resentful ex-player, an NCAA report issued three months later revealed many of the same things Bosworth had written about, and ultimately led to Switzer being forced to resign.

Bosworth was drafted by the Seahawks in the 1987 and signed what was both the biggest contract in team history and the biggest rookie contract in NFL history at the time: 10 years for $11 million. He appeared in 12 games in his rookie season, playing well for the most part, but became known more for his outspoken personality and appearance than his actual play on the field. Before the first game of the season, versus the Broncos, Bosworth trash talked Denver quarterback John Elway. 10,000 Denver fans wore $15 T-shirts reading ‘BAN THE BOZ,’ but did not know that Bosworth’s company manufactured the shirts.

Before a 1987 Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Raiders, the Seahawks had already beaten their divisional foe once in the season (who were floundering at the 3-7 mark) when Bosworth insulted Raiders rookie running back Bo Jackson and promised in a media event before the game that he would contain the running back. Bo had made his debut only a few weeks before and been impressive in 4 losses. However, Bosworth was unable to fulfill his promise, as Jackson ended up rushing for 221 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns. Later in the game, Bosworth was involved in a one-on-one tackle at the goalline with Bo and was unable to prevent the running back from getting one of his three scores. The play became one of the most memorable plays in Monday Night Football history. The game became the defining moment of both his and Bo Jackson’s rookie seasons, and became serial highlight fodder in subsequent seasons compounding the matter.

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2 Comments to “The Boz”

  1. To whom it may concern, my Platoon commanders favorite football player of all time is “The Boz”, he wanted to make a platoon shirt. When I found this image it was perfect for the platoon shirt i made but as you know it is your design and I cannot use it without your consent. I was seeing if you would be able to grant us permission to use this image for our platoon shirt. Thank you.

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