As if there wasn’t enough about the Seahawks-49ers nationally televised game Sunday night to draw attention, apparently it’s anti-hero week too.
After the Seahawks re-hired Marshawn Lynch Monday, former Seahawks bad boy LB Brian Bosworth will raise the 12 flag before the game, the club announced Friday. For those too young to remember, Bosworth posed himself as a ruthless rebel in the fashion of Lynch, with two notable differences: It was a pure con job, and he couldn’t walk his talk.
Bosworth was taken by the Seahawks with the first pick in the 1987 supplemental draft after a controversial career at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time All-America selection, and also banned from the 1987 Orange Bowl by the NCAA for using steroids.
After initially refusing to sign with the Seahawks, he eventually signed the largest rookie contract in NFL history, $11 million over 10 years. He started 24 games over two years before a shoulder injury, likely complicated by his use of steroids, ended his career in 1989.
In a short career known more for hairstyles than hits, his most infamous moment was in a Monday night game in his rookie year against the Los Angeles Raiders, when, in a 37-14 victory, RB Bo Jackson ran for 221 yards and three touchdowns, including a sweep left that carried a helpless Bosworth into the end zone.
Jackson claimed he told Bosworth in the end zone, “Next time, make sure you have a bus fare.”
In his 1988 autobiography, The Boz, co-written with Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly, Bosworth was honest about something for one moment in his career:
“He freight-trained my ass.”
By 1989 he was done, team doctor Pierce E. Scranton Jr. explaining, “Brian was a 25-year-old with the shoulders of a 60-year-old. He flunked my physical.”
In July 2004, Bosworth was named the sixth worst flop on the Biggest Flops of the Last 25 Years list by ESPN and No. 3 on NFL Network’s Top Draft Busts.
Now, after a modest acting career in TV and movies, Bosworth, 54, is grateful to have more attention in Seattle. In a statement released by the club, he wrote:
I am truly blessed and honored to be asked to raise the 12 Flag for the Seattle Seahawks and the amazing city and fans. There are few moments bigger for a former Seahawks player than to be invited back to relive and experience the emotions the 12s invoke for their team.
I can truly say there is no better fan base or more magical place to play than in Seattle. My heart still pains that I could not fulfill the expectations that I had for myself and for the fans when I was blessed to be drafted to be part of this great organization. Players play this sport of football with such emotion and passion but rarely are there fans that are as emotionally connected and invested as are Seattle’s 12s.
In life, things are too often taken for granted due to not being focused on how truly special the moments we are graced with occurs . . . this moment has more meaning and focus than I can express. I am truly humbled and forever grateful!
Fortunately, Bosworth has not been invited to play.
But it’s only Friday.