December 31, 1990 12:00 PM

It’s not just that he plays two pro sports; it’s the way he plays them. He hits space-shot home runs for the Kansas City Royals and reels off heart-stopping touchdown runs for the Los Angeles Raiders. At 28, Bo Jackson is in a league by himself. Make that two leagues. Three, if you count Madison Avenue, which now considers Jackson the most persuasive athlete-salesman alive. Nike knows. The company credits its “Bo Knows” TV commercials with boosting its sneaker sales from 80 million pairs in 1987 to this year’s record 280 million. Bo may not know Diddley, but one thing he does know is the color of money: Between salary and endorsements, he earned $6 million in 1990. Yet Jackson is also—really—a family man, devoted to Linda, his psychologist wife, and their three children, aged 6 months to 4 years. He is also (like another “bo,” Garbo) intensely private. How long will he be our human highlight film? If Bo knows that, he’s not talking. “Enjoy Bo now,” advises Raider teammate Howie Long. “It’ll be a long time before there’s another.”

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