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Who Was The Best Athlete Of All Time: Deion Sanders Or Bo Jackson?

When you think classic sports debates this one is certainly right at the top. I'm honestly surprised it took this long for someone to ask Deion this question ever since he climbed aboard the pirate ship, but I'm glad we're finally here. Naturally he gave an answer like he's running for senator or something. "Bo was fast, I was fast, he opened the door, I later used the very same door." As big of a non-answer as you've ever heard. I did appreciate Deion dropping an incredible flex about never losing a foot race, "I don't know what the record is, I just know it's 'and 0.'" Just about anyone else alive says that and I'm calling shenanigans but this is as believable as the Sun rising in the morning. And much like Deion, I also don't know my record in foot races - but I know for a fact it isn't undefeated. Much closer to completely defeated. I'm like the 2020 New York Jets of foot races - never in them to begin with and you wonder how it ever got that bad in the first place.

But as for the tale of the tape, they're impossible to compare merely using their stats and accomplishments. That's always the case with Bo Jackson no matter who you're trying to compare him to. He famously only played four seasons in the NFL for two reasons: 1.) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fucked him over by lying to him. They flew him out to Tampa from Auburn on a private jet when they held the first pick in the 1986 Draft which violated the NCAA rules and caused him to forfeit his senior baseball season at Auburn. This caused Bo to tell the Bucs to go fuck themselves and he sat out until the Raiders drafted him in the seventh round of the 1987 Draft; and 2.) He suffered one of the more brutal hip dislocations of all time which caused him to never play football ever again. So to compare Bo to anyone using stats and achievements is nearly pointless. However, his inability to stay on the field - even if it wasn't his fault - shouldn't take away from what Deion was able to accomplishment. 

Deion made eight Pro Bowls and was a six-time All Pro... at cornerback. He made two additional All Pros, one at punt returner, one at kick returner. He won Defensive Player of the Year in '94. He was named to the NFL's 1990s All Decade Team... at two positions. Deion's the only athlete to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl, whereas Bo is the only athlete to play in the Pro Bowl and All Star game. Bo even won All Star MVP in 1989, the same year he finished 10th in the regular season MVP race. Bo won the Heisman, Deion won the Jim Thorpe. Both were two-time All Americans in college, respectively. Deion charted musically, Bo's Nikes set records. 

Perhaps the strangest bit of information that ties them together is that Bo Jackson was originally drafted by the New York Yankees, didn't sign, and was later redrafted by the Kansas City Royals, with whom he made his debut. Deion Sanders was originally drafted by... the Kansas City Royals, didn't signed, and was later redrafted by the... New York Yankees, with whom he made his debut. The only time these two ever shared the field happened in 1990. They played each other five times, Bo had a three-home run game, Deion hit an inside-the-park home run over the glove of a diving Jackson which subsequently injured Bo later that same game. 

I genuinely don't think there's a wrong answer here. Bo had the strength and speed but, sadly, no longevity. Deion had the speed and finesse with plenty of stripes earned along the way. I don't know how Deion is with a bow and arrow, but I'm sure it wouldn't take him long to figure out. Maybe that's how we end this debate once and for all - get the two of them out in the woods and see who can put an arrow through the largest feral hog's heart from 200 yards away. I know Bo would be down. Because then and ONLY then will we be able to name a true Highlander.