CHICAGO -- With the news that Bo Jackson will throw out the first pitch for the Chicago White Sox at Opening Day on Monday, it begs the question as to whether or not the former two-sport superstar will stay and watch the game at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox made the announcement Tuesday morning that Jackson will handle first-pitch duties before the 3:10 p.m. game against the Kansas City Royals, while Phil, Anthony and Dan Ponce will sing the National Anthem.
Jackson reiterated as recently as three weeks ago that he no longer watches professional sports either on television or in person. In a one-on-one interview with an ESPNChicago.com reporter Feb. 28, he said as much and did so emphatically in that time-honored Jackson way.
“When I have time off, the last thing I want to do is to go back to a place where I was used to be employed,” Jackson said. “That’s kind of like you taking your day off and going down and sitting at the radio station.”
At the very least, it’s clear that his first-pitch assignment wasn’t arranged before Feb. 28.
It will also be interesting to see if Jackson tries to represent a particular team since the White Sox will be playing host to the Kansas City Royals in the opener.
Jackson started his career with the Royals and was an All-Star for them. He then moved to the White Sox, with his signature moment on the South Side coming when he hit a home run in his first game back from hip-replacement surgery. The White Sox won the AL West in that 1993 season, with Jackson hitting a huge home run to help clinch the division.
In Jackson’s defense, he doesn’t absorb himself in sports any longer but it isn’t because of any dislike for them. “... It’s not because I don’t want to (watch), I’m just too busy,” he said.
He has most recently been involved with an initiative -- funded to the tune of $50 million by Nike -- that has the goal of increasing physical activity for school children. So nothing against the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, but Jackson’s main priorities lie elsewhere.
“Sports have never been the center of my universe,” Jackson said. “It was a way that I made a living. I considered it an easy living. But as far as it being all of the apples in my basket, it was just one. Once I was finished with it I was finished with it. That’s all.”