Brian Bosworth

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Brian Bosworth
Brian Bosworth.jpg
No. 55
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-03-09) March 9, 1965 (age 49)
Place of birth: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Irving (TX) MacArthur
College: Oklahoma
Supplemental Draft: 1987 / Round: 1
Debuted in 1987 for the Seattle Seahawks
Last played in 1989 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 160
Quarterback sacks 4.0
Fumble Recoveries 3
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com
Stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Brian Keith Bosworth (born March 9, 1965), nicknamed "The Boz," is an American former professional football player who played as a linebacker for the National Football League (NFL)'s Seattle Seahawks. He played in the NFL for three seasons during the 1980s. Bosworth played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and was a two-time consensus All-American. He gained fame and notoriety through his flamboyant personality, controversial comments about the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and radical hair cuts. Currently, Bosworth is a Hollywood film actor.

Early years[edit]

Bosworth was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He attended MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas.

College career[edit]

Bosworth attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played from 1984 to 1986. He was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 1985 and again in 1986.

Known for his radical hairstyles and criticism of the NCAA as much as his on-field play, Bosworth embraced publicity and controversy. On more than one occasion Bosworth referred to the NCAA as the "National Communists Against Athletes". He wore a T-shirt bearing that slogan during the 1987 Orange Bowl game following the 1986 season. Banned from college football 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 dismissed Bosworth from the team.[1]

A strong-side inside linebacker throughout his college career,[2] Bosworth was known for raising his level of play in big games. He was regarded as a great tackler, although he was occasionally criticized for tackling too high. The winner of the first two Butkus Awards as the nation's top college linebacker, he remains the only player ever to have won the accolade more than once. College Football News ranked him No. 30 on its list of the "100 Greatest College Players of All-Time." In October 1999, Bosworth was named to the Sports Illustrated NCAA Football All-Century Team as one of only nine linebackers on the squad.[3]

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Bosworth was a good student, graduating a year early and thus becoming eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft.

In September 1988, Bosworth wrote an autobiography, The Boz, with Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly. In it, Bosworth said the Sooner football program was laden with drug use, gun play 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 confirmed many of Bosworth's claims, and ultimately led to Switzer being forced to resign.[1]

Bosworth and two of his University of Oklahoma teammates were barred from playing in the Orange Bowl game against Arkansas on January 1, 1987 because they tested positive for anabolic steroids. The ruling was made by the NCAA, which instituted tests for some championship events and football bowl games that year in an effort to prevent the use of over 100 banned generic drugs.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Prior to his entry into the NFL supplemental draft, Bosworth had sent letters to various NFL teams stating that, if they drafted him, he wouldn't report to their training camp and he wouldn't play for them. As a joke, the Tacoma Stars of the Major Indoor Soccer League selected him in the 12th round in their 1987 draft, as their general manager stated, "Because we didn't receive a letter from him that he wouldn't play for us." Bosworth was interviewed on The Today Show by Bryant Gumbel shortly after word came out about the letters and declared his desire was to play for the Los Angeles Raiders above all else, saying he felt they fit his personality best.

Bosworth was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, one of the teams he had sent a letter of disinterest to, in the 1987 NFL supplemental draft and, after initially declaring he would stick to his promise that he would not sign, signed what was both the biggest contract in team history and the biggest rookie contract in NFL history at the time: ten years for US$11 million. After being drafted, Bosworth sued the NFL for the right to wear #44 (the number he wore in college) and the Seahawks petitioned for a rules changes, due to a NFL prohibition on linebackers wearing jerseys in the 40s and were unsuccessful. Bosworth ultimately chose to wear #55.[5]

Bosworth signed with a Seahawks team that had failed to reach the playoffs for two seasons (a 10-6 finish in 1986 was only good enough for 3rd in the old AFC West as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in head to head match-up). 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 Denver 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.[5] Later that season, prior to the Seahawks second matchup with the Los Angeles Raiders, Bosworth publicly claimed that he was going to "contain" Raiders running back Bo Jackson. During a red zone play, Jackson received a hand-off and, although Bozworth wrapped him up, proceeded to run for a short gain, knocking Bozworth to the ground and scoring a touchdown.[6] The Raiders went on to win that game, 37-14, thanks in part to Jackson's touchdown and 221 rushing yards.[7]

Bosworth was forced to retire after only two seasons in 1989, having suffered a shoulder injury in the 1988 season. Team Doctor Pierce E. Scranton Jr. explained that "Brian was a twenty-five-year-old with the shoulders of a sixty-year-old. He flunked my physical."

Remembered for his lackluster professional football career, Bosworth was named the sixth worst flop on the Biggest Flops of the Last 25 Years list by ESPN in July 2004[8] and number three on NFL Network's NFL Top 10 Draft Busts. In the case of the latter program, Bosworth was one of the only listed players to be interviewed. One of his contemporaries, Matt Millen, defended Bosworth, saying that he remembers an excellent linebacker who simply had injuries catch up to him.

Bosworth made an appearance in the booth during the Monday Night Football broadcast on which the Seattle Seahawks hosted the Oakland Raiders on November 6, 2006. During the discussion, he asserted that he had no regrets about his football career, but wished that he and Bo Jackson had longer careers. He also said that he thought he and Jackson would have developed a good rivalry had they been able to play longer.

Commentator and acting career[edit]

Bosworth was also a color commentator for the short-lived XFL during its only season of existence in 2001. He was part of the crew that called Sunday night games on UPN, with Chris Marlowe as play by play and Chris Wragge and Michael Barkann as sideline reporters.

Bosworth starred in the 1991 action film Stone Cold and has had an on-again/off-again film career starring in several low budget titles such as One Man's Justice that went straight to DVD. In 2005, he had a role as one of the prison-guard football players in the Adam Sandler movie remake The Longest Yard. He also starred in a short lived television program, Lawless.

He appeared on an episode of Hell's Kitchen as a dining guest.[episode needed]

In August of 2014, Bosworth appeared in a Dish Network commercial with fellow former NFL'ers Matt Leinart and Heath Shuler where they pine for a chance to return to their more successful college days.

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role Director
1991 Stone Cold Joe Huff / John Stone Craig R. Baxley
1995 One Man's Justice John North Kurt Wimmer
1996 Spill Ken Fairchild Allan A. Goldstein
1996 Midnight Heat John Gray / Wayne Garret Allan A. Goldstein
1997 Blackout [9] John Gray/Wayne Garret Allan A. Goldstein
1998 Back in Business Joe Elkhart Philippe Mora
1999 Three Kings Action Star David O. Russell
2000 The Operative Alec/Grady Robert Lee
2001 Phase IV Detective Steven Birnam Bryan Goeres
2002 Mach 2 Captain Jack Tyree Fred Olen Ray
2005 The Longest Yard Guard Garner Peter Segal
2009 Rock Slyde The Friendly Pirate Chris Dowling
2010 Blue Mountain State (Season 2 Ep. 3) Himself Falconer. Romanski
2010 Down and Distance John Vonarb Brian J. De Palma
2013 Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End Hawg Gabriel Sabloff

Personal life[edit]

Bosworth married his high school girlfriend, Katherine Nicastro, in September 1993. The couple had three children before divorcing in 2006.[10] Brian also has two nephews who played football for the UCLA Bruins. They both were signed as undrafted free agents by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions, respectively. In 2010, Bosworth became a real estate agent for Sotheby's International Realty Malibu Brokerage office.[11]

On July 5, 2008, Bosworth assisted with the rescue of a woman who rolled her SUV east of Winnipeg, Manitoba.[12] In 2009 he administered CPR to a fallen man in a parking lot until medical help arrived.[13]

On October 28, 2014, a film based on Bosworth's life and career premiered on ESPN as part of its 30 for 30 series of documentaries. The film was directed by Thaddeus D. Matula and titled Brian and The Boz, and Bosworth appeared in the film to give his reflections on his actions. Significant portions of the film take place in a storage locker rented by Bosworth's father Foster, where Brian and his son Max reminisce about his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Telander, Rick, and Robert Sullivan. Later, when playing for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, he flew into practice on a helicopter. Many television news stations all over America showed footage of the stunt. You Reap What You Sow. Sports Illustrated, 1989-02-27.
  2. ^ "The Fabulous Forum". The Los Angeles Times. March 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ *Sports Illustrated: All Century Team
  4. ^ Craig Neff (1987-01-05). "Brian Bosworth was a conspicuous casualty of the NCAA's - 01.05.87 - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  5. ^ a b Rand, Jonathan (2007). 300 Pounds of Attitude: The Wildest Stories and Craziest Characters the NFL Has Ever Seen. Globe Pequot. p. 107. ISBN 1-59921-176-9. 
  6. ^ "ESPN.com - ESPN 30 for 30: You Don't Know Bo". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  7. ^ "Pro-Football-Reference.com - Los Angeles Raiders 37 at Seattle Seahawks 14". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  8. ^ "ESPN.com - ESPN 25 - ESPN25: The 25 Biggest Sports Flops of 1979-2004". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Midnight Heat 1996". IMDb. 
  10. ^ Johnny Dodd (October 17, 2006). "Football's Brian Bosworth and Wife Divorcing". People.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Malibu CA Realtor Brian Bosworth | Sotheby's International Realty, Inc". Sothebyshomes.com(archive.org/web/20071011). Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  12. ^ Writer, Staff (2008-07-06). "Ex-NFL player aids woman in car crash". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  13. ^ Harper, Justin (April 11, 2009). "Boz gives CPR to fallen man". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 

External links[edit]