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Brian Bosworth.

I wonder what went through your mind just now when I mentioned his name?

Anyone who knows of The Boz has an opinion! Some of us liked him and his crazy persona! Some of us had no time for him. I've run into very few Seahawks fans who straddle the fence, however. We like him or we don't without much middle ground.

As I was relaxing after a busy Easter Sunday 2002, I happened to catch a show on television that did a feature on Brian Bosworth. I'm not sure what the name of the show was, 15 Minutes of Fame, or something like that (if you know, please drop me a line!) -- but I saw a different Brian Bosworth than I remember, and I found myself liking him a LOT and I was surprisingly sympathetic to the pain he went through in those tumultuous years as a Seattle Seahawk.

I will admit, I wouldn't have recognized Brian Bosworth. The funky haircut is gone, the colors are gone, the bulky frame is gone, the wild eyes are calm now. Brian is a very handsome man, soft-spoken and kind, with eyes that on more than one occasion teared. He spoke of faith, of pain and confusion in his rise to fame, of playing the part of the wacky character called The Boz, of losing himself in that character thus losing people who meant a lot to him, of heartache and heartbreak and eventual happiness.

We saw The Boz, the crazy, outspoken, egotistical maniac who loved the cameras and limelight and action! Yeah, he was aloof. He wasn't particularly fan friendly. But we loved him! The crazier he was, the more we were drawn to him!

Until he injured his shoulder -- and then the love affair ended abruptly.

I always thought it was a bit circumspect, that he got his money and got out without delivering the goods he promised when he signed that high dollar rookie contract. Even after watching the show, I'm still not sure what the injury was all about but they did say that he has two artificial shoulder joints. Football is a debilitating sport, isn't it?

I think sometimes we treat football players as if they're bigger than life. We eat up outrageous (and often unacceptable) behavior because it's FUN! It's make-believe, it's theater, it's an adventure! I think that's why you sometimes see fans behaving badly in stadiums; saying things to players that they'd never say to another human being in "real" life. It's almost like a stage where players and fans act out roles of fictitious people.

But it's not fictitious. It is real. Players are people just like us who have lives and feelings and pride. It must be terribly difficult to know who you are, who to trust, who to believe, how to cope with constant media and fan attention.

I don't know who the real Brian Bosworth is, but I know that I felt compassion for the Brian Bosworth on television on Easter Sunday 2002. And I, for one, am willing to hang up my grudge and wish him happily-ever-after.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on Boz and I'll post them on the Love Him, Hate Him, or Who Cares page!

Source: Playing Hurt by Pierce E. Scranton Jr., MD
[Web author's note: This is an excellent book! I highly recommend it!]

Severe arthritis in both shoulders ended Brian's career in the NFL. Brian was a twenty-five-year-old with the shoulders of a sixty-year-old. He flunked my physical...

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