Seattle Seahawks Moments In Time: Brian Bosworth (Flop!)

College success, professional failure

It is hard to comprehend how someone could go from one of the best college linebackers in history to one of the worst NFL linebackers in history (With the Seattle Seahawks).  That’s exactly what Brian Bosworth turned out to be.  A dud, a flop, a waste, a bum…you get the picture!


Bosworth was born and raised in Oklahoma and it only made sense for him to attend the University of Oklahoma.  He played under legendary college coach Barry Switzer while dominating college football as a member of the storied Sooners program.  While at Oklahoma, Bosworth earned numerous accolades.

For starters, he is the only player to this day who has won the Dick Butkus Award twice (’85, ’86).  He was 2-time First-Team All American (’85, ’86), Academic All American (’86) and three-time All Big 8 (’84, ’85, ’86).

Naturally, Bosworth was over-hyped upon his declaration for the NFL Draft after a career like that.

Before the 1987 NFL Draft, Bosworth began what he would most be known for in his professional career: lots of talk and controversy.  He sent letters to numerous NFL teams explaining he would not show up to camp and would not play for them if they drafted him.  He also wrote an autobiography his second year in the league talking about the rampant use of drugs in the Oklahoma program.  He and 2 team mates were not allowed to participate in the Orange Bowl his last year at Oklahoma because they tested positive for anabolic steroids.  He would not stop there.

Bosworth was the 1st selection of the Seattle Seahawks in the 1987 supplemental NFL Draft.  He was given a ridiculous record contract, inking a 10 year deal worth $11 million.  At the time, it was the largest rookie contract in NFL history as well as the largest in Seahawks history.  Boy, the times have changed, haven’t they?

The first move of Bosworth’s NFL career was to sue the NFL.  Why?  Because they only allowed linebackers to wear a number in the 50-69 range.  In college, he wore number 44 and even started a business named Forty-Four Boz, Inc.  He ended up winning his case vs the NFL and made the switch to 44.

Bosworth's hair was as offensive as his big mouth

His next noticeable move was to fly into practice in a helicopter, which gained national notoriety with news channels across the country.  Seems fitting for a future actor, don’t you think?

In the first game vs Denver, Bosworth told media that he couldn’t wait to get his hand on John Elway’s baby face.  He failed to do so.  He was also taunted by Denver fans who wore shirts that read: “What’s a Boz worth?  Nothing.”  Little did they know, those shirts were made by Bosworth’s Fourty-four Bos, Inc company.

The Seahawks were slated for a Monday Night Football matchup with the Raiders.  Bo Jackson had just made his debut and was getting popular.  Bosworth decided to open his mouth again.  He said he would contain Jackson and stop him.  As we all know, he did the opposite.

Bo Jackson destroyed Bosworth, rushing for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game.  And, in one of the most popular NFL highlights in history, Jackson posterized Bosworth at the goal line and continued to run through him right into the players tunnel to finish the touchdown play.

That about summed up Bosworth’s career.

In 1987, he played 7 games.  In 1988, he played 10 games and suffered an injury to his shoulder.  The Seahawks team doctor said about his shoulder, “Brian was a 25 year old with the shoulders of a 60 year old.  He flunked my physical.”  He would only play 2 games in 1989 before retiring.

In his whopping 24 games he played as a pro, Bosworth registered a total 4 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries.

I don’t know what else you would call that besides a bust.  He is considered one of the top 5 busts in Seahawks history and an NFL poll even named him the 6th biggest flop in NFL history.

Now THAT’S the Bos we all know.

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About Brandon Choate

Guest reporter on "Real Rob Report." Raised on Eastside of Seattle, a super fan of every sports team in Seattle. Bleeds Blue, Green, Teal, Purple and Gold. Likes video games, food, and poor attempts at comedy. Connect with Brandon today!
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  • Colin

    That first game vs Denver is not the one I remember watching while in Vancouver.  The UK hadn’t seen all the hype but I was really impressed with the rookie linebacker who seemed to be everywhere and Elway got sacked plenty that afternoon, perhaps not by the Boz.  Bright for a footballer too, read the autobiography; its clear he know about his shoulders and still go the biggest rookie contract.  Acts about as well as Arnie, Van Damme and Seagal but that’s not saying much….

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