You Don’t Know Bo takes a closer look at the man and marketing campaign that shaped Bo Jackson’s legacy.
You Don’t Know Bo: The Legend Of Bo Jackson opens with the iconic quote from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” ESPN’s latest documentary takes that sentiment to heart, though I suspect not quite how John Ford and company originally meant it. You Don’t Know Bo isn’t especially interested in delineating between the truth and the myths surrounding Jackson, who in the late ‘80s became a superstar in both baseball and football. The documentary is largely happy to repeat the tall tales about Jackson, with the interviewees both offering their own possibly exaggerated memories and passing along the even wilder stories they once heard about Bo’s youth. Then again, that’s precisely the point—as far as You Don’t Know Bo is concerned, just about everything said about Bo Jackson is completely true, with the lone possible exception being his supposed leap across a 40-foot gorge. And while the documentary’s often uncritical eye means it comes dangerously close to being Bo Jackson hagiography, the movie mounts a largely persuasive argument that, if anyone does deserve such mythmaking, it most assuredly is Bo Jackson.