In the days before the cover reveal, The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson caught up with Jackson to talk about Jackson's Tecmo Bowl days, how Bo Knows came to life and his Madden return and Madden 22 coins more.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
What does it mean to you that you are finally an athlete who covers the sport, 35 years after the start of your career?
The idea has been in development off and on for many years. The timing had to be perfect for my brand. The teaming up with the Madden team to work things out make sure that all the dots are crossed, make sure that all the t's were crossed -- once we got that done, the rest was just going for it. I knew that somewhere in my history I had done something right to be looked at as one of the greatest athletes from over thirty years ago. Madden continues to believe in me to be able to do something similar to this.
Your video game legacy dates back to 1989 when you were the star for the Tecmo Bowl. What was it like to see yourself in the past?
I still see myself as a player in the Tecmo Bowl. I'm still playing that video game. I've got the computer that I can play the game on. But it's in a box in storage. It's iconic. It really makes me feel good that I've grown men in their 40s who say"Hey, my brother and I had the biggest fight of our lives because we both wanted to be you in Tecmo Bowl when we were young. So our parents took the game, and my dad put it up in his tool cabinet. It was not playable for a while because the fight was too intense."I hear that frequently. When I go to sports memorabilia shows, there are people who come up with the video game. They'll say, "I've had the machine to play it on. My kids play it. My grandkids also play it ... and everyone has a debate about who's going to be Bo Jackson.' Tecmo Bowl ... that was quite the technological marvel at the time. If you look it up now and it's like, 'Wow what a great antique.'
Have you never participated in Tecmo Bowl?
I have never played Tecmo Bowl. That's the real truth. I have watched people play the game often. But I knew what I could do. I was aware of how the Tecmo Bowl man could do. It's great listening to people compliment me on that day's game.
A part of your video game return to Madden includes celebrating Nike's legendary Bo Knows campaign. Rewind to the beginning. How did the brand introduce the concept that Bo Knows was the name of Bo Knows to you?
We came across Bo Knows accidentally. Directors, writers, sketchers -- all of us were sitting at a table discussing storyboards to shoot our next project. We wanted to trim it down because it was cheap Madden nfl 22 coins just a bit too long. Everyone was voicing their opinion on this and that. I said, "Why can't we do this? ... Do we do we not move this over here, put this here, put it together with a cut of five or six moments?' They looked at me , and they said "Wow. This could work.' Then somebody across the table looked at me and said 'Bo Knows!' It stuck. It was not like anyone sat around and ran through their thoughts or stayed up all night contemplating that catchy phrase. It happened while sitting at the table talking about the latest news.