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Raiders Let Jackson Stay Over in Kansas City

December 15, 1987|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

The Raiders came home from Kansas City to lick their wounds, psychological and real, including some to non-uniformed personnel.

Dr. Robert Rosenfeld, the team orthopedist, suffered a torn tendon in one little finger when he fell after being hit by a baseball thrown from the stands, as he escorted Bo Jackson to the dressing room.

Jackson, himself, was given permission to stay over in Kansas City and have dinner with his Royal teammate, George Brett, who along with Jamie Quirk and Steve Balboni, watched the game from the sideline.

"If it was us who did that, you guys would make sure to really rip us," Avron Fogelman told Kansas City writers.

Fogelman is the Royals' co-owner who is said to have kept Jackson out of the minor leagues at the start of last season over the objections of the manager.

The Royals, perhaps fearing that Jackson's Raider successes will turn him toward football, despite his recent statements to the contrary, are vowing no more kid-glove treatment and taking a hard line in public, Fogelman right along with them.

"I can tell you right now, Jackson is not going to be given a free ticket to make the Royals club," Fogelman said. "And he's going to be under a lot of pressure.

"Bo definitely needed to play winter ball but he has two months left to make it up. And he might be able to make it up, who knows?"

Gary Thurman, the rookie who played left field in September and hit .296 while Jackson sat the bench, is doing well in winter ball in Puerto Rico. The new Royal manager, John Wathan, has said that Bo could start the season in Triple-A.

Aren't the Royals afraid that they might send him to Omaha, and he might go to Los Angeles instead?

"It's unproductive for either sport to decide what he's going to do," Fogelman said.

"Who knows what Bo Jackson is going to do? I can't predict what Bo Jackson will do. And I never want to conclude what Bo Jackson will do.

"Every time you think it's a certain way, he'll go the other way. He thrives on it. That's what makes Bo Jackson Bo Jackson."

This is thought to be the modern record for mentions of the name Bo Jackson, five times in six sentences.

For their own part, the Raiders couldn't have minded the fact that Kansas City fans booed Bo.

In the past, the Raiders have been suspected of sending out the defensive team for pregame introductions if they were afraid, say, Marc Wilson, might be booed.

This time, they had their offense introduced, with Jackson last. He got booed, all right.

Not that it had to make a critical difference, but there is no doubt the Raiders ran into a Chief team fired up by all the commotion around Jackson's return.

"We're 2-10 and things are bad enough," nose tackle Bill Maas said. "Then our hometown radio stations have to do a come-out-to-the-stadium and win-money-with-Bo-posters thing. The whole stadium was Bo posters. It was depressing.

"When your hometown doesn't stand behind you--it was like 65,000 people came out to see us get humiliated."

The Chiefs, who'd had one sack in the three previous games, sacked Wilson three times by halftime.

They hadn't intercepted a pass in four games, but they wound up with three of those, too.

Did Marc Wilson play well or badly?

He had his second 300-yard passing day in a row but threw those three interceptions, too.

How much is riding on it?

Wilson is down to the last two weeks of his contract and there has long been speculation the Raiders won't re-sign him. If Tom Flores sounds as if he's in Wilson's corner, Al Davis may be closer to the middle of the room.

After the Seattle game, in which Wilson played well, Davis was reportedly suggesting he still had reservations, and talking up Vince Evans.

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