I have noticed a commercial for Chevrolet Trucks that has been running on television recently featuring in the background a song that we have discussed in this column: “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. Boy, was I surprised to hear that song! I had not heard that song since I was about four or five years old. By the way, I’m pretty sure that was Burl Ives singing, or someone who was trying to sound like Burl Ives, and not Gene Autry whom I identified in my column as the recording artist for “Big Rock Candy Mountain’’.

I love to catch surprises like that on commercials. I enjoy watching and listening to commercials. Many of them are mini-stories. Some of my favorites are the beverage advertisements that accompany football games. Budweiser had the spotlight for many years; I especially liked the Clydesdales, and more recently the Bud Light Knight and Company. Now, Dr. Pepper seems to have taken over with its Fansville series. How many of you have noticed that the Fansville Sheriff is played by our own former O.U. star linebacker Brian Bosworth? Yup! The Fansville Sheriff is “The Boz” himself, and he is the fellow that I want to follow up on a bit in this column.

Following his starring role at O.U. Bosworth spent a brief stint in the NFL, then he went to Hollywood. He did not become a star in either place, however. As he said in an interview that I read a few years ago, acting came naturally to him and he could make a comfortable living in Hollywood without having to work very hard. In fact, he explained, “The Boz” himself was an act. Brian Bosworth is, indeed, a gifted athlete, but, by self report, was a fairly quiet and reserved individual. 

He claimed in the interview that he worked almost as hard to be “The Boz” as he did to be a star linebacker. He saw others doing the same thing in the NFL and realized that, not only would he have to continue his “Boz” thing, but that he would have to up his game. He was tired of the game and decided to retire “The Boz”. The problem was that there were many excellent linebackers in the NFL; they wanted “The Boz”, not Brian Bosworth, the linebacker. Bosworth was finished with all of it and left “The Boz” buried under an NFL practice field. He left town with Hollywood in his headlights and the NFL in his rear view mirror.

I don’t know Brian Bosworth personally. I’ve never met him nor have I particularly wanted to. I didn’t care for “The Boz ‘‘ personality, as I believe that football is a team sport where attention seekers such as he do not contribute to a total team effort. None-the-less, I have become somewhat of a fan of Brian Bosworth, since I have done a little research on the individual behind the facade. He invented a persona that brought him the attention that he craved as a teenager, then he left that persona behind when he reached adulthood. 

How many of us who have been fortunate enough to have been recognized in some way, have had the courage to, then, pull off the mask and admit that that it was all an act, that we are actually very different people from what we had pretended to be. That would be hard!. Bosworth had the courage to do just that and to walk away from a career for which he had spent years preparing. He realized however, that the NFL was not available to Brian Bosworth; it was only open to “The Boz”, a parsona who was never really him and who he was tired of playing. He knew the negative effects that continuing to play the role of the objectionable character, “The Boz” was having on him, Brian. He could have pulled it off, and some continue to criticize him for not doing so. He believes, though, that doing so would have ruined his life. 

Also, where in the world would be found as convincing a sheriff of Fansville.

Peace, and God Bless  

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