Bo Jackson knows greatness. He won the Heisman Trophy, was named Most Valuable Player in baseball's All-Star Game and TC has been selected to play in his first Pro Bowl.
Bo also knows injuries. The two-sport star has a reputation -- deserved or not -- as a player who will hit the bench with the slightest ailment.
Jackson apparently won't play for the Los Angeles Raiders in Sunday's American Football Conference championship game because of the hip injury he suffered in the Raiders' 20-10, second-round playoff victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
Team physician Robert Rosenfeld says Jackson won't play against the Buffalo Bills and might not be available for the Super Bowl on Jan. 27, should the Raiders get there.
"We'd like to have Bo -- he's a great football player," Raiders quarterback Jay Schroeder said. "If we don't have him, someone else will have to step in. We're still a good team without Bo."
Jackson's propensity for getting hurt dates to his days at Auburn. In 1984, he missed about half his junior year because of a shoulder injury. The following year, he won the Heisman Trophy, but sat out the second half of a 14-10 loss to Florida because of a deep thigh bruise.
In four years with the Kansas City Royals, Jackson never has played more than 135 games.
Until last Sunday, Jackson hadn't missed any significant action for the Raiders since playing in his first game at San Diego on Oct. 21.
"He's getting constant treatment," Raiders coach Art Shell said. "He's doubtful, but you never know. If I think he can go, he'll go."
* THE MUFF: As you watch the AFC game, you will note that both starting quarterbacks, Schroeder and Jim Kelly, will stick their hands into a nylon, fleece-lined pouch -- called The Muff -- attached to their waist.
Actually, numerous players on both sides will be equipped with the device geared to counteract the cold weather, although Al Davis, illustrious leader of the Raiders, might cast a wicked eye at his only son if Kelly has a big game against the Raiders.
"Jim has played a big part in helping us market the product in the NFL," said Davis' son, Mark Davis, who developed the device.
When Al Davis was asked, "What do you think of your son consorting with the enemy?" he paused, then answered, "Please, don't bother me with such stuff."
Mark Davis laughed when told of his father's response.
"Dad understands," he said.
* NFC: This time around, the New York Giants will see Joe Montana a little more inclined to take a chance.
In the 49ers' 7-3 victory over the Giants on Dec. 3, Montana completed 12 of 29 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown. It was only the third time since 1985 that Montana completed less than 50 percent of his passes in a regular-season game.
"I think we went in with a conservative-type plan," Montana said. "The plan wasn't for me to hold the ball whenever I had a chance. If I really had to move around, they didn't want me to take any chances with the ball -- 'If it [the play] is not there, go through your reads and unless you really have an opening, go ahead and just throw the ball away.' Just so we didn't get sacked and give them a big play. . . . [This time] we're going to try and play them a little more straight up than we did."
* PERSIAN GULF: Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey and running back Eddie Fuller, who is on the injured reserve list, have fathers serving in Operation Desert Storm.