Former University of Oklahoma football star Brian Bosworth has a new starring role, and in more ways than one. The father of three has long struggled with “demons,” as he calls them, but told The Oklahoman on Thursday that “he's now at peace with a capital P.”
The Sooner player was first-team All-American under Coach Barry Switzer in 1985 and 1986, and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 1987. Known just as much for his ability on the field as his outrageous haircuts, bad-boy behavior and outspoken personality, Brian Bosworth's career was on the rise until it was ended by injury.
“It was a dream come true. I get to play for my favorite university and not a lot of guys get to do that. To be significant and a major part of continuing OU's winning tradition. Not because of me,” he reminisced, “but because I was a part of it. I wanted Oklahoma football to be what it was for me as a kid. The players were godlike. Those guys were like Thor!”
Bosworth was born in Oklahoma City but moved to Texas with his family as a small child. Still, he considers himself an Oklahoman, spending every summer with his grandparents and role models in Meeker.
Bosworth said that his grandfather was a particularly strong influence on him as a youngster.
“When you have a man in your life that you respect, you don't want to disappoint him because of the guilt and the pain and the sorrow that you would cause him. That's the kind of relationship I had with my grandfather,” he explained.
“Those are my fondest memories of my life. ... Me as a kid in Oklahoma. I don't like how my years in Oklahoma ended because of the choices I was making, but my passion as a player was always truly as a Sooner.”
Bosworth still cherishes his time in Norman, playing for the legendary Barry Switzer, saying, “To be an Oklahoma Sooner. ... Is there anything better? To play for Coach Switzer? Are you kidding me?”
“The Boz,” as he is known by his fans, now lives in Austin, Texas, with his new wife and son. Don't worry, though. There is no animosity between him and the hometown of OU's biggest rival, The University of Texas. Bosworth made it clear that Austin, where he now runs an oil and gas business, has lovingly taken him in.
After trying his hand at acting and commentating, Brian Bosworth had pretty much decided that Hollywood was not for him. When an agent contacted him in 2011 about a faith film in the works called “Revelation Road,” Bosworth was reluctant to sign on. However after reading the script, he saw something in “Hawg,” the character he was asked to play. That role continued with “Revelation Road 2: The Sea of Glass and Fire,” which premieres today at Quail Springs Mall, 2501 W Memorial, in Oklahoma City.
“He was angry and bitter, just like me,” Bosworth said. “I had a grudge against the world and against God and something about this role spoke to me.”
Bosworth decided to take the role, but when he saw the promotional tour he noticed Oklahoma was not on the list.
“I have to take this movie back to Oklahoma,” he said emphatically. “I just didn't know why at the time.”
It turns out that Bosworth knows exactly why now. After screening his movie throughout Oklahoma in towns he had never been to, or sometimes even heard of, he ended up speaking at First Baptist Church in Chickasha, pastored by Kim Hayes, before a screening of his film “Revelation Road.”
“I had gotten to the point where I'd lost my career. And man, I'd just been angry at God. I'm talking to the crowd and I just start spewing at God, but thinking it's probably not a good idea to be doing this here, in this church. I'm wondering if these people are about to get up and leave.”
Bosworth wrapped up his unusually angry, yet honest speech and then the pastor gave his sermon on the Rapture, which is coincidentally the subject of “Revelation Road.” Pastor Hayes, after finishing his address to the audience came to Bosworth and said, “I've never had anybody speak to my congregation the way you just did.”
A long pause followed and Bosworth apologized.
“No,” continued Hayes, “I've never had anybody so lost stand up with such conviction and honesty and talk about why they're so lost, and at the same time so desperate to be found but not even know it.”
That night, Bosworth committed himself to Christ.
Now, the former angry young man has found peace, happy with where his life is now, and happy that he can bring such a positive message to Oklahoma.
• “Revelation Road,” Part 1, is available on Netflix and in stores on DVD. The follow-up “Revelation Road 2” is available through Video-
• “Revelation Road 2” will make its Oklahoma City premiere tonight at AMC Quail Springs Mall, 2501 W Memorial. Check theater for show times.