By Scott Jonlich
Bo Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner, NFL football running back and Major League Baseball player, teamed up with Hinsdale resident Matt Cook to bring awareness to www.thecureis.us to prevent the spread of Coronovirus COVID-19.
Jackson’s Herculean profile reached a stratospheric height when Nike promoted the “Bo Knows” message in the early 1990s, now his image of strength and endurance is teaming up with several professional athletes to expand the social media campaign to lessen the risk of infection which is expected to reach a peak in two weeks nationwide.
“Everybody needs to follow the instructions of the CDC (Center for Disease Control)” said Jackson in a carefully measured press conference in Burr Ridge that saw him and attendees six feet apart and included the Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso. “It’s simple, we have to control this. I don’t socialize much and I like my privacy but what worries me is finding out if my friends and family are safe.” said the former Oakland Raiders running back who became one of the first mainstream athletes to become a two-sport star when he played for the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Raiders in 1986. He later played for the Chicago White Sox in the mid-1990s. He embodied the “can-do” American attitude as his name is now synonymous with Nike’s international brand “Just do it.”
Today, Jackson enjoys the solitude and comfort of his home in Burr Ridge and wants Americans to do the same and stay home. “Stand together by staying apart” is the motto on the social media site which encourages visitors to support non-profit organizations, American Red Cross, Help Main Street, No Hungry Kids, among other foundations during this unprecedented time in our nation.
Thecureis.us founder Matt Cook reached out to Jackson and other MLB young stars to elevate the movement. “We simply wanted to come up with a rallying cry that Americans can get behind similar to BostonStrong or even the Italians singing from their balconies,” said Cook. “We have many athletes involved including Pete Alonso (Mets), Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Trevor Story (Rockies), BJ Bedford (Olympic swimmer), Amy VanDycken (Olympic swimmer) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Olympic skier). “Our goal is to create some needed unity and solidarity.” Cook encourages Americans to hang banners from their windows and balconies. The web site also provides the use of inspirational graphics for their phone and computer screens to remind them to wash their hands and stay home.
Cook, who is an advisor to Pritzker Private Capital, told Hinsdale Magazine TheCureIs.US idea came when he was watching the news reports of Italians singing to each other on balconies while quarantined. That may be what Italians do, but he wondered what we can do as Americans to rally and do the things we need to do to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. He wanted a big idea that called individuals to step up and take collective action, and he wanted to do it in a way that celebrated who we always have been as Americans—tough, fierce, strong, and capable of facing down the world’s greatest challenges. It was also crucial that the campaign is politically neutral during what’s been a divisive time. Cook reached out to his college buddy Jeff Graham, a Colorado-based agency President of Cactus Marketing and Communications and supporters quickly came on board.
Jackson and Cook stressed that one of the most pressing needs our country has right now is to provide protective equipment for healthcare workers, donate blood, donate money to organizations such as Red Cross and Salvation Army to fight against the pandemic.