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Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw at the Pentagon.
No. 12     
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: September 2, 1948 (1948-09-02) (age 61)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
College: Louisiana Tech
NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 1970 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Last played in 1983 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1983
TD-INT     212-210
Yards     27,989
QB Rating     70.9
Stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Terry Paxton Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948), also known by the nickname "Mr. Steel Arm", is a former American football quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL). He played 14 seasons. He is a football analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. In a six-year span, he won an unprecedented four Super Bowl titles with Pittsburgh (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to do so, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility.

A tough competitor, Bradshaw had a powerful – albeit at times erratic – arm and called his own plays throughout his football career. His physical skills and on-the-field leadership played a major role in Pittsburgh Steelers history. During his career, he passed for more than 300 yards in a game only seven times, but three of those performances came in the post-season, and two of those in Super Bowls. In four career Super Bowl appearances he passed for 932 yards and 9 touchdowns, both Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement. In 19 postseason games he completed 261 passes for 3,833 yards.

Contents

High school and college

Bradshaw was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the second of three sons of Bill and Novis Bradshaw.[1] Terry's younger brother, Craig Bradshaw, played with the Houston Oilers in 1980.[2] He attended Woodlawn High School and led the Knights to the AAA High School Championship game where they lost to the Sulphur Tors 12-9. While at Woodlawn, he set a national record for throwing the javelin 245 feet. His exploits earned him a spot in the Sports Illustrated feature Faces In The Crowd.

Bradshaw decided to attend Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. He has much affinity for his alma mater. He was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

In 1969, he was considered by most pro scouts to be the most outstanding college football player. As a junior, he amassed 2,890 total yards, ranking #1 in the NCAA, and led his team to a 9-2 record and a 33-13 win over Akron in the Rice Bowl. In his senior season, he gained 2,314 yards, ranking third in the NCAA, and led his team to an 8-2 record. His decrease in production was mainly because his team played only ten games that year, and he was taken out of several games in the second half because his team had built up a huge lead. As quarterback, Bradshaw threw his passes principally to teammates Larry C. Brewer (1948–2003) of Minden, the offensive end, and Thomas Allen "Tommy" Spinks (1948–2007), the split end who had also been Bradshaw's Woodlawn High School teammate. As a result, Brewer and Spinks were recorded among the top pass receivers in Louisiana Tech history. In 1996, Bradshaw was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

NFL career

Bradshaw was the first player selected in the 1970 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers; the Steelers drew the first pick in the draft after winning a coin flip tiebreaker with the Chicago Bears due to both teams having equivalent 1-13 records in 1969.[3] (It should be noted, though, that by modern NFL tiebreaking rules, the Steelers would have automatically been awarded the pick anyway since the Bears' one win came against the Steelers in Week 8. The coin toss is now the last of seven tiebreaking options to determining draft position, which has yet to be used on the number one pick.) In either case, Bradshaw was hailed at the time as the consensus number one pick, regardless of which team drafted him.

Bradshaw became a starter one year after he was drafted in 1970. During his first several seasons, the 6'3", 215 lb. quarterback was erratic, threw many interceptions (he threw 210 interceptions over the course of his career) and was widely ridiculed by the media for his rural roots and perceived lack of intelligence.

It took Bradshaw a few seasons to adjust to the pro game but once he did, he eventually became the premier quarterback in the NFL, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to eight AFC Central championships and an unprecedented collection of Super Bowl rings. The Pittsburgh Steelers featured the "Steel Curtain" defense and a powerful running attack led by Franco Harris, but Bradshaw's strong arm gave them the threat of the deep pass, helping to loosen opposing defenses. In 1972, he threw the pass leading to the "Immaculate Reception", among the most famous plays in NFL history.

Bradshaw temporarily lost the starting job to Joe Gilliam in 1974, but Bradshaw took over again during the regular season and in the 1974 AFC Championship Game against the Oakland Raiders, his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Lynn Swann proved to be the winning score in a 24-13 victory. In the Steelers’ 16-6 Super Bowl IX victory over the Minnesota Vikings that followed, Bradshaw completed 9 of 14 passes and his fourth-quarter touchdown pass put the game out of reach and helped take the Steelers to their first Super Bowl victory.

As he acknowledged in his first autobiography, Man of Steel, by 1974 Bradshaw felt like he was bottoming out. His first marriage to Melissa Babich had failed, his shoulder had been injured, and he was often sullen and depressed. The turnaround came when, according to his memoir, Bradshaw, already a born-again Christian, had a revelation: "I had separated myself from God. I lived only for Terry Bradshaw, not for God. I tried to be one of the boys and went to every honky-tonk I could find and chased women and behaved in a way that was totally alien to anything I had ever known before … my whole life was out of control … I was trying to be someone else and was doing a rotten job of it."

What happened to Bradshaw amounted to a second "conversion" experience. "I just put my head in my hands and began to cry and tremble all over and finally I blurted out, 'Here I am, God. I've tried to handle it all by myself and I just can't get the job done. So I'm placing my life in Your hands. I need some peace of mind and I know You can give it to me.'" The quarterback recalls feeling suddenly "stronger mentally and physically.… Being a starting quarterback didn't matter.… What mattered was that I was myself again and I was determined to stay that way."

In Super Bowl X following the 1975 season, Bradshaw threw for 209 yards, most of them to Lynn Swann, as the Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. His 64-yard touchdown pass to Swann (that travelled roughly 70 yards in the air)-- which was released a split-second before defensive tackle Larry Cole flattened him causing a serious concussion—late in the fourth quarter is considered one of the greatest passes in NFL history.

Neck and wrist injuries in 1976 forced Bradshaw to miss four games. He was sharp in a 40-14 victory over the Baltimore Colts, completing 14-of-18 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns, but the Steelers' hopes of a three-peat ended with a 24-7 loss to Oakland in the AFC Championship game.

Bradshaw had his finest season in 1978 when he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press after a season in which he completed 207 of 368 passes for 2,915 yards and a league-leading 28 touchdown passes. He was also named All-Pro and All-AFC that year.

Before Super Bowl XIII, a Steelers-Cowboys rematch, Cowboys linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson famously ridiculed Bradshaw by saying, "He couldn't spell 'Cat' if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a'." Bradshaw got his revenge by winning the Most Valuable Player award, completing 17 of 30 passes for a then-record 318 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-31 win. Years later, Henderson, who struggled for years to conquer drug addiction, admitted he was high on cocaine at the time of the interview. Bradshaw has in later years made light of the ridicule with quips such as "it's football, not rocket science."

Bradshaw won his second straight Super Bowl MVP in 1979 in Super Bowl XIV. He passed for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 31-19 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Bradshaw also shared the Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen of the Year" award with Willie Stargell that season.

After two seasons of missing the playoffs, Bradshaw played through pain — he needed a cortisone shot before every game because of an elbow injury sustained during training camp — in a strike-shortened 1982 NFL season. He still managed to tie for the most touchdown passes in the league with 17. In a 31-28 playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers, Bradshaw's last postseason game, he completed 28-of-39 passes for 325 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

After undergoing offseason elbow surgery, Bradshaw was idle for the first 14 games of the 1983 NFL season. Then on December 10 against the New York Jets, he felt a pop in his elbow while throwing his final pass, a ten yard touchdown to Calvin Sweeney in the second quarter of the Steelers' 34-7 win. Bradshaw later left the game and never played again. The two touchdowns Bradshaw threw in what would be the final NFL game played at Shea Stadium (and the last NFL game in New York City to date) allowed him to finish his career with two more touchdowns (212) than interceptions (210) for his career. In his 14-season career, Bradshaw completed 2,025 of 3,901 passes for 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns. He also rushed 444 times for 2,257 yards and 32 touchdowns. He was 107-51 as the starting quarterback and the Steelers reached the playoffs 10 times. His career postseason record as a starter was 14-5. He was also selected to play in three Pro Bowl games.

While the Steelers no longer officially retire uniform numbers (with the exception of Ernie Stautner's #70), they have not reissued Bradshaw's #12 since he retired, and it is generally understood that no Steeler will wear that number again.

In 1999, he was ranked number 44 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

After football

In July 1997, Bradshaw served as the presenter when Mike Webster, his center on the Steelers' four Super Bowl title teams, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 2006, despite the Steelers being one of the teams playing in the game, Bradshaw did not attend a pregame celebration for past Super Bowl MVP's during Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. According to reports, Bradshaw (along with three time MVP and close friend Joe Montana) requested a $100,000 guarantee for his appearance in the Super Bowl MVP Parade, and associated appearances. The NFL could not guarantee that they would make that much and refused. A representative for Bradshaw has since denied this report. After an appearance on The Tonight Show (February 6, 2006) Bradshaw stated that the reason why he did not attend the MVP parade was because he was spending time with family, that he hates the crowds and the Super Bowl media circus, and also that the only way he would attend a Super Bowl is when Fox is broadcasting the game (it was ABC who broadcasted Super Bowl XL), though Bradshaw attended several press conferences in Detroit days earlier. Bradshaw also stated that money was not an issue.

In April 2006, Bradshaw donated his four Super Bowl rings, College Football Hall of Fame ring, Pro Football Hall of Fame ring, Hall of Fame bust, four miniature replica Super Bowl trophies, and a helmet and jersey from one of his Super Bowl victories to his alma mater, Louisiana Tech.

Broadcasting career

Bradshaw retired from football in 1983, and quickly signed a television contract with CBS to become an NFL game analyst in 1984, where he and play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist had the top rated programs. Prior to his full-time work for them, he served as a guest commentator for CBS Sports' NFC postseason broadcasts from 198082.

Bradshaw was promoted into television studio analyst for The NFL Today in 1990 (which he hosted with Greg Gumbel through the 1993 season), and Fox NFL Sunday, where he normally acts as a comic foil to his co-hosts. On Fox NFL Sunday he hosts two semi-regular features, Ten Yards with TB, where he fires random questions at an NFL pro, and The Terry Awards, an annual comedic award show about the NFL season.

On June 19, 2008, Terry Bradshaw revealed on The Dan Patrick Show that he took therapeutic corticosteroid steroid injections, per his doctors' orders, during the 1970s to "speed healing." Corticosteroids, which are different from anabolic steroids and are used to reduce inflammation, are not banned from the NFL.[4]

Bradshaw has the reputation of being the "ol' redneck", in co-host and former NFL coach's Jimmy Johnson's words, but the act is a "schtick." [5] According to Johnson, Bradshaw deflects such criticism by stating that "he's so dumb that he has to have somebody else fly his private plane." [5]

Business career

Bradshaw has also written or co-written five books and recorded six albums of country/western and gospel music. His cover of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" hit Top 20 on Billboard's country chart (and #91 on the Hot 100) in 1976; two other tunes ("The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me" and "Until You") also made the country charts.

In 2001, Bradshaw entered the world of NASCAR by joining with HighLine Performance Group racing team to form FitzBradshaw Racing. He also is the spokesman for Jani-King international, Inc.

At the NASCAR 2001 Speedweeks, Bradshaw did a variety of on air trackside spoofs for Fox who was covering the Speedweeks and that year's first race, the Daytona 500. On the night of February 17, 2001, the night before the race, Bradshaw and Dale Earnhardt (Sr.) did a spoof for Fox-TV in which Earnhardt raced around Daytona International Speedway in a pace car with Bradshaw as a passenger, going at max 150 mph, scaring Bradshaw in a laughing way. The spoof finished with Earnhardt doing burnouts on pit road, and the two jumping on top of the car, as if they had won. Earnhardt also visited with Bradshaw's family. Little did either know that it would be Earnhardt's last night, as the next day on February 18, 2001, Earnhardt would be killed in a last lap crash at the Daytona 500.

In November 2005, Bradshaw announced that he and a group of investors from Louisiana were interested in buying the New Orleans Saints. The Saints, who had been forced out of the Louisiana Superdome for the 2005 season by Hurricane Katrina, were operating out of San Antonio, Texas, and had to play most of their 2005 home games at the Alamodome there and at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Several actions and statements by Saints owner Tom Benson and several San Antonio and Texas officials fueled speculation that Benson wanted to move the team to San Antonio permanently. While the NFL opposed a move to San Antonio, there were rumors that they may allow the team to move to Los Angeles, which has been without an NFL team since 1995. Bradshaw, a Louisiana native, said that he did not want his home state to lose the Saints because of Katrina, and was willing to purchase the team to see to it that that would not happen. However, his plans fell through, as Benson was unwilling to sell the team. Despite Bradshaw's failed attempts to buy the team, the Saints ultimately remained in New Orleans and have been a key contributor in rebuilding New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In August 2007, Bradshaw was announced as a co-owner and spokesperson for Pay the Fan[6] a fantasy sports football and racing site.

Among U.S. consumers, Bradshaw remains one of pro football's most popular retired players. As of September 2007, Bradshaw was the top-ranked former pro football player in the Davie-Brown Index (DBI), which surveys consumers to determine a celebrity's appeal and trust levels.[7]

On November 5, 2007 during a nationally-televised Monday Night Football game, Bradshaw joined former teammates including Franco Harris and Joe Greene to accept their position on the Pittsburgh Steelers 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Personal life

Bradshaw has been married three times. He was married to Melissa Babish (former Miss Teen Age America of 1969)[8] from 1972–73; to ice skater JoJo Starbuck from 1976–83; and from 1983–99, to Charlotte Hopkins, who is the mother of his two daughters, Rachel and Erin. His daughter Erin shows horses. His daughter Rachel currently attends college in Nashville, Tennessee and had appeared on Nashville, a reality show about musicians trying to make it in Nashville. All three of Bradshaw's marriages have ended in divorce, a subject he ridicules frequently on his pre-game show. For example, on October 2, 2005, he began a Ten Yards with TB piece on the Eagles' Jeremiah Trotter by discussing Trotter's ejection from a game prior to the kickoff and joking, "Nobody's been thrown out of a house that quickly since my last divorce." Also, on October 5, 2008, he compared the relationship between new Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn and starting quarterback Jason Campbell to a good marriage. Jimmy Johnson immediately joked, "What would you know about a good marriage?"

After his NFL career ended, Bradshaw disclosed that he had frequently experienced anxiety attacks after games. The problem worsened in the late 1990s after his third divorce, when he said he "could not bounce back" as he had after the previous divorces or after a bad game. In addition to anxiety attacks, his symptoms included weight loss, frequent crying, and sleeplessness. He was diagnosed with clinical depression. Since then he has taken Paxil regularly. He chose to speak out about his depression to overcome the stigma associated with it and to urge others to seek help.[9]

Bradshaw's anxieties about appearing in public, away from the controlled environment of a television studio, led to an unintentional estrangement from the Steelers. When team founder and owner Art Rooney died in 1988, Bradshaw did not attend his funeral. A year later, during his Hall of Fame induction speech, Bradshaw made a point of saluting his late boss and friend, pointing to the sky and saying, "Art Rooney... boy, I tell you, I loved that man."

Still, Bradshaw never returned to Three Rivers Stadium for a Steelers game. When the last regular-season game was played there on December 16, 2000, Bradshaw was with the Fox NFL Sunday crew, doing their pregame show aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, while Fox covered the game live. Bradshaw expressed regret that he couldn't be there, but would later say privately that he didn't feel he could face the crowds. It wouldn't be until September 2002 when fellow Hall of Fame teammate and longtime friend Mike Webster died that Bradshaw finally returned to Pittsburgh to attend his friend's funeral.

In November 2002, Bradshaw returned to the Steelers sideline for the first time in 20 years for a Monday night game between the Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts. In 2003, when the Steelers played the 1,000th game in franchise history, Fox covered the game at Heinz Field, and Bradshaw returned to cover the game. In addition to appearing to take his position on the Steelers All-Time Team in 2007 as part of the team's 75th anniversary festivities, he also was on the sideline for the 2007 home opener, where the Steelers earned their 500th regular season win.

Bradshaw has said he is interested in performing on Dancing with the Stars, on the condition that Paula Deen also appear.[10]

Acting

He has appeared in numerous television commercials, including a 2004 Radio Shack ad. Bradshaw also had cameo appearances in many shows as himself, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Married... with Children and The League; He also appeared on Malcolm in the Middle with Howie Long as the trashy coach of a women's ice hockey team. He hosted a short-lived television series in 1997 called Home Team with Terry Bradshaw.

In addition to his television work, Bradshaw has appeared in several movies, including a part in the 1978 film Hooper which starred Burt Reynolds, Jan-Michael Vincent, and Sally Field, and 1981's appearance in The Cannonball Run. In 1980, he had a cameo in Smokey and the Bandit II which starred Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed, and Sally Field. He made a guest appearance in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. in 1994, playing Colonel Forrest March, a rogue U.S. Army officer who gave orders to his squad (played by NFL members Ken Norton, Jr., Carl Banks and Jim Harbaugh) in a huddle using football diagrams.

Bradshaw appeared on Jeff Foxworthy's short-lived sitcom, The Jeff Foxworthy Show as a motivational speaker for people needing to change their life. Bill Engvall's character is affected by Bradshaw's ranting speakings of witchcraft and voodooo in his pre-game warm-ups.

On October 11, 2001, Bradshaw received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first and only NFL player (as of May 31, 2008) to do so.[11][12]

In 2006, Bradshaw returned to the silver screen in the motion picture Failure to Launch. He and Kathy Bates played the parents of Matthew McConaughey's character. In one notable scene he appeared nude, a move which Jay Leno spent an entire segment mocking during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He mentioned on May 23, 2008, on The Tonight Show that he has been a guest 37 times, and that 34 of them were on a Friday, which happens to be the lowest watched night of television. He pleasantly joked with Jay about being a 'filler' guest. He made a similar reference in an appearance on March 15th, 2010, stating he was asked to guest because of a cancellation. Jay stated that at least he wasn't appearing on Friday, which hosts the more famous celebrity guests. He is also a devout Christian and wrote the book Terry Bradshaw: Man of Steel. In 2009 he was featured in a New Yorker magazine piece that satirized the recent scandal over a fake Holocaust memoir written by Herman Rosenblat.[13]

Passing stats

Year Team G Att Com Pct Yards TD Int Rate
1970 Pittsburgh Steelers 13 218 83 38.1 1410 6 24 30.4
1971 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 373 203 54.4 2259 13 22 59.7
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 308 147 47.7 1887 12 12 64.1
1973 Pittsburgh Steelers 10 180 89 49.4 1183 10 15 54.5
1974 Pittsburgh Steelers 8 148 67 45.3 785 7 8 55.2
1975 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 286 165 57.7 2055 18 9 88.0
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers 10 192 92 47.9 1177 10 9 65.4
1977 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 314 162 51.6 2523 17 19 71.4
1978 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 368 207 56.3 2915 28 20 84.7
1979 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 472 259 54.9 3724 26 25 77.0
1980 Pittsburgh Steelers 15 424 218 51.4 3339 24 22 75.0
1981 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 370 201 54.3 2887 22 14 83.9
1982 Pittsburgh Steelers 9 240 127 52.9 1768 17 11 81.4
1983 Pittsburgh Steelers 1 8 5 62.5 77 2 0 133.9
Career Totals 168 3901 2025 51.9 27989 212 210 70.9

Discography

Albums

Year Album Label
1976 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Mercury
1981 Until You Benson
Here in My Heart Heart
1996 Sings Christmas Songs for the Whole World Dove
Terry & Jake (with Jake Hess) Chordant

Singles

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US CAN Country
1976 "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" 17 91 17 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
"The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me" 90
"Here Comes My Baby Back Again"
1980 "Until You" 73 Until You

See also

References

Further reading

External links


Simple English

Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw (right).
Position(s):
Quarterback
Jersey #(s):
12
Born: September 2, 1948 (1948-09-02) (age 62)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Career Information
Year(s): 1970–1989
NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
College: Louisiana Tech
Professional Teams
Career Stats
TD-INT     212-210
Yards     27,989
QB Rating     70.9
Stats at NFL.com
Career Highlights and Awards
  • 4x Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • 2x Super Bowl MVP (XIII, XIV)
  • 3x Pro Bowl selection (1975, 1978, 1979)
  • 3x All-Pro (1975, 1978, 1979)
  • NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
  • Super Bowl XIV MVP
  • Super Bowl XIII MVP
  • 1978 NFL MVP
  • 1978 Bert Bell Award
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Terry Bradshaw is a former American athlete. He is also a sports presenter. He was born September 2, 1948 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Bradshaw is a former quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League, and a television and American football host. Over six years, he won four Super Bowl titles with Pittsburgh (1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980). He went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.








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