The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (2024)

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (1)

Terry Bradshaw arrived in Pittsburgh in 1970 and became arguably the best quarterback in Steelers’ history.

Initially dismissed as a country hick from Louisiana, Bradshaw was part of a talented roster that won four Super Bowls.

It took a few years, but the “Blond Bomber” eventually shook his unfounded label and won back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs.

Terry Bradshaw #Steelers pic.twitter.com/IV7nsDAAkB

— pittsburghpirateguru (@harvardplayer) January 3, 2023

After passing for nearly 28,000 career yards, Bradshaw retired and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He then began a second career as a broadcaster that continues to this day.

This is the story of Terry Bradshaw.

Louisiana Born and Raised

Terry Paxton Bradshaw was born on September 2, 1948, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

4x @SuperBowl champion. @steelers legend.@ProFootballHOF QB.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Terry Bradshaw! pic.twitter.com/TNK0n8vL8u

— NFL (@NFL) September 2, 2018

Almost immediately, their father, Bill, instilled Bradshaw and his brothers with a rigid work ethic.

Bill Bradshaw was a welder and was also heavily involved in the local church.

The elder Bradshaw believed that good behavior and a positive work ethic were paramount to a person’s life.

“I was born to work, taught to work, love to work,” said Bradshaw.

Reflecting his belief in not “sparing the rod,” Bill Bradshaw disciplined his sons when they got out of line.

Terry and his brothers spent part of their early lives in eastern Iowa.

During elementary school, Bradshaw began playing football and told his friends he wanted to become a pro football player when he got older.

Then, before entering high school, the Bradshaw family moved back to Shreveport.

Terry continued to play ball and was primarily a backup quarterback at Woodlawn High School until finally becoming the team’s starter as a senior.

He played so well that the Knights advanced to the state title game where they lost to Sulphur High School.

https://twitter.com/GroovyHistory/status/1068338874802409473

When he wasn’t on the gridiron, Bradshaw played baseball and was an accomplished javelin thrower during track and field season.

After throwing the javelin almost 244 feet during a meet in his senior year (setting a national record), Bradshaw was selected as one of Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” for his achievement.

College Choice

In Bradshaw’s “Faces in the Crowd” profile, the magazine mentioned that he was enrolling at LSU to play football.

In truth, Bradshaw had several hundred college choices, especially for his ability to throw a javelin.

Before he actually suited up for the Tigers, Bradshaw had a look at their program and didn’t like what he saw.

“I didn’t want to go to LSU,” Bradshaw said in 2019. “They didn’t throw the football.”

Bradshaw also had to take the ACT to get into LSU, and as he revealed decades later, he didn’t give his whole effort.

“I ended up taking a test they call the ACT test,” Bradshaw said, “and I flunked it, which was the greatest day of my life. … I took the test again. Flunked it again—really bad this time. So they said, ‘You can’t come here.’”

(Bradshaw was diagnosed with ADD as an adult, which may have contributed to his low scores.)

Not too far down the road from the Bradshaw home was Division II Louisiana Tech University.

12 days….
Terry Bradshaw, Louisiana Tech (1966-69) pic.twitter.com/cHgcAjzzQj

— collegefootballguy (@cfootballguy24) August 12, 2019

The Bulldogs were known to throw the football a lot, which attracted Bradshaw.

After being rejected by LSU, Bradshaw expressed interest in playing for Tech.

By then, his ACT results had become public, and the idea that Bradshaw was a dumb hick began to tarnish his image.

“So I was planning on going to Louisiana Tech all along,” Bradshaw said. “Unfortunately for me, later on it came out I was dumb because I didn’t pass the ACT test. I didn’t want to pass the ACT test.”

Bradshaw and Robertson

Bradshaw was excited at the prospect of playing for Louisiana Tech and doing what he loved best.

“They were really a great team for throwing the football,” Bradshaw said, “and I wanted to throw the football.”

However, when he arrived on campus in 1966, Bradshaw found himself primarily holding a clipboard.

Louisiana Tech honored former QBs Terry Bradshaw and Phil Robertson…from Duck Dynasty (USA TODAY Sports): pic.twitter.com/aU8PJUkslX

— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 13, 2013

Veteran signal caller Phil Robertson was the starter and had no plans to give up the job.

“He had a good presence in the pocket,” said former Bulldogs coach, E.J. Lewis about Robertson. “He knew what he was doing back there. He had a good arm. I mean that booger could chuck that football. He was a good football player, a natural.”

Bradshaw also had a good arm, and he and Robertson would compete against each other to see who could throw the farthest.

“I had the arm. The ability was there,” recalled Robertson in 2013. “Bradshaw probably had me a little more on distance. I was about a 65-yard man. … I remember at some point, Bradshaw and I would get out there and he would throw like 70-plus.”

Louisiana Tech went 1-9 during Bradshaw’s freshman year, but that didn’t mean he would see the light of day.

Robertson played well enough that Bradshaw only got enough playing time to pass for 14 yards and three picks that season.

Heard of him? Duck Dynasty star Phil was the starting QB at Louisiana Tech over the 1970 first overall Terry Bradshaw. pic.twitter.com/AZ3lF0TF

— Winning Athlete (@winningathlete) December 13, 2012

In 1967, the Bulldogs went 3-7 and Bradshaw was on the field long enough to throw for 981 yards, three touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

Robertson Leaves

Before the final game of the 1967 season, Robertson let Bradshaw in on a little secret.

When he wasn’t attending class or playing football, Robertson could be found hunting or fishing. Those activities were far and away his favorite pastime.

“Phil Robertson loved hunting more than he loved football,” wrote Bradshaw in his book, It’s Only a Game. “He’d come to practice directly from the woods, squirrel tails hanging out of his pockets, duck feathers on his clothes. Clearly he was a fine shot, so no one complained too much.”

Robertson loved the outdoors so much that he decided to give up football after his junior year and told Bradshaw (now known affectionately as the “Blond Bomber”) that it would be his team in 1968.

“He (Robertson) looks at Terry, says ,“‘Bomber, I’m not coming back next year.’” He said, “‘You’re not? What are you gonna do?’” He said, “‘I’m going for the ducks, you can go for the bucks,’” recalled former Tech running back Bob Brunet.

Robertson would eventually turn his love of the outdoors into a multi-million dollar business and become one of the stars of the hit television series Duck Dynasty.

Bradshaw Takes Over

Bradshaw became Tech’s starter in ’68 and promptly led the NCAA in passing yards with 2,890 and also threw for 22 touchdowns and 15 picks.

He was a Division II All-American and helped the Bulldogs face Akron University in the Grantland Rice Bowl after the season.

Bradshaw was named the game’s MVP after passing for 261 yards, rushing for two touchdowns, and passing for two more scores in Tech’s dominating 33-13 victory.

As a senior in 1969, Bradshaw and the Bulldogs continued to throttle opponents so badly that he was sidelined for parts of contests so as not to run up the score.

Still, Louisiana Tech compiled an 8-2 record while Bradshaw passed for 2,314 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions in his limited role and became an All-American for the second time.

Terry Bradshaw at Louisiana Tech University.#Steelers pic.twitter.com/fTU5mjaXQ1

— Tomlin Reactions 🆃 (@TomlinReactions) September 3, 2018

The Bulldogs returned to the Rice Bowl again and were defeated by East Tennessee State, 34-14.

Both of Tech’s touchdowns were on passes from Bradshaw.

In four years, Bradshaw passed for 4,459 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 42 picks.

He also set several new records for the program and received the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award.

During the 1980s, Bradshaw was inducted into the Louisiana Tech Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

A Coin Flip Decides Bradshaw’s Professional Fate

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (2)

Playing for a Division II school didn’t mean much to the pro personnel directors and scouts of the NFL.

Many of them liked Bradshaw, though his ACT scores still skewed public perception of him.

#OTD in 1970, the #Pittsburgh #Steelers win a coin toss for the 1st overall pick, and select Terry Bradshaw QB from Louisiana Tech. He would play his whole career for the Steelers and win 4 World titles and account for 244 TDs. #HereWeGo #NFL pic.twitter.com/qni3Kdzhxm

— MP (@3RiversBaseball) January 27, 2022

Bradshaw, however, further elevated his name in NFL circles when he was named the MVP of the Senior Bowl after his senior year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears had their eyes on the Blond Bomber, but both had ended the 1969 season with identical 1-13 records.

That meant a coin flip would determine which team would select first.

Meanwhile, Bradshaw had been told that he most likely wouldn’t get picked until later in the draft.

That meant he could spend some time becoming one with nature.

“The draft was no big deal back then,” Bradshaw said. “I thought I would go in the third or fourth round. It wasn’t on television. I was going fishing.”

What he didn’t know was, at the same time, Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney allowed Chicago to pick heads or tails for the coin toss.

The Bears selected heads, and the coin read tails after the flip. This meant the Steelers owned the number one overall selection.

With their first pick in the 1970 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh tapped Bradshaw.

Perhaps no coin flip in NFL history had deeper consequences.

After the @steelers & Bears finished tied at the bottom of the standings, a coin flip determined which team got the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh won & #OTD in 1970, drafted Terry Bradshaw first overall. pic.twitter.com/r20KwRGQn8

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 27, 2023

When he found out who had selected him, Bradshaw wasn’t overly excited.

“It didn’t mean that much,” he said. “I was coming here to the worst team in the NFL, which wasn’t good.”

Early Struggles

Bradshaw wasn’t exaggerating, Pittsburgh really was considered the worst in the NFL.

The organization was founded in 1933 and went to the postseason in 1947.

When he arrived in town in 1970, the 1947 team was still the only squad in franchise history to taste the playoffs.

The Blonde Bomber – Terry Bradshaw – signing his rookie deal #Steelers #NFL pic.twitter.com/4gjcTk8nCf

— BlitzburghUSAVideos (@sdextrasmedia) January 28, 2023

As the number one pick, Bradshaw was thrown to the wolves early and proceeded to throw for 1,410 yards, six touchdowns, and an NFL-worst 24 interceptions.

“Booing Terry Bradshaw became a favorite sport in Pittsburgh,” he said. “Hey, what do you guys want to do tonight? Let’s go boo Terry Bradshaw.”

Steelers coach Chuck Noll had enough of the interceptions and the losing and replaced his rookie with second-year veteran Terry Hanratty.

Pittsburgh finished the 1970 season with five wins and improved to six victories in 1971.

That same season, Bradshaw started 13 games and passed for 2,259 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions.

Pittsburgh Makes the Postseason

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (3)

Obviously, Bradshaw was talented enough to play in the NFL.

The only problem was that he needed to drastically cut down on the number of times he passed to the other team.

In 1972, he finally got control of his wayward spirals and ended the regular season with 1,887 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 12 picks.

Bradshaw also had career highs in rushing yards (346) and rushing touchdowns (seven).

Throwback Terry Bradshaw from #Steelers @reddit pic.twitter.com/9ImiLbYiTr

— Fungible Dave (@FungibleDave) December 24, 2020

The sharp decrease in turnovers led the Steelers to their first winning record (11-3) in a quarter of a century.

Then, in the Divisional Playoff round against the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh found itself in a 7-6 hole with 22 seconds left in the contest.

The Steelers had the ball at their own 40-yard line and faced fourth and ten with their playoff lives on the line.

After the ball was snapped, Bradshaw had to quickly scramble for his life.

“The play was 66 circle option full right split,” Bradshaw said in 2022. “Franco (Harris) was supposed to stay in and block. So, why did I have to scramble to the right? It’s because he didn’t block anybody. He just stood there.”

“My assignment, stay in the backfield and block,” said Harris. “The play is called, go up to the line, ball is hiked. I’m in the backfield. Protection breaks down because I didn’t block very well.”

Just before getting crushed by an Oakland defender, Bradshaw spotted Steelers running back John “Frenchy” Fuqua several yards downfield and threw the ball in his direction.

“I come out. I am wide open,” said Fuqua. “I make my move and I see [Terry] Bradshaw. We make eye contact. … I run to a point where the ball is thrown. He didn’t throw it directly to me. He threw it to my left a little bit. I run to the ball, and what I can hear is footsteps. Boom, boom, boom, boom. I said to myself, ‘Damn. That’s [Jack] Tatum.'”

“The Immaculate Reception”

As the ball arrived, so did Jack “The Assassin” Tatum, the Raiders’ bloodthirsty safety.

The ball ricocheted off both men and flew backward several yards toward the turf.

Out of nowhere, Harris snagged the ball just above the turf, eluded a few Oakland defenders, and ran for the game-winning touchdown.

5. IMMACULATE RECEPTION
Dec. 23, 1972

In divisional playoff, Terry Bradshaw throws pass that bounces off Jack Tatum's helmet and John Fuqua's hands. Franco Harris snags it and runs it in for Steelers' winning TD.

Factoid: A fan ended up with the ball and never sold it. pic.twitter.com/9QjHCL3Zfp

— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) August 31, 2019

Bradshaw didn’t see the play develop since he was lying flat on his back, but he heard the results.

“… I heard the roar of the crowd while I was on the ground, so I knew it was a touchdown,” said Bradshaw. “I couldn’t quite figure out who I threw it to, though,” he said laughing.

When he saw who scored the touchdown, Bradshaw couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Franco and I were talking about it a couple of weeks ago and he said he’d been taught by Joe Paterno at Penn State that when the ball’s in the air, you run to the ball,” Bradshaw said. “I’m not saying he ran to it, but you can see him take off in that direction. Then the ball comes, and he scoops it up.”

Even with Harris standing in the end zone, the official call about the touchdown remained undecided for several minutes.

At the time, NFL rules stipulated that, if a passed ball touched an offensive player and was tipped, the ball could not be subsequently caught by a teammate.

In other words, if Fuqua touched the ball last, Harris’s catch and touchdown was no good.

"No one knew more about that play and the history of it than Franco."

Terry Bradshaw told us what the Immaculate Reception meant to Franco Harris 50 years later.@Steelers | #Steelers pic.twitter.com/oSqyLKxgnV

— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) December 24, 2022

However, the Steelers argued that the ball had bounced off of Tatum, meaning the score was good.

“The referee, after five or 10 minutes, still hasn’t called anything,” said then Raiders coach John Madden. “He goes over to the baseball dugout and gets on the phone and talks to someone. Never said who he talked to, and then hung up the phone, came out, went to the middle of the field and said, ‘touchdown.'”

Ever since the “Immaculate Reception,” Raiders players, coaches, and fans have called the outcome the “Immaculate Deception.”

Regardless, the Steelers advanced from their first-ever postseason win and played the undefeated Miami Dolphins a week later, losing a tough one, 21-17.

Pittsburgh Plays in the Super Bowl

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (4)

The Immaculate Reception game proved to be the turning point in the fortunes of the Pittsburgh franchise.

The team had added several great playmakers through previous drafts and both sides of the ball featured all-pros and future hall-of-famers.

Along with Harris, the offense added Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth in 1974.

That same year, the defense received a boost when Jack Lambert and Donnie Shell were added.

The unit already had “Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, Dwight White, Jack Ham, Andy Russell, Mel Blount, and Mike Wagner.

Terry Bradshaw at Three Rivers Stadium with Chuck Noll & Mel Blount. @steelers @PittsburghSport @Super70sSports @NFL_Journal @BaxFootballGuru @ProFootballHOF pic.twitter.com/7cWa8uN87t

— NFL Classic! (@79_nfl) October 23, 2019

In the midst of all the talent, Bradshaw almost became an afterthought when complaints about his IQ and playing ability surfaced again during the ’73 season.

That year, the Bomber was plagued by a shoulder injury. He passed for 15 interceptions against 10 touchdowns and was benched by Noll.

The following season, Joe Gilliam started over Bradshaw to begin the year.

With the threat of his NFL future at stake, the Blond Bomber took over after the first six games of the 1974 season and began playing up to expectations.

Playing with more confidence, Bradshaw guided the team to a 10-3-1 overall record in ’74.

“I was starting to fit in with the team,” said Bradshaw. “I’ve never been what you’d call a joiner, but the pieces started fitting together and the players started being more friendly with me and making me part of the locker-room jokes. … Through the confidence I was developing and a little taste of success, I started being myself and quit worrying so much.”

After defeating Buffalo in the Divisional round, Bradshaw found Swann late in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game against Oakland for the winning score.

At long last, Pittsburgh would appear in its first Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings.

Before the game, a number of media members believed that Bradshaw would come undone against Minnesota’s “Purple Eaters” defense.

Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll after beating the Vikings 16-6 in SB IX and winning the Steelers first Lombardi Trophy in 1975. pic.twitter.com/7ytIbOgbpd

— Billy Hartford (@BudDupreeFan) January 24, 2023

Instead, Bradshaw needed only nine completions, 96 passing yards, and a passing score to help the Steelers win their first world title, 16-6.

Repeat

The 1975 season finally proved to be Bradshaw’s year.

The player once considered too dumb to play pro ball appeared in his first Pro Bowl on the strength of his 2,055 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine picks.

That season marked the first time in Bradshaw’s NFL career that he threw for more touchdowns than interceptions. However, he felt he still had much to prove to doubters.

“If we have a bad game, it’s because I’m dumb,” he said. “If we have a good game, it’s because everybody else played well and I got caught up in the action.”

Pittsburgh won 12 games in ’75, the most regular season wins in franchise history.

After beating Baltimore and the Raiders (again), it was on to Super Bowl X against the Dallas Cowboys.

During the contest, the Cowboys unleashed their Doomsday Defense against Bradshaw.

He responded with 209 passing yards and two passing touchdowns.

Bradshaw’s second score was launched in the face of the Cowboys’ defensive tackle, Larry Cole.

The winning score of Super Bowl X, this date in 1976

With just over three minutes remaining, #Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw stands his ground — getting absolutely starched by Dallas's Larry Cole in the process — to fire a 64-yard TD bomb to game MVP Lynn Swann for a 21-10 lead. pic.twitter.com/IUV5mgronG

— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) January 19, 2023

Just as Cole flattened Bradshaw, he unleashed a 64-yard pass to Swann, who caught the ball and ran in for a 21-10 lead.

Dallas scored minutes later, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Steelers won their second consecutive world title, 21-17.

1976 & 1977

The following season, Bradshaw started only eight games due to a wrist injury but still passed for 1,177 yards, 10 touchdowns, and nine picks.

Pittsburgh went 10-4 and beat the Colts before succumbing to the Raiders in the AFC title game.

In 1977, the Steelers went 9-5 and lost to Denver in the Divisional round.

Bradshaw had 2,523 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions.

1978

In his ninth year as a pro, Bradshaw began a streak of very good football.

During the 1978 season, he passed for 2,915 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.

Bradshaw led the NFL in passing touchdowns along with touchdown percentage (7.6%) and yards per pass attempt (7.9).

After the 1978 season in which he led the Steelers to a 14-2 record, and passed for 2,915 yards with 28 TDs, Terry Bradshaw was named the NFL MVP and was also named the MVP of Super Bowl XIII.#NFL #1970s #Pittsburgh #Steelers #SteelersNation pic.twitter.com/Yd947Czl1R

— JVAN (@VanderlansJim) June 10, 2022

He was voted the NFL’s MVP, won the Bert Bell Award, appeared in his second Pro Bowl, and became an All-Pro for the first time.

Pittsburgh posted a new franchise-best 14 wins in ’78 then defeated Denver and Houston in the first two rounds of the postseason by a combined score of 67-15.

How Do You Spell “Cat?”

For the second time in four years, the Steelers were meeting Dallas in a championship game.

In the week leading up to Super Bowl XIII, Cowboys defender Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson had something to say about Bradshaw’s intelligence.

“He couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘a’,” said Henderson.

Then, the game began and Bradshaw lit up Henderson and the Cowboys’ defense.

Before Super Bowl XIII, #Cowboys LB "Hollywood" Henderson said that #Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw "couldn't spell 'CAT' if you spotted him the 'C' and the 'A'".

Bradshaw in SB XIII:
• MVP
• First QB to throw 4 TD in a SB
• Broke SB single-game passing yds record before halftime pic.twitter.com/yz1RTXwU4p

— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) January 21, 2023

During a contest that saw more offense than their previous Super Bowl, Bradshaw passed for 318 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception as the Steelers outlasted Dallas, 35-31.

The Blond Bomber was named MVP of the game.

Pittsburgh Wins Again

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (5)

The Steelers continued to dominate their opponents in 1979 and Bradshaw had his best season as a pro.

That year, he completed 54% of his passes for a career-best 3,724 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 25 picks.

Pittsburgh's greatest heroes. Plus, Willie Stargell and Terry Bradshaw. @Pirates @steelers #Pops pic.twitter.com/yrsKXL0Hkq

— Vintage Jerseys & Hats (@PolyesterUnis) December 22, 2020

Bradshaw received his third Pro Bowl nod and was Sports Illustrated‘s “Sportsman of the Year.”

Pittsburgh won 12 games, dispatched Miami and Houston in the playoffs, and met the LA Rams in Super Bowl XIV.

At halftime, the Rams were beating the defending champs, 13-10, and also took a 19-17 lead in the third quarter.

In response, Bradshaw stepped on the gas and helped outscore LA, 21-6, in the second half to win, 31-19.

Super Bowl XIV held at the Rose Bowl in January 20, 1980 with a record crowd 103,985. The AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers repeat over the NFC Champions Los Angeles Rams 31-19. Terry Bradshaw, Steelers QB was named MVP after throwing for 309 yards. pic.twitter.com/3OuZzlJ6xg

— Cool Old Sports (@CoolOldSports) January 15, 2023

On the way to Pittsburgh’s fourth Super Bowl win, Bradshaw won his second Super Bowl MVP Award with 309 passing yards, two touchdown passes, and three interceptions.

Bradshaw Keeps Rolling

Bradshaw was feeling good after 1979.

The Steelers had become a dynasty in the 1970s, and the Blond Bomber was the first quarterback in NFL history to win four Super Bowls.

“Going into his 11th season [1980], he will have passed almost 12 miles, and the Bayou Bumpkin label has been left in the dust of the most impressive quarterbacking record in football today,” said New York Times Magazine’s Steve Cady.

Bradshaw continued to throw well in 1980 and passed for more than 3,000 yards for the second year in a row.

In addition to his 3,339 yards, Bradshaw also had 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

September 7, 1980 at Three Rivers Stadium. Oilers Craig Bradshaw and Steelers Terry Bradshaw became the first pair of QB brothers in NFL history to play against each other. Craig didn't throw a single pass but Terry threw 2 TDs and 2 INTs in a 31-17 Steelers victory. pic.twitter.com/fe8r4mm5VL

— Billy Hartford (@BudDupreeFan) February 23, 2023

Unfortunately, even with his solid numbers, Pittsburgh went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

The Steelers missed the postseason again in 1981 with an 8-8 record while Bradshaw passed for 2,887 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.

Then, beginning in Week 3 of the 1982 season, the NFL players went on strike, limiting Bradshaw to nine games, 1,768 yards, a league-tying 17 touchdowns, 11 picks, and an NFL-best 7.1 touchdown percentage.

That year also required Bradshaw to receive pain-killing shots before every game due to an elbow injury.

Pittsburgh returned to the playoffs but lost in the First Round to San Diego, 31-28.

Retirement

The Life And Career Of Terry Bradshaw (Story) (6)

After the 1982 season, Bradshaw had surgery on his elbow.

The injury and post-op rehab were severe enough that he didn’t play for most of the 1984 season. Cliff Stoudt filled in.

Bradshaw finally returned in Week 15 against the New York Jets for his first game action of the year.

During the game against the Jets, he threw a touchdown pass to receiver Calvin Sweeney in the second quarter and heard a pop as he released.

Bradshaw had re-injured his elbow and missed the remainder of the game and the season.

That would be it for Bradshaw as an NFL player. He retired after the season.

OTD 1984 in NYC, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw retired from the game of football. At the time of his retirement he was the only quarterback with four Super Bowl championships. pic.twitter.com/p1eIuT6bOl

— VintageSteelers (@VintageSteelers) July 24, 2022

He would later state that Noll had pushed him to return too quickly after his elbow surgery, and he became bitter at his former coach.

The two would eventually make amends before Noll died in 2014.

In his career, Bradshaw passed for 27,989 yards, 212 touchdowns, and 210 interceptions.

He also rushed for 2,257 yards and 32 scores.

Bradshaw was a four-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP, All-Pro once, a three-time Pro Bowler, and led or tied the NFL in passing touchdowns twice.

Additionally, he took his places on the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team, Steelers Hall of Fame, Steelers All-Time Team, and in the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Second Career

Bradshaw has married four times, and at one point in his life, he began suffering from depression and anxiety brought on by his failed marriages, lifestyle, and performance on the field.

He was in numerous films in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including The Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit II. Bradshaw also released several country and gospel record albums as a singer.

#OTD in 1981, The Cannonball Run debuted in theaters, with Terry Bradshaw fittingly playing the role of Terry. pic.twitter.com/vozIQ9Kmgw

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) June 19, 2022

While finally getting his anxiety under control with medication, Bradshaw began working for CBS as a color commentator for NFL games.

After his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, Bradshaw went to work for Fox Sports in 1994.

He won Emmys in 1999 and 2001 for his role as a studio analyst.

Not one to stay idle, Bradshaw has continued to appear in television, movies, and commercials.

He has also made his mark in the business sector, which includes his Terry Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

In the fall of 2022, Bradshaw told television viewers that he had been suffering from bladder and neck cancer for the previous two years.

Bradshaw then found himself in hot water after the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII.

Here's A Little Update On The Internet's Outrage Over Terry Bradshaw's "Fatphobic" Comments Directed At Andy Reid https://t.co/7higwJ9ide pic.twitter.com/H2xxDHaZeh

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 18, 2023

As one of the presenters of the Super Bowl trophy for Fox Sports, Bradshaw made a comment to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid that didn’t sit well with fans:

“Big guy … let me get the big guy in here,” Bradshaw said. “Come on, waddle over here.”

Bradshaw, now 74 years old, continues to work for Fox Sports and lives with his fourth wife, Tammy, in Oklahoma.

References

https://vault.si.com/vault/1966/04/11/faces-in-the-crowd

https://www.raiders.com/news/fifty-years-raiders-oral-history-immaculate-reception-steelers-nfl-franco-harris

www.foxsports.com

https://www.si.com/nfl/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Super-Bowl-MVPs

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/steelers/2022/12/21/immaculate-reception-how-famous-nfl-play-got-its-name/10937196002/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Bradshaw

https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/sports/nfl/2022/12/22/terry-bradshaw-immaculate-reception-memories-pittsburgh-steelers-1972-franco-harris/69729957007/

https://populartimelines.com/t/60089/Terry-Bradshaw

https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/sports-and-games/sports-biographies/terry-bradshaw

https://www.espn.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/18740/how-good-was-phil-robertson-at-football

https://www.espn.com/classic/biography/s/Bradshaw_Terry.html

https://www.profootballhof.com/players/terry-bradshaw/

https://www.steelers.com/news/a-coin-flip-landed-bradshaw-in-black-and-gold

https://www.al.com/sports/2019/09/why-didnt-terry-bradshaw-play-quarterback-at-lsu.html

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BradTe00.htm

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Terry-Bradshaw

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