Terry Bradshaw: All-Star Player, Influencer, Sports Commentator, Rocket Scientist?

Terry Bradshaw holds quite an impressive resume. A former quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers and a sports analyst, he has not ceased to make an impact on the complex world of sports.

Bradshaw was born in 1948 in Louisiana and has seen football evolve tremendously throughout his time. His physical skills and leadership abilities played a significant role in the past generation of football. The exemplary player succeeded in bringing his team to the Super Bowl four times. This legend has brought so much to the NFL that it’s difficult to know where to begin. 

Bradshaw made his mark in football, but he has also worked as a sports analyst since 1994 on Fox NFL Sunday. He has also worked as an actor in quite a few films and television shows, the most well-known being Failure to Launch.

Terry knew early on that he wanted to play professional football, and was thus pushed by his incredibly ambitious family from childhood. It was this influence that led him to excel in college football, playing for Louisiana Tech during his junior and senior years. He made an incredible impact on the university’s records, having literally won every available passing award, and he was inducted into both the Louisiana Tech Sports Hall of Fame as well as the state’s equivalent. Bradshaw was soon after scouted by the Steelers in 1970 as their first choice player.

Initially, the NFL didn’t suit Bradshaw, and he performed quite poorly for his first few seasons. He was even ridiculed for the number of interceptions he threw. According to the media, these interceptions were due to his rural origins and apparent lack of intelligence, causing great humiliation to the now legendary player. He later retaliated by famously saying, “It’s football, not rocket science.” But once he acclimated to the high-pressure environment, Terry began to show his full potential.

By his 14th season with the Steelers, Bradshaw won his team their Super Bowl titles in the 1970s, becoming the first quarterback to win three, then four such championships. He also led Pittsburg to eight AFC Central championships.

But numerous injuries including neck, wrist, and elbow issues brought Bradshaw into considering retirement, and in 1984, he hung up his number 12 jersey for good. Even though the number was not officially retired, it has been informally established that the number will not be re-issued in the Steelers’ team. Bradshaw’s excellence was recognized, and he was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

However, the world had yet to see the end of Terry Bradshaw. He quickly signed a contract with CBS as a co-sports commentator with Verne Lundquist and was promoted to sports analyst in 1990. But his biggest accomplishment in sports analysis would come in 1994 with the Fox Network establishing their sports division. Bradshaw joined Fox NFL Sunday, where he adds comedic elements as a co-host. He hosts two features, Ten Yards with TB, where he questions NFL pros with rapid-fire precision, and The Terry Awards, an annual comedy award show about the past NFL season. 

Though Bradshaw tends to play “the ol’ redneck” in his shows, his co-host and former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson reassured the public that his act is purely for the audience’s enjoyment. Bradshaw further deflects the criticism by reminding hostiles that “he’s so dumb he has to have someone else fly his private plane.” 

Terry Bradshaw may not have the reputation of being the smartest knife in the drawer, but he has certainly earned his position as one of the top quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.