All those who criticized the New York Giants’ boating trip probably would have even more to say about what happened to Terry Bradshaw a week before a game. Bradshaw, currently a NFL on Fox analyst, appears on Wednesday’s episode of Undeniable with Joe Buck to talk about his playing career, football today, and much more. One of the highlights sent out in advance is this story he shares about a horse dragging him half a mile less than a week before a game, which led to him shattering his elbow, breaking two ribs and breaking a tooth:
Bradshaw previously relayed this story in his 2001 autobiography, It’s Only A Game, where he talked about how it was offensive lineman John Kolb who roped him, with teammate Gerry “Moon” Mullins looking on. Here’s the key part of that, via Google Books:
That’s an amazing story, and it’s easy to envision it blowing up the news cycle today. It may have even impacted Bradshaw’s career. It isn’t clear from the story exactly when this happened, and Kolb’s inclusion doesn’t narrow it down much (he played for Pittsburgh from 1969-81, and his name is actually spelled “Jon,” not “John”), but Mullins’ does; he played for the Steelers from 1971-79, so this was during that span. Bradshaw found plenty of success during that time, including back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs in 1978 and 1979, so this certainly didn’t take him down immediately, but a series of elbow injuries (which led to a 1983 offseason surgery under the alias of “Thomas Brady,” which is amazing) eventually forced him to retire. There’s no word on if it was his throwing elbow hurt in the horse incident, but the punishment he took there certainly didn’t help his health. This relates to something else Bradshaw said on Wednesday’s Undeniable, about how he feels football used to be tougher and should be tougher again:
“It was the way football should be played. Period. Body slam you, grab the quarterback, sling him down, head slap, it was just like, this is great stuff, man! And now they don’t practice in pads!”
That’s a bit of a contrast to Bradshaw’s 2013 comments about the memory loss and bouts of depression he suffers from, which he attributes to playing football. And his “the good old days” comments do seem to overlook the physical toll that style of play took on him and so many of his teammates; indeed, it was Dr. Bennett Omalu’s autopsy of former Steelers’ center and Bradshaw teammate Mike Webster that really kicked off the coverage of NFL concussions and CTE. But Bradshaw is certainly entitled to his opinions on what makes good football or not. It’s just perhaps particularly a good thing that teammates aren’t letting their starting quarterback get dragged by a horse these days.
The Terry Bradshaw episode of Undeniable airs on AT&T/DirecTV’s Audience Network Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.