Call him a Hall of Famer, call him a goofball, quirky, brash, maybe even unmindful at times. But don’t call Terry Bradshaw dumb.
Despite Bradshaw’s renowned career as a player and broadcaster, the football-lifer has continuously had to deal with the narrative that he’s dumb. Perhaps helped by his famous quote, “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.”
Bradshaw recently joined the HBO Max series Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? There are a lot of questions to ask an NFL icon who has enjoyed a very successful second career as a broadcaster. But during the interview, Wallace asked Bradshaw to reflect on people questioning his intelligence, an unfavorable narrative that the four-time Super Bowl winner admits upsets him.
Chris Wallace asks Terry Bradshaw to reflect on the perception that he’s “dumb” pic.twitter.com/3FbUDWgGzJ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 6, 2023
“You had to deal, Terry, with another issue when you were playing and this was the rap that you were, forgive me, dumb,” Wallace bluntly stated. “And Hollywood Henderson famously said, you know, ‘He couldn’t spell cat if he was spotted a C and an A’. Did that talk get to you? Did it get under your skin?”
“Yes.” Bradshaw admitted without hesitation. “Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. The dumb image, I have yet to figure out.”
“A lot of interceptions my rookie year, but my rookie interception record initially was broken by Peyton Manning, considered one of the smartest quarterbacks,” Bradshaw continued. “So I am upset. I do get upset by the dumb image. I don’t like it being brought up. And I think probably some of my anger and frustration with it is I didn’t get enough support. I didn’t feel like personally, I didn’t get enough support from Pittsburgh. I thought Chuck Noll (Steelers head coach from 1969-1991) could have stepped in and said ‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I have heard of.’ After all, I called in my open plays. You can’t be too stupid and call in your own plays.”
Bradshaw proceeded to admit he’s played into the “dumb” narrative at times, especially during his second career as a broadcaster for Fox. But even though he attempts to play along, the legendary quarterback still believes the playful ribbing has gone too far on occasion.
“I’ve taken that image and had some fun with it.” Bradshaw told Wallace. “Yeah, I’m kind of as you know, Chris, I like to have fun in interviews. I like to entertain people. If it’s at my expense, I’m fine with it. But there are times, there are times, even at Fox, when it’s Terry’s always, you know the goofball and, and there are times where I’m I don’t say anything, but I do say to myself, enough, you know, enough.”
The narrative that Bradshaw is dumb may be dumb. And the Fox analyst made it clear he doesn’t like when it gets brought up. But Wallace still brought it up.
“All right. That’s enough of that,” Wallace said to end the topic.