Anyone who has been a football fan over the last half century has likely had the pleasure of watching Terry Bradshaw in one form or another. Whether it was cheering him on as he lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowls in the 1970s or rolling your eyes at his silly antics over the last 26 seasons of Fox NFL Sunday, Bradshaw has been a tough presence to escape around the gridiron.
But Bradshaw’s talents go beyond the pigskin. Many would be surprised to find out that the man best known as a Hall of Fame quarterback has recorded six albums of country and gospel music and has written five books. At 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 he will bring his array of talents to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Not sure what to expect? Well, neither were we. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Atlantic City Weekly: People obviously associate you mostly with sports, but you have been known to branch out from that. What type of show do you have planned for Borgata?
Terry Bradshaw: We have probably done about 16 shows so far and people have no idea why they are coming. I’m actually telling stories about my life and career — albiet short ones — and I’ll be interspersing them with songs. I do eight songs in total, one to start the night, one at the end to say goodnight and the six in between which are story songs. Each song reflects a period of my life, and the stories in between — I’d like to think they are funny and entertaining.
ACW: As a former football player do you miss being out on the field?
TB: The day I retired I never looked back. Not one ounce of my body ever said ‘Boy I wish I could do that again!’ The only time I ever thought about it was when I heard that Drew Brees signed for $35 million a year. (Laughs). Looking back has not served me well. It only restricts you from going forward.
ACW: At this point you are almost equally famous as a broadcaster as you were as a player. Did you always plan to get into broadcasting after football?
TB: No. I absolutely fell into it. My goal when I retired from the NFL was to make $50,000 a year. I had a farm with one tractor, one bailer and one cutter all paid for. The cattle were paid for and that’s how I was planning on living my life.
This was 1983 and back then as an ex-athlete the world wasn’t opening up to you. When I retired I had nine small endorsements. I lost every one of them, which (up until then) had brought me about $140,000 a year. Plus I lost my golf tournament.
I was working with my cattle one day and a limo pulled up and (sportscaster) Brent Musberger got out and told me I needed to call Terry O’Neil at CBS. So I called him and he says ‘We’d like to sign you to a three year deal to cover football games for CBS.’ So I went up there, signed with them and that’s how I got into broadcasting.
ACW: You have done a lot of television work. What would you say your favorite TV appearance was?
TB: Doing ‘Evening Shade’ with Burt Reynolds was a blast. But the most fun I had was during my appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I did 54 appearances.
ACW: Do you think the recent rule changes regarding safety in the NFL have had a positive or negative effect on the game itself?
TB: I think it’s had a positive impact, simply because the players health has to be the priority. Of course what originally made the sport so great was the viciousness of it and the crazy hits you would see on the highlight reel. That was the gladiator aspect of it and that is what made the sport so popular, but as we move through time we see all the health issues with CTE and everything that has happened with the brain. It’s been for the betterment of the game absolutely, because we don’t want these guys hurt. I think it’s been the most wonderful and positive change that we have had in the sport in the last 15 years.
ACW: What are you up to when you are not on tour?
TB: Well right now I’m working on a new song, and my dogs are all sitting here looking at me with approval.
ACW: So it got past the first test audience then huh?
TB: Yeah! I try all my new songs out on my dogs, and if they don’t break into the howling I’m solid!