Widely acknowledged as today’s preeminent NFL in-studio personality, he currently serves as co-host and analyst for the wildly successful Fox NFL Sunday, earning three Sports Emmy Awards along the way.
Fox NFL Sunday is the country’s most watched NFL pregame show, and Bradshaw has been at the helm since its start twenty-three years ago. “It is the ear mark of a successful show when it is copied by different networks,” Bradshaw says with pride, “and we’ve been copied over and over again. We’ve created a genie in a bottle and I love working with all the guys – Curt Menefee, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long, and Michael Strahan, as our success is based on all four of us and we all get along so well together. Our ratings far exceed any of the other sports show combined who keep firing and hiring to try to find our magic.”
In addition to an on-going career in broadcasting, this multi-talented man has successfully tried his acting chops, appearing in Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Bates; voiced Broken Arm Boot in the animated film Robots; and had a heck of a lot of fun with Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run.
Academy Award winning actress Kathy Bates was so impressed with both Bradshaw’s acting ability and personality that she had this praise for his performance, “He is not only a natural in front of the camera. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever worked with. Even with four Super Bowl rings, and all that testosterone, the man is so down-to-earth and loveable.”
This summer NBC television is taking him, Henry Winkler, George Foreman, William Shatner and Jeff Dye on a second season of major adventures throughout Europe. Better Late Than Never, an alternative comedy series based on the South Korean format Grandpas Over Flowers, the first season ran for four episodes, filming in Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chang Mai. It was ranked as the No. 1 new broadcast show this past summer and has been picked up for a second season. Their adventures will continue on NBC in the late summer and early fall with travels to cities in Europe yet to be revealed.
The five older actors/celebrities will once again navigate their way through each city — communicating with the local population, immersing themselves in local traditions and enjoying exotic food — all the while dealing with the unexpected twists and turns that any international trip presents to the unprepared travelers. As they check off items on their own personal “bucket list,” the five will rely on each other for support and encouragement and in the process, demonstrate that friendship is the ultimate gift.
Although he’s under contract to not discuss the particular locations and misadventures of the series, Better Late than Never has been great fun for Bradshaw. “I have a great working relationship with all four of the guys. I’ve become closest to Henry, and the young comedian Jeff Dye. I would constantly tell Henry animal jokes, as he is such an animal advocate, and he bought into every story I would tell him. He’d get so mad at me, ultimately saying, ‘you’ll never get me again.’ So I waited for weeks and got him again.”
Although not quite as fit today as when he played for the Pittsburg Steelers, Bradshaw has a home gym filled with extensive state-of-the-art workout equipment. The driver of a delivery van dropping off additional exercise gear at his garage-turned-fitness center recently asked, “Is Mr. Bradshaw training to play football again?” The answer was no, but as active and busy as he was thirty-five years ago, the former elite athlete has an impressive exercise regimen. He walks four miles almost daily, at a seventeen minute mile or better pace, lifts weights five times a week for an hour, and tries to eat as healthy as possible.
“I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and the medicine I take can make me bloated; so I am very careful about what I eat. I frequently have oatmeal or eggs for breakfast, protein for lunch such as chicken or fish as this is usually my big meal, and a salad filled with all sorts of vegetables for dinner. I drink very little alcohol. I’ve recently lost more than the twenty-five pounds I gained taking this medicine due to the water retention. I have to be pretty rigid about my exercise regime and eating routine.”
In addition to his regular workout routine, the retired all-star athlete keeps fit from the ranch work and horse training he does at his 750-acre Terry Bradshaw Quarter Horse Ranch in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The ranch borders the Red River, near the Texas border. “My uncles were cutters and ropers and I started out riding and raising roping horses, but I got hurt and the Steelers wouldn’t let me rope anymore,” Bradshaw explains. “So I started reading the Quarter Horse Journal and saw all these beautiful horses, deciding to turn part of my cattle ranch into the breeding, raising, and showing of halter horses.
“Animals, in general, are all about giving back to you (except for a few of my most ornery horses.) My love for animals started at an early age, especially horses, as I love the smell of them when they sweat. My love of horses elevated from there as I always wanted a farm or ranch. In 1972, I purchased my first property and it has grown from there. We have lots of other animals as well; dogs, cats and even goats. My daughter Erin, was on a horse the moment she hit the earth; collecting Breyer Model Horses and building a miniature barn in her bedroom. Today she shows Paint Horses in the Pleasure categories.”
A native of Shreveport, LA, Bradshaw attended Woodlawn High School, the program that also produced former Buffalo Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson. He went on to attend Louisiana Tech, where he still holds the single-season passing and total offense records. He was a first-team Associated Press All-America as a senior in 1970 and later that year received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Louisiana Tech. After being drafted by the NFL that same year, Bradshaw became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the history of the game. In his four Super Bowl winning performances, he completed 49 of 84 attempted passes (nine for touchdowns) for 932 yards, with just three interceptions while amazingly calling his own plays.
When asking the famed Quarterback to recount a favorite football story or play, he replied without hesitation – “the Immaculate Reception!”
“The play was named that as there had to be some divine intervention during the drive,” he explains. “We were playing the Raiders in Three Rivers Field and I had just thrown three incompletions and finally gunned the ball down the field blindly to a black (Steelers) jersey, but couldn’t see the intended receiver. It was either our (John) ‘Frenchy’ (Fuqua) or the Raiders Jack Tatum who then fumbled the ball.
“The Ref didn’t know who touched it last, but our Franco Harris picked it up and ran into the end zone. Then came twenty seconds of agonizing silence as the refs conferred. There was no instant replay at that time. If Tatum had touched the ball before Harris, the play would be ruled an incomplete. But if Fuqua had his hand on the ball last, it would have been a touchdown.
“Touchdown Steelers. We went on to win the game and start our march to four Super Bowl wins from 1975 to 1980, and the beginning of the Steelers–Raiders rivalry, which continues to this day,” says Bradshaw.
Bradshaw has racked up numerous awards and honors during his long, diverse career. His work on behalf of those less fortunate has helped raise a tremendous amount of money and awareness while earning the gratitude and respect of countless charitable organizations. The Associated Press, SPORT magazine and the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia, following his 1978 season with the Steelers, named him NFL Player of the Year. In 1979, he shared Sports Illustrated’s Man of the Year award with Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
From being honored as the only NFL player with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to winning multiple Sports Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst category for his work on Fox NFL Sunday; this four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback can spiral them into the end zone like no one else.