What was a harmless scheme by legendary Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw in the early 1980s has become an unbelievable bit of serendipity, as blogger and Twitter user “Quirky Research” recently discovered that in 1983, hoping to not draw attention to his minor elbow surgery, Bradshaw checked into a hospital in Louisiana under a false name. But that’s not the story.
The remarkable part of the whole incident is that the fake name Bradshaw chose was the name of another legendary NFL quarterback. A Shreveport news clipping from the time indicates Bradshaw used the name Tom Brady for the procedure.
On this date in 1983, the winningest quarterback in Super Bowl history checked into a Louisiana hospital using an assumed name. pic.twitter.com/Yr3ujc0fHC
— Quirky Research (@QuirkyResearch) March 3, 2021
Yes, you read that correctly. When Bradshaw was 35 and still playing for the Steelers, he toyed with Pittsburgh fans by pretending to be someone else, and in doing so used the name of the man who would go onto become the most prolific QB in the history of football, and who at that point was a 6-year-old kid.
Some fans online mentioned that if Bradshaw is also Brady, then the Buccaneers’ quarterback technically has 11 Super Bowl rings, not just the seven he’s previously been credited for. Others wondered whether Bradshaw’s trick here created some sort of sorcery that transferred his powers to Brady, as Bradshaw’s “minor” surgery spelled the end of his career and he was never the same player again.