This is the absolutely guaranteed 100% mostly true story of Terry Bradshaw: the man who gained sports immortality as the first quarterback to win four Super Bowls -- and the man who later became America's most popular sports broadcaster.
IT'S ONLY A GAME
"I had a real job once," begins a memoir as honest, unexpected, and downright hysterical as Bradshaw himself. From his humble beginnings in Shreveport, Louisiana, to his success as the centerpiece of the highest-rated football studio show in television history, Terry has always understood the importance of hard work. A veritable jack-of-all-trades, he has probably held more jobs than any other football Hall of Famer ever: pipeline worker, youth minister, professional singer, actor, television and radio talk show host, and now one of the nation's most popular speakers.
But let's not forget one of the reasons why so many people know and love Terry Bradshaw: he won four Super Bowls! In It's Only A Game, Terry brings the reader right into the huddle and describes the game from the bottom of a two-ton pile to the top of the sports world. You'll sit right on the fifty-yard line and watch as Terry earns the title world's greatest benchwarmer. And you'll also hear about the single greatest play in pro football -- the Immaculate Reception -- as he never saw it.
It's Only A Game is much more than a collection of Terry Bradshaw's favorite and funniest stories, it is the personal account of a great man's search for life before and after football...as only Terry could tell it.
Bradshaw, former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and now a television commentator, is funny, honest and apparently without airs. In this book, written with Fisher (The Umpire Strikes Back; Gracie), he freely discusses his childhood, religion, playing days and his post-football life. Bradshaw doesn't carry much baggage; he recognizes that he's had an enviable life. Perhaps his biggest challenge has been ADD; he always found school and reading difficult. While Bradshaw did go to LSU largely because of his ability as a football player he was teased mercilessly about his low grades and his inability to read well. He admits that it was painful at the time, but instead of dwelling on it, Bradshaw simply put more of his efforts into his sport. And, when he left the game, he says, "Once I accepted the fact that I could no longer play, I never looked back.... That's my form of emotional protection. It's the way I survive." Perhaps the most engaging sections of the book are near the end, when Bradshaw discusses his television stints, including some notable failures of his shows. Again, he's so straightforward about admitting that he was playing with the real pros that readers will laugh along with him. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 29, 2002
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Excerpt from It's Only a Game by Terry Bradshaw
I have never easily fit a description. My life -- and the way I've led it -- seems to have been a lot more complicated than necessary. I have had fun -- amen to that, brothers and sisters -- but I also have had my share of the difficult times. Admittedly, a lot of them were self-inflicted.
I've spent a long time trying to overcome an extremely successful football career. That's me. My team set records and I was voted into the Hall of Fame, but I never felt fulfilled. When I look at my personal statistics compared to the truly great players -- Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas -- I'm almost embarrassed. That's probably the reason I have some difficulty when people define me by my playing career.
So I've tried to become more than a man who used to be Terry Bradshaw. I never wanted to grow old living firmly in my past. And then I found what I believe to be is my true purpose in life: I like to make people feel good. I like the sound of other people's laughter. Not when I was singing or acting, but when I was speaking to them or appearing on television. Laughter makes me happy.
I've been carrying the words that I put down on these pages inside me for a long time. It was my desire to string them together into sentences that make you laugh. And when you laugh, laugh loud, please, so when people look at you funny you can just point to the book tell them, "That Terry sure makes me laugh. Why don't you go out and buy some copies of this book! You'll be laughing out loud too."
But some of those same words have been long used to cover up some hurt feelings, some pain, and putting them down is a release for me.
I have a lot of regrets about my playing career and the way it ended and even some of the things I've done since. I have no explanations, just the regrets. I played for a coach, Chuck Noll, whom I never understood and who never really understood me; I loved him but we parted badly and haven't really spoken since. I played in a city in which I didn't feel welcome, and to which I have rarely returned, yet in my heart I have such a true fondness for that place and those people.
I regret not having had one of my former teammates or my coach or one of the Steelers' executives present me when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I don't regret having invited broadcaster Vern Lundquist, a fine man, to fill that role, but rightfully it belonged to many others.
I deeply regret not having attended Mr. Rooney's funeral. Art Rooney was one of the finest human beings I've ever known. When he died I decided not to go to the funeral because I hadn't been in Pittsburgh in a long time and it didn't seem to be the right time to go. I'm sorry I didn't go.
I regret that until the day this book was written I had never told my two daughters that I have been married and divorced three times. Three times. I sure ought to get some sort of award from the American Association of Divorce Lawyers. I certainly paid for it. But the fact that I have been married and divorced three times is incomprehensible to me as a Christian. I don't just regret that, I'm embarrassed by it, so until recently I never did find the right words to tell my children. To have had such success in my professional life and such failure in my personal life is difficult for me. I would gladly swap them even-up, gladly.