Sooner or later this great game catches up to you.
The stars of the NFL as well as the role players all have to pay the piper at some point. It could be creaky knees that don’t bend so well in the twilight years, or it could be as serious as memory loss.
That is what Terry Bradshaw is going through currently. The Pittsburgh Steelers legendary quarterback has been an NFL analyst since the early 80’s on CBS. He is currently part of a star-studded panel on Fox’s NFL Sunday.
On Wednesday, Bradshaw released a column filled with the honesty and candor we have come to expect from the four-time Super Bowl champion.
The Fox Sports column touched upon the six concussions that Bradshaw suffered during his career. It is Bradshaw’s belief that those head injuries are the direct cause of the memory loss he is suffering right now.
“Toward the end of last season on the FOX pregame show, maybe the last six weeks, I really started to forget things. That’s why I quit reciting statistics because I couldn’t remember them exactly and I stayed away from mentioning some players by name because I really wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to make a mistake. I’m on national TV in front of millions and I hate making mistakes.”
A booth gig is taxing. You have to sort out numbers, names and skill sets. All while keeping up the charm with the viewing audience. I can only imagine how frustrating this must have been for Bradshaw.
A man that was used to having his body do exactly what he wanted it to, was unable to recall the minutiae he once remembered.
The goal here is simple for Terry. He wants the players and public to be educated on concussions and their ramifications.
“When I played for the Steelers and I got my bell rung, I’d take smelling salts and go right back out there. All of us did that. We didn’t know any better. You don’t know how many times I was in the huddle, asking my teammates to help me call a play. After a few minutes, I’d be fine and I’d keep playing just like nothing had happened.”
The fact that we are barely starting to treat concussions as dire injuries is of little consolation. NFL players will always be at risk for this head injury. If you keep an afflicted player out months, he could be swatted to the ground on the first play back.
I commend Bradshaw for coming forward on a touchy subject. One that will now place a microscope on how he calls the games. This was a courageous call for the betterment of others. Terry has always been a leader though.