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#1
Old 12-15-2003, 11:46 PM
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How could Terry Bradshaw be so dim and still be a star quarterback? Is it all an act?

Is the chucklehead yokel persona all an act?
#2
Old 12-16-2003, 12:09 AM
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My guess is it's a little bit of both. He doesn't strike me as a brain trust, but he's a lot smarter than some of the characters he's played in movies. Of course, the players on his offense were among the best in their decade and they were backed by one of the best defenses of all time, so he had plenty of help. But watching him lead his teams to super bowls was pretty spectacular and he certainly deserved his share of the credit. It was a little more than 'let's fling it to Swann and Stallworth and handoff to Franco every other down'.
But I do get a little tired sometimes of his good-ole-boy persona during the round-table discussions in the studio.
#3
Old 12-16-2003, 12:19 AM
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One former competitor once remarked of Braqdshaw, "He couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the c and the t."
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#4
Old 12-16-2003, 12:21 AM
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er, that would be Bradshaw.
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#5
Old 12-16-2003, 12:27 AM
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er, that would be Bradshaw.
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#6
Old 12-16-2003, 01:05 AM
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Saw him trying to match wits with Leno one time. Realizing Jay was making him look silly (and it took a long time for that fact to sink in), Bradshaw accused him of having the writers make up all his jokes beforehand. Since Jay had been playing directly off of Bradshaw's conversation the whole time, this only made him look sillier. Was funny at first, then it just became sad, after a while.
#7
Old 12-16-2003, 01:15 AM
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I'll repeat what I've said on this topic before.

When Terry Bradshaw was a player, he endured a lot of jokes about how stupid he was, what an ignorant rube he was, and he was VERY sensitive about that. So sensitive that, whenever he was interviewed on TV, he worked very hard to tone down his Southern accent and to give thoughtful articulate answers to all questions.

Based on what I saw of him in those days, my sense is, he's not an intellectual, but he's quite bright. I have no doubt he could carry on an intelligent conversation with you on a wide variety of subjects.

But a funny thing happens after a man wins 4 Super Bowl rings- he no longer has to care much what strangers think of him! And when Bradshaw became a TV commentator, I think he figured quickly that sportscasting is, first and foremost, show biz! It's not enough to offer informed, intelligent commentary on football. A commentator has to be an entertainer. So, Bradshaw decided that he no longer had to worry about sounding too Southern or too "dumb." Instead, he started EMBRACING all the Southern, corn-pone mannerisms and expressions that he'd once worked so hard to avaoid.

I think he made a consious decision to play the hick, to become the new Don Meredith, while he's on the air. I'd be willing to bet that he drops that "Hee Haw" schtick the moment the cameras stop rolling.

*

Old anecdote to illustrate a point. Back in the 1950's, jokes about Mickey Mantle'ssupposedly low IQ were as plentiful as jokes about BRadshaw's stupidity were in the 1970's. One time, a bunch of the Brooklyn Dodgers were swapping stories about what a dumb yokel Mantle was. Supposedly, Jackie Robinson heard one such story and scoffed, "Shit, we got lots of guys as dumb as Mantle. We just don't have anybody as good."

Pat Haden was a Rhodes Scholar- you really think HE could've stepped in and done what Bradshaw did? Think again. The Steelers defense deserves almost all the credit for their first Super Bowl win, and most of the credit for their second. But the third and fourth Super Bowls were won by Terry Bradshaw. He beat the Rams and Cowboys by passing, even when the overrated, over-the-hill Steel Curtain defense was letting Roger Staubach and Wendell Tyler tear them apart.
#8
Old 12-16-2003, 02:05 AM
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for the amount of money Bradshaw makes, you could paint me blue, call me an asshat and make me the butt of every joke.
I would laugh all the way to the bank.
Bradshaw strikes me as maybe not a Nobel prize winner, but a guy that does an awful lot with what he has. A lot like Sonny Bono in this regard
#9
Old 12-16-2003, 03:05 AM
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I believe that Bradshaw also suffers from clinical depression and speaks out now about its effect on him as a broadcaster and how it affected him as a player.
#10
Old 12-16-2003, 03:24 AM
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I guess I'm missing something here. But exactly when did playing football require great mental skills. Don't get me wrong. The guy was a great athelete and terrific QB. I hated his ass for years.

But brains...not really necessary. He had a great team, great coaches, experience, talent and good instincts for the game. He memorized a bunch of plays and ran them until they were second nature. When a play got busted up he just fought for his life. Sometimes he got lucky and sometimes not. More often than not, damn him.

He wasn't a one man team BTW. Seems like they had a pretty good defense as well.

On top of all that, I think he puts on a lot of it as well.




Makes me think of Danny White. He had to be the dumbest SOB to ever hold a pigskin. Then again, I may be a little biased.

That'd make a good thread. Who's the stupidest fucking quarterback EVER? Why?
#11
Old 12-16-2003, 08:37 AM
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Poor Danny White. Cowboys fans were ALWAYS looking to replace him, when the fact is, he CARRIED that team on his back for years, after Tom Landry's Flex defense had ceased to work.

Say Cowboy fans, did Gary Hogeboom or Steve Pelleuer ever amount to anything? Of course not! But you'll NEVER hear a Cowboy fan admit that he was ridiculously wrong to insist that both of those guys were far better than Danny White.
#12
Old 12-16-2003, 08:44 AM
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As a big Niner fan, I can share that Joe Montana is generally held to be a bit of a moron. The general consensus was that he was super football smart and competitive, coupled with being dumb enough to shake off the last bad play and just stay focused on the next.

During the big Drive during the Super Bowl when they beat the Bengals, there is the legendary moment when the team is huddling up, everybody is nervous and Montana comes in after receiving the play from sidelines and says "hey, look, did you see John Candy in the crowd over there?" That anecdote has been alternately used to show how cool he was under pressure and how clueless he was...
#13
Old 12-16-2003, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by t-keela
I guess I'm missing something here. But exactly when did playing football require great mental skills. Don't get me wrong. The guy was a great athelete and terrific QB. I hated his ass for years.

But brains...not really necessary. He had a great team, great coaches, experience, talent and good instincts for the game. He memorized a bunch of plays and ran them until they were second nature. When a play got busted up he just fought for his life. Sometimes he got lucky and sometimes not. More often than not, damn him.
I disagree. Most positions in football might not require a lot of thought or creativity - they're much more dependent on talent and physicality - but quarterback isn't one of them. You have to be able to read defenses in a nanosecond. You have to be able to think strategically (even if the coach is calling all of the plays, you have to know how to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage).

A QB has to think on his feet, and you can't be a complete idiot and accomplish that. In fact, in the NFL you'd probably be flattened pretty quickly if you don't know what you're supposed to do next.
#14
Old 12-16-2003, 11:52 AM
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What I can't figure out is how he acts toward Jillian Barbarie or whatever her name is... the weathergal. Is he that darn clumsy at flirting?
#15
Old 12-16-2003, 01:28 PM
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Make no mistake, quarterbacks (most especially those in the "olden days") can't afford to be slow on the uptake. Think about it - Bradshaw played "back in the day" when quarterbacks called their own plays. All of them. None of this offensive coordinator stuff. So obviously Bradshaw was bright enough to know which plays to run at what times depending on the success of former plays and the general status of the game at that time.

Now, it's easy for armchair quarterbacks like you or I to try to call plays while watching the game, but it's entirely another to be there and call these same plays while 250-300 pound defenders are looking to rip your head off. And do it for a good portion of 60 minutes.

Cut him some slack - he's a good guy (although the aw shucks bit does wear thin). That interview with Brett Favre proves it.


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#16
Old 12-16-2003, 01:33 PM
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Tell you one thing, though, I think he's waYYY yy smarter than Mr. Spurrier.
#17
Old 12-16-2003, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dantheman
I disagree. Most positions in football might not require a lot of thought or creativity - they're much more dependent on talent and physicality - but quarterback isn't one of them. You have to be able to read defenses in a nanosecond. You have to be able to think strategically (even if the coach is calling all of the plays, you have to know how to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage).

A QB has to think on his feet, and you can't be a complete idiot and accomplish that. In fact, in the NFL you'd probably be flattened pretty quickly if you don't know what you're supposed to do next.
Nobody's saying Bradshaw is retarded, though, they're just saying he seems like a rube and a little dull. I see no evidence that being a quarterback requires an unusually high IQ, or that a dull IQ would preclude you from being a quarterback. It's not brain surgery.

I don't see anyone suggesting that you have to be bright to be an auto mechanic, truck driver, or ISO 9000 auditor, but all those jobs are every bit as complex, if not more so, as being a quarterback.
#18
Old 12-16-2003, 02:39 PM
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I am disagreeing with the notion that being a quarterback takes no great mental skills.

Such occupations as mechanic and truck driver are irrelevant to this notion and my disagreement with it.

Quarterbacking an NFL team is not something that is done by rote, as has been mentioned in this thread. It is certainly something that takes some amount of mental acuity, certainly more than any other position on the field.
#19
Old 12-16-2003, 02:54 PM
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I think part of it is an act. I don't think he's the smartest guy alive, but he's smart enough to know that his act will resonate with the country folk from back home. There must be more people that like his down-home, country style than people that don't like it. Think about his audience; what would the target audience for the Fox pre-game think in response to his Toby Keith-esque "We're a-comin' for you Osama, yeeeee-haw!"? I'm more of the viewers were nodding in agreement than there were shaking their heads. When this bit was replayed on The Daily Show the categories were probably reversed, with most of the audience shaking their heads.

While it is true that QBs called their own plays back in the day, the playbooks were not nearly as complex as they are today. Now playbooks rival the city's phonebook in size. Not the case in the 70's.
#20
Old 12-16-2003, 03:02 PM
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What did you expect?

Quote:
Originally posted by WordMan
As a big Niner fan, I can share that Joe Montana is generally held to be a bit of a moron.
He did go to Notre Dame, after all.

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#21
Old 12-16-2003, 03:19 PM
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Issue one: Bradshaw is a hoot. He can certainly come off as a bumpkin but that seems like mostly an act to me, or at least a concious decision to not repress that side of himself on air. That being said I also find his commentary to be among the most perceptive of any of the ex-jock, ex-coach ilk. John Madden certainly could hold a candle to him. Too bad he no longer works the booth.

Issue Two: Jim McMahon is without a doubt the dimmest QB to ever grace the league. Even watching an interview with him was a painful experience. On the field all he had was an arm. He contributed nothing else to the team.
#22
Old 12-16-2003, 10:19 PM
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I'll say this to begin with : I hate Bradshaw as a commentator and hated him as a player, growing up a Cowboys fan. However, he was a great QB.

I disagree that it doesn't take intelligence to be a great QB. It more than just practice and the ability to throw the ball. You have five seconds, tops, to read the defense, find a receiver and complete the pass, all why trying to avoid being sacked by a 300 poiund lineman. You have to think quick on your feet and be able to make snap decisions.

However, this is not the same type of intelligence it takes to perform brain surgery or become a nuclear scientist. Its a different kind of intelligence and skill.

Bradshaw was a great QB, but far from the best ever. He benefited greatly from a great team. One year in the mid-70s, either the ENTIRE starting Pitt defense or just about the entire defense was voted to the Pro Bowl. Still, you cannot deny he was great at his position. You don't win 4 SBs by being mediocre and it is true that in the latter years, especially in the final SB against Dallas, they certainly relied on his arm in the 35-31 win.

Although I love Larry Bird and hate Bradshaw, I think they are very similar. Bird is admittedly a "Hick from French Lick" and truly is of average, at best, intelligence. However, he knows the games of basketball better than just about any player ever to step on the court. He did the most with limited physical skills. He was a great leader on the floor.

Hollywood Henderson was the one with that great quote about Bradshaw not being able to spell CAT if you spotted him the C and T. He said it before one of the SBs that the Steelers then ending up winning against the Cowboys. If you like pro football, Henderson's autobiography, "Confessions of an NFL tragedy," is a great read.

I know QBs used to call their own plays, but I am not sure if they were still doing it in the 1970s. ALso, if they were it was in an era which much simpler defensive and offensive schemes.

I don't know who the "dumbest" QB to ever play is. However, I think Steve Young (has a law degree) and Peyton Manning may be two of the smartest QBs ever to play the game. I doubt anyone in the game has as much football knowledge, both historical and practical, as Peyton Manning. He benefited from growing up with the game, but it is still remarkable. He is the only QB that currently really runs the team from on the field.
#23
Old 12-16-2003, 11:01 PM
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Egad. I would have never imagined anyone comparing running an NFL offense to driving a truck.

It's true that many football players don't have the book smarts of most of the posters on this board. But that doesn't mean they're dumb. And no quarterback could survive in the NFL if he was dumb. The offenses -- even in the 70s -- were too complex. Heck, the game of football is too complex.

Regarless of whether a QB is calling all the plays on offense (and I believe Bradshaw was calling most of his offense), he still has to be able to read a defense. Based on that read, the QB has to check in or out of plays at the line of scrimmage. And a number of plays are called as "either/or" plays in the huddle. So a QB will essentially call two (or more) plays in the huddle, approach the line, and make a snap decision about which play to run.

In making decisions on "either/or" plays or whether to call an audible, the QB has to be able to look at the position each defensive player is lined up in and decide what the defense is going to do. He also has to consider that defenses are often disguising what they're running by positioning themselves in different places. He has to consider the down and distance. He has to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each play. He has to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each defensive set. He has to consider the individual matchups at play (Who are their best players? Where are they positioned on the field? Where are our best players positioned? How can we minimize their impact? Is someone having a bad game? Is someone injured? Is someone particularly good against a particular type of play? Is someone particularly good at a particular type of play?). And he has to consider the game situation (Are we winning? By how much? How much time is left? How many timeouts do we have? Can we afford to use those timeouts? If not, do we need to stop the clock?). And he has to consider that the defense is disguising what it's going to run, hoping to set him up to make a bad play call.

To be frank, the factors are nearly endless. And the QB has to consider them all and make a decision in the 5 to 10 seconds between the time he breaks the huddle and takes the snap.

I assure you that people that have never played football would be astonished by the number of decisions that football players make before and during every play. And no one needs to use their head more than QBs.

I'm not saying Bradshaw could have gotten into an Ivy League college. But we had National Merit Scholars on our high school team, and we had a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship on our college team, and they couldn't figure the stuff out. It's not that simple.

Chalk up another vote for Bradshaw being reasonably smart from a Cowboys fan and guy that hated Bradshaw when he played.
#24
Old 12-16-2003, 11:33 PM
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I am a lifelong Steelers fan. I am also a football fan, and I try to be as objective as I can while still being a fan. A few points to illustrate that me being a football fan can override my Steelers' homer-ism:

• I agree that Bradshaw was very good, but not great. As others have said, his supporting cast would make any QB look a lot better.

• I don't think that Lynn Swann belongs in the Hall of Fame

• I'm not sure Jerome Bettis should go to the Hall of Fame



Now, hopefully having shed any opinions that I am blind homer...



Quote:
Originally posted by astorian
But the third and fourth Super Bowls were won by Terry Bradshaw. He beat the Rams and Cowboys by passing, even when the overrated, over-the-hill Steel Curtain defense was letting Roger Staubach and Wendell Tyler tear them apart.
WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?

Are you really calling the '78 Steelers D over the hill and overrated? I'll admit by '79 they were starting to show slight signs of being human, but the '78 Steelers D are among the very best of all time. Since the NFL went to 16 game seasons, only 3 defenses have ever allowed fewer points.
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#25
Old 12-17-2003, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mouthbreather
I am a lifelong Steelers fan. I am also a football fan, and I try to be as objective as I can while still being a fan. A few points to illustrate that me being a football fan can override my Steelers' homer-ism:

• I agree that Bradshaw was very good, but not great. As others have said, his supporting cast would make any QB look a lot better.

• I don't think that Lynn Swann belongs in the Hall of Fame

• I'm not sure Jerome Bettis should go to the Hall of Fame



Now, hopefully having shed any opinions that I am blind homer...





WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?

Are you really calling the '78 Steelers D over the hill and overrated? I'll admit by '79 they were starting to show slight signs of being human, but the '78 Steelers D are among the very best of all time. Since the NFL went to 16 game seasons, only 3 defenses have ever allowed fewer points.

The Cowboys scored 31 points on that team in the Super Bowl, and would have scored 35 if Jackie Smith held on to an easy TD pass.

The offense won that Super Bowl for the Steelers. Only fair, of course, since the defense won the first one all by itself (Bradshaw regularly admits as much).
#26
Old 12-17-2003, 08:11 AM
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They also allowed 24 points to the Oilers and the Chiefs in games that year...so what? 31 points allowed to the best team in the NFC does not undermine the dominance they displayed all year long. They averaged 11.67 PPG allowed over the 18 games prior to that, including the AFCDPG and the AFCCG.


Also, just because I was curious, you mentioned Wendell Tyler tearing them apart in 1979...I looked at the stats. He had 17 carries for 60 yards.
#27
Old 12-17-2003, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by HomerIU
However, this is not the same type of intelligence it takes to perform brain surgery or become a nuclear scientist. Its a different kind of intelligence and skill.
We have a winner!

We (the generic "we", as in humanity) tend to have this notion that "intelligence" is some sort of all-encompassing one-size-fits-all attribute; and, to conflate it with sophistication, with talent for a particular pursuit, with accumulation of knowledge, with practiced learned skills, and with wisdom. These are all separate components of the whole person.
#28
Old 12-17-2003, 11:48 AM
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Anyone catch the Daily Show's clip of Bradshaw on the capture of Saddam on the NFL preview show? His only reply to James Brown's report was "Osama, you're next!".

Jon Stewart: "It is definitely on. Terry Bradshaw has issued the fatwa."
#29
Old 12-17-2003, 01:51 PM
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By his own admission Bradshaw is Bipolar. He said so himself. Talking about some badass defensive lineman (I think) Bradshaw said something like "...that guy is Bipolar, just like me, and if he ain't taking his medications..." His tone was totally sincere, and I remain convinced to this day that Bradshaw does have Bipolar Disease. And maybe sometimes it shows.

Remember when Chris Collingsworth worked that show along with Bradshaw, et al?

On one Sunday Bradshaw went on a long rant about some game situation and went into considerable detail on just why it wasn't the QB's fault.

Then Chris rather meekly piped up to disagree and gave a very convincing argument to refute Terry's stance.

If looks could kill, Chris would be long dead. I think Terry made some sneering remark, and Chris said, "You don't have to treat me like chopped liver."

Still with the sneer, Bradshaw replied for all the football world to hear, "You are chopped liver."

Shortly thereafter, poor Chris lost his job.

Never felt warm feelings for Bradhsaw after that. But like a lot of folks here, I do think he (and Swann) are hall of famers.
#30
Old 12-17-2003, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Is the chucklehead yokel persona all an act?
Intelligence aside, he really is a yokel in private life, but in a good way. My brother helped build his house ten years ago. Bradshaw was running all over the site helping whoever he could with getting his house built (mostly he helped the landscapers lay sod), acting like a kid on Christmas day.
#31
Old 12-17-2003, 02:39 PM
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Still with the sneer, Bradshaw replied for all the football world to hear, "You are chopped liver."
You know, I don't always agree with Bradshaw, but I think he was dead-on.

(No I don't know what Chris's argument was, and i don't care. He's so full of shit that I can smell it coming through the TV....Nearly every single week I thought Howie Long was going to belt ol' Mr. Chopped Liver across the studio. I longed for the day...)
#32
Old 12-17-2003, 04:34 PM
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Bradshaw kind of has a way of bringing everybody down to his level. Howie Long tries to be serious, but he cracks in 2 seconds when Bradshaw has his say. Plus, I like the way Bradshaw tries to make Jim Brown lose his professional cool. One time Brown had some drool on his face, and next thing you know, Bradshaw's hand came from off camera to wipe it off. Brown looked ready to kill him for a split second.
#33
Old 12-17-2003, 04:53 PM
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Collinsworth just rubs me the wrong way, for some reason. When he's doing games, he's fine, but when he was in the studio...he just irritated me.

That said, I suspect that Terry Bradshaw plays up the yokel thing for TV. He may be a goof in real life, but I suspect he's a larger goof since he's playing the clown on the show. And I love watching Howie Long try to put on his Super-Serious Face while TB is yapping away...
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#34
Old 12-17-2003, 05:42 PM
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I've never seen him in any TV sitcoms or movies, or whatever, but Bradshaw does seem to have a flair for comedy. Okay so he plays the rube.

So did that Gomer Pyle character, but that guy made me want to do was puke. Terry's genuinely funny - and sometimes even when he's not doing the yokel routine.

But he can easily decay to mean spiritedness.
#35
Old 12-17-2003, 08:24 PM
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dumbest QB ever?

As a lifelong Bucs fan, I want to nominate Vinny Testaverde. For crying out loud, whoever heard of a color blind QB? Especially when the one of the team's colors (at that time) is ORANGE!
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#36
Old 12-17-2003, 08:35 PM
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What does color blindness have to do with his intelligence?

I'm missing something here, aren't I?
#37
Old 12-17-2003, 08:57 PM
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His does overplay his act at times, like when he slapped Letterman's face on The Late Show. One of the only times I've seen Dave lose his cool for real.
#38
Old 12-18-2003, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Anyone catch the Daily Show's clip of Bradshaw on the capture of Saddam on the NFL preview show? His only reply to James Brown's report was "Osama, you're next!".

Jon Stewart: "It is definitely on. Terry Bradshaw has issued the fatwa."
Yeah, he's gonna gather up Mean Joe and Franco and bring the Steel Curtain DOWN on Osama.

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