When you think about it, it is absolutely astonishing. Name another quarterback who has seen so much success as Terry Bradshaw when he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and be such a polarizing figure among the fan base who once cheered for the ‘Blonde Bomber’.
Patriots fans adore Tom Brady.
49ers fans worship the ground Joe Montana walks on.
Roger Staubach is a living legend with Cowboys fans.
Then there is Bradshaw, who is hot-and-cold with Steelers faithful, and always has been.
The biggest difference between all of these quarterbacks listed and Bradshaw is Bradshaw turned into an analyst after his playing career was over. And when he did this, he decided early on to call it as he sees it.
Other former Steelers have joined the media, and have always taken precaution to not be overly critical of Pittsburgh. Jerome Bettis and Ryan Clark come to mind. It isn’t they don’t, or didn’t, criticize the Steelers, but were very calculated on how they did so. Heck, even Bill Cowher treads softly when talking negatively about the Steelers.
But not Bradshaw.
Even in his playing days, the fans loved him, and hated him the next season. It almost seems fitting the new era of fans almost do the same thing, but with Bradshaw as an analyst, not a player.
Fans have ripped Bradshaw for criticizing Ben Roethlisberger’s off-field behavior, labeling Mike Tomlin as a “cheerleader” and, now, not criticize the organization for the firing of Todd Haley.
The Hall of Famer told Sporting News he wasn’t sure why the team fired Haley.
“It would seem to me more like the head coach has to recognize the people he’s hiring to run that defense aren’t doing the job. Firing Haley made no sense. What did he do wrong? That’s why he was hired right away by Cleveland.”
A sentiment many in Pittsburgh will agree with, but it just seems as if Bradshaw is unable to take the easy way out of these black-and-gold questions which get lobbed his way every time there is an interview request.
All he would have to do is say, “You know, that is a tough situation with Ben and Haley. The two just don’t get along, and I understand that. I went through that with Chuck, but the decision they made after such success tells me something had to be wrong.”
But not Bradshaw.
The barbs he continues to dig into the Steelers’ side don’t go unnoticed. The older generation of fan still love Bradshaw, and likely agree with almost all he has to say, but there is a large group of the fan base who feel Bradshaw’s once ‘Super’ persona in the Steel City has been tarnished with his post-football career.
However you feel about Bradshaw, it is clear he won’t be holding back regarding the Steelers anytime soon.