Steelers Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw once went by the name ‘Thomas Brady’

When Bradshaw checked in to a hospital for surgery in 1983, he did so under an assumed name. The name? Thomas Brady.

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“Thomas Brady” (better known as Terry Bradshaw) stands next to the other Tom Brady after Super Bowl LI.

“Thomas Brady” (better known as Terry Bradshaw) stands next to the other Tom Brady after Super Bowl LI.

Elise Amendola/AP

By the time he checked in to Doctors’ Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, on March 3, 1983, for surgery to repair muscle tears in his throwing arm, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw had already established himself as the most successful quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Bradshaw’s Steelers won Super Bowl IX against the Vikings, Super Bowls X and XIII against the Cowboys, and Super Bowl XIV against the Rams. Bradshaw was the Most Valuable Player in those last two games, and his future Hall of Fame legacy was secured.

At the time, future NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who eclipsed Bradshaw’s status as the winningest Super Bowl quarterback ever (seven and counting), was 5 years old — a Bay Area kid who was just getting his Joe Montana worship on.

When Bradshaw checked in to that hospital in 1983, he did so under an assumed name — as superstars often do. The name? Thomas Brady. (H/T to the Quirky Research Twitter account for this).

“He didn’t ask for that,” said Dr. Bill Bundrick about Bradshaw’s alias, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bundrick, who performed the surgery, added, “It’s something we did to keep him from being disturbed by visitors and telephone calls.”

Had someone in that hospital seen the future of the quarterback position? Because that’s a pretty pinpoint name to select.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” Bradshaw told the Tampa Tribune later that month of the fake name. “I walked to the hospital exhausted. The doctors wouldn’t let me eat or drink for 24 hours. They took me to the emergency room, pulled down my pants and gave me a pre-op shot and — boom! — that was it.

“When I woke up after the operation, a doctor came into the room and told me they’d used an alias so I could rest without being bothered. He said, ‘Your name’s Thomas Brady.’ That’s how it happened.”

As for Bradshaw, 1983 proved to be his last NFL season — he played just one game, completing five of eight passes for 77 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions before Father Time came calling. At least he was able to hold onto his all-time Super Bowl win total among quarterbacks (though Joe Montana matched it) until Feb. 5, 2017, when Brady caught his fifth such win in Super Bowl LI, a game the Patriots won in overtime after overcoming a 28-3 deficit to the Falcons.


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