The Inaugural Sunday Football-Related Music Post

bradshaw

via Discogs

A music post may seem fairly random for a Steelers site, but as i’ve frequently noted during the past several weeks, there isn’t a lot of actual news. (I suppose I’m so whiny about this because I’ve never actually had to come up with daily material during an off season.)

Oh, I suppose we could talk breathlessly about how Mike Tomlin spent his time at the Pro Day looking at the Defensive Line players rather than the DBs. Or we can micro-analyze Kevin Colbert’s pre-combine remarks. But the truth is, nobody, not even the Steelers, have the slightest idea of who they will draft.

So until it’s time for me to begin my patented Momma’s Mock Drafts*, based upon BLA (Best-Looking player Available), let’s talk about some real stuff.

Why music? Well, of course, that’s my specialty, and this seemed like a good week to bring it in, being as none other than Kenny D. Chesney liked the Going Deep page this past week.

I admit to entertaining at least minor doubts about the actual identity of the person who made the “Kenny D Chesney” page, as he only had about 30 followers when I checked, and the page has now disappeared. But it was exciting while it lasted.

And being as Chesney is a country star, we might as well begin with some country. Not my specialty, I hasten to add, but a lot of people like it. In fact, to some people it IS music:

And who more obvious to feature than an icon of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Terry Bradshaw?

Roxanna Firehall wrote a fascinating and balanced portrait of Bradshaw, calling him a “complicated hero.” I highly recommend the article, linked above, if you missed it first time around. Homer J. wrote a very eloquent comment which is also worthy of a wider audience:

A splendid and fair analysis of Bradshaw, who remains one of the most enigmatic players in Steeler history.

Terry has battled depression and ADHD most or all of his life. That must be part of any narrative involving him.

Early on, he was treated as some kind of hayseed or rube. Steeler teammates called him Ike, short for Ozark Ike. Several times in the early years, he was knocked senseless on the field and the fans cheered. Most cheered because local boy Terry Hanratty was coming in to replace him, and the cheers were for Rat. But Brad thought at least some of the fans were cheering his injury.

His marriage to Pittsburgh native and former MIss Teenage America Melissa Babish didn’t work out. That didn’t help.

And, of course, the relationship between Brad and Noll didn’t work out either. Terry needed somebody to hold is hand and motivate him. Noll was busy teaching people who were already motivated. His years in Pittsburgh were difficult, to say the least.

Terry needs to be loved, he needs attention, and he needs affirmation. He will put on a show, and play the clown to make people happy so that they will give him that attention and affirmation. I saw that in him when I knew him, and I see that in him now. We all need to be loved, but some of us need it more than others because of insecurities and inner demons.

Just because you are a tremendously gifted athlete doesn’t mean you can’t be a wounded soul. And Terry is a wounded soul. (In a larger sense, we all are.)

He tells yarns, makes stuff up, his excuses don’t always add up. One highly respected member of the Steeler family calls him, “the biggest phony I ever met.” The term now being tossed around is “fabulist,” when referring to political hopefuls who lie for a living. Noted.

But Terry fought through all that stuff to deliver four Lombardi Trophies to Pittsburgh. And he left it all on field until he could no longer throw a football. He was a true warrior. You can’t ever take that away from him.

I’ve learned enough about depressive disease from family members and loved ones to not judge others too harshly. Franco and members of the Steeler family still reach out to Terry, and still remain in contact with him. But, as Norman MacLean once wrote,” it is those closest to us who so often elude us. But we can still love them. We can love completely, without complete understanding. ”

There’s a lot about Terry Bradshaw to love. But even more that we don’t – or can’t – understand. I wish him peace of mind, good health, and happiness in his journey through life.

But back to Terry Bradshaw, country singer. Someone told me a few years ago that he had made some albums, and of course I was intrigued. That bringer of all good things, YouTube, came through with a clip from a 1976 television appearance:

Although I’m not a fan of the genre, Bradshaw had a really good voice. Maybe even better, vocally at least, is this song from a 1980 album, which made it to #73 on the charts:

It turns out Bradshaw apparently passed along his musical talent to his daughter Rachel. Here is a video of her singing the National Anthem at a Steelers game as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Immaculate Reception. We all remember Franco Harris caught the pass (or, more accurately, the deflection,) but I realized that of course Bradshaw threw the pass:

The next video is unfortunately quite poor quality, but it’s a lovely song, co-written by Rachel, who has a burgeoning music career, and sung as a duet by the two of them. Although his voice isn’t as good as it was thirty years ago or so, it’s a touching performance:

And finally, this has nothing to do with music, but I ran across it while looking up videos and couldn’t resist adding it to the mix. It is Phil Roberstson, the Duck Dynasty commander, talking with Bradshaw, with whom he played over 40 years ago at Louisiana Tech. Robertson was the starting quarterback, and Bradshaw didn’t win the job, he inherited it:

That’s all for today, folks. I plan to make this a weekly feature, so any suggestions would be welcomed, as we have 24 more Sundays to get through before training camp.

*Although my mock drafts are certainly unique, as no one else to my knowledge is doing them using my particular metric, I’m afraid they don’t have a great track record. The few players from my mocks the Steelers have actually drafted (Dri Archer) or picked up in free agency (Myron Rolle) haven’t been great successes. But it’s fun, anyhow…

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