December 7, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Terry Bradshaw went by ‘Tom Brady’ during his 1983 surgery

Terry Bradshaw was Tom Brady 38 years ago.

At the time, Bradshaw had more Super Bowl wins (four) than any other quarterback. These days, it’s Brady (seven) who holds that distinction.

But that’s not the only reason the above statement is true.

For one day, Terry Bradshaw was Tom Brady.

On Wednesday, the website Quirky Research tweeted an archival story that is, indeed, quite quirky.

The headline read, “Steelers’ ‘Tom Brady’ undergoes arm surgery.’”

It was referring to Bradshaw, not a then-unknown 5-year-old boy living in Northern California.

On March 3, 1983, Bradshaw had surgery to repair muscle tears in his right elbow at Doctors Hospital in Shreveport, La.

He was admitted under an alias — Thomas Brady, which by pure coincidence also was the name of the kid who one day would surpass Bradshaw (and Joe Montana) in the record books by winning six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and one (so far) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bradshaw, who missed most of the following season because of the elbow injury before retiring in July 1984, told the Tampa Tribune three weeks after the surgery that he had nothing to do with the fake name.

“When I woke up after the operation, a doctor came into the room and told me they had used an alias so I’d be able to rest without being bothered,” Bradshaw said, according to a current story in the Florida newspaper. “He said, ‘Your name’s ‘Thomas Brady.’ That’s how it happened.”