Home » Blog » With the Death of Son-In-Law Rob Bironas, Terry Bradshaw’s Year Has Gone From Bad To Worse

With the Death of Son-In-Law Rob Bironas, Terry Bradshaw’s Year Has Gone From Bad To Worse

Dating back to his days quarterbacking the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers teams of the 70s, Terry Bradshaw has been among the most likable athletes in professional sports. A natural performer, with a sense of humor to boot, Bradshaw seamlessly transitioned from his Hall of Fame NFL career into broadcasting upon his retirement in July 1974.

Bradshaw wasn’t unemployed more than a few weeks before inking a deal with CBS that placed him alongside Verne Lundquist, the network’s top rated play-by-play announcer. Their chemistry together had been well established over the previous three seasons, in which Bradshaw served as a guest commentator during playoff broadcasts.

In fact, so friendly was their relationship that when Bradshaw was inducted into the HOF in 1989, he asked Lundquist, rather than anyone within the Steelers organization, to be his presenter in Canton. A decision that came with its fair share of media controversy.

“What’s with you people? My choice is very simple. For all you Pittsburghers, listen one more time and see if you all can’t get this through your head,” Said Bradshaw.  “(Former Steelers owner) Art Rooney is gone. He was my presenter, but he’s dead, people. That’s the only person that would have represented me. The reason is, he and I were close.”


Bradshaw with the late Chuck Noll

Despite the four Super Bowls he won in Pittsburgh, Bradshaw’s departure from the Steel City was mysteriously acrimonious. To this day details have never been revealed, but when his longtime coach Chuck Noll died in June 2014, he was again feeling the heat, this time for his decision to skip the funeral.

The relationship between Bradshaw and fans in Pittsburgh has been strained for decades, and skipping Noll’s funeral when he was already in town to perform his one-man show, America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde, certainly did nothing to mend those fences.

That strained relationship aside, Bradshaw has actually had a very tough year. Though outwardly he’s always the most jovial person in any room, Bradshaw has been battling bouts of clinical depression for decades now.

Last November he opened up about the depression and memory loss that may be linked to his NFL career. Bradshaw said that his struggles are not on the same level as someone like Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, but that he’s old and forgetful beyond his years.

Bradshaw with his daughter, Rachel

Bradshaw with his daughter, Rachel

Bradshaw’s problems are serious enough that he said he would never allow a son to play football today.

Although he wouldn’t let a son play the game, Bradshaw did have a son-in-law who played in the NFL for seven seasons. Rob Bironas, who was the Tennessee Titans kicker from 2006 through 2013, married his daughter Rachel in June.

Last month Bironas died in a single vehicle car accident in Nashville after his SUV veered off the road. According to various reports, he had been acting erratically in the minutes leading up to the accident, with multiple people having witnessed apparent road rage.

Last week toxicology tests were completed, which revealed that Bironas had a blood alcohol content of .218 percent at the time of his death. He also tested positive for trace amounts of Diazepam (or Valium), but they weren’t high enough to have been a likely contributor to his impairment.

The troubling news delivered another blow to two families that were already reeling from the sudden loss. Bradshaw, who has been part of Fox’s NFL coverage on Sundays since 1990, missed the Week 4 broadcast to be with his family.

Sadly, it wasn’t the first time Bradshaw missed a day of work this year to grieve. Just hours before Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII was set to begin, it was announced that Bradshaw, always a highly visible presence at the game, would miss the game due to the death of his father.

Days earlier William Bradshaw had died at the age of 86.

Doing his best to put recent struggles behind him, Bradshaw returned to the studio for Fox in Week 5. Although he left people guessing when he opened the pre game show with advice for his new wife Tammy, whom he married this past July.

“When they let you out to play today, stay on the concrete,” Bradshaw said. “Don’t get that wheelchair out on the grass. You know you fall all the time. … Well, my wife is a little bit old.”

Making as little sense as ever! At least it sounds like Bradshaw is already back to his old self.

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