I’m always reluctant to mention Terry Bradshaw in this space, because whenever his name appears here we get at least 50 comments along the lines of, “Wait, he’s still alive?”
But it’s important to note what Terry did — and didn’t — say on Sunday during one of the highlights segments on FOX.
While describing the ankle-breaking touchdown run by Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (which prompted us to point out on Twitter that even Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie lunged at air when Reggie cut left to right), Bradshaw said, “Look at this Jimmy, it was like you was chasing that bucket of chicken that the wind was blowing the other day.” (Apparently, there’s a question as to whether Bradshaw said “you was chasing” or “he was chasing.” My first thought was that Bradshaw said “you,” to Johnson.)
Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, FOX’s Howie Long explained that it was an inside jab by Bradshaw at Jimmy Johnson.
“I was shocked that it was even an issue,” Long said, explaining that Johnson’s wife, Rhonda, doesn’t let Jimmy eat fried chicken at home.
“It wasn’t even poorly phrased,” Long added. “It was specifically directed at Jimmy Johnson. It could have been any player running the football or whatever on that particular play.”
Though Long dubbed the controversy “ridiculous,” Bradshaw has apologized for the remark. And by apologizing almost as clumsily as he does the highlights on FOX, Bradshaw made the controversy necessarily something other than ridiculous. Indeed, the apology gave credence to the belief that there was a possible racial component to the remark.
If not, why apologize?
“I can’t defend myself,” Bradshaw told Michael Hiestand of USA Today. “I’ve never been in a situation like this. I don’t know how to react, except to apologize for something I didn’t know I said. I’ve been upset today. It’s not me. I’m shocked.”
Bradshaw also said that he initially denied saying it, and that upon hearing the tape, he said, “I can’t believe I said it.”
The explanation provided by Long and by FOX and by Curt Menefee makes sense. Bradshaw’s apology made the situation more confusing. Though he may have simply been apologizing for saying something that gave rise accidentally to a controversy, Bradshaw may have been better off not apologizing at all.