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Terry Bradshaw once pretended to be ‘Tom Brady’ to get surgery

This is a weird, wonderful story.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

One of the weirdest stories in sports history emerged courtesy of the Twitter account @QuirkyResearch, who uncovered an old story about Terry Bradshaw with an incredible twist, using the name ‘Thomas Brady’ to get secret surgery.

In 1983, at the height of his NFL stardom, Bradshaw needed surgery on his throwing arm. We don’t know whether the injury was lingering from the season, or if it was caused working on his farm during the offseason — but the organization later said in a statement that it was caused by “minor wear and tear.” The Steelers quarterback didn’t want the attention of checking himself in under his real name. The hospital was in Shreveport, Louisiana, and naturally being a local legend he didn’t want word to get out that a four-time Super Bowl champion and NFL MVP was checking in.

So Bradshaw used an assumed name to get the surgery done, and it just so happened to be ‘Thomas Brady.’ Bradshaw was depicted as the model patient. He went under the knife, recovered, and inside the walls of that Shreveport hospital he let his guard down — walking the halls and visiting sick kids, away from the prying eyes of locals and the media.

1,900 miles away in San Mateo, California, a six-year-old boy named Thomas Brady was just learning to fall in love with the game of football. Neither knew the other existed, but for a brief moment they shared a name. They would go on to become two of the winningest

This might all sound like the most ridiculous, improbable story — and it’s because it is, but it absolutely happened. The story was confirmed in 2018 by, used as a footnote to a story about the team’s woes during the year. The real story isn’t the 1983 Steelers, but whether we now get to say that Tom Brady won 11 rings.