A war of words broke out this weekend between iconic Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and current head coach Mike Tomlin. A former Dallas Cowboys star was pulled into the crossfire.
Bradshaw fired the first volley on sports talk show for Fox Sports:
“I don’t think he’s a great coach at all… he’s a nice coach. To me, I’ve said this, he’s really a great cheerleader guy. I don’t know what he does. I don’t think he is a great coach at all. His name never even pops in my mind when we think about great coaches in the NFL.”
That’s a harsh assessment of a coach who’s won two Super Bowls and has five division titles and seven playoff appearances in 10 seasons. As you can imagine many current Steelers players have not taken kindly to Bradshaw’s critique.
However, it was Mike Tomlin himself who had the best response of all:
“…terms like ‘cheerleader guy,’ to me, maybe fall outside the bounds of critique or criticism. They probably fall more to the area of disrespect or unprofessional. But what do I know? I grew up a Dallas fan. Particularly a Hollywood Henderson fan.”
There’s no question that Tomlin knew exactly what he was evoking by bringing up Henderson in relation to Bradshaw.
A Cowboys linebacker in the late 1970s, Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson gained notoriety for insulting Terry Bradshaw in the lead-up to the Cowboys and Steelers meeting in Super Bowl XIII. Henderson said that Bradshaw was so dumb that “he couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘C’ and the ‘A.'”
Bradshaw got the laugh laugh that year, beating Henderson and the Cowboys in that Super Bowl. He will have a much harder time winning any fight with Mike Tomlin, though, as the Steelers’ coach has arguably the best resume of any active head coach other than Bill Belichick.
Tomlin may have to go through the Dallas Cowboys if he wants to win his third Super Bowl this season. If that day comes, I’ll be more than happy to see Dallas help Bradshaw’s case.