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Captcoolhand
04-09-2008, 10:02 AM
Bradshaw's future rested on coin toss

'Heads' call allows Steelers to draft Hall of Famer


Draft positions in the annual NFL lottery are often determined by the toss of a coin, a 50-50 chance of victory, heads or tails.

This year, the Atlanta Falcons won a flip to pick third in the first round, after finishing the regular season in a tie with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, each team ending finishing with 4-12 regular-season records and the same strength of schedule.

In fact, in the past decade, coin flips have determined drafting order on six occasions.

Who goes in that No. 3 slot to the Falcons, however, likely won't have the enormous effect that a spinning coin did in 1970 when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears determined who would get the first overall selection in the draft.

"It changed history," Bears owner Mike McCaskey, the grandson of NFL founder George Halas, said last week.

That it did.

The Steelers and Bears were pitiful the previous season, each team going 1-13, Chicago's only victory coming, in fact, against Pittsburgh.

Projected as the best player available in the 1970 draft was a tobacco-chewing, strong-armed kid from Louisiana Tech by the name of Terry Bradshaw, a North Louisiana legend who could throw a football nearly as far as he could a javelin.

Coincidentally, the coin toss between the Bears and Steelers was scheduled to take place in New Orleans, site of Super Bowl IV.

Just seven years earlier, the Bears had won the most recent of their NFL championships when Halas coached the "Monsters of the Midway" to the 1963 title.

In their ignominious history, the Steelers had never won a title or a postseason game, having made such decisions as keeping a quarterback named Jim Finks and cutting a quarterback named Johnny Unitas.

The year before, in 1969, the Steelers took the first step toward rebuilding their future when they hired Chuck Noll to be the head coach, replacing Bill Austin.

Noll's initial No. 1 pick was defensive tackle Joe Greene.

But after that first season, the Steelers had a 50-50 chance of adding an offensive weapon to their arsenal in the form of Bradshaw.

"We think we were heading in (the right) direction anyway," said Steelers President Dan Rooney, the son of team founder Art Rooney, who was charged that January 1970 day to represent the team at the coin toss with Halas' son-in-law, the late Ed McCaskey. "But Terry sure was the piece that did it. He was the main guy, no question about that."

In those days, events such as these often were opened to the press by the always-public-relations-conscious NFL, which was led by Commissioner Pete Rozelle, whose résumé included a stint as the public relations director of the Los Angeles Rams.

Dozens of ink-stained writers attended what would become arguably the most noteworthy predraft coin toss in league history, one, as McCaskey's son Mike noted, that would alter the course of two franchises.

"I wouldn't put it that way," Rooney said. "We were going to get better anyway. We had a great coach, Joe Greene was sort of a team leader. We had some pieces in there. There's no question that Terry was it."

Rooney recalls neither party seemed eager to make a heads or tails call.

"I told Ed McCaskey to call it," Rooney said. "I said, 'You call it.' He said 'No, you call it.' I said again, 'No, you call it.' He called the wrong thing."

"I think he called 'heads,' " Mike McCaskey said.
It was tails.

The Bears went on to trade the second selection in the draft to Green Bay for running back Elijah Pitts, linebacker Lee Roy Caffey and center Bob Hyland, drafting defensive tackle Mike McCoy with the pick obtained from the Packers.

Pittsburgh took Bradshaw.

In the next decade, the Steelers had a composite regular-season record of 99-44-1, winning four Super Bowls, the first of which came in New Orleans. The Bears, during that same span, went 60-83-1
Interesting story. :yesnod: I never knew that the first pick to the Steelers was determined by a flip of a coin. What is we would had lost it, would we still have gotten Bradshaw.:scratch:

And to think that they had 15 rds in the draft back then. :eek: Man, that had to take forever.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-09-2008, 08:44 PM
If we had 15 rounds today they'd be nothing but training camp fodder after the 7th or 8th round anyways because there just aren't enough roster spots or money to pay everybody. Although maybe with the way FA is these days it might be good to have all those picks :lol:

BlitzburghNation
04-09-2008, 10:02 PM
Nice read cap~~~~ :bigthumb:

steelersgal86
04-11-2008, 06:55 AM
Wow, Very interesting. A flip of a coin, I never knew that. :2cents:

Stlrs4Life
04-11-2008, 05:45 PM
I knew of the flip of the coin. Sure doubt we go as far as we did without Terry though.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-11-2008, 08:35 PM
No doubt we'd never have been the Dynasty that we were in the 70's without Terry at the controls on offense. Sometimes fate just has a way of smiling on you for once. The Steelers were so bad for so long until Noll came along and the team started drafting all those great players.

Captcoolhand
04-11-2008, 08:56 PM
ya but you know, even back then they were doing our players wrong....
Ever notice Terry never really pumps steelers like most do .

BlitzburghRockCity
04-14-2008, 11:33 AM
For the longest time he didn't even come back to Pittsburgh or really want anything to do with the team after he felt like he was mistreated by the fans but a number of years ago he made peace with that issue as did the fans and since then he's made several trips to Pittsburgh for various events and games. Kinda funny how things work out like that but all in all Terry is as much Pittsburgh as any player ever was or will be.

BlackGold4vr
04-14-2008, 12:48 PM
Bradshaw's problems were not all caused by his relationships with the fans or the team. He was later diagnosed as being bi-polar and suffered from severe depression.


"I was diagnosed with clinical depression about five years ago," says Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls. "When you're clinically depressed the serotonin in your brain is out of balance and probably always will be out of balance. So I take medication to get that proper balance back. I'll probably have to be on it the rest of my life."

http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2004/01/30-in-spot-bradshaw.jpg
Diagnosed with clinical depression five years ago, the hall of fame QB expects to be on medication the rest of his life.

Glad he has got it under control! :clap:

Captcoolhand
04-14-2008, 12:51 PM
For the longest time he didn't even come back to Pittsburgh or really want anything to do with the team after he felt like he was mistreated by the fans but a number of years ago he made peace with that issue as did the fans and since then he's made several trips to Pittsburgh for various events and games. Kinda funny how things work out like that but all in all Terry is as much Pittsburgh as any player ever was or will be.
I ask my father about it because he remembers more than I, but he tells me that the team and Terry had some real sour fallen out between them and the fans.
He never explained the whole story to me but I'm sure he's not the only one to face stuff like this after a career in the NFL.

Captcoolhand
04-14-2008, 12:53 PM
I ask my father about it because he remembers more than I, but he tells me that the team and Terry had some real sour fallen out between them and the fans.
He never explained the whole story to me but I'm sure he's not the only one to face stuff like this after a career in the NFL.


Bradshaw's problems were not all caused by his relationships with the fans or the team. He was later diagnosed as being bi-polar and suffered from severe depression.



http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2004/01/30-in-spot-bradshaw.jpg
Diagnosed with clinical depression five years ago, the hall of fame QB expects to be on medication the rest of his life.

Glad he has got it under control! :clap:
there you go, explains why my father couldn't explain it.
Doctors couldn't even explan it back then.