March 3 (UPI) — Twitter users were taken aback Wednesday when a sports history account posted a link to a 1983 UPI article that revealed an alias former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw used for surgery: Thomas Brady.
Brady — now a seven-time Super Bowl champion and arguably the greatest quarterback in history — was just 5 years old at the time.
“Hiding behind an alias, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw entered a north Louisiana hospital and underwent minor surgery for muscle tears in the elbow of his throwing arm,” the story said.
Bradshaw was preparing for his final NFL season at the time. The Hall of Fame quarterback had already won four Super Bowls and an NFL MVP Award.
He initially injured his elbow in training camp before the 1982 season.
He had surgery that off-season and checked into the hospital March 3 under the alias. Bradshaw visited sick children during the stay and checked out March 5. He then missed 15 games in 1983.
Bradshaw was sidelined for the first 14 games and then returned for a game in December. He reinjured the elbow in that game and never played again.
“Many times, we have to admit people under and assumed name or under no name to keep the press and the fans away,” hospital administrator Charles Boyd said in the UPI story.
The story article also cited a 1983 article in the Shreveport Times, written by Lee Ivory.
“My first ‘viral’ news piece before I left the Shreveport Times for USA Today,” Ivory tweeted Wednesday. “My neighbor’s daughter worked at the hospital. She mentioned that Bradshaw was a patient.”