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Elway-Basher Bradshaw Is Suddenly a Super Fan

THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

January 22, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

SAN DIEGO — If John Elway ever wondered what it would be like to attend his own funeral, he will know after this week. Doesn't anyone except for perhaps Dan Reeves and some cheeseheads have anything bad to say about Elway?

Eight years ago, on the Wednesday before Super Bowl XXIV in New Orleans, Terry Bradshaw did.

"John's problem is he has been babied by the city, he has been babied by the coach. . . . He's got to get better eventually. He's too inconsistent."

Elway was prepared that week to be blindsided by San Francisco's Charles Haley. He didn't expect it from Bradshaw.

"He has been bashing me since I came into the league," Elway said. "He doesn't like the money I make. He can stick it in his ear."

Today, Bradshaw wishes he had stuck something in his mouth. Other than his foot, I mean. "I was a quarterback constantly ridiculed, constantly questioned," he said Wednesday by telephone from his family's home in Shreveport, La. "Even when we won, it was because of everybody else. I had a chip on my shoulder.

"That led to an emotional outburst on my part. I wanted to be thought of the same way as Elway, the same way as [Roger] Staubach. It was a huge mistake.

"John said I was jealous. He was right. I still am. I wish I had all that money and hair. I wish I could ski and play golf like he can."

Bradshaw, 49, can laugh now. But he paid for his candid comments. He said a Colorado-based company that he endorsed fired him.

"It hurt me more than it did John," he said.

While watching the game on television Sunday with his brother, he said he plans to be a "hell of an Elway fan."

"If I have a best friend playing in the NFL today, it's Brett Favre," he said. "But, in my heart of hearts, I don't want John Elway to join Jim Kelly as the only quarterbacks to lose four Super Bowls."

One thing Bradshaw doesn't regret from that news conference eight years ago is his prediction. He said the 49ers would win, 55-3. They won, 55-10.

His prediction for Sunday's game is that the final score will be 20-17. He won't predict the winner.

"I don't want to stir things up," he said.

*

There are only two reasons for Jerry Jones to interview Terry Donahue this week for the Dallas Cowboy coaching job. . . .

One is to appease Donahue's former UCLA quarterback, Troy Aikman. . . .

The other is to steal some of the Super Bowl media attention away from the Packers and Broncos. . . .

When all is said and done, I still believe George Seifert will be carrying Jones' clipboard next season. . . .

Speculation here is that the Cowboys actually want to steal Denver's offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak, for the same job in Dallas. . . .

The appeal for Kubiak is that he really would be the offensive coordinator in Dallas, meaning he, instead of the head coach, would call the plays. . . .

But Kubiak said Wednesday he's not interested. . . .

"I already have the best coordinator's job in the league," he said. . . .

Amid discussion that Green Bay's offensive coordinator, Sherman Lewis, can't get a head coaching job because of racism, Packer players say their 65-year-old defensive coordinator, Fritz Shurmur, can't get one because of ageism. . . .

"At one time, I couldn't get a job because I was too young," Shurmur says. "Now I'm too old. I don't know what happened in between." . . .

Packer safety Eugene Robinson said Shurmur motivates defensive players the way Burgess Meredith did Sylvester Stallone in the "Rocky" movies. . . .

"When he sends us back on the field, we look at each other and say, 'One more round, Rock,' " Robinson said. . . .

That's not really Reggie White's mother who plays the cheerleader in his Campbell's Soup commercial. . . .

"When I saw the script, they already had an actress," White said. "My mother wouldn't have done it anyway because of the short skirt. I'm not saying that she doesn't have pretty legs. She's 86, but she looks good for her age." . . .

When the other fabulous sports babe checked in for her media credential, the young attendant wouldn't give it to her unless she signed her real name. . . .

The radio talk show host's protests were brought to the attention of a supervisor, who said, "Call her anything she wants. Just get rid of her."

*

While wondering if the rumor Al Davis surrendered his rights to the L.A. territory is true, I was thinking: Terrific, all we need now is an owner, a team and a stadium.

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