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Nearly 40 years ago, Terry Bradshaw summoned his inner Tom Brady

Guess which assumed name the Pro Football Hall of Famer once used to secretly enter a hospital?
Decades ago, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw first dropped the name "Thomas Brady" on the NFL.
Decades ago, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw first dropped the name "Thomas Brady" on the NFL. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE | Times ]
Published Mar. 3
Updated Mar. 3

Thanks to the excavation of an archaic newspaper clipping, the world has discovered Tom Brady’s name was resonating in NFL circles when he was only 5 years old.

Sort of.

A story from United Press International wire service posted Wednesday morning on Twitter by, indicates that former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw entered a Shreveport, La., hospital exactly 38 years before under an assumed name to undergo elbow surgery.

The name he used: Thomas Brady.

“Many times, we have to admit people under an assumed name or under no name to keep the press and the fans away,” Charles Boyd, the hospital’s administrator, told UPI.

In a Tampa Tribune story published three weeks later, Bradshaw told reporter Tom Ford he knew nothing about the alias.

“I walked into the hospital exhausted,” Bradshaw said. “The doctors wouldn’t let me eat or drink for 24 hours. They took me to the emergency room, pulled down my pants and gave me a pre-op shot — boom! — that was it.

“When I woke up after the operation, a doctor came into the room and told me they had used an alias so I’d be able to rest without being bothered. He said, ‘Your name’s ‘Thomas Brady.’ That’s how it happened.”

Related: Tom Brady shares what Gisele said to him after Super Bowl

The Tom Brady that has won almost twice as many Super Bowls (seven) as Bradshaw (four) would’ve been 5 at the time and residing in the San Francisco outskirts with his parents and three older sisters. Roughly eight years remained before Brady (full name Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.) would serve as a backup on the Junipero Serra High junior varsity team that went 0-8.

Times staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report.