Terry Bradshaw Unplugged
Hall of Fame quarterback opens up on his depression even as he makes River Oaks crowd roar with laughter
It's been an interesting year for NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX sports analyst Terry Bradshaw. The good news: He recently wed his girlfriend of 15 years at his vacation home in Hawaii. OK news: He turned 66 on Tuesday. Not such good news: He was diagnosed earlier this year with rheumatoid arthritis, has a broken bone in his foot, was just diagnosed with cellulitis — and he battles depression.
"It's events like these (the not such good news, above) that trigger you into depression," Bradshaw told the sellout crowd of 500 packing the River Oaks Country Club ballroom. The occasion was the third annual "Help, Hope, Healing" luncheon benefiting the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston.
"You have virtually no opportunities to talk about depression. There is no platform. So when I'm asked, I jump on it."
In a few moments with CultureMap before his speech, Bradshaw explained his participation in the luncheon. "You don't get many opportunities. You have virtually no opportunities to talk about depression. There is no platform. So when I'm asked, I jump on it."
He added, "People don't want to hear about that and they don't want their heroes having mental illness . . . And if you talk openly about it, you're pretty much blackballed."
Saying that he is "fine" today, the four-time winning Super Bowl quarterback acknowledged that he had gone through various doctors and various medications to find a solution to his intermittent bouts with depression. "But therapy lessons were really the key for me," he said. "Through therapy, I was able to learn what triggers it."
Once in charge in the ballroom, Bradshaw was all star-power, entertaining the crowd with self-deprecating jokes and sharing moments of his battles with depression. Laughter was indeed the cure for this event.
Bradshaw was introduced by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair with emcee duties handled by Lisa Foronda, an alliance board member, who revealed that her mother had suffered from depression and died of suicide as a result.
Celebrating the luncheon's success of raising $450,000 were luncheon chairs Jackie and Fred Dunlop and honorary chairs Phyllis and Jack Selber. In the mix were guests including alliance board chair Blake Williams, the Rev. Juanita Rasmus, Regina Rogers, Soraya McClelland, Emily Crosswell, Julie and Markley Crosswell, Hannah and Cal McNair and Courtney and Jason Fertitta.