Joe Greene, the father figure, the "glue" of the Pittsburgh Steelers, put Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys into perspective with an economy of words today. "The team that has the ball last probably will win," he said.
Greene, the Willie Stargell of the Steelers, merely has to fix a stare on a youngster who may be tempted to get out of line and the ship rights itself.
On offense, Terry Bradshaw is the leader. The quarterback had been subjected to some extracurricular annoyances before Monday night's crunching of the Denver Broncos, but he was secure this weekend with his father making the restaurant scene as disciplinarian of his son's temper and as tail gunner.
Bill Bradshaw by his mere posture shows Terry's breeding. The father is 6-foot-plus and 215 pounds in his cowboy boots; the operator of a steel foundry in Shreveport, La. When mention was made of the firmness of his handshake he said, "Where I come from, when you shake hands, you shake hands."
He remarked that he went to dinner with Terry Bradshaw Friday night and there didn't figure to be an incident similar to a week ago. That night, a diner displeased with the Steeler losses to Cincinnati and Philadelphia and the quarterback's part in them ordered the waiter not to serve him "because he is no good."
"Terry told me about it," Bill Bradshaw said. "He told me that he ended up being 'rude' to the guy, and I knew what that meant.
"He told me he felt like reacting as Billy Martin is supposed to have done the other night, but knew better. He said he used some pretty strong language to the guy. He'll have no problem tonight. Anyone who ever tried to whip my kids had me to whip, too."
The elder Bradshaw, 52, does 25 pushups morning and night and 50 sit-ups in between to keep trim.Terry is extremely respectful to his father in the presence of others and the father expects others to give the son a wide berth.
"There's always some guy wants to be a hero by saying he took a shot at an athlete," Bill Bradshaw said. "I've always told my boys never to look for trouble, but if they get into a fight, win it. Terry can't get into fights now that he is an adult and so well-known."
Another son, Craig, is a quarterback at Utah State and the father said, "He'll be a pro some day, though I don't want him to, it's too risky. It's a vicious sport. Terry has sacrificed his body to get where he is. But he likes it, so what could I do?I'm going to have to let the other boy play, too."