Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Brad Johnson and Ten Pounds of Gold

Super Bowl XXXVII winning quarterback
Brad Johnson

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

What a great photograph of former NFL (and Super Bowl winning) quarterback Brad Johnson with his copy of our book Ten Pounds of Gold

Turns out Brad is a big fan of (and was a friend of) former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco, the legendary collegiate and pro wrestling champion in the 1970s who is spotlighted in the book.  The two became friends while both lived in Tampa. Jack had retired from wrestling and was running the famed Brisco Brothers Body Shop with brother Jerry. Brad had just won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.   

Mutual friend Bill Murdock, who wrote Brisco's biography, sent me this photo from Brad. 

Bill actually introduced Brad and Jack to each other in 2003 in Tampa at a dinner Bill organized at Flemming's Steakhouse. It was an appropriate spot to have dinner: the restaurant just happened to be a in close proximity to both the Brisco Brothers Body Shop as well as Raymond James Stadium, the NFL home of the Tampa Bay Bucs. 

Brad and Bill both grew up in the Asheville, NC area and had been friends for some time. When Bill was in Florida working on Brisco's book with Jack, they decided to all get together. Bill related that as much as Brad had wanted to meet childhood hero Brisco, Jack was equally excited to meet Brad. The Brisco brothers had owned Bucs season tickets since 1976, when the team was first established in the NFL. There was obviously great excitement that summer of 2003 over the Bucs win of the Super Bowl just a few months earlier.

Brad is a 17-year veteran of the National Football League and was the winning quarterback for Coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Bucs in Superbowl XXXVII in January of 2003. In that game, Brad threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Not only did he quarterback for the Bucs, he also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys. His NFL career stretched from 1992 through 2008. In fact, I saw him play in person when he was quarterback for Washington, along with my buddy David Chappell and his cousin Jamie, on a road trip to see the Redskins play the Carolina Panthers at Fed-Ex Field on a very warm day in September of 2000. (Redskins won 20-17. The Gateway was barely a month old at the time!)

Brad played his college ball for Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State University back in the days when FSU was a perennial top-5 independent powerhouse before joining the ACC. During Brad's four years there (1988-1991), Florida State was a combined 42-7, and had bowl victories all four years including the Cotton, Fiesta, and Sugar Bowls. He was the back-up for Casey Weldon in those years, but it is a testament to the level and depth of quarterback play at FSU during that time that the back-up quarterback goes on to have a 17-year career in the NFL, including a Super Bowl win. 

It's actually a really great story. 

My thanks to Bill Murdock, and especially to Brad Johnson for a photograph I will treasure always.  

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Utterly Amazing!
You can follow "Big Bad" Brad Johnson on Twitter at @Brad_Johnson_14, where you will find some of the most amazing trick basketball and football shots you have ever seen. The guy is a magician. Check out the compilation in this recent Twitter post:


Check out Ten Pounds of Gold in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store. Written with "Ace of Belts" Dave Millican, it is a close look at the fabled championship belt that represented the NWA World Championship from 1973-1986, worn by champions like Jack Brisco, Harley Race, and Ric Flair.