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Terry Bradshaw Ate My Labor Day

(Historians, take note: three days after the first college football Saturday, and two days before the NFL opener, I'm beginning my Bog with an item about Terry Bradshaw's acting career.)

While the rest of America watched Florida State edge Miami last night, I figured blogging duties required me to take a look at Terry Bradshaw in the ABC Family original movie "Relative Chaos." Somehow I had convinced myself that this was a one-hour deal, and when the ol' TiVo told me to expect twice that much fun, I felt like...well look, I was getting ready to watch a Terry Bradshaw movie on ABC Family, how much worse could I really feel?

(Remember when Terry Bradshaw was running around and talking about being naked, and he said that "you seeing my butt is a shocker." Great choice of words, T.B., just great.)

"Relative Chaos" turns out to be about a zany family's zany competitions, starring T.B. as the zany dad (the casting was "strangely right," one reviewer wrote). From the official plot snynopsis: "It's not over until it's over and before all's said and done there will be low blows, close calls and twists of fate that make the Cup runneth over."

I gave up after 47 minutes.

The main things I discovered:

1) Terry Bradshaw appears to have eaten James Brown and to be storing him in his lower abdomen. What happened to the flat-stomached, hairy-chested T.B.?

2) The "Family" in "ABC Family" is a lot different than the "family" in "The Washington Post is a family newspaper." The first 47 minutes of "Relative Chaos" included a Terry Bradshaw joke about the sexual orientation of his son, a Terry Bradshaw joke about a fat baby needing a training bra for its "big ol' puffy [family newspapers]," a 30-something U.S. congressman appearing to make eyes at his children's teenage (?) babysitter, the phrase "son of a [family newspaper]," the phrase "kick some [family newspaper]," a Terry Bradshaw joke about blue balls [yes, really, and yes, that meaning of blue balls] and another use of the phrase "son of a [family newspaper]."

3) T.B. wasn't noticeably worse than any of the film's other play actors, which is sort of like saying that Patrick Ramsey isn't noticeably worse than any of the Jets' other quarterbacks. T.B.'s finest moment in the first 47 minutes probably came in the emotionally jarring scene during which the family kids have a heated competition trying to spot images in 3D books. During a dramatic, music-fueled montage, T.B. mused about the nature of competition: "Carol says you shouldn't reward your kids for having fun," he said, "because they become more about the reward than the having fun. I never followed that line of thinking, because I always thought if someone wanted to pay me for having sex, it'd be just that much better."

4) Yes, really. Yes, this was ABC Family.

5) By highlighting the previous scene, I don't want to minimize the scene in which T.B. tried to convince his wife to share a second piece of pie at dessert, taking off his belt and shaking his belly to prove that he still had room. His belly was immense. Now it looked like he had also swallowed, say, half of Howie Long. This was also high-quality work.

Let me turn this forum over to the professional critics: Relative Chaos "is a cute family movie that makes me glad for the cable, because the networks don't have time for fluff like this anymore." (Yes, really, an actual human being appears to have written that.)

(Also, she referred to T.B.'s character as "Will Gilbert (Terry Bradshaw, 'Failure to Launch')." Terry freakin' Bradshaw now needs be identified by his association with "Failure to Launch.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 5, 2006; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  Athletes Are Silly  
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Next: On the Meaning of the Preseason, in Six Parts


ABC Family is worthless. Except for "Gilmore Girls"

Crap, I just admitted that.

Posted by: Mike | September 5, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ABC Family also aired Dirty Dancing. The same dirty dancing that half the girls in the '80s watched 23 times and the other half were forbidden from watching.

That said, it was pointed out to me by a very astute friend that "every family contains that overly sleazy Uncle and ABC Family caters to that segment of the family". (I've paraphrased.)

Did you notice that you mis-spelled "blog"?

Posted by: DC fan by transplant | September 5, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Dan, you're a funny guy and all, and Terry Bradshaw is this generation's Yogi Berra (kinda sorta in a stupider way, especially when Frank Caliendo lampoons him), but I'm really lovin' the ads next to your blog - so far I've seen, in order, "Find Girls in Greenbelt" and "Cropp for Mayor" - hmm, a coincidence? I think not...

Posted by: jhorstma | September 5, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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