Texas Tech is set to close out their non-conference schedule this Saturday with Louisiana Tech. And while the Tech defense is obviously a concern, all eyes will be on Patrick Mahomes to see if he can continue to post gaudy numbers early in the season.
But a long time ago, long before Patrick Mahomes and the Air Raid of Texas Tech, Louisiana Tech had a pretty famous QB of their own.
Of course I’m talking about four time Super Bowl champion and NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, who started for Louisiana Tech in 1968 and 1969 before being selected number one in the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. But even before Bradshaw, the Bulldogs had another American icon (love him or hate him) under center.
You’ve probably heard of A&E’s hit series “Duck Dynasty”, a TV show about Phil Robertson and his family, who created a multimillion-dollar business by making duck calls. Robertson has dabbled in politics over the years which has caused controversy, so we’ll stay away from that so as not to distract from the main point of this article: Phil Robertson played quarterback for Louisiana Tech while Terry Bradshaw sat on the bench, and he was pretty horrible.
Phil Robertson is about as backwoods as it gets. He loved hunting so much, he would allegedly show up to football practice in college with squirrel tails hanging out of his pockets because he was coming straight from a hunt in the woods. He turned down a chance to play in the NFL because it would interfere with duck hunting season.
How he got interest from NFL teams is beyond me. Phil Robertson finished his collegiate career with a completion rate below 44%. He threw just 12 touchdowns to 34 interceptions, nearly an unthinkable TD to INT ratio of 1:3. Louisiana Tech went 8-20 while Robertson played there.
Nevertheless, he still had interest from the Washington Redskins when they were coached by Vince Lombardi. They told him he wouldn’t be able to beat out their starting quarterback, but he could easily earn the backup job over some scrub they described as a “hotdog”. When Robertson asked who the “hotdog” backup quarterback was who he could so easily replace, the Redskins scout told him his name was Joe Theismann, another Super Bowl champion and NFL Hall of Famer.
With his production (or lack thereof) in college, I don’t know why anyone thought Phil Robertson was a better quarterback than Terry Bradshaw or Joe Theismann. But as Robertson likes to point out, he did just fine without the NFL by pursuing his hunting hobby.
Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech never faced off during Robertson’s playing days. The only matchup between the schools took place in 1933, a 40-10 Red Raiders victory. But Robertson came to Lubbock one time to address students at Lubbock Christian University, and Lubbock citizens once showed up at a city council meeting dressed like characters from “Duck Dynasty”.
So while Saturday’s game may not be the most anticipated of the season (though perhaps the most nerve-racking given last week’s defensive woes), hopefully fans will find it interesting given Louisiana Tech’s history at quarterback. The matchup will also give Texas Tech fans another chance to watch the magic of Pat Mahomes – already a far more accomplished college quarterback than Robertson – a chance that fans should never let go to waste.
Check out some old film of Phil Robertson from his time at Louisiana Tech: