The Steelers’ eerie role in Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s NASCAR death
Dale “The Intimidator” Earnhardt died on February 18, 2001, at the Daytona International Speedway. Just hours earlier, he had turned to one former Pittsburgh Steelers player, one he considered a dear friend, and said to him: “I’m so glad you’re here! … You’re my good luck charm!”
Hours after that warm embrace, Earnhardt was dead.
The following year, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw recalled those eerie last 24 hours with one of the greatest car drivers of all time.
“Dale Earnhardt grabbed me behind my ears, forehead to forehead, and he said, `I’m so glad you’re here,’ ” Bradshaw told Knight Ridder reporters in 2002. “He said, `You’re my good-luck charm, man.’ He grabs my girls and tells them, `You know how special your daddy is?’ “
The 2001 NASCAR season was the first that Fox Television had television rights. As a Fox reporter and NASCAR fan, Bradshaw was a natural fit for a special interview with Earnhardt. The two athletes had been friends for years so when Bradshaw asked if Earnhardt would be willing to do an interview while they drove around the track the night before the Daytona 500, The Intimidator readily agreed.
The following day, Earnhardt died during the last lap of the Daytona 500.
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