CLEMSON -- Somewhere along the line you figure that Bob Bradley would have
missed a Clemson football game in the past 45 years.
No one that knows Mr. B would have questioned his loyalty if he had been
absent from the press box just once during that time. He could have found an
excuse to call in sick, especially during the past 11 years when he was
supposed to be enjoying retirement.
Bradley worked for 35 years in as Clemson’s sports information director. He
defined the job of sports information director, not than anyone could
duplicate what Mr. B really did that made it a pleasure for any writer to
cover Clemson. He treated everyone the same – from a reporter from the
visiting student newspaper to a reporter from Sports Illustrated.
Even in retirement, Bradley has been in the press box for every Clemson
football game. This weekend he’ll be in Durham to see 4-0 Clemson play
winless Duke – the 500th straight game he’s seen from the press box.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve just taken it one game at a time.
I’ve seen good ball games and I’ve seen bad ones, too.”
Bradley started his run on October 20, 1955, his third week as Clemson’s
SID. He took over from Brent Breedin three weeks earlier. Breedin, who was
moving to Houston, went with the team to Rice the previous week. Since then
Bradley hasn’t missed a game.
“I think a person who’s got it in his blood that he wants to be a sports
information director and has a good feeling about it and thinks he can do
the work, I would recommend it,” he said. “It was certainly a great life for
me. I rubbed shoulders with a lot of people – the greats and near-greats you
Bradley would never say it, but he became one of the greats himself. Most
athletes that come back to Clemson first seek out Bradley, as do reporters.
He seems to have a story about nearly every athlete that attended Clemson.
“I tried to say in the background,” he said. “If they wanted something, I
would try to get it for them.”
For at least this weekend, it’s Bradley’s turn to be in the limelight. It
hasn’t been as easy lately for Bradley to attend them games. He’s been
undergoing chemotherapy for bone cancer. He’s had 108 treatments in the past
“The doctors knew that I had football games to go to and they have
cooperated real good,” he said. “I think the doctor in Greenville purposely
gave me my latest chemo where it would not interfere with a football game.”
His illness hasn’t given him an excuse to miss a game. If anything it’s
driven him toward No. 500, even though he’s not planning on slowing down.
“I want to keep going until something comes up,” he said. “It’s been a lot
There’s a lot of people that are glad he’s never found a reason to miss a