He is a living, breathing Jim Thorpe.
Bradford shrugs off the attention, but he also knows he holds a unique place in American Indian hearts. Regardless of their tribe, they are proclaiming Bradford as one of their own. His performances are celebrated by Indians young and old, even chronicled on Indian Web sites. It wasn't so long ago people doubted he'd still be the starter after seven games. Now, his stardom is skyrocketing.
Bradford's success is a people's pride.
"I'm glad he's Native American,” said Beaver, who is Choctaw and Creek. "I really hadn't ever seen any high-profile Native American athletes since, like, Jim Thorpe.”