Jack Ham

Jack Raphael Ham Jr. (born December 23, 1948) is a former American football outside linebacker who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1971 to 1982. He is considered one of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL.[1][2] Ham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

Jack Ham
No. 59
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born:December 23, 1948 (age 70)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Bishop McCort
(Johnstown, Pennsylvania)
College:Penn State
NFL Draft:1971 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Ham was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he attended Bishop McCort High School. He continued his education at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia for a post-graduate season.[3]

College football

Ham played college ball at Penn State. In his three years as a starting linebacker, the Nittany Lions had records of 11-0, 11-0, and 7–3. In his senior year, 1970, Ham was co-captain, had 91 tackles, four interceptions, and was an All-American. He had 251 career tackles, 143 unassisted. He blocked three punts in 1968, setting a school record that was not tied until 1989. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990.[1][4]

On December 11, 2014, the Big Ten Network included Ham on "The Mount Rushmore of Penn State Football", as chosen by online fan voting. Ham was joined in the honor by John Cappelletti, LaVar Arrington and Shane Conlan.

Professional football career

Ham was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second-round (34th overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft. He won the starting left linebacker job as a rookie. He was first-team All-Pro six years and was named to eight straight Pro Bowls.[1] Ham was blessed with tremendous quickness — according to Steelers coach Chuck Noll and teammate Andy Russell he was the "fastest Steeler for the first ten yards, including wide receivers and running backs". He was one of the few outside linebackers who could play pass defense as well as the NFL's top safeties. Although he was a ferocious hitter, he was known as a player who could not be fooled and was seldom out of position.[2] Maxie Baughan, a former NFL linebacker said of Ham, "He was one of the more intelligent players to ever play that position. He was able to diagnose plays. You couldn't ever fool him."

Ham's career statistics include 25 sacks, 21 fumbles recovered, and 32 interceptions[1] (although the sack numbers are unofficial since the NFL did not begin recording sacks until Ham's final year in the league, so he officially has just three sacks).[5][6] As these numbers indicate, Ham had a flair for the big play, guided by some of the best football instincts ever found in a linebacker. Ham was a member of four Super Bowl winning teams during his twelve-year career (although he did not play in Super Bowl XIV due to an ankle injury), all of it spent with the Steelers.[1][2] His 53 takeaways are the most in NFL history by a non-defensive back, while his 32 interceptions rank him 3rd all time among linebackers, behind Don Shinnick and Stan White.

"Dobre Shunka" (either Polish or Slovak for "good ham") was Ham's nickname while playing, as well as the name of Ham's fan club in the 1970s.[3]

After retirement

Ham retired from professional football in 1982 and began a career as a radio personality. He served as a color commentator for national radio broadcasts of NFL games, and later hosted a show in Pittsburgh with Mark Madden on ESPN Radio 1250 during the NFL season. Ham is currently a sports analyst for Penn State Radio Network and also appears as an analyst on the Westwood One radio network.[3]

Ham is a minority owner of the North American Hockey League's Johnstown Tomahawks. On January 31, 2013 Ham was honored by the Tomahawks' organization with a bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans that entered the Cambria County War Memorial Arena for the Tomahawks' game against the Port Huron Fighting Falcons.[7]

In 2017, Ham became an advocate of medical marijuana, having studied the benefits of relieving symptoms related to playing football, and wants the NFL to soften their stance on the use of marijuana in general. Ham felt inspired after seeing the cognitive decline of contemporary Nick Buoniconti, as well as other current and former players including former teammate Mike Webster, despite Ham himself being healthy. Ham also believes medical marijuana would help counter the ongoing opioid epidemic affecting society as a whole.[8]


Ham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988[9] and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990.[4] In 1999, he was ranked number 47 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hall of Fame member bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame's official site.
  2. ^ a b c Oremland, Brad (February 24, 2010). "The Best Linebackers of All-Time". Sports Central. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Jack Ham bio from PSU libraries". Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Jack Ham". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Branch, John (November 4, 2006). "Unofficially, Sack Record Doesn't Add Up". New York Times. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Jack Ham stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Mike Mastovich (January 24, 2013). "Jack Ham on Tomahawks: I'm glad to be involved". Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  8. ^ http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/jack-ham-steelers-marijuana-nfl
  9. ^ "Jack Ham player profile". NFL.com. Retrieved May 26, 2010.

External links

1970 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

The 1970 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 1970 NCAA University Division football season. The team was coached by Joe Paterno and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania.

1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 39th in the National Football League. The Steelers showed improvement finishing in second Place with a 6-8 record. But Terry Bradshaw struggled with turnovers in his second season throwing 22 interceptions to 13 touchdown passes. The Steelers that year drafted wide receiver Frank Lewis, Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham, guard Gerry Mullins, defensive end Dwight White, tight end/tackle Larry Brown, defensive tackle Ernie Holmes, and safety Mike Wagner, all key contributors during the Steelers Super Bowl teams of the 1970s.

1973 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1973. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP, NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1973.

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 42nd in the National Football League. They impoved to a 10-3-1 record and culminated in a Super Bowl championship. The team became the first in the Steelers' 42-year history to win a league title following the franchise's greatest playoff run to that point.

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 43rd in the National Football League. They would be the second championship team in club history. This Steelers team entered the beginning of the season as defending champions for the first time in their 40-year history. The team was led by a dominating defense and a quick offense, and won Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The team posted their best defensive numbers since 1946, and scored more points than any other Steelers team to that point.

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 44th in the National Football League. The Steelers started the season looking to become the first team in the Super Bowl era to win three-straight league championships (and first since the 1929–1931 and 1965–1967 Green Bay Packers). However, many thought that would be in doubt after the team started 1–4 and saw quarterback Terry Bradshaw injured in the week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns after a vicious sack by Joe "Turkey" Jones that has since become immortalized in NFL Films as part of the Browns-Steelers rivalry.

1977 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1977 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 45th in the National Football League. After what was considered the franchise's greatest season ever in 1976, the 1977 Pittsburgh Steelers failed to improve on their 10-4 record from 1976 and finished with a 9-5 record, however they appeared in the playoffs for their 6th straight season. The Steelers were not as sharp as usual, as they won the AFC Central with a 9–5 record. They had a hard time for most of the season as their record hovered around .500. Even the Steel curtain seemed to have a little wear and tear allowing 243 points on the season, more than 100 more than the previous season. The sloppy plays would catch up with them in the Divisional Playoffs when they are knocked off by the Broncos 34–21 in Denver.

1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League (NFL). The season concluded with the team winning Super Bowl XIII to become the first franchise in the NFL to win three Super Bowl titles. The championship run was led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the team's vaunted Steel Curtain defense. Bradshaw put together the best year of his career to that point, becoming only the second Steeler to win the NFL MVP award. Ten Steelers players were named to the Pro Bowl team, and four were judged as first-team All-Pros by the AP. Head coach Chuck Noll returned for his tenth season—moving him ahead of Walt Kiesling as the longest tenured head coach in the team's history to that point.The Steelers entered the season as defending champions of the AFC Central Division, coming off a 9–5 record in 1977. Despite winning their division, the previous season was a difficult one for the team (both on and off the field) which culminated in a division round playoff loss to the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.

The team began the 1978 season with seven straight victories, before losing to the Houston Oilers in prime time on Monday Night Football. They finished the season with a league-best 14–2 record, including a 5-game winning streak to close the season. This record assured them they would play at home throughout the 1978 playoffs. It was also the best record compiled in the team's history (since surpassed only by a 15–1 mark in 2004).The 1978 Steelers team was rated the thirty-fifth best team in the history of the NFL (to September 2015) by FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation and statistical service. The rating is based upon FiveThirtyEight's proprietary Elo rating system algorithm. Only two Steelers teams were rated higher: the 1975 team at twelfth and the 2005 team one slot ahead of the 1978 team at thirty-fourth.

1979 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1979. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that were included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1979.

1981 Pro Bowl

The 1981 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 31st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1980 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 1, 1981, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was NFC 21, AFC 7.Sam Rutigliano of the Cleveland Browns led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett. The referee was Gordon McCarter.

1982 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1982 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 50th in the National Football League. The steelers returned to the playoffs after missing the playoffs for two years. This was also the Steelers 50th Anniversary season. Although the season was shortened as a result of the 1982 strike, the Steelers finished a strong 6–3 record, good enough for fourth in the AFC as a whole. Although division standings were thrown out as a result of the strike, the Steelers unofficially finished second in the AFC Central, one game behind defending AFC Champion Cincinnati.

The 1982 season is best remembered as the final seasons for Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and Jack Ham and the "unofficial" final season of fellow Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, who would miss much of the 1983 season due to injuries before retiring. On the flip side, it would also be the first year of placekicker Gary Anderson and the first year of the team using a 3-4 defense, a style still used by the team as of 2017

The Steelers would lose in the first round of the playoffs to the San Diego Chargers, in what would be the last home playoff game for the Steelers for the next ten years.

Bishop McCort High School

Bishop McCort High School is a private, Catholic high school located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in Cambria County. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, though it is not run by the Roman Catholic Diocese due to its privatization in 2008.

Dennis Winston

Dennis "Dirt" Winston (born October 25, 1955) is a former professional American football linebacker in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints. He played college football at the University of Arkansas. He substituted for the injured Jack Ham in Super Bowl XIV as starting left outside linebacker. On October 17, 2013, Winston was named interim head coach for the Grambling State Tigers football team.

Ham (surname)

Ham or Hahm is a Western and Korean surname.

In 2000 in South Korea, there were approximately 75,955 people with this surname. It is also used in North Korea. Although some sources claim there are as many as sixty Ham clans, only the Gangneung Ham clan (Hangul: 강릉함씨) can be documented. Ham Gyu (Hanja: 咸規), a Goryeo general from the thirteenth century, is considered the founding ancestor of the Ham clan.People with the surname include:

Ham: (Korean Surname)

Ham Jeung-im (born 1964), South Korean writer, professor, and former literary editor

Ham Chan-mi (born 1994), South Korean swimmer

Ham Heung-chul (born 1930), South Korean footballer

Ham Hyun-gi (born 1962), South Korean footballer

Ham Kee-yong (born 1930), South Korean long-distance runner, winner of the 1950 Boston Marathon

Ham Pong-sil (born 1974), North Korean long-distance runner

Ham Seok-heon (born 1901), Korean Quaker author and activist

Ham Tae-young (born 1873), Korean politician, 3rd Vice president of First Republic of South Korea

Donhee Ham (born 1974), Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at Harvard University

Ham Deok-ju (born 1995), South Korean professional baseball pitcher

Han Da-min (born 1983), South Korean actress, (Original Name : Ham Mi-na)

Ham Jang-Sik, (함장식) better known as Lustboy, Korean retired professional League of Legends player and analystHahm (Korean Surname)

Hahm Eun-Jung (born 1988), South Korean singer and actress, member of the South Korean girl group T-ara

Shinik Hahm (born 1958), Korean-American conductorHam: (Western Surname)

Arlene Ham (born 1936), American former politician

Bill Ham (1937-2016), American music impresario, best known as the manager, producer and image-maker for the blues-rock band ZZ Top

Boris van der Ham (born 1973), Dutch writer, humanist, former politician and actor

Darvin Ham (born 1973), American retired professional basketball player and current National Basketball Association assistant coach

Greg Ham (1953-2012), Australian songwriter, actor and musician, member of the band Men at Work

Jack Ham (born 1948), American retired National Football League player, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

John Ham (disambiguation), also Hamm

Jon Hamm (born 1971), American actor, director and producer

Ken Ham (born 1951), Australian-born Christian fundamentalist and young Earth creationist

Kenneth Ham (born 1964), American retired astronaut and US Navy captain

Marieke van den Ham (born 1983), Dutch water polo player

Mary Katharine Ham (born 1980), American journalist and conservative commentator

Paul Ham, Australian author, historian, journalist and publisher

Pete Ham (1947–1975), Welsh singer, songwriter and guitarist

Tracy Ham (born 1965), American retired Canadian Football League quarterbackHahm (Western Surname)

Walther Hahm (1894-1951), German World War II general

List of Cotton Bowl Classic broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast college football's Cotton Bowl Classic throughout the years.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers figures in broadcasting

The Steelers franchise has a rich history of producing well-known sportscasters over the years: the most famous of which is Myron Cope, who served as a Steelers radio color commentator for 35 seasons (1970-2004).

Additionally, several former players for the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up the broadcast microphone:

Lynn Swann (wide receiver, 1974-1982) - Starting in 1978 was a sideline reporter for ABC Sports. Over the 2005 and 2006 NFL seasons, he had taken a leave of absence to unsuccessfully pursue the governor's office of Pennsylvania. Swann has also had several Hollywood roles, making cameos in 1998's The Waterboy, 1993's The Program and 1991's The Last Boy Scout. His TV cameos include Saturday Night Live and The Drew Carey Show.

Merril Hoge (running back, 1987-1993) - Has hosted sports shows on ESPN and ESPN2 since 1996 most notably NFL Matchup, Football Friday and NFL 2Night/ NFLLive. He has also had hosting duties on ABC/ESPN's Great Outdoor Games. He also served as an analyst for the Steelers radio network alongside Bill Hillgrove and the late Myron Cope.

Mark Malone (quarterback, 1980-1987) - Began his career as a sports reporter for Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV from 1991–1994, from 1994 to 2004 he hosted nationally-televised sports shows for ESPN, including NFL 2Night, NFL Matchup and the X-Games. From 2004-2008 he was director of sports broadcasting at CBS2 Chicago. Now Hosts his own program weeknights from 7 PM - 10 PM on NBC Sports Radio.

Jerome Bettis (running back, 1998-2011) - Formerly an analyst of NBC Sunday Night Football's Football Night in America pre-game with Bob Costas 2006–2009, also is host of the Pittsburgh broadcast The Jerome Bettis Show 1998–2007 on KDKA-TV and 2007-Present on WPXI-TV.

Hines Ward (wide receiver, 1996-2005) - Former analyst of NBC Sunday Night Football's Football Night in America. Pregame/halftime analyst for Notre Dame Football on NBC (2013–2015), Now is a Sports Analyst for CNN since 2016 and hosts The Hines Ward Show 2013–Present on WPXI-TV.

Bill Cowher (head coach, 1992-2006) - Co-host of CBS Sports NFL Today on CBS as a studio analyst, joining Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason. Cowher had a cameo in 1998's The Waterboy, and in 2007 Cowher appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. Cowher matched up against Gabrielle Reece and William Shatner. Cowher has also made a cameo in The Dark Knight Rises with several other Steelers players, as the coach of the Gotham Rogues.

Terry Bradshaw (quarterback, 1970-1983) - Started as a Guest commentator for CBS NFL Playoff broadcasts from 1980–1982, after retirement he joined Verne Lundquist at CBS full-time as a game anaylst on what would become one of the top rated sports broadcasts. In 1990, he went from the broadcast booth to the pre-game studio shows anchoring the NFL Today pre-game shows on CBS and later on Fox NFL Sunday. He has in recent years started to host regular features in addition to the show, "Ten yards with TB" and the "Terry Awards". In addition to broadcasting Bradshaw has had appearances in several major motion pictures (most notably Smokey and the Bandit II, Black Sunday, and Failure to Launch) as well as spokesman for Radio Shack and SaniKing among others in commercials. He also has made many guest appearances on sitcoms from Married... with Children to Evening Shade and Wee Willie Winkie.

Kordell Stewart (quarterback 1998-2003) - Currently an ESPN Analyst for all NFL shows and an Analyst for TuneIn's NFL Coverage.

Tunch Ilkin (offensive tackle, 1980–1992) - current Steelers radio color commentator; Pittsburgh CW Network In the Locker Room Host 2006–Present.

Craig Wolfley (offensive lineman, 1980-1989) - current Steelers radio sideline reporter; Pittsburgh CW Network In the Locker Room Host 2006–Present.

Rod Woodson (defensive back, 1987–1996), (1997 with 49ers), (1998-2001 with Ravens), & (2002-2003 with Raiders) - current Analysts for NFL Network 2003–Present.

Jack Ham (linebacker, 1971–1982) - did color commentary for the Steelers on KDKA-TV during the NFL Preseason into the early 2000s before leaving and being replaced by former teammate Edmund Nelson. Ham also co-hosted some pregame and postgame shows on the station, but was replaced by Nelson in those roles as well. Since 2000, Ham has been the color analyst on the Penn State football radio network.

Edmund Nelson (defensive lineman, 1982-1988) - served as the color analyst for Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season games and participated as a co-host to Bob Pompeani in KDKA-TV's regular season pre-game program Steelers Kickoff until retiring in 2015.

Charlie Batch (quarterback, 2002-2012) - took a Steelers pre-game studio analyst job with KDKA-TV for the 2013 season alongside KDKA-TV sports anchor Bob Pompeani and ex-Steeler defensive lineman Edmund Nelson, effectively ending his NFL career. He continued in this role for the 2014 season. In 2015, Batch replaced the retiring Nelson as KDKA-TV's color commentator for preseason games, while becoming the main studio analyst for the Steelers pre-game coverage prior to the national airing of The NFL Today. Former teammate Chris Hoke replaced Nelson for the post-game show.

Tony Dungy (defensive back, 1977-1979) - as an analyst on NBC's Football Night in America.

National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all National Football League (NFL) players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1970s and have been compiled onto this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches.

Punter Ray Guy was the leading vote-getter for the 1970s All-Decade Team, receiving 24 of a possible 25 votes. O.J. Simpson and Lynn Swann were next with 22 and 21 votes, respectively. Linebacker Jack Ham and Tight end Dave Casper each received 20 votes. Next were Defensive end Jack Youngblood and Joe Greene who each had 18 votes.

Holdovers from the National Football League 1960s All-Decade Team were Bob Lilly, Dick Butkus, Merlin Olsen, Larry Wilson, Jim Bakken, and Willie Brown.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Steeler Nation

Steeler Nation is an unofficial name for the fan-base of the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers. The term was coined by NFL Films narrator John Facenda in the team's 1978 highlights film. Steelers Country is often used for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area where the fan base originates or for areas with a large Steelers fan base.

Jack Ham

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.