Jack Ham

  • 8 × Pro Bowl selection ( 1973-1980 )
  • 9 × All-Pro selection ( 1972-1980 ) 1 2 team
  • NFL 75th Anniversary All- Time Team
  • NFL 1970s All- Decade Team
  • 4 × NFC Championship ( 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979 )
  • 4 × Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV )
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988 )
  • College Football Hall of Fame (1990 )
  • National Polish - American Sports Hall of Fame (1987 )

Jack Raphael Ham, Jr. ( born December 23, 1948 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States), nicknamed " Dobre Shunka ", is a former American professional American football player. He played as a linebacker in the National Football League ( NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Jack Ham visited his birthplace in high school. In the football team his school, he played as a linebacker, guard and center. After leaving school he wanted to attend the Virginia Military Institute, but had to only a preparatory year at the " Massanutten Military Academy " serve. He dropped to one assistant coach Joe Paterno, who supervised the " Penn State Nittany Lions ", the football team at Penn State University. Paterno offered him the scholarship last year, which had become vacant because another student had decided not to study at the College. Ham took the offer.

Playing career

College career

Jack Ham studied from 1968 to 1970 at Penn State University. He played as a linebacker for the Nittany Lions football. His team won during his time at college 29 of 32 games. In the years 1969 and 1970 he won the Orange Bowl with his team. In 1970, he was vice captain of his team and was chosen because of its sporting achievements for All American. He left college with a degree in business administration.

Professional career

Jack Ham was not considered suitable by many scouts in the NFL as physically. He was considered too small and too light. Nevertheless, it drafteten the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1971 in the second round to 34th position. Ham was able to convince in training his new coach Chuck Noll, who put him in his rookie year as a starter at the linebacker position on defense. The Defense of the Steelers should be in the next few years with players like Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Joe Greene or one of the best defenses in NFL history. After Ham with his team in the years 1972 and 1973 could move into the play-offs, but in each case did not come to championship honors, scored the first big success in 1974. The Steelers had defeated by John Madden Oakland Raiders managed with 24:13 in the AFC Championship Game and were thus drawn into the Super Bowl IX. Ham had contributed significantly to the victory of his team. He was able to intercept two passes in the game of quarterback Ken Stabler. Ham and his team won the Super Bowl after that against the Minnesota Vikings with 16:6. Ham could celebrate winning his first Super Bowl win. The following year, Ham came with the team from Pittsburgh to defend the title. In the AFC Championship game the Raiders were again defeated, this time with 16:10. Opponent in the subsequent Super Bowl X were coached by Tom Landry Dallas Cowboys were beaten by the Steelers 21:17.

In the following years, the Steelers were a top team in the NFL. 1978 Jack Ham was able to win his third Super Bowl. The Steelers had to deal with the Houston Oilers, the 34:5 in their defeat had however no chance against the team of Ham in the AFC Championship Game. Ham was able to achieve an interception in the game. His team met in Super Bowl XIII again on the Cowboys. The Defense to Ham succeeded in the game the quarterback of the team from Dallas Roger Staubach until the middle of the fourth quarter to keep the game under control. The Steelers led until then was 35:17 and already looked like the sure winner. However, Staubach could throw two touchdown passes in a short time, but nothing changed at the 35:31 - defeat of his team eventually. 1979 celebrated Jack Ham then the fourth Super Bowl success. In the AFC championship game, he met with his team again on the Oilers, who had to leave with a 27:13 defeat the square. The Los Angeles Rams were this time the counterparty in Super Bowl XIV Ham began at the 31:19 win of his Steelers again one interception in an important game and won his fourth Super Bowl.

Off the pitch

Ham is married and now lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh. After his career, he worked in the coal industry and worked as a radio announcer and analyst of football games.


Jack Ham played eight times in the Pro Bowl, the final game of the best players of the season. He was elected to the All-Pro nine times. He is a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All- Time Team, NFL 1970s All- Decade in the team in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Polish - American Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999 the magazine " The Sporting News" named him number 47 of the list of the 100 best football players of all time.