A offensive lineman who played for the New England Patriots of the National Football League, John Hannah could be summed up in one word, dominant. He was dominant when he played at the University of Alabama from 1970-1973, earning All-American honors and all SEC honors in 1971 and 1972, and by the end of his college career his dominance caused legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant to remark that Hannah was "the finest offensive lineman I've ever been around."
Hannah was then drafted by the New England Patriots with the fourth overall pick in the 1973 draft, and his dominance, of both his position (he started his pro career as a left guard) and of opposing defensive players continued until his retirement in 1985 at age 35. Hannah excelled at both run and pass blocking, having enormous strength to push players off the line, and the aggresiveness and speed to make sure they stayed off the line. Here are some accolades he garnered in his career:
- Was named to nine Pro Bowls in his 13 year career.
- Named NFL Offensive Player of the Year four times.
- Was selected ten times as a NFL All-Pro.
- Missed only 5 games due to injury in a 183 game career.
- Selected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991 (both selections were on the first ballot).
- Appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August 3rd 1981, with the title "Greatest Offensive Lineman In History" on the cover.
- Named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary team.
- Was a vital part of the Patriots' offensive line in 1978 when the team rushed for a NFL record 3,165 yards.
Some other significant facts about John Hannah: