Thursday • July 18
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Jim Kelly and John Hannah
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On this episode, David and Elliott get in the huddle with Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly of Buffalo Bills Fame. Plus, the New England Patriots' John Hannah, widely considered to be be one of the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Jim Kelly

A strong-armed passer with a "linebacker's mentality," Kelly lived up to his advance billing, as he virtually rewrote the Bills' record book for quarterbacks. Only three players in NFL history had reached the 30,000-yard career passing mark faster.
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Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer John Hannah

During his 13 years in the NFL, Hannah became widely recognized as the premier guard of pro football. He was named All-Pro 10 straight years from 1976 through 1985. He won the NFL Players Association's Offensive Lineman of the Year award four straight years from 1978 through 1981.
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Links to Related Websites:
Hunter's Hope

Hunter’s Hope Foundation was established to address the acute need for information and research with respect to Krabbe Disease and related Leukodystrophies. In addition, we strive to support and encourage those afflicted and their families as they struggle to endure, adjust and cope with the demands of these fatal illnesses.


Kelly For Kids

Kelly for Kids is committed to serving disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York through distribution of grant money raised throughout the year.


Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Jim Kelly
Jim Edward Kelly was born on February 14, 1960, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Joe and Alice Kelly. Jim was the fourth eldest of Joe and Alice’s six children. Growing up with five brothers presented Jim with a desire to compete and excel. During his childhood, Jim, his brothers, and their neighborhood friends would constantly compete against each other in various sports and activities. Jim’s father made sure that his sons worked hard to excel in any sports they played. Specifically, Joe Kelly saw that Jim had great potential as a football player, and always pushed Jim to practice and perfect his football skills. Jim’s initial experiences with official football competition came by way of his participation at the age of eight in the North Butler County Midget Football League and through his participation in the National Football League’s (NFL) Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. Jim showed that even at this young age, he possessed a very strong throwing arm and had the potential to develop into an excellent quarterback. This potential became more evident during Jim’s playing career at East Brady High School. Kelly became the starting quarterback for his high school team during his sophomore year. Throughout his high school career, Kelly led East Brady to a 26-2-1 record and was able to put up very impressive passing numbers, including 3,915 passing yards and 44 passing touchdowns. Kelly’s impressive performance led to him being recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s best high school quarterbacks. Additionally, high school coaches chose Kelly to represent Pennsylvania in the renowned Big 33 All-Star game. This particular all-star game pits the best Pennsylvanian high school football players against the best Ohioan high school football players. Kelly’s high school football accolades garnered a lot of attention from collegiate football coaches. Jim was actively recruited by Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Miami, and Tennessee. Due to Kelly’s childhood love for Penn State, Joe Paterno and Penn State had the early edge on getting Kelly; however, Paterno recruited Kelly to play defense. Since Kelly had his sights on starring as a collegiate quarterback, he turned his attention to other schools. After visiting the University of Miami, Kelly fell in love with that university’s program and the surrounding atmosphere. The following year, Kelly was enrolled as a student. Kelly proved to be as successful a collegiate quarterback as he was a high school quarterback. Miami was recovering from several disappointing seasons when Kelly arrived. During Kelly’s years at Miami, the program experienced resurgence. Kelly led the way by throwing for 5,233 passing yards and 32 passing touchdowns. Kelly was awarded for his collegiate accomplishments when he was inducted in the University of Miami’s Hall-of-Fame in 1992. The next step in Kelly’s football career was the NFL draft. Experts predicted Kelly to be one of the top ranked quarterbacks in the draft. During Kelly’s senior season at Miami, however, he suffered a serious shoulder injury. The injury forced Kelly to sit out the rest of his senior season and cast doubt on his ability to bounce back and perform well in the NFL. Despite these doubts, the Buffalo Bills selected Kelly as the 14th overall pick. The Bills had been suffering through several losing seasons. Additionally, Kelly had grown to love the warm weather of Miami and was in no hurry to return to the cold and snowy weather of the Northeast. Because of these factors, Kelly chose to accept a contract from the Houston Gamblers of the United States Football League (USFL). Kelly went on to play two seasons with the Gamblers and set many USFL passing records. After two seasons, however, the USFL folded due to financial difficulties. Kelly’s only reasonable recourse left was to return to the Bills. Kelly’s career with the Bills began in 1986. Just as he had at Miami, Kelly led his new team back to prominence. This resurgence was culminated in four straight Super Bowl appearances from 1991-1994. Although Kelly was able to lead his team to these Super Bowl appearances, Kelly was unable to win any of these championships. Despite Kelly’s inability to win the Super Bowl, he nonetheless had a remarkable NFL career. He retired after the 1996 season. Kelly’s statistics placed him in the top 15 of all-time quarterbacks in passing yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. Kelly married his wife, Jill in 1996. Following his retirement, Kelly turned his attention to his family. In particular, Kelly made a concerted effort to help his son, Hunter. Hunter, born on February 14, 1997, was diagnosed with Krabbe disease. In order to help his son and others suffering from this disease, Jim and his wife, Jill, started the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. According the foundation’s website, the goal of the foundation is to “fund research efforts to identify new treatments, therapies and a cure for Krabbe Disease.” The foundation has raised over $4 million, which it has donated to medical research. Sadly, Hunter was unable to beat the disease, and passed away on August 5, 2005. Besides Hunter’s Hope, Kelly also started the charity organization, Kelly for Kids. On August 3, 2002, Kelly received the ultimate commendation for his superb NFL career. Kelly joined an elite group by being selected into the NFL Hall-of-Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Jim's Official Website

 
John Hannah
annah played tackle and guard for the University of Alabama under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1970 until 1972, and earned All American honors twice, in 1971 and then was a Consensus All American his senior year in 1972. During his tenure Hannah was part of an SEC championship-winning team. He was named to the University of Alabama All-Century Team and also to the Alabama 1970s All-Decade team. During his time at Alabama he also participated in wrestling, the shot put, and the discus throw. Hannah was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Bryant would later say that Hannah was the greatest lineman he ever coached. Hannah joined the Patriots in 1973 as the 4th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft. He played his entire professional career in New England. While considered somewhat short by NFL standards, Hannah made up for this with great speed and quickness as well as powerful legs. Hannah excelled as a pass protector, run blocker and as the pulling guard on sweeps. Hannah's commitment level to football was very high and he expected the same from each of his teammates, sometimes becoming quite angry if he did not feel that they were complying.Hannah started the first thirteen games of his rookie season of 1973 until a freak leg injury forced him to miss the final game of the year. Along with tackle Leon Gray, the two formed what was generally considered the best guard/tackle tandem in the NFL during the mid to late 1970s. Gray and Hannah also combined with tight end Russ Francis to form one of the strongest left-side trios in the league. Hannah anchored the 1978 offensive line that set a still-standing NFL record with 3,165 rushing yards. Hannah missed only five games out of a possible 191 because of injuries during his career. He also missed the first three games of the 1977 season due to he and Gray both holding out because of contract disputes. The Patriots finished with a winning record seven times and had only three losing seasons during Hannah's thirteen-year career. In 1985, Hannah helped guide the team to its first AFC title and Super Bowl appearance. Hannah retired from the NFL after playing in Super Bowl XX. Hannah was named All-Pro 10 times (1976–1985) and All-AFC 11 times (1974, 1976–1985). He was also selected to play in 9 Pro Bowls. He was voted the Seagram's Seven Crowns of Sports Offensive Lineman of the Year Award in both 1978 and 1980 and was the winner of the NFLPA - Coca-Cola Offensive Lineman of the Year Award (selected by a vote of NFL players) for four straight years (1978–81). He is also one of the few players to have been named to the NFL All-Decade Team twice, as Hannah was selected to both the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams (joining an elite group of players who have achieved this including Walter Payton). Hannah was also selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, being the #1 guard in the team. In 1991, he became the first Patriots player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He and Andre Tippett are the only members of the Hall of Fame to have spent their entire career with the Patriots. In 1999, he was ranked number 20 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the highest-ranking Patriot, the highest-ranking guard, and the second-ranked offensive lineman behind Anthony Muñoz.

John at the Pro Football hall of Fame