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John Hannah Doesn't Fiddle Around
Paul Zimmerman
August 03, 1981
At least not on the football field, where, says the author, his brains, brawn and speed have made him the top offensive lineman in NFL history
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August 03, 1981

John Hannah Doesn't Fiddle Around

At least not on the football field, where, says the author, his brains, brawn and speed have made him the top offensive lineman in NFL history

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"When I was holding out," Hannah says, "they said up in Boston, 'Well, I guess you'll go back home and slop those hogs for a while.' I think you can see that I've got a lot more going for me than that down here."

It is a Saturday afternoon in June, and the temperature is in the 90s. Hannah has just finished inspecting his chickens and trimming weeds around half a mile of electric fencing. His shirt is black with sweat, and he sits on the ground, his back against a wooden fence, watching his 2,200-pound Santa Gertrudis bull.

The bull is walking slowly to the water trough, the rich red-brown of his hide gleaming in the afternoon sun, his hindquarters swaying gently, the huge muscles of his shoulders bunching and relaxing. He seems longer than a bull should be, more like a mini-locomotive. His hind legs seem different, too, bulging with heavy muscles, instead of tapering. A gentle, magnificent animal. The three heifers at the trough slide sideways to let him through, and then stare at him as he drinks. Hannah laughs and shakes his head.

"Goes anywhere he wants, does anything he wants," he says. "Who's gonna argue with him? People come from all over just to see him. He's still a baby, only four years old. He'll be 2,800 pounds, at least, when he's full grown. I like to come down here and sit against this fence and just look at him.

"Ain't he something?"

Something indeed. And so is John Hannah.

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