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Tom Jackson
Replace this image male.svg
Jersey #(s)
Born April 4, 1951 (1951-04-04) (age 58)
Cleveland, Ohio
Career information
Year(s) 19731986
NFL Draft 1973 / Round: 4 / Pick: 88
College Louisville
Professional teams
Career stats
Sacks 40
Interceptions 20
Touchdowns 3
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Thomas (Tom) Jackson also referred to "TJ" or Tommy (b. April 4, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an NFL analyst for ESPN and a former Pro Bowl linebacker for the Denver Broncos.



Jackson attended the University of Louisville, where he was coached by current college football analyst Lee Corso. During his college career, he was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year selection. Jackson and Chris Berman often refer to his Alma Mater during ESPN broadcasts. For instance, when a graduate of Louisville makes a good play during game highlights, they will state the player's name followed by an enthusiastic "FROM... LOUISVILLE".


Jackson was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 1973 NFL Draft. He enjoyed a 14-year career in Denver where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time All-Pro selection, and was voted Denver's Most Inspirational Player six times by his teammates. He also assisted the team to Championship appearances in Super Bowl XII and Super Bowl XXI. Jackson was one of only four players to play for the Broncos in both of the aforementioned Super Bowls, played 9 years apart. Jackson finished his career with 20 interceptions, which he returned for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns, and 8 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 104 yards. He also recorded 40 sacks (with a season high 5-1/2) as a weak-side blitzer in Denver's 3-4 defense according to Broncos records. Jackson ranks third only to Jason Elam and John Elway on the team's all-time list of games played with 191.

In 1992, Jackson was inducted in the Broncos' Ring of Fame.


In 1987, Jackson joined ESPN where he was teamed with Chris Berman on the network's signature NFL shows, NFL Countdown and Primetime. Sunday NFL Countdown, the weekly Sunday morning pre-game show and has won seven Sports Emmy awards for Outstanding Studio Show -- Weekly (1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2003 and 2007 seasons). [1] On Monday Night Countdown, Jackson hosted the segment "Jacked Up!," which featured five hits from the previous day's games. The show's hosts recited the title phrase as they watched some of the most punishing hits inflicted by players on the field.

Jackson has made a couple of controversial comments as a broadcaster:

  • In 2003, the New England Patriots released popular safety Lawyer Milloy, who signed with the Buffalo Bills and helped his new team shutout New England on opening weekend, 31-0. On an episode of NFL Countdown, Jackson claimed that the Patriots were not behind head coach Bill Belichick: "Let me say this clearly: they hate their coach." The Patriots recovered from the Buffalo blowout in stunning fashion, finishing the regular season at a league-best 14-2, and going on to defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Patriot Reign. (ISBN 0-06-075795-7)
  • Also in 2003, Jackson was roundly criticized by NFL players for not adequately responding to Rush Limbaugh's claim that Donovan McNabb was given too much attention and credit by the media because of his race. The incident led to Limbaugh's resignation from NFL Countdown in his short-lived ESPN experiment; Jackson himself had threatened to quit the show if Limbaugh had stayed. The Sunday after Limbaugh's resignation, Jackson delivered a speech in an attempt to compensate for his earlier acquiescence:
Let me just say that it was not our decision to have Rush Limbaugh on this show. I have seen replay after replay of Rush's comments with my face attached, as well as that of my colleagues. Comments that made us uncomfortable at the time, although the depth and insensitive nature of which weren't fully felt until it seemed too late to reply. Rush Limbaugh is known for the divisive nature of his rhetoric. He creates controversy, and what he said on this show is the same type of thing that he has said on radio for years...Rush was brought here to talk football, and he broke that trust. Rush told us that the social commentary for which he is so well known would not cross over to our show, and that instead, he would represent the viewpoint of the intelligent, passionate fan. We know of few fans, passionate or otherwise, who see Donovan McNabb, a three-time Pro Bowler with two NFC Championship Game appearances, being somehow artificially hyped because of the color of his skin. The fact that Donovan McNabb's skin color was brought up at all was wrong—especially in the context of the brotherhood that we feel we have on this show...Rush Limbaugh was not a fit for 'NFL Countdown.'
  • On the September 10, 2006 edition of Sunday NFL Countdown, he asked Michael Irvin "Are you retarded?" when Irvin said something about the Mannings that Jackson disagreed with.

Jackson's pre-ESPN broadcasting experience included co-host positions for both "Broncos Beat," a weekly show on KCNC-TV in Denver, Colorado and a post-game show on KUSA-TV. He had also hosted a daily syndicated sports commentary radio show, "Behind the Line.[2]


Jackson resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters, Taylor and Morgan.

He is also known to be an avid lover of spicy food, earning him the nickname, "Supa Hot", among his colleagues at ESPN. He is planning on marketing his own hot sauce with the same name, "Supa Hot", due to come out in local stores in the summer of 2010.


On the American TV series Sliders, during the Eggheads episode, Jackson plays an alternate version of himself during the Mindgame scenes.

External links




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