Born: Dec. 15, 1964 in Beaumont, Texas
Jerry Ball attended Westbrook High School where he earned the nickname "Ice Box" playing fullback, defensive end, and linebacker. His senior year he led the Bruins to the 1982 Texas 5A championship. Ball went on to Southern Methodist University, where he buckled up, moved to nose tackle, and was named an All-American.
In 1987, the Detroit Lions drafted Ball and immediately put him to work as a nose tackle, where he began racking up the stats. Tagged "The Governor" by coach Fontes, he was an all-rookie pick that year, and the following year he made 68 tackles, and 18.5 sacks (including the only safety of Colts running back Eric Dickerson's 10-year pro career). In 1991, Ball was injured by a then legal "chop block".
The NFL later instituted the “Jerry Ball Rule” outlawing such blocks, but Ball remained on the injured list through the end of that season and into the 1992 season. In 1993, Ball was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a third round draft pick. According to the 6'1" 300 lb. player, "nose tackle can only be played by a man with a neurological disorder."
Ball seems perfectly comfortable, even when double or triple teamed. To him, “the opposing team are all victims.” He retired from professional football in 1999 and entered the business world.
At 14 years old in Beaumont, he was keeping the books for his grandfather's railroad car cleaning business. He had his own Detroit-based clothing company licensed by the NFL, called Ice Box Sportswear.
Although NFL licensing is rare, one official claims that Ball deserves it not only for the quality of the clothing, but because "he's such a nice guy."