View Full Version : Jack Lambert: A Rose By Any Other Name

09-26-2007, 11:39 AM
Hey, guys. :bouncy: There was great article on Jack Lambert thought I should post it here as well. :thumbsup: Don't know if it was posted here before or some of you have read it before (the story was originally published in the July 30, 1984 in Sports Illustrated) excuse me. :computer:

A Rose By Any Other Name

Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert is not known as a sweetie, but he sure knows the sweet smell of success

The painting hangs on the wall outside the office of Art Rooney Jr., the coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers' scouting operations. It's not the kind of thing you'd want your mother or your wife to see. It's what Attila must have looked iike while he was sacking a village, or the way a Viking chieftain was with his blood lust up. Only this Viking wears No. 58 and he's dressed out in flashing in a maniacal frenzy; blood flecking his nose; his mouth, minus three front teeth, bared in a hideous leer Jack Lambert's portrait epitomizes the viciousness and cruelty of our national game.

The portrait was done by Merv Corning. It was one of two he submitted to the Steelers' publicity director. Joe Gordon, for possible use as a program cover, and it was rejected immediately. Too scary. Rooney saw it. He called Corning. "Can I buy the original?" he said. The deal was made, and Rooney hung it outside his office. Then he had misgivings.

"I thought, 'Holy hell. Lambert's gonna pull this thing offthe wall when he sees it,' " Rooney says. So he removed it and sent for Lambert.

"Jack," he said. "I want to hang it on the wall. What do you think?"

"He got very quiet," Rooney says. "He looked at it. He studied it. He stepped back, stepped forward. Then he asked me, 'Can you get me a couple of copies?' "

Is that really the image Lambert wants, a toothless monster ravaging the NFL? Off the field he's a quiet, extremely private man, a bird watcher and avid fisherman. A bachelor, he owns a house in the exclusive Fox Chapel suburb of Pittsburgh, and he spent much of the off-season ensuring greater privacy by building himself a country retreat on 85 acres he bought about 40 miles northeast of the city. At one time he was bothered by all the Count Dracula-Darth Vider stuff everyone used to write about him. When the Steelers played the Rams in the '80 Super Bowl. Jim Murray, the columnist for the Los Angeles Times, referred to him as "the pro from Pittsburgh, Transylvania." That same year the Steelers' highlight film called him "Count Dracula in cleats." In 1981 Azra Records of L.A. put out a platter in the shape of a football it was called Mad Man Jack, and two bass drums pounding all the way were supposed to simulate Lambert's feet pumping before a play, a trademark of his early pro days.

"All that stuff about Jack, it's a had read," says Andy Russell, the right linebacker on the '74 and '75 Steeler Super Bowl teams. "He's a great player and he'll be remembered for a long time, but for all the wrong reasons."

But here's Lambert, carefully scrutinizing that savage picture in the Steelers' office and deciding. "Yep, that's me, all right." How come?

"It's like the old Greek drama," says Rooney, a dramatic arts major in college, "where they'd wear masks, and eventually the mask became the face. Well, the mask has become Jack's face. Right now he thinks he's John Wayne. Actually, though, he's sort of a larger-than-life type guy."

As Jack Lambert reported to camp last week for his 11th Steeler season, he still seemed larger than life. He came to the Steelers a tough, skinny kid out of Kent State, and he found a spot on a team that was just reaching the crest of its greatness. He arrived at exactly the right time, in exactly the right place. Pittsburgh fans have always appreciated talented athletes, but they reserve a special place in their hearts for their tough guys -- Fran Rogel. Ernie Stautner, John Henry Johnson, those people. And Lambert played the ultimate tough-guy position, middle linebacker...

To finish reading the whole article go to http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/classic_nfl/09/07/steelers/index.html

09-26-2007, 12:14 PM
Never read it before!... thanks!:thumbsup:
The Count Lambert!...:tt02:

09-26-2007, 02:47 PM
Any read about Lambert is a great read........

09-26-2007, 02:48 PM
It's the ONLY magazine I've ever kept to this day.

09-26-2007, 04:11 PM
Oooh that article was in the Steelers 75th anniversary issue of SI.

09-26-2007, 04:43 PM
Always a good read.

09-26-2007, 05:20 PM
Dreith said I hit Sipe too hard," Lambert said.

"Did you?"

"I hit him as hard as I could."

09-26-2007, 07:54 PM
Jack Lambert- The Best Middle Linebacker- Ever

09-26-2007, 08:06 PM
Jack Lambert- The Best Middle Linebacker- Ever

Amen to that!

09-26-2007, 09:21 PM
It's an awesome portrait, too. Being an "unofficial" artist of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I can only hope to do something like that one day.

Lord Stiller
09-26-2007, 10:45 PM
It's an awesome portrait, too. Being an "unofficial" artist of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I can only hope to do something like that one day.

you got a link to view it?

09-26-2007, 11:11 PM
Great read, 'Mongol. Thanks for posting it. I just can't reconcile this image of Lambert in my mind, though: :chuckle:

He was a shrimp as a high school freshman and sophomore, with a cute blond crew cut. "We had a flower shop," his mother says, "and one Easter we dressed him as the Easter bunny and made him deliver flowers. He was disgusted, but he looked so cute. He said, 'Never again.' "

09-28-2007, 01:38 PM
My favorite part was "I was a Browns fan. All the kids in the area were Browns fans," he says. "We were only a couple of miles from Hiram College, where the Browns trained in the summer. Jim Brown was everyone's favorite player, I remember chasing him one time to get an autograph, running after his car, a green Cadillac. I even remember the license plate, JB832. I finally did get it. I'll never turn down a kid for an autograph, but first he's got to say 'Please.' "

09-28-2007, 09:19 PM
you got a link to view it?

Yep, the pic is from a great Steelers site...

09-28-2007, 11:19 PM
Man I wish I was old enough to have seen him play. I've watched the videos of him on youtube and I don't think I've ever seen another player with that level of intensity.

silver & black
09-29-2007, 08:24 AM
Good artical. That period of time was magical for the NFL. Lambert, and the 70's Steelers were definitely something special. That portate of Lambert epitomizes what football should be, but never will be again...... I sure do miss it.

09-29-2007, 11:44 AM
I have read it a few times, but I will read it over and over, I love Jack Lambert.

09-29-2007, 06:54 PM
My all time favorite player...much less my favorite Steeler of all time.

Thanks for the article.:cheers:

My favorite play by Lambert of all time was him body slamming Cliff Harris, (Cowboys safety) after Harris mocked the Steelers kicker
for missing two field goal in the Super Bowl.