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View Full Version : My 700th Post-Lambert's Hall of Fame Speech


LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 10:36 AM
I wanted to make my 700th post something meaningful....and along with it being HOF weekend...I chose Lambert's Hall of Fame speech from August 4, 1990. I was 18 then and will regret the rest of my life that I didn't beg, borrow, steel or hitchike my way there.



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Presentation Speech
By Dennis Fitzgerald


"Mr. Commissioner, Chairman Stu, presenters, inductees, and football people of all ranks and stations, my particular chore here today is a very easy one because I think my inductee fits this institution just like air to a football. Robert Service, the great poet of the Yukon, wrote [the] words, 'There is a race of men that don't fit in,' and I think if he were in Stark County today, he might change his words looking at these inductees, because there is a race of men that fit right in.

"Jack Lambert was born in neighboring Portage County right up the road, attending Crestwood High School, a quarterback no less, went to Kent State University and there from defensive end to middle linebacker, where his football honors started to grow. He was drafted in 1974 in the second round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His success was immediate. In his first year, he was defensive rookie of the year; he was also an important contributor to the first four Super Bowls that Pittsburgh was to obtain. He proceeded to add nine consecutive Pro Bowl appearances -- a record for NFL linebackers. In 1976 and 1979, he was voted the NFL's defensive player of the year. He had 28 career regular season interceptions, had 1,441 tackles -- and that is a lot of contact.

"He had a complete mastery of his position and he was a great cover linebacker, especially as middle linebackers run. But these things are not as important as what all of you up there identify with Jack Lambert. He was one intense, tough football player. When he called a defense in a huddle there were 10 ither defensive players [who] knew blasted well that defense would work. Jack Lambert was exciting to watch, a joy to coach -- but he was a lousy buck-euchre player. He is now retired to the hills of Pennsylvania where he and his lovely wife, Lisa, are raising two quarterbacks in dresses.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I give you #58 of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the wheel behind the Steel Curtain: Jack Lambert.

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Acceptance Speech
By Jack Lambert


"Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, let's get this done.

"It goes without saying that to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor that a football player can receive. It should also go without saying that one does not come to stand on these steps without the guidance, the direction, and the support of others.

"In the short time that I am allotted today, I would like to start with my mother, Joyce. When I was growing up, [she was] my biggest fan and supporter. I can't even remember playing in an athletic event that my mother did not attend. I can still see my mom late at night after a football game, scrubbing and soaking the grass stains out of my pretty white football pants. Mom thought it was very important that her son have the whitest pants on the field. Thank you, Mom, for all those special little things you did for me that I will never forget.

"My father, Jack... I get my athletic ability and temperment from my father's side of the family. Most of the time we spent together was throwing a baseball back and forth or playing tackle football. Back before the days of NFL properties, my dad enjoyed buying football helmets and painting them the colors of NFL teams. The helmet he chose to paint for his son at that time was the Pittsburgh Steeler helmet. Thank you, dad.

"Looking back to my days of playing football, my teammates and I won a championship in high school, college, and the pros. In order to do that you must have exceptional talent. But you must also have great coaching. Throughout my entire football career, I was truly blessed with that. My high school head coach was Gerry Meyers. I went up to ask coach if I could wear the #00. He said, 'Jack, that is a very special number... if you want #00, you have to be a very special player.' And then he asked me if I had what it took, and I couldn't answer that then, but I think I've answered that today. Thank you, Coach Meyers.

"My head coach in college was Don James, the only Kent State coach to win a Mid-American championship, and his record and the success he is still enjoying today out in Washington speaks for itself. Thank you, Coach James. And of course, Chuck Noll, who will one day be standing here on these very same steps to join coach Landry and so many great coaches before him.

"And with all these fine head coaches, there was always one very special assistant coach that for some reason or other took me under his wing and always, always spent the extra time with me that was needed. In high school, it was Dean Ishieda; Dean is here today. Thank you for coming. In college, it was Dennis Fitzgerald and in the pros, it was Bob Widenhofer, who is now with the Detroit Lions. I could have chosen any one of these men to be my presenter today, because they were all so instrumental in my success. But I chose Coach Fitzgerald because I thought he, more than anyone else, taught me the techniques and the fundamentals I used throughout college and professional football. But maybe more importantly, he took a raw talent and raw toughness in me and refined it into a mental discipline -- a discipline that is necessary to excel. Thank you, coach Fitzgerald.

"I would also like to thank the NFL, an organization that enabled me to realize a boyhood dream, an organization that afforded me an opportunity to travel to Europe and Southeast Asia on USO tours with my good friend Billy Granholm, an origanization that has given me many cherished memories and friendships. On the day I retired from pro ball, I made this statement; 'There is not an owner, or a team, or a coaching staff, or people in a city that I would rather have played for in the entire world.' The kindness that Arthur J. Rooney and his family have shown me over the years -- and the kindness that the people of Pittsburgh have shown me over the years -- are the kindnesses that I can never repay. Five years later, I appreciate and stand by these words even more.

"How fortunate I was to play for Art Rooney and his family. How fortunate to be associated with the entire organization. The front office, the coaching staff, the medical staff -- Dr. Best, Dr. Huber, Dr. Steele, the trainers headed by Ralph Berlin and Ralph Miley -- who did their best to stitch me up and piece me together for 11 years. And the most important people in the organization: the locker room and equipment men, Jackie Hart, Tony Parisi, Rodgers Freyvogel, Frankie and Mike.

"I was so fortunate to have played on some of the greatest teams of all time and arguably the greatest defense ever assembled. And finally, how fortunate I was to play for the Pittsburgh fans... a proud and hard-working people who love their football and their players. If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler!

"To my family, to my friends, to all my teammates from Crestwood and Kent State, to all of you fans out there who will never be in any Hall of Fame, at the risk of sounding a bit pretentious, I give this day to you. This day is your Hall of Fame. I would like my wife, Lisa, and my daughters to stand. There, ladies and gentlemen, is my Hall of Fame. Thank you. God bless."

LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 10:41 AM
When I made this post...it said 700 as I viewed it. Why would it change to 701?

Cape Cod Steel Head
08-06-2006, 10:49 AM
Still brings tears to my eyes!

floodcitygirl
08-06-2006, 11:59 AM
Congrats to you LIG on your 700th post....what a great choice you made! I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lambert this year here in Cincy. As I'm writing this, I'm looking at my pic with him, right beside my signed mini helmet. Thanks for a great read, again! :smile:

LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 12:09 PM
Congrats to you LIG on your 700th post....what a great choice you made! I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lambert this year here in Cincy. As I'm writing this, I'm looking at my pic with him, right beside my signed mini helmet. Thanks for a great read, again! :smile:


I've been fortunate enough to meet Lambert four times now...going for 5th in September. I am also posted on his website....http://www.lambert58.com/Jackedup/Jackedup.html


Check it out.....He isn't very personal with the fans...but he's been nothing but great to me and my family. I'll have to scan the pic of Lambert with my son and I.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-06-2006, 12:19 PM
I've been fortunate enough to meet Lambert four times now...going for 5th in September. I am also posted on his website....http://www.lambert58.com/Jackedup/Jackedup.html


Check it out.....He isn't very personal with the fans...but he's been nothing but great to me and my family. I'll have to scan the pic of Lambert with my son and I.

Very cool stuff man. Thats awesome that you have met Lambert four times. I don't know what I would do if I met one of the greatest if not the greatest MLB ever. My one uncle's alltime favorite player is Jack Lambert.

floodcitygirl
08-06-2006, 12:28 PM
I've been fortunate enough to meet Lambert four times now...going for 5th in September. I am also posted on his website....http://www.lambert58.com/Jackedup/Jackedup.html


Check it out.....He isn't very personal with the fans...but he's been nothing but great to me and my family. I'll have to scan the pic of Lambert with my son and I.How cool is that! I'd love to see the pic with you and your son. I agree, he wasn't very personable with most. I had helped with a little of the PR work to bring him here and was able to tell him about a connection with my brother. He knew Lambert's Grandfather well and had met Lambert several times on a personal basis. When the local highschool there dedicated their football stadium to him, quite a few years ago, my brother was the one who presented him with the plaque. He brightened up a bit when I talked about those things. Are you seeing him in NY or Pittsburgh in September?

Stlrs4Life
08-06-2006, 01:22 PM
Great post and congrats on 700. I have also met Jack twice. In my mind there will never be another Lambert, and to me, he was the best MLB to ever play the game.

LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 03:08 PM
How cool is that! I'd love to see the pic with you and your son. I agree, he wasn't very personable with most. I had helped with a little of the PR work to bring him here and was able to tell him about a connection with my brother. He knew Lambert's Grandfather well and had met Lambert several times on a personal basis. When the local highschool there dedicated their football stadium to him, quite a few years ago, my brother was the one who presented him with the plaque. He brightened up a bit when I talked about those things. Are you seeing him in NY or Pittsburgh in September?


That was back in 1980 that they dedicated his HS field to his name, right? He'll be in Cleveland on the 17th of Sept. Probably the last time I'll see him.:crying01:

LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Great post and congrats on 700. I have also met Jack twice. In my mind there will never be another Lambert, and to me, he was the best MLB to ever play the game.



No way to argue this......

HometownGal
08-06-2006, 04:31 PM
Lambert rocks! I had the opportunity to meet him several times during my years in politics and he was always such a gentleman and outside of those pads, a gentle man. I used to love watching him lock his gaze and start moving those hands and feet in anticipation of getting to whoever had the ball.

In honor of your 700th post, LambertisGod58 - here is a quote from John Elway on Jack that I absolutely love, as it epitomizes the intensity of this man and how he loved the game he played so outstandingly!

Congrats to you!

"He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, 'You can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant." I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of there." Denver rookie QB John Elway, on Jack Lambert, after Lambert and the Steelers knocked Elway out of his first game as a pro (1983).

LambertIsGod58
08-06-2006, 04:59 PM
Thanks....heard that quote many times....Lambert was one mean SOB...still can be.

Stlrs4Life
08-06-2006, 08:01 PM
How cool is that! I'd love to see the pic with you and your son. I agree, he wasn't very personable with most. I had helped with a little of the PR work to bring him here and was able to tell him about a connection with my brother. He knew Lambert's Grandfather well and had met Lambert several times on a personal basis. When the local highschool there dedicated their football stadium to him, quite a few years ago, my brother was the one who presented him with the plaque. He brightened up a bit when I talked about those things. Are you seeing him in NY or Pittsburgh in September?


My HS Football team played Crestwood there a couple of years back, and it never dawned on me of the name of the stadium, or that it was Lamberts school, until I got home that evening. By the way we beat them that night.

floodcitygirl
08-06-2006, 10:46 PM
My HS Football team played Crestwood there a couple of years back, and it never dawned on me of the name of the stadium, or that it was Lamberts school.Yep Crestwood Highschool in Mantua, Ohio. I wasn't sure if he went to high school there all the way thru. My understanding is that his parents were divorced and that he spent alot of time with his grandfather that lived in Mantua. That's how my brother knew his Grandfather. My nephews went to and played football at the same school so my brother was pretty active there when they dedicated the stadium.

LambertIsGod58
08-07-2006, 08:47 PM
Yeah, Lambert's parents divorced when he was only two....He said he gets his athletic ability and temperment from his father's side....

LambertIsGod58
08-12-2006, 04:00 PM
Great post and congrats on 700. I have also met Jack twice. In my mind there will never be another Lambert, and to me, he was the best MLB to ever play the game.


Stlrs4Life, you are once again correct....There will never be another Lambert...His career ended over 20 yrs ago and is still the most popular Steeler of All-Time.

Lambertfan
08-12-2006, 05:22 PM
I took my family and was late and ended up by the Tv trucks and all I could here was muffled voice and cheers....We watched Chicago go to the game fridge and all and then went to training camp. The story of my life a day late and a dollar short....:dang: