For Steelers' Fans Who Don't Know Jack

The following is an excerpt from the book, From Black to Gold - The Pittsburgh Steelers, which will launch this Saturday, July 24.  The book is a handsome hardcover publication that sells for $24.95 plus shipping/handling.  BTSC readers will hear more details very soon!

Kent_state_lambert_medium

John Harold Lambert and I went to college together at Kent State University in the early 1970s.  He was unaware of that fact and I, of course, was acutely aware.  Attending every home game during his senior season, I remember #99 going from sideline to sideline with fierce tenacity.  He was flagged once for hitting the quarterback too hard - on a perfectly legal play.  It is hard to believe now that Lambert did not receive a full scholarship into Kent in 1970, small as it was compared to most Division I schools.  He was a gangly 6-5 string bean who weighed about 190 pounds.  He never looked like a football player, even Chuck Noll admitted that later, but his instincts and passion about the game would lead him on a path to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, just 30 miles south of his Ohio hometown of Mantua.  I took delight in seeing and knowing such a great football talent before the rest of the country had much of an idea.

Lambert_kent_state_2_medium_medium

Of course, scouts knew who he was.  Art Rooney Jr., who headed up the Steelers' scouting department, made the short drive to Kent one day.  The practice field was too muddy that afternoon, so the team, without the luxury of major-college facilities, practiced on a parking lot full of cinders and gravel.  That meant nothing to Lambert, even wearing shorts.  He still pursued with reckless abandon and displayed the same intensity at a practice, on gravel, that he did on game-day.  On one play, Lambert ended up face-first in the cinders.  He refused treatment as if nothing happened.  For the rest of the practice, Lambert calmly picked pieces of gravel from his face, knees and elbows.  Mr. Rooney had seen enough.

More to come in From Black to Gold!

Lambert_throws_down_harris_medium

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker