If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. Next up, former defensive end for the Kent State Golden Flashes, Jack Lambert.
There is no other image that signifies football toughness more than Jack Lambert’s toothless growl. It doesn’t matter that he lost them in a basketball game. Anyone that followed football in the 70s and 80s knows the story of the steel curtain defense and the role Lambert played.
Before he became a legend in the NFL, he played at Kent State. The old saying is those that can’t play, coach. College teammates Gary Pinkel and Nick Saban did exactly that. If Lambert couldn’t play, my guess is that he would have been a fantastic coach.
But Lambert could play and he was selected in the second round of the 1974 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. That Steelers class is one of the best ever in NFL history. Lambert was sandwiched between receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, while center Mike Webster was taken later. All four would go on to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His NFL career makes him a solid candidate for best linebacker ever. 4-time Super Bowl Champion. 9-time selection to the Pro Bowl. 7-time first team All-Pro. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. 2 time Defensive Player of the Year. This last one might be the most impressive stat. He won those awards seven years apart. That’s a lot of domination over a lot of years.
When we decided to start a Hustle Hall of Fame, I knew it was going to be a fantastic list of players and coaches. When that list includes the likes of Jack Lambert, it is truly an honor just to be a tiny part of that history.
Welcome Jack Lambert to the Hustle Hall of Fame!