THE STEELERS' LAMBERT
I've never before written a magazine to compliment the editors on an article, but Paul Zimmerman's story on Pittsburgh linebacker Jack Lambert (A Rose By Any Other Name, July 30) was the best ever. As a longtime Steeler fan, I was proud to see Lambert's face on your cover. Also pleasing was the fact that you went out of the way to show the other side of Lambert, the off-the-field side.
One more thing: Maybe the second-best story ever written was Curry Kirkpatrick's The Man Who Never Loses on Edwin Moses in the very same issue.
Paul Zimmerman's piece was nothing short of outstanding. All too often images and reputations hide the truth. Thank you for revealing a side of Jack Lambert that too few people knew about, including myself. And special thanks to Lambert for his stand on the impact of professional athletes on kids. Athletes do have a responsibility to fulfill.
I commend Paul Zimmerman on his fine article on Jack Lambert. However, I would like to make one point that I should have made while being interviewed as the former head football coach of Crestwood High in Mantua, Ohio. In the game against Field High that was mentioned in the article, Jack played with all those injuries only after receiving our team doctor's permission. Our doctor was the one who determined whether or not injured players would play.
In Jack's case, the various injuries were not so serious as to warrant holding him out of the game. With proper taping and padding, Jack could play without incurring further injury. Once the doctor gave his permission, it was up to Jack, and Jack chose to play.
Also, Jack downplays his role as a quarterback on offense ("Handed the ball off mostly"). Granted, he was surrounded by many talented players, but in the 14 games he started at quarterback (one as a soph, four as a junior, nine as a senior) our won-lost record was 11-1-2. We were 8-6-2 in our other games. Obviously, Jack's contributions on offense were more important than he implies.
Huber Heights, Ohio
In regard to your cover, at the very least Lambert could have put in his bridgework. Or kept his mouth closed. This issue of SI goes face down on my coffee table.
Imagine my disappointment. I expected the dashing, swashbuckling Seve Ballesteros on the cover after his classic British Open triumph over Tom Watson on the Old Course, only to be attacked by the ugly mug of Jack Lambert. May the ghost of St. Andrews curse you with the yips forever.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The story by Sandy Keenan on female umpire Pam Postema (The Umpress Strikes Back, July 30) was excellent and long overdue. I hope that Postema continues to improve and that, based on her own merits, she will be promoted to the major league level.
I know about the abuse that Postema goes through out there on the field. I have a friend here in Norwalk named Celia who is an Amateur Softball Association umpire, and an excellent one at that, but not a game goes by in which there isn't at least one sexist remark. At the end of an argument on the field, it's common to hear someone say, "Come on, kiss her and make up."