Jack Lambert, middle linebacker on four Super Bowl championship teams and selected to the Pro Bowl nine times, retired yesterday, asking to be remembered "just simply as somebody who played the best he could" for 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"The reason I'm retiring is my big toe," Lambert, 33, told a news conference. "It's still sore . . . I've been able to run a little bit, and I've played racquetball a few times, but I can't push off on it. And if you can't push off, you can't push off on blockers and make tackles . . . I'm simply physically unable to play."
Lambert's left big toe, dislocated in last season's opener, contributed to the least productive season and only "low period" of his playing life. Still, he played in nine games, including the AFC playoff final.
The Steelers added that offensive tackle Larry Brown, a 14-year veteran who spent the latter half of last season on injured reserve, will not return.
This reduces the active veterans of all four Super Bowls (1974, '75, '78, '79) to three: John Stallworth, Donnie Shell, Mike Webster . . .
Tickets for the 17th annual D.C. Coaches East-West all-star football game, July 19 at 8 p.m. at RFK Stadium, are on sale at Spingarn, H.D. Woodson, Anacostia and Theodore Roosevelt high schools for $5. The players are from the Interhigh and Metro conferences.