Archie Griffin spends an evening in St. Marys

ST. MARYS — Even 37 years after Archie Griffin last toted the football for the Ohio State Buckeyes, a room in this state goes wild when the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner enters it.

Griffin’s quick wit, genial smile, and zest for football were on full display in a town that loves the sport as much as he does — St. Marys — on Thursday night.

Griffin spoke to a packed Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant for nearly an hour in a question and answer format that had him spinning yarns about his career at Ohio State and in the National Football League with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The event raised money for St. Marys Memorial athletics. Griffin came to St. Marys after the city’s Tailgate for Cancer raised about $140,000 for cancer research.

Griffin fielded questions from the audience and turned those into anecdotes of his time at Ohio State and in Cincinnati.

When asked the toughest player he ever played against, Griffin told the tale of trying to block Pittsburgh Steeler middle linebacker Jack Lambert when Griffin was a member of the  Bengals.

The play called for Griffin to get a crackback block on Lambert. After laying out the Steelers’ Hall of Fame linebacker once, much to Griffin’s chagrin the Bengals coaches called for the very same play on the next snap.

“I was looking for Lambert and I looked over and he was staring at me,” Griffin said. “He lifted me up and put me on my back.”

As Griffin slowly got up, Lambert yelled at him, “If you ever try to block me again, I’ll bite your head off!”

Griffin said he responded: “If you do, you’ll have more brains in your stomach than you have in your head!”

Read the complete story of Archie Grifin's visit to St. Marys  in Friday's Evening Leader.