Joe Greene

Charles Edward Greene (born September 5, 1946), better known as "Mean" Joe Greene, is a former American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1969 to 1981. A recipient of two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, five first-team All-Pro selections, and ten Pro Bowl appearances, Greene is widely considered one of the greatest defensive linemen to play in the NFL. He was noted for his leadership, fierce competitiveness, and intimidating style of play for which he earned his nickname. He was born in Elgin, Texas.

Born and raised in Temple, Texas, Greene attended North Texas State University (now University of North Texas), where he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior playing for the North Texas State Mean Green football team. He was drafted by the Steelers fourth overall in the 1969 NFL Draft and made an immediate impact with the team, as he was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Greene is credited with providing the foundation upon which Steelers coach Chuck Noll turned the dismal franchise into a sports dynasty. He was the centerpiece of the "Steel Curtain" defense that led Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl championships in a six-year span.

Throughout his career, Greene was one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL, able to overpower opposing offensive linemen with ease and disrupt blocking. Former teammate Andy Russell called Greene "unquestionably the NFL's best player in the seventies." He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, and his number 75 jersey is one of only two retired by the Steelers. Greene is also well known for his appearance in the "Hey Kid, Catch!" Coca-Cola commercial, which aired during Super Bowl XIV and cemented his legacy as a "tough football player who's a nice guy."[1]

Joe Greene
refer to caption
Greene in 1975
No. 72, 75
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:September 5, 1946 (age 72)
Temple, Texas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:276 lb (125 kg)
Career information
High school:Dunbar (Temple, Texas)
College:North Texas State
NFL Draft:1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:181
Games started:172
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life and college

Charles Edward Greene was born September 24, 1946, in Temple, Texas. He played high school football at Dunbar High School in Temple. Despite Greene's talents, the Dunbar Panthers had a mediocre record, and he was not heavily recruited by colleges. His options were limited further due to segregation of the Southwest Conference.[2] He was eventually offered a scholarship to play college football at North Texas State University (now University of North Texas), where he played on the varsity team from 1966 to 1968. He led the team to a 23–5–1 record during his three seasons. In his 29 games at defensive tackle, North Texas State held the opposition to 2,507 yards gained on 1,276 rushes, a per-carry average of less than two yards. Greene was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.[3]

In his junior season Greene married Agnes Craft, also a student at North Texas State and the daughter of a Dallas businessman.[2] Tight on money, they were wed at Craft's sister's house in Dallas. Chuck Beatty, Greene's teammate at North Texas and later again in the NFL with the Steelers, served as best man.[4]

As a senior, Greene was a consensus pick as a defensive tackle for the 1968 All-America team, earning first-team honors from United Press International (UPI), the Newspaper Enterprise Association, and The Sporting News, among others.[5] His college coach, Rod Rust, said of Greene: "There are two factors behind Joe's success. First, he has the ability to make the big defensive play and turn the tempo of a game around. Second, he has the speed to be an excellent pursuit player." A pro scout said, "He's tough and mean and comes to hit people. He has good killer instincts. He's mobile and hostile."[6]

Nickname

While sources agree the name is a reference to North Texas' athletics teams, the Mean Green,[7][8][9] there are conflicting accounts as to how, when, and why Greene received his "Mean Greene" nickname. When he first arrived at North Texas, the university's moniker was the Eagles. In 1966, Greene's first year on the varsity team, the team adopted the "Mean Green" moniker. Two possible origins of the nickname are two separate cheers that supposedly developed independently during North Texas' 1966 game against UTEP. One cheer was by Sidney Sue Graham, wife of the North Texas sports information director. In response to a tackle by Greene, she blurted out, "That's the way, Mean Greene!"[10] Bill Mercer, former North Texas play-by-play announcer, states Graham's thought behind the nickname was the Mean Green defense.[11] Meanwhile, in the student section, North Texas basketball players Willie Davis and Ira Daniels, unsatisfied with the unenthusiastic crowd, began to sing, "Mean Green, you look so good to me". The rest of the crowd soon followed. "After that we did it every game," Davis said. "A lot of people later on started associating it with Joe because his last name was Greene, but it actually started with that simple chant that Saturday night at Fouts Field. And that's the truth."[10]

Although it stuck with him throughout his professional career due to his playing style, Greene himself was not fond of the nickname, insisting it did not reflect his true character.[2][8] "I just want people to remember me as being a good player and not really mean," he said. "I want to be remembered for playing 13 years and contributing to four championship teams. I would like to be remembered for maybe setting a standard for others to achieve."[12]

Professional football career

The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise was one of the most downtrodden in the NFL, having experienced many losing seasons before the hiring of Chuck Noll as head coach in 1969.[13] Noll and the Rooney family, which had owned the franchise since its formation, agreed that building the defensive line was crucial to rebuilding the team.[14] Thus, they decided on Greene with the fourth pick of the 1969 NFL Draft. The selection proved unpopular with fans and media, who were hoping for a player that would generate excitement; the relatively unknown Greene did not appear to meet their expectations.[15] Meanwhile, Greene, who was highly competitive, was disappointed he was picked by a team that had such a reputation for losing.[16] "I did not, did not want to be a Steeler," he admitted in a 2013 interview.[17] Noll saw immense potential in Greene and insisted on drafting him.[18] In a matter of months he established himself as one of the most dominant players in the league at his position. Despite his team finishing 1969 with a 1–13 win–loss record, the Associated Press (AP) named Greene the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year,[19][20] and he was invited to his first Pro Bowl.[21]

Former teammate Andy Russell called Greene "unquestionably the NFL's best player in the seventies," saying "No player had a greater impact or did more for his team."[22] Greene and coach Noll are widely credited with turning the Steelers franchise around.[23][24] The Steelers finished 1970 with a 5–9 record and went 6–8 in 1971. Greene was invited to the Pro Bowl in both seasons.[25] In 1972, Pittsburgh finished 11–3 and won its first division title and its first playoff game—the "Immaculate Reception" game against the Oakland Raiders. During the season, Greene tallied eleven quarterback sacks and 42 solo tackles, and he was recognized as the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula lauded Greene, saying, "He's just a super super star. It's hard to believe he isn't offside on every play. He makes the other team adjust to him."[26] By this time, Noll had built a formidable defense. "We have maybe 10 guys now capable of making All-Pro," said Greene in 1972. "I'm just like all the other guys, doing my best in a team effort."[26] With the drafting of defensive tackle Ernie Holmes in 1972, the Steelers assembled what became known as the "Steel Curtain" defensive line of Greene, Holmes, L. C. Greenwood, and Dwight White.[27] Greene was invited to the Pro Bowl for 1973, joining White and Greenwood on the American Football Conference (AFC) roster.[28]

Greene won his second AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award after the 1974 season, becoming the first player to receive the award multiple times.[29] That year, he developed a new tactic of lining up at a sharp angle between the guard and center to disrupt the opposition's blocking assignments.[12] His coaches were at first skeptical of the tactic and did not allow him to try it during the regular season. He first implemented it against the Buffalo Bills in the division championship game. It proved to be highly effective, as it impeded Buffalo's blocking, and running back O. J. Simpson managed only 48 yards rushing.[22] The following week, the Steelers faced the Oakland Raiders in the AFC championship game, with the defining match-up being Greene against All-Pro center Jim Otto. At one point Greene, consumed by emotions, kicked Otto in the groin. Later, on a third-down play, Greene threw Otto to the ground with one arm before leaping to sack quarterback Ken Stabler.[30] Oakland was held to 29 rushing yards in the Steelers' 24–13 victory. On January 12, 1975, the Steelers won their first of four Super Bowl championships in a six-year span by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 16–6 in Super Bowl IX. In that game, lined up against center Mick Tingelhoff, Greene recorded an interception, forced fumble, and fumble recovery in what is considered one of the greatest individual defensive Super Bowl performances.[31][32] Pittsburgh limited the Vikings to only 119 total yards of offense, 17 of which were gained on the ground.[33] After the season, Greene was honored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at its 39th Dapper Dan dinner as Pittsburgh's outstanding sports figure of the year.[34]

Joe Greene Jersey BobbleHead
Greene's jersey displayed in the Heinz Field Walk of Fame

Greene missed four games in 1975 due to a pinched nerve, snapping a streak of 91 straight games started since he entered the league.[12] In December 1975, he and the other members of the Steel Curtain appeared on the cover of Time magazine.[16] After leading the Steelers to another Super Bowl win after the 1975 season over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, Greene missed the first several games of the 1976 season with a back injury. The Steelers started off the season 1–4 and looked like they would not make the playoffs. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw was also injured and was replaced by rookie Mike Kruczek. Greene returned and the Steelers defense carried the team to nine-straight wins and the playoffs. With a defense considered one of the best in NFL history,[35][36] the 1976 Steelers held opponents to an average of less than 10 points per game (138 points over 14 games). During their nine-game winning streak, the Steelers defense recorded five shutouts, including three straight, and surrendered a total of 28 points (roughly 3 points per game).[37] The defense allowed only two touchdowns over those nine games. The Steelers were defeated by the Raiders in that year's AFC championship game.[38]

By 1977, Greene was the captain of the Steelers defense, although his reduced effectiveness over the previous two seasons due to injuries led to rumors that he was washed up.[39][40] He was never again able to attain the same success as a pass rusher after his pinched nerve in 1975.[41] Spurred by the rumors, he returned in 1978 to lead all Pittsburgh linemen in tackles, and he had four sacks and a career-high five fumble recoveries. The Steelers defense allowed a league-low 195 points during the season, en route to a 35–31 victory over the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII.[42] In that contest, Greene had one of Pittsburgh's five sacks of Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach.[43]

Pittsburgh finished the 1979 season with a 12–4 record, and ranked second in total defense and fifth in scoring defense. Greene was named a first-team All-Pro by the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly and was invited to his final Pro Bowl.[25] He was also deemed the NFL's Man of the Year in recognition of his off-field contributions. In the AFC championship game against the Houston Oilers, the Steelers held NFL MVP Earl Campbell to just 15 rushing yards on 17 carries.[44] Pittsburgh then defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV for an unprecedented fourth Super Bowl title.[45] With the fourth title came Greene's fourth Super Bowl ring, inspiring his famous phrase, "one for the thumb", an allusion to winning a fifth championship.[46][47] His wish went unfulfilled, however, as the Steelers failed to reach the playoffs in each of his final two seasons.[48]

Greene retired as a player following the 1981 season.[49] He finished his career having played in 181 out of a possible 190 games, and recorded 78.5 sacks[40] (unofficially, as sacks were not an official statistic until 1982) and 16 fumble recoveries. His spot in the lineup was technically not replaced; the Steelers switched to a 3–4 defensive alignment for the 1982 season, which has only one nose tackle as opposed to two defensive tackles. The team has used the 3–4 as its base alignment continuously in the years since Greene's retirement, and more recently have used alignments that deploy only two true linemen.[50]

Attitude and playing style

He's tough and mean and comes to hit people. He has good killer instincts. He's mobile and hostile.[6]

Greene's nickname remained popular due to his exploits on the playing field, where he was described as ferocious and intimidating.[18][51] He instilled fear in opponents with the intensity of his play. In a 1979 game against the Houston Oilers, with only seconds remaining and Houston leading 20–17, the Oilers lined up near the Pittsburgh goal line to run their final play. With victory already assured for the Oilers, Greene pointed angrily across the line of scrimmage at Houston quarterback Dan Pastorini, warning, "If you come into the end zone, I'll beat the crap out of you! I'm gonna kill you!" Pastorini responded by taking a knee, ending the game. Afterword, Greene laughed and said, "I knew you weren't going to do it."[46]

In his early years with the Steelers, Greene was at times uncontrollable, and often let his temper get the best of him. On one occasion during a 1975 game against the rival Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Greene repeatedly kicked Browns lineman Bob McKay in the groin while McKay was lying on the ground.[46][52] He also punched Denver Broncos guard Paul Howard and spat at quarterback Fran Tarkenton,[41] and he frequently clashed with officials.[46][22]

Greene and middle linebacker Jack Lambert became the emotional leaders of Pittsburgh's defensive squad. Greene was described as a huge presence both on and off the field.[16] Joe Gordon of the Steelers front office recalled an instance in which a teammate was loudly voicing his discontent over the long and cold practice they had just gone through as he yanked off his equipment. At a nearby locker, Greene lifted his head and silently glared at him. "Believe me, that's all Joe did, he never even said anything," said Gordon. "I don't think the other players saw Joe glare at him. I think the other player just felt it, and then he sat down and never said another word."[41] A natural leader, Greene was named the captain of the defense in 1977.[12][53] His leadership was also channeled to the offense; Lynn Swann, a wide receiver, considered Greene a mentor. "If you were giving less than 100 percent, he let you know one way or the other," said Swann.[41]

Acting career

Coca-Cola commercial

Greene appeared in a famous commercial for Coca-Cola that debuted on October 1, 1979, and was aired during Super Bowl XIV on January 20, 1980. The ad won a Clio Award in 1980 for being one of the best commercials of 1979.[54] It is widely considered to be one of the best television commercials of all time.[55][56] The commercial helped shift the public's perception of Greene as hostile and unapproachable, to a soft-hearted "nice guy".[1][53]

Other roles

While most well known for the Coca-Cola commercial, Greene has acted in other roles. One of his first acting roles was in The Black Six, a blaxploitation film starring other NFL players including fellow Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Willie Lanier, and Carl Eller.[57] Greene also played himself in a TV movie on teammate Rocky Bleier, titled Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story, and in Smokey and the Bandit II.

Coaching career and later life

After retiring from the NFL, Greene spent one year, 1982, as a color analyst for NFL on CBS before becoming an assistant coach under Steelers' head coach Chuck Noll in 1987. He spent the next 16 years as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1987–1991), Miami Dolphins (1991–1995), and Arizona Cardinals (1996–2003).[58] In 2004, he retired from coaching and was named the special assistant for player personnel for the Steelers. In this position, he earned his fifth Super Bowl ring after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. When asked how it felt to finally win "one for the thumb", he replied, "That's all utter nonsense. It's one for the right hand. It's one for this group, for this team."[48] He earned a sixth ring from Super Bowl XLIII. Greene is one of four people outside the Rooney family to have Super Bowl rings from the first six championship teams. He retired from his position in the Steelers front office in 2013.[59]

In 2014, Greene was the subject of an episode of the NFL Network documentary series A Football Life, which chronicled his life and career.[60] As of 2016, he resides in Flower Mound, Texas. His wife of 47 years, Agnes, with whom he had three children, died in 2015.[61] He has since remarried. Greene is known as "Papa Joe" to his seven grandchildren.[60][62] In 2017, Greene released an autobiography entitled Mean Joe Greene: Built by Football.[63]

In 2018 Greene set up the Agnes Lucille Craft Greene Memorial Scholarship in honor of his late wife. The scholarships are presented annually to students from Texas, whose parents have battled cancer.[64]

Legacy

Greene is recognized as one of the most dominant players to ever play in the NFL.[65] He is widely considered one of the greatest defensive linemen in league history.[66] His durability allowed him to play in 181 of a possible 190 games, including a streak of 91 straight to begin his career.[12] The Steel Curtain defense is consistently ranked among the top defensive groups of all time. As of the death of L. C. Greenwood in September 2013, Greene is the last surviving member of the Steel Curtain.[17]

Post-career honors

  • In 1984, Greene was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.[67] He is the only former North Texas player so honored.
  • His number 75 jersey is retired by the North Texas football team, and he was inducted into the UNT Hall of Fame in 1981.[3]
  • He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, a class which also included Larry Csonka, Len Dawson, Jim Langer, Don Maynard, Gene Upshaw, and John Henry Johnson.[68]
  • The Hall of Fame Selection Committee named Greene to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, honoring the best players of the decade. In 1994, he was selected by a 15-person panel of NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame officials, former players, and media representatives to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team as one of the greatest players of the NFL's first 75 years.[69]
  • In 1999, Greene was deemed the 14th greatest player of all time by The Sporting News.[70] He was ranked 13th on The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players by the NFL Network in 2010.[71]
  • Greene is regarded among the greatest players in Steelers franchise history.[72] His number 75 jersey was officially retired at halftime during the Steelers' game against the rival Baltimore Ravens on November 2, 2014. Greene also briefly wore number 72 during his rookie season before switching to his more familiar 75 mid-season. He is only the second Steeler to have his jersey formally retired, the first being Ernie Stautner.[62] However, the Steelers had not reissued No. 75 since Greene's retirement.[58]
  • The University of North Texas, Greene's alma mater, unveiled a statue of him outside of Apogee Stadium in 2018. Greene is regarded as the most famous alum of UNT.[73]

References

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  35. ^ Ruiz, Steven (February 8, 2016). "Stats show the 2015 Broncos defense is top-10 all time, but just barely". USA Today. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  36. ^ Tallent, Aaron (February 15, 2016). "10 Greatest Defenses in NFL History". Athlon Sports. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
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  38. ^ "Steelers' Dan Rooney through the years". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. April 13, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  39. ^ Marshall, Joe (January 15, 1979). "Pouncing on a Championship". Sports Illustrated. 50 (2). Retrieved October 29, 2016.
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  42. ^ Fox, Larry (January 22, 1979). "Super Bowl XIII: Steelers first 3-time winner in Super thriller, 35-31". New York Daily News. p. 3. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
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  44. ^ Zimmerman, Paul (January 14, 1980). "Hitting a Wall of Steel". Sports Illustrated. 52 (2). Retrieved November 7, 2016.
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  46. ^ a b c d Pomerantz 2014, p. 239.
  47. ^ Bouchette, Ed (June 5, 2006). "The one for the thumb: Steelers collect their Super Bowl rings". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  48. ^ a b Wexell 2006, p. 79.
  49. ^ "Joe Greene Retires". The New York Times. February 11, 1982. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  50. ^ Bouchette, Ed (October 6, 2016). "On the Steelers: Signature 3–4 defense is a thing of the past". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  51. ^ "75. DT Joe Greene (Steelers, IX, X, XIII, XIV)". Sun-Sentinel. Associated Press. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  52. ^ Schudel, Jeff (September 14, 2008). Rivalry makes turn to primetime. The Morning Journal. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  53. ^ a b "Steelers' Joe Greene retires after 13 years". The Afro-American. United Press International. February 20, 1982. p. 9. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  54. ^ Shontell, Alyson (January 18, 2011) "The 10 Best Award-Winning TV Ads Everyone Must See". Business Insider
  55. ^ Fowler, Scott (February 23, 1992). "Take it from Mean Joe: Famous ad wasn't easy". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  56. ^ Mooney, Philip; Ryan, Ted; Nash, Helen (November 29, 2000). "Highlights in the History of Coca-Cola Television Advertising". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  57. ^ Butters, Gerald R. (2016). From Sweetback to Super Fly: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago's Loop. University of Missouri Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0826273291. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  58. ^ a b "Pittsburgh Steelers to retire Joe Greene's No. 75 jersey". Sports Illustrated. July 30, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  59. ^ Bouchette, Ed (May 7, 2013). "Steelers legend Joe Greene retires from front office job". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  60. ^ a b Waits, Tim (September 28, 2014). "Film returns 'Mean' Joe Greene to spotlight". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  61. ^ Starkey, Joe (November 11, 2016). "Joe Starkey: Joe Greene reflects on life, loss and the Cowboys". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  62. ^ a b Fittipaldo, Ray (November 2, 2014). "'Completely overwhelming': Steelers raise curtain on Joe Greene's No. 75". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  63. ^ Kapp, Joe (March 22, 2017). "Steelers Hall Of Famer Joe Greene Would Have Said Goodbye To Antonio Brown". CBS Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  64. ^ Weller, Patrick (May 24, 2018). The Prime Ministers' Craft. Oxford Scholarship Online. 1. doi:10.1093/oso/9780199646203.001.0001. ISBN 9780199646203.
  65. ^ Best run stuffer? Finding the best defensive tackle in the NFL. USA Today. July 5, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  66. ^ Augustyn, Adam. "Joe Greene". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  67. ^ "Eleven join Hall of Fame". Ellensburg Daily Record. United Press International. February 13, 1984. p. 10. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  68. ^ "1987 Pro Football Hall of Fame Ballot". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  69. ^ "The Very Best of the NFL". Detroit Free Press. August 24, 1994. p. 1D. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
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  71. ^ "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players". NFL.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
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  73. ^ "Statue Unveiled for UNT Legend Mean Joe Greene". 2018-09-29.

Bibliography

  • Freedman, Lew; Hoak, Dick (2009). Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History (illustrated ed.). MBI Publishing Company LLC. ISBN 978-0760336458.
  • Millman, Chad; Coyne, Shawn (2010). The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the '70s, and the Fight for America's Soul. Penguin. ISBN 978-1101459935.
  • Pomerantz, Gary M. (2014). Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1451691634.
  • Wexell, Jim (2006). Pittsburgh Steelers: Men of Steel (illustrated ed.). Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1582619965.
  • Wexell, Jim; Mendelson, Abby; Aretha, David (2014). The Steelers Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle of the Pittsburgh Steelers (illustrated ed.). MVP Books. ISBN 978-0760345764.

External links

1969 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1969 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 37th in the National Football League. It would mark a turning point of the Steelers franchise. 1969 was the first season for Hall of Fame head coach Chuck Noll, the first season for defensive lineman "Mean Joe" Greene and L. C. Greenwood, the first season for longtime Steelers public relations director Joe Gordon, and the team's last season in Pitt Stadium before moving into then-state-of-the-art Three Rivers Stadium the following season.

Although considered a turning point in the team's history, the results were not immediate; after winning the season opener against the Detroit Lions, the Steelers lost every game afterwards to finish 1–13. The Steelers became the first team in NFL history since the 1936 Philadelphia Eagles to win its season opener and lose every remaining game, a feat not matched until 2001 when the Carolina Panthers won its season opener against Minnesota before losing every game en route to a 1–15 finish. The Steelers finished 1969 4th in the NFL Century Division and tied with the Chicago Bears for last in the NFL. With the Steelers finishing 1–6 at Pitt Stadium, it marked the last time the Steelers finished the season with a losing record at home until 1999.

As a result of their 1–13 records, Art Rooney of the Steelers won a coin toss with George Halas of the Bears to determine who would select Louisiana Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw (the consensus number 1 selection among league teams) with the number one pick in the 1970 draft. By modern NFL tiebreaking rules, the Steelers would have automatically been given the first pick anyway, as the Bears' one win came against the Steelers in Week 8.

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 42nd in the National Football League. They impoved to a 10-3-1 record and culminated in a Super Bowl championship. The team became the first in the Steelers' 42-year history to win a league title following the franchise's greatest playoff run to that point.

Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award

The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press (AP) to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every National Football League (NFL) season. It has been awarded since 1971. The winner is decided by votes from a panel of 50 AP sportswriters who regularly cover the NFL. Since 2011, the award has been presented at the annual NFL Honors ceremony the day before the Super Bowl, along with other AP awards, such as the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award, AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and AP NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

Lawrence Taylor and J. J. Watt are the only three-time winners of the award. Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Ray Lewis, and Aaron Donald have each won it twice. Taylor is the only player to win the award as a rookie, doing so in 1981. In 2008, James Harrison became the only undrafted free agent to win the award. White is the only player to win the award with two different teams, winning in 1987 with the Philadelphia Eagles and again with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. Watt is the only player to win the award unanimously, receiving 50 out of 50 first place votes in 2014. He was also a near-unanimous winner in 2012 as he earned 49 out of 50 votes.As of the end of the 2018 NFL season, linebackers have won the award 16 times, more than any other position. A defensive end has won thirteen times, followed by nine defensive tackles, five cornerbacks, and five safeties. Only two winners of the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award have also won the AP's Most Valuable Player Award for the same season: defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 for the Minnesota Vikings and linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986 for the New York Giants. Aaron Donald is the incumbent holder of the award, winning it for the second consecutive year following the 2018 NFL season.

Athletics at the 1992 Summer Olympics – Men's long jump

These are the official results of the Men's long jump event at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There were a total number of 53 participating athletes, with two qualifying groups.

Athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Men's long jump

These are the official results of the men's long jump athletics event at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. There were a total of 54 competitors, with one non-starter.Carl Lewis was on the edge of making history, to equal the unique accomplishment of Al Oerter by winning four Olympic championships in the same event. However, now 35 years old, he was comparatively quite old for a sprinter-long jumper. Lewis barely made it to the Olympics, only finishing third at the 1996 Olympic Trials behind world record holder Mike Powell (at 33, also five years beyond his peak) and 29-year-old Joe Greene. These same three American jumpers had swept the event four years earlier.

While Lewis was ranked number one from the qualifying round, it took him three jumps to make the automatic qualifier. Lewis gained some notoriety by winning the 1984 Olympics on his single, first attempt. Powell, Greene and Iván Pedroso made their automatic qualifier (8.05 m) on their first attempt.

In the first round Emmanuel Bangué took the lead with 8.19 m. Powell moved into second place in the second round at 8.17 m, with Lewis jumping 8.10 m to move into third. Greene moved into the lead in the third round with an 8.24 m, until Lewis made his 8.50 jump. Lewis' jump equalled former rival Larry Myricks' still standing Masters M35 World Record.

While Pedroso was the reigning world champion and had jumped significantly better just a year earlier, he didn't get into the final eight to get three remaining jumps. No other jumper improved in his final jumps except James Beckford, whose final-round 8.29 m lifted him into the silver medal, pushing Greene to bronze.

Bob McKay

Robert Charles McKay (born December 27, 1947) was a National Football League offensive lineman from 1970 through 1978, playing with the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.

As a college player at the University of Texas, McKay earned consensus All-American honors during the 1969 season, helping Texas win the national championship.During a 1975 Browns home game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, "Mean Joe" Greene repeatedly kicked McKay in the groin. Greene was soon wrestled to the ground and punched by center Tom DeLeone and tight end Gary Parris, allowing McKay to throw several haymakers on Greene before referees restored order.

Hey Kid, Catch!

"Hey Kid, Catch!" was a television commercial for Coca-Cola starring Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene. The commercial debuted on October 1, 1979, and was re-aired multiple times, most notably during Super Bowl XIV in 1980. The 60-second commercial won a Clio Award for being one of the best television commercials of 1979.During its planning and filming stages, McCann Erickson, the advertising agency that created the commercial, used the working title "Mean Joe Greene". The commercial was a part of Coca-Cola's "Have a Coke and a Smile" ad campaign of the late 1970s. The commercial's set-up and payoff is classic simple advertising.

Joe Greene (American singer)

Joe Greene is an American gospel and soul singer and songwriter. A male soprano, he was especially active in the late 1960s and the 1970s as a backing vocalist for rock artists seeking to achieve a more polished vocal performance on their recordings. As a songwriter during that time, he frequently collaborated with Billy Preston, co-writing the latter's Grammy-winning 1972 hit "Outa-Space" and other songs.Among the many artists whose recordings Greene appeared on are Quincy Jones, the Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson. According to AllMusic, together with singers such as Vanetta Field and Clydie King, Greene was "on the 'A' list" of studio backing vocalists in the U.S. He was also one of the singers in "The Soul Choir" that accompanied George Harrison, Starr, Preston and Leon Russell at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971.Greene co-wrote the song "Let the Music Play" on Preston's 1970 album for Apple Records, Encouraging Words. In June 1971, he signed a songwriting deal with Preston's publishing company, WEP Music, whereby he would receive 35 per cent of the company's net profits. Two years later, Greene sued Preston and WEP for $500,000, claiming he had been paid nothing for hits such as "Outa-Space". He continued to work with Preston, including co-writing the title track to the artist's 1979 album Late at Night and singing on the album.In the ensuing decades, Greene withdrew from rock music and focused on gospel and choral projects.

Joe Greene (American songwriter)

Joseph Perkins Greene (April 19, 1915 – June 16, 1986) was an American songwriter, best known for "Across the Alley from the Alamo", "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" (1944), and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'" (1946).

Joe Greene (Ontario politician)

John James "Joe" Greene, (June 24, 1920 – October 23, 1978) was a Canadian politician.

Joe Greene (baseball)

James Elbert "Joe" Greene (October 17, 1911 – July 19, 1989) was an American catcher in Negro league baseball. He played between 1932 and 1948.Greene served with the 92nd Division in the US Army as an anti-tank gunner between 1943 and 1945, in both Algiers and Italy. When his company entered Milan, they were given the task of removing the bodies of Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci, who had been publicly hanged in the Piazzale Loreto on April 29, 1945.

Joe Greene (boxer)

Joe Greene (born February 15, 1986) in Brooklyn, New York but now resides and trains in Queens is a professional middleweight American boxer. At a height of 5'10 with a Southpaw stance, Greene has a professional record of 22 wins (14 KO's), 1 loss and 0 draws.

Joe Greene (long jumper)

Joseph Tilford Lee "Joe" Greene (born February 17, 1967 at Wright-Patterson Air Base, Dayton, Ohio) was an American track and field athlete who competed mainly in the long jump.Greene attended Stebbins High School in Riverside, a suburb of Dayton, and The Ohio State University.He competed for the United States in the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain in the long jump where he won the bronze medal. He repeated this performance four years later winning a second bronze in the Men's long jump at the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, United States. Both competitions were won by Carl Lewis.

In August 2008, Greene's 1996 Olympic bronze medal was available for auction on eBay. Both the 1996 Atlanta and 1992 Barcelona bronze medals were also briefly seen on the History Channel show Pawn Stars.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers, a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, participated in the first NFL Draft prior to the 1936 season. The franchise changed its name to the Steelers prior to the 1940 season, to represent the city's heritage of producing steel.The event, which is officially known as the "Player Selection Meeting", is held each April. The draft is used as the primary means to distribute newly available talent (primarily from college football) equitably amongst the teams. Selections are made in reverse order based on the previous season's record, i.e. the club with the worst record from the previous season selects first. Through 2009, only two exceptions were made to this order: the Super Bowl champion always selects last (32nd), and the Super Bowl loser is awarded the penultimate (31st) pick. Beginning in 2010, teams making the playoffs will be seeded in reverse order depending upon how far they advance. The draft consists of seven rounds. Teams have the option of trading selections for players, cash and/or other selections (including future year selections). Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades. The Steelers have traded away their first-round pick eight times; they have had two first-round selections in two drafts.

The Steelers' first selection in the inaugural NFL draft was William Shakespeare, a halfback from Notre Dame. The Steelers have selected first overall three times, drafting Bill Dudley in 1942, Gary Glick in 1956 and Terry Bradshaw in 1970. The team has selected second overall once, and third overall four times. Through 2009, seven Steeler first-round picks have gone on to have playing careers deemed worthy of enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Dudley, Len Dawson, Joe Greene, Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and Rod Woodson. The team's most recent first-round selection was Terrell Edmunds, a safety from Virginia Tech.

National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all National Football League (NFL) players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1970s and have been compiled onto this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches.

Punter Ray Guy was the leading vote-getter for the 1970s All-Decade Team, receiving 24 of a possible 25 votes. O.J. Simpson and Lynn Swann were next with 22 and 21 votes, respectively. Linebacker Jack Ham and Tight end Dave Casper each received 20 votes. Next were Defensive end Jack Youngblood and Joe Greene who each had 18 votes.

Holdovers from the National Football League 1960s All-Decade Team were Bob Lilly, Dick Butkus, Merlin Olsen, Larry Wilson, Jim Bakken, and Willie Brown.

National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Pittsburgh Steelerettes

The Pittsburgh Steelerettes were the first cheerleading squad in the National Football League, serving as the cheerleaders for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1960s. The squad eventually disbanded, and the Steelers to this day are among the few NFL teams that do not have cheerleaders.From their beginning in 1961 until the squad's demise in 1969, all members of the Steelerettes were full-time students at Robert Morris Junior College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Robert Morris was a small Junior College without a football team who had unofficially adopted the Steelers as "their team". An administrator at the College, William Day, also served as the entertainment coordinator for the Steelers. It was his idea to hold tryouts at the College and select a group of young coeds to perform on the field, in hopes of improving lackluster ticket sales to Steelers games.At tryouts, candidates were evaluated on coordination, personality, gymnastics, and appearance. Squad members took a basic football test to prove that they would know when to cheer, and were required to maintain a 2.0 GPA. At games, they performed choreographed jazz routines to live jazz music, performed by Harold Betters and bandleader Benny Benack. They practiced in the school cafeteria or in front of their dormitory. Steelerettes received one free ticket per game as pay.During the 1962 season, the Steelerettes were accompanied by a squad of the NFL's first male cheerleaders, also Robert Morris students, known as the Ingots. The men fired a cannon filled with 12-gauge blanks when the Steelers scored, wearing uniforms of black slacks, white or gold shirts and hard hats. The male group disbanded at the end of one season.By the late 1960s, Robert Morris' student body had grown and the school now had its own football team. The decision to disband was a joint decision between the Rooney family and Robert Morris. Apparently, the cheerleaders wished to wear outfits that were more "modern" and "daring". In response, the owner fired the team. The last squad of Steelerettes left the field after the 1969 season, the first year of Hall of Famers head coach Chuck Noll and defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene. Nearly 60 women participated in the squad over their eight seasons.While as of 2018 the team still does not have cheerleaders, in 2007 the team unveiled its new mascot Steely McBeam.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Joe Greene—awards, championships, and honors

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