“Mean” Joe Greene


With all the disrespect for the National Anthem and the Flag, it was such a delight to see “A Football Life” on TV about “Mean” Joe.

No doubt Joe was tough as nails on the football field, and he said when he was playing he was tough period, regardless, anywhere, anytime.

That’s hard to believe. He always had that grin from ear to ear.

Then came probably the most famous TV commercial ever, and might still be, ranking right up there with the Clydesdales..

You’ve seen it. Joe is dragging down the tunnel toward the locker room, trying to assess his ailments from the day’s play, and this young kid appears with a Coke and offers it to Joe. Joe turns it down at first, and then accepts it. The kid starts to walk away, somewhat disappointed, then “Mean” Joe calls to him, “Hey, Kid.” and tosses him his Number 75 Pittsburgh Steelers’ jersey.

Joe developed a close relationship with that kid in life as the kid grew into a man, and “Mean” Joe said that kid and the commercial changed his life, because he became all about kids then, and made public appearances for their benefit.

Joe was one of the four of the “Steel Curtain” an almost impenetrable front four of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive team.

Toward the end of the program, he had to regroup as he recalled the deaths of three of the four of the “Steel Curtain”, recalled with tears in his eyes.

“Mean” Joe was the NFL, what they stood for, not these belligerent, self-serving individuals who pretend to be these days.

Thanks, “Mean” Joe Greene. I sure would like to shake the hand of a real football player.

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