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Joe Greene (American Football)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Numbers: 75 & 72
Date of birth: September 24, 1946
Place of birth: Elgin, Texas
Height: 6 foot 4 inches (1.93 m)
Weight: 275 lbs. (125 kg)
High school: Temple (TX) Dunbar
College: North Texas
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Debuted in 1969 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Last played in 1981 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 1981)
Career highlights and awards:
Rated #13 NFL Player of all time by NFL.com
10x Pro Bowl (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979)
5x First team All Pro selection (1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979)
3x Second team All Pro selection (1969, 1971, 1975)
11x First team All AFC selection (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)
4x Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
NFL 75th Anniversary All Time Team
NFL 1970s All Decade Team
Pittsburgh Steelers All Time Team
1969 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
2x AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1972, 1974)
2x NEA NFL Defensive MVP winner (1972, 1974)
Pittsburgh Steelers #75 no longer issued
Career NFL statistics
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
Charles Edward Greene, known as ''Mean Joe'' Greene, (born September 24, 1946) is a former all pro American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. Throughout the early 1970s he was one of the most dominant defensive players in the National Football League. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest defensive linemen ever and was the cornerstone of the legendary ''Steel Curtain'' defense. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a four time Super Bowl champion. His nickname, ''Mean Joe Greene'' stems from his alma mater, the University of North Texas athletic teams, which are nicknamed the Mean Green. Greene is also well known for his appearance in the ''Hey Kid, Catch!'' Coca-Cola commercial in 1979, widely considered to be one of the best television commercials of all time.
Before his NFL career Greene had an outstanding college football career at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) (1966 - 1968), leading 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 per attempt. His collegiate coach, Rod Rust, said of the 1968 consensus All America, ''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''.
He got his nickname when the Pittsburgh fan base mistakenly assumed that the North Texas team nickname of ''Mean Green'' was Joe Greene's nickname; however, it was actually Coach Rust's wife who wanted to give a nickname to the team's outstanding defense who laid down the description which stuck in two instances. Since green is the school's main color, she gave the defense the name ''Mean Green''. In 1984, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2006, Greene was voted to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame.
Pro football career
In 1969, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the fourth pick of the NFL draft and spent his entire career with them until his retirement in 1981. When Greene was drafted, a newspaper headline asked, Who's Joe Greene? The question was quickly answered as Greene became so good that teams double teamed, and even triple teamed, him throughout his entire career. In addition to his skills, other teams saw Greene as a threat because of his size. After he was drafted, Greene quickly established himself as a dominant defensive player. He was strong, quick and intense. He was the NFL's Rookie of the Year in 1969, even though he played on a Steelers team that went 1-13 in Chuck Noll's first year as its head coach. The Steelers quickly improved over the next few seasons. Greene later admitted that he was upset with being drafted by the Steelers due to their long history of losing. He often showed his displeasure on the field, including an incident during a game with the Chicago Bears in which he spat in the face of Dick Butkus and challenged Butkus, long considered to have been the NFL's meanest player, to a fight.
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 in which the Steelers won 42-6, Greene repeatedly kicked Browns lineman Bob McKay in the groin while McKay was lying on the ground. Another incident had Greene snap the ball away from the center while the opposing team was lining up for a play. He had no tolerance for losing, and the team veterans quickly took notice. His intense desire to win rallied the veterans around him, and with great drafts as well as superb coaching, the Steelers franchise soon began to undergo a dramatic makeover. Joe Greene was credited as the cornerstone of the great Steelers dynasty and the most important player in Steeler's history.
Greene was the leader and the anchor of the ''Steel Curtain'' defense that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. He was recognized as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in both 1972 and 1974. He, along with other members of the Steelers' front four (L. C. Greenwood, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes) even appeared on the cover of Time magazine. In Super Bowl IX, Greene became the first player ever to record an interception, a forced fumble, and fumble recovery in a single Super Bowl. He went to the Pro Bowl 10 times during his career.
Greene is also well known for the ''stunt 4-3'' defense, in which he would line up at an angle, between the center and guard, and would explode into the line taking up 2 - 3 blockers. He started doing this sometime in the 1974 season, and while it cut down on the number of sacks he racked up, it freed up his other defensive teammates like middle linebacker Jack Lambert to make tackles with ease.
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. The season looked lost. But Greene and the Steelers defense carried the Steelers to nine straight wins and the playoffs. With a defense considered one of the best in NFL history, 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, another modern record, and gave up a total of just 28 points (roughly 3 points per game). The defense allowed only two touchdowns over nine games.
Ten of the eleven starters on that 1976 Steelers team were players who made the Pro Bowl at least once in their career (eight starters made the Pro Bowl after the 1976 season). Middle linebacker Jack Lambert along with Greene, became the emotional leaders of the defensive squad. Further, over the next several years, Lambert, emerged as the dominant player in the league at his position, while, Greene continued to perform at an all pro level, becoming a 5 time All Pro (1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979) and in 1969 receiving the first of his 10 Pro Bowl invitations. Greene retired after the 1981 season after 13 years in the league.
His spot on the team 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, giving the extra spot to a second middle linebacker. The team has used the 3 - 4 alignment since Greene's retirement. His end stats were 181 games, 78.5 sacks (unofficially, as sacks were not an official statistic until 1982) and 16 fumble recoveries. Joe Greene had 190 tackles in 1978.
After retiring from the NFL, Greene spent one year (1982) as a color analyst for CBS' NFL coverage 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, Miami Dolphins, and Arizona Cardinals. In 2004, he retired from coaching and was named the special assistant for player personnel for the Steelers. In this position he earned his 5th Super Bowl ring after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, and a sixth 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.
It was Greene, in fact, who coined the phrase ''One for the Thumb in '81'' after the Steelers won Super Bowl XIV. After the Steelers missed the playoffs in 1980, the saying was shortened to ''One for the Thumb'' and became the unofficial rally cry for the Steelers' search for the elusive fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy until the team finally won it in 2005. Although the Steelers do not officially retire jersey numbers, Greene's number 75 has not been issued since his retirement and is understood to be ''unofficially retired''. Greene also briefly wore number 72 during his rookie season before switching to his more familiar 75 midseason. Greene was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1987. Greene now resides in Flower Mound, Texas.
Highlights in the History of Coca - Cola Television Advertising
Coke Adds Life and Mean Joe Greene
In May 1976, The Coca-Cola Company introduced a new Coke ad campaign, touting the brand as the soft drink for all occasions. Aimed at the young and young at heart, the new campaign, ''Coke Adds Life to É,'' was designed to show viewers that Coca-Cola added simple enjoyment to life. The campaign itself was hardly simple. Development of ''Coke Adds Life to É'' began in 1973 with consumer research studies and lasted three years. The campaign's creative team came up with nearly a hundred copy lines, different ways of conveying what they wished to communicate as the basic promise of Coca-Cola. The group then talked to young people to get their reaction to the lines. The researchers from Coca-Cola and McCann - Erickson found that the lines ''Coke adds a little life'' or ''Coke adds life'' resonated with the public.
''Coke Adds Life'' emphasized refreshment and tried to show Coke as the perfect accompaniment to food, fun, and leisure. The campaign highlighted the soft drink's role in many situations common to consumers around the globe, and the campaign's theme was adapted to appeal to a worldwide audience. While Coca-Cola often produced advertising in the United States that was adapted for international use, in 1978 the company adapted two overseas ''Coke Adds Life'' spots from Italy and Brazil and for U.S. audiences. The Italian ad, ''Flirting'', follows the attempts of a young man to meet the one who will be his special girl. The viewer also sees the romantic pursuits of others both young and old. The message is that Coke helps pave the way to romance.
Coke Adds Life
After ''Coke Adds Life'', the stage was set for a new advertising campaign for Coca-Cola, ''Have a Coke and a Smile'', which further emphasized the reliability and reward in drinking Coca-Cola. The new campaign was announced in commercials featuring Bob Hope and Bill Cosby, who explained the idea of ''Have a Coke and a Smile'' and encouraged viewers to watch for the new advertising.
The campaign centered around a single melody and one set of lyrics. For television, the music served as a background for dozens of vignettes featuring people from many walks of life drinking Coca-Cola while working or relaxing. One such ad, released on October 1, 1979, became one of the most famous Coke commercials, captivating audiences almost as much as had the ''Hilltop'' commercial eight years earlier. Written by Penny Hawkey, produced by Jean-Claude Kaufman, with art direction by Roger Mosconi and direction by Lee Lacy, the commercial known as ''Mean Joe Greene'' featured the defensive lineman of that nickname from the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team and a twelve year old boy, Tommy Okon.
The casting of this ad was integral to its success. While The Coca-Cola Company had suggested Roger Staubach, the popular quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, McCann opted to use the ''Mean'' looking Steeler player instead. The ad was filmed over three days in May 1979 at a stadium in New Rochelle, New York, with Joe Greene and Tommy Okon performing countless retakes and Greene consuming eighteen 16 ounce bottles of Coca-Cola the final day alone.
The ad proved to be immensely popular, sparking a surge of letters to The Coca-Cola Company. It won the 1979 CLIO award in the world's largest advertising awards competition, and Greene took home the award for best actor in the same contest. The Coca-Cola Company followed up with a promotion to ''win the shirt off my back'', distributing thousands of replica jerseys to winning entrants. It also adapted the ad's concept to other parts of the world: Brazil, Argentina, and Thailand all produced versions of the commercial following the same plot line but featuring renowned football (soccer) players from each country, such as national soccer champion Niwat in Thailand.
''Mean Joe Greene'' concluded its life as a made for TV movie that aired on NBC-TV on November 8, 1981. Joe Greene starred in the movie, but the part of the young boy was played by Henry Thomas, who later went on to star in ''E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial''. The movie recreated the ad and told the story of what happened after the ad ended.
Coca-Cola Television Advertising Home Page.