Steelers legend Joe Greene gets statue outside alma mater
Mean Joe Greene is getting a statue. But it’s not here in Pittsburgh. It’ll be in Denton, Texas, at his alma mater.
According to the school’s website , “The University of North Texas will unveil a bronze statue of Hall of Fame football player Joe Greene outside the main entrance of Apogee Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29.”
Ironically, the opponent that day will be Louisiana Tech. That’s where Greene’s Hall of Fame teammate Terry Bradshaw went to school.
The university’s press release goes on to say the statue will be 12-feet tall. The designer, Brian Hanlon, has also created statues of Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.
The Steelers drafted Greene out of North Texas in 1969 after he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection from 1966-68. He is the only North Texas player to ever earn consensus All-America honors. That made him the highest drafted player in Mean Green history. He went on to win four Super Bowls in Pittsburgh and played until 1981.
Greene was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, he was named All Pro five times and he was defensive player of the year twice.
The Penguins have a statue of Mario Lemieux outside of PPG Paints Arena. The Pirates have four statues around PNC Park -- Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner and Bill Mazeroski.
Well, five if you count Ralph Kiner’s hands inside the park.
The Steelers have one statue outside the open end of Heinz Field. It’s of former owner Arthur J. Rooney Sr., “The Chief.” There is also a monument of Franco Harris near the stadium where the Immaculate Reception took place at the former location of Three Rivers Stadium. And, of course, he has a statue next to George Washington at Pittsburgh International Airport.
It’s a shame that guy never did anything as important as Franco. Kinda looks outta place, right?
The Steelers do give out the the “Joe Greene Performance Award” every year to the team’s top rookie. But a statue somewhere on the North Shore? Not yet.
The Steelers could do it. But then, where do they stop? How many of those Hall of Famers get statues? We may run out of bronze. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to just the Chief.
Then again, Mean Joe is different. If he was the only Steelers player to get a statue of that group, I’d be OK with that. He was the patriarch of that team on the field. He started the legacy. He can be treated differently.