Behind the Bronze: Joe Greene

11/30/2011


Only 267 bronze busts reside in the Hall of Fame Gallery inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. They "immortalize" the greatest players, coaches, and contributors that this game has produced. Each week during the 2011 NFL Season we will sit down for a Q&A with one of these legends.

Joe Greene, Class of 1987



Joe Greene's Hall of Fame bio>>>

HOBBIES:
I’m a lifelong non-hobby guy. If I had a hobby I would say it’s taking pictures.

LAST BOOK YOU READ:
I’m reading the Bible. I’m reading the Old Testament and the New Testament simultaneously. Let’s just say I should have read this 50 years ago.

FAVORITE MUSIC:
Well, I listen to all kinds but probably my absolute favorite would be the blues.

FAVORITE MOVIE:
I like a lot of movies but the one that keeps coming back to my mind is the “Magnificent Seven.”

FAVORITE FOOD:
I’m a big man and I eat a lot of different foods but probably my absolute favorite would be my mother’s fried chicken and banana pudding.

FAVORITE NFL TEAM AS A CHILD:
Well, as a child in the early, early stages it was the Baltimore Colts and then the Cleveland Browns and then the Dallas Cowboys.

FAVORITE NFL STADIUM OTHER THAN THREE RIVERS STADIUM:
Yankee Stadium always comes to mind because of its nostalgia.

WHY DID YOU PICK NO. 75?
In my high school days one of my favorite players on the high school football team, before I started playing, wore number 75. And then I think that was during the time when I was watching the NFL and Deacon Jones wore number 75.

DID YOU HAVE ANY PRE-GAME SUPERSTITIONS?
Yeah, before getting dressed I think I would always put my left leg in first.

WHAT’S BETTER ABOUT THE NFL TODAY THAN WHEN YOU PLAYED?
Well, the obvious one is money and we can all put our finger on that and benefits. I don’t know if I can say anything else is better.

WHAT WAS BETTER ABOUT THE NFL DURING YOUR CAREER THAN THE GAME TODAY?
The camaraderie, the sincerity and the genuine love for the game, it’s hard for me to make the comparison because I’m not there with these guys in the locker room, but bottom line I’d say respect.

FAVORITE ATHLETE EVER IN ANY SPORT:
The first would be Jim Brown, the second would be Muhammed Ali, and third would be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


Watch: Joe Greene recalls his favorite NFL moment.

ONE PERSON WHO INFLUENCED YOU MOST IN LIFE:
My mother.

TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU FACED:
Oh boy. (Laughing) If I don’t say my buddy Larry Little down there in Miami he’s going to be so mad at me. But in terms of offensive linemen that I had the most difficult time with was Gene Hickerson in my first couple of years. I was very glad to see him go into the Hall of Fame he was one of the greats in my view. Gene Hickerson and Larry Little in terms of offensive Linemen, but the guys who moved the football, I would always put those guys in the toughest category, and that’s Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson.

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD ABOUT YOUR HALL OF FAME CAREER?
Having the opportunity to meet the guys that I admired when I was in high school watching, the Jim Taylor’s and Bart Starr’s though I didn’t like a whole lot then. Obviously Johnny Unitas and Bob Lilly, who I started really trying to play football like him. Besides my teammates, who were the primary reason why I was there, but being there was being able to see those guys face to face, to talk with them and know that I was in the same Hall that they were in.

WHEN IF EVER DID YOU REALIZE YOU MAY SOMEDAY MAKE THE HALL OF FAME?
When I got the call. I don’t think that I’m a naive person, but I just didn’t think about being in the Hall of Fame. I didn’t think that I wouldn’t get in it, but I didn’t think that I would get in it, I didn’t think one way or the other way about it. It’s just, I never thought about anything in football other than winning championships.

HOW DID YOU LEARN OF YOUR HALL OF FAME ELECTION?
I was at home in my office and I think that I had been forewarned that I might get a call so I was prepared for the call. My wife, all my kids and friends were there.

WAS CHUCK NOLL YOUR ONLY CHOICE AS A PRESENTER?
Absolutely.

IF YOU COULD DO YOUR ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH OVER TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY DIFFERENTLY?
I don’t know if I would say anything differently, I might rephrase some things, might change the order, but I think I talked about the people that meant a lot to me in my life that had a big responsibility for me being there. I might change emphasis or something like that but nothing else.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD?
Being married to my wife for 43 and 3/4 years, we just had that conversation. Our three kids and seven grandkids, being able to live my life reasonably well and being with people I care about especially my immediate family, my mom and my sister and brother and all of our friends.



Behind the Bronze series archive>>>

 

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