The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced they are retiring the #75 jersey of the greatest player in the history of the Steelers franchise- Joe Greene. The Steelers have only retired one jersey before and that was back in 1964 when they retired Hall of Famer Ernie Stautner’s jersey. I am hoping the Steelers continue to retire jersey’s. They have had a lot of great players in the past 40 plus seasons. I think the criteria should be- Hall of Famers get their jersey retired. The greats of the 1970’s are not getting any younger. Retire the jersey’s while they are still living- one a year.
I met Mean Joe once. I was 12 years old. It was the fall of 1973. They were opening a bank in a nearby town and Greene and back-up quarterback Terry Hanratty were going to be there for a couple hours signing autographs. My friend Martin’s father took me and Martin. We were near the back of the long line. When we got into the bank I can recall looking and seeing Joe and Terry sitting there. Joe was huge. They had little white football’s they were signing and Martin and I got the last two football’s they had signed. All I recall about Hanratty is his eyes looked bloodshot. Joe was massive and seemed pretty laid back. I was in awe of him. I wish I still had that football. Who knows what happened to it? Martin doesn’t have his football either.
A year or so ago the NFL Network had a program on the Ten Greatest Steelers. I had no question who #1 would be- it had to be Greene. Now who is the #2 Steeler of all time could produce a great debate. #1 no debate- Joe Greene.