Touchdown Club welcomes Greene

Posted: September 16, 2018 at 2:12 a.m.

David Bazzel, “Mean” Joe Greene of Flower Mound, Texas, and Wes Sutton

Charles Edward Greene is actually a nice guy.

The man better known as "Mean" Joe Greene, who made himself memorable as a defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-1981) made his Arkansas audience laugh Sept. 4 as he reminisced about his football career and his equally famous teammates and opponents.

Greene was the Sept. 4 speaker for the Little Rock Touchdown Club's luncheon meeting, held weekly during football season in the ballroom of the Embassy Suites Little Rock. Usually taking place on Mondays, this meeting was held on Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday.

Not surprisingly, the event was packed. The line of guests stretched almost to the hotel's main entrance just prior to the event, at which a hearty buffet luncheon was served.

The meeting began with David Bazzel, club founder and executive director, welcoming guests and recognizing the high school football honorees of the week -- Bryant player Latavion Scott and Benton player Zak Wallace. Following was Rex Nelson's lively, humor-injected recap of the beginning of the college football season and his introduction of Greene.

Greene, now 71, shared his remarks in an interview format with Bazzel, who noted that this year marked the 50th anniversary of Greene playing at War Memorial Stadium against the Razorbacks when he played for North Texas State. What did Greene remember most about that game? Bazzel asked.

"There's only one thing that sticks out in my head about that ballgame," Greene deadpanned. "My good friend and wide receiver Ron Shanklin catching a touchdown pass in the end zone that would have put the ... score [at] 21 to 17 -- and it was called incomplete." The Razorbacks won 17-15.

Prompted by Bazzel, Green also commented about his lack of enthusiasm at being drafted by the Steelers, a losing team at the time who, Greene remembers, also had some unattractive uniforms. The jerseys bore "a big triangle on the top," black on gold, he recalled. "Over my career I talked about those jerseys. In a conversation with the owner, I was telling him how bad those jerseys were. And he said, 'Joe, you know I designed those jerseys.'"

Of course, the discussion turned to the famous Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial, which was played for the audience. Greene admitted he had to do a lot of takes because swigging all that Coke at one time kept causing him to, well, belch.

High Profile on 09/16/2018