In a special ceremony to be held this Sunday before the Steelers play the Bengals, Mean Joe Greene will finally be honored for his work in the famous 1979 Coca-Cola commercial. Â This ad has been lauded as one of the top TV ads of all time and this fall marks the 30th anniversary since the ad was released.
Greene was actually awarded the honor back in 1979, but has never officially received the hardware. Â Greene, along with Tommy Okum who plays the boy handing Mean Joe the Coke in the commercial, will participate in the special pre-game event.
This commercial is one of my Steelers memories from my childhood. Â I certainly remember it being part of football Sunday with SteelergurlsPop. Â Greene was selected by the Steelers in 1969 as the 4th overall draft pick and spent his entire career with the team. Â He was honored that first year as the NFL Rookie of the Year despite the Steelers poor record (will not repeat, bad football karma). Â It was also Chuck Noll’s first year as head coach. Â Greene is often credited as the leader and anchor of the Steel Curtain defense. Â He didn’t get the nick name “Mean” for nothing! Â He was recognized as NFL Defensive Player of the Year both in 1972 and in 1974.
Trivia Fact: Outside of the Rooney family, Mean Joe is the only person to also have all 6 of the Steelers Super Bowl rings.
After retiring from the NFL, he was assistant coach with the Steelers, the Dolphins and the Cardinals. Â In 2004, he retired from coaching and became special assistant for player personnel at the Steelers. Â He holds this role today.
Trivia Fact: This commercial was remade this year for the Super Bowl with Troy Polamalu and Coke Zero.