Pittsburgh Steelers all-time great L.C. Greenwood was laid to rest yesterday at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in East Liberty. Mr. Greenwood passed away two Sundays ago at age 67 following complications from back surgery. It is often said the measure of a man is not who he respects but if he is respected by others. By that standard, L.C. Greenwood lived a life well spent.
A who’s who of teammates from the 1970’s Steel Dynasty teams showed up to pay to their final respects. Fellow members of the Steel Curtain Mel Blount and Mean Joe Greene were joined by Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney and current President Art Rooney II. For Mean Joe, this occasion must’ve been particularly bittersweet as he is now the sole surviving member of what is undoubtedly the best defensive line in football history. Ernie “Fats” Holmes died in a car accident back in 2008 with Dwight White passing a few months later, ironically also from back surgery complications.
In addition to the fine tribute video posted above, the Post-Gazette also reprinted a fantastic article by Gary M. Pomerantz of the Wall Street Journal about Mean Joe and how the loss of his linemates has affected him. I don’t say this often so trust me when I say it’s a must read. Pomerantz, I should mention, recently completed work on a book about the Steelers entitled “Their Life’s Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers” that was sent to me for review.
You’re probably thinking, “Another book about the Steel Dynasty?” but from what I’ve read thus far (I’m about a quarter way through the massive tome), this one is unique in that in addition to plenty of juicy behind-the-scenes stuff about the Super Steelers of the 70s, Pomerantz made sure to follow the players past their playing days and on to where they went after those glory days were over. The book isn’t scheduled for release until October 29th but you can pre-order the hardcover – did I mention the book is massive? – on Amazon for a pretty cheap $17.00. If you’re a Black and Gold history buff like me, you’ll definitely enjoy the read. Especially if the current incarnation continues to flounder.
As time marches forward and those 70s Steelers slowly dwindle away, only living on in grainy NFL Films footage and the vivid memories of our fathers and grandfathers, it’s becoming more and more important that we make a permanent record of who they were and what they did.