Their nicknames were Mean Joe, Hollywood Bags, Fats Holmes and Mad Dog. And in the mid-1970’s, they were known as the Steel Curtain Four. The Steel Curtain Four referred to the four defensive tackles of the Pittsburgh Steelers – there was Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes and Dwight White. The team got their nickname from a 9th grader who had submitted the name “Steel Curtain” through a contest entry at a local radio station.
The Steel Curtain Four became the first dominant all-black starting four in league history. According to the Wall Street Journal, the four men, who were all raised in a racist southern environment, were called the Tuskegee Airmen in cleats.
Charles Edward Greene, a.k.a. Mean Joe Greene, was a defensive tackle from Elgin, Texas. Standing at 6 foot 4, weighing 275 lbs during the high point of his career, Joe Greene was a first round draft pick for the Steelers in 1969. He was rated #13 best player of all time by NFL.com and was the only player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1987).
L.C. “Hollywood Bags” Greenwood holds the number two spot on the Steelers’ all-time sacks list. Representing a small college in the south, Greenwood was a 10th-round draft pick out of Arkansas AM&N, which is now Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The defensive end from Canton, MS gave twelve years to the Steelers, which took him to the Pro Bowl six times. Within that time span, Greenwood, who got his nickname for always having his bags packed for Hollywood, made 73 and a half sacks.
Ernest Lee “Fats” Holmes joined the Steel Curtain in 1972 from Texas Southern University. Holmes described himself as “stone crazy,” especially after receiving five years probation for firing a gun at trucks and a police helicopter. Fats, who had been released from the team for weight problems, weighed 260 lbss during his career with the Steelers but weighed around 400 lbs. after retirement. Holmes was an intimidator on the field, but a giving and spiritual person out of uniform. He later became an ordained minister with his own church. Holmes passed away in 2008 in a fatal car accident in Houston, Texas, in which his vehicle rolled several times. He was 59 years old.
Dwight “Mad Dog” White, was drafted from Texas A&M University in 1971. White was in a hospital bed shortly before the 1975 Superbowl match against the Minnesota Vikings. He suffered from pneumonia and a lung infection, but left the hospital in order to win against the Vikings 16-6. During the game, White, eighteen pounds lighter from illness, made three tackles for zero yards. The Associated Press chose White as a first team All-AFC player in 1973. He passed away from a blood clot in his lung in 2008 at 58 years old.
The Steel Curtain players led the team to a total of four Superbowl wins for the Steelers, endorsements, magazine covers and the famous 1979 Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial, where he tosses a jersey to a young boy.
Sadly, L.C. Greenwood passed away days ago from kidney failure. Joe Greene is the final remaining member of the original Steel Curtain Four.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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