In the summer of 2010, my first book will be coming out in stores entitled “100 Things Every Steelers Fan Should Know Before They Die.” The book, which is being published by Triumph Books, will be in stores next Summer and will retail for $14.95. We will have ordering info through Amazon as soon as it becomes available.
In the meantime, through the offseason, we’ll give Steelers Gab readers a sneak peek of some chapters of the book. Today is chapter 31, which talks about one of the famous members of the Steel Curtain – L.C. Greenwood. Enjoy!
L.C. Greenwood was maybe the quietest member of the Steelers famed “Steel Curtain,” but in a way – he was also the loudest. He and John “Frenchy” Fuqua would show off their style on Friday’s in the locker room during the Steelers glory years of the 70’s, showing off their latest fashions. Greenwood, who was known for wearing bell bottoms, funky hats, and even capes, would always win. But his flamboyant style off the field said little about how good Greenwood was as a player on it.
L.C. Henderson Greewood was a 10th round draft pick of the Steelers back in 1971, this as the team was just starting to climb out of the depths of being a laughingstock in the NFL. He quickly cemented himself on the team, becoming the starting left defensive end on the famed curtain. He stayed on that line until he walked away from the game in 1981. Known for his quickness, Greenwood put up some impressive career highlights, including being a 6 time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time All-Pro selection, four Super Bowl rings, 73.5 career sacks, and five sacks in four Super Bowls.
What made Greenwood stand out other than his play on the field, were the shoes he wore. Wearing gold shoes became the staple of Greenwood, and something that followed him his whole career. It was those gold shoes that could be seen every Sunday making tackles and sacking quarterbacks.
It began as Greenwood would make tackles, but the P.A. announcer would announce some other Steelers defenders name. It made Greenwood feel slighted, so he took to coloring his shoes a yellow, or gold color, so he would always be seen making plays, and he made quite a few of them over his great career.
He led the Steelers six times in sacks, putting up as many as 11 in one season. He also led the NFL with five fumble recoveries in the 1971 season, 14 in his career. He always seemed to be a force in the pass rush of the Steel Curtain. His size, 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 245 pounds, made him tough to block, and he also had the speed to get around most offensive linemen. His great play in the four Steelers Super Bowls earned him the honor of being named in 1991 as a member of the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team.
People still today talk about Greenwood for his shoes. What many don’t know about L.C. was how much he felt that looking spiffy on the field would help you play better. “If you look good, you play good,” Greenwood said in the Steelers 1979 NFL Films America’s Game. “You gotta have everything in the perfect order. Your shirt gotta be tucked in. I felt if I was clean, I’d play that way.”
And just about every Sunday Greenwood played clean. He likely won’t ever find his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this despite being a finalist in 2006, but his fashion sense and gold shoes will forever go down in Steelers history.
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