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Looking up to ‘The Man’ since 1971

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By 1971, I had finished my enlistment with the U.S. Army just in time for the football season. To fit into my new civilian surroundings, I made a hasty appraisal and analysis of several teams that I would feel comfortable backing as a fan. Everyone seemed to have a favorite, for a multitude of reasons.

Having no previous loyalties, geographically or athletically, I used instead the characteristics of the owners and the potential of the players for my guide.

Family owned – check. Very good defense – check. A reliable running back – check, who also could catch a ball – double check. And a young quarterback too dumb to realize the importance of what he was doing – check. When they re-signed another running back who had taken time off for military duty , and earned two Purple Hearts in so doing, that was just a plus for me.

If you haven’t guessed by now which team I picked, it was the Steelers, and all these years later I continue to live and die with their seasons – six Super Bowl wins to live with, too many untimely losses that break my heart.

But the start of their success pretty much began with ‘The Man’ I will be interviewing on Feb. 11, Charles Edward “Mean Joe” Greene. He is the speaker at this year’s Rotary Scholarship Banquet and I am impatient to have a conversation with him. Hope my readers will be interested in reading it, too.

So, I may not see you in the bleachers, but maybe at the banquet!