L.C. Greenwoods LegacyBy Adrian Rawlings, SteelCity Mafia
November 12, 2013
L.C. Greenwood's Legacy
Good athletes are not hard to find, and the next big college and professional football stars could be in the 2014 recruiting class. However, it is almost unheard of to find exceptional players who are also great people in today's world. Many major athletes like Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez are more known for their scandals and dating lives than their athletic abilities. While L.C. Greenwood's recent death gained nationwide attention, those who are not longtime Steelers fans may not be familiar with him. His obscurity could be due to being passed over for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame twice, but Greenwood was an excellent player and person who deserves recognition.
While some teams were reluctant to recruit African-Americans in the 1960s, the Steelers wanted undiscovered talent and recruited at minority colleges. Recruiters went to Arkansas AM&N to evaluate a different player but found Greenwood. He went to the Steelers as a 10th round draft pick and was an integral part of the Steelers' defensive line.
Greenwood played with Steelers from 1969–1981 and was part of an intimidating and effective defensive lineup called "The Steel Curtain." As part of this defensive team, Greenwood had 73.5 sacks, 14 fumble recoveries and contributed to four Super Bowl wins for the Steelers.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, former Steelers scout Bill Nunn perceived Greenwood as a quiet man who never showed off but said he was also able to play aggressively and dominate on the field. While humble and reserved, Greenwood had a few quirks that made him stand out. After an injury required him to wear high tops, he wore gold shoes that made him easily recognizable. Greenwood had the shoes painted gold because of their ugly appearance, and his official website reveals that many fans begged him to keep wearing the shoes for luck. His unusual nickname "Hollywood Bags" also drew attention. It was said that Greenwood always had his bags packed so he would be ready if Hollywood called for him.
Greenwood achieved his tinsel town dreams and many others after his football career. Greenwood was a professional key-note speaker who starred in numerous commercials and was a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild. He kept busy after his football career by running three businesses, creating his own line of jewelry and contributing to many philanthropic projects.
Greenwood died from kidney failure at age 67 on September 29, 2013. The Steelers released a statement calling Greenwood one of the "most beloved Steelers during the most successful period in team history and he will be missed by the entire organization" and noted that Greenwood was a remarkable man on and off the field.
Greenwood will be remembered as crucial defensive player who broke records and as a great and beloved man. Currently, there is a fan run campaign to make L.C. Greenwood the 18th Steeler inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a sports and entertainment blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, sports, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.