Steelers retiring Joe Greene’s No. 75 jersey

Getty Images

Nearly a half-century after they last retired a jersey, the Steelers are taking another uniform number out of service.

The club will retire Joe Greene’s No. 75 jersey, the Steelers announced at a Wednesday press conference.

A Hall of Fame defensive tackle, Greene played on the Steelers’ first four Super Bowl-winning teams.

The Steelers haven’t retired a number since October 25, 1964, when officially took defensive lineman Ernie Stautner’s No. 70 out of service. Stautner, like Greene, is a Hall of Famer.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said Wednesday the organization had been reluctant “for a long time” about retiring more jerseys, given the franchise’s rich history and the number of players who might merit recognition.

“Look, we’ve been fortunate down through the years to have many players who could deserve to have their number retired,” Rooney said. “It really was a concern about ‘How many jerseys can you actually retire?'”

For now, though, the club has changed course, deciding to officially put No. 75 away for good.

As for other numbers the club may retire? The Steelers haven’t made those decisions yet.

“We came to the conclusion recently that look, we don’t have to make a decision on how many jerseys we retire,” Rooney said. “I think it’s the right thing to do to retire Joe’s number at this point, and we’ll make other decisions down the road as seems appropriate.”

50 responses to “Steelers retiring Joe Greene’s No. 75 jersey

  1. Joe Greene may very well have been the greatest Steeler ever. Jack Lambert would be my 2nd choice.

  2. Mean Joe is absolutely THE best defensive player to have ever taken a snap in this now sissified NFL.
    Joe Greene is what made the league great to begin with.

  3. If any Steeler should have his jersey retired, it’s Mean Joe, not just because of how great he was, but because he is the beginning of the Steelers being a great franchise. However, I don’t like the decision. Where does the line get drawn? Is he any more worthy than Bradshaw? Franco? Lambert? I’ve disliked in the past how these numbers have been unofficially retired (nobody has been 75, 12, 32, or 58 since they retired) but plenty of players have been Mel Blount’s 47, John Stallworth’s 82, and Lynn Swann’s 88. I’d rather have ring of honor or some other memorial that didn’t separate greatness into levels of achievement.

  4. Don2074978 said:

    “@Steeler_Nation, what took so long?”

    Exactly. This should’ve happened decades ago.

    -Titans Fan

  5. If they retired the jerseys of all those Hall of Fame players in the 70’s and 80’s, they won’t have enough numbers left to field a team.

  6. thepftpoet says:Jul 30, 2014 2:42 PM

    Top 5 Players of all time :

    1. Fran Tarkenton.
    2. Randy Moss.
    3. John Randle.
    4. Alan Page.
    5. Chris Carter.

    Just when you thought it was safe to be logical…lol

  7. One of the games true men. Mean Joe personified the way the game was meant to be played. As a fan of the former NFL I say congratulations Joe, Steeler fans, and those who miss the old league that was once played.

  8. theageofquarrel says:Jul 30, 2014 2:44 PM

    Mean Joe is absolutely THE best defensive player to have ever taken a snap in this now sissified NFL.
    Joe Greene is what made the league great to begin with.

    ——————

    Can’t disagree with how great Mean Joe was, but I don’t think the league is “sissified”. The players are bigger, stronger and faster then ever. Around 40 lbs more muscle on average for the defensive line. That is why it’s more dangerous then ever and they are tweaking the rules.

  9. Yes, it is a slippery slope given all the legends who are deserving — but nevertheless, I am absolutely elated that Joe’s number gets retired.

    BOOM!!!

  10. I’m sure to be in the minority on this, but I’ve always been against retiring numbers for great players. Put their name and number up all over the stadium, yes, but honor them by letting other players try to live up to that standard. If anything, I’d switch and retire/banish numbers for the epic fails like Hernandez or Leaf. Who wants to wear or look at their numbers now?

  11. Holy crap. This guy’s number wasn’t ALREADY retired? That’s absurd.

    How did this not happen in the early 90s.

  12. Well deserved. I understand the Steeler’s reticence to retire jerseys….but you MUST define those players who did SO much to define YOUR franchise. Lambert, Bradshaw, Ham, Blount, Swannie, Bleier and Stallworth should all be next. Still lots of numbers left!

  13. What a legend! And, I agree the Steelers should have a Ring of Honor as some of our all time greats have come from the Steeler Nation and deserve to be remembered with respect. The sad thing about the NFL today is that most “fans” know nothing of the Greats who carved out the game like Mean Joe, most don’t even know their own franchise history or who’s on their roster! Kudos to the Rooneys!

  14. “Look, we’ve been fortunate down through the years to have many players who could deserve to have their number retired,” Rooney said. “It really was a concern about ‘How many jerseys can you actually retire?’”

    #EliteTeamProblems

  15. When ball carriers like John Riggins and Earl Campbell ran into a pile, it moved … unless that pile was Joe Greene.

  16. It should be noted that the Steelers haven’t issued certain jersey numbers worn by some of their all-time greats for decades. Joe Greene’s number hasn’t been worn by anyone since he last wore it. This just makes it official.

  17. Joe is the single most important player in the franchise’s history. I am fine with them retiring his number and never retire another number again. He was the first true “Franchise” player. Without him, there wouldn’t have been any of the success of the 70’s. Definitely lifetime MVP of the franchise and one of the best to ever suit up.

  18. thepftpoet says:
    Jul 30, 2014 2:42 PM
    Top 5 Players of all time :

    1. Fran Tarkenton.
    2. Randy Moss.
    3. John Randle.
    4. Alan Page.
    5. Chris Carter.

    And this guy cannot even spell Cris Carter’s name right! SKOL! As a vikes fan he upsets my stomach

  19. I love the 70s Steelers — too many Hall of Famers to list and personally Jack Ham might be my all-time favorite player — but Mean Joe Greene IS the Steelers and I’d be OK with waiting another 50 years to retire another number.

  20. thepftpoet says:
    Jul 30, 2014 2:42 PM

    Top 5 Players of all time :

    1. Fran Tarkenton.
    2. Randy Moss.
    3. John Randle.
    4. Alan Page.
    5. Chris Carter.
    _____________________

    You misspelled Cris Carter….. @thepftpoet is really a Packers fan just dressed up as a Vikes fan and acting a fool just to get you to hate the Vikings…. And he’s doing a good job…

  21. Do they even ask these players if they want their numbers retired? What if Greene or any of these former greats just happen to like to watch their team play with an eye on whoever happens to be wearing “their” number?
    .
    Got the grandkids on his lap, game is on TV, and every once on a while, Greene pauses the play and points to a tackle in the game, with the “75” looming on the jersey and says, “Hey, that’s what your grandpa’s number, too,” and then he bring out the scrap books for a walk down memory lane. Priceless.

  22. My favorite player from the 70’s Steelers was actually a bench warmer… Dennis “Dirt” Winston; I met the guy and he was truly a class act!

    However, Joe Greene defines the term franchise player. I think the Steelers need to establish a “ring of fame” or something similar to honor players… Here’s a few suggestions-

    Greene, Greenwood, Ham, Lambert, Blount, Shell, Stallworth, Webster, Swann, Harris, Bleier, Bradshaw, Lloyd, Kirkland, Woodson, Bettis, Hoge, Ward, Dawson (I could name many more).

  23. This is only the 2nd player on the Steelers to ever have a jersey retired. The 1st guy played both offense and defense. Well deserved though, even though nobody has worn No. 75 since Greene anyway. Best DL ever to play the game. Started the triple-team. Love how he spit on and picked a fight with Dick Butkus in his rookie season.

  24. And they are retiring it during the Ravens game 11/2. Perfect. Let alone it is one of the best rivalries in the NFL, can you imagine the crowd’s “enthusiasm” for that game?!

  25. I for one am glad that the STEELERS take there time to make this honor…. imagine the bills retiring oj’s number and then oops!

    You get my drift… it needs to be a life long honor not just the years on the field…

    That said he made being a D-lineman sexy…. up to that time D-linemen were big guys who couldn’t make it on the Offense… the defense stars were the LineBackers….

    Well deserved….

  26. As a Baltimore Colt and football fan in general, you had to admire an elite team like the Steelers. When we lost our team, having left B-more five years earlier for the Air Force, I rooted for the Steelers and what a great organization should and admired Big Joe Green. Why did it take so long. Now as a Ravens fan even though I’ve not lived on Baltimore since I left for college I root for the Ravens first then if we are out I root for our AFC North teams to get to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the Ravens have had a rough year but still is an elite organization having Pittsburg to thank. The Ravens after leaving Cleveland learned how to run the team on an elite way by studying Pittsburg’s business plan and have pretty good. Cincinnati is now learning how to build success. I’m proud of the AFC North because all four teams have great fans whom by a large margin are blue collar and play in small rust belt towns competing with large metro population areas, TV markets, rich and famous, like NY, Boston, SF, Dallas and Miami to name a few. Other then NE the AFC North is the most successful since 2000. Good luck to my AFCN teams, I think Cincinnati gets over the hump and Cleveland has a winning season, 9-7 while Pittsburg, Cincinnati and Baltimore makes the playoff again.

  27. Mean Joe was simply the greatest.

    Retire the jersey step one.

    Get L.C. Greenwood into the Hall of Fame and get the Steel Curtain D the true recognition it deserves. Step two, and mission accomplished.

    You da man, Joe.

  28. Not a big fan of retiring jerseys. But it’s okay if we only do it once every 50 years. And they couldn’t have made a better choice.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!