Ex-Steelers say Hall of Fame “cheated” L.C. Greenwood

The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s have eight players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And some of them say that’s not enough.

There’s a movement afoot to get L.C. Greenwood, a member of the Steel Curtain defensive line who played in Pittsburgh from 1969 to 1981, enshrined in Canton as a seniors committee candidate. Greenwood’s Hall of Fame teammate Mean Joe Greene feels strongly that Greenwood belongs in the Hall.

“I don’t know what my career would have been without him,” Greene told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. Bottom line, he’s being cheated.”

Former Steelers linebacker Jack Ham said he thinks there’s a bias against the Steelers among Hall of Fame voters who think they’ve already inducted too many of them.

“I’ve . . . heard people say, ‘What are we gonna do, build a wing out here for all the Steelers from back then?'” Ham said. “I wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame without L.C. and the work he did on the field. The fact that he isn’t in there, too, has everything to do with politics.”

For his part, Greenwood isn’t campaigning for the Hall of Fame, other than saying, “It’s unfortunate.”

We’ve been critical of the Hall of Fame selection process around here, but Greenwood’s approach is the right one: It’s unfortunate that some deserving players haven’t been selected, but saying those players have been “cheated” or blaming “politics” takes us away from having an honest debate about the merits of players like Greenwood.

56 responses to “Ex-Steelers say Hall of Fame “cheated” L.C. Greenwood

  1. It seems like theres an article everyday about steelers complaining about being cheated what else is new? There has to be better stories on gameday morning fellas

  2. No. Good player who played on great teams. Lynn Swann is in over Drew Pearson? Give me a break, now they want L.C. in? Why not build them their own wing……

  3. maybe jack ham and joe green should give up their spots in the HOF since they are so undeserving without LC. always some kind of steroid era abuser talking about injustices, cheating etc. f off steroid curtain

  4. unbiased skins fan here doesn’t remember many of those steelers who SHOULDN’T be in the hall, those mfers were scary. put him in.

  5. Every good team has players who don’t get selected. That’s just the way it is. Look at the Niners teams of the 80’s..Four titles, THREE players in the Hall. Somebody was winning those games. I could go on, but you get the point. Quit whining, for God’s sake.

  6. Not only should LC be in,but also 1950s DB Jack Butler,Andy Russell and Dermontti Dawson.It’s unfortunate that envy,jealousy and pettiness keeps these worthy players out of the Hall.We Steeler fans have to endure the same thing.

  7. It’s past 930 on Sunday morning of week 2 of the NFL season. Steelers, steelers, steelers. Isn’t there more going on this morning??? Maybe we should create a steeler wing on pft site for all of these post. Let’s go bucs!!!!

  8. skinsfantom says: Sep 18, 2011 9:34 AM

    unbiased skins fan here doesn’t remember many of those steelers who SHOULDN’T be in the hall, those mfers were scary. put him in.


  9. This reminds me of Joe Klecko’s predicament. Of course Klecko was the best player of the Sack Exchange not the least and he got hurt badly twice during his career which never helps.

    Life isn’t fair.

  10. The debate isn’t on L.C. unfortunately; he is being left out because other players like Lynn Swann, who absolutely do not belong in the Hall of Fame, got in before him. Sad but true. Offense trumps defense.

  11. I’m really not sure if LC belongs in there he was more of a role player on a decent team. As for Steeler fans they most definitely deserve to be in the Hall of Shame for the Whiniest, Most Annoying fans in the NFL, first ballot no doubt.

  12. Drew Pearson over Lynn Swann?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Pearson was not near the talent Swann was. You’ve got to be kidding.

  13. LC should be in the hall. But the same can be said about a lot of guys. How about Jim Marshall?! 20 NFL seasons and one in the CFL. Played the 1959 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders before playing the 1960 season with Cleveland then played 1961-1979 with Minnesota. NFL record (since surpassed) 282 consecutive games (302 with post season). 282 consecutive games at defensive end! WOW! NFL record 30 opponents fumbles recovered in a career. Played in four Super Bowls. 127 career sacks. Like I said, the case can be made for a lot of guys being in the HOF but lets get the ones who deserve it most in first.

  14. I’m not a Steelers fan at all but the right thing is that Greenwood should be in. Truth is Truth you can’t have the others in there and not have him in. It’s obvious the HOF have the wrong people voting who should be in.

  15. It’s all media-driven BS and politics with a bunch of the HoF considerations and inductions. Case in point; Joe Namath, he shouldn’t even be in there based on stats. Being drunk at poolside and making a prediction or wearing pantyhose are not foremost measurements for HoF induction.

  16. Hall of Fame should have a simple rule. Eight player maximum from any single team over any decade. If someone more deserving is left out, then one of the enshrined players can give up his spot to allow the more deserving player to be inducted.

    This would allow Lynn Swann to gracefully remove himself from the Hall, where his stats never should have gotten him a spot, to begin with.

    Of course, then there’ll be Rocky Bleier…

  17. There is bias against other players from the 70’s BECAUSE of the Steelers.

    There are players from the 70’s that will not get selected because that will put their team’s HOF 1970’s total equal to/or greater than the Steelers.

    All because the Steelers won 4 Superbowls in the 70’s and were the team of the decade. Some people in the HOF committee believe that when there is a team of a(n) decade/era that they should have the most HOF members from that time period.

  18. Do the Steelers intentionally whine and/or complain about something everyday? There’s tons of guys that should be in the HOF, every team has ’em, get over it.

  19. Absolutely L.C. should be in the Hall of Fame, there’s no argument about it, and it is politics. There are people who believe there are too many Steelers in the Hall so they overlook Greenwood, the same thing happened to Stallworth, and also several members of the Cowboys and the Raiders of the 70’s.

  20. The Steelers teams of the 70s were simply awesome, and their defense was one of the best ever.

    It’s generous of Joe Greene of Jack Ham to say that they wouldn’t have been as good without Greenwood, but they could say the same about any and every member of that defense. So should all of them be in?

    But this is called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Dominance, not the Hall of I-Couldn’t-Have-Been-So-Great-Without-Their-Help. You can’t simply say that all eleven defensive starters belong in there.

    One has to have been as good as, or better than, the best to ever play their position. If you can say that about Greenwood, then he should be there.

  21. “I don’t know what my career would have been without him,” Greene told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    So you’re saying you weren’t as good as we all thought you were, Joe????

  22. “Half of the steelers already in the HOF don’t deserve it.”

    4 in 6 years, big mouth, GET OVER IT. If LC played for the Buccaneers, he’d be first ballot.

  23. I’m a Vikings fan who grew up with an older brother who was a Steelers fan. I thought I would never hear the end of it after Superbowl 9……..Put the damn guy in the HOF. He deserves it…… RIP Bro!

  24. broncobeta says:Sep 18, 2011 9:40 AM

    What do you expect when the committee is ran by “professional” journalist? Most flawed HOF process is sports.

    Peter King… Woody Paige? C’mon.


    Not even close. Boxing is the worst of all HOFs. When an actor (sylvester stallone) recieved the nod for their HOF, you know that system is broke. Baseball HOF is pretty much a joke also. The only real requirement is to get 75% of the vote (NFL is 80%) and there is no limit on how many players make the baseball HOF anf just about ANYONE can make that hall also; writers, umpires, executives and builders).

    If Peter King (Puke!) and Woody Paige (Blah!) are the worse elements of the NFL HOF, then I am pretty confident in the integrity of the HOF.

  25. Skins fan here. It took Art Mont 15 years to get in and they just voted him in to “get him out of the way”. Thats sad. The guy was the NFLs all time leading receiver when he retired. That alone should make you first ballot. Yet Deion got in first ballot. Gimme a break. Its all a popularity contest.

  26. Greenwood is more deserving than Swann or Stallworth. Both were great players for the Steelers, but not sure they were HoF material either.

  27. Being a team game, you’d expect that current HOF’ers wouldn’t be so dumb as to think they did everything on their own to get in the HOF.
    However, that doesn’t mean that everyone on the field and associated with the team that won multiple Superbowls deserves to also be in the HOF.

  28. No Problem. Take Swann out and put Greenwood in. Swann wasn’t even the best WR on his own team.

    Swann got in on the strength of two pretty lucky plays in the SB. Other than that his resume is fairly average, and not much better than other WRs who are NOT in the HoF.

    If SB plays are all it takes then Doug Williams, Tyree, and that RB from Washington who ran for 200+ yards should have been shoe ins.

    Swann got in because the Steelers won SBs. To complain that Greenwood didn’t get in because the Steelers have too many is hypocrisy.

  29. The people on here mouthing off about steroids and waterboys and Steelers complaining other nonsense are just demonstrating their ignorance. Reading these threads you get used to the reality that many commenters don’t know spit about football. But on topics like this, it’s grating listening to 14-year-olds who don’t realize they actually played the game before fantasy football. Many players on many teams have been unfairly overlooked. L.C. is a glaring example for the Steelers, as is Dermontti Dawson, and Donnie Shell should have gotten consideration.

  30. @bringbacktheflex …

    Players should be admitted to the Hall based on the impact they have on the game at the time they played, not their statistics in 1976 compared to another receiver’s statistics in 1998. The game changes, so you can’t compare the passing stats of a Lynn Swan to the Passing stats of a Jerry Rice. But at the height of his career, Swan was one of the most influential and dynamic receivers in the game. That is why he’s in the Hall. It’s not all about stats … except in fantasy football 🙄

  31. While I agree that L.C. Greenwood has a good HoF argument…

    -he’s got lots of company here among HoF snubs who are now only Senior-eligible.

    -Greenwood isn’t being “cheated” any more than the dozens of other legitimate HoF snubs.

    The lobbying on behalf of players for HoF membership by their teammates, hometown sportswriters, and fan-base is pretty much a cottage industry these days, with such folks based in Pittsburgh, Washington, Oakland, Dallas, and Denver being in my experience particularly well organized and vocal. This is another such example, though at least it’s in favor of a good candidate. But the Senior nominees shouldn’t always go to those with the loudest supporters.

    I’m also not sure how big a slam-dunk Greenwood may be with the HoF voters either, given that Claude Humphrey (a DE contemporary with similar honors) was refused entry as a Senior a few years ago. However, I do think both Greenwood and Humphrey should be in the HoF.

  32. @bachslunch …

    Agree with your comments, but they remind me how wrong it is that anyone should have to lobby a bunch of snotty sportswriters on behalf the men who built the game. Former players should also have Hall of Fame input. They know which players deserve recognition.

  33. @Deb

    Thanks for the feedback. What you’re saying sounds like a good idea in theory, but there are two problems with this I can see:

    -the example set by the Baseball Hall of Fame (via the Veterans Committee) has indeed produced the reversal of a few injustices (Johnny Mize, Arky Vaughan, George Davis) but a whole lot more terrible crony-ism choices. Frankie Frisch alone managed to shove through a bunch of his undeserving drinking buddy teammates while he was head of the committee (Jesse Haines, Ross Youngs, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft), and the likes of Rick Ferrell, Phil Rizzuto, Freddie Lindstrom, George Kelly, Rube Marquard, George Kell, Tommy McCarthy, Ray Schalk, Lloyd Waner, and Harry Hooper also got in this way. The last straw was when great-glove-but-weak-bat Bill Mazeroski got voted in — the committee was dissolved the next year. And unfortunately, it has now been replaced by a Veterans straight-out vote by the existing living HoF members — which hasn’t elected a single player since it began over 10 years ago. That’s one awful track record on both sides of the problem.

    -related to this is the thought that some of the heaviest lobbying for one or another HoF snubs comes from current or former players/coaches. And from what I’ve seen, the example cited in this article (Greene and Ham pushing for their own teammate) is the rule rather than the exception. I’m unfortunately seeing a lot of hometown bias from such folks, and am apprehensive about seeing a committee of such players/coaches getting together to elect HoF members.

    HoF players/coaches already advise the Seniors Committee, but don’t have a vote here. That might be the best capacity for them to serve here.

    There are some changes that might indeed help the HoF selection process (rotating writers on and off the panel periodically, forcing panel members to publicly disclose how they voted), but I’m not sure how much unbiased help ex-players/coaches would provide.

    The biggest problem is that so few people can be elected per year. Lots of fine candidates wait a while, and some deserving folks are denied, as a result.

  34. @bachslunch …

    Excellent points. As with most things, the seemingly simple solutions aren’t always so simple. I like the idea of rotating voting members and requiring voting disclosure, and have always favored raising the limit on the number of senior inductees.

  35. @Deb

    Thanks for the positive feedback.

    Given the awful backlog on good Senior candidates, I too can see a good argument for adding in another finalist here. And that’s especially true if the committee starts doing dumb things like voting down good Senior nominees such as Claude Humphrey.

    Another thing I’d really like to see (and some of the HoF voters are on record as thinking this is a good idea) would be to have one or two yearly dedicated Coach/Contributor finalists, like what the Seniors have now. This would get deserving folks like Ed Sabol and Ralph Wilson in quicker (luckily, both were alive in their 90s to enjoy HoF election), as well as allowing a full complement of five regular candidate players to be voted in each year. This would keep logjams from building up in both categories.

  36. L.C. Greenwood perhaps should be in the hall of fame. The undeserving Lynn Swann, whose career numbers were very pedestrian, could relinquish his slot for the more deserving Greenwood.

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