Reporting Lynne Hayes-Freeland
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Steeler Nation came together to bid a final farewell to “Hollywood Bags,” No. 67, LC Greenwood Monday.
But it wasn’t just a funeral, it was a homecoming celebration that paid tribute not just to his prowess on the football field, but his contributions to the greater Pittsburgh community.
“It’s a tough day for everybody,” said Lynn Swann.
And everybody included the Rooney’s – Art and Dan – along with Bill Nunn, the man who first scouted LC Greenwood as a college athlete.
Andy Russell and Franco Harris, Mel Blount and the last of the Steel Curtain, Joe Greene.
I’m going to miss being able to call him,” Greene said. “He always had something humorous to say — something encouraging to say.”
One by one, Steeler greats filed past the man with stats like four Super Bowl rings, seven pro-bowl appearances, but gold shoes that won him hearts of Steelers and fans everywhere – to say goodbye and thanks for so many memories.
“He would always say, ‘look, anyone can play this game healthy, the real men play banded up,’” said former Steeler Tunch Ilkin. “And he showed that with his perseverance.”
“Probably one of the greatest Steelers of all time in terms of attitude and disposition,” said former Steeler JT Thomas. “And it’s unfortunate you learn these things after one is gone.”
Both Thomas and Greene addressed the congregation Monday, telling stories of their friendship with Greenwood after football. Greene fought back tears.
“I thought Joe did a good job,” he said. “His emotions was all of our emotions.”
Those Steelers of yesterday had a special connection, a special bond. They set records that had never happened before. So when they lose one, it hits close to home and that showed Monday — when they had to say goodbye, job well done to LC.
“We were blessed,” said Franco Harris. “We had a great team, a close team and a lot of teammates came out – and when you lose someone, it’s like you lose a family member.”