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How our green got mean by Rufus Coleman
Fall 2004      

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How Our Green Got Mean

Voices of the Mean Green

An American Original

Academic vision


Willie Davis ('68), basketball, 1964-68:

The Mean Green story

Willie Davis: I have firsthand information on how that got started. One Saturday night some of my teammates and I had decided to indulge in a little alcohol and I can tell this now because it doesn't really matter. And we went to Dallas and bought a little wine and brought it back to the campus and at half-time we consumed it. And when we came back into the stadium, of course North Texas was beating up on someone in football, and we were very avid supporters of the other athletic programs there everybody supported everybody. And this fellow by the name of Ira Daniels who was also there on an athletic scholarship in track started leading the cheers. We weren't satisfied with the cheers that the cheerleaders were doing down on the floor of the stadium. So Ira Daniels got up and started saying to us, the rest of the students that were sitting in this section, "Mean Green, you look so good to me." And then we would say "Mean Green." And then we just kept repeating that and repeating that. And so actually the cheerleaders, the university cheerleaders, stopped cheering, and started listening to what we were saying, and when they finally figured out what we were saying, they started doing the chant with us. So after that at every game we did that. And that was the original version of how Mean Green got started. A lot of people later on associated it with Joe's name because his last name was Greene, but it actually started with that simple chant on Saturday night at Fouts Field. And that's the truth.



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