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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


Joe Greene ('69), football, 1966-68:

Meeting the coach

North Texan: Now when you got onto the North Texas team, I understand you weren't recruited right away. How did you get onto the team?

Joe Greene: Who told you that story?

North Texan: (Laughing) Glen Holloway.

Greene: Yeah (chuckling). I wrote a letter to North Texas and they invited me up. Actually I wrote a letter to I think three or four teams, and I visited North Texas. I remember the old Men's Gym there, that's where the coach's office is. For whatever reason, at 18 years old at the time, before I went to the coach's office and introduced myself, I went to the men's room. And when I went in the men's room I started to do some push-ups. And I had an old sweatshirt on, cut off sleeves, and after about five minutes of doing push-ups and getting a little sweat going, then I walked into the coach's office and kind of did one of those Hulk-type poses, and I'll never forget Coach McCain and I think it was Bob Way, they jumped out of their seats and said, "You got the scholarship!" (Laughing) You know when they saw me walk through that door I guess I was probably at that time maybe 6' 3", 240 pounds, -45 pounds, so I passed the eye test. (Laughing)

The community car

North Texan: I also heard the story about the community car you guys used to borrow while they were playin' to go drive around in …

Joe Greene: They told you all these stories, huh? Who told you that one, Mayor Beatty or Glen Holloway?

North Texan: That was Glen again.

Greene: Was it? Yeah, this guy was a football player. I hadn't seen him — I saw him a couple of nights ago. He's gonna be here today. We were lovers. We were lovers. He was a defensive back from Teague, Texas. We used to call him Teague. But anyway he had a, I think it was a 1960 — a 1953 — Chevy. Didn't need a key to start it. It was so funny because you know, any time you needed a ride, you'd locate the car. Whoever saw the car had it. Wimble? would go to the dorm or someplace visiting his girlfriend and he'd come out and his car was gone and one of us would have it. We're on our dates, and if we didn't keep an eye on it, we'd come back and the car's gone. So (laughing) that's what was happening with the car. It was strange. There wasn't a whole lot of black students on campus and even fewer athletes and there were not a lot of cars, and we did a lot of what we call hoofin' it — walking. When we saw that car — yeah! And, you know, we always did him a favor — 50 cents would get you a lot of gas at the time. It was fun. He didn't think it was fun, but … (laughing)


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