CANTON, Ohio - Former Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio as a member of the Class of 2016.
Greene, who played three of his 14 seasons with the Steelers, has been humbled by his selection into the Hall of Fame and being a part of such a small fraternity of players.
Greene sat down and talked about his selection, what it means to be a Hall of Famer and his respect for the history of the game.
What is it like to hear Kevin Greene, Pro Football Hall of Famer?"It's strange and it's new. I have always been Pittsburgh Steeler Kevin Greene, or outside linebacker Kevin Greene, but now it's Hall of Famer Kevin Greene. It's strange to hear that, to know that is how I will be known now. It's definitely special."
You had the opportunity to tour the Hall of Fame and learn about the legends of the game before your enshrinement. What was that like for you?"There is so much about the history I didn't know. We went through it so fast, I really need to go through it slower. There are so many interesting things about how the league was formed, and how it developed over the years, that for me I would like to read up on and do some research on and see what I am a part of."
Seeing all of the Hall of Fame busts, is there a special kind of aura in the room where they all are?"It's quite unique looking at some of these legends. I remember watching them play, and then some of the legends that I played against. It's quite surreal to think I am on this team now, that I am going to have a bust in the same room as these fellas."
You got a sneak peek of the wall where the Class of 2016 busts will be. Was that surreal to see that?"I am at a loss for words a lot of times about this honor."
What have the emotions been like since you learned that you would be a member of the Class of 2016? **"It's a tremendous honor to be a part of this elite fraternity. I think that is my first thought process. My second thought process is all of the great coaches and players that were around me during my career to help me be a better player."
What moment stands out in your mind since you were announced?
"It was probably the knock on the door. That knock on the door was unexpected. I had been there before. I was waiting in my room with my wife Tara, my son Gavin, and my daughter Gabi, and I was just describing to my son how we were going to handle the phone call. The phone call says you didn't make it, please come down and meet some of your brothers that were selected into the Hall of Fame this class. I said son, this is the way we are going to handle it, be gracious in our failure, because it's going to happen one day we hope. He was like, no dad, no. I told him we have to be humble. And next thing it was 'boom, boom, boom' on the door, which was the (Hall of Fame) President Mr. David Baker at the door. Tara and I jumped out of our chairs, and I ran to the door. I opened it and it was Mr. Baker to welcome me to the Class of 2016. That was a tremendous moment in the Greene household."
Is that the moment when a tough football player becomes emotional?
"Oh yeah. When you care about something, you have a true passion about something, you can't hide that. That love and that fire in your heart, that passion in your heart. You can't hide it. It's going to come out. It's emotion."
So far has being selected to the Hall of Fame been everything you can imagine and more?
"So far it's been unreal. I can go to Lowes and Home Depot and some person I never met before will say I saw you on television and say congratulations on your fine career, Mr. Hall of Famer. It's really cool. I see a ton of Steelers fans out there and they say congratulations, you were always a Steeler, we have another Steeler in the Hall. It is just really tremendous."What is it like to be referred to as 'Mr. Hall of Famer'?
"I have to get used to it. Right now it's strange in a good way. It's interesting to be referred to as Kevin Greene, Hall of Famer."