By Teresa Varley
The four diamonds that adorn the ring from Super Bowl XIV sparkled as the light reflected off of Joe Greene's hand. He glanced down at the ring and smiled as to why he is wearing this particular ring.
"I picked this one up during the Championship run – heading to the AFC Championship game," sad Greene. "It could have been any one of them I wore, but I had to put one on for luck. It acted as my good luck charm. That's all I can do from the sideline is cheer and get my Terrible Towel and become a fan. The ring was a part of it.
"I kept it on since then. I wouldn't change it. Once I started I stuck with it. I think for Super Bowl XL I had the ring from Super Bowl XIII. I couldn't tell you any kind of logic other than it was my lucky charm."
One thing is for sure, Greene has plenty of rings to choose from as he will soon be the owner of six Super Bowl rings, a true rarity in the NFL.
Greene was a mainstay for the Steelers "Steel Curtain" defense in the 1970s, winning a ring in Super Bowl IX, X, XIII and XIV as a player. Greene just completed his fifth season with the Steelers as a special assistant/college and pro personnel, winning a ring from Super Bowl XL and now Super Bowl XLIII.
He is one of only four Steelers staff members who will be the proud owner of six rings, and while winning one as a player differs from doing it now, it's still just as special for Greene.
"It's quite different getting a ring now, compared to how I got my first four rings," said Greene, "I really appreciate the work the people in this department do and how important it is. When I get my hands around that I feel pretty good that I am part of the group. But it is different. That is the best way I can explain it. It's a different type of work, but I have an immense appreciation for this part of it. I feel very lucky to be a participant."
Greene was in Pittsburgh since the days after the Super Bowl as the player personnel and scouting department met regarding the draft and free agency. For someone who has been a part of the NFL as a player and coach, it's another aspect that he is really enjoying.
"I am just so happy to be here and see how much goes into it from this side of the organization," said Greene. "Making the right decisions, the right players, helping the coaches make decisions on the right players. Ultimately that really gives you a chance to be in the ball game, having your players up to the level of play they have to be. The coaches have to coach, but you have to start with a quality player. I have a great appreciation for this position and what the scouting department plays in it. I feel good about it."
While Greene was in Pittsburgh, he wasn't about to go to Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII. After playing in four and attending Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Greene watched the Steelers defeat the Arizona Cardinals from his home with his wife Agnes, as well as his mother, daughter and grandkids.
"It was very intense," admitted Greene. "But, it never went into my consciousness that we weren't going to win. I was disappointed at times when we didn't score when I thought we should have and everyone thought we should have. I was in the frame of mind that the team is very resilient and they do what they have to do to win. It was much like the majority of the season. We won some close games. That is a yard stick of how good you are when you can win the tough, tight ball games. The ones we lost in the regular season we were in them. I was confident. No doubt ever crept into my mind that it was going to be a sad day. That never crossed my mind."
There was one rule though in the Greene house while watching the game – no idle chit-chat while the game was going on. It was all about focusing on the game and nothing else.
"You can watch any football game and be casual about it, but when your team is involved, for me it's like I am playing it," said Greene. "I am right there with everything going on. I am focused. When we watch the Steelers play, we don't talk. When the phone rings, we don't answer it. There were seven people in the room watching the Super Bowl and the only talking was go get 'em, stop 'em, turnover. When James (Harrison) intercepted the ball all we were saying was turnover, turnover, turnover with all our emotions. And he made it. There is no happy talk during the game.
If it's not about the game, don't say it."
Greene however doesn't mind talking about the Steelers winning their sixth Super Bowl. He is proud of each ring that the team has earned and what the organization has accomplished and how they went about doing it.
"I am not ashamed to say yes we won six," said Greene. "I don't mind bragging about saying yes we won six because it's over and we did that. If you can't be happy about winning the Super Bowl then why do you play the game? You can't hold it in. I am happy for all of the guys, the players and coaches, because they felt like I felt and I want everyone to feel it.
"It's a superb feeling of satisfaction and gratification for yourself and those that went through it with you. It's hard. It's a job we did together. That's the nature of the business, people working together for a common goal. A lot of people haven't been able to do it for whatever reason. But the Pittsburgh Steelers have been doing it right, otherwise we would not have been at the threshold of the Super Bowl as many times as we have and seven times getting there and winning it six. That's pretty good."