year in high school I got kicked out of nine games. No, I got kicked out of all
of 'em. My junior year it was nine. I ran over a few officials. Sometimes
you how crazy I used to be. A team came to Temple and beat us and afterwards—we
had this little diner in town. I came in there and the other team was eating.
Their quarterback had an ice cream cone. I took it away from him and smeared it
all over his face. He didn't do anything. He went back to the team bus. Then I
heard somebody call my name. I turned around and a soda bottle hit my chest,
and the guy I'd done that way ducked back into the bus. Like a damn fool, I
went at the bus. In the front door. They all went out the back door.
"But I'm not
a brawler. I can't imagine getting hit in the face with a fist being any fun. I
was standing in a bar in Pittsburgh. A guy came in, he was fairly good-sized,
he walked straight at me. I moved, assumed he didn't see me. He came back. I
moved again. He bumped me. I had the feeling this guy wanted to try me. I
thought, 'Oh, oh." I stay out of those situations. They do get into life or
death literally. I couldn't conceive of myself doing any harm to anybody
fatally. But there's that old saying, 'Better he than me.' If you do jump into
something like that, it's got to be final."
makes a grabbing motion from his armchair. Then he makes a throwing motion. A
dead fly bounces off the wall. "Did I get him?" he says.
"It's a heck
of a thing to realize you can't do anything but play football. I'm capable of
other things, but that's the only thing I know now. In college they tried to
get me to go to a lot of classes and things, but I kind of lost interest. I
couldn't write. Because I didn't have anything to say. You can't be descriptive
prospered. With a friend, he has started a janitorial company. He's appeared in
a few quickie films—in one of which, The Bad Black Six, he picked white
motorcycle hoods up over his head and threw them. He seems a bit defensive
about his movie career, though he shows up well enough on the screen. This
summer he turned down a chance to star in a movie as a washed-up ballplayer.
Like most ballplayers he has no taste for the rough give-and-take of
dirty. All of it I've been into—seems like it's unethical. They call it
leverage. People are always going under the table trying to outflank you. I try
to be straightforward and right."
He has trusted
several agents who he feels cheated him. "When you make a lot of money
fast, that's when the buzzards are thickest," he says. He is suffering
currently over his estrangement from several college friends who had gone on to
play pro ball. He had been involved with them in a firm that planned to
represent other players and invest in real estate. Greene withdrew from the
group.' 'They thought I deserted them. But we just didn't have the vehicle.
We'd have wound up ripping people off, too. I'm not gonna let the snake bite me
if I know it's there."
settling down. "I'm more into practice, and working out," he says.
"I didn't used to have the patience for those things. This off-season I did
something every day, or every other day, or every chance I got. Jog, play
basketball." Steeler Strength Coach Lou Riecke brought him a set of weights
in February. "I used to just lift when Lou or Chuck was looking. When they
turned their heads I'd stop. But then some of the guys I used to throw around a
little bit, I couldn't anymore. I'd have to spend too much energy doing it. I'm
Greene looks different. His upper body is more conventionally muscular, his
distinctive spare tire is gone. He has a championship to defend. Does all this
mean he will be even better?