The NFL & Pro Football HoF Cheated L.C. Greenwood, Steelers and Record Books

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Swann’s incredible sideline catch in first quarter against Dallas in Super Bowl X.

If Not For Swann, Greenwood Was MVP Of Super Bowl X

If the Steelers would have been able to hold on to win without  Swann’s incredible game, L.C. Greenwood would have been the MVP of Super Bowl X. Greenwood and the rest of the Steel Curtain dominated the Cowboys sacking Roger Staubach seven (7) times harassing Staubach almost every time he dropped back to pass. Greenwood’s sacks accounted for 29 yards in losses for the Cowboys. Staubach wasn’t nicknamed “Roger the Dodger” for no reason and he escaped a half dozen other sacks in Super Bowl X.  Just about any other QB would have been sacked a dozen or more times that day. The Steel Curtain was dominant in Super Bowl X in large part to L.C. Greenwood playing the most dominant game ever by a defensive player in Super Bowl history.

Hall of Shame Committee

Two (2) Steelers had a game for the ages in Super Bowl X and it is argued by many Steelers detractors that Super Bowl X is the only reason Lynn Swann was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Swann deserves to be in the Hall of Fame regardless of that game, but if that is the only reason some voters elected Swann to the Hall of Fame, then it should be one of the arguments for Greenwood to get in also.

If some of the NFL Hall of Fame selection committee members only voted Swann in because of Super Bowl X and not because of his other accomplishments, then what is the argument against Greenwood, who had a Swann like game on defense but undeniably has the Hall of Fame numbers/statistics and accolades that so many people are hung up on these days to back up a Hall of Fame career? The detractors can’t have it both ways and in this case the Hall of Fame (or should it be “Shame”) committee gets it wrong across the board ignoring:

  • Greenwood’s Super Bowl single game defensive performance for the ages in Super Bowl X
  • Greenwood’s Super Bowl career sack record leader
  • Greenwood’s outstanding performance in the post season including other games like Super Bowl IX, two more Super Bowl wins and other playoff victories
  • Greenwood’s many individual career statistics, accomplishments and accolades noted above
  • Greenwood’s started for a decade on the most dominant defense of all time leading his team in sacks 6 times

Steelers set NFL record vs Vikings in Super Bowl IX for fewest yards allowed. Courtesy bing images.

The NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee is made up of mainly sports writers and media members who determine whether a player will be immortalized. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has chronicled the selection process in detail as he is one of the 46 committee members. The media often picks apart players after their career is over when they come up for the Hall of Fame discussion. Turn on ESPN or the NFL Network and when the discussion turns to the Hall of Fame you will hear their analysts say things like: “Never won the Super Bowl”, “Didn’t show up for big games”, “Played terrible in the Super Bowl”, “Wasn’t voted to enough All Pro teams”, Wasn’t voted “All Conference enough”, “Didn’t have the numbers/statistics”. Well none of those arguments can be used against Greenwood. NONE! So what is the argument against Greenwood besides too many other Steelers from that team made it?

Joe Greene on L.C. Greenwood: “He’s Being Cheated”

Despite impressive individual statistics and a star on the legendary Steel Curtain 4 time Super Bowl Champion defense and despite seven (7) Hall of Fame nominations since 1991, Greenwood isn’t enshrined in Canton, Ohio where he rightfully belongs. According to an article written by Chris Young in 2010 L.C.

Joe Greene in Super Bowl IX. Courtesy bing images.

Greenwood has said that while he would be honored if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he would not be upset if he didn’t make it in, feeling that the Steelers already in the Hall of Fame (in particular, “Mean” Joe Greene) represent the entire team’s accomplishments. However those who saw L.C. Greenwood play, and those who played against and with him know what he meant to the Steelers 4 championships in the 70’s and know that he is deserving of the Hall of Fame. Joe Greene who like L.C. Greenwood was drafted in 1969 and retired after the 1981 season, doesn’t agree with Greenwood’s outlook. In a 2011 Pittsburgh Tribune Review article Greene said this about L.C. Greenwood:

"“I don’t know what my career would have been without him. He should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. Bottom line, he’s being cheated.”"

L.C. Greenwood blows up Robert Newhouse of Dallas in Super Bowl X. Courtesy bing images.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Process Needs Scrutiny

L.C. Greenwood absence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame should bring discredit upon the NFL Hall of Fame induction committee and magnify that the process is broken.  The limit of only 2 inductees called “Senior Candidates” who played over 25 years ago would be a great place to start. This falls right into my ESPN Era theory: “What happened last was best”. Soon the over 25 year “senior candidates” (which as of now are any player pre 1988) that will get into the Hall of Fame will only be players ESPN has highlights of and any player who retired before 1980 will hardly have a chance.

“Deacon” Jones passing  is only a reminder that greats like Jones and L.C. Greenwood are not really immortals.  If L.C. Greenwood were not to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame before he leaves this earth would be an injustice to him. His accomplishments in his NFL career as an individual player, as a team member and his play in the NFL’s biggest games are all without question Hall of Fame worthy. It is also a slap in the face of the Steelers organization by the NFL Hall of Fame committee, a “You’ve had enough enshrined from that team, no more” bias. I believe that L.C. Greenwood is  discriminated against and therefore excluded from the Hall of Fame for the sole reason that nine (9) other players from the Steelers 70’s team are already enshrined.  With the 2013 Hall of Fame game in Canton Ohio less than 2 months away it is time to start talking, writing, posting and tweeting about L.C. Greenwood’s overdue enshrinement.