The curtain further frays

The Steel Curtain.

Any fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and most fans of the National Football League, knows the name.

First used in 1971, the Steel Curtain refers to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive line during their 1970s dynasty.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans of that generation can name the players. From 1972-1977, four remarkable athletes lined up together:

steelcurtainbanner#78 Dwight White
#63 Ernie Holmes
#75 Joe Greene
#68 L.C. Greenwood

Any discussion of the great defensive lines in NFL history has to include the Steel Curtain. Most discussions conclude that it was the greatest the league has seen.

Over the years, the curtain has frayed.

Ernie Holmes died in a one-car accident on January 17, 2008.

Dwight White died following complications after surgery almost six months later on June 6, 2008.

Today, L.C. Greenwood died of natural causes.

The Steelers drafted Greenwood in 1969, the same draft in which they selected Greene. He made the Pro Bowl six times and was an All-Pro in 1974 and 1975.

Greenwood played on all four of the Steeler teams to win the Super Bowl during the 1970s. He batted down two passes in Super Bowl IX. After the game it was said that when Vikings quarterback threw his helmet at his locker in frustration, Greenwood batted it down. Greenwood was named to the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team in 1991 and in 2007 he was named to the Steelers All-Time team.

Greenwood should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. He was a finalist in 2005 and 2006 but was not elected. Eight players from the 1970s grace the Hall. Some say the numbers explain why Greenwood and Donnie Shell and perhaps some others have failed to win election. Hopefully the Seniors Committee will rectify that situation.

While he remains to be inducted into Canton, L.C. Greenwood will remain forever in the hearts of Steelers’ fans.

Thanks for the memories, L.C.

Rest in peace.

See you along the Trail.

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