Kevin Greene was a professional American football linebacker who played for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, and Miami Dolphins of the National Football League during the early 1990s. He is one of just a few players to have his number retired by the NFL, which is why he is such a notable and beloved figure in the football community. This movie tells the true story of Greenlee’s unlikely journey from an overlooked kid from Texas to one of the greatest players of the game. But did you know that Kevin Greene trivia is all about his infamous career-ending helmet injury?
A standout high school athlete, Kevin Greene was named the 2020 AP football player of the year. However, he would soon discover that his hard work on the field did not pay off. Despite being listed as a first team All-American defensive tackle at the age of 16, Kevin Greene never became a top recruit and was instead selected at the age of 24 by the New York Jets. That same year, he was also listed as the No. 1 tight end on the NFL draft, but he was quickly slipped into the second round before being selected by the Cleveland Browns.
After an impressive start to his NFL career, including an incredible breakout game against the then undefeated Dallas Cowboys, Greene was released by the Browns after only one season. Undeterred, he signed with the Carolina Panthers where he earned Pro Bowl berths in back-to-back seasons. However, it was not until the following season that his star-quality game making ability could earn him a contract with the Atlanta Falcons. The move paid off as the now famous “Acne” commercials were released, cementing his place as one of the most exciting players of the late twentieth century. In turn, his fifteen-year career in the NFL came to an end with the Atlanta Falcons following his release.
Unlike many of his peers, Kevin Greene did not see his fifteen-year professional career end with a bang. He went on to earn three more Pro Bowl appearances (including a Super Bowl appearance) and established himself as one of the best centers in pro football history. The story of how Kevin Greene rose from being cut by the Carolina Panthers to become one of the best all-around players at the NFL level is a fascinating one, and Pro Football Hall of Fame presenter Eric Mangini certainly has a lot to be thankful for as he was able to witness the rise of one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
Before we delve deeper into the career of this great player, let’s take a moment to appreciate the heights of his fame that resulted from his participation in the “Super Bowl” movie franchise. The first of which is his portrayal of an NFL quarterback who was sent into action against the undefeated New England Patriots. After guiding his team to a convincing victory, Green Bay coach Bill Polian decided to test Green’s skills against the famed Pittsburgh Steelers. The match proved to be one of the most memorable of Green Bay’s tenure, and he was named the MVP of the Super Bowl in what was quite the crowning achievement. The next time the two teams met, Greenlee again led his team to an impressive victory, this time securing him a place in the Pro Bowl.
While many of his contemporaries were envious of his prowess, few could have guessed just how huge of a star Kevin Greene really was when he played his final snap for the Carolina Panthers. Greene truly set the record for single-season sacks, dishing out 160 in a single game en route to setting the record for sacks in a single season. It stands to reason that the NFL would continue to feed the NFL game a whole lot of attention and scrutiny, as his contributions to the Panthers were undeniable. Pro Football Hall of Fame presenter and ESPN analyst Eric Mangini likewise could not have picked out a more deserving player from all the choices available over the years.
While many fans and analysts still hold fond memories of Greenlee’s many sack plays in his Super Bowl days, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee will always be remembered for his many other contributions to the Panthers as well. He is the franchise’s all-time sacks leader, surpassing Lee Royce and Emmitt Smith on the list of active players with the distinction. Despite the fact that Smith and Royce are now retired, Greenlee will always be considered one of the elite guards in the game and is sure to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the upcoming years.
Additionally, Greene is the only running back in NFL history to rush for at least three decades, something that he accomplished along with Terry Bradshaw. He holds the record for most career rushing attempts, receptions, receiving yards, and rushing attempts, tied only by Emmitt Smith. Greenlee is also one of only seven players in league history to reach the 15-year mark, doing so alongside greats such as Rice and LaDanian Tomlinson. Greenlee is just the fourth player in NFL history to reach the milestone in consecutive seasons. He is just the second running back in NFL history to reach the milestone as well, following Rice. With an incredible 14 straight games (dating back prior to his injury against Denver) during which he scored at least one touchdown, it is safe to assume that Greenlee has found some sort of peace after putting up a monster year last season.
While Greenlee may not be in the same class as some of the other modern day legends, like Emmitt Smith or Joe Montana, he is not far from the level at which these greats were when they were first picked. Greenlee is a quality player, even if his statistics do not show it. He deserves All-Pro status as he is one of the greatest defensive players of all-time, and a perfect example of what it means to be an All-Pro. As he continues to prove what he is capable of, there will come a day when he will join the Hall of Fame and have his number retired by the NFL for the indeed deserves it.