It’s probably safe to say that Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Famer ‘Mean’ Joe Greene will be tuned in to ESPN on Thursday December 23 (3:30 pm ET) to watch the first-ever Frisco Football Classic, which will be contested by the University of North Texas and Miami University (Ohio). On Tuesday, Mean Joe accepted a “friendly little wager” proposed by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which was relayed via Tweet from BigBen7.com.
Per Big Ben’s terms, if Miami of Ohio wins, Mean Joe has to send Roethlisberger a “personalized” Greene jersey.
If the University of North Texas wins the Frisco Football Classic, Roethlisberger says he will make a donation to the Agnes Lucille Craft Greene Memorial Scholarship, a foundation started by Greene to honor his late wife, who died in 2015.
“This is my chance to finally sack Mean Joe Greene. Go RedHawks,” concluded Roethlisberger in the video clip he tweeted, making reference to his alma mater.
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On Tuesday, Mean Joe Greene accepted Roethlisberger’s terms, and playfully noted that he’s “the one who sacks the quarterback.”
The RedHawks Are a 3-Point Favorite
As for the matchup, both teams come into the game with 6-6 records. North Texas started its season 1-6, but won its final five games, finishing its regular season slate with a 45-23 win over previously undefeated University of Texas at San Antonio.
The Miami RedHawks also started their season slowly, losing at Cincinnati and at Minnesota before rebounding to go 6-4 the rest of the way. But it’s worth nothing that Miami went 1-6 away from home, and the Frisco Football Classic is essentially a road game for the RedHawks, being that it’s being held in Frisco, Texas.
It’s also worth noting that the Mean Green possess the third-ranked rushing offense in the country behind Air Force and Army. Led by diminutive running back Deandre Torrey (1,214 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns), the Mean Green Eagles average 4.85 yards per carry and 245.5 yards per game on the ground. That’s a big reason why 10 of 12 experts surveyed by The Athletic believe that North Texas is going to come out on top.
Greene and Roethlisberger Are Both Former First-Round Picks of the Steelers
Of course, it’s been close to 20 years since Ben Roethlisberger starred for the RedHawks, which led the Steelers to select him No. 11 overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. Big Ben may or may not get to watch the Frisco Football Classic live, as he figures to be preparing for this Sunday’s showdown against Patrick Mahomes and the AFC’s No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs.
Meanwhile, it’s been more than five decades since Joe Greene suited up for the Mean Green. He was selected No. 4 overall in the 1969 NFL Draft and went on to win that year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Earlier this year, The Athletic named Mean Joe the No. 14 greatest NFL player of all-time. He won four Super Bowl titles as a player and was a Steelers scout when the organization won Super Bowls following the 2005 and 2008 seasons.
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