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Kevin Greene named Hall of Fame finalist

The guy with the long blond hair walked on and played two seasons at Auburn. He was drafted by the Birmingham Stallions (remember them?) and then went on to a huge career in the NFL. Now Kevin Greene can say he had a Hall of Fame caliber career.

Kevin Greene Auburn card
When long bangs and neck rolls were cool.

Greene is still tied for second on the Auburn books for most sacks in a season. He terrorized QBs in 1984 and took 11 of them to the turf.

But he really blossomed in the NFL. He played linebacker for the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and the 49ers across 14 successful seasons, finishing ranked third all-time in sacks and first among linebackers with 160. Greene also collected 26 fumble recoveries, tied for fourth all-time, and snagged five interceptions. He had three returns for touchdowns (two fumbles, one INT) and also registered three safeties.

Greene was named to five pro bowls (’89, ’94, ’95, ’96 and ’98). He played with Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX. The Associated Press called him an All-Pro three times. The Pro Football Writers of America added him to their All-Pro team twice. The Sporting News and the Newspaper Enterprise Association each gave him All-Pro honors.

In 1996, Greene registered 37 tackles, 14.5 sacks and returned a fumble for a score.  His effort earned him the NFL Defensive Player of the Year honor from the league and the same accolade from the UPI press service.

He once hit Brett Favre so hard that he made him cough up blood. Sadly he did not get a Wrangler Jeans commercial.

Greene has been a semifinalist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame balloting each of the past four years, but his time is now. The man’s speech needs to be heard at Canton. He has a lot to say about the sort of fantastical life most sports fans can only dream of.

Kevin Greene, here at the 2007 Iron Bowl, has not advocated for a return to leather helmet football. Though you know he would play it.

Off the field Greene holds a degree in criminal justice from Auburn. He also served as a captain during a 16-year Army Reserve. Wikipedia says he’s got his jump wings. Do not mess with Kevin Greene, the paratrooper.

He’s appeared on Wheel of Fortune, been featured in a painful episode of Pros vs. Joes — the title was “Can You Take a Hit from Kevin Greene?” The answer: No.

Lately Greene has been coaching linebackers at Green Bay. This is his third year there. He has one Super Bowl ring. His official team bio basically gives Greene credit for making Clay Matthews the star of his own Fat Head commercial.

(It is the hair. It has Samsonesque properties.)

Also, Greene was a wrestler. Now you know you need to hear the man’s Hall of Fame speech.

Related: Auburn man protecting border on Cops and Coyotes.

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* Coeds. Watermelons. 1973.
* Muhammad Al on the Haley Center concourse
* Playboy in Auburn, 1989
* The War Eagle Jeep in Vietnam

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