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On Thursday, USA Today's Touchdown Wire revealed their 101 greatest nicknames in NFL history, and surprisingly, only three former Steelers made the list -- "Mean" Joe Greene at 75th, Jerome "The Bus" Bettis at 36th and Kordell "Slash" Stewart at 10th.
For some reason, the Touchdown Wire often matched up the ranking with the player’s uniform number. They did it with numerous other players, not just the Steelers.
Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an article listed a bunch of Steelers nicknames that the Touchdown Wire left off their list. Personally, I would have liked to seen either L.C. "Hollywood Bags" Greenwood, James Harrison (Deebo) or Bill "The Chin" Cowher on the list. However, I think the biggest snub was not having Jack Lambert's "Count Dracula in Cleats" nickname given by NFL Films.
Below are the excerpts by the Touchdown Wire on Greene, Bettis and Stewart's nicknames. Cameron Heyward's dad, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward is also included, who ranked 20th on the list.
"Mean" Joe Greene
"There’s nothing fancy about Joe Greene’s nickname. It’s simply a classic. The moniker came from the student section when Greene was a collegiate standout at North Texas. As Greene once explained to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 'That started my sophomore year when we had a student section that started the ‘Mean Greene’ thing. The section would say, ‘Mean Green, you look so good to me,’ and it caught on.' Greene, one of the greatest players ever developed in football-crazy Texas, went on to win four Super Bowls during a Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers."
Jerome "The Bus" Bettis
"Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis adopted the nickname “The Bus” during his college days with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, thanks to the school newspaper. 'They wrote an article saying something about how I looked like a bus or something like that and I was taking guys for a ride, and it just kind of stuck,' Bettis once told the Beaver County Times. 'So the student body would chant, ‘Nobody stops the bus.' Indeed, Bettis rumbled for 1,912 yards and 27 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons. He was even more impressive as a pro, rushing for 13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns in 13 seasons with the Steelers and Rams. Bettis famously capped his career with a Super Bowl victory in his hometown of Detroit in February 2006. A six-time Pro Bowler, Bettis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015."
Kordell "Slash" Stewart
"Kordell Stewart was dubbed Slash in a nod to the many skills he wielded as a passer/runner/receiver in his early days with the Pittsburgh Steelers by broadcaster Myron Cope. Stewart, who guided the Steelers to two AFC Championship Game appearances, was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2001 season. He registered 14,746 passing yards and 77 touchdown passes in 11 seasons with the Steelers, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens. Stewart also produced 3,532 yards from scrimmage and 43 touchdowns as a runner and receiver."
Craig "Ironhead" Heyward
"Not only did longtime NFL running back Craig Heyward have a terrific nickname, but there also was an awesome backstory behind it. One of Heyward’s sons, current Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward, relayed the story in a 2016 article. It seems young Craig got into a scuffle, and an antagonist broke a pool cue over his head. Unfazed, he didn’t flinch, which led Craig’s mother to dub him Ironhead. After rushing for 3,086 yards in three seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, Craig was drafted No. 24 overall by the New Orleans Saints in 1988. He went on to record 5,860 yards from scrimmage and 34 total touchdowns in 11 pro seasons with the Saints, Bears, Falcons, Rams and Colts."