Steelers Legend Cops Award for 30-Year-Old Coke Ad

'Mean' Joe Greene, child co-star receive Clios 30 years later
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 5:37 PM CST

(Newser) – Already a Hall of Fame-bound football player, Joe Greene of the Steelers became an advertising legend 30 years ago with the release of the Coca-Cola commercial that ends with him tossing his jersey to a starstruck young fan. The spot won the ad industry's highest honor, but the stars had to wait till yesterday to collect their hardware. Reunited at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, "Mean" Joe and his co-star finally hoisted their Clio Awards.

"I had a reputation of being a mean guy; I wasn't," Greene, now 63, told KDKA. "After the commercial, because of the camaraderie—the relationship I had with the kid—it changed. I was being referred to in some quarters as 'Nice Joe Greene.'" Co-star Tommy Okon, now a 40-year-old father of four, told the Tribune-Review: "It's an amazing thing to me that, after 30 years, it's still remembered and thought of." The full-length ad appears at left.