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Joe Greene given lifetime achievement award from Fritz Pollard Alliance

With over 30 years experience as a player, coach and scout, Greene jokingly equated his lifetime achievement award with confirmation that he's "getting old."

Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Steelers legend "Mean" Joe Greene wasn't so much impressed with himself for receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Fritz Pollard Alliance - a group dedicated to promoting diversity within the NFL.

He did view it, jokingly, as an indication of his increasing age.

"...It’s not the first time I got a Lifetime Achievement Award," Greene told Steelers.com Friday. "I know it’s a sign of appreciation. I don’t take that lightly. But when they put ‘lifetime’ in it, that means you’re getting old. That’s what I thought, ‘Boy, I’m getting old.’"

Greene said he was honored overall.

"I stand here grateful to Frederick Douglas "Fritz" Pollard for paving the way for me and all these people here and all of those who came before," said Greene from a dais at the Downtown Marriott here. "He gave me an opportunity to participate in a game I did not take for granted. I loved it and enjoyed it. It's definitely an honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fritz Pollard Alliance."

It is absolutely an honor for Greene, a man who spent over 30 years as a player, coach and scout with the Steelers, Dolphins and Cardinals. Few have seen more in the NFL today than Greene, and in the spirit of diversity, it's a testament to the value the league can gain by keeping players involved even after their playing careers are over.