Mean Joe Greene finally gets Coke ad award

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—Mean Joe Greene already had his four Super Bowl rings. Now, 30 years later, he also has his CLIO for one of TV’s most famous commercials.

Greene earned the award, given annually for excellence in advertising, for his role in the 1979 commercial in which he flipped his game jersey to a young fan who handed him a cold Coke as the weary Steelers’ lineman limped to the locker room following a game.

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REUNITED—Steelers hall of fame defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene, left, is reunited with actor Tommy Okon at Heinz Field Nov. 15. It was the 30th anniversary of the iconic “Mean Joe” TV ad for Coca-Cola that featured Greene and a then nine-year-old Okon.

The commercial has been frequently cited as among the best in TV history.

Greene was not available to receive the award at the time it was presented. When Coke realized upon the 30th anniversary of the commercial’s airing that Greene still didn’t have it, a ceremony was held before the Bengals-Steelers game Sunday.

Tommy Okon, who played the wide-eyed youngster in the commercial, watched as Greene was given the award. He was nine at the time of the filming.

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