TEMPLE – (Temple ISD) The familiar brick façade. The large, covered entryway with the unmistakable plaque dedicating the school’s construction in the 1950’s. The hallways, even with updates over the years. They all still bear a striking resemblance to the Dunbar High School Mean Joe Greene attended in the 1960’s.
It’s this scene that brought NFL Films to Temple. To see the halls the football legend walked when he was simply, Joe Greene, a Temple teenager who lived just a few blocks from the school on the city’s east side. To see the football field east of the school, where Greene first attracted the attention of scouts from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) long before he was the cornerstone of the “Steel Curtain” defense at Three Rivers Stadium. To see the water trough Greene drank out of during practice next to the Dunbar Gymnasium, long before he became famous for chugging a Coke.
The NFL Films crew of Steve Sullivan, Paul Armstrong, and Angus Sullivan, brought their state of the art digital film camera and equipment transforming Meredith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy into a film set. They filmed everything from the old football field, to the plaques outside the school, the lockers and hallways inside the school, Meredith-Dunbar’s 760 seat auditorium, and the display that sits proudly in the school’s front lobby with Greene’s 1965 graduation picture and the school’s mascot panther.
All of this is for an upcoming episode of NFL Film’s “A Football Life” on one of the most recognizable and transformational players in league history. These scenes will help bring to life this story, where during seven hours of interviews Greene talked not only about his time at Dunbar, but also about growing up on Temple’s east side. That took the crew into the neighborhood as well to film the street Greene grew up on, and the places still vivid in his mind, like the apartments across the street from Meredith-Dunbar where he spent time with his friends, and stood up to an older bully. While just a small part of Greene’s life story, he told the crew it’s an important part of his development into the person he became, and still is today. It’s also an important part of Temple’s athletic history, and the history of our city.