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Greenwood began taking football seriously as a high-school freshman in Canton, Miss. Hoping to get a degree in pharmacy at college, Greenwood attended Arkansas A M & N on a football scholarship. By the time he was graduated in 1969, L.C. had abandoned his hopes of owning a drugstore; he reported to the Steelers' training camp as their tenth-round choice. "I couldn't believe it when I made the team," he says.

That same year, another lineman made the cut: Joe Greene. Arriving overweight after a contract holdout, the Steelers' first-round draft choice looked like a pushover to some Steeler veterans. As soon as he started blowing by blockers, they knew better. They also learned that off the field Joe is a sensitive, gentle friend, still trying to overcome natural timidity and live down the image that he is a bully. (He got his nickname, which he does not like, while playing football at North Texas State University, where the team was called the "Mean Greens.") "I come off as being ugly," he complains. "Sometimes I get the feeling I am that way. I don't like what all that makes me become."

So far his image has not made much of a dent on his character. At home in Duncanville, Texas, in the offseason, Greene lives in a sprawling ranch house. He enjoys just sitting around watching his three children, Charles, 7, Edward, 6, and Joquel, 2. "I've missed a lot of their growing up," he says. Other times, Greene is happy weeding the cucumbers and squash in his garden, sipping a glass of white wine while he listens to the Temptations, or helping his wife Agnes clean house. A compulsive tidier, Joe says, "It gives me peace of mind to know things are in their place."

One thing that does not give Greene peace of mind is the predominantly white cast of his neighborhood. "I'm not a pacesetter," he says. "If I'd known earlier how this neighborhood was composed, I probably would have chosen somewhere else." Dwight White felt the same way recently when he bought a home outside Dallas. Such unease among black athletes is nonexistent on the field. For one reason, blacks equal or outnumber whites on some teams and account for about a third of the N.F.L.'s 1,100 players. For another, equality of position is accepted, quarterback, the last major barrier, has fallen with the Los Angeles Rams black starter James Harris. "It's a competitive game," says White, "and color isn't a factor."

It certainly hasn't stopped Joe Greene from becoming the Steelers' leader. "Joe's first year," says Steeler Linebacker Andy Russell, "I didn't see how all the emotionalism could be real. He's the only guy I know, he can be playing a great game himself, but if the team's losing he gets into a terrible depression." Art Rooney senses the same fire. "That Joe Greene," he says. "I've never seen a player lift a team like he does."

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