To any child of the 1970s, it still ranks as The Greatest Ad Ever: Mean Joe Greene swapping his Steelers jersey for some kid's bottled soft drink. Have a Coke and a smile ... and a good cry, why don't ya.
The award-winning "Hey, Kid, Catch!" spot made its bow in the fall of '79, then found its way into the ad lineup during the Steelers-Rams Super Bowl in January 1980. Ever since it's been known as The Greatest Super Bowl Ad Ever -- hence its inclusion in CBS's Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials 2016, which airs Feb. 2.
For that particular special, the network's done something really special, reuniting North Texas State University's star defensive tackle with The Kid (Tommy Okon) for a chitchat about the ad. Their meeting takes place in a sorta-familiar spot for Mean Joe: Apogee Stadium in Denton. (Aw, Fouts Field.)
"Somehow I look older than you," Okon tells Greene by way of greeting the 69-year-old. "I don't know how that happened." We all look older than the ageless Greene.
The spot's just as good today as it was in '79. Ask the man known as Mean Joe: "Still special, after all these years," he says. Still makes him tear up. Or maybe it's just dusty.
Adds Okon, "That commercial's kind of what Joe is -- tough, [a] football player who's a nice guy."