Another Steelers Legend
Rides Off into the Sunset

My Parting Thoughts on One of the Greats
By Tim McMillen

It all comes back to that '95 preseason hit on Brett Favre...

I can think of only one other Steeler LB who played every single down of his career (preseason or otherwise) with the same unbridled intensity as Greg Lloyd... I suspect we ALL know to whom I'm referrring. Turf toe of all things finally brought down the mighty Jack Lambert, so there's certainly no shame in the probable demise of Lloyd's NFL career coming at the hands of a life-threatening staff infection. Still, it was hard to let go of Lambert... it will be difficult to say goodbye to Lloyd.

Five Pro Bowls. Two Steelers Team MVP awards. Not to mention the less formal, completely unofficial title of the ''Nastiest Man in Pro Football''. Intimidation. Domination. Power. Leadership. The heart and soul of the greatest defense of the last decade. An uncompromising love of the game. An unrelenting hatred of the enemy, and in particular, the quarterback. The never-ending barrage of "Mutha-F#&%er". Blood & sweat... but never tears. All of these things describe what Greg Lloyd has symbolized to me as a fan. And all of these attributes were perfectly summed up in one fleeting moment during a meaningless ball game... the '95 preseason hit in which Lloyd absolutely leveled Brett Favre, knocking him out of the game.

''The hit'' earned Greg Lloyd a healthy fine handed down by the powers that be in the league office. Nevermind that the hit was clean. Nevermind that the hit epitomized what NFL football is supposed to be about. Nevermind that the victim himself (Favre) said it was a great hit. Greg Lloyd's style of play was examined and labeled as ''to rough'' for the roughest game on the planet, so Paul Taglibue deemed it necessary to make an example of Lloyd. True to his legend, Lloyd didn't give a shit. It just made him even nastier. This, more than anything else, is why I'll miss him.

Everytime a favorite player leaves the team, I think we fans all die a little inside. My childhood faded into adolescence as the Steelers dynasty of the 70's faded into the ''Dark Years'' of the 80's. As I entered high school, I became involved with other things... homework, music, babes... the usual teen stuff. But the arrival of Bill Cowher nearly a decade later rekindled the passion for football that consumed me as a child. Guys like Lloyd, Woodson, & Lake filled the void created when Bradshaw, Swann, & Greene retired in my youth. But Woodson has moved on. Greg Lloyd is now gone. And Lake is an unrestricted free agent after next season. It's Deja-vu all over again...

I never expected watching these guys move on would still hurt as an adult. I was wrong.

We'll all miss Lloyd immensely. As a tribute, I'd like to post some parting thoughts from Steelers fans about Lloyd. Please send me YOUR lasting impressions of Greg Lloyd... gone, but not forgotten.

Related Topic: Some Interesting Info About Staff Infections
I stumbled across this great post on the Steelers Newsgroup & thought it tied in beautifully to Lloyd's current situation. CLICK HERE for a condensed version of the article. Special thanks to Dave Avery for submitting it! Interesting stuff...

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