A while back Tyler Maryak and I got fired up about making a statue of Mean Joe Greene a reality. Tyler was able to forge ahead with some meetings between former AD Rick Villarreal and others. The statue was already in the planning stages — supposedly. What follows is a snippet of the update Tyler posted on gmg.com:
If you are curious, this is where the project stood at the time of our last meeting:
- A sculptor (the guy who did the Shaq sculpture at LSU) had given us a quote and some mock-ups, estimating the cost to be somewhere between $80K-$120K, depending on a few remaining variables and fundraising results.
- Supposedly, Coca-Cola, the Steelers, and some large donors had already announced their intention to provide significant funding for the project. I personally never viewed any documentation to confirm this.
- The university has a campus artwork committee which, apparently, is usually in charge of selecting artists, choosing locations and stuff like that. They were upset that someone else was doing their job, I guess, and figuring out how to reconcile the situation was a big to-do.
- The artistic concept had a ~7′ Joe Greene in bronze on a 12-24″ pedestal and a 6′ tall wall behind it that would wrap semi-circularly around the statue, approximately 10-12′ long. This wall would be covered in pictures and engravings of historic UNT moments, including the likes of Abner Haynes and Leon King.
- We were preparing to move into the public fundraising period and had a few decisions left to make about how we would approach it and what precautions we might take to maximize the time it would take for Mr. Greene to learn about the project.
There are definitely other priorities, but this is something that is relatively easy to resolve. We don’t need Coca Cola to donate anything, nor do we need the Steelers. We — and I mean the internet folks who follow this program — can make this happen. After presenting a plan and some cash to the university art committee, soothe their hurt feelings and have a statue up.