Wednesday, January 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022
59° F Dallas, TX
Sports

UNT Is Sick of Michigan State Getting Billed as the Mean Green

There can be only one Mean Green.
By  |
Image
Advertisement

UNT Is Sick of Michigan State Getting Billed as the Mean Green

{{ currentIndex+1 }} / {{ images.length }}

Advertisement

Since the late 1960s, University of North Texas sports teams have been known as the Mean Green, in honor of UNT defensive tackle and future NFL and advertising star “Mean” Joe Greene and the defensive unit whose own nickname was either inspired by or the inspiration for the moniker. (There are conflicting origin stories, although Greene himself has said North Texas’ dominant green-clad defense had the name first.) UNT trademarked Mean Green in 2011.

To the consternation of some alumni and local sports broadcasters, that didn’t prevent ESPN from billing Michigan State (known by the far lamer and more generic “Spartans”) as the Mean Green in a promo for MSU’s upcoming game against the University of Michigan (“Wolverines,” also wacker than “Mean Green.”)

As of Tuesday night, the same promo had also ticked off UNT athletics director Wren Baker, a man blessed with three things: the righteous little-guy fury of an often overlooked athletics department, the legal protections of a registered trademark, and a Twitter account allowed to surpass the traditional 140-character limit.

But the incipient feud was squashed this morning before it could really take off, and there is only one Mean Green in college athletics. Here’s Baker, again putting his Twitter account to good use:

We may still get a Mean Green grudge match out of this, as Baker told the Lansing State Journal in Michigan that North Texas would consider scheduling a game against Michigan State.

In the meantime, UNT’s marketing department should continue to run with this. It’s much better publicity than the news that the university is paying Donald Trump Jr. $100,000 to speak at AT&T Stadium this month, despite UNT President Neal Smatresk’s efforts to torpedo the talk.

Mean Green football is 3-2, hot off an upset win over Southern Miss. They’ve got a new coach, Seth Littrell, who looks remarkably like Kyle Chandler in Friday Night Lights. That can only be good. They are meaner and greener than ever. The Mean Green are home at Apogee Stadium in Denton to take on UTSA on Oct. 14.

Related Articles

Image
Sports

The Cowboys Are Having a Bad Day

Ezekiel Elliott was reportedly involved in an altercation at an Uptown bar and Lucky Whitehead's dog was kidnapped.
Image
Local News

Dirk Hits 30,000: Revisit How He Saved Dallas Basketball, One Shot at a Time

In honor of The Big German's legendary achievement, revisit our 2009 oral history about how he breathed new life into North Texas basketball.