University of North Texas

1155 Union Cir, Denton, TX 76203 (940) 565-2000

Mean Green Nickname

There are many spoken origins to the name "Mean Green." The oldest written source comes from a 1967 Dallas Morning News article by Randy Galloway entitled "MEAN GREEN ON THE LOOSE! Defense Swallows Foes For NTSU."The article features defensive players; James "steals kids' candy" Ivy, Lindy "cheats at marbles" Endsley, Joe "kicks puppies" Greene, Ret "slugs old ladies" Little, Charles "the hatchet" Beatty, Henry "tears up dolls" Holland, Bob "likes to let air out of wheel chair tires" Tucker.

The article describes that around campus, the "Mean Green" phrase originated from Sidney Graham, wife of the Eagles' sports information director in 1966 and soon became a second nickname. One of these players found additional fame in the NFL. "Mean" Joe Greene went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. Greene is arguably the most dominant defensive lineman to ever play in the NFL and was the cornerstone of the famous "Steel Curtain" defense. He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a four-time Super Bowl champion.

Eagle Claw

The eagle hand sign is our universal sign of pride and unity. To display your pride:

  1. Hold up your fist.
  2. Make a "V" for Victory using your pointer and middle fingers,
  3. Extend your thumb and curl your fingers slightly towards your palm.

Lighting of McConnell Tower

When North Texas played SMU in fall 1974, North Texas lost 7-6. After the game, the administration doors were found painted red and blue. This eventually led to the idea of the current tower lights. Talons installed the spotlights on McConnell Tower on November 10, 1977. The Talons turn on the lights after all North Texas varsity team victories. After evening home football games, Talons lead the victory march from Fouts Field to the tower. Standing atop the Administration Building steps, the Talons lead the crowd in singing the alma mater and the UNT Fight Song. The lights are also turned on for special occasions.