PHOENIX, Ariz. – Legendary defensive NFL player and one-time Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach, Charles “Mean Joe” Greene, will appear on Sat., Feb. 28 from 1-3 p.m. in the Dometic booth at the Phoenix International Raceway during the Camping World/Good Sam Rally (Feb. 26-March 1). Visitors can get photos with Greene and register to win daily prizes, including a football signed by Greene.
“Mean Joe” Greene was a pillar of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ famed Steel Curtain defense, which helped him earn four Super Bowl rings and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But he was also known as “Coach Greene” to the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive line from 1996 through 2003, back when the Cardinals played their home games at Arizona State University in Tempe before moving to University of Arizona’s stadium in 2006.
That makes this RV rally a homecoming of sorts, given Greene’s history and familiarity with Phoenix; and, surprisingly to some, also with RVing. His name may be irreversibly linked with football, but he’s also a veteran and fan of the RV lifestyle, having enjoyed RV tours of the West coast; these days he’s a representative for Dometic, a company that’s been creating appliances and accessories for RVs and the camping community since the birth of the RV industry in 1950s America. Since joining up with Dometic in 2013, Greene has attended similar trade shows with great fan response, according to Kristin Durham, Dometic’s marketing merchandising manager.
“The Steeler Nation is everywhere, and they show up dressed in Steeler attire from head to toe. But everybody loves talking to Mr. Greene and reminiscing about the times he played for Pittsburgh and certain games that were played, specifically with their rivals. They remember his iconic Coca Cola commercial and ask him if he is still in contact with the kid in the commercial,” she said, adding that his iconic “Mean Joe” persona gives way to a gentle giant who is soft-spoken and gracious.
“He’ll stand there for two hours and talk to each fan and take pictures, and if someone forgets to take their picture, he'll make sure they get one with him before they leave,” related Durham. “Many fans have thanked us for allowing them to meet their hero.”
Greene hasn’t been in Phoenix for several years, not since he came to a Cardinals game shortly after the team started playing their home games in the new stadium, but there are a few special things he remembers fondly.
One of them, as might be guessed, is the food. “One of our favorite places was the seafood place in Scottsdale – not the new one, but the old one – and we always liked the steakhouse in the Valley,” said Greene. Another fond memory was, perhaps unexpectedly, the flowers. “I always enjoyed this time of year out there. It was a special time to be out in the desert, when the flowers were blooming and they were so bright and vibrant,” he described. “That was definitely my favorite time of the season.”
All told, Greene is looking forward to seeing the terrain and people of Phoenix and the RVing crowd at the show this weekend. “I’ve been to several of these events, and they’ve all been very exciting and enjoyable; the people have been so special to me, very pleasant,” he said. “I take pictures and chat a little bit about the football days, and they ask me why I’m with Dometic. They’re champions, and it’s always good to be associated with champions and people that represent themselves well and have a good product. They bring a good crowd. There’s never been a dull moment for me at these events, so I look forward to being at this one out in Phoenix.”
The Camping World/Good Sam Rally pulls in quite a crowd itself – this one will host about 3,000 RVs and draw about 10,000 visitors to the Phoenix Raceway each day. The first 1,000 attendees at Dometic’s booth will get free holding-tank treatment samples.
On-the-go outdoor appliances are especially popular at these shows, according to Durham. “The portable compact ice maker is always a huge hit. People love watching it make ice cubes and they immediately picture where they could put it to good use,” she said. “Many times when someone is looking at it, another person will walk up and say, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve ever purchased. I love it!’”
Other big hits are the CFX portable refrigerator/freezers that feature a full-fledged freezer compartment and the TropiCool portable food warmer/cooler that can keep food hot or cold for picnics and potlucks. “These coolers represent a significant development that these experienced RVers can truly appreciate,” stated Durham. “To have this kind of technology in a completely self-sufficient and portable unit translates to unprecedented freedom for outdoor recreationists.”
Rally-goers can also peruse displays and tour the customized and fully-loaded Dometic RV to see Dometic appliances and systems in action, including the award-winning one-touch LP GasChecker pen for propane tanks and a new laundry combo that washes and dries clothes in the same single-chamber machine. Tech teams will also be on hand for helpful Q&A and how-to tips, from advice on refrigerator and climate control operations to do-it-yourself projects such as swapping out plastic RV toilets for Dometic’s residential-style china models.
Day passes for the rally’s 350-plus exhibitor booths are available at the gate and cost $10 for adults ages 18 and up; 17 and younger are free, and day-pass parking is free. Details on rally events and registration for full seminar/entertainment passes can be found at (800) 701-1399 or http://therally.com/phoenix.
About Dometic Group:
Dometic Group is a customer-driven, global provider of leisure products for the RV, automotive, truck, marine, and lodging markets. Dometic supplies the industry with a complete range of air conditioners, refrigerators, awnings, cookers, sanitation systems, lighting, mobile power equipment, comfort and safety solutions, windows, doors and other equipment that make life more comfortable away from home. Dometic also provides specially designed refrigerators for hotel rooms, offices, and wine storage. Dometic products are sold in almost 100 countries and are produced mainly in wholly-owned production facilities around the world. For more information, visit www.DometicUSA.com.