Bengals' McCarron had 'Mean Joe' Greene moment with Big Ben

Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron became a big fan of Ben Roethlisberger when he met him way back in 2003.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

When Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron was a young teenager in Mobile, Ala., he had a chance encounter with Miami-Ohio quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after sneaking into the locker room after his GMAC Bowl win over Louisville.

Call it a "Mean Joe" Greene moment, except McCarron was no child actor, and he got a wristband from the football star instead of a jersey. McCarron says he recounted the story to Roethlisberger after the teams' last meeting in Week 14, and Roethlisberger remembered the meeting, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"After the game, I went under the stadium to the locker room and saw his mom, dad, sister and him. I remember him giving me a wristband and how cool it was. He started dying laughing when I told him how I remembered that. That’s what is crazy about this. A young kid from Mobile, Ala., watched the GMAC Bowl, and later he’s playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. It’s awesome."

McCarron doesn't remember what he did with the wristband given to him by Roethlisberger, who passed for 376 yards and four touchdowns that day. Now 13 years later, McCarron is hoping Roethlisberger doesn't have nearly as good a performance on Saturday night in Cincinnati. 

As for the iconic Coca-Cola commercial starring Greene, here is a terrific behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together.

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