Still a UGA fan favorite: Goooooold-berg!

Bill Goldberg as the WCW champion.

Bill Goldberg as the WCW champion.

If you’re looking for the most popular and best-known former Dawg (besides Herschel), you’re probably talking Bill Goldberg, who’ll be seen starting next week on NBC’s latest “Celebrity Apprentice” series.

An all-SEC defensive lineman for the Dogs in the mid- to late 1980s, Goldberg had an injury-plagued NFL career (including a stint with the Falcons) before emerging as a pop culture phenom as a pro wrestler in the late ’90s, becoming the fastest rising superstar in the glory days of Ted Turner’s old World Championshp Wrestling and then moving on to the dominant WWE.

Goldberg’s wrestling heyday coincided with the peak of wrestling success on television and also with my son’s greatest interest in pro wrestling. Young Bill recognized that this particular brand of “sports entertainment” was scripted, but he and his junior high pals were drawn to the outlandish characters, comic book-style story lines and amazing physical feats, scripted or not.

And with Hulk Hogan playing bad guy at the time, their hero was Goldberg, who brought his trademark football spear move, a jackhammer finish and a large dose of charisma to the “squared circle.” There were Goldberg posters, T-shirts and action figures and the former Bulldog was on the covers of national magazines. He was a hit everywhere, but something of a legend in Georgia, where he still lived at the time he was with Atlanta-based WCW. His local public appearances produced hours-long lines of fans seeking autographs.

My son’s favorite memory of those days is the night Goldberg beat Hogan for the WCW heavyweight title on a live national telecast from the Georgia Dome. Even for Georgia Bulldogs fans who weren’t into wrestling, the sight of 42,000 fans at the Dome chanting “Gold-berg, Gold-berg” over and over for the UGA alum was pretty special.

Goldberg in his UGA days. (BillGoldberg.com)

Goldberg in his UGA days. (BillGoldberg.com)

Goldberg didn’t forget his UGA roots, either. He led the Dogs onto the field in Jacksonville, donated a scholarship to UGA, and my son has a framed photo of the wrestler posing with mascot Uga V.

Since his wrestling days, Goldberg has done some acting work in film and television and has hosted several TV series, including the current “Bullrun,” now in its third season at 10 p.m. Thursdays on the Speed Network. And he’s following Herschel Walker by joining Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in its new season premiering at 9 p.m. March 14 on NBC, where he’ll compete for charity against the likes of Darryl Strawberry, Rod Blagojevich, Sharon Osbourne, Sinbad, Cyndi Lauper and Bret Michaels.

Like the Dew has a new interview with Goldberg in which he is asked what really sticks with him from his days of playing football for the Bulldogs and Falcons. “The passion people have in the South,” the Tulsa native says. “The feeling playing at Sanford Stadium is unbelievable. You can find people who really love football anywhere, but the South is just better. Their passion is greater; I mean in Georgia you’re talking about people who literally live, breathe, and die red and black.”

Yes, you can definitely count Bill Goldberg as a Damn Good Dawg.

RICHT ON TURNOVERS

ESPN.com’s Chris Low talked with Mark Richt about Georgia’s disappointing 2009 season and the coach fingered turnovers and penalties as a primary culprit.

“If we get our penalties and turnovers squared away, we win two or three more games,” he said. “We were very poor in both, and that’s my fault as head coach. But if we clean that up, we’re in a whole lot better shape. Some of it is circumstantial. But we just have to do a better job of practicing in such a way that habits we’re creating aren’t going to cause penalties. That’s what we’re fixing to do the rest of this spring and carry it over into the fall.”

How successful they are will have a lot to say with how the Dogs do in 2010.

THROWING 2009 TEAM LEADERS UNDER THE BUS?

Also talking with Chris Low, linebacker Darryl Gamble puts the blame for last season’s defensive woes on a lack of on-field leadership.

“There was too much waiting for somebody else to make a play last year,” Gamble said. “Guys were being too relaxed. It’s time to turn things around and get back to the way things used to be.”

Gamble also notes that the 2010 Dogs don’t have any players left over from Georgia’s last SEC championship team. “We don’t want to be the only class since coach Richt has been here that hasn’t won an SEC championship,” Gamble said. “This is our last shot, but we’ve got to make it happen, got to do extra stuff and make sure everybody’s doing extra stuff.”

SEC TOURNAMENT SEEDING

In his latest Georgiadogs.com blog, voice of the Dogs Scott Howard takes a look at the Dogs’ seeding prospects in the upcoming SEC men’s basketball tournament. Depending on whether South Carolina wins or loses today, Mark Fox’s Dogs will either be the fifth seed or the sixth.

Scott Howard (WSB Radio)

Scott Howard (WSB Radio)

Howard’s analysis: “The fifth seed plays in the top half of the bracket and has the pleasure of opening the tournament in a 1:00 p.m. ET start. If you like to look ahead (and everybody does), the winner of that first game will get Kentucky in the quarterfinals. In the bottom half of the bracket, where the sixth seed will play the final game of the first day at 9:45 p.m. ET, the winner moves on to face Vanderbilt in the quarters. From Georgia’s standpoint, you know which is the better draw.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN DAWG HISTORY

Thanks to the Leather Helmet blog for pointing out that the fan known as the Ghost of Erk Russell has added a 22-part Vince Dooley-hosted “Great Moments in Dawg History” series of videos to his YouTube channel. Check them out for a fun look at Dogs football high points.

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85 comments Add your comment

UGA Grad 09

March 7th, 2010
10:48 am

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman! “Beat downs and melt downs = UGA sports program . Stay tuned more to come!” This would be more accurate if you inserted GT in place of UGA! When is the last time Paul “Man Boobs” Johnson has won a bowl game? Oh yeah, he hasn’t, my bad!

Dawg 3/20

March 7th, 2010
2:03 pm

I wonder how many holes this guy punched into walls while watching the Florida – Georgia game since he graduated? Probably a lot

http://imgsrv.wcbs880.com/image/DbGraphic/200901/1145908.jpg?1245799748

tdawg8

March 7th, 2010
2:06 pm

It’s amazing how all these people from rival teams comment on Georgia blogs.

Tech nerds, stop. You have nothing to brag about.

Tide fans, go take advantage of Wal Mart’s Rollback prices since you have nothing else to do.

Florida fans, you wear jean shorts and cry when you lose. End of story

GoDOGS1

March 7th, 2010
3:34 pm

Dawg 3/20- Don’t know about holes in walls for Goldberg, but I do know the Gators O-Line cried like little girls when Goldberg and the rest of the Junkyard D slapped you puzzys around. Tick tock….your 15 minutes of fame is almost over, Gator girl, and the ship will righted. Have mercy on the Gator Nation when that day hits..

RED DOG 77

March 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

Wow…………Didn’t take much to wind ol “BuLLdawg” up today ! I get a little confused when the story at hand is about Bill Goldberg, and the original “Debbie Downer” the one and only ……………..Mr. “BuLLdawg” begins giving us statistics about UGA loses to Florida and Tenn. Yes, Mr.”BuLLdawg” Fla. has owned UGA the last 20 yrs, tis a fact. Tenn. has whipped us pretty good the last few years, tis a fact. Me? I am a “REAL BULLDOG” and I expect some changes, some positive changes, in the near future. My point………bottom line, UGA has without question been one of the three top football programs in the SEC over the last 10 yrs. That is good enough for me knowing, with a call here, a good bounce there, we could easily be in a position to play for a national championship………………..Now back to wrestling……….Mr.” BuLLdawg”

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

March 7th, 2010
5:14 pm

Another roided up puppy… Just like Jason Ferguson!

3 SEC teams (LSU, UF and Bama) have won national championships over the past 10 years. 2 (UF & LSU) have won 2 SEC championships over the past 8 years. And the current national champion will be preseason number 1 for the upcoming season.

Sure, UGA is one of the top 3 teams in the SEC over the past 10 years.

Why hasn’t UGA won a national title in 30 years? Even Tennessee has won a national title in the past 15 years.

At least you guys have all of those recruiting titles! Where do you guys keep those? At the Athens Loco’s or Steverino’s?

animaldr

March 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

my memory of goldberg is from his days as bouncer at papa joes on baxter. it take guts or stupidity to show your fake ID to that guy.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

March 7th, 2010
7:04 pm

WHO’S NEXT???

BuLLdawg’s Mom!

Buckhead Bulldog

March 7th, 2010
7:41 pm

That was actually kind of funny, DDPO.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

March 7th, 2010
9:15 pm

Roy D. Mercer

March 7th, 2010
9:27 pm

Goldberg, my boy still can’t get your autograph off his head that you signed with that sharpie. We have rubbed if, used paint thinner, gas, you name it we have tried it. What you gonna do about it? How big a boy are you?

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 7th, 2010
10:23 pm

Another beatdown in baseball today ! 17 – 5 ouch dem noles got punch!

BuLLdawg

March 8th, 2010
12:31 am

by

RED DOG 77

February 15th, 2010 12:53 am

“For those who say coach Bobo this and coach Bobo that…..Heck folks, CMR said it plain and clear, come 2010, he was going to get back to ‘hands on’ coaching of the QBs and O…… I believe CMR saw that coach Bobo was not quite ready to handle the O all by himself.”

RED DOG 77

March 8th, 2010
1:38 am

It would appear Mr. “BuLLdawg” has an archive of my many posts over the last couple years. I am indeed flattered ! You tell me Mr. “BuLLdawg” what else did I say in your latest quote of me? Could I have possibly said that I believed coach Mike Bobo to be an extremely bright young man ? Yup, think I said just that. Some who post here think maintaining a national powerhouse, that is The University of Georgia football program is childs play. I beg to differ. Our Oline coach, Stacy Searels[hope I didn't misspell his name, "BuLLdawg" would jump all over that] has been given more responsibility in the running game, and he should. CMR, realizes, his strongest coaching ability is working with, and developing young QBs, and is a fair hand at playcalling [ see FSU years] So you see CMR, I believe is doing a little less delegating on the O side of the ball, and using the strengths of several coaches to get the most out of his players. Yes, handling the offense all by himself was, I believe a little much for coach Mike Bobo, I think it would be a bit much for most O coaches, even the brilliant Mr. “BuLLdawg”…………Coach Mike Bobo is, as I said earlier, a very bright young man, who has alot to offer the University of Georgia football program, and I for one support him 100%. I think at this point, with all the off-season changes, unless you have an awe inspiring ability to predict the future[ as ol "BuLLdawg" does] The best we mortals can do is wait, and see what 2010 has in store for the GEORGIA BULLDOGS. Me? I’m optomistic, but I bet little miss Debbie Downer,aka Mr. “BuLLdawg” is looking for the sky to fall ! Regards “Bd”, RED

RED DOG 77

March 8th, 2010
1:46 am

Oh, and by the way, Mr.”BuLLdawg”, I am indeed hiding behind my keyboard. I really don’t know of any other way of doing this, do you ?

BuLLdawg

March 8th, 2010
2:32 am

by RED DOG 77

“Yes, handling the offense all by himself was, I believe a little much for coach Mike Bobo”

Only RED DOG 77 is allowed to make such a statement in HIS blog here, hiding behind his keyboard like a sissy – not allowing anyone else to say the same.

Buckhead Bulldog

March 8th, 2010
7:33 am

I want to know what you two (BuLLdawg and RD77) do for work or what time zone you two live in? I mean, all of your comments come in after midnight, EST? You two definitely burn the midnight oil on y’alls little spat, or live in California.

rob

March 8th, 2010
9:20 am

It is somehow fitting that a professional wrestler is one of the most famous former Dawgs.

It’s ironical!

lol

TommyJack

March 8th, 2010
9:52 am

Typical dawg. All noise, no bite.

RxDawg

March 8th, 2010
10:38 am

“We don’t want to be the only class since coach Richt has been here that hasn’t won an SEC championship,” Gamble said. “This is our last shot, but we’ve got to make it happen, got to do extra stuff and make sure everybody’s doing extra stuff.”

I heard that!

DawgsForever

March 8th, 2010
10:38 am

I’m hearing he was the one that got Ferguson hooked on the “roids” while he was in Athens. Anyone else hearing these rumors?

May end Ferguson’s NFL career.

KeepTheRoidsOutOfAthens.com

your my favorite uncle

March 8th, 2010
11:23 am

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com is what your nephew will say when you surprise him with a UGA classic tin lunchbox for his b-day, which by the way he will have for years not like some old t-shirt that he will out grow.

Remember College is Forever. Go Dawgs!!!

dan

March 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

Goldberg FTW

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

March 8th, 2010
3:07 pm

Georgia’s team every year (on paper) starts out the year looking/sounding like Goldberg.

But in the end, they usually resemble the wrestler named Gillberg:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OknYjUQc0ww

ga gator

March 8th, 2010
3:37 pm

steroid freak actor is all he has been since he left the NFL.

RED DOG 77

March 9th, 2010
12:47 am

Buckhead Bulldog, If you are out there, to answer you’re first question: I am a wealthy old goat who works when I want to. Second: I tried for the longest time to just scroll past ol “BuLLdawg”. I have seen your handle a few times, are you telling me, you have not seen some of the books “BuLLdawg” writes here that basically “craps” all over the University of Georgia football program? So,though, I’m sure all it does is wind him up, it makes me feel a little better knowing I’m doing my part to defend “My” school. My best to you Buckhead, acually that is where I am from. And I must say I like your use of “Bulldog” rather than “Bulldawg”. Your posts are good solid Bulldog material, I enjoy conversing with “DOG” fans that support UGA.Are you old enough to remember W.F. Dykes High School, on Jett Rd.?

RED DOG 77

March 9th, 2010
12:54 am

Hey,”BuLLdawg”………..I’m sitting here hiding behind my keyboard, just waiting to “getcha”.

Joe

March 9th, 2010
2:30 pm

What does the “M” in “MNC” stand for? Shouldn’t it just be “NC”, or “BCS NC” ? I just see that all the time on these blogs and I have always wondered.

Buckhead Bulldog

March 9th, 2010
9:37 pm

RedDog77: ‘88 UGA Grad. I have heard or your H.S.and I know Jett Road. I grew up in the LaVista/Briarcliff area…Lakeside, Henderson, Tucker area

Yeah…I was just wondering about the time slots when you two go at it. I scan my sports news in the a.m. while hitting my coffee, and then in the evening so I see the carnage. I agree BuLLdawg repeats himself quite a bit here. I agree with some of his stuff, and disagree with other stuff he writes. I’m a pretty even headed, realistic Dog fan then some on here , but what the heck I like to read some of these over the top views

Anyway, RD77….good talkin to ya, and Sic’ ‘em Dogs!

RED DOG 77

March 10th, 2010
12:24 am

Buckhead Bulldog, Thanks for your reply. Always stop by the JV while heading out to your old stomping ground. UGA ‘77. Not really sure if he is a “real” Dog or not, just a little good natured fun, it is amusing winding him up a little.Imho, things look to be interesting in 2010, lets hope all the changes pan out for us. My best to you and yours, and Sic’ ‘em Dogs ! RED

RED DOG 77

March 10th, 2010
12:32 am

Joe……..”M” in “MNC” means mythical. Hope that helps, Go Dogs, hope we get one soon ! Regards, RED

Buckhead Bulldog

March 10th, 2010
6:56 am

RE DOG 77- My sister was at UGA there then. I think she used to go out with Jeff Pyburn some…anyway, she graduated MCLaude and went on to GWU Law and is now hot shot lead counsel in NYC for one of the big boy banks…CB.

RED DOG 77

March 10th, 2010
7:56 pm

Buckhead Bulldog- I knew Jeff, albiet casually. Was a back injury away from playing with those guys. Was an eyelash away from trotting onto the field with that big ol “G” on my helmet. Though it was a heartbreaker for me at the time, all seems to happen for a reason. Great to hear of your sisters success, UGA is a great school, after my injury, I was able to spend alot more time with the books, which is the reason for my success in business. I suppose no one can tell either one of us UGA is not a great school if you want a quality education ! As a former LB, it thrills me that we are going to the 3-4 ! the learning curve is not quite as daunting as some believe. The 3-4 is attack D, kids love it! alot more fun than playing bend not break ! These young studs we have on D should just go bananas over the “rip their heads off ” style the 3-4 is. Regards, RED

Buckhead Bulldog

March 10th, 2010
8:30 pm

RD77-I’am old enough to know what a JUNKYARD DOG is all about for sure. We NEED to get back to drilling the living hell out opponents when they waltz into Sanford so they will remember who they just played.

I’m feeling it with this Grantham guy.

RED DOG 77

March 10th, 2010
11:44 pm

Buckhead Bulldog………Yes indeed you are certainly old enough. Didn’t mean to imply otherwiise. And, you are without a doubt a damn good DOG ! Only “real” DOGS use expressions like “Drilling the living hell out of em”. Grantham has me pumped as well, I feel like strapping it on and make em eat a little “dirt” myself…………If we can get a QB to grow-up fast, 2010 might just be a real treat to watch. I’m sure the nay-sayers will say we are always looking to next year, but if 2010 is not the year, it will be here sooner rather than later………..just looking at the make-up of our team, I don’t see how the SEC won’t belong to us real soon. I have enjoyed visiting with you on this story, I will look forward to more “DOG TALK” in the future. Regards RED……..And GO DOGS !!! GATA !!!