Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Countdown 2010: 80 Days to Go

80: Meat Cleaver #61, Nose Guard (1978-1981)

A good nickname goes a long way. A great one makes you a household name. A great player to go along with a great nickname makes you legendary. That's Eddie "Meat Cleaver" Weaver. One of Georgia's best interior defensive linemen of all time. And one of the best nicknames in college football history, if not the best...evah...

If you run across a Georgia football game on ESPN Classic from the early '80s, ABC announcer, and former Arkansas head coach, Frank Broyles will reference Meat Cleaver Weaver to Keith Jackson within your first 2 minutes of watching, guaranteed. Try it next time.

And who wouldn't reference Meat Cleaver every chance possible? I know I would.

Meat Cleaver was the Dawg who welcomed the #1 player on this list to the Georgia practice fields by burying him the first two times he carried the ball. He didn't like the "prima donna attitude" when Herschel hesitated before signing with Georgia.

"I just wanted to let him know what it meant to be a Bulldog," said Meat Cleaver. Was Herschel picturing Meat Cleaver's face on Bill Bates that fateful night in Knoxville?



1981 Sugar Bowl - Eddie "Meat Cleaver" Weaver (#61) drops Notre Dame's QB on the first play of this clip

The Haines City, Fla. native is listed on the state of Florida's top 100 high school football players for the first 100 years of the Florida High School Football association. He went on to a career in the USFL for the LA Express and the Orlando Renegades, and was a perfect fit for the colorful spring time professional football league, saying once to a St. Petersburg Times writer that football was a game of "paybacks."

"You kill my dog, I'll kill your dog and your puppy too," said Meat Cleaver, who was on the all-USFL first team in 1983.

He was all-SEC on Georgia's 1980 National Championship team, and again on Georgia's 1981 SEC Championship team.

Legend has it by the time Meat Cleaver left Georgia, he could bench over 600 pounds.

His younger brother, the late Mike Weaver, followed Eddie to Georgia and was an offensive lineman during the early '80s. In "What It Means to be a Bulldog," Meat Cleaver reflects that Florida heavily recruited the younger Weaver, showing Mike film of Florida's offensive guards grading out at only 30-35% against Meat Cleaver. They needed Mike to block his older brother. The Weavers' mother wouldn't allow it, telling Mike he could either go to Georgia or to a school that didn't play Georgia.

No comments: