Goldberg, Bill : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Goldberg, Bill

William Scott Goldberg

Better known as professional wrestler "Goldberg," in 1990, Bill was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round (301st overall) of the NFL Draft. Goldberg played in 14 career NFL games for the Atlanta Falcons before an abdominal injury ended his professional football career. In 1995, Goldberg relinquished his lifelong dream of NFL stardown and retired. After working in Atlanta area gyms as a personal trainer, he decided to give pro wrestling a shot. Bill said that while he was in Athens with some college friends: "...somehow the TV wound up on professional wrestling. I said to them, 'Wouldn't it be a trip if that was me up there in the ring?' 'Yeah, right,' said Scott, 'I can see it now: G.I. Jew to the rescue. You could tie up your opponent in the figure four -- skin!'" Despite the jokes, Goldberg did become a wrestler and quickly became the biggest name in the "sport" as GOOOLLLDDDBEEERGGG was heard in arenas around the United States.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. December 27, 1966

Career Highlights:
Prior to his brief NFL career (and wrestling career), Goldberg was an excellent defensive lineman at Georgia in the 1980s. After redshirting, he became a starter as a sophomore in 1987. That season, he started every game and became the first Georgia lineman in four years to record 100 tackles; his 107 tackles broke the school record by an interior lineman. Georgia had a record of 9-3-0 and defeated Arkansas, 20-17, in the Liberty Bowl.

In 1988, Goldberg took over at nose guard and was named All-SEC by UPI and SEC coaches. That season, the Bulldogs had a record of 9-3-0 and defeated Michigan, 34-27, in the Gator Bowl. Unfortunately, two nights before the game, Bill experimented with marijuana. The next day the team performed a random drug test and Goldberg failed. By his own admission this was the worst experience of his life. He was banned from playing in the Gator Bowl against Michigan. In the offseason, however, he worked harder than ever before, and bulked up while staying away from drugs.

In 1989, Goldberg was named All-SEC first team and Football News All-America second team as he enjoyed his best season at Georgia. Bill recorded 121 tackles (breaking his own school record for tackles by an interior lineman) and eight sacks and the Bulldogs ended the year with a record of 6-6-0. Goldberg graduated with 348 career tackles, seventh all-time in school history.

Drafted in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Rams, Goldberg failed to make the team in 1989 and 1990. Frustrated at the lack of progress, Goldberg joined the World League Of Football and the Sacramento Surge. In 1992, the Surge defeated the Orlando Thunder to win the WLAF championship; Goldberg recorded three sacks that year. In 1992, the Atlanta Falcons signed Goldberg from the WLAF. He played 14 games in three years for the Falcons then an abdominal injury incurred during a preseason game crippled his career. Goldberg's contract was claimed by the Carolina Panthers in the expansion draft but the injury prevented Bill from making the team.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Career Dates:
Goldberg played on the defensive line for the University of Georgia from 1986-1989. He then played briefly for the Sacramento Surge of the World League in 1992 and as a defensive tackle in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, 1992-1994.

Physical description:
6'2", 272 pounds

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Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League, edited by Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999)