The Name Is the Game (Offense)
By Patrick Garbin—Twitter @PatrickGarbin
For more than a year, I compiled nearly 100 names of Bulldog players who I came across in my work/research and regarded worthy of being featured on an all-time Georgia “All-Name Team.” From those, I have selected a starting offense and defense. Presented below is the offense, including a placekicker; the defense will be posted tomorrow.
Of note, the name given is the name the player was most recognized for… For example, Georgia’s Buzy Rosenberg was always acknowledged as, well, Buzy Rosenberg—not Leman (his real first name) Rosenberg. Also, if I had a difficult time choosing one player over the other based solely off their names (e.g., Ben Zambiasi vs. Danny Verdun Wheeler at one of the linebacker spots), the deciding factor was their performance on the field. Still, in choosing most of the positions, as they say, the name is the game:
QB—BUCK CHE(E)VES (1919-1920): Whether “Cheves” or “Cheeves”—both spellings were commonly used, sometimes even in the same periodical or a single article—as Vince Dooley once told me, “It was pronounced like cheese but with a “v” instead of an “s,” Buck (actual first name, “James”) was Georgia’s starting quarterback for its 1920 S.I.A.A. title team, scoring five touchdowns, before attending Harvard Law School and later becoming a football official.
FB—HIAWATHA BERRY (1986-1989): Given the full name of “Illya Hiawatha Berry” (“Illya” for Illya Kuryakin—his father's favorite character of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." television show—and “Hiawatha” for Hiawatha Ball, his father's former roommate at Savannah State), Berry was a reserve fullback as a sophomore before switching back to his original position along the defensive line for his final two seasons.
TB—ZIPPY MOROCCO (1949-1951): As the late Morocco informed me in 2012, “I started to be called ‘Zippy’ when I was nine or ten years old selling newspapers…I really had to hustle to sell papers. I ran around…zipping from one place to another.” His first and last name was the title of the song, “Zippy Morocco,” by distinguished local singer Vic Chesnutt, named after the Georgia football star who gained over 2,000 all-purpose yards and scored 13 touchdowns in 1950 and 1951 combined.
WR—MOHAMED MASSAQUOI (2005-2008): With parents from Liberia, and “Jah” as a middle name, Massaquoi totaled career receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches which all still rank among Georgia’s top 10 in history.
WR—CASSIUS OSBORN (1984-1987): Named after Muhammad Ali, but using the boxer’s original name of “Cassius Clay,” Osborn’s career receiving average of 19.9 yards ranks second at Georgia of those with at least 40 career receptions.
TE—ULYSSES NORRIS (1976-1978): The tight end with the unique first name also had the uncommon nickname of “Pay”—as in paydirt. Three of Norris’ first six catches as a Georgia varsity member were for touchdowns, including this one against Florida in 1976:
OL—SANDY BEAVER (1901-1902): A true athlete, Beaver had been Georgia’s baseball captain even before having gone out for the football team. During his first year on a collegiate gridiron, he was recognized as the “star” of the line and, although weighing just 175 pounds, it was reported, “Beaver is the heaviest man on the team.”
OL—BUM DAY (1919-1921): Although “named [Bum] by his many ardent supporters,” Day was certainly no bum, earning all-conference honors in 1920 and 1921—and, ironically, this resulted after he was an All-American at Georgia Tech in 1918 when Georgia didn’t field a team because of World War I.
OL—MAX JEAN-GILLES (2002-2005): By my count, there have been seven roster players in the modern era of Georgia football with a double surname. Jean-Gilles, a newcomer in 2002 and consensus All-American in 2005, was evidently the first.
OL—PUSS WHELCHEL (1919-1922): Whelchel, whose actual first name was “Hugh,” was much more acknowledged as “Puss,” as in one’s face. Also nicknamed the "Dashing Douglas Blonde," the Douglas, Ga., native was a two-time All-Southern selection who unofficially blocked 19 career kicks, two of which were returned for touchdowns in Georgia's celebrated victory over Alabama in 1920.
OL—PUD MOSTELLER (1954-1956): Hailing from Conover, N.C., young James Mosteller reportedly had a fondness for banana pudding, contributing to a stature which resembled a pie plate; therefore, James became “Pud,” and Pud it remained. Pud Mosteller promptly started for the Georgia varsity as a mere sophomore, earning All-SEC honors, before knee injuries hindered his final two seasons as a Bulldog.
PK—DURWARD PENNINGTON (1959-1961): Besides his unique first name, Pennington was also Georgia’s “Automatic Toe”—the Bulldogs’ first true field-goal specialist. At a time when the average placekicker made roughly 40 percent of his field-goal attempts, Durward made a combined 10 of 15 tries in 1959 and 1960. In 1961, he made three more field goals—one in each of Georgia’s three victories that season (seven losses), all of which resulted in a winning margin of three points or less.
Who did I miss? What offensive player should be a starter on Georgia's all-time All-Name Team?