Apollo Creed: Actor played for the Oakland Raiders?
Ever since the movie 'Creed' (basically Rocky 7) debuted in November 2015, the character Apollo Creed has been generating tremendous buzz, even more than Rocky Balboa himself.
In the Rocky series, the legendary Apollo Creed was a brash current and former heavyweight champion who possessed tremendous charisma and boxing skill.
Obviously inspired by real fight great Muhammad Ali, Creed dominated the heavyweight division for many years until he met a tough, hand-picked journeyman named Rocky Balboa - and the rest is history.
The first Rocky, along with subsequent sequels, sans Rocky 5 of course, would become major box office blockbusters.
The Rocky films would make Sylvester Stallone iconic and hatch the careers of Mr. T, Dolph Lundren, Hulk Hogan and Carl Weathers, the actor who played the larger-than-life Apollo Creed.
The recently-released film, Creed, which was directed by Ryan Coogler and written by Coogler and Aaron Covington, is a spin-off and sequel to the Rocky film series. The movie stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed, the late Apollo's son, with Sylvester Stallone reprising the role of Rocky Balboa.
So who is the actor behind Apollo Creed?
And who is at least partially responsible for making Apollo one of the most popular, most beloved fictional athletes ever?
Rocky movies buffs can thank an ex-football player, Carl Weathers, for the character's success.
That's right... Weathers once played linebacker for John Madden's Oakland Raiders.
"The Oakland Raiders are the off-Broadway training ground of the NFL," Weathers told Keepvid.com a few years ago.
And yes, former Oakland Raiders turned actors include Howie Long, John Matuszak, Lyle Alzado, Bill Romanowski and, of course, Apollo Creed..er... Carl Weathers.
A gifted athlete with a naturally muscular physique, Weathers, now 68, excelled in football, gymnastics, judo, soccer, and wrestling as a teen and would go on to earn his B.A. in Drama.
An solid linebacker at San Diego State University, Weathers went on to play for the NFL's Oakland Raiders during the 1970 and 1971 seasons before transferring to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League where he played for two years before hanging up the cleats for acting.
Height: 6-2 Weight: 220 lbs.
Born: January 14, 1948 in New Orleans, LA
High School: Long Beach Polytechnic
College: San Diego St. (school history)
Of course, it wouldn't take long for Weathers to land the role of the charismatic Apollo.
Despite his football days and gridiron expertise, Apollo Creed... er... Carl Weathers is much more convincing as a boxer.