This epic post stays at the top of the page for most of the rest of the day. Underneath them are some great posts: Avinash breaks down the Furd defense & ST after breaking down the offense, solarise recaps the recruiting news on his Friday Night Lights post, AndyHogan14 with a Big Freeze report, turkey with photos from campus, and a concerted effort is being made to save the soon-to-be cut Cal varsity sports like baseball, rugby, lacrosse & gymnastics. Check them out and more below.
Before I begin I would like to note that I am proud of our guys for never giving up and fighting through the adversity so far this year. It’s a long season with many highs and lows. The regular football fan who has never played at this level will never fully understand what these young men go through on a daily basis. They are not normal students; they do not have normal social lives. Its academics, football, food and film. In that order and can get very physically and emotionally draining.
Last week against the Ducks was a great sight. Although the Bears did not win the game, they fought to the end and 2 or 3 plays dictated the outcome of the game. Cal had a great defensive gameplan and exposed Oregon to the Rest of the World. Chris Conte did a fantastic job spying Darron Thomas and the Bears man to man coverage for the most part was solid.
As for the whole faking injuries during the game. Obviously fans and members of the media have to come up with some controversy in order to take the outstanding play from Cal's defense away in some fashion. First of all, I see it every week in college football, usually after a PAT from a quick touchdown. An offensive lineman goes down after the kick in order to give the defense a little bit of breathing room before they have to go out again. I think the "faking the injury thing" was blown way out of proportion and the national audience should of been focused on the play of the #1 defense in the Pac 10, not some excuse about slowing down the game by faking injuries.
As for the Big Game. I still can’t believe it has been 5 years since I started my 1st collegiate game down on the Farm. Throw the records out, who cares if the potential 1st pick on the 2011 NFL draft will be slinging the rock on the opposing sidelines. It’s the Big Game. A rich tradition, so much emotion and do be honest, the only game that determines if you had a great season or not. I was fortunate in my time at Cal, to never give up the Axe for 5 straight seasons. It was an incredible time in my life.
Seeing Kyle Boller get hoisted up by blue and gold faithful along side Joe Igber, winning the AXE in 2002 for the first time in their lives. Geoff McArthur blowing up for over 200 yards receiving in 03. In 2004, watching a young Marshawn Lynch scamper up and down the field, embarrassing the Cardinal. In 2005, watching our defense dismantle Trent Edwards and knocking him out of the game. And in 2006; Senior day. Having my whole career flash before my eyes on the bus ride up to the stadium and not being able to control the tears that flooded down my face; then, running out of the tunnel for the last time at Memorial. Greeted by my family at the 50 yard line and receiving a standing ovation from over 60 thousand die hard fans - I will never forget that day.
And my final thought, Brock Mansion. I was his Host on his recruiting trip and knew instantly he was meant to bleed blue and gold. He’s the All-American farm boy from Texas, that if you had a daughter, you would want him to date her. I have so much respect for Brock. He came into Berkeley with tremendously high expectations. All the talent in the world, intangibles that are off the charts and a certain swagger that is needed to play QB for the Bears. He got lost in the shuffle, behind vet QB KR and slowly dipped from potential starter to #3. I have been where he has been and felt what he has felt. It’s not easy to have such roller coaster of emotions at a young age. Coach T will set him up for success Saturday, not putting too much on his plate but just enough to keep the drug every quarterback at every level craves, confidence. The Big Game is bigger than facing #1 Oregon. No other game on the schedule feels amazing for a year if you win... or makes you sick to your stomach for 12 months if you lose.
The Bears will have to rally behind Brock if they want to make it #2 in a row. I feel like they will, in all 3 phases, especially on defense. Brock is loved in the locker room and generates much respect throughout the Athletic Department which makes me proud to call him a fellow Golden Bear.
Although my situation was much different five years ago the 2010 Big game has all the glamour to go down in Cal/Stanford Lore. Yes In 05, if we won we went to the Vegas Bowl, if we lost we went home, but we were never the underdogs. Brock and the rest of the Bears have an opportunity to accomplish something special, something magical, something that doesn’t come around to often. Stay positive, stay confident and always believe.
Good luck Brock and the Rest of the 2010 Golden Bears.
Always Bleeding Blue and Gold,
Well said, Steve, and Go Bears!