CGB Hall of Fame: Matt Biondi vs Glenn Seaborg

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One of Cal's most decorated Olympians opens up his tournament with a matchup against a sentimental favorite. Seaborg pulled off the upset over Justin Forsett; is Biondi next? Cast your votes by noon on Friday! The winner goes onto face the Dante Hughes-Steve Bartkowski victor.

Scootie provides the defense of Biondi.

I have to right an egregious wrong that was committed last year with the admission of Natalie Coughlin to the Hall of Fame before Matt Biondi.

Matt Biondi is, quite simply, the most accomplished individual athlete to ever graduate from Cal.

Why?
> NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 1985, 1986 and 1987
> Eight individual NCAA swimming titles, 13 overall titles including relays
> Twelve individual world records
> By the time he graduated from Cal, he had the ten fastest times ever swum in the 100m freestyle. Ever. In the world.
> World swimmer of the year in 1986 and 1988

Oh, did I forget to mention the Olympics? Silly me. He competed in three Olympic games, winning golds at each. He was the most decorated athlete at the Seoul Olympics, the summer after his graduation. By the time he retired, he had won ELEVEN Olympic medals, EIGHT of them gold.

Oh, and what’s that? You heard he might have played a bit of water polo in the offseason to keep himself interested in things aquatic? Well, yes, indeed he did. In fact, he was a water polo star. And the boys in Speedos brought home three NCAA water polo championships with him on the team.

Fix the injustice! It’s no Hall of Fame without Matt Biondi.

 

I did not expect to see Seaborg's name on this list, but I'm not complaining. Katster gives us her take on why he should be in the Hall of Fame.

Okay, I’m cheating a bit, both because I wasn’t around in his heyday and because he’s technically not an athlete. But, on point one, I got to run his slide projector for a presentation he was making in my History of Cal De-Cal and then shake his hand, so it sorta counts.

Anyway, while Seaborg did his undergraduate work at that inferior UC in Los Angeles, he came to Berkeley for graduate work and never left — coming to be one of our biggest fans all the way around. And most importantly, he was chancellor (chancellor!) of the University during both our last Rose Bowl and our NCAA basketball success of the late 50s. He believed that athletics rounded out the academics — he was Chancellor Tien before Chancellor Tien. He never failed to support the Golden Bears through all the lean times after.

And this doesn’t even cover what he did for Cal academically. He’s the discoverer of plutonium, integral to our war efforts in World War II — so integral, they didn’t let him go to Los Alamos, because his work in Berkeley was that important. He was Ernest Laurence’s right hand man on work with the cycletron. And because of all this, he was awarded the Nobel Prize, and then an even greater prize — element 106, Seaborgium.

A university would be lucky to have such a man associated with them.

Plus, as he was known to point out, his surname was an anagram for "Go Bears!" He was the quintessential Cal Bear, and a model for all to follow.

I humbly submit his name for your consideration.

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