We have another matchup today. The first of the Joe Kapp Regional, anchored by Geoff MacArthur. We have former Cal DLineman and current NFLer Andre Carter taking on former Cal basketballer Al Grigsby. Great matchup. The winner here will take on the winner of the Hardy Nickerson v. Dick Reimann matchup.
You can read the entire bracket here. So, don't forget to vote! Read more after the jump. The voting ends on Friday, April 15, at noon. GO BEARS!
Joe Kapp Regional
Andre Carter (5)
Coach Tom Holmoe pulled quite the coup in 1997 when he recruited studly Andre Carter to play his college football at Cal. Carter's college career was certainly forgettable from a wins-losses standpoint, as Carter was unfortunately in the middle of the Holmoecaust. But Carter was certainly a bright and shining light on Cal's "Hit Squad" defense of those years.
Carter played for the California Golden Bears from 1996-2000. During his junior and senior years he was a unanimous All-Pac 10 Conference selection. In 2000 he won the Morris Trophy, awarded to the Pac 10’s top defensive lineman as voted on by the starting offensive lineman from the conference. In addition to being selected as the Golden Bears’ most valuable player, Carter was also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s top defensive player. Finished as the school’s all-time sacks leader.
When Fujita got to Cal as a 6-4, 195-pound safety who was the last man on the depth chart, his intensity on the practice field routinely perturbed his veteran teammates. "I was kind of the annoying, walk-on, ‘Scout Team All-American’ who irritated the old guys," Fujita explained. […] It was hard not to feel excluded, especially when everyone was lining up for training table and I wasn’t allowed to eat. Andre Carter would sneak me food all the time. He really took care of me in every way. He’s my brother from another mother."
White might've been more important for us at Cal, but Carter has definitely had the better professional career.
Great career as a D-lineman at Cal, became a top-10 pick in the NFL draft, and has had a long pro career. On top of that, he has become CGB's meme for "needing an adult."
"This is Andre Carter. This is an adult!" via www.femmefan.com
This guy was an absolute beast off the edge. Could stuff the run, rush the passer, and was known for running down backs/receivers down the field...even on the opposite side. If not for being knee-capped by the Holmoe era, he would have put up unreal #'s.
Similar in speed to Cam Jordan, but not as big. However in terms of motor/focus, he started from day one and was a force even as a true frosh.
Al Grisgby (12)
Grigsby's Number 4 hangs in Haas Pavilion as one of only four retired numbers in the history of the Cal men's basketball program. Why? Kodiak, Ohio Bear, and LeonPowe recently discussed it on a CGB roundtable discussing Grigsby's Cal career, which spanned from 1991 to 1997.
Al Grigby's jersey is retired as a tribute to perseverance. He wasn't the most talented player. He didn't have the most noteworthy career or statistics. But he absolutely refused to give up. I hope that most you have never had a surgery nor had to rehab from one. It's not fun. In fact, it's miserable, soul-crushing, and an ever-present struggle against despair. I forget the exact number, but I thought I remembered that Big Al came back from at least three major surgeries and rehabs. That's endless hours of therapy, ice, tape, and pain...with no promise or guarantee that you'll ever be right again. He probably should have hung them up, but didn't. Not only was able to come back and contribute to Cal's Sweet 16 run in his final season, but he managed to play professionally in Japan after graduating.
By comparison, it's easy to see why Cal retired the other numbers that hang in the Haas Pavilion rafters-Kevin Johnson was an all-time great player for Cal and had a very good NBA career; Darrall Imhoff was the best player on Cal's national championship team in 1959 and had a serviceable NBA career; and Jason Kidd is what we know he is. By contrast, Al Grigsby compiled modest stats during his career at Cal. (For his career, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, with a career FG percentage of 56%.) You won't find Al Grigsby on Cal's all-time career leaders in scoring or rebounding, but you will find he is one of the most beloved Bears of his era. His tireless work ethic, his team-first mentality, and his determination to fight through countless injuries endeared him to his teammates and to Cal fans.
I love Big Al. My Honda Civic was named after him. My neighbor's fish was named for him (he also had a big white fish named Raef LaFrentz). 16th best player . . .well, the man sacrificed a lot of pain and effort for the University and never gave less than his best. He was a great Bear.