CGB Hall Of Fame Tournament: WILD CARD!

Woah!  Who say this coming?  Hello!  Another opportunity for a CGB Hall Of Fame tournament participant to make it in.  Who said there is no second act in America?  They were wrong!  Wrong, I say!  

Now, we have the 4 runners up in the Elite 8 knocking back on the door.  They were not able to make it in on the first go around.  However, one of them will get that second chance to make it in. In the original set up, Matt Biondi took down DeSean Jackson.  Deltha O'Neal defeated Hardy Nickerson.  Dana Vollmer beat Chancellor Tien.  And Kevin Johnson won over Mike Pawlawski.

So, Biondi, O'Neal, Volmmer, and Johnson constitute part of the 2011 CGB Hall Of Fame class!  But wait, there's more.  One more!  Jackson, Nickerson, Tien,and Pawlawski are all back in the ring.  Read the write ups after the jump.  Vote in the poll.  The highest vote getter makes it in.  And to the other 3?  There is always next year!  Thanks to all who voted, discussed, and made the 2011 CGB Hall Of Fame the best yet.  GO BEARS!

DeSean Jackson (1)

MinerNiner presents the case for Desean.

Perhaps no other skill player in Cal history instilled as much fear and respect into opposing defenses and special teams coverages as DeSean Jackson. Opening day starter as a true freshman. His first two career touches went for touchdowns against Sacramento State. Led the Bears in receiving as a sophmore with 59 catches for 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns as set a Cal record with four punt returns for touchdowns. Perhaps his greatest play was a 77 yard punt return against Tennessee in 2007 that went for a touchdown. Some consider him an enigma during his Junior year, in which the Cal football team collapsed in the second half of the season, however, his overall body of work is not to be ignored. He departed holding Pac-10 records for punts returned for a touchdown both in a season (four), and in a career (six). Jackson ranks third all-time at California for receiving yards with 2,423 and receiving touchdowns with 22. He is sixth in receptions (162). Jackson finished with 52 career plays of 20 yards or more, making up 23 percent of his 226 touches.


 

 

 

  

Mike Pawlawski (3)

Sp_pawlawski_medium

via photos1.blogger.com

 

The old-timers remember him and the team he led quite fondly, perhaps in the same way the younger minds remember Rodgers and 2004.  Pawlawski was Cal's starting quarterback in 1990 and 1991. The 1991 team went 10-2 and won the Florida Citrus Bowl against ACC champion Clemson-Cal's first appearance in a New Year's Day Bowl since the 1959 Rose Bowl game. Pawlawski had an outstanding 1991 season, winning co-Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors with Washington WR Mario Bailey. And Pawlawski's 1990 team went 7-4-1 with a win in the Copper Bowl (nka the Insight Bowl), which was Cal's first bowl appearance since the 1979 Garden State Bowl.


LeonPowe and California Pete offer their thoughts on Pawlawski and the 1991 team he quarterbacked-


LeonPowe: Quarterback for the 1991 Citrus Bowl Championship teams. Coming out of high school he had no arm strength, no accuracy and was rated by one recruiting service as "the worst recruit in the Pac-10"

Damned if he didn’t will and win his way to becoming the Pac-10 offensive player of the year in 1991. And this was with a UW team that won the National Championship. I really dislike attributing stuff like "intangibles" and "leadership" – because good players usually prove themselves in some measurable way. Mike really didn’t – he had okay stats and won a lot. But it was the little things. Like when he scored on a keeper and knocked out the opposing linebacker. Like when he played special teams to get on the field. Like when he took an offense full of talent (Russ, Brian Treggs, Mike Caldwell, Greg Zomalt, Lindsay Chapman) and molded them in his image – they became a cocky, loud-mouthed, trashtalking offense that WON. Back-to-back Bowl Games (huge for Cal at the time).

In my freshman year after Pawlawski had graduated a lot of fans and students said (not jokingly either) that they should bring Pawlawski back . . .to coach the linebackers.


Ohio Bear: Until the 2004 team came along, the 1991 team was the best of my Cal fandom. And I think the 1991 team was better overall than the 2006 team.

 

California Pete: I think the 1991 team would have a great chance against the 2004 team, although the 91ers’ penchant for personal fouls probably would do them in. Both teams were Rose Bowl worthy—far better than the teams sent most recently by the likes of WSU and Stanford—but both unfortunately shared the conference with two of the all-time greats: UW 1991 and USC 2004.

 

He is dealing with neck issues in retirement, but many of us have seen him broadcast a Cal game, several this past season, and he seems to be in generally good spirits.

 

And let's put ourselves in good spirits with some highlights of that 1990 team!

 


 


 

Hardy Nickerson (4)

 

Scootie lays down the case for one of Cal's finest:

 

 

Hardy Nickerson was a badass linebacker from 1983-1986.

From the Cal Hall of Fame writeup:

For three straight seasons from 1983-85, Nickerson led the Golden Bears in tackles and was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player. A first team All-Pac-10 selection as a senior, he reeled off tackle totals of 141 in 1984, 167 in 1985 and 132 in 1986. His 167 stops as a junior remains a Cal single season record, while his 501 career tackles rank second behind David Ortega’s 525 in school history.

He went on to play in the NFL for 16 years (primarily for the Steelers and Bucs), where he was a five-time pro bowler, and was named to the 1990s all-decade second team. He is now a coach at Bishop O’Dowd, where his twins (boy/girl) go to school. I am hoping to see him on the Cal staff sometime soon.

 

Nickerson's son, Hardy Jr., is a highly touted linebacker whom Cal is recruiting.

The elder Nickerson was a member of the 1986 Cal team, which defeated heavily favored Stanfurd 17-11 in one of the biggest upsets in Big Game history. The 1986 Big Game was Joe Kapp's last game as Cal coach.

 

 

Cl_tien_medium

via upload.wikimedia.org


From wikipedia


Known for his "Go Bears!" spirit, Tien was very popular with students, often showing up at student rallies and sporting events wearing his "Cal" baseball cap. He was not uncommonly sighted picking up trash in Sproul Plaza, appearing in the library in the middle of the night during finals week, or checking up on students in the residence halls and classrooms.

He was the eighth Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1997), the first Asian to head a major university in the United States.

Tien was an expert in thermal science and researched on thermal radiation, thermal insulation, microscale thermal phenomena, fluid flow, phase-change energy transfer, heat pipes, reactor safety, cryogenics, and fire phenomena, authoring more than 300 research journal and monograph articles, 16 edited volumes, and one book.

 

From LeonPowe: I think more than any other post-FSM Chancellor, Chancellor Tien was the embodiment of the campus spirit. He not only fought vigoriously to protect the academic strength of the University, while being the first Chancellor since the FSM to support the idea of top flight athletics co-existing harmoniously with Cal's reputation as one of the top universities in the world. I first met Chancellor Tien at the Chancellor's reception my freshman year in the Fall of 1992. He was actually talking to about 30 freshmen about his time at Louisville - he said the reason he earned his BS, MS and then PhD in such fast time (Louisville, then Princeton) is because he was so poor as an international student, he only had one bowl of plain rice to eat a day, and he wanted to get into the work force so that he could afford to eat! Once Tien got to Cal, he didn't waste any time. Starting as an associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering in 1959 at the age of 23, three years later he became the youngest professor in Cal history to win the Distinguished Teaching Award. From there he moved on to becoming a full professor, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Vice Chancellor of Research - two years at UC Irvine as executive Vice Chancellor, before returning to Cal as Chancellor in 1990.


While he was a unversity administrator for much of his career, at his heart he remained a professor and a mechanical engineer. He continued to teach classes while he was the Cal Chancellor, while his expertise on heat transfer technology was significant in solving some of the Space Shuttle cereamic tile issues.


During his time as Chancellor, Cal was undergoing a lot of changes - the two biggest the regents of the University of California banning affirmative action and the other being an 18% budget cut. In order to preserve Cal's diversity - Tien began the ambitious program "The Berkeley Pledge" aimed at pushing students from economically disadvantaged areas towards a college (and Cal) education, while to combat the budget cuts and retain the young professors who would usher Cal into the next century, he began a program called "The Promise of Berkeley - Campaign for the New Century" which raised a then-unheard of 1.44 billion dollars for the University (including my $100/year!)

But more than that, the man loved Cal. I'm not alone in having seen him pick up trash while walking around campus. I'm not the only student to have eaten his fresh baked cookies while he walked around Moffitt during Finals with a big box, exhorting us "STUDENTS! STUDY HARD! GO BEARS!" As a big basketball fan (he used to claim that if he had grown taller than his 5'4", he would've gone on to play professionally in Taiwan), he would occasionally get into the layup line with the Cal team. In fact, if you watch the end of the Cal-Duke game, while Coach K is walking off the court, Chancellor Tien comes over to shake his hand, and Coach K is VERY confused as to why this random Chinese guy with a Cal hat is on the court. Stories like him changing his flight returning from a University Presidents and Chancellors Conference to catch Cal vs. Kansas football. Him leading the 1-2-3 Go Bears! cheers at rallies, on the sidelines, the man's spirit was infectious. Unfortunately for Cal and the world at large, Chancellor Tien was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2000, three years after he retired as Cal's chancellor. He passed away at the age of 67 in 2002.


If anyone could truly truly be a Golden Bear, Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien was that guy. Go Bears!


 

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