Our third match-up of the weekend eshews our typical basketball/football theme and instead matches up fomer Cal and current U.S. Women's National Team star Alex Morgan with former Mic Man Ken Montgomery.
Alex is well known around these parts mostly for the fact that she is a very attractive female, but no one should forget that she is also an incredible soccer player. She starred during her time at Cal and has only gotten better as she has moved up to play for the US of A.
Ken was a Mic Man in the early 90's and by all accounts really revolutionized that position. His enthusiasm for all things Cal was infectious and I think that it is safe to say there are not really many Golden Bear fans bigger than him.
Clearly this is a tough match-up for Ken, but it is a 1/16 so that is expected. Alex should garner her fair share of the votes but I would not be surprised to see Ken make things respectable. This contest is out of the Joe Kapp Region and the winner is going to move on to face Nnamdi Asomugha. You can check out all of the match-ups in the full bracket here. Full write ups are after the jump. Voting ends on Friday. GO BEARS!
(1) Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is somewhat of a cult heroine on CGB (mostly on the DBD) because of her wholesome good looks. But she is not CGB HOF-worthy simply because she has so many admirers among Cal fans. Alex Morgan is CGB HOF-worthy because she might be the greatest Cal women's soccer player ever there was. And since Cal is the alma mater of Joy Biefeld Fawcett, that is saying something.
Alex closed her Cal career as the third leading all-time scorer in California women's soccer history with 107 points (45 goals). She was the team's leading scorer in her senior season (2010) despite missing several games due to being called up to play games on the USA National team. She led the nation in scoring for much of the season and it's not a stretch to say she would have won that title easily had it not been for her commitment to USA Soccer.
The accomplishments don't stop there. Alex's career is dotted with achievement:
● First team All-American as a senior
● First-team All-Pac-10 selection four times
● First Cal player ever to be named as a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, the Heisman of women's soccer
● Led Cal to the NCAA tournament in each of her four years
● Second-team Freshman All American in 2007
Alex has made Cal proud and she'll make America proud on the national team, that's for sure.
(16) Ken Montgomery
Via Leonpowe: I think it's really important for me to talk about how much his (Ken) being mic-man impacted my Cal fandom. I grew up a pretty big sports fan - my dad and I went to lots of pro sports when I was growing up - Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and a couple of UCLA games (pro sports . . get it?). But, my high school was terrible at major sports, my junior and senior years we won a total of 5 football and basketball games combined. So I was really looking forward to attending Cal as a freshman in 1992 - I mean we'd have Heisman Candidate Russell White with a team coming of a National #7 ranking . . . what could go wrong? (Oh Cal Sports, always ready to teach a life lesson).
Anyways, behind Gilby and some injuries, we floundered to a 4-7 record. And while I remember some lingering gut punch defeats from that season - what stands out in my memory a lot more was just how much fun it was to attend a college football game - even though the product on the field was less than spectacular, the guy standing on the boards made the games fun.
And that guy was Ken Montgomery. How did he do it? He knew the game - that much was clear - especially in the interceding years when we've had a lot of other mic men (and women) who have ranged from pretty good to terrible. The first and most important part was knowing when to cheer and make noise and when to shut up and when to crack jokes. It was really the last part - not that he was cracking jokes, but he was definitely having a lot of fun with the opportunity to be mic-man. It was a constant conversation with the student section, knowing what to say, commanding, but friendly hat really enriched my game experience as a freshman. And when I speak to alums who are slightly older than I am (my freshman year was the last year Ken was mic man) they mainly remember the same thing. Ken made the game fun. And that, more than anything, contributed to being a Cal fan for life.
There are few legends among the Cal spirit squads, but Montgomery is one of them. Long considered the Teddy Roosevelt of Cal Mic Men (for being thoroughly awesome in every way, and a pioneer of sorts), Montgomery is the man current Mic Men should idolize and replicate. His passion and love for all things Cal translated into some of the most raucous student sections that ever populated Memorial Stadium and Harmon Gymnasium in the early 90s.
He explains how he fell into the role:
So, I hate to sound like one of those people living in the past, but I remember it like it was yesterday. CAL was down by I think 7. So I turned to the crowd, which had been apathetic, and said "Hey Everyone. We are playing the defending national champions... we are only down by 7. The team is playing great. But you don't seem to be in the game. Listen, we come here to have fun right?" And to my surprise a lot of people shouted back "YEAH!" And then I said "So are you ready to start making some noise and getting behind the team?" And again, more people shouted "YEAH!" So then I said "O.K., here's what we're going to do. It's an oldie, it's simple and effective. On three, everyone yell GO BEARS!.... One, two, three", and then you know what, everyone yelled "GO BEARS!!!"
I can't explain what a high it was and how exhilarating to have everyone do what I just told them to do. Then I said "You can't cheer sitting down, you all need to stand up!" That's right, back in the day people actually sat down during the games... So then everyone got up... again, I was thinking to myself "wow, they're doing what I'm saying." So we did another Go Bears! and that is how it all started... So a little later Miami was about to punt and I got everyone chanting "Block that kick! Block that kick!" and you know what, we blocked the punt!!! The crowd went wild, and while I am sure it was unrelated, it got everyone thinking they could have an impact on the game. It was awesome.
He shares one of his favorite memories:
On our way back we stopped by the office where I worked while I was at CAL. Now across Harrison Street was the GAP HQ. So from my office I could see Don Fisher, CEO and founder of the GAP as well as huge CAL alum - was in his office. So down on the street I had the band play the fight song up towards Don's office... He looked out his 6th floor window and pumped his fist, which was cool. But as we were getting on the bus, Don came running across the street to thank us and play another song. I mean, how cool is that? This titan of American business, the owner of one of the iconic American brands that is - literally - a part of the very fabric of America, dropped what he was doing and rushed down to the street because he was so excited about hearing the CAL band! That is the kind of stuff I just love.