Our first match-up of the weekend features the Cal Water Polo legend Kirk Everist taking on the electrifying running back Jahvid Best. This is a pretty interesting match-up coming out of the Pete Newell Region as it features one of the Olympic sports stars taking on the powerhouse that is football.
Kirk advanced into the Sweet Sixteen by taking down Mychal Kendricks in a pretty close vote while Jahvid absolutely annihilated Bryan Anger as if he played in Minnesota's secondary. The winner will move on to face Nathan Adrian in the final vote for a spot in the CGB Hall of Fame. You can take a look at the whole bracket here and the full profiles are available after the jump. Voting will cease on Friday. GO BEARS!
(2) Kirk Everist
MSS: Kirk Everist (via swimmingworldtv)
The Cal water polo program has a storied history and Kirk Everist is one of the program's all-time greats. Everist has won four national championships as a Cal Bear: two as a player in the 1980s and two more as Cal's head coach.
Producing back-to-back NCAA titles, two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crowns, 29 All-Americans and numerous academic honorees, Kirk Everist has proven to be the perfect individual to perpetuate the tradition of excellence that defines California water polo. In six seasons (140-40, .778) Everist has twice led the Golden Bears to the pinnacle of the sport; last year directing his alma mater to its NCAA-record 13th national crown with a 8-6 win over USC after a thrilling 7-6 last-second national championship victory over the Trojans in 2006.
A former three-time All-American, 1988 NCAA Player of the Year and two-time United States Olympian, Everist, 41, earned the 2002 MPSF Coach of the Year honors in his inaugural season when he guided Cal to the MPSF Tournament title and a national runner-up finish. Then in 2004, he was inducted into both the Cal Athletic and the USA Water Polo Hall of Fames. In 2006, Everist was selected USA Water Polo's Elite Co-Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to both the MPSF and NCAA titles. On July 29, 2002 Everist returned to his alma mater and immediately led the Bears to a 20-7 mark and Cal's first MPSF title and national runner-up finish since 1995. Now after guiding the Bears to the school's first back-to-back NCAA trophies since the early '90s, Everist and his troops are in a position to vie for a third-straight national crown in 2008.
Before his successful return to Berkeley, Everist had contributed to eight CIF North Coast championships as an assistant coach at Miramonte High School. During Everist's 11-year tenure at Miramonte, the school also produced nine league titles and three third-place finishes in the California State Tournament. He helped develop 22 high school All-Americans, and three of his former players went on to earn NCAA All-American recognition, while two ex-pupils have played on NCAA championship teams.
Two time national champion as a player. Two time national champion as a coach. Three time All-American. On top of all of that, Everist was twice a member of the United States Olympic water polo team. Certainly, Everist has Hall of Fame credentials.
17. How many times do you run around the office in your swim trunks with the trophies laughing hysterically?
Not very often but it is a great job and I love it very much. CAL is an amazing place and I am very lucky to be here.
(3) Jahvid Best
Jahvid Best - Cal Football - Jim Rome Is Burning 11/4/2009 (via calbearsgobig)
Best seems to always have one mode: Fast. He ran fast. He cut fast. He caught fast. He leapt fast. He even interviewed fast. He's the prototypical Internet-generation athlete!
He was a one man instrument of warfare, like that sniper in Saving Private Ryan. In a blink of an eye, he took teams out of games. We can count the games, the names, the teams he left burning on the turf in his wake. CSU '08. Wazzu '08. Furd '08. Washington '08. Miami '08. Maryland '09. Minnesota '09. UCLA '09. Opposing fans probably felt a little helpless once the Jet found the seams and broke loose--it was hardly a fair fight once Xs and Os crumbled into the 100 m dash.
I don't think I've ever seen a football player take over a football game by himself the way Jahvid did with the liabilities he had to nurse from everyone. He was hampered with a generally weak offensive line (especially in the interior) and a terribly hamstrung quarterback situation. Even Desean had a fairly accurate Longshore throwing to him much of his career. Best had to win many games on his own (and when I say on his own, he generated around 70 to 80% of their meaningful offense, sometimes even more). The only Bear who had to burden that much of the load in modern times was probably Deltha, and those teams still stunk. One player can't make a team great; it's to Jahvid's credit that he kept the offense running alright with minimal help (Ta'ufo'ou, Mack and Malele in '08, and mmmaybe Summers-Gavin in '09).
Jahvid Best 2009 Season Highlights (via HANDSOMElifeOFswing)