We move onto the second round of the CGB Hall of Fame! For each athlete, you can vote in the poll; it closes a week from today. After the jump, you can read the athlete profiles written up by our commenters, and discuss in the comments your memories of each athlete, as well as which one deserves to move on. (Check out the full bracket here.To check out the original nomination thread, click here. For those who want to track the CGB Hall of Fame posts exclusively, click here or right next to the timestamp where it says "Hall of Fame".)
A few big upsets here and there, lots of football players, some basketball, and an interesting amount of players from non-traditional sports, including a good number of females.
Tony Gonzalez, perhaps the greatest tight end in NFL history (although John Mackey and Mike Ditka might have something to say about that) starts off our list. Let's take a look at a brief sampling of his career.
Since we can talk about Gonzalez's accomplishments, people might be interested to know that Gonzalez toyed with veganism for awhile, at his peak, as a pro, in his contract year (it's crazier because all these things happens at once).
It took Mooch and his West Coast offense to fully exploit Tony's skills as both an explosive run blocker and deep receiving threat. In his junior season of 1996, Gonzalez caught 46 passes for 699 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was named all-Pac 10 and first team All-America by the Football News and Sporting News magazines.
All the while, of course, Gonzalez was logging double duty as a starting forward on Cal's basketball team. In 1996-97 he developed an offensive game to complement his rugged rebounding and led the Golden Bears to a surprise berth in the Sweet 16.
1. He was so giant catching balls in the 1995-96 season, that among my group of dorky friends we subtituted "Tony Gonzalez" as a synonym for "huge" as in: "Jeez, that burrito is Tony Gonzalez"
2. After losing to UNC, Coach Dean Smith said about Tony G "I believe that man has a great future in football. He’s certainly very strong"
3. I once asked NBA All Star Antawn Jamison what was it like to play against Tony G – he said "he’s not an NBA player – but that’s no knock on him. He’s a really really good basketball player, and strong as hell. He was a tough defender"
Ryan Anderson was as overlooked as they get in college, rollonubears argues:
Was/is an absolute monster. In my opinion, if he had stayed 4 years, he would have been considered an all-time Cal great. His freshman year he was robbed of Pac-10 Freshman of the year. His sophomore year he was one of the most underrated basketball players in the nation. He got absolutely no national recognition (talks about it here around 3:23), mostly because he wasn’t on a tournament team. Look at that team. The people surrounding him were pretty much awful (PChris was the only other good player on the team. This was back when Jerome Randle was the Nate Longshore of basketball). His starting point guard had a 1.2-1 A-TO ration. ERIC FUCKING VIERNEISEL AVERAGED 24 MINUTES A GAME ON THAT TEAM. I think I would give Vierneisel a run for his money in a pick-up game. He had a .298% on threes and still shot 84 of them. And don’t even get me started on Devon ’I’ll give effort when I feel like it’ Hardin. The point is that Anderson was that team. He was the only reason we made it to the NIT. That team minus Ryan Anderson would have had single digit wins
I am still angry that he never got any national props. Look at his stats that year: 21.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 49% from the field, 41% from three, 87% FT. He almost (and look how close he was) threw up a 20-10 in one of, if not the toughest conference in the nation. The Pac-10 was getting abundant love that year thanks to Love-Mayo-Bayless-Lopez twins-Budinger-Harden-Afflalo-that whole Wazzu team-etc. However, the guy who was most valuable to his team and who arguably had the best season that year got no love at all.
Ryan Anderson: the unloved Cal great.
He was most recently seen in 2 minute shorts with his *gag* Furd buddy, Brook Lopez. Lopez is his ex-teammate now though, thankfully. He is now Dwight Howard's wingman on the defending Eastern Conference champs Orlando Magic. Here is what Ben Q Rock (one of the smartest SBN writers out there) from Third Quarter Collapse had to say about Anderson (plus all sorts of cool advanced stats if you click on the link).
Again, I can't emphasize Anderson's age enough. A guy hitting 36.5% of his three-pointers may not sound impressive. But let's apply some parameters to that: how many NBA rookies, 6'09" or taller, who were 20 when their first season started, attempted at least 100 treys and connected on them at such a rate? In other words, how many tall, young dudes could stroke the long-ball like Anderson can? Answer: not many. The list is, in its entirety, Anderson, Rudy Gay, Ersan Ilyasova, Lamar Odom, and Tim Thomas. Looking at it a different way, only 15 NBAers 6'09" or taller shot as well from three-point range last season. Second-year phenom Kevin Durant and Anderson were the only ones younger than 22 to do it. This kid is for real, at least offensively.
Those are your choices. Voting time!