(2) Mike Pawlawski
1990 Cal Football Highlights Part A (via PRD74)
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.
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 . . . 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.
You can check out his write-up on Tightwad Hill over here.
(15) Nate Longshore
Nate Longshore Extended Highlights Part 1 (via ronenlish1)
Just the mere utterance of his name can make even the most loyal Cal fan feel a mix of emotions. Some love him. Some hate him. Some love him and hate him. Some hate him and love him. We Cal fans as conflicted about him. Heck we even have a Hall of Fame fanpost CGB by the legendary danzig entitled "Nate Longshore: Setting the Record Straight." For what other player have we devoted such emotional angst? Okay, besides Kevin Riley. Anyone? Anyone?
But we digress. Putting the emotions aside, Nate Longshore has some legitimate CGB Hall of Fame credentials. Ohio Bear summed them up on the nominations thread from 2012.
"He was the quarterback of Cal's 2006 Pac-10 co-champions, Cal's first share of a conference championship since 1975. He had particularly great performances that season against Oregon (on national TV) and at Oregon State. Until his injury in 2007 took us to the great "Nate or Kevin" debate to end all debates, Nate was the clear starter and a guy we had confidence in.
"[And] Nate was a Duck killer! 3-0 vs. Oregon!"
The fact of the matter is, Nate gave Cal football fans a lot of wonderful moments. He enjoyed a very good 2006 season, particularly his games against Oregon, Oregon State, Ucla, and the Holiday Bowl against Texas A&M. Pre-injury in 2007, Longshore looked the part of an elite Pac-10 quarterback in Cal's win against Tennessee and was as gritty as anyone in helping Cal beat Oregon at Autzen Stadium, one of the greatest Cal wins of the decade. Were it not for the ankle injury at the end of the Oregon game in 2007, which changed the course of Longshore's career, who knows where he would have ended up in the hearts and minds of Cal fans? We'll never know. But what we do know is that there have been few players for whom we've devoted as much mental energy in debating his merit and his place in the Cal program. There have been even fewer Cal players who quarterbacked Cal to a share of a Pac-10 championship.