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Golden Nuggets: Three Bears—Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Mebane, and C.J. Anderson—are playing for a Super Bowl ring

There are three Bears left in the hunt for a Super Bowl ring—Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Mebane, and C.J. Anderson—and Cal wins every Player of the Week award known to man.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

We're just days away from Super Bowl XLVIII, which promises a Golden Bear--a former student of Ron Gould--will leave with a Super Bowl ring. Unfortunately, RB C.J. Anderson is still a back-up player for the Broncos, so the media hasn't covered him as much; however, we've got plenty of news on our Bears-turned-Seahawks, DL Brandon Mebane and RB Marshawn Lynch.

Mebane is one of the few current players who were on the team before Pete Carroll and he's spent that time mentoring and helping the younger guys. But on the gridiron, Mebane is one of the biggest reasons for the Seahawks' success--pun unintended--even if he doesn't get the recognition.

Mebane draws double-teams from blocking schemes, and rarely is contained by one offensive lineman. The primary beneficiaries are linebackers Bobby Wagner and Malcolm Smith, both of whom have the freedom to be active against the run because of the attention Mebane draws.

"There's so many combination blocks and double team blocks where he gets underneath people and he can get a guy knocked back," Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said last month.

Mebane is agile on his feet for his size (6-foot-1, 311 pounds), which allows him to be effective with the myriad stunts and twists that Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes to utilize.

Lynch, on the other hand, has been getting all kinds of recognition. Sure, a lot of it has been for his ability to Beast Mode all over opposing defenses, but a lot of it has been due to his quiet behavior at recent media events. At Super Bowl Media Day, he spent "only" six minutes speaking to the media, with a memorable two-minute interview with Deion Sanders. Because of this behavior, the Pro Football Writers of America expressed their disappointment in Lynch; they released a statement, which included the following excerpt:

"Several of our long-standing and high profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch's conduct and refusal to answer any questions. We find the statement that by the league that ‘Players are required to participate and he participated' to be an affront to our membership. However, we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation."

One person Lynch is willing to open up to is Cal alumnus Mike Silver, discussing some hardships he's overcome.

"My lowest point [as a Buffalo Bill]?" Lynch replied. "I had a bunch of them, and I overcame them. I don't think I ever had a lowest point while on an active NFL roster. My lowest point came (growing up), when we were trying to figure out what we were gonna eat at night. My lowest point came when I'd wash my jeans at night -- and hopefully they were dry by the morning, so I wouldn't have to go to school in wet jeans. Or, if they were still damp, I'd iron 'em so at least they'd be hot for a moment."

Ryan Riddle of Bleacher Report attempted to better understand Lynch, including his the parts of his personality that include the Jokester, the Freak, and the Teammate.

To dig deeper into the enigma that is Lynch, I took to the best resource I had available. Reaching out to former college teammates of ours seemed like an optimal way to uncover the angles of his personality that most do not know about.

Through firsthand experience, in addition to the collective opinions of those lives he encountered, we attempt to peel back the layers of who Marshawn Lynch really is-both on and off the field.

Lastly, Grantland also took a crack at characterizing the evolution of Lynch.

Marshawn Lynch occupies a weird, compelling space in the football world. More so than anybody else in the league, he's the guy I find non-football or casual football fans gravitating toward. He's your favorite basketball blogger's favorite football player. ... Maybe what makes him so interesting is that contradiction: Lynch is both that Skittles-slurping folk hero and an old-school archetype being squeezed out of football: the workhorse franchise running back.

Check out today's news, featuring Cal winning all of the player of the week awards.


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