A few days ago, I introduced the Colin Kaepernick All-Stars, a title "reserved only for the most mythical players to have destroyed the Cal Bears, the thorniest of thorns in our ursine sides, and those who have earned a begrudging respect for doing so."
Today, the CGB staff -- namely, a bunch of guys on staff older than me -- decided to share some of their bitterest memories and nominations from the pre-Kaepernick era, which begins in 2010.
Vlad: "Sigh. Eddie House. Eddie Freaking House. He scored 61 points in Haas Pavilion in a 111-108 Arizona State win over Cal in double overtime in 2000. 61 points! It was unbelievable. And the kicker of it? House was an East Bay kid who lived in Berkeley and Union City during his youth, graduating from James Logan High School. Guess what school he wanted to attend coming out of high school? Cal. Guess what school didn't offer him? Cal. I guess House hanging 61 on us was our penance. It is small consolation that House was no flash-in-the-pan: he ended up having a good career in the NBA. But on that day in 2000, he was the greatest scorer on the planet. Against us, of course."
Vlad: "Milburn was a good player at Stanf*urd, but he was especially great during the 1990 Big Game. The '90 Big Game was an unforgettable duel between Milburn and Cal's Russell White. Milburn frustrated the Bears all day, racking up 379 all purpose yards in the Cardinal's infamous (to us) 27-25 win. Two years later, Milburn was not quite as dynamic as in 1990, but no less deadly. He returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown that took the wind out of Cal's sails on the way to a 41-21 Stanf*rd win."
Nick: "Ariya Crooks has scored 20 points or more eight times in her USC career. THREE of those times have come at Haas Pavilion. Twice she has set a career high in scoring in Berkeley, both in painful Cal defeats. Her 20+ point outburst in 2013 almost cost Cal a conference championship, when the Final Four bound Bears needed a late comeback and overtime to beat a pretty mediocre USC team. She must be stopped."
Avi: 42 carries, 194 yards in 2005 for two touchdowns. I have no idea where that performance came from (that was not a good Oregon State team), but it was a sign of things to come in the Tedford-Riley one-sided rivalry.
Still, that wasn't nearly as close as painful to the grinding performance he put on us two years later. 163 yards from scrimmage in 2007, plus two killer goal-line plunges, with one of them definitely being a 4th and goal from the one. He was pesky and annoying and he killed two promising Cal seasons."
Vlad: "Hicks was a UCLA running back who was a 3rd round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in the 1998 NFL Draft. So Hicks was no slouch as a player. But Hicks probably did more damage to Cal than anyone else in his career. It started in 1993 when, as a true freshman, Hicks dashed 40 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to pull the Bruins to within two points of the Bears in Hicks' first college game. Cal managed to hang on for victory there, but Hicks wasn't done tormenting Cal. In 1996, Hicks had more than 100 yards rushing AND receiving and scored four of UCLA's five touchdowns in a 38-29 Bruin win at Memorial Stadium. In 1997, after Hicks was awarded a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA (for medical hardship, IIRC), Hicks' parting shot to the Bears was another 100+ yard rushing performance and one more rushing touchdown. I was glad to see Skip Hicks finally leave Westwood."
USC defense (2004-2013)
Avi: "We haven't scored more than 17 points on the Trojans in a decade, and Monte Kiffin coached three of those teams. I feel like counseling is required here.
- Tommy Vardell: "Touchdown Tommy lived up to his nickname in the 1991 Big Game, when a top-10 ranked Cal team fell to Stanf*rd 38-21. Vardell rushed for three touchdown and more than 180 yards in about a million carries." - Vlad
- Antoine Cason: "Thought about my defensive terror being Verner, but we got enough payback on him. Cason was just a nightmare to deal with. That Arizona loss in 2006 is still my most painful memory as a Cal fan. When he picked off Longshore the next year and Arizona started creeping back into the game I was getting a little ill inside. Cason provided me with Cal fan PTSD." -- Avi
- Tuan Van Le: "I can't tell you what Tuan Van Le ever did in his Stanf*rd career. All I know is that he swooped in and blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Robbie Keen on the final play of the 1988 Big Game, preserving a 19-19 tie." -- Vlad
- Robert Meachem: "I have erased the [2006 Tennessee game] from my memory. I just pretended that this was an exhibition and it didn't count that Syd'Quan had a club on his hand." -- Avi
- Mark Banker: "[Oregon State defensive coordinator] Banker is past his prime and still finds a way to hold Cal to seven points at halftime almost every year. No sequence haunts me more than that 2007 game where we had three chances to punch it in from one yard out and got denied each time." -- Avi
Well, you heard from us. Now who are your own Colin Kaepernick All-Stars, the players in any sport who you hate even today, simply for being too good against those in Blue and Gold?