Our Signing Day Wish List For the vast majority of sports teams, there’s always a definitive point in the season at which their fans allow their thoughts to stray toward the possibility of “next year.” Yes, for the disgruntled sports fan, irritated and beleaguered by supporting perennial bottom-feeders and cellar-dwellers, avoiding the agony of the present by having a “wish list” for their team is indeed a guilty pleasure. Considering that most UC Berkeley students say “Tedford” while cursing under their breath, it’s fairly safe to say that the 2012 sports season is far behind us.

Signing day is a big time not only for the athletes who are committing to their future alma maters but also for the fans who pine for the biggest names to come to their favorite teams. It represents the potential for future success and the cultivation of championship aspirations all rolled into the squiggly ink that makes up the signature on the contract. Seeing as how Bay Area sports have flourished – the Giants with the Series title, the Niners with a Super Bowl bid, and both the Sharks and Warriors pleasant surprises in the Pacific Division, it’s about time that Berkeley was brought up to par.

Despite all the internally generated hype about  the athletes that will be joining call – conveniently ignoring the lack of a Top 50 football recruit and the Marcus Lee disaster that broke up a potentially contending basketball squad – we’ve developed our own list of athletes and other athletic-type people that should grace the courts of Cal if our wishes were to come true.

1) Aaron Rodgers
Ever since this legendary quarterback left for the Cheeseheads, we’ve had to endure the likes of Longshore, Ayoob and Levy – all in one season! Given the relative ineptitude of Maynard this past, it’d be wonderful to have some form of competence in the most important position in the game. Who better than a Super Bowl champion to bring Cal some more bowl seasons?

2) Titus
For all of you who don’t know who Titus is, take a moment to bow your head in shame and deference. Check out this video to get to know the little guy. Despite his apparent youth, he’s already reached the social status that accompanies single-name celebrities – a la Cher and Madonna. Given that he studies hard for a decade straight and manages to skip a couple of grades, we’ll be looking at the Final Four in 2028!

3) Emma Watson
The English star, notwithstanding all questionable haircuts, would make a perfect addition to the Cal community. The occasionally sunny skies would certainly be a nice contrast to the years of gloom and rain she lived through in Oxford and on the East Coast at Brown. And even though it was the one sport she wasn’t too good at, she could give our eighth-ranked Quidditch team a few extra pointers to help them prepare for the World Cup.

4) Michael Oher
This guy knows how to get it done. For those of you who don’t remember, he was the “true story” that inspired the award-winning film The Blind Side, that showed a rags-to-riches story of an inherently talented football player. He now has a ring as a member of the Ravens, much to the chagrin of all San Francisco fans. However, despite his enemy status, he’s proven to have things we need – good acting and football talent. Sandra Bullock can attest to that.

5) Missy Franklin
Who better to join our ranks than someone who’s the perfect age for collegiate athletics – sorry, Titus – a proven winner and a nationally heralded recruit that would make waves for Cal’s recruiting program? Oh wait … we already signed her months ago?

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Image source: Juli under Creative Commons


We all know Cal football has not been doing great. Although it pains us to admit it, the team has been playing amateurishly, and we can only hope that Sonny Dykes revitalizes the program to win back some school pride. While our team as a whole has done poorly, we can boast about some incredible athletes who have gone on to stardom in the pros. Here, we will bask in the glory of five of our greatest alumni in the NFL :

5. Jahvid Best

Jahvid (right) with his high school football coach

Best is tough. Best is explosive. Best is fast. Although he is not currently part of the NFL, he more than deserves to be on this list. One thing can be said of Best: He goes out with a bang. Those who have been following Cal football remember Best’s incredible Oregon State touchdown for the Bears in 2009, which also happened to be his last game at Cal. That touchdown gave him his second concussion in two weeks and led to his retirement from college football.

In the 2010 NFL draft, Best was the fastest running back. He joined the Detroit Lions in 2010. The few times he was healthy, Best played incredibly, even having a 75-yard touchdown reception. In 2011, he beat his personal best with an 88-yard reception. Alas, despite his sensational athleticism and his commitment to football despite countless injuries, Best finally succumbed to post-concussive symptoms and is now on the NFL’s injury reserves. He has not played for more than a year, but his achievements in his prime are staggering. Hopefully we’ll see Jahvid again, but even if we don’t, as Bob Dylan said, “It is better to burn out than to fade away.”

4. Shane Vereen

Look, we know no one likes the Patriots, but Shane Vereen is another running back out of Cal who deserves mention. With an impressive college total of 1,167 rushing yards, Vereen left Cal in three years and was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2011. There, he continued to play well, reaching a career best of an 83-yard reception. Currently, he has 308 rushing yards and four touchdowns. But these stats don’t fully explain why he’s on this hall of fame list.

Remember two Sundays ago? Patriots vs. Jets, and the Pats chief running back Danny Woodhead is injured. It’s down to veteran Stevan Ridley and third-string nobody Shane Vereen. Vereen delivers the football to the endzone three times. Yes, Tom Brady deserves some credit for some accurate passing, but Vereen really showed the world what he can do. We don’t root for the Patriots any more than you do, but there are those magical moments when Vereen makes this world a better place and the Patriots head cheater is almost tolerable.

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11-01 Should The Teddy Bear StayUnless you’ve been stuck in the basement of Etcheverry for a matter of months, you know that the brand-spanking-new Memorial Stadium is playing host to our football team from here on out. The presumed hope was that the shiny new arena would somehow increase the level of play from the somewhat disappointing record of last season. With Saturday’s 22-point beatdown in Salt Lake City, many are calling for the dismissal of the man at the helm – Jeff Tedford.

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