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.

read more »


So this is kind of upsetting: researchers from UC Berkeley and UC San Diego just released data demonstrating this doozy of a statistic:

Violence against intimate partners increases where the local National Football League team loses a game it was expected to win.

All we can say is BUHHHHH.

Image Source: Maitri under Creative Commons
NFL losses linked to domestic violence [UPI]

Though his team lost, Marshawn’s first NFL match was hardly a disappointment (are the Bills ever supposed to win?). Props to the dreadlocked one on ripping off 90 yards and a TD in the next level. Oh, and here’s a somewhat amusing YouTube interview with His Hyphyness.Donruss Interviews Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills[YouTube]

Thankfully there were a few Bear sightings on Thursday Night Football. Though the Colt’s metaphorical pantsing of the Saints was like visual Nyquil (without the buzz), former Cal players did their best to entertain the Clog.It appears Daymeion Hughes has found a happy home with his new blue team. The man played corner like a caffeinated wombat, and generally acquitted himself quite nicely for a slow guy (the man ran his 40 like an opium addled sloth). He also came this close to intercepting one of many errant Brees heaves.And Matthew Giordano had an auspicious start to his season. The former Cal DB had an 83-yard pick-six. Have you noticed that our school has become a regular defensive back mill lately? The League can thank us for Hughes, Giordano, Deltha O’Neal, and Nnamdi Asomugha (pronounced “alksjdfalhdfalkjsdf;a”), just to name a few. Man, if only we could have some of those guys back for our currently so-so defense.Another Pac 10 alum used the game to continue his quest to be the most over marketed football player in the nation. The Clog saw many, many, Reggie Bush ads in between yet another mediocre Reggie performance. Why the star treatment so soon? We’d make a snarky comment about USC students and entitlement, but we’ve got to go find and polish those old Giordano rookie cards. Oh, and the Clog may just recap Marshawn’s first game…depending on how hyphy we feel.

This is about a week late, but what the hell, we’ll mention it anyways.

Remember a couple of months ago when we told you about how the NFL is trying to trademark the term “The Big Game?” Actually, we should say that the NFL WAS trying to trademark that term.

After Cal and Stanford (notice how we don’t use the “u” because of our alliance with the junior university on this one), filed extensions for the trademark for “The Big Game,” the NFL dropped its pursuit.

Yeah, only a match made in hell, Cal and Stanford, can bring down something as evil as the NFL. But for now, our precious, little, college tradition—The Big Game—is safe from the clutches of corporate America. Actually, it’s not, but at least we get to keep calling The Big Game “The Big Game.”

But we’re not out of the woods yet. The NFL may refile under some other trademarks application.

Pshh. Whatever. It’s not like the NFL has half the brainpower that Cal and Stanford have.

Earlier: Finally, ‘Furd and Cal Have Found Something to Agree On: Stopping the NFL NFL drops effort to trademark ‘Big Game’ phrase [SF Gate]

Yesterday, the sports world saw one of the most boring and dumbest ideas in the history of sports take place: the NBA held its Draft Lottery yesterday, and yes, the Portland Trail Blazers are now on the clock.

Why does this matter? Because now all the major sports news sites are giving us their NBA mock drafts.

There was no doubt that a former Cal athlete was going to be a high-profile pick in the NFL draft last month, but to our surprise, a soon-to-be-maybe former Cal basketball player may also become a high-profile pick. Okay, maybe not too high-profile, but at least he may not waste away in the draft the way Leon Powe did last year.

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford thinks that DeVon Hardin can get picked up in the first round. Really? Why is this so?

bq. The Pistons could really shore up their backcourt here with a young, athletic shooter who got limited opportunity at Ohio State this season. (Ohio State’s Daequan) Cook still needs to work on his handle and his defense, but he’d be an excellent fit coming off the bench in Detroit. A big man like DeVon Hardin is also a possibility here.

Really? DeVon Hardin goes to the Detroit Pistons with pick No. 27 in the first round? Though Ford doesn’t give a reason why he used Hardin’s name instead of so-and-so-big-basketball-player’s-name-here, we’ll offer our reasons.

Well, he does make sense, since he’d be replacing the void Ben Wallace created when he left for Chicago this season. Hardin can be the shot-blocking-menace-with-no-offensive-ability the Pistons desperately need. Wallace never scored points and Hardin won’t have to either. Plus, Hardin fits in with that bland Detroit Pistons style. Plus, Detroit’s a great town! Maybe.

However, SI.com doesn’t even mention Hardin’s name anywhere in their mock. Draftexpress.com also doesn’t name him —and they have a mock for both rounds of the draft.

Earlier: A Few More Reason Why Hardin Should Stay in School Chad Ford’s Mock Draft, Version 1.1: Picks 1-30 [ESPN Insider] (subscription needed)
Chad Ford’s Mock Draft, Version 1.1: Picks 1-30 [7 Online (via ESPN Insider)] (no subscription needed)