Former Cal star and Olympic 800-meter runner Alysia Montano shares her plans for 2014, including a big change in her life — a new training partner.
Trust me, checking out her blog, “Here and now . . . petaling along,” is worth a moment of your time. (Hint: scroll to the bottom for a cool photo!)
Three former Cal players will be in uniform at MetLife Stadium today for Super Bowl XLVIII.
The headliner, of course, is Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who has waited all week to let his legs do his talking.
The former Oakland Tech HS star rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season and leads all ball carriers with 249 postseason rushing yards.
Seahawks teammate Brandon Mebane and Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson help give the Bears representatives in the Super Bowl for the 12th time in 13 years.
Lynch, Mebane and Anderson all are making their Super Bowl debuts.
Three other ex-Cal players took bows Saturday at the NFL Honors show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Former Cal star Marshawn Lynch, threatened by the NFL with a $100,000 fine, participated in Tuesday’s annual Super Bowl Media Day.
Here are links to a few stories about Lynch’s unusual day with the media:
– ESPN.com writes about how the Seattle Seahawks’ running back said his fans don’t care if he talks.”They just want to make sure I show up to perform,” he said.
– The Seattle Times provides a complete (albeit abbreviated) transcript of all Lynch had to say during his brief session with reporters.
– New York Post columnist George Willis reports that “Beast Mode was on Least Mode” during his 6 1/2 minutes with the media.
– The New York Daily News reports that Lynch made himself into the story of Media Day by trying not to be a story at all.
– Yahoo Sports gives us all the details of Lynch’s endorsement deal with Skittles.
– Here is Cal grad and NFL Media columnist Michael Silver’s story on Lynch from an interview he did last week before the running back knew whether he’d attend Media Day.
– And, finally, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith tells NFL.com he hasn’t seen a running back quite like Marshawn Lynch.
His season ended with a playoff loss at Denver last weekend, but San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was named the NFL’s 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America.
The former Cal star led all NFL rookies with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. He added six catches for 142 yards and two TDs in the playoff loss to Denver.
A third-round selection of the 2013 NFL Draft, Allen set team rookie receiving records in catches and yards as the league’s first rookie since 2011 to go over 1,000 yards receiving and the fifth since 2000.
Allen had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games twice, the first Chargers rookie to accomplish that since 1960, and his five total 100-yard games was also a San Diego rookie record.
He had nine receptions in two games, a regular-season high 128-yard receiving effort at Washington.
Allen played three seasons at Cal from 2010-12 and is the Golden Bears’ all-time leader in receptions (205), while ranking third in receiving yards (2,570) and touchdown catches (17).
Former Cal star Allen has gotten on the floor just once in the past 12 games as a rookie for the Portland Trail Blazers, and the immediate horizon doesn’t offer much promise of more.
“It can be a humbling experience sometimes for you,” Crabbe said Friday after practice. “It definitely is frustrating as a competitor, I’m not going to lie. It’s a new adjustment for me, a process I have to go through and something I have to stay positive about.”
The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, who left Cal after his junior season and slipped into the second round of the NBA draft, is sitting on the bench for the first time since . . . well, the first time.
He’s been a starter for every team he’s played on since his freshman year in high school on the varsity squad. “But I got to play a lot,” he said.
Not the case so far with the Blazers. His three most recent appearances came in games after Portland had built leads of at least 30 points.
On Wednesday night, before the Nets ended the Warriors’ 10-game win streak, Golden State coach Mark Jackson defended former Cal star Jason Kidd, in his debut season as Brooklyn’s coach.
Kidd had won just 10 of his first 31 games, prompting questions about his qualifications to jump directly from his playing career to a head coaching position.
But Brooklyn’s 102-98 win over the Warriors was the club’s fourth straight in a stretch that also included an upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
”I truly believe that Jason Kidd did not have to be an assistant coach to become a head coach,” said Jackson, who worked as a television analyst after retiring before entering coaching. “Because I watched him run teams and I played against teams that he was orchestrating. I got a lot of respect for him.
“He played the point guard position at as high a level as you can possibly play it. He’s been a coach on every team that he’s played on. He won a championship being an offensive coordinator, with all due respect to Rick Carlisle. But I am sure Rick will tell you the same thing.”
Kidd’s reign seemed in some jeopardy a month ago when he demoted assistant Lawrence Frank. Jackson took Kidd’s side on that one, too.
“I have never seen any one of The Pips try to lead,” Jackson argued. “That’s Gladys’ role. Let Gladys be Gladys.”
Jackson said Kidd should get a big share of the credit for getting the Nets pointed in the right direction.
“Give Jason a lot of credit,” Jackson said before the Nets’ win. “When you have adversity is when true leadership shows up. They’ve responded (to him). There’s a long time left to go in this season.”
Fifteen former Cal players are headed to the NFL playoffs.
Tony Gonzalez is headed to retirement . . . and Canton.
The Hall of Fame-bound tight end closed out his unparalled career Sunday with four final receptions for 56 yards. The one-time two-sport Cal star wound up his NFL days with staggering numbers:
Career receptions: 1,325 — most-ever by a tight end, No. 2 among all receivers.
Career receiving yards: 15,127 — most-ever by a TE, No. 5 overall.
Career TD receptions: 111 — most-ever by a TE, No. 6 overall.
Meanwhile, former Cal All-America linebacker Ron Rivera will lead his Carolina Panthers into the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 2 seed. Rivera coached the Panthers to a 12-4 record and a first-weekend bye.
Running back Marshawn Lynch helped the Seattle Seahawks to an NFL-best 13-3 record. The seventh-year pro rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 27-9 win over St. Louis, finishing the season with 1,257 yards and 12 TDs. It was Lynch’s fifth 1,000-yard season in seven years and third in a row.
For his career, Lynch now has 7,389 rushing yards to rank seventh among active NFL players. He has scored 58 rushing touchdowns.
Keenan Allen finished a debut season that could land him Rookie of the Year honors. The 21-year-old wideout caught five passes for 89 yards in San Diego’s 27-24 win over Kansas City, the Chargers’ fifth win in their final six games, earning them a playoff date at Cincinnati next Sunday.
Tony Gonzalez, whose bobblehead was given out at a pair of Cal basketball games this week nearly 17 years after he left for the NFL, had another productive Sunday.
Gonzalez, 37, caught six passes for 62 yards for the Atlanta Falcons, including his 110th career touchdown, an ongoing NFL record for tight ends.
In the process, the former Cal two-sport star also went over the 15,000-yard receiving mark. He now has caught 1,313 passes for 15,008 yards.
(In case you’re wondering, that more than 8 1/2 miles).
He is just the fifth NFL player to surpass 15,000 yards, joining Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Isaac Bruce.
Gonzalez’s receptions total is No. 2 in league history and his TD receptions rank sixth.
Ex-Cal star DeSean Jackson had a monster day with 1o receptions for 195 yards and a touchdown, but the Eagles lost 48-30 at Minnesota. Jackson’s updated season stats are impressive: 75 catches for 1,275 yards and nine touchdowns.
Marshawn Lynch had 47 yards rushing and a touchdown and caught six passes for 73 yards in the Seahawks’ 23-0 road victory over the NY Giants.
Pretty good Sunday for former Cal football stars:
— Keenan Allen: The San Diego wideout caught three passes for 59 yards, including touchdowns of 43 and 4 yards, in a 37-14 rout of the New York Giants. Allen, after a slow start, has 61 receptions for 902 yards and five TDs.
– Tony Gonzalez: The Falcons tight end caught his 109th career touchdown in a 22-21 loss at Green Bay. Gonzalez caught three passes for 25 yards, including a 2-yard TD. He is 54 receiving yards shy of 15,000 for his career.
– DeSean Jackson: Among his four catches for 59 yards, Jackson caught a 19-yard TD in the Eagles’ 34-20 win over Detroit in a snowstorm.
– Marvin Jones: The Bengals’ wideout caught three passes for 60 yards, including a 29-yard TD, in a 42-28 win over the Colts.
– Marshawn Lynch: The Oakland-raised running back topped the 1,000-yard barrier for the third straight season and the fifth time in his career in the Seahawks’ 19-17 loss to the 49ers. Lynch rushed 20 times for 72 yards, including an 11-yard TD run, and has 1,032 yards and 10 TDs for the season.
– Jeremy Ross: Oops . . . didn’t mean to ignore Ross, who merely returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 98 yards for another TD in the Lions’ loss at Philly. In 18 degrees, he returns six punts/kickoffs for 244 yards –more than Detroit’s total offense on the snowy day.
– Shane Vereen: No touchdowns, but the former Cal running back caught 12 passes for 153 yards in the Patriots’ remarkable come-from-behind 27-26 win over Cleveland.
Former Cal wide receiver Marvin Jones had the game of his life Sunday, catching a team-record four touchdown passes in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 49-9 win over the New York Jets.
Jones, who played at Cal from 2008-11, caught eight passes for 122 yards Sunday. His touchdowns came on plays of 9, 6, 17 and 6 yards.
He is the first NFL player to catch four touchdowns in a game since Randy Moss and Terrell Owens each did it in 2007.
Jones had totaled four TD receptions in 18 previous games over his two NFL seasons.
A fifth-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2012, Jones is on the rosters of fewer than 1 percent of all of ESPN’s fantasy teams, according to SportsCenter.