While many Cal Alumns wish to dance happy after Cal Coach Jeff Tedford’s Thanksgiving Week firing, this blogger elects to remember the feeling of how Cal Football finally hit paydirt success with what became a suddenly regular string of NFL Draft 1st Round Selections, thanks to Coach Tedford. It was a rare privilege to be able to interview the Cal players who traveled to New York City for The Draft. Here are those video interviews.
Ah, before we continue, one note: one sticking point with Cal Players who came to the NFL Draft was that they did not put on blue and gold in any combination in their wardrobe. This stood in shocking contrast to players like Tennessee’s standout Safety Eric Berry, who had a tasteful combination of orange and white in an understated presentation. When I asked him about his choice of colors that represented his school, Berry said “Gotta represent.” Have a look:
Sad to say that not one Cal Player I have interviewed in New York City showed such love for UC Berkeley.
That’s something the program, from the Athletic Director to the Chancellor, should find a cause for alarm. If student-athletes don’t show love for Cal as they leave, that may reflect that they did not enjoy their time at our great university.
With that, let’s continue.
The Cal NFL Draft 1st Round Picks under Jeff Tedford are: Kyle Boller, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, Alex Mack, Jahvid Best, Tyson Alualu, and Cameron Jordan. In total, Coach Tedford sent 42 Cal Players to the NFL, eight of them drafted in the first round.
This blogger’s first NFL Draft was the one where Aaron Rogers sat sadly in the Javitz Center Green Room as his name fell from 1 to eventually the 25th pick, where the Green Bay Packers smartly picked him up, and the rest is history. But that NFL Draft was notable for media comments about Rogers fall due, in part, to Tedford’s “unorthodox” teaching methods. When Aaron was finally picked, the feeling in the interview room was that this was a man with something to prove. It’s fair to say, he did that.
Jahvid Best was in New York for the 2010 NFL Draft, where he was selected as the 30th Pick, by The Detroit Lions. Mr. Best came out a year early, and seemed anxious to get beyond Berkeley and into the NFL. I playfully called him on it in two interviews, the first at NFL Draft Play 60, and the second at the NFL Draft after he was selected. Here are those interviews:
And in this one, note the suit and orange tie – no Cal colors anywhere!
Cameron Jordan was drafted Number 24 in the 1st Round by The New Orleans Saints, and even though he also failed to wear Cal Blue and Gold, he was so funny he left the media in stitches, and managed to represent the unique combination of freaky mischievously smart and totally stupidly humorous student Cal produces (take a look at Mike Silver and Greg Haywood). Here’s Mr. Jordan:
Coach Tedford has given Cal an amazing string of “NFL Ready” players, but the point of this blog post is to also note the lack of love for Cal presented by the those who still do represent our university after they’ve went on to that bigger and better thing.
Something’s wrong, and perhaps that something’s reflected in how we have gone about recruiting players and how we’ve worked with them here at Cal. Maybe that will change with the Pac-12 TV Contract Revenue, but not without taking the appropriate action.
Stay tuned, and…