IN NOVEMBER OF 2015, A FEW DAYS BEFORE the Big Game between UC Berkeley and Stanford, California State Sen. Nancy Skinner attended an Oakland Rotary Club meeting. That day, as it often does, the club was discussing athletics, and it had invited antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a longtime critic of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Schwarz, “a Stanford guy,” shared the stage with the Cal Band, which played Cal songs, before he began his presentation.
David Shields was having a good night. His new film, a biographical documentary about retired running back and former Cal phenomenon Marshawn Lynch, had just screened to a packed and enthusiastic house at The New Parkway Theater in downtown Oakland. Now he was joined at the front of the theatre for a Q&A by former UC Berkeley sociologist Harry Edwards and moderator Michael Smith, formerly of ESPN. Edwards was heaping praise on the film, entitled Lynch: A History.
Posted on October 23, 2019 - 2:37pm
It was a sunny November Saturday at California Field and the stands brimmed with 20,000 boisterous fans. Banners waved, blue-and-gold streamers unfurled, and the usual cheers of “Oski Wow Wow! Whiskey Wee Wee!” went up as players took the field.
Now that a few days have passed, the decision by National Football League owners to fine teams with players who do not “stand and show respect to the flag and the [national] anthem” hardly seems Solomonic; rather than ameliorating tensions, it almost assures another football season marked by player protests, discord both inside and outside the League, and acrid tweets from President Donald Trump.
Posted on May 29, 2018 - 5:04pm
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lawsuit against NFL owners for colluding to keep him out of football because he launched the “take-a-knee” protests against racial injustice evokes an earlier landmark sports case, one involving another player whose surname shares a phonetically identical initial syllable with Kaepernick’s.
Posted on October 23, 2017 - 3:08pm
In 1975, two years before Tom Brady was born, another Golden Boy burst upon the football scene. He was a Cal quarterback named Joe Roth, and he had it all: looks (6-foot-4, with wavy blond hair and, in the words of his girlfriend, Tracy Lagos McAllister, “a super-cute smile”), brains, and an abiding Catholic faith that led him to take the Golden Rule seriously.
Posted on October 26, 2015 - 7:45am
Marshawn Lynch is a jerk. And he’s also a hero. He’s ungrateful, immature, and stupid. And he’s a genius with a heart of gold. Lynch, star running back of the Seattle Seahawks and former UC Berkeley phenom, is all of these things and more—if the various media portrayals are to be believed. Just don’t ask Lynch himself if any of it is true, because he’s not talking.
When Keala Keanaaina came to Cal on a football scholarship in 1998, a career in the NFL was not on his radar.
“I wasn’t one of those football guys that dreamed of going to the pros,” says Keanaaina. “I chose Berkeley because of its academic reputation. My goal was to graduate and get my degree.”
In the countdown to Sunday’s Super Bowl, suspense is building over the question on the mind of every devoted football fan: What will Marshawn Lynch say—or, more accurately, not say—to the media after the game?
However popular the Seattle Seahawks’ running back is with Seattle fans, he has a lot fewer friends at NFL headquarters, which regularly fines him big bucks for refusing to speak to reporters after games. Nor is he beloved among some segments of the press, who have called him unprofessional and immature.
Posted on January 29, 2015 - 3:31pm
“He was like a bull, with speed,” said Ed White of his old teammate and fellow Cal alum Chuck Muncie, who died on Monday of a heart attack at age 60. The two played together at the San Diego Chargers in the early 80s, where Ed was an All-Pro offensive guard and Chuck was an All-Pro running back.
Posted on May 15, 2013 - 4:36pm