The joke from the movie "Airplane!": a stewardess is handing out magazines to the passengers. "Would you like something to read?" One passenger responds, "Do you have something light?" To which the stewardess answers, "Well, how about this leaflet? 'Famous Jewish Sports Legends.'"
Cal managed to avoid a quarterback controversy this weekend due to the prescient coaching by Jeff Tedford and a spectacular performance by the third string quarterback Steve Levy. After Aaron Rogers quit school last year to enter the draft, Cal had players compete for the quarterback role. But the starter quickly went out for the season with an injury, and Joe Ayoob took his place. Levy was the back-up behind him. But Ayoob's had some struggles, and Cal's not played well in its last several games. So Tedford announced last week that he'd start Levy instead. He could always pull him if he had problems and put in the more experienced Ayoob, but why not see what Levy could do?
Granted the first half Cal led only 6-3 (botched extra point), but the touchdown was due to a terrific long throw by Levy, who was throwing well after getting over the early game conservativeness. And in the second half Cal exploded, following his lead. He was confident and poised in the huddle, fairly accurate with his throws, and flexible (and fast) enough to rush for his own first downs. He reminded me a lot of Steve Young, actually. But he really played well in all regards, and especially under given his neophyte circumstances. I felt very comfortable watching him, with the quiet confidence that he wasn't going to throw the game away (which, one way or another, many Cal quarterbacks eventually find a way to do).
But then today I read an article in the Chronicle about him and the game. Apparently he was benched a lot when he came to Cal, down in the ranks behind Rogers who was quite good. In order to get playing time, he went in as a linebacker, which is where he got his running instincts from.
Apparently his father's birthday was Saturday, and weeks ago when he asked his dad what he wanted for his birthday, his dad said, "For you to start Big Game." Which is quite the story, when that's exactly what Levy got to do. And he didn't just get to start or play in the game – he won the game. He won Cal the Axe. If there's one game we want our team to win, it's that one.