Three California Golden Bears were on display yesterday in the Green Bay Packers tough-fought 21-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, and all of them had big plays and big moments. By far the best player in this afternoon was Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, completing 18 for 27 passes for a modest 180 yards, but also a bunch of 3rd down conversions and all three passing touchdowns. Eagle phenom wide receiver DeSean Jackson was injured early, but returned on the final drive to make a big catch from Michael Vick to give Philadelphia one last chance to win, nearly breaking it loose for the game-winning score. And don't forget Packer linebacker Desmond Bishop, who sacked Vick on the first play, and put up four tackles, including the fingers tackle on Jackson to save the potential touchdown. All of the acquitted themselves admirably.
After the jump, Jackson made it clear that although he was disappointed with the loss, he had massive respect for his fellow Golden Bear, the one who was instrumental in his recruitment to come to Cal in the first place. Once a Bear, always a Bear.
In the postgame press conference (around the 2:09 mark), Rodgers had this to say about DeSean (with a smile on his face):
I think everybody in the stadium held their breath when DeSean caught that ball...being a former Cal player and watching DeSean, following his career, and seeing that run that really helped us get in the playoffs against the Giants...when Tim put that ball in the air [on the punt] everyone was just hoping that someone would catch him. And he had another big catch on that drive. He's explosive.
Golden Bears, true and true!