Rudy Carpenter is pretty hurt. During the sack by Cal LB Zack Follett, Carpenter sprained his ankle and may not be able to play against USC. As if they weren't daunting enough.. this gem of an article surfaced.
Follett was out to avenge last year's 31-20 loss at Tempe, which he recalled as, "The most disrespected I've ever been in any stadium." He claimed his parents were spit on, and that his mother reminded him of that going into Saturday's rematch.
Follett hadn't forgotten that, nor all of Carpenter's taunts toward him in that 2007 matchup."He would say, 'Zack, you're so close. Zack, you're so close.' He called me by my first name like we were best friends," Follett said. "He's been in my mind-set for a while. Thank lord I finally got him."
Follett got Carpenter at the perfect time Saturday.
The Sun Devils trailed just the 10 points, had driven to Cal's 44-yard line and Carpenter dropped back to pass on third-and-six. As Carpenter rolled right, here came Follett, and to best describe the ensuing scene, here's Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan to explain:
"I had a (offensive) tackle stood up, I saw Zack make contact and I might literally have stopped playing and just watched," Jordan said. "I told the offensive lineman, 'You're quarterback just died.'
"If you guys could have seen the pain, his face when he got hit, it was the funniest thing in the world."
What an unclassy bunch. Allow us to just pretend that seeing a player get hurt is funny, yeah. Cal's players should be ashamed of themselves; I thought they would learn more at Berkeley. Spirited smack-talking is an accepted and exciting aspect of football, but getting hurt is nothing to laugh or joke about.
So if Danny Sullivan has to start against USC, who does that really help? Not Cal. Not when they can use all the help they can get against a team that is far superior to them, but has 1 loss in conference play. Essentially, USC will beat them when they play. No one else can stop USC, not Cal and definitely not Danny Sullivan.
So next time you think it's funny to hurt the highest rated quarterback in the Pac-10, make sure you're hurting your own signal caller. Oh wait, your quarterbacks are both mediocre at best and won't be winning any awards anytime soon.
Update: I've received many comments, from this thread and from e-mail, calling me out for generalizing the entire Cal team. Here is my response to these comments. You can also see this in the comments thread.
I think a big part of this is the questionable reporting practices displayed by the newspaper that published this article. As I thought I made clear in my post, I have no issue with smack-talking. As I said, "spirited smack-talking is an accepted and exciting aspect of football." It makes the teams hate each other, and in the end makes the on-field product superior.
With that in mind, saying "If you guys could have seen the pain, his face when he got hit, it was the funniest thing in the world" is NOT smack-talking. It is disturbing. I get it, Rudy says a lot of things during the heat of a game that piss off the opposing teams. He got his ass kicked by Texas for what he did, and we all know he deserved it.
I don’t take issue with having pride in sacking the dude. I’m just shocked that a) the newspaper published those comments by Jordan and b) it actually seems like they wanted to hurt the guy.
But please, don’t come here and act like every Sun Devil fan is "scum" because of some isolated incident in the crowd last year. No one will deny there are bad apples, but every school has had issues like that in the past. I will admit that my generalization of the entire Cal team based on one bonehead was a mistake, and I apologize if any of you feel needlessly slighted.
We can all agree that Cameron Jordan was out of line to say those things, and that is the crux of the issue.
I hope this clears it up.