Chances are, your favorite professional football team is done for the year. Which is to say, chances are your favorite team is not the Seahawks or the Broncos and therefore will not be not in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
If you are like the rest of us and don’t have a personal stake in this year’s Super Bowl, don’t worry. Now, you can pin your hopes and dreams on the Cal players competing in the game: Marshawn Lynch, CJ Anderson and Brandon Mebane.
Those three are the only remaining Bears out of 16 who initially qualified for the NFL playoffs. Of those 16, San Diego Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen easily had the best performance of Cal athletes, with 163 yards and two touchdowns in two postseason matchups. Allen is a frontrunner for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Of the Super Bowl contenders, Marshawn Lynch should need no introduction. The Pro Bowl running back for Seattle racked up 1,257 yards on 301 carries, good for 4.2 yards per attempt. His 12 rushing touchdowns were the most of any player in the NFL, and he also added 316 yards receiving, the highest total of his seven year career.
Lynch was a star back during his days as a Cal player, too. In three seasons as a Bear, he rushed for 3,230 rushing yards with 29 rushing touchdowns. In his final year with the team in 2006, he was a key part of a team that blew out Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl and finished the season at No. 14.
It goes without saying that you will see plenty of Lynch on the field in New York. He already has more than 100 yards in both postseason matchups, with three total touchdowns. And if he eats his Skittles before the Super Bowl, it’s basically a lock that he’ll have another huge day.
Lynch isn’t the only former Bear on the Seahawks, though. Brandon Mebane has had a solid seven-year career at defensive tackle in Seattle. He has over 200 tackles and 13 sacks in his career. He currently starts for Seattle, so look for No. 92 to disrupt the Broncos’ offensive line throughout the game.
Another former Cal running back, CJ Anderson, played for the Bears in 2011 and 2012, racking up 1,135 yards in his two seasons. However, the rookie hasn’t seen the field very often for the Broncos, with just 38 yards so far on the season. Anderson plays behind Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. While it is unlikely he will get a chance to touch the football on Sunday, he still has a chance to get a ring.