Does anyone else have the same sick feeling I have about this LA Times story? Ken Norton Jr., along with John Sciarra and Cade McNown, has been nominated for the College Football Hall of Fame. Hey, Ken, here's a special request: Go in the hall wearing cardinal and gold, will you?
Nestor wrote an informative piece in 2006 about the relationship Norton had with Karl Dorrell. Assuming Dorrell, in one of his many bad decisions, said no to a coaching role for Norton after Norton spent a year coaching high school football, I can understand some estrangement on Norton's part. But he went too far in his relationship with Pete Carroll for my taste.
And I would draw a contrast between Henry Bibby, who coached the small brains' basketball team, and Norton Jr., whom I loved as a 49er fan. I don't think — tell me if I'm wrong — that Bibby has made the College Basketball Hall of Fame, but if he did, I would be comfortable seeing him represent our school. Norton Jr. is another story.
As for John Sciarra, he will always have a special place in my heart. All guts, all the time. I remember when he led UCLA to a victory over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and I remember when he fearlessly returned punts for the Philadelphia Eagles.
And McNown? Enough said. In my mind, he was one of the four greatest quarterbacks in UCLA's history. (The others being Troy Aikman, Gary Beban and Bob Waterfield.)
As a 49er fan, I'll walk the path of memory with Ken Norton Jr. But as a Bruin, I'll have to pass.