November 07, 2009
By any measure, California had a dreadful night against Oregon State -- the Beavers quickly led 14-0 and ultimately outgained Cal by 200 yards for the game to stick the Bears with their third lopsided conference loss in six games. But none of the losses were worse than the spectacular and spectacularly painful exit of star running back Jahvid Best, who momentarily defied the laws of gravity and paid a very hard price on the Bears' only relevant score of the game:
Best remained on the ground for an uncomfortably long time, ultimately being carted away on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over his face; the early verdict indicates he does have feeling in all his extremities and is apparently suffering from a concussion.
Best is often compared to another all-purpose Pac-10 speedster, notorious end zone leaper Reggie Bush, and has gone airborne before. It makes for a nice picture, and if he'd somehow picked himself off the turf after this one, the shot would make Sports Illustrated and live on in infamy. It might, anyway, but hopefully as more of a cautionary tale than an enviable feat. Full-contact games are not made to be played eight feet off the ground.