Fate destined Steve Levy for special things, from the moment he was named Jewish Athlete of the Year as the star quarterback and linebacker at Don Bosco Prep in
"Honestly, I had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night," Tedford said, "but in the morning, we just talked about it in the staff meeting and decided to go with him." And now they will go with him to a bowl game worth going to -- "Yeah, I think we'll go with him again," Tedford said with that flatline look he has when he has been assaulted with a question that doesn't need answering.
Levy's tale, notwithstanding the way he fell into Saturday's start and turned it into a shining moment in the history of this rivalry, is the classic story -- hard-nosed kid leads with his face and heart, becomes a big deal in Jersey, goes to Cal and gets everything but his spirit buried beneath the weight of numbers and non-opportunities. He got stuck behind Aaron Rodgers, wanted to become a linebacker and was told there were too many of those in front of him (plus at not quite the 6-1, 215 he is listed at, he probably wasn't imposing enough), then told Tedford he couldn't stand watching and became a special teams player. Then, when Rodgers left to seek his fortune in Green Bay, Levy gave quarterbacking another try, but ended up third behind Nate Longshore and Joe Ayoob, then second behind Ayoob, and finally, on his father Mark's 49th birthday, first. "I asked him two months ago what he wanted for his birthday, and he said, 'Start in the Big Game,' '' Levy said, laughing at the improbability of such a request. "So when I called him Thursday and told him I was starting, he started bawling right there on the phone. I told him I'd give him an even bigger present Saturday." And because every once in a while life actually becomes a made-for-TV movie, he did. He hit DeSean Jackson with a 56-yard touchdown pass on the second possession of the game to give
His numbers (10-for-18, 125, one TD, one pick) won't make you see the grandeur of his day, but Tedford saw it almost immediately. "It was the way he took command of the huddle," Tedford said. "The way they broke the huddle, the way he ran the play clock, the way everyone went to the right places in the formation and nobody was looking around confused. That's the thing that impressed me most, that and he didn't make many mistakes for a guy who hadn't been out there."
Well, there was that one interception in the third quarter, but by then the tone of the day had already shifted irrevocably. Because