Resistance is Futile

At some point this afternoon, Colorado State's defensive line will face the moment. It's the same moment that the Texas A&M and Tennessee defensive lines have faced in Cal's last two games, when they will become worn down and fatigued, beaten down by a monolith that can rotate people in and out that can still operate ruthlessly and efficiently.

In other words, Colorado State will feel like it's going against the Borg.

For those who aren't familiar with Star Trek, consider this definition from Wikipedia:

"They are characterized by ... their collective consciousness that enables rapid adaptability to almost any defence, and the ability to continue functioning properly despite seemingly devastating blows. They have become a powerful symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against whom resistance is futile."

In last year's 45-10 Holiday Bowl victory, the offensive line was largely responsible for long second-half drives which enabled Cal to outscore Texas A&M 31-0 in the second half.

And in last week's 45-31 win, the Bears shredded a usually stout Tennesse defense in the fourth quarter, helping Cal outgain the opposition 171 to 2.

"It wasn't so much realizing that they were in trouble as it was going out there and getting after people. We knew we had to go get th ball rolling, and then we had to stay after them."

Those would be the words of starting right guard Norris Malele.  The 6-3, 303 pound junior from Carson picked right off from a solid sophomore season where he played 12 games, started nine, and had 24 knockdowns and 12 pancakes.  But even with a productive 2006, you wouldn't hear him talk about what the team had to do differently against Tennessee compared to last year.

"Coming into the game, we were more focused on what we needed to get done, we had a lot of respect for our opponent. We expected that it would be a physical game. We came out there and got after it early."

There's a component of the Borg that involves assimilating other species and injecting them with nanoprobes, and it's not likely that the Bears offensive line will venture into that territory.

Yet.

"The O-line is all about attitude, getting after folks and being aggressive."

Although the win against Tennessee was one of the biggest wins for Cal in the Jeff Tedford era, you won't find anybody on the team thinking that one of team has accomplished one of its major goals.  What happened last Saturday wasn't so much of an accomplishment as it was an expectation. And anybody worried about a letdown on Saturday can forget about that.

"Overall, we had a great offseason. The team really committed itself starting off with the Holiday Bowl all the way through fall camp, and we're seeing the results of all the work we put in. Every week we have to bring the same intensity. We're really looking forward to Colorado St. The leaders on this team'll make sure that we maintain our intensity and aggressiveness and carry out our game plan."

The Borg is a collective.  While you'd think that term might be strong to apply to the offensive line, you realize that after asking talking to Malele for awhile, he almost always answers in terms of "us", "we", or "the O-line." Even answers to specific questions about him are quickly shifted.

Notice this response to this question about how he's evolved as a player since coming to Cal.

"For me, I just learned more, grew more a person, and grew closer to my teammates. They've really helped me and we've really jelled and come together. The O-line works at getting better every day.  It's not about any individual being put before anybody else, it's about us working together as a unit."

Malele, a social welfare and ethnic studies major who has a tough time picking a favorite class because "I like all my classes", also has fond words for the Borg Queen, er, offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik, who's entrenched himself in the nation's upper echelon of unit coaches.

"Coach is coach.  He's great. He makes it fun for us and wants all of us to get better. He wants us to reach all the potential that he sees in us, and he brings it out of us."

The cousin of defensive lineman Matt Malele, Norris had an oustanding high school career, culminating in him being the first exclusive lineman to be named South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year.  He credits God "who's been there from the get-go" and his family as being his major influences.

"Whatever the origin of the race within the Star Trek universe, use of the label 'Borg' when applied in popular culture to an individual or entity reflects a rather distasteful impression that the referenced person or organization is less than human, bent on controlling or dominating at all costs and regardless of moral considerations."

That's from Wikipedia, not Malele.  And aside from the "regardless of moral considerations" part, that's seems to be an accurate description of how the Colorado State defensive line might be assessing their opponents on the other side of the line of scrimmage, by 2 p.m. on Saturday.

That's about the time they'll realize that "resistance is futile" is a motto that could belong to something other than the Borg.


©Copyright 2007, TheBearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this online community and get access to the members-only content from the nationwide Insiders network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.


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In other words, Colorado State will feel like it's going against the Borg.

For those who aren't familiar with Star Trek, consider this definition from Wikipedia:

"They are characterized by ... their collective consciousness that enables rapid adaptability to almost any defence, and the ability to continue functioning properly despite seemingly devastating blows. They have become a powerful symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against whom resistance is futile."

In last year's 45-10 Holiday Bowl victory, the offensive line was largely responsible for long second-half drives which enabled Cal to outscore Texas A&M 31-0 in the second half.

And in last week's 45-31 win, the Bears shredded a usually stout Tennesse defense in the fourth quarter, helping Cal outgain the opposition 171 to 2.

"It wasn't so much realizing that they were in trouble as it was going out there and getting after people. We knew we had to go get th ball rolling, and then we had to stay after them."

Those would be the words of starting right guard Norris Malele.  The 6-3, 303 pound junior from Carson picked right off from a solid sophomore season where he played 12 games, started nine, and had 24 knockdowns and 12 pancakes.  But even with a productive 2006, you wouldn't hear him talk about what the team had to do differently against Tennessee compared to last year.

"Coming into the game, we were more focused on what we needed to get done, we had a lot of respect for our opponent. We expected that it would be a physical game. We came out there and got after it early."

There's a component of the Borg that involves assimilating other species and injecting them with nanoprobes, and it's not likely that the Bears offensive line will venture into that territory.

Yet.

"The O-line is all about attitude, getting after folks and being aggressive."

Although the win against Tennessee was one of the biggest wins for Cal in the Jeff Tedford era, you won't find anybody on the team thinking that one of team has accomplished one of its major goals.  What happened last Saturday wasn't so much of an accomplishment as it was an expectation. And anybody worried about a letdown on Saturday can forget about that.

"Overall, we had a great offseason. The team really committed itself starting off with the Holiday Bowl all the way through fall camp, and we're seeing the results of all the work we put in. Every week we have to bring the same intensity. We're really looking forward to Colorado St. The leaders on this team'll make sure that we maintain our intensity and aggressiveness and carry out our game plan."

The Borg is a collective.  While you'd think that term might be strong to apply to the offensive line, you realize that after asking talking to Malele for awhile, he almost always answers in terms of "us", "we", or "the O-line." Even answers to specific questions about him are quickly shifted.

Notice this response to this question about how he's evolved as a player since coming to Cal.

"For me, I just learned more, grew more a person, and grew closer to my teammates. They've really helped me and we've really jelled and come together. The O-line works at getting better every day.  It's not about any individual being put before anybody else, it's about us working together as a unit."

Malele, a social welfare and ethnic studies major who has a tough time picking a favorite class because "I like all my classes", also has fond words for the Borg Queen, er, offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik, who's entrenched himself in the nation's upper echelon of unit coaches.

"Coach is coach.  He's great. He makes it fun for us and wants all of us to get better. He wants us to reach all the potential that he sees in us, and he brings it out of us."

The cousin of defensive lineman Matt Malele, Norris had an oustanding high school career, culminating in him being the first exclusive lineman to be named South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year.  He credits God "who's been there from the get-go" and his family as being his major influences.

"Whatever the origin of the race within the Star Trek universe, use of the label 'Borg' when applied in popular culture to an individual or entity reflects a rather distasteful impression that the referenced person or organization is less than human, bent on controlling or dominating at all costs and regardless of moral considerations."

That's from Wikipedia, not Malele.  And aside from the "regardless of moral considerations" part, that's seems to be an accurate description of how the Colorado State defensive line might be assessing their opponents on the other side of the line of scrimmage, by 2 p.m. on Saturday.

That's about the time they'll realize that "resistance is futile" is a motto that could belong to something other than the Borg.

©Copyright 2007, TheBearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this online community and get access to the members-only content from the nationwide Insiders network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.

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