California Bears QB Kevin Riley Deserves Better from Fans

Delete AccountCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2009

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 03:  Kevin Riley #13 of the California Golden Bears passes the ball during their game against the USC Trojans at California Memorial Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kevin Mcdevitt Riley was born on Jan. 22, 1987 in Portland, OR to Faustin and Rhonda Riley.

He attended Beaverton High School, was the vice president of his class as a junior and senior and quarterbacked his high school team with his father pacing the sidelines. Up until 2006, his first year in a Cal uniform, Oregon's Gatorade High School Player of the Year had more national accolades than interceptions.

Fast forward three years.

Kevin Riley is now the target of

He has more Facebook hate groups than touchdowns, from "Kevin Riley YOU SUCK" to "Why Kevin Riley, Why?"

A quick search of social networking site paints the picture as appropriately as anyand these were just from Saturday:

  • So Kevin Riley, the quarterback from Cal, sucks, sucks bad, he's losing this game all by himself, or at least making sure Cal has no chance. (@FantasySportsSJ)
  • Special thanks to USC's 12th man today, Kevin Riley. You really are terrible (@andrewHARMAN)
  • When will the Kevin Riley era end in Berkeley? Hopefully tonight bc I cant take anymore. (@cblue4)
  • Mel Kiper projects Kevin Riley as the #3 best janitor coming into the 2010 draft. (@E_Gillen)

In a college football culture that attempts to taint Florida signal caller Tim Tebow's christian image, to stalk Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and turn a profit on Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford's signature, Cal fans are suddenly bordering on the very sad side of college football fandom. needs to come down. And not when, or if, Kevin Riley hits the pine.

Remember, we're talking about a 22-year-old kid. A redshirt junior. Someone with parents who have access to the Internet.

Booing is one thing, a web site targeting a college student is another.

The constant overthrows, misreads, and poor decisions have cost his team a shot at the Rose Bowl, cost his teammate a shot at the Heisman and cost his coach at least a little sleep—but it can't all fall on the shoulders of Riley.

The offensive line hasn't given him time, Cal's special teams are still a disaster (see Syd'Quan Thompson's end-of-game fumbled punt) and the Bears wide receivers haven't done Riley any favors.

And for as much damage he's done, Riley also helped the Bears to a 3-0 start to 2009. In Riley's first three games of the season he was 47-for-73 with 715 yards and five touchdowns. Through five games he still has just one interception.

Wins at UCLA, Stanford, and Washington could easily push Cal back into the Top-25, and maybe even into a decent Bowl game.

Cal's resurgent football program may have raised expectations for the Bears' quarterback, but it shouldn't have lowered our standard of decency as sports fans.

Follow Grant Marek on Twitter: @Grant_Marek