A Historical Event…No Really

No, we’re not talking about anything significant in sports that is historical.  It’s the damn foot and a half of snow we’re getting in MID-APRIL!!!!  I initially started writing this Saturday, and I did a measure in my yard – 21.4″ of this crap….to go with the 23.7″ at the Green Bay National Weather Service.   If you turned on the news stations in Green Bay, that’s all you hear them talking about.  Yes, we know it’s the #2 largest spring snowstorm in history and believe me, we’re really sick of hearing it!!  As for Mother Nature, she and I are fighting, and she better make it up with a fantastic summer which will now probably start in late August!!

There have been some things that have occurred in sports that I will touch on briefly.

Here are my early impressions of the Milwaukee Brewers this year:

  • This team will be really fun to watch
  • This team will also be rather frustrating to watch at times
  • Jonathan Villar is off to a strong start which is good for him and to help fill in the gap at second base.
  • Mr. April Eric Thames is at it again hitting several home runs early.  This guy needs to show he can adjust to the pitchers once they adjust to him.  If he makes those adjustments, watch out.
  • Jhoulys Chacin has been hit rather hard in his starts so far
  • So has Zach Davies, for that matter.
  • Chase Anderson is solidifying his spot as the ace so far.  He has been strong aside of a couple innings against St. Louis
  • Josh Hader – holy crap is his stuff just nasty.  He currently ranks third in the National League with 22 strikeouts!  That’s nuts for a stat that is usually tied to the starters
  • Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich are going to turn out to be great deals for the Brewers
  • Can anyone take Ryan Brauns’ contract, please?

The Brewers get the lowly Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins this week for a 7-game homestand.  They need to go 5-2 at least this week.

Speaking of the Miami Marlins….how does that feel when a Minor League affiliate Jacksonville outdraws your Major League team?  Story

I’m telling you – South Florida fan, you need to listen to me here.  Make nice with that annoying Marlins Man so you can have some people say they took a picture with a 60-year-old adolescent.  Then, to attract even the casual fan – offer free booze and unlimited weed with a $10 ticket.  It is with 100% certainty your stands will fill up and you then won’t be the laughing stock of professional sports.

  • The NBA and NHL have begun their playoffs.  Yes, again – winter sports that have their playoffs drag on way too long.  I have written this in the past, but I struggle with winter sports going into June.

I do firmly believe the NHL playoffs is some of the best in all sports, but I don’t think enough people understand the sport aside to appreciate it.  I like it, and I don’t know half the rules.  From what I see, you get the hitting of football, hand-eye coordination of baseball, footwork of all sports all rolled into one sport…on ice.  And you get some crazed maniac trying to block a hard rubber puck that could come at you around 100 mph.   I’d need an obscene amount of alcohol to try and stop something at that speed!!

In my limited knowledge of the NHL – my prediction will be the Nashville Predators beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals

  • The NBA….goody.  Now these teams will actually begin trying to play defense.   The Milwaukee Bucks take on the injury-plagued Boston Celtics in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.  If there was ever an opportunity for the Bucks to break through to the next round, this is it.  They have the best player on the court in Giannis, are healthy with Malcolm Brogdon back.  But, they just don’t have enough of an inside presence to win.

For Milwaukee, if Boston slows them down at all, they will run into problems with how they don’t take care of the basketball.  The Bucks need to make it something of a track meet and it has a good chance at the upset.  The Milwaukee-Boston series will go 6-7 games and then I’d guess they will face a white-hot Philadelphia 76ers team.

The rest of the NBA?  Meh – it’s usually a couple teams and everybody else which makes it even harder to watch.    Professional basketball is the only major sport that we already know who’s probably going to be there at the end.   This year?  It’s Houston, Golden State and maybe Toronto or Philadelphia, maybe Cleveland.   Translation – if you don’t follow the NBA, it won’t pay until the Conference Finals.

  • The 2018 NFL Schedule comes out this week and from what I have heard, the Packers will be opening at home to kick off their 100-year anniversary celebration.   The guess here is it will be against Chicago or San Francisco.  It will be interesting to see what road trip we select this year from some great options, including New England, New York, Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles.
  • I’d say I would love to give an NFL Draft preview, and truthfully, I’d be guessing just like so many others that are doing mock drafts.  If I had to guess though, I’d say the top priorities for the Green Bay Packers are cornerback, anyone who can rush the passer, guard and wide receiver.  This is also the first draft without former GM Ted Thompson at the helm, so with Brian Gutekunst here it will be interesting in his style of drafting.  Does he trade up more?  Does he use picks to acquire players?
  • Replay in high school football?  Really, Alabama?  Is this where former NFL referee Ed Hochuli ending up??  I know the south is more than insane when it comes to football, but this is ridiculous!!  story

 

  • Dumb ass(es) of the week:

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (again) – for getting suspended 4 games for performance enhancing drugs.  Just what this hot-headed clown needs… I don’t understand how a drugged up dirty player gets chance after chance to play in the league, but someone who takes a knee during the National Anthem can’t get a job.  Now, don’t mix that up with me agreeing with taking a knee (I don’t) – but that’s a different argument for what this is about.  It’s about some dirty asshat that is constantly getting into trouble with PEDs or just flat out dirty hits when he does play.

San Francisco 49ers LB Reuben Foster (for now) – for numerous charges of domestic violence that could net him up to 11 years in prison!  The 49ers this idiot, along with morons like Greg Hardy, Aldon Smith, Joe Mixon.  These guys should never see the light of day on an NFL field again.   Ray Rice did something similar and he ended up out of football!!

They’re such tough guys for hitting women and more than arrogant enough to think they’re invincible in getting away with it.  You know, there is a place in sports for these guys and it’s called the California Penal League…

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.  We’ll still probably have snow on the ground at that point.  Good Day Wisconsin!!

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Predictions? Sure…They’re Wrong Though!

We’re into April and now we can’t seem to figure out if Winter wants us to warm up, or make up for the lack of snow received this season.   Average high temperatures should be around 60 at the end of the month.  You could have fooled me today, though.  It feels like late February outside.

The Milwaukee Brewers have begun their season with a sweep of the San Diego Padres, winning each game in a different fashion.  In the 2-1 game, it was with pitching and defense.  The second, an 8-6 comeback, they scored 5 runs in the top of the 9th inning capped off by Gummy’s 3-run homer.  And yesterday, the Padres couldn’t get Milwaukees’ middle of the lineup out even if they had Ricky Vaughn pitching for San Diego!

Brewers fans are going to love having Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain as anchors of their outfield for the next few years.   The only gripe I have about the Brewers right now.  How the hell did they think Jonathan Villar is going to be the answer at second base?  They couldn’t get a box of wet used towels if they traded him right now.

This blog is going to be mostly about predictions, so here we go

My predictions for the season:

NL Central

  • Chicago Chubs – 93-69 – ugh.
  • Milwaukee Brewers – 88-74 – their window is opening
  • St. Louis Cardinals – 81-81 – not sure how so many picked them for second?
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – 75-87 – free falling to garbage status!
  • Cincinnati Reds – 72-90 – when do they turn the corner?

NL East

  • Washington Nationals – 95-67 – how large is their window?
  • New York Mets –  83-79 – pitching is good, lineup is old
  • Atlanta Braves – 77-85 – potential
  • Philadelphia Phillies –  73-89 – fickle Philly fans still hungover from the Super Bowl
  • Miami Marlins –  65-97  – they won’t be able to give tickets away in South Florida!!

NL West

  • Dodgers – 96-66 – as long as Kershaw is there, they’ll be fine.
  • Rockies –  86-76 – Colorado air will help this offense
  • Diamondbacks – 85-77 – not sure what to make of this team.
  • Giants – 76-86 – get out the walkers for this group.
  • Padres – 71-91 – cool stadium that deserves a better team.

AL Central

  • Cleveland Indians – 93-69 – Twins could catch them this year.
  • Minnesota Twins – 87-75 – window is opening
  • Chicago White Sox – 80-82 – potential
  • Kansas City Royals – 70-92 – they should be better, but I’m not counting on it.
  • Detroit Tigers –  60-102 – hot garbage is going to be better than the Tigers this year

AL East

  • New York Spankees – 96-66 – ugh #2.  We will see their every game on national TV
  • Boston Red Sox- 94-68 – ugh #3.  See the Spankees
  • Baltimore Orioles – 84-78 – they’ll be annoying enough to hang in the Wild Card
  • Tampa Bay Rays – 81-81 – get a new stadium please!!!
  • Toronto Blue Jays –  77-85 – this team will be banged up all year.

AL West

  • Houston Astros –  101-61 – best team.
  • Los Angeles Angels of Orange County/Riverside/Long Beach/Santa Ana – 85-77 – mix of vets and youth should have them in the Wild Card hunt
  • Texas Rangers – 83-79 – underachieving a bit
  • Seattle Mariners – 78-84 – meh.
  • Oakland – 67-95 – do they move to Vegas with the Raiders?

Postseason:

  • NL Wild Card – Brewers over Rockies
  • NLDS – Dodgers over Brewers
  • Chubs over Nationals
  • NLCS – Chubs over Dodgers
  • AL Wild Card – Red Sox over Twins
  • ALDS – Indians over Red Sox
  • Astros over Spankees
  • ALCS – Astros over Indians

World Series – Astros vs. Chubs with Houston repeating

The Final Four is this weekend, and in the first game, Loyola (IL) certainly played like they belong there before a late 17-2 run by Michigan took them out.  In the second game, that was over in a hurry as Villanova hit Kansas early and often with a barrage of 3-point baskets and were never really threatened by the Jayhawks in their convincing 95-79 victory.  Now, we’re onto the national championship game of college basketball.  The hottest team, Michigan who hasn’t lost since February against Villanova, who may have just hit another 3-pointer against Kansas just now.

For the Wolverines to even have a chance against the best team, they’re going to need to make this game into a typical Big Ten-style dogfight.  Run, at all, and they’re done.  This one time, though, I think Michigan will succeed in doing what Providence and Butler were able to do earlier in the year vs. the Wildcats.

My prediction – take the hottest team.  That’s been the trend in the tournament the past few seasons.  Michigan 68, Villanova 64

 

Free Agency has been going on for a bit in the NFL, and if you read any blog posts or social media pages, several fans of the Green Bay Packers are a fickle bunch, spoiled even.  Some have been in arms about releasing Jordy Nelson.  Letting Jeff Janis go and sign with the Cleveland Browns, and on top of that – apparently they haven’t done near enough in free agency yet.

I do think it was a little premature to let Nelson walk and to give such a low ball offer to return.  But, the thinking is he may have been a slot receiver and at this time the Packers already have a couple other players in that spot.  ‘

Jeff Janis gone?  All I’m going to say about that is about time!!! At best, he is a special teams gunner which you can get anyone with speed to do that.  If he was anything of a receiver, don’t you think the Packers would have kept him.  His route running was complete garbage unless you told him to run a go route.

Damarious Randall traded for backup quarterback who got his ass kicked in Cleveland?  A starter for a backup?  That should be all you need to know what the Packers thought of Randall and his childish antics behind the scenes.

If winning a championship was so damn easy, it would happen every year.   The Packers need to pick it up on defense and will need more than just signing Tramon Williams and Mohammad Wilkerson.   The defensive line will be stout this year.

My prediction?  The Packers will be busy on the trade front around the draft.  Not trading for picks, trading for players using their picks.   Their first round pick will not be traded, but everything else is fair game.

Dumb ass of the week:

Yes – I’m the dumb ass of the week.  If you haven’t seen this video, this is me eating a tortilla chip loaded with ghost pepper and Carolina reaper pepper seasoning last week Saturday.

Torture

Torture was a kind word and there were so many cuss words I wanted to let out during that stretch.  It’s bad enough where I’m looking into buying those seasonings and mixing them in randomly on some Doritos during the summer months.

That’s it for this week…Happy Easter.

This is NOT April Fools – if you see the weather forecast for Tuesday, feel free to invent new swear words around Wisconsin.

March MAD-ness

I guess this is probably the time of year where more than enough people fill out their brackets guessing how they think the NCAA Tournament will play out.  And each year, it gets even more unpredictable with the growing parity in college basketball.  Well, college sports in general have seen more parity, but that’s another story for another time.

For as long as I can remember, there have been our share of 12-seeds beating 5-seeds and then we’d start seeing more 13-seeded teams have taken out the 4-seed.  Even more recent, some 3-seed and 2-seed teams could get taken out in the opening round.  But, what we have seen last night was something we’ve never seen before.  If you were awake, for the first time a 16-seed knocked out a 1-seed in the opening round.  Yes, that’s correct….the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (who??) took out top-seeded Virginia.

Yes, the UMBC Retrievers wiped out mighty Virginia who wasn’t just a top seed, but the top OVERALL seed.   While it may not have been a surprise that eventually a top seed was going to get knocked out in an opening round game, what was a surprise was how much of a butt whooping fans witnessed in Charlotte Friday night.  Virginia not only lost 74-54, but the Cavaliers looked like the team that was the 16-seed throughout most of the game.   For a team that was so strong defensively, they had no answer for how UMBC

This Virginia team was a team that had gone a stellar 31-2 in the regular season and an unprecedented 17-1 in a strong ACC this year.   The Retrievers?  They had lost a game earlier in the season to the University of Albany 83-39.   After that embarrassing loss, UMBC had only lost one game since and that includes winning at Vermont on a last second three pointer to even make the NCAA Tournament.   This team had lost to Vermont twice earlier by 15 and 28 points, respectively.

Not only did UMBC make history last night, they also ensured that the conference tournament will never go away, and why the NCAA Tournament is one of the greatest events in sports.

Don’t be surprised if this happens again, sooner than later.

  • Other thoughts of the first two days of the tournament:

The SEC looked strong – sans Missouri.  I remember not even a few years ago it was Kentucky and everyone else was garbage.

The Big Ten looked strong as well.  Purdue could be in trouble losing their 7-2 center Isaac Haas, but his backup is 7-3.   It’s still weird not seeing Wisconsin in the tournament.   I also understand the Big Ten was down this year, but how does a 13-win team like Nebraska not make the tournament and teams who had losing records in their conference get in?  That should be a criteria where you need to be .500 or better to make the tournament.

Paging the Pac-12?  Hello??  Didn’t you used to be one of the top basketball conferences?  Only 3 bids to the tournament…UCLA and Arizona State lose in the ‘First Four’ games, and the expected tournament dark horse, Arizona got clobbered by Buffalo Thursday night.   Speaking of Arizona – the drama is not nearly done there.  Does coach Sean Miller survive?  Did anyone give him a 100 Grand candy bar as a joke of the “$100,000 payment to a recruit” that was caught on tape – allegedly?   Probably not, but it would have been hysterical!

The Big 12 – well, can someone explain to me how Oklahoma got into the tournament over Oklahoma State.  Never mind my argument for .500 teams getting in at this point – based on the current criteria, State had a stronger case than OU.  However, the media went so gaga over Sooner guard Trae Young it felt like they wanted to give him a showcase and see if he could carry Oklahoma on a run.  Whoops!

The ACC – they already took a huge hit with Virginia.  Everyone else in the league looked good aside of NC State

Nice dig by Illinois State coach Dan Muller calling out Wichita State for losing their opening round game to Marshall.

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You can’t really blame the Shockers for taking a bigger swing at a move up and more money.  Is this sour grapes?  Perhaps, but this is also saying how much he dislikes Wichita State and misses playing and/or beating them.  Well, try and get them on the schedule!

It was cool to see Loyola (IL) win in a near buzzer-beater over Miami (FL) on Thursday.  Loyola would be a good team to see the Green Bay Phoenix get on their schedule in the future.

  • Dumb ass of the week.

Watch this Video

First – this dumb ass doing the pushing should be kicked off the team.  Second, he should have charges pressed against him.  There is no place whatsoever for crap like this.   If you have kids in sports, please show this to them as a good lesson of what not to do!

The second?  The WIAA for allowing a convicted felon to play sports.  Read this story   regarding Milwaukee Washington player Deontay Long.  How do they not have a conduct policy in place?   And how does the school allow this?  Is winning a state championship that important??

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict – nah, that’s too easy.   You had to wonder if this moron was always on performance enhancing drugs.  How much longer will the Bengals deal with this clown?

 

  • I’ll be back next week to make my 2018 baseball standings picks, winners/losers in the early part of NFL free agency and who I think wins the NCAA Tournament.  And yes, I will be the dumb ass for the week – you’ll see why when I send out the blog next Sunday.

Happy Irish Day or in partying mode – Amateur Day!!!  Have some Guinness and Jameson!

 

 

Closer to Spring…

Top of the Morning to ya!  Oh wait, that’s next month…my bad!

If we’re into that part of the year, that would mean we’re well into Spring Training, we’re into March Madness and we’re past the Winter Olympics.  These topics and more will be touched upon in this piece.

  • Some observations of the Winter Olympics now that they’re closing this weekend.

First, I’d like to congratulate the United States Ice Shuffleboard team on their surprising gold medal.   The only thing I would have liked to see during this event is the players drinking pints of beer during each rock(?) being slid down the ice.   I listened to a couple matches in the last couple weeks, and I think I was laughing more at the screaming during every rock being cleared by the sweepers down the ice.   I guess one of the guys on the US Mens’ team is from the Madison area and looks like Mario from Super Mario Brothers?  That has to be a sweet mustache, then.

I bet Canadians were probably pissed knowing they lost to the United States in both curling and womens’ hockey considering they have dominated in both in recent Olympics

Bring back the NHL players in mens’ hockey.   Seriously.

OAR = Olympic Athletes of Russia.  Or O.A.R. the band?  Either way, there’s a lot of doping going on at both.   In the Olympics case, that’s a bit of an oxymoron for the Russians wearing the shirt in this story, only to have multiple athletes busted again for doping.

Will we get Cool Runnings 2?  We got to witness the 2-women Jamaican bobsled team and it would almost make sense to have another movie come out 25 years after the first one.

Some of these events are straight suicidal.  Skeleton, luge anything that you can be 40-50 feet in the air for the snowboard or skiing events.   Going 80+ MPH on a sled down ice face or leg first, hell anything really is just plain crazy.  Then with some of these ‘big air’ events – I’m glad these young peoples’ joints can handle that.  My no-cartilage knees would make me look even less coordinated than I already am.  Seriously, I went skiing one time in my life and I was my groups’ comedy for the day.  Kudos, I guess?

  • I’ll give some credit to the Wisconsin Badgers mens’ basketball team for not folding in their season, even though their season will likely end next week in the Big Ten Tournament.  Beating Northwestern and Minnesota were good wins for this inexperience group, but beating a highly ranked Purdue team is going to be a key with this group going into the 2018-19 season.  I think Wisconsin will be back towards the top of the Big Ten and national rankings.  Their non-conference schedule will be tough as usual as they are already slated to play in the Battle for Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas that includes Virginia, Butler, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford, Middle Tennessee and Dayton – but events like this will strengthen the team and into conference play.
  • With the Green Bay Packers getting 4 compensatory picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, I can see new GM Brian Gutekunst so some dealing that weekend.   But, first let’s see how aggressive they claim they’re going to be when the free agency gets going in a few weeks.   I keep hearing that Randall Cobb and/or Jordy Nelson could be salary cap casualties.  I think they bring Nelson back at a reduced contract with an up front bonus.  As for Cobb?  I can see him either getting traded, actually and have Ty Montgomery get moved back to receiver in the slot.
  • Could the sale of the Carolina Panthers really be for $2.8 BILLION????  That’s the rumor going around.  Sure, let me win 4-5 $600 million Powerball lotteries and I’ll have that right away for you, Mr. Richardson!
  • Spring Training baseball is back on the tube, and that is such a great sight knowing we’re that much closer to warmer weather in Wisconsin.  Like I said in the last blog, the Milwaukee Brewers, provided they stay healthy will have one of the better lineups in baseball this season.  Their question will be arms.   The initial feel is they’re going to try and go into the season with the starting rotation they have and adjust when Jimmy Nelson is back around the late May/June time frame.  If I had a guess – this is what their starting lineup looks like:
    • Jonathan Villar / Eric Sogard – 2B
    • Christian Yelich – LF
    • Ryan Braun – 1B
    • Travis Shaw – 3B
    • Lorenzo Cain – CF
    • Brett Phillips / Domingo Santana – RF
    • Manny Pina / Stephen Vogt – C
    • Orlando Arcia – SS
    • pitcher

Feel free to comment on this with your ideas.

  • Dumb ass of the week.

Arizona basketball coach (soon to be former) Sean Miller.   First, let me say if you don’t think there are free handouts or payments to nudge high profile athletes to attend their school, I have beachfront property in Indiana I can sell you.   But, to get caught on a wire tap like this moron did is priceless.  Story

Arizona should be disqualified for the rest of the season, forfeit their wins and Sean Miller better look for a new career, not job.  Career.  Or hope he saved enough of his millions he made coaching and retire.

With Miller getting caught, and numerous schools and players being labeled in an FBI investigation for illegal payments, I’m thinking there is going to be much more to this story.  What will happen when this investigation gets into the Nike and Under Armour schools?   I thought the scholarships were more than enough of a payment for these people?  I know the schools make money hand over fist on the major programs, and I won’t even pretend to have an answer on how to fix the obviously broken system.   The only thing that is certain is a lot of high profile people are going to lose their jobs in the coaching ranks, as well as the NCAA.  Or at least they should.

Don’t be surprised if we reports like this in college football down the line.

Side notes…I will nominate myself for this dumb ass of the week  “honor” when I .  And this will be happening sometime in mid-March

Paqui one chip challenge.  Yep…I’m a special breed!  My taste buds, intestines and colon will not appreciate this.   On top of this, I will allow this to be on video which I will share – whether on this blog or on the Book of Face….TBD.

Also, if you get an opportunity to do so, take a day and hit up all of the breweries in the Green Bay area.  Each of the 6 places (soon to be 7 again) has something unique to them and have good beers to sample from.  A group of friends and I did this last weekend and would be down to do this again.

That’s it for this round, kids.  This will be back in mid-March as I’ll be in Sarasota Florida the next two weekends getting my brain fried of information.  Once I pass two tests, I’ll be making sure one of the chairs at the outdoor pool does not move in Tampa before flying back on March 11th.

 

I’m back!!

Yes, it’s been quite a while that I’ve written anything on my blog, and I think it’s time that changes.  A good portion of this past year has been less than kind in my world.  But, my phrase is with any adversity is how we grow as people.  I can safely say I’m doing that now.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that I’ll do this blog weekly going forward, but it will be a good spot to jot thoughts about various topics.  Primarily, this blog will be about sports.  A second one will be used for the rest of the topics in the region, country, ripping on pop culture, etc.   Two things you will not see me write about is religion or politics.  Those are off limit subjects for me.

Without any further ado, this is the sports blog.

  • We are back to baseball starting next week with the pitchers and catchers reporting, and most importantly to the Milwaukee Brewers.   And, that warmer weather is not too far off.

Those that read or watch sports news, I assume you haven’t been living under a rock and the Brew Crew made one helluva splash in signing outfielder Lorenzo Cain and trading for fellow outfielder Christian Yelich.  This currently adds to a surging group of outfielders in Milwaukee, but also creates a mess with other good players in Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, and well good in defense in Keon Broxton.   Broxton, at times, can be good at offense – or at least rather streaky.  Of this group, I’d guess the Brewers are trying to move Santana and Broxton the most.   Currently, they could get the most in return for Santana, who is still young and coming off his most productive season in the big leagues.  I wonder if the Brewers (and other teams?) feel this past season was his peak and could be the reason he hasn’t been traded yet.

Notice in the listed outfield group, I have not included the original starting left fielder – Ryan Braun.  For anyone new to this, I refer to this guy as Gummy.  You can ask me later to why if you don’t know.   Him trying out first base is probably the right move and I think that’s where he opens the season up.  That leaves a new question – what to do with Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar?  Trade one of them?

I do think they have another trade (or two) in them sometime during Spring Training.   There’s an influx of outfielders and the Brewers still need another starting arm in that rotation.

When we closer to the season, I will preview what I think the Brewers look like, and how they’re going to fare in the Central Division

  • This may be the first season I have not watched much college basketball in a long time, mainly due to Wisconsin and Green Bay having garbage seasons.  With the Badgers, there are a few reasons to their struggles.  Losing your two top guards to injury, having a group of really young players play more than they perhaps were ready for, and seriously mis-reading the development of their current junior class.

Going into next season, the Badgers will be a little more seasoned and hopefully healthy?  Adding transfer Trevor Anderson should also certainly help them make their way back up the Big Ten standings and back to the NCAA Tournament.   For now?  They stinks!!!

In Green Bays’ case, they were just flat out young going into the season, and it has played out that way for the most part.  This next season, they should be in the mix for the upper half of the Horizon League.  Key word…”should”.

My hope as we get to the end of the season is this:  Marquette does not make the tournament, or even win a game in the Big East Tournament.  Purdue and Virginia make good runs in the NCAA Tournament.  These are two programs that seem to have traditionally strong seasons, but then fade when the tournament gets going.

  • I think we can stop with the “is the highest player in NFL history” crap now.  With how the market is now, of course any contract signed by a quarterback of any value in the future is going to be the highest in league history.   For crying out loud, Joe Flacco makes over $20 million.  49ers QB Jimmy Garappolo just signed a 5-year $137.5 million deal….for what the team has seen in practice and in 5 starts.   Good for him, actually if someone sees that he’s worth that kind of jack already.

And for the record, yes, I think Aaron Rodgers is going to get an obscene amount in his extension with the Green Bay Packers.  Based on how the NFL market is working currently, he has certainly earned it.

(note:  I don’t think any athlete, musician or actor/actress is worth this kind of money – but a lot of people do)

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots.  And more importantly, keeping your city upright after the game was over.  I was imagining a full-chaotic riot of some sorts in the city, and we only received a couple tipped cars and a couple fires.  Well done, Eagle fan!

For the game – I’m more of a fan of defensive football, but that was one entertaining football game!!  The aggressive nature the Eagles came out with and taking it to the favored Patriots from the outset was impressive.  Equally impressive was the defending champs’ resiliency, where it felt like they should have been down by more than 10 points at halftime only in standard New England form by rallying to take a 33-32 lead with 5+ minutes left in the game.

Not deterred, the Eagles drove right back down the field with Nick Foles finding Zach Ertz for the game-winning score.

Even more fun with the turnover on Tom Brady leading to a field goal by Philly.  And then the “failed” Hail Mary by New England to cap off the win.   Hey Tommy Boy, talk to Rodgers next time on the art of the Hail Mary!  Ha!!!

My favorite Super Bowls were 31 and 45 – the ones the Packers won, duh!!  After that, 52 is up there with the better games played.

There were also a mass number of media members and corporate giants that were whining about the weather in Minneapolis.   You have money – there are things called clothes, jackets, hats, gloves?   Things that can help keep you warm during the cold waits in line!  It seems like there’s enough people out there that are in need of a serious toughen-up pill!

  • Also, one thing I’ve done in the past is have a feature called “Dumbass of the Week” – and yes, that will continue.  Based on what I’ve seen in the news – we have a winner:

Watch the Video first.  And now….

To the mom who walked out on her son for picking a different college to play football than what you wanted him to.   A young man named Jacob Copeland from the Pensacola area picked Florida over Tennessee and Alabama, which apparently pissed the mom off.  In the video, the mom was clear in her clothing which of two schools she wanted Copeland to attend and then stormed off like a jealous middle-school child when she didn’t get what she wanted.

Yo, dumbass…this is NOT about you.  This is entirely about your child and what they want to do with the next 3-4 years of their life.  If it’s a decision you may not agree with, it’s still not your decision to make.  Support your child and be there for them no matter what!!

Eventually, she did come back into the post-decision press conference to ‘support’ her son.    However, this video has now gone viral and is subject to ridicule…as she should be!!

Enjoy this “balmy” weather if you’re in Wisconsin.  If you’re cold, drink something warm like bourbon on the rocks.

That’s it for the return.  As I get more into it, I promise to get back into my more smart ass ways many of you have grown accustomed to from me.  Happy Hallmark Day (Valentines) and Lent Season.  Don’t forget to give up Lent for Lent every year!  No, really.

Chat in the next couple of weeks!

At Section 123

Another Wisconsin snowstorm is upon us, and unfortunately it took away from one thing I had planned on doing today…attending the Belmont at UW-Green Bay basketball game.  At least that is being moved to later in the season.  Here’s hoping all is safe. Onto some sports stuff…

  • Color me impressed in the way the Milwaukee Bucks have dismantled the Chicago Bulls the last two nights.  Can they follow that up against Cleveland?  I can’t imagine LeBron and company will be too thrilled with the Bucks with the beating they received a couple weeks ago.
  • What a mess, Minnesota Gophers.  Go ahead and boycott the Holiday Bowl vs. Washington State over the sexual assault case.   I’m curious to see this story unfold some more, especially now that there’s an underaged recruit involved.   As for the bowl game, your team would get steamrolled by Washington State, anyway.  Story
    The unity is touching, but don’t forget about the victim in this mess.

    Don’t be surprised if they do boycott and you see the juggernaut that is Northern Illinois take their place.

  • Nice job, Florida Atlantic University…you made my blog.  Hiring Lane Kiffin as your next Football Head Coach.  One thing he has going for him is the weather is beautiful in Boca Raton, FL.  But, oy…there’s a reason no other program wanted to take a chance on this clown.  He may be the only guy who has less moral values than Louisville coach Bobby Petrino (at least in College Football).  Kiffins’ first move?   Signing former Florida State QB recruit De’Andre Jackson…significant because this is another dandy who likes to hit women.

    The real reason FAU is in the blog though?  The Owls play at Wisconsin in 2017, so we could see that train wreck in person.

  • The College Football bowl season gets under way today.  One game may actually be a good one early.  If you watch the Las Vegas Bowl between San Diego State and Houston, SDSU running back Donnell Pumphrey needs about 100 yards to break the all-time rushing record held by Ron Dayne of Wisconsin.
  • Speaking of the bowls – here are my knee-jerk predictions for the Big Ten:
  • Wisconsin over Western Michigan
  • Clemson over Ohio State
  • Michigan over Criminal U (Florida State)
  • USC over Pedophile State
  • Washington State over Minnesota (finally ended boycott…how cute)
  • Iowa over Florida
  • Nebraska over Tennessee
  • Pittsburgh over Northwestern
  • Utah over Indiana
  • Maryland over Boston College
  • Green Bay at Chicago

    If the weather wasn’t going to be so ridiculously cold in Chicago tomorrow, I’d call for a Packers ass-whipping.  But the weather will be an equalizer.  Green Bay wins, but it’ll be a little closer.

    the Pick:  Packers 21, Bears 7. 

Other games

  • Did anyone really think the Rams had a chance in hell against Seattle Thursday night?  Firing former Coach Jeff Fisher was the right move…he had definitely lost that team.  How do you not focus your whole offense around Todd Gurley?!?  I’m not sure the Rams would be the Browns right now!
  • Miami at NY Jets – the Dolphins losing Ryan Tannehill to an ACL/MCL sprain will probably take Miami out of the Wild Card race.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think they even win this game.  If they want to, get RB Jay Ajyai 30 carries.  The Jets will put up a one-time good effort, which won’t save Todd Bowles job, but.  Jets 16, Dolphins 14
  • Indianapolis at Minnesota – Adrian Beat-your-son is apparently back this week for the purple.  The Colts looked like a steam pile at home last week, but I think they can rebound this week.  This is in pure spite of the Purple…   Colts 24, Purple 23
  • Detroit at NY Giants – I’m calling for the standard Detroit slide to begin here.  Matthew Staffords’ finger injury has taken some zip off the football and the Giants defense will capitalize.  Giants 24, Lions 14
  • Pittsburgh at Cincinnati – this will be the typical slugfest…for about a half.  The Steelers are turning into the team nobody will be interested in seeing if they make the AFC playoffs.  Steelers 30, Bengals 23
  • Cleveland at Buffalo – the Rex Ryan watch is in full steam ahead mode.  But they will have enough to make the Browns 0-14.   From a selfish perspective…anyone but LeSean McCoy can score in this game.  Bills 27, Browns 13. 
  • Philadelphia at Baltimore – expect the Ravens defense to harass Carson Wentz early and often.  Joe Flacco will do just enough with Eagles turnovers and – Ravens 26, Eagles 17
  • Jacksonville at Houston – ick.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way.   I’m actually impressed the Texans win with their crappy quarterback play.  Titans 28, Jaguars 20
  • Tennessee at Kansas City – not sure why I think this, but I’m calling the upset here.  I feel like the Titans running game will give counter what the Chiefs defense does well, rush the passer and create interceptions.   DeMarco Murray carries the Titans to the upset.  Titans 22, Chiefs 19
  • New Orleans at Arizona – I don’t like how the Saints are closing out their season.  At all.  That said, this is the type of game they will turn it around…and it won’t be enough.   The Cardinals will hit New Orleans with David Johnson early and often.  Cardinals 31, Saints 24
  • San Francisco at Atlanta – No Julio Jones?  No problem.  Beat down of the Niners will commence.  Falcons 38, 49ers 10. 
  • New England at Denver – the Broncos defense will keep this one close for a while, but the Patriots will give them too much LaGarrette Blount and James White.   Patriots 23, Broncos 16. 
  • Oakland at San Diego – rivalry game will keep this game close.  The Raiders win with a late field goal.  Raiders 24, Chargers 21
  • Tampa Bay at Dallas – when was the last time the Buccaneers were on Sunday Night Football?  They’ll play good, but I think Eziekel Elliott gets back on track.  Cowboys, close.  Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 24.
  • Carolina at Washington – this feels like an ass-whipping coming.  Redskins will swarm Cam Newton and take advantage of a porous secondary.  Redskins 35, Panthers 15. 

Dumb ass(es) of the week:

Joe Mixon video knocking out a woman Video  I don’t care how it was provoked.  You just don’t hit a woman.  Ever.  I’m glad this moron picked Oklahoma over Wisconsin in his college choice.  I’ve read nothing good about this clowns’ personality ever since he started at OU.  I know the Packers need a running back next season, please DO NOT DRAFT this dumb ass!!

‘Wakeyleaks’?  That’s the best name the sports media could come up with?  Anyway, at the root of the story – former Wake Forest player and assistant coach and current radio commentator Tommy Elrod was fired for leaking information about the Demon Deacons’ offensive formations and plays to some opponents.   The team that busted Elrod, Louisville acknowledge this had occurred.  According to this story, the new formations Wake Forest were going to use were not because they felt information had been compromised.  Players felt upset and the coaches had to relay what had transpired, prompting an internal investigation which wasn’t leaked until recently.

Wake Forest did the right thing in canning this dumb ass…and if any coaches or players see this idiot anywhere, they should be allowed to kick his ass in principle alone.  How would you feel as a player or coach if you put in all that time, sacrifice and effort to have a successful season only to have some former player who was allegedly upset at the university leaking information to opponents?

And of course, Louisville denied using any information that was leaked to them?  Yep, we’ll believe you?!?  Your Head Coach, Bobby Petrino is the most moral cat out there, so we will take the Cardinals at their word.  The best part?  The Cardinals Co-Offensive Coordinator, Lonnie Galloway worked with Elrod at Wake Forest in a past coaching staff, so do the math!!   Well, we should feel so much better that Louisville suspended Galloway for their Citrus Bowl game vs. LSU.  Whew!  What a relief!

My second thought is the ACC absolutely needs to do some punishment to Wake Forest as this could potentially be a larger issue!  Could this happen elsewhere?  Absolutely, so the ACC should lay the hammer down on Wake – punish the whole program for the actions of one idiot.

Other teams that could be affected:  Virginia Tech and Army…stay tuned.  Or not…your choice.

Kudos of the week

RIP Craig Sager.  I don’t watch the NBA much anymore, but you could tell the league had a great deal of respect for the man who had the most colorful suits when covering games.   There may not be another character like him and the sports media world will miss him.

This may be a tough week for various reasons, but I’ll do my best to have a blog ready to roll next weekend.  If not, I wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas!

-n

At Section 123

Are you ready for 6-8″ of snow?  I’m not…but it’s coming whether we like it or not.  We choose to live in Wisconsin and can always move if you dislike Winter so much.  I will probably do so once I get older, but I’m good for now.  Need good people around me!  As for sports….

  • Do you have $6 handy?  If yes, that can get you into Jerry World near Dallas for the Cotton Bowl to see Wisconsin take on Western Michigan on January 2nd.  That is tempting.  Seriously.  Now, if I could only find some poor soul to road trip it with.
  • OK, Milwaukee Bucks – you have my attention…somewhat.  You are back to being fun to watch again.  Giannis and Jabari are starting to become players in the NBA and almost make me want to attend a game.  Almost.  But, you cannot blow 20-point leads to teams I think you should beat.  Namely last night against Atlanta.   I know you couldn’t hit a bucket if the goal was the Atlantic Ocean, but at least pretend to try and have the one thing Coach Jason Kidd wants to pride your team on.  Defense.
  • Today we have the annual Wisconsin-Gold game at the Bradley Center.  If you’ve known me over the years.  I have few rules.  But, one is the Badgers should never lose to the Gold.  Ever.  The Gold are my second least favorite teams in all sport and if somehow they pull this thing off today, I can assure you new cuss words may be invented and there best not be anything kickable nearby!!!
  • A town in Texas is breaking ground on a $69 million HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL stadium.  I understand football is king in those parts of the country, but damn!!  Does anything else really matter there?
  • The baseball Winter Meetings have concluded, and yes, Milwaukee, Gummy is still there.  Chris Sale, however, is now a member of the Boston Red Sox.  They have one of the, if not the best rotations in Major League Baseball now with Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello (Cy Young winner), and Clay Buchholz is not bad for a #4 or #5 starter.  They do come to Milwaukee this season if you want to see the Brewers get their crack at them.  One of baseballs’ rich got much richer and I’d LOVE to see baseball grow a pair and have a similar salary structure like football.  I know it would never happen due to the big markets, but it would add more uncertainty to the game.

Seattle at Green Bay

Snow Globe 2 – for the second week in a row, we will have a snow game at Lambeau Field.  First thought is hoping everyone makes it there and back safely!!

For the game, the key for me this week is who is playing for the Packers this week on defense.  Not having Nick Perry available, ironically will suck.  If the Pack gets T.J. Lang, and Jake Ryan back?  I actually like their chances…and in the crappy weather.

The Seahawks are actually kind of abysmal on grass this season, according to some web sites stats.  Russell Wilson cannot be able to go off and scramble finding Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham in this game.

That said, I do like the Packers at home this week, mainly because it should be fairly raucous in a snowy Lambeau.  Rodgers > Wilson, this week.

The pick:  Packers 23, Seahawks 13

Other NFL picks:

  • Kansas City over Oakland was kind of expected.  But, I was surprised by how both defenses played.  And for selfish purposes….I’m glad I didn’t start Derek Carr in my FFL playoff game!
  • Minnesota at Jacksonville – Gus Bradley, you’re fired!!  I’m surprised the Jags are 2-10 with this young group.  The Purple needs this win to keep pace and there should be more purple than black/teal in the stands.  Purple 20, Jaguars 13
  • Chicago at Detroit – ugh.  Detroit needs to start losing if the Packers are going to catch them.  Isn’t happening this week.  Being a division opponent is the only thing that keeps this somewhat close.   Lions 27, Bears 20
  • Denver at Tennessee – hearing Paxton Lynch is the quarterback for the Broncos this week.  That’s not good against a good Titans pass rush.  Marcus Mariota even looks like a legit quarterback now.  Titans 28, Broncos 14. 
  • Washington at Philadelphia – division game.  The return of WR DeSean Jackson to Philadelphia (and more boos).  Kirk Cousins > Carson Wentz right now.  Redskins 24, Eagles 17
  • San Diego at Carolina – I didn’t like what I saw out of the Panthers last week.  At all – which was quit.  Both teams are out of it, so this could be a shootout-type game.   Chargers 34, Panthers 30
  • Cincinnati at Cleveland – this is the Browns best chance at a win the rest of the season.  Not gonna happen…enjoy 0-16, Cleveland!  Browns keep it close for 3 quarters, but…  Bengals 26, Browns 17
  • Houston at Indianapolis – no team with Brock Osweiler as a QB for a full season should be a division champion.  Ever.  Colts 33, Texans 20
  • Pittsburgh at Buffalo – this kind of feels like a trap for the Steelers.  The Bills are actually decent this year, so give me the Bills and their defense.  Bills 23, Steelers 22
  • Arizona at Miami – does South Florida fan finally care?  Guessing yes since the Dolphins have a real shot at a wild card.  Dolphins 27, Cardinals 23
  • New Orleans at Tampa Bay – Wow, the Bucs are legit in the division race now – if anyone guessed that at the beginning of the year, they are completely full of crap.  This is an upset for me.  I can’t see Drew Brees having multiple 2 or more interception weeks.  Saints 30, Buccaneers 24
  • Atlanta at LA Rams – sorry, Rams.  But Jeff Fisher needs to go.  Falcons 31, Rams 19
  • NY Jets at San Francisco – the only reason to even conceivably watch this game is if there are more players/coaches/trainers/refs on the field than fans in stands.  Jets 10, 49ers 6
  • Dallas at NY Giants – Dallas can’t go 15-1, can they?  Eli seems to pull crap out of his anal cavity when the Giants and Cowboys hook up.  Giants upset 27-24
  • Baltimore at New England – finally, a game worth watching Monday night!  Baltimore won’t be intimidated going into Foxboro as some teams are.  And, it wouldn’t surprise me if they won.  A little too much Tom Brady and the key is they need to get the run game going (i.e. James White/LaGarrette Blount).  Patriots win close 23-21

 Dumb ass of the week

Kansas Jayhawks forward Carlton Bragg…so, hitting a woman/pushing her down some stairs and getting arrested in a domestic violence case – and you SMILE with your mug shot at the police station???  I hope someone at campus kicks your ass!   Story

Kudos of the week

This is a shout out to long-time SEC Football broadcaster Verne Lundquist, who today will call his final College Football game in the Army-Navy game.  If I was younger, this is almost a game I’d add to my bucket list as it would be such a cool thing to witness.  Anyway, I’m not a fan of the SEC overall since they were thrown down our throats over the past several years, but I always did enjoy his broadcasts and how he was able to tell the story of the game and articulate the atmosphere of some of the tailgates/crowds.  Games like Alabama-LSU, Florida-Georgia, Alabama-Auburn, Tennessee-Georgia were fun to watch because of Verne.  Next year, it turns to another great announcer in Brad Nessler, but it will certainly be different without Verne next year.  Enjoy your time off!

That is all for the week.  Have those snowblowers and shovels ready!!

-n