Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the season

Forgive me for my uncreativeness (made up word) when it comes to the titles for my blog posts. To be honest, I just like to get straight to rambling on about sports rather than spending time thinking of a witty, attention-getting headline. This will have to change should I actually be doing this for a living one day. Don't have too much to get to today, but I wanted to stop by before the Christmas festivities begin to touch on the NFL as well as a few other things since it could be a little while until I'm back. Hopefully by now, you all have your shopping out of the way because lord knows it's getting to be a real barn burner out there. We'll start out how we usually do and reveal the NFL picks for week 16. Let me just say this...I'm in need of a Christmas miracle if I want to beat Kyle in the overall record contest. On another note, Kyle and I are in the midst of several battles on the inter web...I'll get to that later. For now, the picks!


Carolina @ PITTSBURGH (-13.5)
DALLAS @ Arizona (+6.5)
BALTIMORE @ Cleveland (+3.5)
DETROIT @ Miami (-3.5)
Washington @ JACKSONVILLE (-6.5)
INDIANAPOLIS @ Oakland (+3.5)
Houston @ DENVER (+2.5)
SAN DIEGO @ Cincinnati (+7.5)
Seattle @ TAMPA BAY (-6.5)
NY GIANTS @ Green Bay (-2.5)
Minnesota @ PHILADELPHIA (-13.5)
NEW ORLEANS @ Atlanta (-2.5)

Last week/Overall:
Kyle: 9-7/124-100 (9-4-2)
Dave: 7-9/114-110 (4-9-2)

As you have probably concluded by now, I don't stand a chance in this race. Have I come to terms with that? Absolutely not. We live in a world where anything can happen, and that more than pertains to the NFL. I honestly can't believe I've done this well so far, which really shows how good of a job Kyle has done. I'm curious to know what his percentile is on because I'm still currently at about the 87th (leave a comment with the answer after you read this, McClone). Not only have Kyle and I been going toe to toe on guessing the NFL lines all year, but there are some crucial fantasy football matchups this week for me in all three of my leagues...two of them happen to be against the man himself.

Let's go waaaaay back to August of 2010...even before I started writing this blog! Well, maybe not. I had just finished reading a column posted by one of my true heroes, The Sports Guy Bill Simmons, and was curious about one thing he mentioned. Simmons claimed that when setting up your fantasy football league, the auction draft was the way to go. I'm not sure how long ESPN has given the option of holding an online auction draft (fake money, of course), but I had never really given it a second look. It sounded quite intriguing, and Kyle (who is also a follower of The Sports Guy) also mentioned the proposition of giving the auction draft a try. I didn't want to try it out for the league I was putting money on this year (maybe in 2011), so we decided to join a random league that held a draft in which you had to buy enough players to fill out your roster with an alloted $200. You're not going to believe this, but Kyle and I find ourselves facing off in the championship game which spans over the final two weeks of the regular season. In fact, neither of us payed particularly close attention to the league and still kicked the ever living crap out of eight random people from across the country. Poor guys didn't know what they had coming. Anyway, it should be a good match-up and I'll keep everyone posted on who prevails.

Now this next part may sound a little strange at first, but the most important of the three showdowns that Kyle and I are involved in is actually a battle for 3rd place. Why is this, you ask? The winner of the 3rd place game in our ESPN league will earn a $10 prize (their money back) seeing as this fantasy football league is for money. Unfortunately, after seizing the number two seed for the four team playoff, I fell in the first round by 30 points. My team was beginning to falter towards the end of the regular season so I can't say I was surprised by the result, but it's disappointing that I will not be raking in at least $30 this year (the winner will get $80). So I guess the next best thing is not only getting back the money I put into this league, but doing it while beating Kyle. Since he's pretty much already locked up the NFL picks competition, I'm hoping he'll show a little mercy and let me win at least one of our fantasy encounters (get your mind out of the gutter). I said, not too much to talk about. It's the calm before the storm as we await the fate of the Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes and the Wisconsin Badgers' showdown with TCU in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. Extremely pumped for both of these things. It would be ideal for the Pack to take down the Giants so that the Bears/Packers game that I'm attending on the last week of the season is actually meaningful...I'm not expecting the Packers to compensate for me though based on the way this season has been going. We shall see...I'm hopeful. Anyway, keep an eye out for all of these games as they should all be about as significant as they get for us Wisconsin sports fans. We need something good to happen to take our mind off the below freezing temps!

I wish all of my readers safe travels and a Merry Christmas. Hope everyone gets what they want!

Go Pack, On Wisconsin and Fear the Deer!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Roller coaster, favorite ride

I not only reference lyrics to a Blink 182 song because they're a pretty kick ass band, but also because being a sports fan is one of the most emotional rides you can experience. There are so many highs and lows...unless of course you're a Cleveland or Seattle sports fan. Then your life just permanently sucks. The point I'm trying to make here is that a roller coaster isn't my favorite ride; I'm more of a water slide guy. Just kidding (that's not my point...I don't have one). Over the past week, us Wisconsin sports fans have experienced the definition of a roller coaster. Let's jump in the time machine and take a look at some of the more important events that have affected our collective state of mind.

Sunday, December 12th - Not only is Aaron Rodgers knocked out of a game against the Detroit Lions with a concussion, but the Pack goes onto lose the game and drop to 8-5. This basically ends Green Bay's chance at winning the division should it come down to a tie-breaker since their division record is now worse than the Bears'. [Roller coaster position: VERY LOW]

Monday, December 13th - The Milwaukee Bucks put an end to the Dallas Mavericks 12-game winning streak with an incredible come from behind victory on the road. The Deer appears to be turning things around as the team is starting to get healthy and has improved their record to 10-13. [Roller coaster position: LEVEL]

Friday, December 17th - Rodgers is listed as doubtful on the injury report for Sunday night's game at New England. As if going up against the best team in the NFL on the road wasn't enough, now it appears that it will be backup Matt Flynn leading the Packers into Foxborough. [Roller coaster position: LOW]

Saturday, December 18th - Late Saturday night, a rumor is confirmed that the Milwaukee Brewers have pieced together a shocker of a trade and landed former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals without giving up any important players (for now). This immediately caused me to look forward to the upcoming season with great urgency and excitement as the Brewers became instant contenders with their high powered offense and now stellar rotation. [Roller coaster position: HIGH]

Sunday, December 19th - During the early slate of NFL games, the Packers needed a few things to occur in order to help their playoff chances, especially with the Patriots game looming large. Low and behold, the teams we needed to lose fell (Giants and Buccaneers) and even with a loss to New England, there was still hope! [Roller coaster position: VERY HIGH]

Sunday night, December 19th - The Packers seem to be in control of the game after jumping out to a 17-7 late in the first half, but then allow OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Dan Connelly to return the kickoff all the way inside the Packers' 10-yard line. The Patriots punch it in for six and leave Green Bay with only a three point halftime lead. As they say, the rest is history and the Packers fall to 0-6 in games which they have trailed in the 4th quarter, losing to New England by a score of 31-27. Because of all the close losses that Green Bay has suffered, even though the loss still left the Packers in decent position to make the playoffs... [Roller coaster position: LOW]

Quite the swing of emotion, hey? The Packers will do that to ya.

Monday, December 20th - Word spreads that the Bucks' star point guard, Brandon Jennings has to undergo surgery on a fracture in his left foot. Since the Bucks have lost their previous two games to drop to 10-15, this news does not come at the greatest time. Milwaukee has not held one practice this season with all of their players healthy...that is pretty unbelievable. Later that night, the Bucks get thumped by Portland and appear to need more time to adjust to life without Jennings. [Roller coaster position: VERY LOW]

Tuesday, December 21st - I reassess things for a moment. The Packers' two remaining games are at home and as long as they win both of them, they are in the playoffs. In other words, THEY STILL CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY. Somewhat relieving news, although the Giants and Bears are no pushover. Moving on to the Bucks...missing Jennings for an extended period of time could really put a damper on the Bucks' chances of making the post-season. However, if Milwaukee can manage to go around .500 while Young Buck is sitting out and have both Jennings and Delfino back for the stretch run, the weak Eastern Conference will allow them to hang around. Besides, the NBA is a joke during the regular season so who really cares about it until the playoffs anyway? Am I right? Anyway, after making myself feel better the aforementioned situations, I think about Zack Greinke again and get all giddy inside. Oh yeah, and the Badgers are playing in the Rose Bowl. That's pretty cool, too. [Roller coaster position: LEVEL]

So yes, I just went around the track once and I'm now waiting for the second go-around. Feelin' a little queezy but no barf bag needed quite yet. Keep in mind that this was only within the span of nine days...pretty crazy. Notice how putting things in perspective helped bring me back above water. I think a lot of fans have trouble assessing the situation and basically get to the point of drinking their sorrows away (not saying I haven't done this). In all seriousness though, I'm not a psychiatrist, but the state of Wisconsin sports is in a better situation than many locations. Howeva(!), it would be nice to see a championship brought home by one of the three major franchises or two major division I schools here in cheese land (in either basketball or football) within the next couple years. Let's party like it's 1996.

Be back before Sunday with picks and a fantasy football playoff update. PLAYOFFS?!

Go Pack, On Wisconsin and Fear the Deer!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

So you're saying there's a chance...

...that the Milwaukee Brewers could be contenders next season? About 2 weeks ago, if I said this to you, there's no doubt I would have not only been laughed at but probably spit on, too. Hold your horses, ladies and gentlemen because not only did the Brewers make a deal for Shaun Marcum (who I mentioned in my previous post), but in the blockbuster trade of the off-season, the Crew has acquired Kansas City ace Zach Greinke!!! I'm seriously on cloud 9 right now. I've already had lengthy discussions with some fellow die-hard Brewer fans over this one and we've come to the agreement that this was a great deal pulled off by General Manager Doug Melvin, and these words usually don't fit together very well in the same sentence. Also heading to Milwaukee will be shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. You may ask why we are also getting a shortstop when we already have Alcides Escobar and this is why: the Brewers dealt not only Escobar, but also CF Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. I'll have more on my reaction to this trade later...for now I'm going to update the picks from weeks 13 and 14 since I failed to write a blog entry last week as a result of finals. College isn't all fun and games, folks. To save time, I won't show who Kyle and I picked, but rather just show our records. Here she goes!

Week 13:
Dave: 7-9 * Kyle: 11-5

Week 14:
Dave: 11-5 * Kyle: 10-6

Gotta hand it to Kyle over the past two weeks. He has really proven that he's one of the best in the business when it comes to picking NFL games with the spread. In week 14, he could've actually gone 11-5 like I did, but changed one of his picks from the Cardinals to the Broncos. I joked with him that this was obviously the right decision because of how terrible Arizona is...the Cards won by 30...this league is impossible to figure out. Sorry for jinxing that one, buddy.

Overall records (through week 14):
Kyle: 115-93 (8-4-2)
Dave: 107-101 (4-8-2)

For those of you who think I suck at choosing these games, let me tell you something. You're right. But believe it or not, I'm actually in the 88th percentile on when it comes to picking games with the spread and in the 89th when picking them straight up, so if that increases the amount of respect you have for me (doubtful), I appreciate it. I'll have the week 15 lines in my next blog post later this week. Also, congratulations to Kyle for locking up the week by week competition. I'm not losing hope on the overall record contest, but I'll be perfectly honest in saying that my chances look rather bleak.

I really don't want to discuss this next topic, but it's hard to avoid: the Green Bay Packers. Isn't it depressing, people? All we have to do to become even with the Chicago Bears in the NFC North division race is to beat the Detroit effing Lions. THE LIONS! Nope. Can't even do that. Oh, and to top it all off, our star quarterback forgets that he should probably slide when he takes off running at guys trying to decapitate him and what do you know? Rodgers gets knocked out of the game, destroying any chance we had at not only defeating the LIONS, but also the Patriots. Rodgers is for some reason still making the trip to New England but back-up extraordinare Matt Flynn will be taking the field at Gilette Stadium against the most impressive NFL franchise of the last decade. The spread has increased four points on this game since it became official that A-Rod wasn't playing (-10.5 to -14.5 for the Pats). Strap in your seat belts because it's going to be a bumpy ride on the Sunday Night Football express way. However, not all is lost for our beloved Green and Gold. Everything that we needed to happen to day...happened! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went down in overtime to those same pesky Lions and the New York football Giants had one of the most epic collapses of all time by giving up 28 points in the final 7+ minutes to the Philadelphia Eagles. I'll tell ya what...seeing Mike Vick completely terrorize that defense brought tears to my eyes being his proud fantasy owner. Not only did Vick lead some incredible drives thanks to his mobility, but DeSean Jackson returned a punt AS TIME EXPIRED to break the 31-31 tie and defeat the Giants. Seriously the most incredible finish to a football game I have ever seen. Here is the reason we wanted this to happen...with the Packers more than likely losing to the Patriots tonight, Green Bay would be 8-6. I'm willing to accept this loss, though because the very next week, the Packers turn around and face the Giants at Lambeau Field. Since New York is 9-5, defeating the Giants would make both teams 9-6 and tied for the final playoff spot in the NFC heading into the final week. Yes, I'm basically giving up hope on the division, but at least I'm being realistic + still looking at the bright side...give me some credit.

Let's go from one hopeful situation to another and break down the Brewers' trade for our new ace, Zack Greinke. Last night, my good friend Steve sent me a text reading, "Greinke! Gave up quite a bit though..." The only part of this text that surprised me was the fact that the baseball team I had been supporting for almost 17 years had made yet another jaw dropping deal for a stud pitcher. I don't think anything in my lifetime will top the trade for C.C., but this one definitely made me go internet crazy and look up every last detail regarding the players involved since Steve's text wasn't very descriptive. When I first saw what we were giving up, it didn't outweigh the joy I felt regarding Greinke, so I instantly knew it was still a good deal. That's not going to stop me from expressing some disappointment. In my early days as a blogger, you'll recall that I was still willing to give Escobar some time, but wasn't exactly ecstatic about his play. His speed and defense will be missed, but what use is speed if you can't utilize it? The man we are getting in return (Betancourt) is simply a guy to fill in the gaping hole at short and isn't going to give much more than mediocre defense, a little pop at the bottom of the order and a terrible on-base percentage. Next...Lorenzo Cain. I was incredibly excited to see how Cain would progress over the next few years after his break out 2010 season. Unfortunately, you have to be realistic and realize that you aren't going to get something good without giving up something good. Cain will be missed, but as Brewer fans we can only pray that Carlos Gomez somehow figures out how to get on base and run like crazy, something Escobar may never figure out. Finally...Jeffress and Odorizzi. The casual, everyday fan may not know a thing about these young pitching studs, but both may have a very bright future. I was pretty high on Jeffress as he posted some pretty impressive numbers over the last month of the season after his call up, but he has two strikes against him regarding the MLB drug policy. As everyone knows...3 strikes and you're out. I don't know much about Jake Odorizzi, so let's just hope he remains an unproven prospect.

To break this trade down even more, the Brewers will be losing barely any offensive firepower and improving their starting rotation dramatically, but losing a lot on the defensive front. There is no denying that Cain and Escobar were beyond their years out on the field, but replacing Cain with Gomez will help fill that void. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm a Yuniesky Betancourt expert, but I don't trust that he is as good up the middle as Escobar. As far as looking at it from Kansas City's perspective, it's kind of strange that they would deal Greinke...he is basically the center of the franchise and they already have a loaded farm system. Yeah, that's the Royals for you. But who cares about them...the Brewers now look pretty good 1 through 4 in the rotation with Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf (Chris Narveson will presumably be the number 5 starter...ick). I guess you need another lefty thrown into the rotation, but I feel like there has to be someone else the Brewers can use...maybe re-sign Capuano? Manny Parra belongs in the pen and he would be the only other viable option, so I guess if we don't bring back Cappy, it'll no doubt be Narverson. I can accept one weak spot I suppose. Losing Escobar and Cain will make the lineup slightly weaker, but the Crew is still strong 1 through 5 with Weeks, Hart, Braun, Fielder and McGehee. After that, it could get ugly. One man I want to see get an opportunity somewhere is Mat Gamel, aka the only prospect left in our farm system. Should the Brewers end up dealing Fielder, I think it would be the perfect time to insert Gamel in his place. A few things look to be certain...

-Doug Melvin is really going for it THIS year and trying to make a run at the post-season and beyond. It has been quite awhile since the Brewers have looked this good in December.
-The Brewers have accepted the fact that they won't get what they want for Prince Fielder and will probably keep him for the 2011 season, allowing him to file for free agency. Since it's a contract year for Prince, look for some gaudy numbers from number 28.
-Pitching appears to no longer be an issue, but the bottom of the order/poor defense could cost the Brewers a real shot at contending in 2011.

Exciting stuff guys. Let's be hopeful for the Brewers, Packers, Badgers and even Bucks at this point, but not lose sight of what's really important around this time of year. Sports are pretty awesome, but it helps to put things in perspective once in awhile when your favorite team isn't performing. Trust me...I'm used to it. Sorry for the mushy garbage...I'll be back later this week with my form of a Christmas present for you all.

On Wisconsin, Go Pack, and Fear the Deer!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Packing HEAT

Alright you got me...I failed to write an additional blog post last week about the woes of the Packers' loss to Atlanta and the struggles that the Milwaukee Bucks are having finding any sort of chemistry. But I've got good news! I'm back. Besides that, I was in attendance last night in the Bradley Center for the clash between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. When I purchased my ticket for this game way back when they went on sale in early September, I expected two things: Firstly, I planned on the Heat having a record somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-3 or 17-4 and the Bucks AT LEAST hovering around .500. Second, I expected the game to be sold out within days of the tickets being opened up to the public. You're going to be disappointed to hear that neither of these things were even close to occurring...I'll have more on this experience later as it wasn't completely unfulfilled. And if you're greedy and searching for even more reasons to feel warm and fuzzy inside, the Packers stomped the yard in Green Bay on Sunday, but did it wearing possibly the ugliest ensemble of clothing I've ever seen. Also more on this later. Last but not least, the Wisconsin Badgers were officially selected for the Rose Bowl! I think I've spent enough time drooling over them, but this accomplishment certainly shouldn't be overlooked and I'll preview their matchup with TCU when the showdown is drawing closer. Let's get the boredom out of the way and see how I did on picks two weeks ago while taking a look at who I picked in week 13 (ditto for Kyle).


Houston @ PHILADELPHIA (-8.5)
NEW ORLEANS @ Cincinnati (+6.5)
CHICAGO @ Detroit (+3.5)
San Francisco @ GREEN BAY (-9.5)
JACKSONVILLE @ Tennessee (-3.5)
Denver @ KANSAS CITY (-8.5)
BUFFALO @ Minnesota (-6.5)
WASHINGTON @ NY Giants (-7.5)
Carolina @ SEATTLE (-5.5)
ST LOUIS @ Arizona (+3.5)
Dallas @ INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5)

Last week/Overall:
Kyle: 8-8/94-82 (7-3-2)
Dave: 10-6/89-87 (3-7-2)

WOOOO! BACK ABOVE .500!!!! Oh wait...I got beat this week, so I have no chance of winning the week-by-week contest. I guess there's always the overall record prize/pride. Let's get on with it then, shall we?

Let's begin with Sunday and the emotional roller coaster known as the Green Bay Packers. Fortunately for the collective hearts of Packer fans across the nation, Sunday was only frustrating up until midway through the second quarter because of the slow start our offense had. Eventually, Aaron Rodgers continued his dominance of late and the Packers stormed ahead in the second quarter and never looked back. I'll be the first to say that I didn't really like how our defense looked for a second week in a row, especially when it comes to our linebackers' ability to cover tight ends. This is something that Dom Capers will hopefully address in the coming weeks, but overall Green Bay's D has kept them in every game and that's all you can really ask for. Incredible will power was shown by Donald Driver on a particular play (I think everyone knows what I'm talking about) in which Driver caused both a 49ers defender and tight end Andrew Quarless to launch over him. It was not only an unbelievable play, but hilarious enough to cause me to start laughing hysterically. What got everything started was the dime from Rodgers to Jennings in the second quarter which resulted in the Packers' first score of the game. Thanks to San Fransisco jumping offsides for what seemed like the billionth time of the season, Green Bay had a free play and A-Rod made 'em pay. The Packers outscored the 49ers 24-3 in the second half, leading to a final score of! ... Packers 34, Niners 16.

All seemed well and good in Packer land, but the happenings around the rest of the league didn't exactly go as many had hoped. Pretty much every team ahead of Green Bay won their game. You may get the impression that there aren't that many teams ahead of the Packers...well I've got news for these people. There are six teams either 'ahead' (NFC West...what a joke) or tied with the Green and Gold and as of now, WE'RE OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS! It's hard to believe. I think you could ask just about anyone around who is knowledgeable about the game of football and they would agree that Green Bay is a top 8 team in the league. In fact, the ESPN NFL Power rankings show the Packers ranked one spot ahead of the Bears! While it's obvious that Chicago is the inferior team, they do lead the division so this kind of comes as a surprise to me. Let's forget about the entire playoff picture and focus more on the division race. The way I see it, both of these teams will find themselves in the post-season when it's all said and done. I've analyzed both teams' schedules, and my thinking is that the Bears will only manage to pull out one of their next three games (NEW ENGLAND, @ Minnesota, NY JETS). By the way, isn't it nice that they get both of those AFC East foes at home? God I hate the Bears. I will say that they are facing the Vikings at a rather difficult time compared to when they were at their most vulnerable like the Packers. As for the Packers' schedule, I would be disappointed with anything worse than 2-1 (@ Detroit, @ New England, NY GIANTS). This would mean a showdown for the division title and guaranteed home playoff game on January 2nd at Lambeau...get your popcorn ready.

Before I get to my trip to Milwaukee last night, I wanted to pass on some Milwaukee Brewers news. In my opinion, the Crew made a great move and dealt top prospect 2B/C Brett Lawrie for Toronto Blue Jays ace Shaun Marcum. Before any of you have a hissy-fit over the Brewers giving up one of their best young talents, consider this: we are set at both second base (Rickie Weeks) and catcher (Johnny LuCroy) for quite awhile in my opinion, so the Brewers probably felt like he was expendable. Also, WE ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF PITCHING!! This guy is an unheralded stud who is in his prime that will help us right away (stats here). And he's cheap...that's always good. Also, the Brewers traded Kyle's boy Carlos Villanueva over to the Blue Jays as well a few days back for a player to be named later (still waiting on that one). You can take a look and see how this affects what I believed our pitching staff would look like in 2011.

Okay. Now to the Bucks. Like I said before, it wasn't as hyped up as I believed it would be back before the season began, but my friends Will and Boom along with myself decided to make the trek anyway. It was exciting to get to watch Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Mr. Quitness himself take the court together. Unfortunately, Milwaukee is still missing some key players in Carlos Delfino and Drew Gooden, and this hampers this squad more than you would think. By the way, the way LeBron warms up for a game would get just about anyone cut from their respective basketball team. Queen James felt it necessary to throw himself an alley-oop at least three times before he went out to the corner and attempted to drain three pointers while running out of bounds. Not exactly what I would call working on your fundamentals, but if I was that good I would probably do something similar. During the introductions, James and Bosh were booed (LeBron more heavily) while Wade was welcomed warmly because of his epic run to the 2003 Final Four with Marquette. Not only is this well deserved, but I can't believe I strung together five words in a row that start with W in the last sentence. The game itself wasn't the most exciting because of the Bucks horrid shooting and the crowd couldn't really get into the game much. However, we somehow found ourselves down by just three midway through the fourth quarter. All hope was erased after a brutal stretch of basketball from Milwaukee over the last six or so minutes and the Heat won by 10. It wasn't a total failure of a night, though, as Boom managed to catch a t-shirt even though we were seated in the upper deck. Good for you, Boom. Overall, it was a memorable experience despite the loss and I think that as the Bucks start getting back some more of their key players, they'll turn the corner and become a playoff team yet again.

Go Pack, On Wisconsin, and Fear the Deer.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still smelling like a rose

How about it, ladies and gentlemen? The stars have aligned and the Wisconsin Badgers are more than likely on their way to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl. Even yours truly didn't envision this when I had my Badgers preview way back before the season began (wow, I've actually been doing this for awhile). However, I did predict that the Badgers would wind up playing in a BCS bowl game and was only one game away from projecting their record correctly, so give me a little credit. Either way, it has been pretty amazing to watch Wisconsin's offensive unit pulverize their opponent week in and week out...I'll have more on Big Ten champs later as well as some of the situations that had to and could still play out. Seeing as I'm watching the Packer game as I type this entry, I should probably give you my picks so you don't think I'm too much of a cheater (then again, have you seen my record? Clearly I'm not cheating).

Week 12: (DAVE) (KYLE)

NEW ENGLAND @ Detroit (+6.5)
NEW ORLEANS @ Dallas (+3.5)
Cincinnati @ NY JETS (-9.5)
Carolina @ CLEVELAND (-10.5)
JACKSONVILLE @ NY Giants (-7.5)
MINNESOTA @ Washington (-2.5)
Tennessee @ HOUSTON (-6.5)
Kansas City @ SEATTLE (+1.5)
Miami @ OAKLAND (-3.5)
Tampa Bay @ BALTIMORE (-7.5)
SAN DIEGO @ Indianapolis (-3.5)
SAN FRANSISCO @ Arizona (+1.5)

If you're questioning my loyalty to the Green Bay Packers after those picks, I completely understand.

Last week/Overall:
Kyle: 10-6/86-74 (7-2-2)
Dave: 12-4/79-81 (2-7-2)

Sorry for that delay. I had to make the drive from Sussex back to Oshkosh. How about that Packer game?

Let's get back to the events that transpired in Mad Town just over a day ago as the Badgers defeated my roommates Will's beloved Northwestern Wildcats by the score of 70-23. This is not a misprint. To Will's and Northwestern's defense, no Dan Persa=no chance of victory. By the way, all 70 points that Wisconsin scored took place in the first three quarters. Looks like Bret Bielema eased his foot off the gas pedal...otherwise, this could've gotten even uglier for the Northwestern faithful. Most would say that a +7 in the turnover department for the season is a pretty solid differential. Try a +7 differential for the game. Un-freaking-believable. It was most notably a special moment for senior Aaron Henry (who I gave a nice pat on the shoulder walking by him on the field after the Ohio State game) when he took a pick back for a touchdown in the closing moments of the third quarter. Oh and by the way, the two headed monster of Montee Ball and James White ran for 130+ apiece and set the tone for the direction this contest was inevitably heading (so weird how John Clay isn't even mentioned right here). Of course, this game would not have had any significance if not for the events that transpired just prior to kickoff. In order for the Badgers to still have a chance to go to the Rose Bowl, they could not end up in a tie with only Michigan State (we went over all the scenarios last time). Anyway, with the Spartans and Buckeyes both coming away victorious before the Badgers' game, all that was left to do was trample the lowly Northwestern Wildcats...and trample they did. Just recently, the new BCS standings came out and all I needed to see was that big W ahead of that evil Ohio State logo. See it I did as Wisconsin came out #5 and Ohio State #6. Michigan State was ranked 8th but it sucks to suck because they're going to get screwed out a BCS bowl just like the Badgers in 2007. Here's why:

“No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections, unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS Standings.”


Sorry for another delay there...had to watch Blood Diamond. Moving on.

With one week remaining in the regular season of college football, the Badgers have basically sealed a spot in the Rose Bowl. I say basically because computers sucks and this article elaborates on this fact. But hey, even if by some God forsaken reason Ohio State leap frogs us in the standings, we are still going to end up in a BCS bowl game with an at-large birth, but it would still be B(C)S. Assuming we end up in Rose Bowl, who would we play, you ask? This question brings on an answer that is out of my control, but speculation is always a fun game to play so why not...

Now here's the dealio: The usual scenario regarding the Rose Bowl includes the Big Ten Champion squaring off against the Pac 10 champion. Those of you who can put 2 and 2 together may see an issue with this. The probable Pac 10 champ happens to be ranked numero dos in the nation, which would place them in the National Championship game. So if the winner of the Pac 10 ends up in the title game, what exactly happens with the Rose Bowl? After doing some light reading to figure this question out, I was still a little confused, but this is what I got out of it...if a bowl (example: Rose Bowl) loses a host team to the National Title game, then it gets its choice of a non-automatic BCS qualifier (a team out of the power six conferences (Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, ACC, Big East)). Since the Rose Bowl is the only BCS bowl game that annually pins the same two conferences against each other, it apparently receives first choice as to which team it wants as a replacement should this situation occur. My guess is that the Rose Bowl would want the highest ranked team that's of now, this is #3 TCU, who happens to be undefeated (I apologize for boring you all to death). Now with all due respect to the Horned Frogs, I really really really want to see the Badgers square off against Stanford. Not to say that I wouldn't wanna see the Badgers phenomenal rushing attack facing off against a stingy TCU run defense (#1 in the nation, in fact), but a Stanford/Wisconsin matchup would just be...more fun to watch! Stanford is top 10 in scoring and has a future NFL stud in quarterback Andrew Luck. Whoops...hold on say TCU is tied with the Badgers for 4th in scoring in the nation with 43.3 points scored a game? Wow, that's uncanny...good grief, I might of just talked myself into wanting a TCU/Wisconsin matchup now. Alright, well either way I'll be happy then! Stay tuned. Both #1 Auburn and #2 Oregon still have to play next week. There could still be a major mix-up atop the college football world just like we saw this week with LSU and Boise State both going down in incredible fashion. Gee golly wiz this stuff is just so gosh darn exciting! Check out the Badger blog on jsonline tomorrow to get even more insight if you can possibly stand it.

Now that I got all hyped up about the Badgers future endeavors, it's time to bring me back down to Earth and discuss the Green Bay Packers horrific three point defeat to the Atlanta know what? Eff that. I don't really wanna ruin the mood of the blog so let's just enjoy the success the Badgers and save the Deer and the Pack for another time. Sound good? Before I leave I'll make a promise to myself and most importantly to my readers that I'll come back with another blog entry sometime this week regarding the state of the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry...not Marquette and UW b-ball quite's non-conference and nobody cares enough about college basketball at this point). More than likely, this annoying Novembeard will be all gone and I'll finally be able to think straight. I'll leave you with some inspirational music from a solid movie that I just saw for the first time last night. It was pretty kick-ass. Dueces!

Fear the Deer, Go Pack and ON WISCONSIN BABY!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Smelling like a rose

In case you missed it, Saturday was a day filled with a lot of good college football and a lot of good call of duty black ops playing on xbox live. Since video games don't really pertain to Wisconsin sports, I'll save you the details there even though we both know you want to hear about it. Seriously though, it was an emotional roller coaster for the fans of Big Ten football, and it started at 11 AM central time...unfortunate for me since I was up until 3 in the morning the previous night. Being the trooper that I am (and because of the fact that I contribute to this blog every week), I dragged my lazy ass out of bed and watched the Badgers put a good ole fashioned whoopin' on the Michigan Wolverines (save for a rather nerve-racking third quarter). While this was going on, there was another game of interest in progress between Michigan State and Purdue. Purdue at one point in the fourth quarter had a 15 point lead and a Spartans loss would basically end any worries for the Badgers as far as a tiebreaker scenario is concerned....more on this situation later. For now, let's take a look at the NFL picks for week 11. I considered quitting after last week's performance, but decided that since sports involve a lot of ups and downs, I had to stick with it. No analysis this week since I clearly don't know what I'm doing, but here are the picks and the official standings on the year:


BUFFALO @ Cincinnati (-5.5)
Detroit @ DALLAS (-6.5)
BALTIMORE @ Carolina (+10.5)
Cleveland @ JACKSONVILLE (-1.5)
Oakland @ PITTSBURGH (-7.5)
Washington @ TENNESSEE (-7.5)
Arizona @ KANSAS CITY (-7.5)
GREEN BAY @ Minnesota (+3.5)
Houston @ NY JETS (-6.5)
ATLANTA @ St. Louis (+3.5)
Seattle @ NEW ORLEANS (-11.5)
Indianapolis @ NEW ENGLAND (-3.5)

Last week/Overall (Excluding the Chicago/Miami game from Thursday night):
Kyle: 5-9/76-68 (7-1-2)
Dave: 2-12/67-77 (1-7-2) ... ouch

Before I get to the whole Big Ten standings fiasco, I'd like to touch on perhaps the most satisfying Sunday afternoon I've experienced in quite awhile. I'm talking, of course, about the thumping the Green Bay Packers put on old man Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. What a beautiful sight it was. The Packers may have shown a little rust early on when they went down 3-0 and showed no signs of having the ability to move the football. However, three points would be all the Vikqueens could muster against a stellar Green Bay defense and Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings lit up the Minnesota defense all over the field to chalk up a 35-3 victory in the Humpty Dump. The only unfortunate bit of news I have to share with you about this game is that I sat Aaron Rodgers in favor of Mike Vick in my auction fantasy league, so I kind of feel stupid about that one. Fortunately, I'm still projected to win by over 60 points, I'm 8-2 in the league and I'm in first place ahead of Kyle. Come to think of it, I'm ahead of Kyle in both of the fantasy leagues that we're participating in...this is a cheap shot that I will pay for in some way, shape or form in the near future, I'm sure. Getting back to the game and away from my poor fantasy football decisions that really don't affect any of you, the Packers look damn good right now. Dom Capers 3-4 defense is so stellar, even without some key players, and it's only getting better as the season moves on. Green Bay is peaking at the right time...let's just hope they can stay on top of that peak for another 10 weeks or so. Just have to love how the offense has put up a combined 76 points in the past two weeks while the D has only allowed a measly 10 in the same time frame. That sounds like a recipe for success. One more thing: let's take a look at Benedict's stat line for a moment - 17/38, 202 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT, 51.2 PASSER RATING. Before the season, I was afraid if old number 4 returned to the Vikings because of his career year in 2009...consider that fear to be dead and buried.

Okay. Big Ten football. Right. So where were we again? Oh yeah, Purdue had a 15 point lead in the 4th over Michigan State, the only team standing in the way of the Badgers because of the head-to-head tiebreaker (in case you forgot, tying Ohio State at the end of the year doesn't matter because of a certain game that took place on October 16th), and the Badgers are literally running wild all over Michigan as all this is happening. Well low and behold, the Boilermakers didn't exactly Boiler Up and found a way to blow their lead all over the place (one letter away in that phrase from a rated R blog). This meant that Michigan State and Wisconsin would remain tied and Ohio State would have to defeat Iowa later in the day. Why is that you ask? If the Badgers, Spartans and Buckeyes end up with the same conference record at the end of the year, the Badgers would win the tiebreaker as long as they maintained the highest BCS ranking out of the three teams. And as you'll see below:

#7 Wisconsin, #9 Ohio State, #12 Michigan State (going into this week)

Barring some sort of idiot computer ranking Ohio State over Wisconsin, which logically wouldn't make any sense, Wisconsin should remain above the others assuming each team wins out. Therefore...THE IOWA AND OHIO STATE GAME WAS UNBELIEVABLY HUGE! In what turned out to be a heck of a game, Terrelle Pryor led the Buckeyes down the field for a game winning drive in the 4th quarter to take a 20-17 victory out of Iowa City and hand Iowa yet another depressing loss. Here is what the standings currently look like (the conference record in parentheses and without the updated BCS standings):

#7 Wisconsin: 10-1 (6-1)
#9 Ohio State: 10-1 (6-1)
#12 Michigan State: 10-1 (6-1)

Since #8 Nebraska went down to the Mike Sherman-led Texas A&M Aggies (for the record, I always liked Sherman and don't think he deserved to lose his job in Green Bay), Ohio State should move up to the 8th spot and Wisconsin will more than likely stay put at 7th since no one lost in front of the Badgers this weekend. This sets up a wild and crazy Saturday where three teams in the Big Ten will have to win and pray for help...I cannot wait.

The Bucks failed to win a game this week...they're 5-8 now...don't really wanna ruin the mood of the blog so let's just enjoy the success of our two football squads and save the Deer for another time. Sound good?

Also, a quick shout out to the UW-Oshkosh men's soccer team for their victory last night in the sectional final against Calvin, 1-0. Oshkosh will now head down to San Antonio, Texas for the Division III final four! I wish I could attend seeing how it's beginning to get rather cold in the great state of Wisconsin, but I'll be there in spirit.

Go Pack, On Wisconsin and Fear the Deer! (smiley face)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A little bit of everything

Hey, folks. Sorry for being away this past week. I had a rough stretch of school work to deal with and decided that it would be better to not flunk out of college and destroy my future rather than write a blog three people read that earns me zero profit. But who knows...maybe someday it will. Anyway, there's a lot to get to in this post. The Badgers basketball team put up 83 points yesterday in the Indiana Hoosiers (wait a're telling me that was our football team? Good one). I followed up my 11 win week in the NFL picks with a solid 5-8 showing to put me back where I started at the beginning of the year. The Bucks are turning things around after winning their third straight game last night. College basketball is just getting underway, but I won't really get into that until conference play rolls around seeing as Marquette and Wisconsin don't play too many significant games until then. And finally, the Packers have a bye this week which gives me the pleasure of watching the Bears/Vikings game...I can't believe I'm saying this, but go Bears! Let me explain. The way I see it, the Vikings are the better team. Since Green Bay has to travel to Minnesota next week, I would prefer that they weren't only two games behind us because I fear that it would be difficult to go in the humpty dump and pull out a win. I know what you're going to say...then the Bears will be tied with us if they win today. I still stand by what I say: The Bears are the more vulnerable team and I would also like to see Chicago and Green Bay tied in the standings for their Week 17 showdown that I'm attending to create the most intense atmosphere possible. Call me crazy, but a guy can dream, can't he?

On to the Week 10 picks!

BALTIMORE @ ATLANTA (-1.5) What was my thinking in picking against Matty Ice when he's playing in the Georgia Dome? Stupid, stupid, stupid...
Detroit @ BUFFALO (-2.5)
MINNESOTA @ Chicago (+1.5) This spread doesn't make any sense to me. The Bears are 2 games ahead of the Vikings AND playing at home. Still for some unknown reason took Minny though.
Cincinnati @ INDIANAPOLIS (-7.5)
TENNESSEE @ Miami (+0.5)
Carolina @ TAMPA BAY (-7.5)
HOUSTON @ Jacksonville (-1.5)
KANSAS CITY @ Denver (+0.5)
DALLAS @ NY GIANTS (-13.5) This spread also doesn't make any sense to me. It should be like 30...I'll pay the price later today for jinxing that pick.
Seattle @ ARIZONA (-3.5)
St. Louis @ SAN FRANCISCO (-5.5)
New England @ PITTSBURGH (-4.5)
PHILADELPHIA @ Washington (+3.5)

I just wanted to throw Kyle a quick shout out for completely dismantling my fantasy football team this week. My record is 7-2 and he is 5-4, but as of 2 PM, Kyle has a 105-16 lead on me. My team is falling apart at the worst possible time and now I have to worry about just trying to make the playoffs. I want that 80 bucks dammit!

Last week/Overall (Not including the Baltimore/Atlanta game from Thursday):
Kyle: 8-5/71-59 (6-1-2)
Dave: 5-8/65-65 (1-6-2)

I'll tell you what, the Radcliffe family chose a couple of record breaking games to attend this year when it came to Wisconsin Badger football. Granted, mine was way more awesome because we beat the number one team in the nation and got to storm the field, but my brother Steve watched the Badgers put up the most points any team has scored in a Big Ten Conference game since 1950. I was almost getting to the point of feeling sorry for the Hoosiers until I remembered that winning a conference game by a thousand points probably looks better on paper than throwing in the towel and making the score look closer than it really is. Perhaps Bret Bielema is aware of this because once the Badgers were up 67-20 and still threw up a deep ball for Jared Abbrederis, I kind of cringed and thought about the Minnesota game (2 point conversion...yeah). It was still pretty cool to see Bucky put up 83 on poor old Indiana, especially once the 'Hoosier daddy' chant started up. I'll have more on this game in the weekly Badgers Roundtable on jsonline, so check it out!

Just wanted to give a short statement on the Packers' release of cornerback Al Harris. I think I'm with about 99% of Packer fans when saying that watching Harris go is very saddening. He had a great tenure in Green Bay (2003-2010) but I can understand where Green Bay management is coming from here. Harris isn't getting any younger (35) and his health is obviously an issue based on the decision to cut the former pro bowler. I'll leave you with this link which in my opinion is the play most people associate Al Harris with (will that clip ever get old? The answer is HELL NO). One more sad note...former Packer Aaron Kampman tore his ACL again as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, which could really be career threatening...tough news to hear about one of my favorite guys to watch in the league.

(Quick update: it's now 121-30 with Kyle continuing to obliterate my fantasy team)

Last but not least, the Milwaukee Bucks deserve a shout-out for the little run they are going on right now. After starting 2-5, the deer have bounced back to win three in a row and it's really beginning to show how balanced this squad is. Any given night, a different player will step up for this Bucks team and it's good to know that there isn't only one guy to rely on. Wins against the Knicks and Warriors are to be expected (wasn't it strange that the final score of the Golden State game was so low? I was really expecting another 55 point output from Jennings but I guess you can't always get what you want), but I found the win at Atlanta to be pretty impressive. The seven game playoff series against the Hawks last season was very closely contested and then Milwaukee marches into Atlanta and annihilates them. I understand that we are a long ways away from the playoffs so I'll stop getting so hyped up, but check out the Tuesday game upcoming against the should be a doozy and the Bucks are seeking revenge because of this garbage reffing from last season's match up (watching those highlights and seeing all the BS calls against the Bucks and the no-calls that went the Lakers way infuriates me beyond belief).

Looks like the Bears are gonna pull out a win here (Yay!). Be sure to check out the last play of the Jaguars/Texans game when you get a chance as well...insane.

Go Pack, On Wisconsin and Fear the Deer!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blog tiiime!

As promised, I'm back again this week for some more jibberish. I'm writing this post on a Saturday morning while watching the Badger game with a headache, so give me a little credit for multi-tasking. In fact, I think I'm going to do a little live blogging while I'm at it since other than my NFL picks, there isn't really anything to talk about other than the underachieving Milwaukee Bucks (who had a nice come from behind win last night in Indiana). We'll start with this:

1st quarter, 5:55 to go: Phillip Welch misses a very makable 40 yard field goal and the game remains scoreless. Scott Tolzein has already tossed an INT and the Badgers are looking a tad rusty out of the gate.

This could be kind of difficult, so bear with me. By the way, it's a little upsetting that the Badgers haven't even put a dent into Purdue with the first quarter winding down...I told you that bye week wasn't going to do us any good. Anyway, here are the picks (I'll break in with any pressing issues in the Wisco game).

Week 9: (DAVE) (KYLE)

Chicago @ BUFFALO (+2.5) [That's right...Buffalo is going to get their first win tommorrow at the expense of DA BEARS]
NEW ENGLAND @ CLEVELAND (+4.5) [Here's what's gonna happen: Cleveland is going to make enough mistakes in this game to allow the Pats to win, but they'll only win by 4 so that I get this pick right. Just watch.]

1st quarter, :25 to go: Purdue basically marched the ball down the field with little or no resistance and scored on a screen pass from 23 yards out. Not only have the Badgers not put a dent into Purdue, but the Boilers have actually somehow gotten a lead. Wonderful.

NY Jets @ DETROIT (+4.5)

At the end of the first quarter, I will acknowledge that the Badgers are moving the ball pretty well, but a turnover and a missed field goal have negated that fact. Sooooo we need to score some points pronto because I don't really like losing to a team that has been defeated by a combined 83 points over the past two weeks.

San Diego @ HOUSTON (+1.5)
NY Giants @ SEATTLE (+5.5)

2nd quarter, 13:27 to go: PUUUUUUNT

Kansas City @ OAKLAND (-2.5)

2nd quarter, 10:07 to go: Purdue was driving yet again before a fumble at the Wisconsin 25 yard line...WISCONSIN RECOVERS!!! Antonio Fenelus returns it all the way to the Purdue 27 yard the announcer just mentioned, this could be a game changing play. Ya think?

INDIANAPOLIS @ Philadelphia (-2.5)

2nd quarter, 8:08 to go: Never mind, it wasn't really that game changing...45 yard field goal by Welch. Fortunately, it could have been 14-0 Purdue because the refs missed a John Clay fumble and the Purdue player that returned it was definitely heading for pay dirt. I might have to stop doing this live blog thing at halftime because I am a very frustrated individual right now. (Purdue 7, Wisconsin 3)

Dallas @ GREEN BAY (-7.5) [Sorry. I'm finally picking the Packers after three weeks of not doing so. If they lose, I'll take 100% of the blame.]

PITTSBURGH @ Cincinnati (+4.5)

2nd quarter, 1:05 to go: Purdue marches down the field and kicks a 37 yard field goal. Yeah...I'm definitely not doing this in the second half because obviously it's bad luck to type this blog up during a sporting event that I'm invested in.

I wish I had more to talk about right now but I don't. The first half is almost over in the Badger game and they look like they're about to score...

End of 1st half: The Badgers had a nice little one minute drive and put some points on the board with a 38-yard field goal to pull within four. Since I made a promise to myself that if the Badgers were losing at halftime to the Purdue Boilermakers I would quit blogging forever, I'm going to have to stop immedia-

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

S-H-U-T out out out!

See what I did there? In what many would call one of the most boring football games to ever be played, the Green Bay Packers stunned the world and shut out the New York Jets 9-0. It was a nicely paced game to watch considering the lack of concentration I was able to put into it for reasons most should understand. Despite Halloween weekend proving to be a distraction (I promise to try and get back to my normal two posts per week routine...I've been a busy boy lately), I checked my picks after the Monday Night game last night and honestly could not believe what I saw...13 games were played this weekend in the NFL. 11 were guessed correctly by yours truly. This is not a typo. I REPEAT! THIS IS NOT A TYPO! Do you know what this means? Many things. It took eight weeks, but I finally bested Kyle. I'm finally above .500, so I now have the option of torturing all of you with my game-by-game analysis (tune in next time to find out). And last but not least, I have now completely figured out the NFL. Either that, or the teams that had byes this week were the reason that I was falling flat on my face through the first seven weeks. Let's hope that's not the case...otherwise next week will be a brutality crushing fall back to reality.

Week 8: (DAVE) (KYLE)

MIAMI @ Cincinnati (-2.5)
JACKSONVILLE @ Dallas (-6.5)
Carolina @ ST. LOUIS (-3.5)
GREEN BAY @ NY JETS (-6.5) - Counter-jinx baby!
Denver @ SAN FRANSISCO (-0.5)
TAMPA BAY @ Arizona (-3.5)
Minnesota @ NEW ENGLAND (-5.5)
Seattle @ OAKLAND (-2.5)
PITTSBURGH @ New Orleans (-0.5)

This week/Overall:
Kyle: 8-5/63-54 (5-1-2)
Dave: 11-2/60-57 (1-5-2)

Since the Badgers had the week off just in time to lose all the momentum they gained over the past three weeks, the Packers were the main focus of the sports fans in Wisconsin. And since the game they participated in put about 80% of the state to sleep, a mention of the Milwaukee Bucks is in order. Don't worry...I'll talk more about the 1st place Green Bay Packers in a moment. Anyway, the Bucks finally got off the snide and earned their first victory of the season in their home debut. A few of the early season story lines include a slow start, a visit from the injury bug and Brandon Jennings' first career triple-double, which took place during Saturday night's victory over Charlotte. Role players like Jon Brockman and Chris Douglas-Roberts have both missed some time with minor setbacks, not to mention that the Bucks best player, Michael Redd being out until at least February. Aside from this, it's going to take this team some time to gel considering all of the new additions that I mentioned in my last post. In other words, we should disregard the early season losses to sub par opponents (New Orleans and Minnesota) and be patient. I can also guarantee that Carlos Delfino does not end up being the leading scorer of this team, although he looks really, really solid thus far. Support our Bucks!

Breaking news! The Milwaukee Brewers hired Ron Roenicke, 54, as their new manager...I'll give you the low down on Mr. Roenicke. He was previously the bench coach of the Los Angeles Angels and played pro ball for eight seasons. That's literally all I know, and that's thanks to the article on ESPN informing me of this news. Um...I have a few opinions on this. First of all, is Willie Randolph really that bad of a manager? He had to sit behind Macha for two years muttering obscenities under his breath and now he doesn't even get a shot at the managerial position? There is NO way this guy could possibly still want to remain in Milwaukee, and I can't blame him. Next...Dale Sveum anyone? Last time I checked, the man led us to our first playoff appearance in 26 years under dire circumstances (Yost firing). What happened after that? He wasn't even interviewed for the job in '09. Sounds fair. And last but not least, the Brewers turned down the bench coach from the Chicago White Sox, Joey Cora. Considering the fact that he coached under Ozzie Guillen, there is little doubt in my mind that he would have lit a fire under the collective behinds of the Crew, which they are in desperate need of after playing for a corpse the last two years. Whether Ron Roenicke will present more of a presence in the dugout than old man winter is yet to be seen. But that's enough about coaching...let's get to some football.

Like I mentioned before, the Jets/Packer game on Sunday was quite the snoozer. That's okay...we won. How did we win? It was a combination of Rex Ryan's stupidity, the inability of the Jets' receivers to catch a football and some clutch defensive plays by the Packers. It's possible the wind played a factor in the score, but it was just one of those weird games where neither team could get anything going. Thankfully, Ryan decided it was necessary to pull a fake punt on 4th & 18 in the 1st quarter, and Green Bay never looked back. I don't really know what else to say about this was just a gutsy performance by an undermanned team. What's even better is that we play the Cowboys next week on Sunday night and then have two weeks to rest some of our key players suffering from injury. I feel a helluva lot better about this team then I did two weeks ago.

Fear the Deer. Go Pack. On Wisconsin.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Buck Starts Here

This weekend, the unthinkable happened. No, I'm not talking about the Badgers winning in Iowa City. I'm not even talking about the Packers gritty performance on Sunday night. I went above .500 with my NFL picks this weekend! Can you believe it? Of course Kyle found a way to beat me again but I'll take any small victory that I can get. I'm still way below .500 overall, so I'll spare you my analysis for now, but I'll show you how it happened and then talk about some other less important things. By the way, me picking against the Packers two weeks in a row truly is a sign of the apocalypse.

Week 7: (DAVE) (KYLE)

Cincinnati @ ATLANTA (-3.5)
WASHINGTON @ Chicago (-2.5)
Jacksonville @ KANSAS CITY (-5.5)
SAN FRANSISCO @ Carolina (+3.5)
Buffalo @ BALTIMORE (-13.5)
Arizona @ SEATTLE (-5.5)
NEW ENGLAND @ San Diego (-2.5)
OAKLAND @ Denver (-6.5)

This week/Overall:
Kyle: 10-4/55-49 (5-0-2)
Dave: 8-6/49-55 (0-5-2)

*NOTE - I realize that I made a mistake in my last post and forgot to account for the week 5 picks, so I edited the prior post and it should be accurate now. Usually my Mom picks up on my mistakes but it looks like that one slipped by her...

Alright. There's a lot to get to in Wisconsin sports, including a smashing weekend of football where the Badgers and Packers did the unthinkable and actually both finished a game! Let's start with Wisconsin, who I predicted in the beginning of the year to lose two games, one of them being Iowa. Therefore, I didn't really expect the Badgers to walk into the heartland and come back to the real world with a victory. Once again, Bret Bielema proved all of us wrong and led the now 10 ranked Wisconsin Badgers to a heart-stopping 31-30 victory behind some huge 4th down conversions. I still believe that there are some issues on defense excluding J.J. Watt, but to able to survive such a tough game on the road without guys like Chris Borland, James White, Lance Kendricks and Nick Toon is astounding. It also took some massive cojones to call that fake punt, but Iowa made it pretty easy by basically only rushing two men. Since Wisconsin had three blockers staying back, punter Brad Nortman followed the unoccupied linemen down the field for the first down. The Badgers never looked back, and now they are set up nicely for the rest of the season, with the only challenge in my mind to be the game at Michigan on November 20th. Read more about what I had to say about the game over at the Badgers Blog on jsonline if you please.

So kind of like the week before, I would have been totally fine escaping the weekend with Badgers victory and a Packers loss. Ha! Yeah right! The Vikqueens were comin' to town, and we all know what that means. That's right: Ryan Longwell was back yet again ready to try and lead Minnesota to victory. Now I'm not really sure what the Packers did to deserve winning this game, but some guy wearing number 4 on the other team used just enough wrapping paper and the Packers pulled out a HUGE HUGE HUGE win, 28-24. That puts Green Bay in a tie for first place...really? Seems impossible the way we've been playing lately, but I guess I'll take it. With the Bears playing even worse than the Packers and the Vikings quarterback left with a fractured ankle, things don't really look all that bad. The Jets will be quite a test in week 8, but if the Pack by some miracle squeeze one out in New York and then take out a Romo-less Cowboy team, I would be ecstatic with a 6-3 record going into the bye week. Realistically, I'll take 5-4 and then gear up for the home stretch with as many healthy bodies as we can muster (Bigby, Harris, Pickett).

Enough football...the NBA is starting back up! You know what that means. It's time for the Milwaukee Bucks season preview (I told you there was a lot to get to in this post). This is the first year in awhile where fans have something to get excited for when it comes to Bucks basketball. Fans have to be pleased about what the organization did over the off-season. They re-signed some key players involved with last year's playoff run in John Salmons and Carlos Delfino. They addressed their frontcourt issues through the draft, trade and free agency by drafting Larry Sanders from VCU and Darington Hobson from New Mexico, trading for Jon Brockman (the Brockness monster and the white guy seen here) and signing Drew Gooden. Finally, a back up point guard had to be acquired after the loss of Luke Ridnour via free agency, so Milwaukee went out and signed Keyon Dooling (good size, experience). And this doesn't even cover all the moves! Earl Boykins is making his second go-around in Milwaukee, Corey Maggette arrived after the Bucks shipped out Charlie Bell and the flying Dutchman, and Chris Douglas-Roberts (out for a few games with an eye problem) was traded for. You might be wondering who else could possibly be on the Bucks' roster...

The main attraction:
PG - Brandon Jennings

The rookie sensation from a year ago is back for at least two more years after the Bucks picked up his 2011-2012 option. This guy is fun to watch and a good enough reason by himself to tune in and watch the Bucks. Hopefully the sophomore slump can be avoided and Jennings will grow from the playoff experience he received to help lead Milwaukee back to the post-season.

The thunder from down under:
C - Andrew Bogut

Things were rolling for the Bucks last season...the John Salmons trade jump-started the season, Jennings was doing more than expected as a rookie and Bogut was having the best year of his career...until this happened (warning: it's gross). When I saw this happen live, I got pretty squeamish for a couple of reasons. Besides the obvious one, I knew the Bucks no longer had any shot at making a deep playoff run. Thankfully, the big Australian is back and healthy, so now it's just a matter of duplicating his numbers from a year ago...and AVOIDING INJURY.

Eastern hemisphere role players:
PF - Ersan Ilyasova

My favorite Buck. Why? He can hit the trey ball and he's an awkward looking white guy like me. But that's not all...his ceiling is high and his development is coming along nicely. Definitely played a key role last season and hopefully he's in Milwaukee for a long time to come.

PF - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

The prince's role (yes, he's actually a prince) may be diminished this season because of all the additions to the frontcourt, but you know you're going to get 100% from Luc each and every night. I don't expect him to be back after this season, but don't be surprised to see Mbah a Moute to step up when he's needed.

Yup. He's still here:
SG - Michael Redd


*NOTE - Redd is out until at least February. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

Now you know your 2010-2011 Milwaukee Bucks. Last season, the Bucks went 46-36, which was good for 6th place in the East. With the Eastern Conference being completely loaded now that LeBron and Chris Bosh joined Wade in Miami, Boston looking stronger than ever, Amar'e coming to New York and Carlos Boozer joining Chicago, things won't be any easier for Milwaukee, even with the strong additions. However, now that the Bucks have so much depth and the most talent they've had since the big 3, I'm predicting a fifth place finish in the Eastern Conference as well as a run at 50 wins. Speaking of LeBron, I'll see him at the Bradley Center up close and personal on December 6th, so I'll be losing my 'seeing LeBron live' virginity. I wish you could be as excited as I am. Go Pack, On Wisconsin, and Fear the Deer!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm baa-aaack

I know, I's been awhile. A lot has been keeping me away from the blog lately: my trip to Madison last weekend, the ensuing stomach virus that I at first thought was appendicitis, a ridiculous amount of school work...I hope you can all understand and find it in your hearts to forgive me. Anyway, there's a lot to get to and I know some of this information will be outdated, but I don't give a damn. First, I'll show you who Kyle and I picked for last week's slate of NFL games (I know, not that exciting, but it'll get better, I promise)

Week 6: (DAVE) (KYLE)

Seattle @ CHICAGO (-6.5)
BALTIMORE @ New England (-2.5)
Detroit @ NY GIANTS (-10.5)
ATLANTA @ Philadelphia (-1.5)
San Diego @ ST. LOUIS (+8.5)
New Orleans @ TAMPA BAY (+5.5)
NY JETS @ Denver (+3.5)
Dallas @ MINNESOTA (-1.5)
INDIANAPOLIS @ Washington (-3.5)

This Week/Overall:
Kyle: 7-7/45-45 (4-0-2)
Dave: 6-8/41-49 (0-4-2)

So where to start? Let's go back to Saturday, October 17th, where perhaps the most exciting and fulfilling Wisconsin sporting event in years took place considering the circumstances (If you missed it, read about it here). Not to brag or anything, but I happened to be in attendance. It's hard to describe the atmosphere in Camp Randall on that epic many different things setting the stage for this game. Going up against the number one team in the nation...nationally televised...night game...and almost the entire student section was filled before the game started! I know, right? Needless to say, I almost peed myself with David Gilreath took it to the house on the first play of the game. The Badgers never looked back and as we SHOULD all know by now, won the game 31-18 in what was without a doubt the greatest sporting event I've ever attended. Despite four different announcements from the public address announcer not to storm the field, the student section ignored this request in vintage Wisconsin fashion and flooded the pitch in a matter of seconds. I saw such players as Jacob Pederson and Aaron Henry (who happened to be crying tears of joy) a lot more up close then I planned on seeing them...ever. After about a half hour of that and a failed attempt of about 30 students to take down the field goal post, it was time to celebrate the victory (perhaps part of the reason I almost died this week...totally worth it). Just give me a few seconds to reflect on this night.


Ahhh. Alright.

Meanwhile, 50% of the Green Bay Packers put out about a 50% effort last Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, and the result was yet another overtime loss. I believe I've already touched on this, but did you happen to see what occurred after the Packers defense stopped the Dolphins on their first overtime possession? I don't really need to go in depth. A 3 and out and a horrible punt later, Miami had great field position and the Packers were facing an inevitable defeat. That's the last bit of negativity you'll hear out of me about the Packers right now because there is plenty to look forward to and in reality, a lot to be thankful for.

What's that you say? I'm just some pyscho hippie 21-year old college student who doesn't know what he's talking about? That's only partially true. I'll start off small and build up for you fickle minded souls. First of all, what a sweet play by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense to tie the game up in the 4th quarter with that QB sneak. Rodgers showed once again that he has the ability to be clutch by either tying the game late or taking the lead with too much time left on the clock, but then again, can this really be considered 'clutch'? Gotta lead a game WINNING drive, man. Whoops, sorry, that's probably defined as negativity. Furthermore, the Packers are getting a boatload of players back this week from injury including safety Atari Bigby, cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Clay Matthews. This has got to be a huge relief for all Packer fans as our secondary will finally return to what it looked like early on in the 2009 season and we will finally be able to put out a legitimate pass rush against old man Favre. Granted, it will take a few games for Harris and Bigby to get back into game shape seeing as they've missed a large chunk of playing time, but it can't possibly be worse than throwing out the likes of Charlie Peprah and Jarrett Bush to the dogs. And finally, we're only a game back in the division! We're getting healthier! It's not over, people! Have faith. I don't, but that's no reason for you not to! I do believe that the Packers aren't in that bad of a position, but they have to show me something this week against the Vikings. Otherwise, I fear that it's the Vikings division to lose.

Now please don't fear. I promise to never leave that large of a gap between blog posts for as long as I keep this thing going. And I promise to never go back on that promise. In fact, let's be honest. That last relapse CD was Ehhhhh...whoa. Please excuse me, my inner white person who acts black got out for a second. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I'll be back shortly with a Milwaukee Bucks season preview and of course some mention of the Badgers and Golden Eagles college basketball squads, but I understand that most of you don't care too much about those teams until March for obvious reasons.

I'm peacing out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Black and Blue division? You aren't kiddin!

Well, folks, at least when the Packers lose, they make it as painful as possible for their fans. What fun would it be if we won every game we were supposed to and when we lost, it was by a reasonable margin so that years weren't cut off my life? If life worked that way, our beloved Green and Gold would be the only undefeated team remaining in football. The NFL is so unpredictable, and that's what helps make it the most popular sport to date in America... parity. But if the entire Packers' roster didn't have some sort of injury, things would be going according to plan...I know this for a fact. Anywho, let's delay the inevitable and try to break down the Redskins game with a little optimism and quite possibly some pessimism.

First of all, let me list off the players inactive for last Sunday's match up with the Skins in order of importance to the team's success: RB Ryan Grant*, LB Nick Barnett, CB Al Harris, SS Morgan Burnett*, T Mark Tauscher, DT Johnny Jolly*, SS Atari Bigby, CB Will Blackmon*, LB Brandon Chillar, S Sam Shields, FB Quinn Johnson, DT Justin Harrell (did I miss anyone? Let me know)

*Suspended/Out for the year

Phew...I'm out of breath. Alright, now let's go through the players that were injured during the game: QB Aaron Rodgers, LB Clay Matthews, TE Jermichael Finley, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Ryan Pickett, TE Donald Lee, S Derrick Martin

Now I literally can't breathe. 19 players. 19!!!!! You hate to make excuses for poor performance, but this is ridiculous. A defensive and offensive coordinator gameplan for a game based on which players will be available. When you have so many key players leave during the game, it's hard to adjust this gameplan. I'm sorry...key players isn't giving this situation enough justice. When you have your THREE BEST PLAYERS leave during the game, you're pretty much f'ed. By the way, isn't it strange that in Rodgers' last two overtime games he's played in, he was face masked AND hit helmet to helmet...and there wasn't a penalty called either time? Interesting. Sorry for jumping around so much here, but this is how my brain functions after so many depressing things occur in the time span of three hours.

As for the actual game, it had an eerily similar start to the first four games of the year, which is a good thing. The Packers certainly don't have a problem jumping out of the gate in full force, and Sunday was no different as the Packers took a 10-0 lead in the first half. Of course by this point, Jermichael Finley had been carted off the field and Donald Lee was out with a shoulder injury after hauling in a TD pass from A-Rodg (honestly didn't even know this guy played anymore...then realized he did after fumbling on the first play from scrimmage). Either way, 10 points seemed like enough to win thanks to the way the defense was playing: lights out. Clay Matthews was all over the place and McNabb was having trouble hitting anybody down field thanks to some solid secondary play. The Packers were up 13-3 in the fourth quarter, and then all of a sudden, Matthews wasn't on the field anymore. At this point, it was almost comedic how many players were unavailable to play...who is our strength and conditions coach? I've never seen anything like this. Still, the lead felt secure even though our offensive had gone into hibernation. Boy, was I wrong.

I think we all know how the rest of this plays out...McNabb hits Armstrong deep for a touchdown...we fail to run out the clock...Washington ties the game with a field goal...Crosby clanks it off the left upright...Overtime...interception...ball game.

It's the same old, same old with this team. Aaron Rodgers just cannot lead a come from behind game winning drive...he can't do it. I love the guy, but I won't feel like he has the capability to do it until he actually does it. The guy we had before Rodgers obviously had his fair share of screw ups, but he was for the most part pretty damn clutch (for the record, very glad we have Rodgers right now so don't get the wrong idea). Speaking of clutch, Mason Crosby. Just kidding. Oh, and one more thing: penalties. Especially on Washington's last drive in overtime. The call on Poppinga was garbage and everyone knows it but how can Chuck possibly argue that pass interference call? He's a game changer, there's no denying that, but he gets away with so much week after week because of his name. Maybe that's why he reacted the way he did, but it was a no-brainer call and the final nail in the coffin for the Green Bay Packers. We REALLY need to take down the Dolphins next Sunday or things could be looking pretty bleak.

In other less depressing news, the Wisconsin Badgers maintained the ax and defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 41-23 (analysis can be found at the Badgers Blog on jsonline). It was a nice bounce back victory for the Badgers and very much so needed if we wanted to get any momentum going into the game this Saturday VERSUS OHIO STATE, WHICH IS WHERE I'M GOING TO BE HOLY CRAP I'M SO EXCITED! Sorry. Anyway, the Badgers have failed to put it together for four quarters this year, but then again, a lot of teams can't remain consistent for the entire game. Wisconsin is capable of the upset, but it would take a near flawless performance (and some pretty intense crowd noise...are you listening, Camp Randall?) to knock the Bucks off the top spot. Either way, I'm really looking forward to this one and it's one of the biggest games of the decade for the Badgers. Look for me on TV!

Get healthy Pack and On Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2 for 1 deal

Here's the deal: I'm going to combine my Brewers' season review post with my NFL picks post for a few reasons. First, I'm doing so unbelievably bad in my picks that I figure it's not even worth explaining why I pick who, so until I figure out the NFL, I'm just going to show mine and Kyle's picks and move on. Second, I can actually talk more about Wisconsin sports instead of analyzing NFL teams. Third, I'm lazy. Really, you should all be pretty thankful because you're getting a helluva deal. NFL Picks AND the Brewers...all in one post? Unheard of. But before we get started, I'd like to take some time to congratulate Kyle for winning our fantasy baseball leagueokay now that that's over, let's get down to business.

Kyle took week 4 by going 7-7 with his picks while I went 6-8 (apparently, the more I learn about each team, the worse I do). That leaves the season standings looking like this:

Kyle: 30-32 overall (2-0-2 by week)
Dave: 28-34 (0-2-2)

Aaaaaaand week 5:


JACKSONVILLE @ Buffalo (+1.5)
St. Louis @ DETROIT (-3.5)
Kansas City @ INDIANAPOLIS (-8.5)
GREEN BAY @ Washington (+2.5)
Chicago @ CAROLINA (+2.5)
Philadelphia @ SAN FRANCISCO (-3.5)
Minnesota @ NY JETS (-4.5)


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to sort of revise my look ahead to the Brewers 2011 season because of a few players that emerged. Also, the search has begun for a new manager after Ken Macha was canned a day after the season ended. Let's face it...the man was a sitting duck for the last couple months of the season, but it was the right move. To be fair, he didn't have C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets to work with, but to take over a team that made the playoffs the year before and not even register a winning record in two seasons is unacceptable. There was word that GM Doug Melvin wasn't going to look within the organization for a new manager, and I really really hope this isn't true. There are two very deserving figures in the Brewers organization who I believe have earned a shot to become the full time leader for the Brewers in Dale Sveum and Willie Randolph. I thought Melvin screwed up big time in hiring Macha and if he messes this one up...he's gone. In my mind, I think you either hire Sveum, Randolph, or a guy who doesn't look like he's dead for 162 games. Can't be too hard, can it?

Enough about the coaching situation. Let's get to the men who will be playing on the field next season for the Milwaukee Brewers. I don't have anything to change from my first ever post which pertained to the Brewers' offense. I would like to add that it would be nice to bring back Joe Inglett and Craig Counsell for pinch-hitting purposes, but who knows if either will return. Finding a solidified back-up for Johnny Lucroy is another small issue for next season. I also still think that the Brewers NEED to trade Prince within the next 9 months for some pitching, and if we want to get off to a strong start next season, I'd prefer it happen before game 1 of '11. Speaking of pitching, things were starting to move in the right direction for the hurlers just in time for the end of the season (go figure). Here are some positives to build off from:

-Randy Wolf finished strong to have an overall respectable year (13-12, 4.17 ERA)
-Manny Parra was incredible out of the bullpen (0 ER allowed over last 9 app.)
-Zach Braddock (setup), Kameron Loe (setup), and John Axford (closer) proved they are deserving of their roles.
-Yovani Gallardo was the bona fide ace of the staff (14-7, 3.84 ERA, 200 SO)
-Chris Capuano, Mark Rogers, Mike McClendon and Jeremy Jeffress have all at least earned a shot at making the roster next year.
-Position player Joe Inglett led the team in ERA (0.00)

So where does that leave us? It leaves us very optimistic for the future of all of these guys. It also leaves us with not as many holes as we thought, which was probably the only good thing about being out of the playoff race so early: we got to see what we had within the organization and give some players a chance to prove themselves. Here is my new and improved vision for the Brewers' pitching situation in 2011:

Starters: Gallardo, (Pitcher via trade for Fielder), Wolf, Capuano*, Rogers*
Relievers: Parra, Todd Coffey, Braddock, Loe, (Pitcher via trade for Fielder), Carlos Villanueva, Axford, McClendon
Minor Leagues: Chris Narveson, Mitch Stetter, Marco Estrada, Jeffress, Brandon Kintzler, Chris Smith
Departures: Dave Bush (FA), LaTroy Hawkins (Cut), Trevor Hoffman (FA), Doug Davis (Decline Team Option)

*Minor leagues also possibility depending on free Agent signings/trades

I'm trying to be a little realistic here...will Chris Capuano and Mark Rogers really start the season as the Brewers #4 and #5 starters respectively? Why not? Tell me who else deserves a shot over those guys (assuming we don't sign a free agent or two). Will Jeremy Jeffress start the season in the minor leagues? Probably. But I think he deserves a call-up once the Crew gets a few months into the season. Will the Brewers really receive at least a #3 starter and a legitimate relief pitcher for Fielder? They should (you can see the Free Agents here for other possible pitchers the Brewers can sign instead of getting via trade). So there you have it. My true predictions, and hopes, for what the Brewers 2011 squad will look like on Opening Day.

A few tidbits from the camps of the Packers and Badgers...both LB Nick Barnett (wrist) and Safety Morgan Burnett (ACL) are out for the year. They join RB Ryan Grant on the Injured Reserve...oh boy. A lot of guys are going to have to step up for the Packers now, but it's upsetting to know that this season is horribly affected by injury and could really cost Green Bay a chance at making a deep playoff run. Green Bay plays at Washington tomorrow...the Badgers defeated Minnesota today at Camp Randall by a score of 41-23. Running backs James White and John Clay combined for over 200 yards and 5 TDs. Get ready for Ohio State next week! I'll have more on the game next week.

Go Pack and On Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Been there...sick of that

There is a lot to get to these days concerning Wisconsin sports. The Bucks' season opener is on the horizon, the Brewers' wrapped up another disappointing campaign and the Badgers once again are underachieving when there is pressure to succeed. Of course, I'll soon get to the Bucks' season preview and touch on some pressing issues for the Brewers (INCLUDING KEN MACHA LEAVING!), but I'll mainly focus on football today. This post won't be as long as usual, but that's because I would like to put up another post this week other than my picks post about either the Brew Crew or the Deer. So what would you guys like to hear first...the bad news or the bad news? I know. Not much of a choice.

Just like every other week, you can take a look at my comments on the prior Badger game on the jsonline Badgers blog that I contribute to. I still want to say some things on this blog, however, that may not have been very professional to say there. Can't we all see where this season is heading? The Badgers finished last season strong and had a lot of returning starters...people jump on their bandwagon and project a high ranking and a potential Rose Bowl birth..we lay an egg and end up going 8-4 or 7-5. This season has all the makings of a let down year, especially if Wisconsin can't take care of business at Michigan State, a team that should not beat us. I will point this out: this season has a HUGE asterisk on it because of the injury to Chris Borland. This guy is a stud, and Borland being lost for the season is already taking it's toll...with 7 conference games to go. THE BATTLE OF THE AXE is this week in Madison and hopefully it's a blowout before Ohio State comes rolling into town. I want to say the Badgers win like 40-3, but rivalry games tend to be closer than usual. Still, it should be a win and people should be amped for the Ohio State game (which I will be attending).

Now for the other bad news...the Packers. You may be wondering "wait a minute, Dave, didn't the Packers win last week?" and I would tell you "yes, but we should of lost and we played the Lions." It was kind of scary how easily the Lions moved the ball on us, and if it wasn't for the typical shoot yourself in the foot moments that Detroit has every week, the Packers are probably staring at a 2-2 record right now. Thankfully, Chuck had his break out moment of the year with his impressive dive into the endzone for a pick-six and the D was able to get a key stop late in the game to seal the win. Here's the thing about the Packers defense that really concerns me: teams either get the 3-4 defense...or they don't. The Lions clearly got it, and if it was any other team, 50 points would have been up on that scoreboard for the opponent. Dom Capers NEEDS to make adjustments. Upcoming opponents are going to look at tapes from this game and try to figure out how to pick us apart like Detroit did, and if they do, this season may end up being as disappointing as the Badgers' is shaping up to be. Hate to be so pessimistic, but that's sports for ya.

A few more agonizing events took place in the past few days for the Packers. 1. Randy Moss was traded to division rival Minnesota this morning. 2. Green Bay watched Marshawn Lynch slip through their fingers to Seattle when all we needed to do was hand Buffalo a 4th round draft pick. All this means is that the division race just got a helluva lot tighter and we still have zero running game (don't get me wrong..I love Johnny Kuhn..but he's a fullback). Great.

I'll be back with two more posts later this week. In the meantime, enjoy some playoff baseball and don't study too hard kids.