Thursday, December 1, 2016

B1G Championship vs. #8 Penn State

Several weeks ago I totally had myself convinced. There was simply no way an 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin team was going to get boned out of the Playoff. NO WAY. I wrote this:

You can write it in sharpie on your face and lock it up: 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin is in the Playoff. That is today’s no doubt about it toss it in a nest and sit on it guarantee.

Well aren't I the guy sitting on a nest of lies with IDIOT written on my face in permanent marker! Because as it stands right now, if Washington and Clemson win, then it doesn't matter if we trash Penn State by 500 because we'll be on the outside looking in. I don't even know how to process the situation. Like, I understand that the best teams don't always win their conference championships and that the committee's goal is to get the four best teams in the Playoff. I understand that. But we came into this season staring at a schedule that made it seem like keeping our heads about .500 would be an accomplishment. To come out 11-2 with wins over ranked LSU, Iowa, Nebraska, and Penn State teams while winning the best conference in the country and STILL come up short? That just sucks.

Some people are oddly okay with this, as they see it as an act of martyrdom to expand the Playoff to 8 teams. I don't want to be agent of change. I don't want to be a footnote in the history of college football championship policies. I want to play for a damn championship. And I'm too lazy to go back and do the math, but I'm guessing we don't finish in the top 8 very frequently. Given how much smaller the margin for error is in football (compared to hoops), any chance to play for a title is precious. Do we get womped by Bama? Possibly. Probably. But we'd still find ourselves in a situation where we have to win two neutral games to snag a mothertrucking national championship. Wake me up the next time that's reality.

I don't buy for a second that Washington is better than us. Their schedule? SOFT. Their loss? PATHETIC. The real UW? WISCONSIN. And gimme a break putting Michigan ahead of us. They beat us by a touchdown in their own house, sure. But they also lost to a mediocre Iowa team and won exactly ONE game outside the state of Michigan: at Rutgers.

The truth is, we get screwed because LSU and MSU were supposed to be marquee wins. But then they went out and got sucky and stole a little shine off our impressive campaign. I guess what I'm saying is I'm prepared to accept an 11-2 B1G Championship season where one or two other teams from our conference go to the Playoff instead of us. LUNACY.

PS - I don't think I ever expressed proper outrage over letting that OSU game slip through our fingers because Miguel Montero was busy propelling the Cubs to victory with a monster grand slam against the Dodgers, but... FUDGE. Looking back, that was a game we should've had that would have us firmly in the top 2-3, which means we'd be playing for a chance to AVOID Alabama. I AM RETROACTIVELY DISGUSTED AND UPSET.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Saturday night, primetime, grab your friends and some champagne and live the High Life a little.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: FOX
WEATHER: INDOOR WEATHER FOR OUTDOOR KIDS


Thursday, October 13, 2016

#2 Ohio State

It was, without question, one of the greatest sporting events I have ever witnessed.

You know the game, of course: undefeated, #1 Ohio State came to Madison six years ago ready to steamroll UW in their own house. You also remember, of course, how that game started...





...and also how it ended:



Why am I using so many commas? DISJOINTING, ISN'T IT? But this is the blueprint. This is the motivation and the reason we BELIEVE that we can overcome being 10 point dawgs at home and beat a team that is objectively better at football than Wisconsin. No one who has watched these teams so far this year would say with a straight face that UW is better, or even that these teams are evenly matched. OSU deserves to be 10 point favorites on the road in a night game at Camp Randall. That Urban Meyer is really good and annoying!

But if you know me, you know I've already convinced myself that we can hang with them. And despite all the injuries, a BUMPIN' Camp Randall can tilt the field in our favor.

Screw it. Let's party on the turf all night and light those goalposts on FIRE.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Good luck getting the UW game on a TV at any bar other than a Wisconsin bar Saturday night. Who knows, maybe Will's will even have the Badger and Cubs games on. What a time to be alive.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ABC
WEATHER: 60, CLOUDY, TURF PARTY


Thursday, September 29, 2016

at #4 Michigan

I DON'T WANT TO GET OFF THE HORNIBROOK EXPRESS. Too much fun. That MSU game was beyond glorious. Some of us were more than hopeful we could pull off the upset, but no one thought we'd go into East Lansing and dismantle Michigan State. All facets were clicking: Hornibrook was dropping dimes, the defense was tenacious in every sense of the word, and special teams had some nice contributions as well.

You all had us in the top 10 with wins over LSU and MSU at this point, right? Who's surprised that we're more contender than pretender? NOT I*

*I am somewhat surprised

But we all know that was merely the beginning of the death stretch. There's no time to savor the flavor with a trip to the Big House looming. Michigan looks to be back at their elite level (that sentence was physically painful to type), but they haven't played anyone... yet. Can UW keep the momentum and crush the soul of every single filthy person from the state of Michigan in consecutive weeks? WE MUST DESTROY PURE MICHIGAN

PS - The news about Gaglianone missing the season because of back surgery is awful. But am I weird in thinking it could be a intriguing opportunity? 4th and 4 on the 30? Go for it. 4th and 2 on the 20? Go for it. Basically we have a second motto for the season: we are #AllInOnHornDawg and when in doubt, #GoForIt

PPS - Was the last time we played Michigan the game where we ran the ball every single play in the second half? I miss that Michigan! I want more of that Michigan!



CHICAGO BADGERS: Shocked they didn't bone us with another 11:00 kickoff. It's almost as if people are kind of interested in an undefeated top 10 clash in October. Whoa! Afternoons on the Will's patio, nowhere else you should want to be.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN




TV: ABC
WEATHER: IT GON' RAIN


Thursday, September 22, 2016

at #8 Michigan State

Let's get one thing out of the way: Houston really wasn't playing all that poorly. He was getting ZERO help from his receivers, and our running game somehow struggled against what was supposed to be one of the worst rushing defenses in the country. But the reality is points are points, and Houston wasn't putting them up. I admire him going to Lambeau and leading a victory over LSU, and I know it's tough being a hotshot recruit from a powerhouse high school program and waiting 4 years to get your shot. But the tide has turned. The torch has been passed.

It's Hornibrook time.

No secret to anyone reading here that I'm a big fan. I was (rightfully) mocked for going #AllInOnHornDawg minutes before Houston was named the starter, but I never got off at the next stop on the Hornibrook Express. Nope. That's a train I'm on for the long run - the next 4 years, to be precise. I don't want to celebrate Houston's 'demotion', but I am undoubtedly excited to have Hornibrook back in charge.

You know what this means, right? Three minutes after this post goes live Chryst will announce Houston is starting Saturday in East Lansing. Sigh.

#AllInOnHornDawg. 4ever.



CHICAGO BADGERS: We got screwed with this 11 am kickoff. No two ways about it. Couple top-11 teams battling after years of trading conference titles and we get the sunrise kickoff. LE GARBAGÈ. Hopefully the scene at Will's is still pretty lively.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



TV: BTN
WEATHER: OVERCAST AND 70


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Georgia State

It appears I struck some kind of nerve last year. Merely MENTIONING my favorite sports movies had people delightfully telling me exactly what kind of idiot I was. HOW KIND OF YOU. So let's settle this. It's time for the SPORTS MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS.

Category: Best Children's Sports Movie
Nominees: The Sandlot, Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks, Angels In The Outfield, Happy Gilmore
And The Award Goes To... THE MIGHTY DUCKS

I have this thing in life where I really, really wish I had stats on like... everything I've ever done. Lifetime shooting and winning percentage in beer pong. Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party results. Total number of beers I've drunk. I just wish I knew ALL of it. And if I had that power, I'd love to see how many times I've watched these movies. Maybe it's just me, but Mighty Ducks has held up as an adult the best out of this group. In The Sandlot you have a 75 pound dog framed to look like it's King Kong. Little Giants is just so improbable that it makes Leicester City winning the Premiere League feel like a 'so what?' moment. And while Angels In The Outfield is a quintessential children's movie, it simply can't compete with the perfection that is The Mighty Ducks. QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK, MR. DUCKWORTH

PS - Yes I just said 'QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK, MR. DUCKWORTH' out loud as I wrote that. Living by yourself is fun!

Category: Best Fake Sport Movie
Nominees: Searching for Bobby Fischer, Rounders, Cool Runnings, The Karate Kid
And The Award Goes To... ROUNDERS

Chess? Poker? Bobsled? Karate? NONE of these are real sports, but we here at the Sports Motion Picture Association of Brandon's Apartment DO NOT SEGREGATE. Pretend sports have a seat at our table just like all the real sports up and down these categories do. And when it comes to fake sports movies, you cannot beat Rounders. WHOA RALPH MACCHIO, easy slugger. I know: The Karate Kid is an all-time classic. I agree! I love that movie! But if I had to listen to one character on repeat for the next 20 years, I'm going Teddy KGB over Mr. Miyagi anyday:




Life goal: get rich enough to have multiple stacks of high society and then send snaps to people showing them I have multiple stacks of high society. I hope people are still snapping a million years from now!

Category: Most Inspirational Sports Movie
Nominees: Remember The Titans, Miracle, The Blind Side, Hoosiers, Mystery Alaska
And The Award Goes To... MIRACLE

I've certainly watched Titans more, probably even Mystery, Alaska as well. But from an inspirational point of view, nothing beats a bunch of scrappy Americans toppling the EVIL RUSSIAN FEDERATION for Olympic glory. The movie managed to jusssst stay on the good side of the cheesy line, and it even gets the bonus inspiration bonus of being a tribute to Herb Brooks after he passed away during production. Looking for a little character inspiration? Jim Craig overcoming the loss of his mother can bring a grown man to tears. Want even MORE icing on the cake? Badgers were integral in that team's success.

Great movie. Better story. U-S-A!

Category: Best Kevin Costner Sports Movie
Nominees: Tin Cup, For Love Of The Game, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham 
And The Award Goes To... TIN CUP

Field of Dreams is probably the better movie. I am well aware. But when you're trying to choose the best Kevin Coster movie, you need the most Kevin Costnery movie that Kevin Costner has ever done. Tin Cup fits that mold by being the most well-balanced spo-rom-com known to MAN or WOMAN. It's got the trashy stripper ex that ends up falling for his loyal comprade of a caddie (played by Cheech!). You get Costner's love interest (Rene Russo, an actress born for a role as Kevin Costner's love interest in sporty romcom) being oblivious to how awful her rich, successful, alpha asshole of a boyfriend is. SERIOUSLY WHO HATES DOGS? 

And that's just the rom aspect. Once you get to the sports, you're privileged to witness Cup shooting par on the back 9 with a seven iron. You see him playing 18 and BEATING an actual golfer with a Louisville Slugger, hoe, and some kind of rake for pool cue putting purposes. Plus, he has the perfect cliche inner demon: getting on in 2 on long par 5s. Roy's inner crappola will always get in the way of his success, but he hates everything about the guys that do end up winning because they'll never take the shot. They play their life for par, an ol' Tin Cup knows you only get one shot at this wonderful thing we call life. He's hunting for eagles every damn day, and while he may not find it on the course at the U.S. Open, he certainly snags one in the RV after the 12 the world will never forget. And fucking Cup takes a mulligan on her!

The best.

Category: Best Sports Scene From A Decidedly Non-Sports Movie
Nominees: Starship Troopers - FUTURE FOOTBALL, Top Gun - Sexy Volleyball, 3 Ninjas - 2 on 2 Hoops, Heavyweights - Apache Relay
And The Award Goes To... 



I REALLY wanted to give it to FUTURE FOOTBALL in Starship Troopers. I did. Flipsix threehole on ONE is the kind of playcalling that I DEMAND from Mike McCarthy every Sunday. NO MORE TOSS SWEEPS WITH LACY, WAKE UP.

But it's litrally impossible to beat a basketball scene with middle school kids that features...


CASUAL backwards, over-the-head one handers...


RUTHLESS undercutting/tabletopping on layups...


...and one of those middle schoolers free throw line airwalk dunking. THROW IT UP, KOBE:



Category: Best Sports Move I've Never Seen
Nominees: Bull Durham, Slap Shot, The Natural, Hoop Dreams
And The Award Goes To... YOU DECIDE

Seriously. I know it doesn't actually seem like something outside of my realm of normalcy to declare a winner amongst 4 movies I've never seen, but that's actually pretty foolish! So I turn to YOU: which of these movies am I the BIGGEST idiot for not seeing? How can you fix me? HELP ME HELP ME.

Category: Best Best Of The Rest Sports Movie
Nominees: Caddyshack, Space Jam, Rocky IV, Any Given Sunday, Major League
And The Award Goes To... MAJOR LEAGUE

Major League also woulda won the 'Best Use Of A Vagisil Reference In A Sports Movie' category, and that kinda guarantees it was gonna win ANY award it was up for. But at the end of the day, you combine a rock solid cast with a steady dose of humor, a great villain, and an objectively satisfying plot and you end up with a fantastic overall sports movie. It's not easy topping the other ones I mentioned up above, and I couldn't find the right reasons to bump any of them above Major League.

Category: Overall Winner
Nominees: The Mighty Ducks, Rounders, Miracle, Tin Cup, 3 Ninjas, Major League
And The Award Goes To... TIN CUP

Am I out of my mind? INDUBITABLY. But I basically made my decision based on how likely I would be to stop and watch the rest of the movie if I were guide hopping and saw it was on TV. With Tin Cup, there's basically a zero percent chance I skip past it. It doesn't have any slow points. There aren't any scenes where Brooks dies, or Big Tom Callahan dies, Hans dies... basically there are no scenes where anyone I like dies. So positive! Rene Russo's a babe, Cheech is the perfect companion, Simms is basically Shooter McGavin before Shooter knew how to be Shooter, and I really just wanna go to Waffle House with the posse from Salome.

I don't care what you say. Bring on the hate. I'm on #TeamTinCup 4ever and there's no way you'll convince me a better sports movie exists. FACTS ONLY.

Who does Wisconsin play this week?



CHICAGO BADGERS: Glorious day for Muskyfest. Weather as on point, the contestants were all-out, and the Badgers did their part. Tough to follow up that act, but we can certainly try.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: BTN
WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY, MID-70s, FOOTBALL WEATHER 4 EVER AND EVAR


Friday, September 9, 2016

Akron


Heaven on earth. That's what Green Bay, Wisconsin was on Saturday afternoon. The closest thing to perfection that we could ever ask for and possibly receive. The weather was something way beyond cooperative as the temperature chilled in the 70s while some sparse clouds rolled through as sun relief. The LSU fans were all over the place, having a blast in completely non-confrontational ways. I was impressed with how many homes they commandeered for their tailgates - looks like the AirBNB market in Green Bay was booming.

Of course, it helped that we SOMEHOW came back and won that damn game. Like most of you, I started slowly talking myself into us winning. Yeah, you usually don't beat top 5 teams when you come up with nothing but turnovers and field goals in your red zone trips... but our defense was balling out so hard that it felt like we actually had a chance at pulling it off. Then we go up 13 and all of the sudden you're fully convinced that this can and will happen. RIDING HIGH.

...but it's never that easy. An absolutely awful pick-six and an almost equally awful fumble had LSU in the driver's seat. Just like that, in two freaking minutes, we erased 2+ quarters worth of dominance. I don't fault you for thinking we let it slip away once they took that 14-13 lead: we've seen this show before. There was no doubt we deserved to win two years ago against them, but GA happened and MGIII was 'benched' and the rest was history. Why do we have to keep letting these guys steal wins from us?

Thankfully, Chryst and his staff steadied the ship. Gaglianone drilled yet another long, clutch field goal while the D kept pressuring LSU and making plays. By the time that idiot laid a cheap shot on Dixon after his game-sealing interception, the entire stadium - well, other than that purple section - was losing their minds. This wasn't a playoff game - hell, this wasn't a bowl game. But it had that level of enthusiasm and energy that is hard to find in September in college football.

For all of my whining about neutral site games, I can safely tell you that this was one of the single best sporting events I ever attended. Lots of passionate fans with an elite tailgating scene, all congregating around the greatest football venue in the land. Add it up, throw in a UW upset for the ages... and you get the perfect Saturday in September. Cheers.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Muskyfest 2k16 is upon us! Arguably one of the best days of the year at Will's as not only should it be packed, but potential Musky Queens will be bribing people with food left and right. Great day for gluttony.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



TV: BTN
WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY, 70, FOOTBALL WEATHER 4 EVER


Thursday, September 1, 2016

#5 LSU

🚨 NAILED IT 🚨





Now THAT is how you start the season with a bang. Completely whiffed on the QB race. Looking real smart over here.

But whatever. Neither of them are world-beaters, and Chryst is as much of a QB guru as we're ever going to have. I just liked the thought of a lefty with a sweet name. Will have to settle for a righty with an almost as cool name.

We all know what's gonna happen, right? Houston comes out and picks apart Aranda's D and I start tweeting about how I've been #AllInOnHouston since day one. JUST AS I FORETOLD.

Three days until kickoff. Three days of continued nonsense like this until football actually happens and we can shed that false facade of not caring because the schedule is super duper stacked. Just beam me up to Lambeau now and let's see what happens when LSU and UW fans get together for the greatest tailgate the north has ever seen.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Don't have too much fun at Will's without me and if you win the scarf in the raffle I got dibs.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ABC
WEATHER: MID-70s AND SUNNY, WHOA HEY ALRIGHT OH YEAH