Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bowling Green & Mini-Mailbag

"WHOA HEY, why wasn't there a mailbag last week?"

VALID QUESTION. And since I don't embrace excuses, I'm going to work the solution. MINI MAILBAG before we get to Bowling Green. VAMOS

Marissa R:

How many spiders do you think there are in the world? 
Oh, fuck you. Do you REALLY want to know how many spiders there are in the world? Or do you just want to inject nightmare fuel into my brain by forcing me to google every inch of the interwebs? SPIDER PUN.

You know the first thing I learned?

I feel like Morpheus when Neo told him the prophecy was a lie. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT.

But I dug deeper. Deeper into the spiderhole. WORST HOLE EVER. According to some dude who loved spiders way too much back in 1973, there was an average of 130.8 spiders per square meter. Okay, now we're getting somewhere. There's also 148.94 million square kilometers of land on earth (we're ignoring the 70% of the earth covered in water since everyone knows that a spider in water is just an octopus). But wait, shouldn't we subtract out Antarctica and the North Pole since Penguins and Santa would never fuck with spiders? Oh, we can't do that because there are these alleged SEA SPIDER MONSTERS that live in those places.

I tried converting square meters to square kilometers, and that sucked. And then I tried going from 148.94 million square kilometers to square meters, and THAT sucked even more. Google's giving me numbers with an 'e' in it. Do you really think I remember how to use 'e's in numbers? I DO NOT.

CONCLUSION: At any given time, on any piece of land in this world, LOOK OUT THERE'S A SPIDER ON YOUR FOOT. THERE ARE ELEVENTY BILLION SPIDERS ON EARTH and 12 of them live in your apartment; I hope you can't sleep at night. You shouldn't eat after 8 PM, and that includes the 14 spiders you eat in your sleep every year.

PS - 'I don't get why people hate spiders; they eat other bugs!'

-The worst person in the conversation, every time

Danny G:
Situation: Your job gives you 1 year off work, with pay. The only stipulation is that you need to spend all 365 days living in Madison, WI. What do you do to take full advantage of this situation? I’m looking for where you choose to live, what your weekly agenda looks like, etc. FYI, you are the only one who gets this 1-year sabbatical, so you can’t just bring a bunch of your Chicago friends with you.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: I'm immediately getting season tickets to basketball, football, and hockey. Being in Madison for a year without my friends means I'm gonna need any and all forms of entertainment. Plus I could go to the football games early and try to give Stave advice on how to get rid of the shanks! 'QUIT THINKING ABOUT THE GIRL, JOEL. IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD'

As far as a living situation goes, I want to strike that balance of close to everything cool... but far enough away from students that I don't feel old as shit every day when I walk out my door. I wouldn't live down by the Capitol, since that's TOTES an old person move. And that's far as fuck away from Camp Randall. Maybe somewhere like Regent and Charter? That's in between the Kohl Center and Camp Randall, not on the main stretch of campus, and ROCKY'S. Rocky's proximity might trump everything else. That's clutch proximity.

The weekly agenda gets tough. I don't really have any friends when I start this sabbatical, so I think the first step is to join some clubs so I can meet some people in the 26-30 bucket. Is there like a beer drinking, sports watching, terrace sitting club? Adult Hoofers? Should I go to Epic and pretend to work there just to see where they all go? This is really the most important part: without some friends, shit would be boring. Don't get me wrong, AMAZING boring, but still boring. So that would be my top priority.

I can get cute and tell you that I would go to the arboretum or do other adulty nerdy things, but I'd probably just drink and eat my way into an early grave. A one year paid sabbatical in Madison is a DANGEROUS thing for a single guy with a big appetite.


Shirt tucked in or not?
I think the older you get, the more likely you are to tuck your shirt in. This is problematic, because the older you get, the fatter you get. And nothing makes you look fatter than tucking a shirt in. That's it. That's the #1 way to look fat. Forget all that nonsense about horizontal stripes. Unless you have a flat stomach (die), tucking in your shirt just screams out 'HEY LOOK AT MAH GUT'.

Obviously, you have to tuck your shirt in in SOME situations. These are mine:

  • Any shirt with dress pants, but NOT with khakis
  • Playing soccer or basketball, for the first 5 minutes until you realize you don't care because you're playing a sport
Wait I think those are literally the only times I ever tuck my shirt in. If it's a button down shirt with dress pants or during an organized sporting event. I never tuck my shirt into jeans. That's insane. I think if Obama came to my office on a day when I was wearing jeans and a button down, I would MAYBE think about tucking. But then Barack would know I was fat. CONUNDRUM.

SHOULD I have been tucking my polos in to my khakis all these years? Probably. But that shit's uncomfortable. It traps heat. It bunches. And you can't forget a belt and get away with it if you're a tucker. What happens that one random day you forget to wear a belt? You just go untucked? How do you explain that to people? Better to go untucked 365 days a year, so that on that fateful Tuesday in October that you leave your apartment beltless, NO ONE KNOWS.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Western Illinois

I have absolutely no idea what's going on.

As I sat down to start writing this, Andersen called a press conference to address Joel Stave's status. Is he hurt? WAS he hurt? If he's not hurt, why isn't he playing? Is he shut down? The answers to all of these questions have varied. He was practicing leading up to the LSU game, so he couldn't have been hurt. But then reports came out saying that he WAS hurt, and that his shoulder was bothering him. But NOW we're being told that he's NOT injured, and he just has a wicked case of the shanks.

In other words, this was our quarterback in practice last week:

And this was our quarterback warming up before the LSU game:

I'll spare you a thousand words on the Tanner/Roy McEvoy connection. Allow me just to say that I'm depressed that I had to use TWO Tin Cup videos for such dire circumstances.

But this wasn't all just limited to Sunshine. I haven't even mentioned the MGIII debacle. His is similar to Stave's, just kind of in reverse: first he WAS hurt with a little hip flexor thing, then he WASN'T hurt and just had some kind of misunderstanding with the coaching staff, but now maybe he does have an itty bitty hip flexor thing? CHRIST. What in the fuck is actually going on in Madison?

I like Gary Andersen. He seems like a genuinely good guy. He seems like he really knows football - especially on the defensive side of the ball. He seems like he's a pretty good recruiter, and it even seems like players enjoying playing for him. But I no longer trust him. There's simply not any good reason to believe the words that come out of his mouth going forward. It's really not that damning of an indictment - coachspeak is a thing for a reason. Coaches have all sorts of motivation to be coy and play games of semantics. I understand that. And if he was doing it to protect his players, then I suppose it's rather admirable. I guess I just thought we had a straight shooter at the helm. That is no longer the case.

With that said, here's what I saw in the LSU shitshow:

  • MGIII ain't afraid of SEC speed. Averaging almost 9 yards a carry is impressive against Southeast Oklahoma Tech A&M. Doing it against LSU? That's damn near incredible. The 63-yard scamper was a thing of beauty, but also a sign that perhaps he was a little dinged up. True, he didn't take the best angle, but I have a hard time believing a fully healthy MGIII gets caught from behind that easily. Minor quibble - when he was in the game, he was a force.
  • Reggie Love is making me look smart. I've whiffed on my breakout players for like 4 straight years, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm momentarily a little proud of myself for giving Love some... love here. That Jet Sweep was executed PERFECTLY.
  • That rebuilt front 7 actually looked pretty good while it was healthy. In fact, they looked REALLY good while healthy. LSU didn't really have much cooking on offense. They burned us deep on one play when our true freshman safety took a brutal angle, but otherwise LSU really didn't do a damn thing offensively on us... until the injuries happened. Zags and Herring went down, and THEN the Tigers started moving the ball with conviction. I remain optimistic on this defense.
  • Michael Caputo is a monster. He made every single tackle AND recovered a fumble. The defense still has some question marks, but he is not one of them. HUGE year coming.
  • #GAGLIANONE. I tried to tell you how much you were gonna love this kid. I have a feeling el gato is now officially out of el bago. Forget for a second the 51-yard field goal that he KILLCRUSHED. Let us enjoy:


Man. I can't get enough of that. What a marvelous individual.

In fact, let's see that again, in SLOW MOTION:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

#13 LSU



I like game week. Game week means the days of 95% humidity are drawing to an end. Game week means oh my god why am I even trying to get cute with this; we have a fucking football game on Saturday. And it's not just ANY old football game. Wisconsin football season openers, last 10 years:

2004: UCF
2005: Bowling Green
2006: @ Bowling Green
2007: Washington State
2008: Akron
2009: Northern Illinois
2010: @ UNLV
2011: UNLV
2012: Northern Iowa
2013: UMass

Every year, we've eased into the season like an old man into a nice warm bath. But did that collection of weak games temper our excitement? Of course not. And if we got worked up over Bowling Green and Northern Iowa, well, you can probably guess how things are gonna go on Saturday when we take the field in Houston against an SEC powerhouse. I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say this will basically be a bowl game atmosphere wherever you're watching. Simple math:

Night game + season opener + elite SEC opponent + hot garbage schedule for the rest of the season = this is it, folks.

Don't even bother trying to pace yourself. If you're planning on saving up for some future gameday, you're going to regret it. The hype machine is working overtime and it is completely justified.


CHICAGO BADGERS: If you show up at Will's after 6 pm and get frustrated about a line, you have no one to blame but yourself. Settle in early, have some dinner, guzzle a few beers, play some games, live the high life. Literally nowhere else you should be or anything else you should be doing.

I STILL WANT YOUR REFERRALS: Is this your first time reading the BP? Have you just been lazy before and not emailed me with your friends' email addresses? I don't embrace excuses. Send 'em over.

LET'S go!





From Wiki:
LSU Athletics is represented by its mascot, a live Bengal tiger named Mike the Tiger. LSU is only one of two institutions of higher education in the United States to have a live tiger as their mascot; the other is the University of Memphis. The tiger was named after Mike Chambers, LSU's athletic trainer in 1936, and was bought for $750 from the Little Rock Arkansas Zoo.
Important things first: $750 in 1936 is a little under $13,000 today. That still seems pretty cheap for a real tiger. Tigers should cost around a million dollars in my mind. If you're gonna buy some rare, verge-of-extinction jungle cat, you should need boatloads of money. Wisconsin should be able to get a clan of real live badgers for like $800 according to this logic. Maybe LSU just FLEECED the Little Rock Arkansas Zoo. For some reason, I do not have much faith in whoever was in charge of sales at the Little Rock Arkansas Zoo in 1936. I'm pretty sure humans were wrastling bears for entertainment in those days. Could probably buy a bear from the LRAZ for $50 and tickets to a silent picture.

Also, a quick google search reveals that there are not many animal sales positions in zoos these days. FOR SHAME

PS - 

In 2005, a new $3 million Mike the Tiger Habitat was created for Mike between Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Its amenities include lush plantings, a waterfall, a flowing stream that empties into a wading pond, and rocky plateaus. The habitat has, as a backdrop, an Italianate tower - acampanile - that creates a visual link to the Italianate architectural vernacular of LSU's campus.

I have questions:
  • Do jungle cats wade?
  • When Mike VI dies, will they change it to classical Greek architecture if Mike VII thinks the Italianate architectural vernacular is a little much?
  • Is everyone comfortable with nothing but some batting cage nets keeping a jungle cat from eating their faces?
  • That get-up really cost $3 million?
That last part doesn't make any sense to me. I can guarantee Mike would rather have this playpen for a meager TWO million bucks:

All you'd have to do is throw some netting around that thing and it would be tiger-proof. I'm guessing the Italianate tower costs $1.75 million itself. Mike's getting shafted and he doesn't even know it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Season Preview

Well well WELL. NINE days until Wisconsin and LSU face off in Houston. 9 STUPID WASTING-MY-DAMN-TIME days until the Miller Lite flows and the cheese curds fry and the red bows are red bowing all up in our faces. If we can survive those 9 days that will all feel like Tuesdays, we'll be in store for one hell of a show. I've already decided that the LSU game is going to be AWESOME. We're not going to get blown out. We're not going to blow them out. Nope. It's going to be two pretty gosh darn good teams releasing an offseason eternity's worth of pent-up energy on each other like it's the goddamn Super Bowl.

It's hard to overhype that game. Look at our schedule after it: WOOF. We'll all still be excited on gamedays because that's what we do. But until we're contemplating going to Indy in December to watch us beat MSU, it's a parade of 'meh.' I refuse to get too upset over this, because in all honesty there was basically nothing we could do about it. They did the somewhat logical thing in dividing the divisions geographically. It's not our fault that the teams in the West are hot garbage outside of UW. Wasn't Nebraska a football powerhouse? What happened to them? Iowa? Pass. Northwestern? Probably not a GOOD sign when one of your best players gets suspended and then transfers within a month of the season.

I could ramble on here for days. This won't be the best Badger football team we've ever seen, but they'll be pretty good. And a pretty good team with an easy schedule can make a lot of noise. Just like in basketball, all you gotta do is make the tournament to have a shot. For the first time ever, the same logic applies in football.

CHICAGO BADGERS: In case you've been out of the country all year, there's a new Badger bar in town that looks pretty amazing. It's called Will's and it's actually not new but it IS pretty amazing. Looking forward to another great year at the best Wisconsin bar in the city. Feel free to come say 'hi' sometime and/or chug a beer.

I WANT YOUR REFERRALS: Some of you came through last week, but the vast majority did not. SHAME ON YOU, VAST MAJORITY. Don't hog the BP all to yourself. Shoot me some email addresses and spread the love.

DO YOU LIKE BASEBALL? Probably not since hating baseball is almost as cool as hating soccer. But if you DO like baseball, I highly recommend checking out THE DUGOUT, a podcast hosted by my freshman year roommate. At the very least, click on that link to see a pic of him wearing an old man golf hat. BOLD FASHION CHOICE



Boy this section really got flipped upside down recently.
  • Robin Williams. I generally try not to get worked up over famous people dying because billions of people die every day. But sometimes you can't help but feel like a ton of bricks fell on your head when you hear about a famous person dying. Robin Williams falls in that category. The amount of times I've referenced Mrs. Doubtfire is astronomical. I REFUSE to change the channel when Good Will Hunting is on. Go to my house back in Milwaukee and you'll find VHS copies of Aladdin and Hook worn down to the bone. Have I fought off tears during Patch Adams? Of course I have. I'm a fucking human. Here, let's all laugh and watch one of his best bits:

  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Did anyone not like him? I'm still partial to his role in Almost Famous. I feel like that movie kinda floats around under the radar. That movie is amazing.
  • Bob Hoskins. AKA Eddie from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I don't remember the last time I watched that movie, but anyone who got that close to Jessica Rabbit is a hero in my books. Absolute smokeshow.
  • Gabriel García Márquez. If you took Spanish in high school, you should know all about Señor Márquez. Even though I could understand half of the stuff he was writing, I was always impressed with how awesome his name was. Having a cool name is such a sneaky thing to pull off. I want a cool name so badly.
  • Casey Kasem. How to know you've made it in life:

  • John Pinette. If you know who this is by name, you're insane. I had no clue until I pulled up this clip:

Can we just establish one fact? The enforcement of the Good Samaritan Law here is BULLSHIT. If someone's getting carjacked at GUNPOINT, you do not go over there and try to help. What, you're supposed to get between a maniac with a gun and some other person's car? That's insanity. Sure, maybe Jerry could've called the cops on his cell phone (can't believe he had a cell phone, what year is this). But that cop had to be 40 feet away while this was going down. If anything, they should be CITIZEN ARRESTING the cop for being so fucking clueless. You know in The Office when they print the watermark of a duck boning a goat? And Creed (quality assurance) finds out who was sick that day at the mill and ends up getting her fired instead of him? That's basically what this cop did. He failed his job, so then he found someone else to stick their head under the guillotine.

This is why no one likes police people. That and because they sometimes ride really scary horses.

PS - Pinette is the fat guy getting carjacked, not the cop.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Preseason Mailbag!

2014 season is underway. Let's do this thing.


I had no idea euchre was spelled euchre as opposed to yuker. What is your top-10 list of "why the hell are you spelled that way" words?
1) Wednesday. Anyone who can successfully spell this word without saying, 'Wed-nes-day' in their head is a damn LIAR. I refuse to accept any other school of thought. This word makes no sense and we should've fixed it a billion years ago.

2) Colonel. LOL, yeah right.

3) Rhythm. I've always thought this word closely resembled alphabetic diarrhea. I'm also guessing people would really struggle with that 'h' in diarrhea, but for some reason I just really know how to spell diarrhea. I wonder if Costanza started that scene with 'diarrhea', but then re-shot it with 'manure'. If you at least kinda know the Seinfeld scene I'm referencing, you need to click on that link.

4) February. Old SAT question: Wednesday : "Wed-nes-day" :: February : "Feh-broo-ary". Only got 28 days for a reason.

5) Cemetery. HOW are there no 'a's in this word? There should be at LEAST two 'a's in 'cemetery'. I mean, we're not even touching on the fact that cemetery and seminary start with completely different letters for absolutely no reason. I admire the fuck out of non-native English speakers. This language is IMPOSSIBLE.

6) Receipt. Silent letters. Those are logical. That 'p' really brings a lot to the table.

7) Restaurant. I don't like this word.

8) Jeopardy. Nope.

9) Devastating. Personal struggle of mine. I flip a coin on the vowel after the 'v'. Can easily talk myself into an 'a' or an 'e' there.
10) Separate. Same thing after the 'p'. My brain simply refuses to learn.

Kira D:
My anxiety surrounding this issue is only half-fictional.

I recently shacked up with the beau who some might affectionately describe as the most batshit bonkers Badger fan on the planet.  Any advice on how to appropriately weather the Wisconsin football storm about to sweep through our apartment? Especially need tips on what's to be done pre, post, and during games v. UMich.
Well, first of all, we don't play Michigan until October 1st, 2016. Who knows, you could be PREGNANT by then with little baby Melvin.


Seriously, what if you're pregnant by then? Make sure the kid isn't due until well after football season.

As far as this year goes, a couple things to keep in mind:
  • If you try taking him to a wedding on a Saturday that is not on 9/13 or 10/18, then you are asking for a completely distracted wedding date staring at his phone throughout the ceremony. There is no debating this. Gamedays are sacred. They are limited. Those 14 fall Saturdays deserve all the attention they get. Please understand this.
  • With that said, make him do some awful, touristy stuff on those bye weeks. How about a nice weekend retreat to Pennsylvania Dutch country?
  • Understand that in the immediate aftermath of a loss, he will not be emotionally stable. Do not even try to console him. Remember in The Lost World when they decide to help out the baby T-Rex by putting a cast on its broken leg? Well, Mama T-Rex came to try and kill them anyway. Don't try to put a cast on his broken baby T-Rex leg of emotions.
  • Wear something red. SOLIDARITY
  • A nice cheese platter can go a long way in scoring some points.
It's easy to get along with someone after a win. The real test is seeing how they handle defeat. I assume you'll learn very quickly if your presence is requested after we decide to switch quarterbacks with 2 minutes left in a one score game and then the new quarterback audibles the play for no apparent reason and it blows up in our face.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

2014 Preseason Mailbag Time!

OOOOOOO hot new banner for football season!


23 days until Wisconsin and LSU play a REAL football game in Houston. That's it. Three weeks from this Saturday we'll all gather at Will's, daydrink, laugh, and wonder aloud how long it will be until 'Timber' is cool again. I HOPE IT IS SOON. What's in store for Wisconsin in year 2 of the Gary Andersen era? Can UW hang with LSU's ELITE SEC ATHLETES? Will Wisconsin - most likely the favorites in every game after that - run the table? Will GA use his newfangled Twitter account to drop a #karma bomb on Bielema? Is it possible to eat too many cheese curds?

I don't have any answers. But I know I can't freaking wait to find out.


Before we dig too deep, let's kick off the year with a good old fashioned MAILBAG. By now, you should know the drill: send me any and all questions you have. No topic is off-limits. You can ask about:
  • The University of Wisconsin allowing firearms on campus
  • How much I love U-Haul
  • Debating which game is better betwixt cribbage and euchre
  • Or literally anything else/FASHION TALK
You know the drill. Get your questions in sooner rather than later so you can have your first Friday distraction of the year next week.

It's good to be back. Shaping up to be a fun year for both football and hoops. Let's do this thing.

ALMOST FORGOT: In case you haven't heard,
Will's is hosting their annual 5th Quarter THIS SUNDAY at 2:30. Bucky will be there. The band will be there. And you've literally never had a bad time at Will's. Add it all up, and it sounds like a nice little Sunday Funday.

ONE LAST THING: Beginning of the season is always a good time to make sure your friends/cousins/siblings/PARENTS/significant others/co-workers who went to Wisconsin or are Wisconsin fans are on the list. Send me any referrals you got. Thanks in advance.



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Season Finale Mailbag!

Here we go. Last BP of the season. 5,000+ words of mailbag for you to read while pretending to work on Friday.

LET'S go!

Ryan M:
My question is this: What is your stance on the music genres of K-pop/J-pop? Love it/hate it? Do you think some groups are borderline child labor? If you watch a few music videos do you have to google the group to find out if you're looking at 12 year olds or 38 year olds? Here's a music video by 'BABYMETAL' for you watch and listen to while pondering my questions:

OH MY GOD. Is this real? Why did I just look down and see my foot feverishly tapping along to the double bass pedal? Why does Japan OWN YouTube? Was that J-POP?

I had no idea. So I hopped on over to to check the charts. Here's your #1 J-Pop hit:

YES, YES, [mouthing Japanese gibberish], YES, YES

It's REALLY bad that this is the catchiest song I've heard in a month. It's DOUBLY BAD that I immediately checked TouchTunes to see if I could start buying this on jukeboxes at bars (no go). I watched the entire 6+ minutes of this video and I'm dumbfounded that there are Gaijin in it. Is J-Pop just Japanese boy bands? INTRIGUED

And #1 on the K-Pop charts?

Apparently these two won K-Pop Star, which is Korean for American Idol. And this song isn't half-terrible. Are they both 14 years old? PROBABLY. But I think that's okay. As long as they're not trying to swindle gold medals at the Olympics with phony birth certificates, I don't really care how old they are.

PS - Am I really old for not knowing about K-Pop/J-Pop? Is this like when I told my parents that Weezer was my favorite band and they asked me what the fuck a Weezer was? Ughhhhhhhh

Sid K:
They put a Wendy's where the T-Bell/KFC used to be on State St. is this a good decision? Is there a better restaurant that should go in that spot? 
Rarely is Wendy's opening up a bad thing. But I'm very confused about the entire situation. Here are the facts:
  • I find it impossible to believe that the Taco Bell/KFC was not raking in mad money.
  • The rent at that spot is probably ludicrous.
  • I wish there was some pico in CGC's.
Once I heard that the TB/KFC was closing, my initial hunch was that the city basically forced them out. Liberal propaganda, they don't like national chains, ESPECIALLY fast food national chains, etc. But Wendy's taking over that property really throws my theory for a loop. How could a TB/KFC fail on a college campus with thousands of dope-pokin', Natty-drinkin' kids craving exactly that kind of food all the time? And how could a Wendy's be so significantly better and succeed where TB/KFC failed? Why isn't there a joint Badger Herald/Daily Cardinal/Badger Preview INVESTIGATION to get to the bottom of what is now Madison's single greatest mystery?

I lay awake at night pondering the answers to these very questions.

PS - Madison's previous greatest mystery was why the Rathskeller ELIMINATED the chicken tender basket. All of Madison's greatest mysteries revolve around the disappearance of delicious food.

PPS - If they HAD to replace the TB/KFC, I'd vote for an additional Jimmy John's strictly so I could go there and buy 15 sandwiches and then go in the bathroom and stuff up their toilets by flushing the sandwiches. That would be enjoyable for me. Stuffing Jimmy John's down their own toilets and watching with questionable joy as their bathroom flooded with tepid water and sandwich mediocrity.

PPPS - I barely know what 'tepid' means so just roll with it.

4xPS - For real, just open a Devil Dawgs franchise in that location and let the good times roll. That's my for realsies suggestion. I'd march into the Devil Dawgs on Sheffield and DEMAND an audience with the CFD (Chief Financial Dawg) and tell him that I wasn't asking for a Devil Dawgs franchise - I was DEMANDING  a Devil Dawgs franchise. This idea would succeed where my Buff Joe's Madison franchise idea failed.