Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pre-Outback Bowl Mailbag

No shortage of things to talk about. Let's dive right in. Thank you for your questions.


Alison S:
What is wrong with Wisconsin?! My million dollar question is who will be our next head coach? Hopefully Aranda.
Well it was SUPPOSED to be me. Got my application and résumé in to Barry before the deadline, but I never heard back. Since Paul Chryst has already been announced as the 30th coach in Wisconsin football history, here's the application I sent Barry's way:
Mr. Alvarez, 
My name is Brandon Rifkin and I’d like to formally apply to be the next head football coach of the University of Wisconsin football team. What I may lack in actual football knowledge, I more than make up for in SPIRIT and the ease at which I would assimilate myself in the Madison culture. 
My football experience is vast and plentiful. Here are the highlights:
  • 1997 Camp Ojibwa Pineapple Football Champions. My responsibilities included snapping the ball (not between my legs, seems really hard), wrapping up (form tackling – flags are always moving), and trying not to cry when a power tripping 19 year old from Highland Park yelled at me for failing at wrapping up.
  • Two time Bayside Middle School/Maple Dale Middle School CHAMPION. This was basically the Wisconsin/Minnesota rivalry, minus the axe/plus puberty. NOTE: If you do a background check and hear about the kid who got shot in the neck with a firework at one of these games, I was TOTALLY not involved in that. NOTE #2: I rumbled on the O-Line, #Sconnie4Life
  • Made a really sweet one-handed interception in a UW-Madison intramural game one time. And it was my LEFT hand.
  • Dominated a pick-up football game on the front lawn of the Kohl Center while waiting for basketball tickets. Wasn’t even sober. Ran like the wind.
  • December 3rd, 2011. Wisconsin vs. Michigan State in the first ever B1G Championship. 4th quarter, 2nd and goal at the 5, down 6. I told EVERYONE I knew sitting by me that we were gonna run the shovel pass. I LOVE THE SHOVEL PASS. And what did Russell do? Ran a pitch-perfect (get it?) shovel pass to Montee. Six.
But there’s so much more to coaching football than football itself. How can you adequately evaluate me unless you really know me? And there’s no better way to know a person than to ask them what kinds of movies they like. So, let’s keep this relevant. Coach Rif’s Top 5 Favorite Football Flicks:
  1. Remember The Titans. I’m all about diversity, and moving players around to find their best position, and STRONG SIDE
  2. Sleepers. Not a football movie, you say? OH HO HO, I challenge you to find a more satisfying victory than the boys beating the guards and Rizzo giving his LIFE for victory. That’s the kind of motivation I aim to employ.
  3. The Blind Side. I start to salivate thinking about what we could do with a kid like Michael Oher. GOTTA COME TO O-LINE U, KIDDO.
  4. The Replacements. I have an idea for a new movie. It’s called: THE WALK-ONS. And it’s all about how we’re gonna own the B1G with the best walk-on program this side of MILWAUKEE.
  5. Jerry Maguire. You see how much Jerry loved his players? And how, in turn, they believed in him and achieved success they could only DREAM of? Yeah. Let’s do dat.
As you can see, my heart and mind are in the exact right place to lead Wisconsin back to glory. Pound the rock on offense, Blitz B on defense, Wisconsin forever.


Coach Rif

PS – Can’t call myself Coach B for obvious reasons, people don’t forget.
Also had to update the old résumé:

After submitting, I realized I missed a letter in 'pizza'. Gonna assume UW handles résumés the same way the rest of the world does: grammatical mistake = automatic rejection. I'll be kicking myself over this for years. YEARS.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

B1G Championship vs. #5 Ohio State

I'm a big fan of callbacks. I love when some seemingly unimportant detail from the past is suddenly relevant and takes on a whole new meaning. Perhaps I'm being vague. Let's use an example:

That's a tweet from 2 years ago from some guy named Cardale Jones. At the time, he was just a no name idiot on the OSU football team tweeting out something funny that sports blogs used to fill the page during the day. Now? Now he's starting at quarterback for Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game.

That just kind of sums up this game, though. I have no inside information, but I firmly believe athletes at Wisconsin actually have to take care of the student part of student-athlete. I know several recruits they really wanted had to go elsewhere because they couldn't even get accepted at Wisconsin. I'm going to assume it's not the same kind of operation at Ohio State. Feels like we're going up against a football factory.

And that's what will make it all the sweeter when we emerge from Indy with ANOTHER B1G title. 4 in 5 years would be downright stupid. Wisconsin fans are for sure going to be outnumbered in Indy - OSU is still alive for the playoff - but that won't be the first time that's happened. And we've done alright in Indy in recent years.

Now let's go beat the shit out of the Buckeyes and grab some hardware.

CHICAGO BADGERS: THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT NIGHT GAME ALERT. I LOVE NIGHT GAMES! And this one is great because we get to watch the UW hoops team STOMP Marquette during the day, rest up, and THEN we all gather at Will's to rage for another B1G Championship. CAN'T WAIT. See ya there.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

#18 Minnesota

Kind of unfortunate that Thanksgiving and #HateWeek have to coincide. Last thing we should be doing this week is hating, but Minnesota is coming to town and this is the biggest UW/Minny game in at least a decade. That requires proper hating. I'm sorry, Swiftness.


Sure, I could point out (again) that the last time Minnesota beat Wisconsin in football YouTube wasn't invented yet. I could probably google up a bunch of fun little facts like that. But let's let the flagship @UWMadison and official @UWBuckyBadger Twitter accounts handle the burnage.

Okay I'm also distracted with the cuteness. NEEDS MORE HATE

Nothing better than grabbing some logs and building a nice fire this week. Eat it, Goldy.

Oh man, I love that for like a million reasons. Poor Kelsey Finger (terrible name) didn't even mention @UWMadison, and yet they came flying in out of nowhere to roast her brain. That's excellent hustle.

PS - Admittedly, all the alumni/alumna/alumnae/alumnus stuff is really confusing. Part of me felt kinda bad for Kelsey Fingerlinger but then the other part of me went back to laughing at this girl's mentions when the hot fire burn got retweeted like 200 times in her eyes.

PPS - Not a lot of love for Minnesota in the Google Game:

PPPS - I don't know if you've heard, but they're changing up the Axe procedure on Saturday:
The axe, a longtime symbol of the rivalry, will remain in the UW locker room until late in the game. Once it becomes clear which team will win, the axe will be placed in the end zone nearest the locker room of the winning team. UW's locker room is near the north end zone; Minnesota's locker room is near the south end zone.
This all stems from the game last year, when the Badgers (obviously) won and then went to chop down some Gopher goalposts - AS IS TRADITION. They waited for Minnesota to sing their lame ass fight song and then tried getting all lumbersexual on the field... only to have the pathetic Gophers HOLD THE LINE and prevent them from chopping. This is stupid. Things started getting heated, and it was about to be a full-on riot if some coaches didn't get in there and de-escalate.

So I'm guessing after we win on Saturday, we'll stand around and let the proper amount of time pass, allow Minnesota to go in the locker room, shower, board their bus, and then we'll gets to the chopping.

Fucking with tradition when you really don't need to. Not a fan.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Oh, hello Mr. 2:30 Game, nice to see you again. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving makes it tough to round up a crew. I'm sure people have retreated to their home bases. Enjoy your weekend, peoples.

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: LAST CALL FOR MOVEMBER DONATIONS. True story: my boss was shocked and upset that I had more money raised than him. So if you donate, you can help me beat my boss! Wait, this sounds like the opposite of what I should be doing. You can donate HERE.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

at Iowa

This picture is amazing.

Well. Can't say I was expecting that to happen. Seriously, just look at this line:

That's absurd. On so many levels. That entire game was. 4 fumbles - 3 of them lost - in the first 20 minutes? Down 17-3? Rattling off 56 straight points against what was considered a good defense in a huge game with B1G title implications?

Hard to process. On the flip side, it's much easier to process how utterly dominant we are against Nebraska since they joined the B1G. The 3 wins have been absolute boneshows, and the one loss was in Lincoln and yeah we don't need to revisit how stupid that game was. But I love it all. Nebraska came into the B1G thinking they were just gonna push everyone around and plant their flag. LOL. That worked out real well.

The march to Indy continues.*

*Already dreading #conflictcity. UW/Marquette in Milwaukee that morning, B1G Championship Game in Indy that night, and sitting on tickets for Walk The Moon in Chicago that night as well. #firstworldproblems, coming in HOT.

PS - Love this x1000:

CHICAGO BADGERS: 2:30 GAME 2:30 GAME 2:30 GAME 2:30 GAME OH YEAHHHHH. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER. Well, there are several things better. Like night games and chocolate milk. But still! 2:30 GAME! Wasn't last week fun? I think it was a blast! Everyone was over their hangovers and having fun and we shook it off after the game like there was no shakemorrow. Let's do that all again!

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: I've been thoroughly enjoying my co-workers discovering the #blondestache. Only at certain angles in certain lighting can you really tell what this abomination looks like. I HATE IT. Toothpaste gets stuck in it. It itches. It makes me look like someone you wouldn't let near your children, even though I am well above average at hanging with kids. I think it's because I easily get on their level. LEGOS? FUCK YEAH I CAN BUILD A BETTER CASTLE THAN YOU. Wrestling time? LOL, good luck, I'm gonna crush you. So, yeah, I'm in misery and you should donate to make it all worthwhile.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

#13 Nebraska

Do you want to know what my biggest problem is right now? I WISH I liked this T-$wift/Kendrick mash up more than I do. I wanted to love this. Anything 'Shake It Up' should be gold and then some. But WHOA look out, the Hood Internet (what is that) mash up has already been deleted off the internet! You want me to guess why? BIG RECORD LABEL caught wind of someone using 'Shake It Off' without giving them 104% of the proceeds and IMMEDIATELY issued a cease and desist. That's how the music industry works these days.

And that's why I'm STILL pissed at Taylor for excommunicating herself from Spotify. The CEO of Spotify absolutely nailed it with this post. Dear god, how many weeks can I lead with Taylor? This is downright crazy. I'm moving on. #luvuSwiftness

PS - Did deeper googling and apparently it's NOT actually removed from the internet. That's awesome! But if it were up to me, this is still a million times better:

I do not care what your thoughts are on this video. The energy alone carries this shit to the top. Only thing I would change is making them not dress like insane asylum escapees. And also I would let Kendrick swear because every time it cuts out for a naughty word I have to check my speakers to make sure they still work.

PS - It's probably weird that I get goosebumps from this jam, but I do.

PPS - Even after I wrote about it, I still checked my headphones cable to make sure it was plugged in when they censored for swear words. Ugh.

CHICAGO BADGERS: You know what? I think Will's is gonna be POPPIN' this weekend. It's a huge game, it's at 2:30, all signs point towards 'Shake It Off' blaring at 2:25 on Saturday and us raging until we beat those losers from Lincoln. I know things have been tame lately, but let's bring it back in a hurry. Football in the home stretch, LET'S DO THIS

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: My #blondestache is disgusting and it's itchy and I hate it and you should donate so I can justify my existence. HERE you go. Thank you.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

at Purdue

Well. Ain't that some shit. Walking out my building Monday morning, I did what any warm blooded American male in his 20s would do: pulled out my phone, popped in the 'buds, and went to fire up some T-$wift. Every good day starts with shaking, something I've always believed. But what the fuck? 'Shake It Off' isn't in its usual place at the top of my favorites playlist. And it's not in my other playlists I've added it to. Hmmm. Maybe someone TAMPERED with my Spotify playlists. Domestic terrorism at its finest. NO WORRIES. I'll just search for Taylor... Sw... THERE SHE IS! BOOM, BACK IN THE GAME. Now I just star 'Shake It Off' and... wait. Where is 'Shake It Off'?! Where is all the Swiftness?

Predictably, I had basically the worst day of all-time. I don't even care that she removed her entire back catalogue. But shakeblocking me is way too much. Yeah, I get it: she makes more money off CD purchases and iTunes downloads, so removing from Spotify funnels people towards those avenues. But it also reminds me of everything I HATE about the music industry. Here I am, paying money for Spotify every month like a good little boy, and T-$wift just takes a dump in my face like I'm some dirty internet pirate.

Naturally, I cried on Twitter because I don't know any other way to cope with tragedy. Turns out, I wasn't alone:

Did Spotify Support just call me 'b'? Clearly everyone is rattled here. Yeah, we can always YouTube songs... but what about on the Red Line in the spooky tunnels when there's no service? What THEN?

Really been through an emotional Swift roller coaster these last few weeks. First I was down, then I was way up, now I'm rock bottom.

PS - Can I be the first one to point out that ripping your music from Spotify is SUCH a hate hate hater move?

CHICAGO BADGERS: Who's excited to start watching big hoops games at Will's? I AM I AM I AM. So far I've done a pretty good job of not gushing about the hoops team here - that will change. And soon. In case you didn't know, the season officially tips off next Friday. Big games are on the horizon. We are going to be so good. SO GOOD, SO GOOD

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: MOVEMBER has arrived. Per usual, I'll be growing out my heinous attempt at a mustache. If you'd like to donate to support the #blondestache and everything it's doing to help men's health, feel free to click HERE and donate. I appreciate your generosity and care.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

at Rutgers

Observations from Madison:
  • CRANES EVERYWHERE. I love the people that cry about the city building itself up a little. 'GONNA LOSE THAT SMALL TOWN CHARM I LOVE'. Dumbest thing in the world. If you don't modernize, in 15 years every building looks like that really shitty little house that used to be across the street from Riley's/420. You do not want a city full of that shitty little house that used to be across the street from Riley's/420. Madison is all CUTTING EDGE with small town charm. That requires some new, hot looking buildings with rooftop pools and additional BBQ restaurants. Fucking love Madison 2.0.
  • One time not long ago I remarked that I loved when girls wore all those red/black flannels on gamedays. Someone quickly pointed out how absurdly Sconnie it is to find that look supremely attractive compared to the 'standard' gameday getups around the country. Touche. But still, hellllo.
  • The KK is still exactly what the KK has always been. A dungeon that people trick themselves into believing is the best bar on the planet. I'll never fully understand it. But I at least went with the flow and enjoyed myself because of the company, not because of the location. Plus, anytime two large people are basically having sex at the bar at like 7 PM, you can sit back and smile:

FYI her hand is up his shirt there. That giant man has a shirt held together by the two middle buttons, which is some kind of sorcery. It's also in the most visible part of the KK (front bar, right by the entrance). Eventually one of her friends came by and gave her the 'I think you're really drunk and should go home before you accidentally have sex on top of the bar and people take Snapchats of it, k hun?' speech. That's both the best and the worst friend possible. We may or may not have booed her.
  • Everyone knows that the REAL KK is the Karaoke Kid. I could not speak on Sunday or Monday because my voice was thrashed from belting out 'Sex on Fire', 'Since U Been Gone', and a million other hot jams. Karaoke Kid is just a strange little spot. It's basically a hallway of a bar that I think sells sake bombs and is owned by an old Asian lady (PERHAPS THE ASIAN FROM RILEY'S? perhapsnot) and has killer karaoke. Great way to be drunk and act out and not feel completely psycho.
  • Is it me or does every place with a parking lot now do OFFICIAL gameday parties? The fucking HONG KONG CAFE was throwing DOWN in their parking lot. Rocky's was one-in one-out just to booze there, let alone chew. I've never seen this before. Maybe I never walked down Regent in a sober enough mindset to appreciate it, but it's absolutely beautiful and glorious and Wisconsin that any property with a square foot of pavement is selling beer and playing music.
  • Speaking of music, fully on board with T-$wift Shake It Off. I don't think she's really that good of a singer, but if she can write hooks like that song then it doesn't even matter. Fucking danced my face off to that song all weekend at every opportunity possible. I wanna release a remix of it that just does the chorus again instead of the brutal white girl rap part. Damnit Taylor. Don't you remember what happens when you try to look too cool?

Oh fuck me, I'm hate hate hate hate hate hating aren't I? I'M SORRY T-$WIFT
  • The food at Camp Randall still sucks. Boring hot dogs. Plain brats. I finally found the ONE different stand that sold some sausage sampler platter and drunk Brandon was EXCITED. Meh. It was 3 interesting mini sausages on buns with no fun cheeses or sauces or toppings and oh god I just need Hot Doug's back in my life. Anyway, for a fucking state FAMOUS for the kind of food made for stadium concessions, Camp Randall gets 0 curds out of 10.
  • Asian Kitchen, still fire.
Good times, as always.

PS - If you think I've been doing anything other than listening to Shake It Off while shakewriting this entire section then you're out of your damn mind. If my friends from Will's are reading this, I think we know what the new pre-game song has to be. TIMBER OUT. T-$WIFT IN. #ONSHAKESCONSIN

CHICAGO BADGERS: Post-Halloween 11 AM gamedays really separate the men and women from the boys and girls. Don't be a boy or girl. Be a man or a woman.