Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 Season Preview

As I sit here drinking a Staghorn while watching National Treasure, I want you all to do something: come to terms with it now. Make your peace. Accept the reality that we are on the cusp of living: Wisconsin football is going to lose some games this year. As in, multiple games. MANY GAMES OF DEFEAT. This isn't even a knock on Chryst, his staff, or the team itself. This is simply a perfect storm of replacing a legend at the most important position on the field, coping with the loss of the best defensive coordinator in the land, and getting slapped with the hardest schedule I can possibly recall.

And I can assure you that I am not complaining. We've skated by on the softest B1G schedules you could construct for a few years now. Sure, we spiced it up with the LSU and Bama games. But let's not ignore all the feasting we've done on the Illinois/Purdue/Indiana/Maryland/Rutgers conglomeration of SUCK. It's kinda been our SOP the last 5 or so years: absolutely dominate all the sucky/decent teams in the conference, struggle mightily with the top shelf talent. I'm not even sure that's very surprising (I'd assume most teams do well against Rutgers and struggle with OSU). But now the tables are turning and the day is about to be darkest before the dawn.

So let's all enjoy this season as 12 weeks in the fall to drink before noon without consequence. Savor the victories, let the defeats drown directly into your beer, and remember that the hoops team is going undefeated and winning a national championship.

STILL ALWAYS LOOKING FOR REFERRALS: Another year, another time to get your peoples on the list.


Before we look to da future, we must pay respects to those that have left us. Rest in peace, celebrities ranging from obscure to legendary.
  • David Bowie, bizarre genius, musician. Bowie, quintessential dude that I never really listened to but knew he was somehow amazing at what he did. And then he died and Trey Songz covered 'Life On Mars?' on Vinyl (RIP) and it was an entire awakening for me. But yeah also that Trey Songz cover was one of the best things I heard all year.
  • Alan Rickman, AKA Bill Clay. Hans Gruber, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, creature with no dong from Dogma, the stuffy one in Galaxy Quest, Snape... that is one hell of a resume. Even acknowledging that Harry Potter kind of sucks, that's still a whole lot of work that will keep him remembered for years to come.
  • Dan Haggerty, Grizzly Adams. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 & Elite 8


OK, I feel better now. I'm sorry, Bill. I know it's illegal to dislike Bill Murray in most countries, but how could you not love him staring in absolute disbelief while Xavier's coach's daughter is crying her face off behind him? That's why we watch college basketball! On the off chance that the random team you're playing has Bill Murray behind the bench looking like he just watched his dog get run over and an 8 year old girl cries so hard her face gets redder than our uniforms. SPORTZ

Now, let's work backwards: Bronson's shot was one of the most unforgettable moments you're ever going to witness as a sports fan. That was exactly why people hype up the first 2 rounds of the Tournament every year: just to get a chance to see a true buzzer beater like that. And for it to happen in Wisconsin's favor in a game they trailed by 9 with 6 minutes to go is all the sweeter. Hang on, let's do some more appreciating:


How many times have you watched it? I'm in the triple digits by now I think. What the hell, let's watch it all over again!

A video posted by Wisconsin Basketball (@badgermbb) on

You know what the best part of that video is? That time when the ball is floating in the air, and literally no one on earth can do anything about it, and then the buzzer sounds, and then SPLASHMOTHERFUCKINGDOWN.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd Rounds

And let's just say how relieved I am that we are using this video and not the NIT on AXS intro music. I like to think I'm like a 9/10 on the Wisconsin Sports Optimism Scale (WSOS), but I won't lie to you: there were times when I thought going to the NCAA Tournament was simply not in the fold for this team. I had doubts, and let me tell you how much I am thoroughly enjoying being wrong with those doubts. 9-9 with losses at home to Western Illinois, UWM, Marquette, and at Northwestern? If you're going to sit here and pretend like you were all 'dude the streak will live and I'm talking about the top 4 in the B1G streak in addition to the NCAA streak' I'd tell you to STFU and/or GTFO. ACRONYMS ALL DAY.

But #Gardo happened, and it's going to be our mantra for the next infinity years. It's so beautifully Wisconsin that our football and hoops programs are led by these Wisconsin bros that look like the guys smoking old school tobacco pipes and drinking High Lifes at the end of the bar in Ashwaubenon. They're just a couple of sloven looking white guys that have nowhere Wisconsin written all over them. And I LOVE that! I am speaking in purely complimentary terms.

And let the record show, I care like .7% that Bo was pulling trim on the side. I loved Bo Ryan and I continue to love Bo Ryan, but this is a hardened old man from the streets of Philly. He's no angel. Once it was shown that he really didn't violate any university rules and he's been working with his wife to get over this, I stopped caring. Thank you for the years of winning and recruiting the right kids and not stooping to pay-for-play levels and B1G championships and back-to-back Final Fours and manhandling Crean at all opportunities and that one time you gave us pizza when we were waiting in line for tickets and that time you were a thief in Texas and everything else you did for UW hoops. Enjoy your retirement.

With that said, I can't wait to see what happens in the first of many #Gardo NCAA appearances. This team is playing with house money: even IF they lose to Pitt, I'll be over it like 14 minutes after the game. We're a team that can beat anyone, but undoubtedly can lose to anyone. Why do I sometimes use caps lock and sometimes italics? NO ONE KNOWS.

What I DO know is that anything can happen in March, and I'm ready for anything. Go out and shock the world. Win a few games. Enjoy the lowered expectations. Because next year and beyond? Look out.

PS - Can I tell you how clutch this is?

I'm having such a Pizza Hut Carb Party on Thursday it's not even funny. Hands down my favorite tradition.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Bowl vs. #25 USC

Love this 9:30 pm kickoff. LOVE IT. I wanna build a fire and wear sweatpants and just cuddle the shit out of it for HOURS. 9:30 kickoff means there's AMPLE time to get out of work, get appropriately geared up, eat chicken quesadillas con jalapeƱos, play 6 games of euchre, drink 7 beers, and be PERFECTLY tuned for the game. What else could you ask for?

New Year's Day bowls are beyond overrated. Who wants to have to do something before like 5 pm on New Year's? Even if that activity is drinking-themed, I'm gonna go with sleeping until I can't and then easing into 2016 like an old man sliding into a hot bath on a cold January day.

If the playoff is out of the picture, I'm taking season finale night game over 11 am Hangover Bowl every single time.

PS - If I ever invent a marketable hangover cure, I'm ponying up all my SERIES A funding to sponsor the first bowl game on January 1st. The Hangover Bowl, cured by HANGOVER DESTROYER. That's the best sponsorship the world will ever know.

PPS - If you're actually working on 12/31 and you're not a nurse, doctor, or bus driver, then just quit that job because it's not fit for human endurance.


Seriously, this is a fresh list.
  • George Lucas, inventor of Star Wars. If you haven't see The Force Awakens yet, look away. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILERS INCOMING.
Things I liked: Rey, BB8 holding up the lighter for the thumbs up, Finn humor, potential Finn-Rey bonefest in VIII, gritty feel that matched IV/V/VI more than I/II/III, the moment Han and Chewy walked in, every time Chewy talked, Han dying

Things I didn't like: the plot being A New Hope all over again, speaking of which maybe the bad guys in this universe should stop making planet weapons that can be defeated by 7 X-Wings and loose intel, Adam from Girls being the main baddie, Han/Leia romance, obvious hinting that Rey is Luke's daughter (looking for something more clever here), supposedly non-Jedi (Finn) holding his own in a lightsaber battle with a supposedly powerful Jedi (Kylo Ren).

Overall it's a 4/5 for me. If it felt more like the original trilogy than the modern trilogy, then it was guaranteed at least a 3/4. Added point for Rey being a great character and the movie feeling like a truly great launching pad for what could be some potentially INCREDIBLE movies in VIII and XI.
  • Will Ferrell, actor. I got caught up in that SNL in the 90s thing that VH1 is always pimping, and my conclusion is that Will Ferrell is a top 4 all-time SNL cast member. I'd throw Farley in there as well, but I'm probably not old enough to judge all the 70s and 80s legends. So I'll give Ferrell and Farley the nod for the 90s+.
  • Neil Armstrong, astronaut. Bro.
  • Louis Zamperini, olympian and CAB (Certified American Badass). Seriously, if you haven't read Unbroken yet then figure your life out. The word 'hero' gets tossed around a lot, but it was meant for guys like Louis Zamperini.
  • Minnette Gersh Lenier (Ph.D. 1971) – teacher who used magic to improve students’ learning skills. WITCH
  • Art Clokey (M.A. 1956) – clay animator; creator of Gumby. Hardest hitting clay animator in da leeeeeague.
  • Jim Lovell, star of Apollo 13. Wait, are we SHARING Lovell with the Trojans? Whatever, he's more ours than theirs. DIBS ON LOVELL
  • OJ Simpson, football player. And that's all I have to say about that.
  • Mark McGwire, baseball player. Don't care they were all juicing. Sammy and McGwire going back and forth was the best thing ever. Also, hey Mark, sick bomb on #62. Really poked that one good.
  • Dan Bane (B.S. 1969) – Chairman and CEO of Trader Joe's. If I knew that the CEO of Trader Joe's was in play and I didn't include him I think my mom would disown me. Shop Trader Joe's.
  • Richard Knerr (B.S.) – co-founder of Wham-O; the creators of the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, and Superball. That's like the old school version of creating the Macbook, iPod, and iPhone. How come we don't see any commercially bankrupt movies about Dick Knerr?
  • Chris DeWolfe (M.B.A. 1997) – co-founder of MySpace and current CEO. Anytime I hear MySpace, this is all I can think about:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#20 Northwestern

Jumping right into the mailbag. Part 1 up top, part 2 down below. SUCH SUSPENSE.

Tim S:

How happy are you to get a break from what has to be the least aesthetically pleasing 8-2 team in CFB history?

It was great! Slept in, went to a bar dressed in neutral grey, didn't watch a second of football, turned my brain off and had fun. Is that how non-weirdos do Saturdays? I really dug it.

With that said, I'm ready to get right back at supporting the worst 10-2 team in NCAA history. Clement still recovering from his hernia and also a dog bit him? Keep the weird coming!

Matt B:

Bryant, Schwarber & Rizzo: marry, fuck, kill - go!

Marry: Rizzo. I feel like my mom would like him the most.

Kill: Bryant. Oh, you're 6'5", dreamy, AND you are going to be the best player in the league? That's a little too perfect for me, kid.

Fuck: Schwarber. Remember in Good Will Hunting when Will is telling the story about how his dad used to give him a choice between a stick, a belt, and a wrench? And Will always chose the wrench because fuck him? I'm using that logic here.

Jake S:

First of all, I'd like to say, "body wash" is bullshit, and all men should be using bar soap. What's the etiquette on bar soap? My personal opinion is if you are showering at someone else's house and all they have is bar soap you are allowed to use it. Soap is self cleaning.

What are you, 80? Bar soap is the worst thing in the world. Are you supposed to rub the bar all over you or just rub it in your hands a lot and then rub yourself down? I do the latter on the 3 occasions each year I find myself with nothing but a stupid bar of soap in the shower.

Body wash is superior in every way imaginable. However, the body wash/shampoo all-in-one combo is a little too much for me. Like when Costanza has the fridge built into the side of his recliner.

Jake R:

Ok so here's the scenario. You have to pick one animal to fight in a one-on-one arena match with another animal. You don't know which animal you will face before the fight. Humans not included, which animal do you choose?

Hippo. Always hippo. Nothing beats a hippo. When's the last time you saw the inside of a hippo's mouth?

Disgusting and terrifying. It does not even matter that this battle doesn't take place near water - no creature on this planet is taking down a hippo. Not an elephant. Not some kind of super gorilla. And clearly not a rhino.

Hippos are MONSTERS.

Mike L:

Are the 90's officially the new 80's?

Nah. The 80's are the worst decade ever, and the 90's are still pretty cool. Yeah we all looked stupid back then, but that's the case looking back on pretty much every decade. What are the 80's known for? I don't even know. But the 90's gave us cell phones and the internet and Saved By The Bell and Jurassic Park and Weezer. Nothing in the 80's was CLOSE to that.

Joe H:

Were you at all butt-hurt when you found out that Penn State had a shorter and fatter kicker than Wisco did? The guy in question really has a story that begs youtubing. Not only did the fatty kick footballs in high school, but he apparently had D1 soccer scholarships AND ran track for a year. I imagine his races looked like this. Further neat facts include he was born in our hometown of Milwaukee but sadly did not attend high school there. And finally, as a sophomore in HS he was 5’10 (as he is currently) but only 185lbs….that’s a lot of eating, good for him.

Joe also provided this image to further illustrate his point:

Fair points. But an overweight guy from Milwaukee is one thing: an overweight kicker from Brazil that grew up in Tennessee and CHOSE to come to Wisconsin? That's beauty. Plus, Gaglianone was a baller on the pitch as well. And he has better hair.

PS - Love that they didn't round the 259 up to an even 260. That's like the psychology when you sell cars for $19,999, since it FEELS like a lot less than saying an even $20k. Smart fat kicker Penn State has. Why am I typing like Yoda.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Oh we are on a TEAR of 2:30 games. So great. Unfortunately I'll be at a wedding, which is good because this game has sneaky potential to frustrate the hell out of me. Thank god it's not in Evanston.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

at Maryland

I think Corey Clement just made a loud statement about his value to this team. We kinda spent most of the year wondering if the running game sucked because of the O-Line, the backs, or both. Without jumping to conclusions (because Rutgers), I think we can safely say the issue was squarely on the back up running backs. I don't mean this as a slight to Dare and Deal, but they were back ups for a reason.

So here we are. 7-2 (4-1) in a season where we've had injuries at literally every position on the roster. A transition year with a new coach (albeit a familiar coach) and a young team... and yet, 7-2. That's actually pretty damn impressive when you consider everything that's gone wrong so far.

My excitement for this team is increasing. Something about them gutting out wins despite being in shambles is kinda fun. Like the German sub in U-571 that was all messed up, but the Americans took it over and kept battling on it and eventually sank a giant German destroyer with it after Trigger drowned while fixing the leak in the torpedo system. Out with the Remember The Titans season metaphor, in with the U-571 season metaphor. WHAT MOVIE THAT'S ON HBO EVERY WEEK IS NEXT?

PS - OMG, Trigger from U-571 was SMALLS from The Sandlot? That's amazing. And a few years ago he was arrested because he headbutted a cop after he was told he was too drunk to get on an airplane? You just never know where the internet is gonna take you.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Afternoon game, and don't look now but we're running out of gamedays. I'll preach now what I preach often: take advantage because while a game against Maryland might not be very exciting now, you'd murder for a 2:30 gameday party come January.


Thursday, October 29, 2015


Entering the home stretch of the Purdue/Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland stretch, which has somehow been an uglier stretch of opponents than we ever imagined. Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland all looking for new coaches, and Purdue probably looking for a new coach. That's magical.

But it's fine. We'll take the easy wins to pump the record. In all honesty I'm rather enjoying a low-stress season. A loss on a Saturday puts everyone in a pootie mood. But this year? This year we're all just having fun and throwing back beers and living the high life.

CHICAGO BADGERS: 11:00 am game on Halloween Saturday in Madison and brace yourselves here come the 'WE SHOULD TAKE THE STUDENT SECTION AWAY FOREVER BECAUSE THEY DON'T APPRECIATE IT ENOUGH' tweets.

PS - Costumes are encouraged at Will's. Rumors swirling that there's a prize for the best costume.

PPS - I just made that rumor up but I bet if we believe it hard enough it could happen.