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


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.



CELEBRITY DEATHS

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


I never thought I'd say this, but SUCK IT BILL MURRAY. IN YOUR FACE! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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:

BUTTER. NUT. FUDGE.

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.