Thursday, February 26, 2015

Michigan State & at Minnesota

If you were upset for more than 8 seconds about losing that game against Maryland, then I think you need to check yourself. I probably should tell you that this team is fine, but I'm not going to. You should know that. You should know that the ceiling for this team has not changed for one second since the season started. The ceiling was not lowered when we lost at home to Duke. The ceiling remained unaffected by Trae's injury and the loss to Rutgers. The ceiling is perfectly in tact after Maryland got the best of us.

That ceiling was and always will be a three-pronged ceiling of SUCCESS:

  • B1G Regular Season Championship
  • B1G Tournament Championship
  • NCAA Tournament Championship

Lord knows how many of those things will actually happen. The B1G Regular Season Title is inches away. The two tournaments are one-and-done crapshoots where we have reasonably better odds than most. But nothing is guaranteed.

All I know is that this team is still fully capable of achieving its three-pronged ceiling of success. Other things I know:
  • Duje will snap out of his funk, and he's going to snap out of it at the best time possible. I'm gonna guess he hits multiple threes in one of the B1G Tournament games and then goes on a tear in the NCAAs.
  • You'd rather get your 'cold streak' out of the way in February than in March. I put 'cold streak' in quotes because if your 'cold streak' means losing one game and just being less than dominant in the 5 preceding wins, then you're fucking fantastic and should smile every day when you wake up.
  • When you're on the road in a hostile environment and can't catch a single break, you're going to lose sometimes. That happens. Questionable calls, untimely offensive rebounds... these things have a way of swaying the game. Last I checked, the postseason tournaments are played on neutral courts. We like neutral courts.
It's all good. Let's squash Izzo on Senior Day and stampede our way into the postseason.



CHICAGO BADGERS: If you're not aware, we're 44 days from Game of Thrones, under a month until 7 pm sunsets, and 5 weeks from Wrastlemania. Shit's about to get real.


HOUSEKEEPING NOTES: I'm sick of the BP email getting stuck in spam folders. New format going forward: first section will get sent out via email, everything else will be right here on the blog.




WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: CBS

TV: ESPN


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Minnesota and at #16 Maryland

It's just a beautiful thing.

I could watch this team every day for the rest of my life and never get bored. That Penn State game started out as straight fire - 8/10 from the field, Penn State struggling to score, cruise control on the verge of being enabled. But then things slowed down. We started missing shots - easy shots. Penn State was tossing up junk that was finding the bottom of the net. And the end result was a familiar one as the team headed to the airport with another road win in their pocket. I suppose that would be their collective pocket. One giant pocket filled with road wins! ELITE POCKET

9 straight B1G wins. 24-2. #1 offense in the country with the best player in the country leading the charge. Clinching at least a share of the conference title can happen as early as this weekend.

Believe it or not, we're less than a month away from Selection Sunday. Time flies when you're having fun, and nothing is more fun than winning. My advice has not and will not change: enjoy every fucking second of this team. You will not see a better one in Madison. Not any time soon.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Heading up to Madison on Friday. Cannot wait. Do your thing.

SPAM ALERT: Apparently if you put a million pictures in your email, everybody's spam filter catches it and ERRONEOUSLY marks it as spam. If you don't see anything from me by Friday, check your spam folder. Also, when you drag it to your inbox (YOU BETTER DRAG IT TO YOUR INBOX), make sure you select to do that action with all future mail from the sender. I AM NOT SPAM



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



TV: ESPN


TV: ESPN



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Illinois & at Penn State


I've always had a lot of respect for the UW-Madison Police Department. Being police in a big college town seems like a cushy job, but I can't imagine it's easy. Drunk people are IMPOSSIBLE to reason with. Most of the kids are coming from sheltered little backgrounds where mommy and daddy were there to get them out of any trouble they may have wandered into. But from my experiences, the police in Madison were always pretty fair.

Fast forward a few years after graduation and UWPD has evolved to the point where they're tweeting with college football coach parody accounts and getting picked up by national media sites. Pretty sweet. But something caught my eye on Twitter the other day that really shook me:



Fucking A. That's awful. And it's not like Rex was just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill K9 dog. Rex was the fucking ELITE SECRET SERVICE of the K9 unit:
He was called upon to protect countless national and international dignitaries — sitting and former presidents, vice presidents, first ladies, presidential candidates and other high profile politicians, entertainers, and even the Dalai Lama. Driscoll said their protection of His Holiness was the highlight of his protection duties with Rex.
Rex was a goddamn HERO. Kinda dog you wish you could take your boots off with at the end of a long day sniffin' bombs and crack open a cold one or two. And, EARS. Look at Rex's magnificent ears! Those are the ears of a dog you want on your side when the terrorists come. German Shepherds actually smell through their ears, so the bigger and pointier ears on a Shepherd, the better they are at sniffing out bombs. Needless to say, Rex could sniff with the best of them.

I've lost a dog before. It's absolutely miserable. My family's dog gave us every reason to dislike him. We had an in-ground pool and he was PETRIFIED of water. He shed like a goddamn yeti. He'd take off at lightning speed the second he saw an opening to escape, making us search the whole damn neighborhood for him. He wasn't about 'fetch'. But he was our dog, and nothing else mattered. I can only imagine what it felt like losing a HERODOG like Rex.

PS - 
Aside from his hard, dependable work, Rex was well loved at the UW-Madison Police Department. Every morning, for nearly 11 years, Rex brightened everyone’s day by making his “morning rounds” – going from office to office to say hello, and asking for a treat. Sometimes he’d even make an afternoon round.
I want a Rex in my office.

PPS -




Sleep well, sweet prince.



CHICAGO BADGERS: If the Badgers play a game on #SecondSaturday and no one drinks during it... did it even happen? ALL HAIL #SECONDSATURDAY. At this point everyone that knows me HATES me because I've been mashing #SecondSaturday down their throats every single time we happen upon a weekend blessed with a #SecondSaturday. Working on President's Day? HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR THE FOUNDING FATHERS? I don't even know if there's an intersection betwixt the Founding Fathers and the presidents we celebrate on President's Day. All I know is that I don't have to work and therefore Sunday is officially henceforth known as #SecondSaturday (this weekend only).


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Northwestern & at Nebraska

That beatdown of IU was FUN. LET'S ASSESS.

WHAT WE LEARNED:
  • Frank is probably the world's best Pop-A-Shot player. That he's able to just flick a regular basketball in off the backboard with consistency is remarkable. I started watching somewhere around the halfway point of the first half and I think it was at least an hour before he missed a shot. Best player in the nation. Not a doubt in my mind.
  • This offense is historic. And that's not even an overstatement. That's not hyperbole. Their numbers were crazy before B1G season started, and they've only gone up since conference play got underway. Here are the top offensive players in B1G play so far:



  • THAT IS BANANAS. We are exactly halfway through the conference season and the top 5 players by offensive efficiency in the B1G are Badgers. I'm reasonably confident you won't see a better Badger team than this year's squad. I'm 1,000% confident you'll never see a better offense in Madison. They're fucking incredible.
  • This team's defense isn't that great, but that's okay. How much more fun is it to watch a team with an elite offense/bad defense than the previous versions with elite defense/bad offense? I really hope that 'defense wins championships' is a myth because this team rides and dies with its ability to score efficiently.
  • Above all else, THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE PERSON EVER:


Adorable Old Guy behind the broadcasters is the BEST. Look at him! He was so happy and enthusiastic and everything I wanna be when I get old. WHO IS HE? Is he a booster? Was he like the team locker room attendant for 67 years and got some courtside tickets as a retirement present? CAN HE ADOPT ME? Can you adopt a grandchild? Does that make any sense? Like if a really old person without grandchildren wanted to adopt someone in their 40s who didn't have any grandparents... is this a thing? Tell me 3 reasons I shouldn't make an app that does grandchildren adoption placement other than grandparents don't use apps. You never know when a brilliant idea is gonna STRIKE.

PS - Adorable Old Guy flashing the Dub:



PPS - Adorable Old Guy does the Degeneration X SUCK IT:





PPPS - I kind of have to try and meet him when I'm in Madison for the Minnesota game, don't I? Just ask him what he did in life to get to this peak status. Need to know. Need to shake those fantastical hands. Need it.

4xPS - We officially have our first spirit animal for the 2014-15 Wisconsin basketball team. I can't even explain to you how big this is. Who or what will be next? TIME WILL TELL




Thursday, January 29, 2015

at Iowa & #22 Indiana

OOOOOOO, that NYC blizzard, SO SPOOKY! So spooky it even had TWO official hashtags! So spooky that the Governor made it illegal to be outside! SO SPOOKY!

Sweet blizzard, New York. You're so bad at blizzarding that weather nerds everywhere are apologizing for even being associated with your bitch ass blizzard self. I mean seriously, how do you fuck up a blizzard? All you have to do is sit there and let it snow its face off with winds at least 35 mph and visibility less than a quarter of a mile for at least 3 hours. EVERYONE knows that's literally all it takes to get a blizzard. New York? Shitty blizzard city. Chicago? ELITE BLIZZARD CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

I've never been so damn proud to be a Chicagoan.

PS - All the fearmongering about blizzards is adorable. Blizzards aren't even one of my top 8 scariest things.

PPS - OH YES, that means it's time for an updated installment of my SCARY LIST FEAR RANKINGS:

1) The Third Rail


Translated: IF YOU STEP AND/OR PEE ON THIS YOU DIE

I'm not even sure I need further justification other than I am eternally terrified of anything that an kill you if you pee on it. The Third Rail is basically the opposite of a jellyfish sting. When you throw in how camouflage it is amongst the harmless rails and how easy it would be to take a tumble onto the tracks then you have the complete recipe for fear.

2) Cops on horses



Horses by themselves should probably be on this list. Horses are the scariest animals in the game. They're enormous, powerful, and I'm pretty sure they're really stupid. That's WRECKLESS. They'll kick your skull off and then swat at some flies on their butt with their tails. Ain't no thang.

And then you throw a cop on top and it's just whoa look out. Murder Machine, double capital M. I'm convinced that police horses have ANGER ISSUES as a result of years of hardcore training and a lack of poop privacy. I saw a horse and carriage the other day and the horse had a dumpster connected to his butt to catch all his poop. I had no clue horse poop catching innovation was a thing. Someone spent time engineering a solution to catch horse poop, and that is why asking third graders what they wanna be when they grow up is BULLSHIT. No third grader wants to grow up and start their own small business manufacturing and selling poop dumpsters for horses.

PS - Oddly enough I find those kinds of police hats extraordinarily scary, but when you put it on the horse I think everything gets kinda cute:



3) Murder Ice



Haven't heard much about murder ice in 2015. Kinda makes you think. Kinda makes you think that murder ice is just laying low, waiting for it's opportunity to FALL and do its murder thing. You sneaky murder ice you, I'm on to your game.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

at Michigan

You know what? Embarrassing Iowa like that was FUN! I know, crazy! But I can't say how much I love beating them. They're not our biggest rival. They're never our biggest threat to the crown given that they're never a threat to the crown. But their coach is a complete shithead, their players are gingers or dirtbags or both, and their fans somehow equate Iowa in football and hoops to Wisconsin. SO SILLY

And that's why that 32 point beatdown was such a pleasure. They were all talking about how it was going to be a statement game, and they even tricked me into thinking it was gonna be close just because the last handful of UW/Iowa games have been close. FOOL ME ONCE, Iowa.

So you can keep on gouging eyes and elbowing skulls and throwing little #frantrums on the sideline like it means a damn thing. We'll just beat your ass and get ready to do it all over again a week from Saturday.

PS - I had a handful of Iowa fans chirping at me during the B1G football championship. Funny how quiet they've gotten since we beat Auburn and then beat them so badly in hoops that it might actually be illegal to embarrass a school on national television like that. Clownshows.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Saturday Badger games against solid teams? HMMMMMMMMMMMMM



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ESPN

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nebraska & Iowa

THIS FEELS LIKE IT IS ALL MY FAULT. That's how I'm taking it. That's how I'm processing Frank having a SNEAKY concussion, Traevon fracturing his foot, Dekker disappearing, Gasser missing free throws, and Wisconsin losing to RUTGERS. I am 100% dead serious when I say I didn't think we'd lose to Rutgers in hoops OR football for at least the next 14 years. I was stunned and ashamed and CULPABLE. This is what I get for talking about running the table and never believing we're going to lose. This is what I get for only knocking on wood a few times instead of finding a sledgehammer and destroying my nightstand. THIS IS WHAT I GET.

HOWEVER, with all of that dramatic crap said, I'm still TEEMING WITH OPTIMISM. Allow me to explain:
  • Enter Bronson Koenig. I've been waiting for him to take a leap, and this would be a PRIME opportunity for him to do so. He's gonna start, he's gonna play 30+ mpg, and I think he's gonna seize the opportunity. If you remember, Trae was thrust into action when the George Marshall experiment failed. There were some growing pains, but Trae came out a much better player in the long haul as a result. I expect similar growth from BK, and given his absurd skill level, I think we'll see the fruits of the labors sooner rather than later.
  • Frank should be back, and a team with Dekker/Frank/Nigel should still win the B1G. That's big time big boy basketball, and on most nights against most teams those guys will carry the load. I'm willing to guess that Bronson, Gasser, and Duje will each have a night where they hit big shots and lead us to victory. That's a recipe for a title in my eyes.
  • All the Trae haters are either gonna have a giant heaping of crow to eat, or they'll be vindicated. One way or another, looking forward to some closure to this one. So annoying. I also don't think I know what the word 'vindicated' means, so hopefully this was solid usage.
  • Trae should be able to return before the B1G Tournament. If he can get a game or two in before the NCAA Tournament, I'd expect him to be able to contribute at least 20 minutes a night. Put him in for crunch time and let him do this thing.
  • The goals haven't changed. Win the B1G. Win the B1G tourney. Win the whole fucking thing. Those are the goals. 3 trophies. And now we go from the team everyone's expecting to do big things, the team with the bullseye on its back... to the team some people are gonna start doubting. The official hashtag of the season is #MakeEmBelieve, and now this team gets a chance to do EXACTLY that.
  • Above all else: Bo Ryan. He's still the coach last time I checked. We good.
Losing to Rutgers sucked. Losing Trae for an extended period sucks even more. But I'm not gonna doubt this team. And you shouldn't either.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Hey, LAWYERS. Can you tell me the laws about who is responsible for shoveling sidewalks in front of buildings? Home owners? Businesses? The city? Shouldn't it be ILLEGAL to just let snow pile up in front of your house/business/building until it gets super compacted and becomes a DANGER ZONE to walk on? Yes, it should be. If my alderman is on Twitter, I'm gonna BLOW HIM UP.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ESPN2


TV: ESPN