Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sweet 16 & Elite 8

NEVER A DOUBT.

And I mean that! Never a freaking doubt that we were taking down Villanova. Okay, maybe there were several moments of slight doubt (down 7 with 5 minutes to go). But what a time to be alive when you can be rationally confident you're gonna take down the #1 overall seed. EL GARDO ES EL MEJOR.


Now, new challenges await. First up is a Florida team that is quietly up to #3 in the KenPom ratings. But they don't scare me. You know what does scare me? MSG and its NBA rims. WORKING THEORY: we cannot shoot on NBA rims. This has been my unofficial observation and hypothesis for decades. Whatever the reason may be, we simply do not seem to shoot well on rigid NBA rims. Oh how we've grown to love the delicate, gentile bounces of the Kohl Center rims.


I refuse to do any research, and I suppose the Marquette game this year flies in the face of everything I'm saying, but if I have one major concern about our surprisingly good chances to make it to the Final Four... it's those damn rims.


But it's the season for overcoming fears and conquering obstacles. My rational confidence remains unfazed. No team has more experience in the moment, and it's not like we're running a bunch of scrubs out there. Bring on the Gators. Gimme Baylor. I want 'em all.


Friday night, 9:00 pm tip. That is so hot I'm afraid to even think about how the night is gonna play out. Lava hot tip time. Friday night. Bring it.


PS - Coming for that ass Florida:








FLORIDA ALUMNI: RANKED

What criteria are they ranked on? WHIM OF A MADMAN (me).

Last) Ryan Lochte, American gold medalist and silver medalist at 2004 Athens Olympics, gold medalist and bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and gold, silver and bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. Did they ever actually figure out the truth in Brazil? What was this idiot doing? I'm assuming he and his friends were just sauced to the bone and being jackasses and then tried to lie their ways out of it, right? Cool guy.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NCAA Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds



I was twelve years old the last time Wisconsin didn't make the NCAA Tournament. And I am OLD now! There's not a player on the current team that can even remember the last time Wisconsin missed the tournament. Recruits we're going after these days weren't even alive the last time we missed the dance. If you're a really old Wisconsin fan, I can only imagine how mind bottling this two decade run of consistent winning has been.

And yet, most of us have spent this year feeling completely and utterly frustrated with the way this team fell apart. A lot of that is justified - who the hell expected a team with 4 senior starters to blow a 1.5 game lead in February (too lazy to fact check) and limp into the tournament as an 8 seed?

But last I checked, this was still a team that finished 2nd in the B1G, runner-up in the B1G tourney, and went 25-9. This is still a dangerous team with a senior point guard and All-American big. And this is still a team with a bandwagon I simply cannot jump off. Expectations are low, but the opportunity to shock America's face off is prime. I dig that.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cotton Bowl vs. #12 Western Michigan

Fire up, it's time to take on WESTERN MICHIGAN! MARQUEE MATCHUP CITY!

Whatever. I have no idea, but I was never actually that upset after we choked that B1G Championship away. Maybe it's because (as I've been saying all year) my expectations for this team were so low that we've already far surpassed them. Maybe it's because even if we won we still weren't going to make the Playoff. Not sure. But I got over it and hopefully you have by now as well.

Our consolation prize for losing to Penn State? A date with the Western Michigan Broncos in the Cotton Bowl Presented By Cotton Eyed Joe. They're undefeated and probably have a bunch of Western Michigan Truther fans out there that are up in arms that they're not playing for a national championship, which on the surface is hilarious, but also... is it literally just impossible to play for a championship if you're in a shit conference? I guess that's kinda why the non-power 5 conferences are looking at creating their own championship, which I'm sure will not be belittled or made fun of at all.

This is essentially a notch below facing TCU in the Rose Bowl: it's not a sexy program from a big conference, and it's not difficult to view this as the classic lose/lose where losing is embarrassing and winning is expected since they're not a big program.

You want my take? Noon on January 2nd is a great time to get day drunk and extend that holiday vacay one extra day. No more football games until September. Drink it in and drink it deep before the tap runs dry.

DID ANYONE FAMOUS GO TO WESTERN MICHIGAN

Sure, a few did. Let's take a look.
  • Luther Vandross, rhythm and blues/urban contemporary singer, songwriter, and record producer. Of course, he is best known for...


    • For the record, that's a top 5 Kanye song. I'll hear no arguments otherwise.
    • Terry Crews, actor. I'm gonna just level with you and tell you I thought this was the Office Linebacker guy. Apparently that's Terry Tate. This seems like a reasonable mix up. I'm drinking an iced latte and listening to Lady Gaga right now, how are you doing?
    • Page Kennedy, actor. Hollywood is BULLSHIT. Here's a quick list of the roles Page has played in his actings:
      • In 2005, Kennedy won a recurring role on the popular ABC primetime soap, Desperate Housewives where he played Caleb Applewhite, a fugitive who was being held captive in his mother's basement. 
      • Kennedy joined the cast of Showtime's hit series Weeds during its second and third season. He played U-Turn, a drug-dealer and self-described "thug".
      • Kennedy played Radon Randell an "unidentified black male", a quarterback starting over the main character, Alex Moran, in the Spike television series Blue Mountain State. 
      • Kennedy had a guest appearance whereas he played a burglar in the new 2013 TV series Legit.
      • Kennedy played a gay inmate and gang leader in My Name is Earl and a married inmate and ex-con in Raising the Bar.
    • Hey Page Kennedy, I don't know how TV works, but I think you need a new agent because you have been TYPECAST.
    • Greg Jennings, YouTube star. Still slays me:

        • That Darren Sharper cameo is decidedly less funny than it was a few years ago.
        • "Fuck you Gumby" remains one of my favorite things to yell at someone.
        • Tim Allen, actor and stand-up comedian. Things you need to know about Tim Allen:
          • His real name is Timothy Allen Dick, and I guess he didn't feel like getting famous known as Tim Dick.
          • In 1978, he was arrested with a pound and a half of cocaine. He then snitched out the rest of the people involved to get a lighter sentence. There's nothing on his wiki page about it, but I'm assuming he got the stitches he rightfully deserved.
          • During a one week span in 1994, he starred in the #1 movie (The Santa Claus), had the #1 bestseller, and appeared in the #1 TV show (Home Improvement). That is obnoxious.
          • Galaxy Quest is a HIGHLY underrated movie
        • Tim "The Toolman" Taylor & Jill Taylor, fictional characters. Quite the impressive alumni group you have, Western Michigan.


        CHICAGO BADGERS: Seriously if you're working on Tuesday you're a sucker and I can't explain that any more succinctly.



        WHO/WHERE/WHEN


        TV: ESPN
        WEATHER: COUPLE MIDWEST SCHOOLS PLAYING INSIDE, LAME


        Thursday, December 1, 2016

        B1G Championship vs. #8 Penn State

        Several weeks ago I totally had myself convinced. There was simply no way an 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin team was going to get boned out of the Playoff. NO WAY. I wrote this:

        You can write it in sharpie on your face and lock it up: 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin is in the Playoff. That is today’s no doubt about it toss it in a nest and sit on it guarantee.

        Well aren't I the guy sitting on a nest of lies with IDIOT written on my face in permanent marker! Because as it stands right now, if Washington and Clemson win, then it doesn't matter if we trash Penn State by 500 because we'll be on the outside looking in. I don't even know how to process the situation. Like, I understand that the best teams don't always win their conference championships and that the committee's goal is to get the four best teams in the Playoff. I understand that. But we came into this season staring at a schedule that made it seem like keeping our heads about .500 would be an accomplishment. To come out 11-2 with wins over ranked LSU, Iowa, Nebraska, and Penn State teams while winning the best conference in the country and STILL come up short? That just sucks.

        Some people are oddly okay with this, as they see it as an act of martyrdom to expand the Playoff to 8 teams. I don't want to be agent of change. I don't want to be a footnote in the history of college football championship policies. I want to play for a damn championship. And I'm too lazy to go back and do the math, but I'm guessing we don't finish in the top 8 very frequently. Given how much smaller the margin for error is in football (compared to hoops), any chance to play for a title is precious. Do we get womped by Bama? Possibly. Probably. But we'd still find ourselves in a situation where we have to win two neutral games to snag a mothertrucking national championship. Wake me up the next time that's reality.

        I don't buy for a second that Washington is better than us. Their schedule? SOFT. Their loss? PATHETIC. The real UW? WISCONSIN. And gimme a break putting Michigan ahead of us. They beat us by a touchdown in their own house, sure. But they also lost to a mediocre Iowa team and won exactly ONE game outside the state of Michigan: at Rutgers.

        The truth is, we get screwed because LSU and MSU were supposed to be marquee wins. But then they went out and got sucky and stole a little shine off our impressive campaign. I guess what I'm saying is I'm prepared to accept an 11-2 B1G Championship season where one or two other teams from our conference go to the Playoff instead of us. LUNACY.

        PS - I don't think I ever expressed proper outrage over letting that OSU game slip through our fingers because Miguel Montero was busy propelling the Cubs to victory with a monster grand slam against the Dodgers, but... FUDGE. Looking back, that was a game we should've had that would have us firmly in the top 2-3, which means we'd be playing for a chance to AVOID Alabama. I AM RETROACTIVELY DISGUSTED AND UPSET.



        CHICAGO BADGERS: Saturday night, primetime, grab your friends and some champagne and live the High Life a little.



        WHO/WHERE/WHEN


        TV: FOX
        WEATHER: INDOOR WEATHER FOR OUTDOOR KIDS


        Thursday, October 13, 2016

        #2 Ohio State

        It was, without question, one of the greatest sporting events I have ever witnessed.

        You know the game, of course: undefeated, #1 Ohio State came to Madison six years ago ready to steamroll UW in their own house. You also remember, of course, how that game started...





        ...and also how it ended:



        Why am I using so many commas? DISJOINTING, ISN'T IT? But this is the blueprint. This is the motivation and the reason we BELIEVE that we can overcome being 10 point dawgs at home and beat a team that is objectively better at football than Wisconsin. No one who has watched these teams so far this year would say with a straight face that UW is better, or even that these teams are evenly matched. OSU deserves to be 10 point favorites on the road in a night game at Camp Randall. That Urban Meyer is really good and annoying!

        But if you know me, you know I've already convinced myself that we can hang with them. And despite all the injuries, a BUMPIN' Camp Randall can tilt the field in our favor.

        Screw it. Let's party on the turf all night and light those goalposts on FIRE.



        CHICAGO BADGERS: Good luck getting the UW game on a TV at any bar other than a Wisconsin bar Saturday night. Who knows, maybe Will's will even have the Badger and Cubs games on. What a time to be alive.



        WHO/WHERE/WHEN


        TV: ABC
        WEATHER: 60, CLOUDY, TURF PARTY


        Thursday, September 29, 2016

        at #4 Michigan

        I DON'T WANT TO GET OFF THE HORNIBROOK EXPRESS. Too much fun. That MSU game was beyond glorious. Some of us were more than hopeful we could pull off the upset, but no one thought we'd go into East Lansing and dismantle Michigan State. All facets were clicking: Hornibrook was dropping dimes, the defense was tenacious in every sense of the word, and special teams had some nice contributions as well.

        You all had us in the top 10 with wins over LSU and MSU at this point, right? Who's surprised that we're more contender than pretender? NOT I*

        *I am somewhat surprised

        But we all know that was merely the beginning of the death stretch. There's no time to savor the flavor with a trip to the Big House looming. Michigan looks to be back at their elite level (that sentence was physically painful to type), but they haven't played anyone... yet. Can UW keep the momentum and crush the soul of every single filthy person from the state of Michigan in consecutive weeks? WE MUST DESTROY PURE MICHIGAN

        PS - The news about Gaglianone missing the season because of back surgery is awful. But am I weird in thinking it could be a intriguing opportunity? 4th and 4 on the 30? Go for it. 4th and 2 on the 20? Go for it. Basically we have a second motto for the season: we are #AllInOnHornDawg and when in doubt, #GoForIt

        PPS - Was the last time we played Michigan the game where we ran the ball every single play in the second half? I miss that Michigan! I want more of that Michigan!



        CHICAGO BADGERS: Shocked they didn't bone us with another 11:00 kickoff. It's almost as if people are kind of interested in an undefeated top 10 clash in October. Whoa! Afternoons on the Will's patio, nowhere else you should want to be.



        WHO/WHERE/WHEN




        TV: ABC
        WEATHER: IT GON' RAIN


        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