Keep the faith.
1) Black Jesus
2) Wisconsin fans travel well
3) Lots of national press/love this year
CHICAGO BADGERS: I'll only offer that Bo Ryan and the UW hoops team begin their quest for glory this Saturday at noon against the MIGHTY Kennesaw State Owls. The game is not on TV because I'm sure the Big Ten Network is contractually obligated to show Indiana puking on itself for 3 hours instead of Jordan Taylor scoring 40 points while simultaneously seducing every woman in Dane County.
PS - Just a matter of time until they rename it 'Dayne County,' Right? Right.
PPS - It bothers me that !'s and ?'s follow logic when determining if they go inside/outside quotes, but commas and periods always go inside. The grammar whore in me hates everything about that. Why are commas and periods so fucking cool that they get to play by their own rules?
SHAMELESS PLUGS: Tumblr.
TV: BIG TEN NETWORK
WEATHER: IT'S MINNESOTA, SO WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP, I'M GONNA GUESS IT WILL BE -23 DEGREES AND DARK BY 1:30 PM.
SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT MINNESOTA
Hmm. I'll give it my best shot:
- Whenever someone in Chicago complains about how cold it is, you can always respond, 'Hey, at least we don't live in Minnesota.'
- WITHOUT QUESTION, it is my favorite state that shares a border with Wisconsin that isn't named Illinois or Iowa.
- That means I like Minnesota more than Michigan.*
- Which is pretty much like saying I like waking up early more than I like the Taliban.
- Having attended a Gopher game in the Dome, I can safely report that yes, they do in fact know how to spell the name of their state. Impressive.
- Maybe it's just me, but I find maroon and gold to be quite dashing.**
*I'm quitting my job and leading a movement for Wisconsin to take over the UP once and for all. Why the fuck does Michigan get to have it? Blow up the Mackinac Bridge and they'd have to rely on their navy to try and defend the UP. Just think, Wisco people: we could have Watersmeet all to ourselves! GOOOOOOOO NIMRODS!
**By 'dashing', I mean they look like various bodily fluids mashed together. Vom.com.
PS - Never really used the 'Vom.com' bit before, feels very Clueless-esque. Kinda digging it.
PPS - Still in love:
Seriously though, she'd be perfect if she just bought one of these:
THE BEST MEALS IN MADISON
3) TIE - Rathskeller Chicken Tender Basket and Kohl Center Chicken Tender Basket
Let's be honest, you can probably guess the top 2 on my list (OR CAN YOU?). But I highly doubt many of you expected to see either one of these show up, let alone both of them. What can I say? I freaking love chicken tenders. That's been discussed multiple times here and elsewhere. So if you think about it, having these two up towards the top of my countdown makes perfect sense.
The Rathskeller was one of my go-to in between class lunch spots. Since I was an idiota and took Spanish every semester, I made many a journeys up/down the hill. And since I lived on Langdon 4/5 years, the Union was directly between my apartment and class. THEREFORE, I ate there rather frequently. Typically I would try and stay somewhat healthy and just get a wrap, but if I was coming back from a test or just needed something GOOD on a Friday when I really should have been hungover in bed, I went with my go-to non-special event chicken tender basket. Allow me to explain what sets this tender basket apart from all of its competitors:
- Massive pieces of chicken. And not massive in the 'I think they just added bones and tumors to make these look bigger' sense. My eyes always grew wide when I watched them drive a forklift in to lift these gargantuan tenders into the basket.
- Fantastic ranch. Again, my love for ranch is virtually unconditional, and eating chicken tenders sans ranch is something I will rarely do. PROTIP: The ranch comes from the salad bar, which means you can load it up yourself. YES, I NEED ALL 5 OF THESE BUCKETS. STOP JUDGING.
- Homemade buffalo sauce available upon request. Most people would probably equate the Rathskeller with cafeteria food. Bullshit. No cafeteria I ever heard of makes their own buffalo sauce -- a sauce that happens to be quite delicious. Could it be a little spicier? Sure. But I tend to think that I'm in the minority when it comes to how much heat I like in my food/condiments.
- Pretty sure you could get your basket for under $6. That makes this meal affordable on a broke-ass college student's budget. CLUTCH.
- Best of all: PAY WITH YOUR WISCARD. Oh, how I miss the days of paying with my student ID. Spoiled Child Alert: My parents would throw money on there for me to use for various things. As a student, I always viewed anything on my Wiscard as FREE MONEY. All the more reason for me to saunter my way over to the Union for some chicken tender basket action.
UPDATE: Just got this:
Well I'll be damned. Got the whole marketing department firing away on this! It's clear now that I fudged up and shoulda gone into marketing, where you get painstakingly difficult assignments like taking a picture of chicken tenders. I'm starting to think that maybe I shoulda just had my sister walk a block to the Union and take a pic for me. But this is much more fun.
And then there's the infamous Kohl Center Chicken Tender Basket (KCCTB). Having read my ramblings for some time now, you should know that I RARELY abbreviate a food item. Obviously there's the TBCGC... but you can now add the KCCTB to that list as well. I'll be the first to admit that the KCCTB has a HUGE advantage over every other meal in Madison: it is directly associated with UW hoops (and to a lesser extent, hockey). Maybe it's a little Pavlovian thing, where I'm just conditioned to want a KCCTB the second I walk into the Kohl Center. Who knows. But I find myself missing this meal about as much as any other one on my list.
- Concession stand outside section 115: WE ACCEPT WISCARDS. Boom.
- As far as stadium concessions go, this is a serious amount of food. Clearly when you buy food at a game, you're not expecting a full meal. A hot dog here, one of those stupid mini-pizzas there. OHHH DIPPIN' DOTS! That's not the case with the KCCTB, as it will certainly fill you up.
- They pretty much do give you a bucket of ranch. That container is enormous, which is something I respect because they recognize that you can't conveniently go up for a second helping of ranch. And big chicken tenders + little ranch cups = no bueno.
- Surprisingly good fries. You know what else? Few things are better than getting a stray onion ring in your order of fries at a restaurant. But with the KCCTB, you can get stray CHEESE CURDS thrown in the mix. I like to pretend that the chess team running the stand did that on purpose, just to make my night that much better. More realistically, Ned The Deep Fryer was shoveling curds into his mouth while making my basket, missed, watched it drop in the basket, and just said, 'fuck it.' Love you, Ned.
- The Kohl Center is a GREAT place to go after gettin' a little weird. A ginormous tender basket is EXACTLY what munchies are all about.
Few things made me happier than watching UW beat Michigan State for the 500th time in a row while gnarring a KCCTB.
CONCLUSION: I love chicken tender baskets, and these were my two favorites in Madison. Also, ranch.
You're telling me he's worked for the UW Athletic Department for more than 7 minutes and he's NEVER tried a KCCTB? I'm not even mad. That's just sad.
4) Melting Pot and App Sampler - Dotty Dumpling's Dowry
5) Cripple Creek NO FUCKING TOMATO - Silver Mine Subs
6) Plaza Burger and Cheddar Munchers - The Plaza
7) Sweet & Sour Chicken (SAUCE ON THE SIDE) - Asian Kitchen
8) Buffalo Bites - The City
9) Wings - Quaker Steak & Lube
10) Qdoba Queso Burrito/Henry
12) Pizza di Roma Chicken Parm & Pepperoni/Sausage Pizza
Honorable Mentions: Casa B's Slice/Breadsticks, Falbo Bro's Chicken Parm Sub, Za's Cajun Alfredo Pasta with Pepperoni and Garlic, Jamie's Cookie Cakes
MATCH-UPS TO WATCH
UW Players Holding The Axe vs. TCF Bank Stadium Goalposts
It is pure, 100% scientific fact that the axe is the coolest trophy in college football. I mean, come on: it's a giant fucking axe. Unless you're anti-things made out of wood, you should LOVE and RESPECT the axe. Kinda ironic that this axe is made out of wood, though, no? But like Dwight making a knife, it just works.
As is tradition in the UW/Minny rivalry, the winning team will run and grab the axe, and if they're on the road, they'll go to the goalposts and chop 'em down. Kinda a big FU to the team that just lost. This year, I'm fully expecting Borland to be the main chopper, and since he's elite at everything he does, I think he might actually be the first person in the history of the rivalry to chop down metal goalposts with a wooden axe.
Montee Ball vs. The Pursuit Of Record Breaking
Here's a question: If Montee Ball got all the carries, what kind of numbers would he put up? If James White wasn't around, and we didn't bench the starters in the 4th quarters of blowouts, would he have 200 touchdowns this season? I think so. And UW would have TWO legit Heisman candidates in the same backfield. Not sure the last time this happened, but I'm guessing it was some Leinart/Bush combo. BUT WAIT, they cheated and those days don't count or something. So I'm officially declaring Black Jesus/MBS as the most powerful and dangerous backfield combo in recent NCAA history. I'm also officially declaring that I LOVE hyperbole more than anything else in the entire fucking universe.
RANDOM MUSIC THAT I'M DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK
Birdman - My Territory
Birdman, in his prime, was probably the greatest rapper we've ever seen. Just hot beats and face-melting rhymes.
Truth. He does drop quite a few n-bombs.
Simple Plan - I'm Just A Kid
Our Lady Peace - Is Anybody Home?
Canada's three greatest contributions to the world:
1) Brian Boitano
2) Our Lady Peace
3) Making Detroit look even worse, which I thought was impossible.
NOTE: Not entirely sure if Brian Boitano and/or Our Lady Peace are Canadian, but at the same time they're not really doing anything to make themselves seem less Canadian.
THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU
You can lock this up
Li-tra-ly no way we lose
Did I just jinx us?
12 years old, writing symphonies, being compared to Mozart, making me hate him out of nothing but pure jealousy. Incredibly impressive stuff, but at the same time, not too shocking once you see him walking around with his roller backpack while air-conducting.
PS - Not to steal your thunder, Mozart Jr., but you're still not in Greyson's league. Chicks dig the rockstar covering Lady Gaga, not the kid dressing as Ludwig van Beethoven for Halloween. Sucks.
PPS - Do girls our age realize that them having a crush on Bieber is the same thing as me crushing on the girls in the background of that Greyson video? Are you aware of how messed up that is? Pump the brakes next time you start fawning over a 12 year old.
Hands down, the best burger spot in Chicago, if not the universe. I believe what we're looking at here is the Original Kuma Burger, which is a monster burger with cheddar, bacon and a fried egg, all gently placed in a pretzel roll. Obviously, I added frizzled onions to the mix, because frizzled onions are the only item known to man to improve upon frizzling. ALSO PICTURED: Waffle fries. FO' FREE.
I haven't been in way too long, but last I heard they changed from waffle fries to fresh cut fries. Haven't really decided if that's a step forward, sideways or backwards. They do get minus 1 million points for not having ranch, but they kinda make up for it with a spicy giardiniera mayo. Nobody's perfect.
Back to the Bwa for what is probably my finest sunset picture. Zero modifications done to the pic, just quickly snapped with an iPhone. I love this stuff.
- One of my biggest fears is falling down an escalator. For hours.
- I spend way too much time studying the order in which names are listed in a group email. I put so much faith in it that I add people in alphabetical order when I'm sending an email to more than 5 people. I can't have people knowing who I like and who I just pretend to like. That's crazy. But I have thought about doing it in order of least favorite --> favorite people, just to kinda throw everyone off their game. So keep in mind, if you send out an email to 20-30 people and it's not alphabetical, you're basically listing off your tiers of friends from best to worst. I fucking love email.
- I work the Friday AND Saturday after Thanksgiving. Isn't that a violation of some kind of law? Should I contact the AFL-CIO? My biggest regret in life is not taking up a profession that lets you join a union. I imagine unions throw the best ragers, get all sorts of sick union gear, and every once in a while when people are shitting on them, they get a big inflatable rat and don't work for a few days while just yelling and making clever signs. What about that is not right up my alley? It's like College Gameday, every day, and at the end they give you more money. Plus, they have numbered names like regiments in the army. Always thought that was badass. "Yeah, I'm a member of Local 597 - that's the Pipe Fitter's Union to you, pretty boy."
- No, seriously, it is. For some reason, the first union I thought of was the Pipe Fitter's Union, which just brings a smile to my face for no explicable reason. LOCAL 597 FOR LIFE.
IF YOU GO TO ONE WEBSITE THIS WEEK, MAKE IT THIS ONE
This is simultaneously my new favorite and least favorite website in the world: This Is Why I'm Broke. I had no CLUE how many things existed that I didn't know about but absolutely NEED.
Arcade Button Light Switches
My room would look like a strobe light -- I would NEVER stop pushing these buttons. Arcade buttons are some of the most classic and awesome buttons around.
Hands down (get it?) the creepiest pillow in the history of pillows. Also, I've heard OkCupid profiles are a lot cheaper.
Skull Beer Pitcher
Transparent Pool Table
Just one step up from the trans-parent cube!
Baby Yoda Beanie
RUNNER UP: Bear Claw Forks
Still not sure what they do or how they do it, I just know that I need them.
WINNER: HAND SHOVELS
Without question the most amazing device on the entire site. Can you even imagine all the things you could do with hand shovels? Can you? Plus, shovel hands are a thousand times cooler than man hands.
PS - I saw this:
And immediately booked it to Amazon to buy it. Then I read the reviews and saw that the Nerf N-Strike Longstrike CS-6 Dart Blaster is actually superior, has detachable silencers, and in general is just really fucking cool:
Best $30 I've spent this week.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE PENN STATE DEBACLE/ATROCITY/SCANDAL
WARNING: No jokes, animated GIF's, or Paint drawings here. Real talk only.
Really struggling to find a way to organize my thoughts. There are just so many egregious stories, details and facts involved here that my mind is racing. And then, right when you think things can't POSSIBLY get any worse, we hear today that Sandusky may have used his charitable foundation to whore boys out to rich Penn State donors. Just, ugh. I have so many questions:
- How does anyone involved in this look themselves in the mirror and go on with their day?
- How does someone see a boy getting raped and not call the police?
- Take that one step further: How does someone see a boy getting raped and not step in and stop it? Was McQueary not aware that every second he spent thinking about what to do, that 10 year old boy was still getting raped?
- How does Joe Paterno, possibly the most legendary coach in collegiate history, icon of the school, one of the most powerful and influential men in the entire state, and father figure to thousands of young men that have passed through State College, just pass the info along to his bosses instead of calling the police?
- Fine, I'll play along with the blatant lie that McQueary didn't tell Paterno exactly what was going on in that shower: Does it matter what was going on in that shower? You have a naked 59 year old man showering with a 10 year old boy, alone, at night, in the Penn State football complex. Name me one possible good thing that could be going on there. I've seen some obvious red flags before, but this is mind-blowingly obvious.
- When did the Board of Trustees actually find out about all of this?
- What really happened to the District Attorney that was handling the original investigation of Sandusky?
Am I harping on Paterno unfairly? I don't think so. I've heard people ask, 'Why is all the focus on Paterno/Spanier/Schultz/etc? Shouldn't we be channeling that anger towards Sandusky?' I understand why that question has to be asked, but there's no opposing viewpoint on Sandusky. There's nothing to argue. The man not only raped children, but he established a prominent charitable organization that, on the surface, was made to help boys going through rough times. Now it's clear that the entire foundation was a farce and existed solely to facilitate the sexual assaults and rape carried out by Sandusky (and allegedly some Penn State donors). Let that sink in, because it was probably the most awful sentence I've ever had to type.
Finally, I'd like to take a minute to point out the absurdity of the statement released by Paterno before he was fired, no doubt penned by the crisis management PR firm he hired:
I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
There would be a lot less grieving on your end had you stepped in 10 years ago and put an end to all of those 'developments.'
That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status.
They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.
As I said, he paid good money for a crisis management PR firm to help him through this. And THIS is something they actually thought would work? Telling the Board of Trustees, 'Hey, don't worry about me, I'll get out of your way. You guys just worry about everyone else. I'm good! Thanks!' I still can't believe this was a part of his statement.
This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
We all wish you had done more.
My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.
A football game seems rather trivial after all that Penn State talk, but this is a Badger Preview. And if you couldn't figure it out from the rest of this preview, I think it's pretty clear that we're gonna roll Minny on Saturday. Their defense is horrendous, giving up roughly 35 yards per carry. Their offense is nothing worth talking about. And if there's one thing all Badger fans can agree on right now, it's that we love beating up on terrible teams. Gopher fans will be fleeing for the exits before the 4th quarter. The Pick:
WISCONSIN 59, MINNESOTA 10