Friday, December 2, 2011

Badger Preview: B1G Championship Game - #13 MSU

Was that really supposed to be one of the best defenses in the Big Ten?  Because I'm pretty sure we ran right through them all day long.  There was simply no denying Wisconsin in their bid to reach Indy and play in the inaugural Big Ten Championship.  And here we are, mostly healthy, on a nice little winning streak, a win away from at least partially avenging the previous two losses to MSU and reaching our second consecutive Rose Bowl.

I'm still trying my absolute hardest to not think about the fact that if we were undefeated, we would 100% be playing for a spot in the National Championship.  Maybe after this season is over, those terrible, haunting thoughts will return.  But for right now, I just care about one thing: Beating Michigan State.  I hate their state.  I hate their uniforms.  I hate the way the play.  I hate the fact that they needed a blocked punt, blocked field goal, safety, AND Hail Mary just to beat us in their own stadium.  I hate that they put billboards up last year crying that they should've been in the Rose Bowl over us.  I hate.

(This ended up being my own version of Morgan Freeman's narrative at the end of Shawshank.  Just replace 'hate' here with 'hope', and I'm pretty sure it's word for word.)

PS - I promise I'm not that hateful, I just really don't like the state of Michigan.  You understand.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Assuming you're not going to the game (you should), you'll have to find your own plans.  I will be happily drinking my face off in Indy.





  • They don't have a widespread sexual abuse scandal
  • They're not Michigan
  • This is really, really tough
  • I think I'll take a break and come back to this later
(...1 day later...)
  • This is fucking impossible.


Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak - Big Red's

I actually got mad at myself after I realized I left Big Red's off my list.  Someone much smarter and with a much better memory than I will have to confirm, but I'm pretty sure Big Red's opened in the location formerly occupied* by Yan's Soupcon**.  It was also run by the hockey team's goalie, so it had a little 'it' factor, if you will.  I suppose it's worth mentioning that the food was awesome, too.  A buffalo chicken cheesesteak and fries was one of the ultimate munchies meals around, and it really wasn't that expensive either.  The guys that worked there were great at shooting the shit without being all fucking perky like Potbelly employees (HI HOW ARE YOU?  WHAT CAN I GET YOU ANY SOUPS SALADS SHAKES SMOOTHIES HOW IS YOUR DAY GOING WOULD YOU LIKE A SHEILA'S DREAM BAR I HAVE NO IDEA WHO SHEILA IS BUT I BET SHE'S SWELL!  Jesus Christ dude, breath.)  Extra bonus?  EXCELLENT people watching spot.  Drunks stumbled past between Wando's, Church Key and all the other University Ave spots.  I miss me some Big Red's.

Anything at Charlie's

OK, this makes no sense, but Charlie's had the BEST bad chicken tenders ever.  They were 100% the exact same generic tenders that my high school served, but whenever I was indecisive, this was my go-to.  Also, I think they priced them like they were on the kids menu, but the amount of food would indicate otherwise.

Charlie's was, however, a sandwich shop.  Great buffalo chicken, and any place that has something with multiple cheeses and bacon on a sandwich is a winner in my books.  I also completely appreciated the kickass artwork they had in there - all of it hand drawn by one of the cashiers there.  If she ever becomes a famous artist, they'll be editing Wikipedia pages about here citing her time drawing Bucky in Charlie's as her true inspiration.  Heartwarming tale.

*Fucking hippies have completely ruined the word 'occupy' for everyone.

**Yan's Soupcon, for those of you smart enough to stay away, was the shadiest Chinese restaurant in the world.  But what the public didn't know was that there a little Chinese man there that had the basement absolutely STOCKED with every single old school video game in the world.  I was somehow given his email address and made contact with him.  Next thing I know, I'm getting led through the kitchen like that scene in Goodfellas when Henry takes Karen through the back entrance at the club.  Live animals being killed, someone smoking a cigarette in the kitchen, terrifying things around every corner.  Keeping with the movie analogies, you're led into the basement from Pulp Fiction, but instead of butt-raping cops there are 1,000's of video games lining the walls.  Lots of haggling and one hell of a language barrier are between you and any game you want.  To this day, one of the strangest things I've seen.  And then the place up and vanished like fart in the wind.  MEOW.

Every paragraph will have a minimum 6 movie references from now on.


MSU Pass Rush vs. Russell Wilson

FACT: Black Jesus has thrown 3 interceptions this year.

FACT: 2 of those 3 interceptions were in East Lansing against these Spartans.

FACT: MSU was without one of their best players, DE William Gholston, last time UW and MSU met.

FACT: It bothers me when people use team records to argue the merits of individual players.  Like judging a quarterback solely on his win/loss record.  That's just so stupid and flawed.  Use it as a part of your argument, sure.  But if that's your entire point, you suck.

FACT: That last fact had nothing to do with anything.

FACT: UW is still trying to find some consistency on its offensive line amid some injuries and ineffectiveness.

UW's 3rd Down Defense vs. Kirk Cousins

THEORY: If we suck for the 3rd straight time against MSU on 3rd down, we will lose for the 3rd straight time.

EVIDENCE: Empirically speaking, winning 3rd down is key to winning ballgames.

SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: I can still specifically remember us NEVER getting a stop on 3rd down in the game in East Lansing last year, much the same as the game there this year.

POTENTIAL FLAWS: We could score very fucking time we get the ball, rendering their third down conversion rate meaningless.


Moby ft. Gwen Stefani- Southside

Hot track and one sneakily shreddish guitar solo.  I also love that Gwen Stefani provides the vocals, and I have had more than 1 daydream about her.  Is that weird?  Whatever, she's bangin'.

Dokken - Dream Warriors

We finally got our first noise complaint here at Buckingham Palace.  The complaint wasn't very specific, but we think we've isolated the incident.  Saturday night, post Badger game day drinking, things got real weird real fast.  It all culminated in a way-too-long air guitar rock out session, climaxing with Dream Warrior at maximum volume sometime around 3 am.  We've been consistently loud as fuck since we moved here, but it's a safe assumption that last Saturday night was main culprit.

PS - Does it count as air guitar if you're using a Guitar Hero controller?  What's the ruling here?


To Indy we go

To rage, to party, to win

Or so we all hope


Stanley from the Office is a burgeoning rap star.  That is AMAZING.

I actually don't have many videos this week, so I'd like to quickly point out that Google slightly redesigned the YouTube site.  Not a big fan.  It's not on the same level as their awful Gmail redesign (which is still annoying), but I immediately thought, 'What the fuck is going on here, this isn't YouTube'.  These changes usually don't seem like much, but it's scary to think about how much thought and careful planning went into executing them.  Must be so much pressure to be in charge of redesigning a website that 9 trillion people look at every second.


Mmmmmmmm, fried onion stuff.  It's basically an accepted fact of life that you can deep fry just about anything and it will taste good.  It's a less widely-known fact that if your ratio of fried batter : actual food is high in favor of the batter, then you will have one delicious appetizer.  The onion stack above is from Pub 'N Prime in St. Germain, WI.  Wayyyyyy up north where there's an abundance of steakhouses for nor apparent reason other than a lot of rich people vacation up there every summer.  Which is great, because while I was not rich, I spent many summers up north just feasting on all the delicious onion stacks and prime ribs I could get my hands on.

It should go without saying, but a side of ranch is a MUST with a salty, fried mess like this.  You also have to disregard etiquette and remember that you're up north, so dunking your fist full of onion stuff into a bucket of ranch is perfectly acceptable.

I'm currently disgusting myself reading this last part back.  Ugh.


There I was, casually checking Twitter while waiting for the L today when I almost shit myself as something much brighter than a normal L train came flying into my peripheral vision.  I looked up to see a badass train covered in holiday cheer, including a fucking SLEIGH in the middle with the fat man himself.  Everyone on the platform was kind of stunned and looked around for 4 seconds before doing what every idiot does these days: Snapping a picture on their phones.  All in all, this really brightened (PUN CITY) my night.  Sometimes, it really is the little things in life that do the trick.  I do not at all like how that last sentence is worded.  Too tired to figure out a better way.  Womp womp.


Most of you know that I'm a big fan of Drew Magary - he's a writer for Deadspin, and more recently came out with a pretty good novel called The Postmortal, which I've surely mentioned here.  He's been on this little book promotion tour recently, including a stop in Chicago tonight.  I decided to check it out with a friend of mine, because why the fuck now.

We showed up like 10 minutes late and the place (Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, which is an adorable little piece of Chicago) was absolutely PACKED.  For about 10 minutes, he was just reading the first chapter of his book - pretty freaking boring considering I already read the whole damn thing.  Although it was kinda humorous that he was reading with exaggerated voice inflections, like a father reading to his kid.  Soon enough, the book reading was over and the fun began.  Highlights:

Q: Is every one of your stops filled with 30 year old white guys like this one?

A: What are you talking about?  There are 2 women right here that I paid to be here.  And I'm pretty sure I saw a black guy here.  Where'd that black guy go?  (Spots the black guy)  Hey!  There he is! (entire crowd cheers).  And look!  We've got some Asians!

Q: Does your wife read all the stuff you write?

A: She reads some of it, but it's not her humor.  She sometimes asks if I have to write about jacking off so much.  She'll say, 'You know, I'm right here.'

The rest would fall under the 'you had to be there' category.  I enjoyed this at the very least because I can tell people I went to a book reading, making me sound really smart and cultured.  IF ONLY THEY KNEW THE TRUTH.


During the week, rumors started flying about a Craigslist posting soliciting seat fillers for an 'event' Saturday night in Indy, requesting people to wear red or dark green.  HMMMM.  The offer said they were paying $75 for people to come fill seats.  Sounded too good to be true, right?  Well, it was.  Awesome college football blogger Spencer Hall ended up having an email correspondence with the guy behind it.  End result?  Some douche and his friends thought it would be funny to put up the listing, expecting no more than a few responses.  Well, a couple thousand emails and mainstream press attention later, and their cover was blown.

I'm pretty torn on how I feel about this.  One side of me says this was one hell of masterful trolling move, fooling hundreds of people all over the country.  But the other half of me thinks this guy is just a jackass with too much time on his hands.  Either way, if you thought you might be able to get PAID to go to the B1G Championship, well, you're just gonna have to pony up the $8 and pay for yourself.

I can't believe you can get tickets for $8.  That's crazy.


I wish I had better news for you, my friends, but it doesn't look good.  MSU hasn't been to the Rose Bowl in over 20 years.  They feel completely hosed about us going over them last year.  They've had our number the last 2 seasons, and they're at full strength this weekend.

Meanwhile, as much as I like to pretend it's not true, there's still been a black cloud lingering over this season ever since the East Lansing Debacle.  The team couldn't shake it the next week in Columbus, and I've never fully recovered to the point where I have complete confidence in this team.

I want to believe - I want to be back on the 'we're fucking unstoppable' bandwagon.  I just can't.  I'm rolling into Indy expecting the worst, but praying for the best.  The Pick:

WISCONSIN 28, MICHIGAN STATE 31.   A last second field goal to send us to the Who Gives A Fuck Bowl.  Bad things come in 3's, and we've only had 2 absolutely gut-wrenching, devastating losses.

I think I feel ill.  Prove me wrong, Bucky.


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