Thursday, December 22, 2011

Badger Preview: Pre-Rose Bowl Mailbag Part 2!

Part 2 for your holiday enjoyment.  Rose Bowl Preview next week.

 Matt B:
Will James White bounce back into form once he's out of Ball's shadow?

Matt actually asked like 5 solid, football-related questions.  But I like looking ahead, and if we're gonna do that, this is the most important question.

The short answer is that it probably really doesn't matter that much.  Between White, Melvin Gordon, Jeff Lewis, and incoming freshman Vonte Jackson, at LEAST one of them will step up and be a beast.  This is a fact, and I will not hear otherwise.  So if you're asking because you're concerned about the running game in a post-MBS world, well, don't worry.

But the James White 'regression' really is confusing, isn't it?  Totally didn't see it coming.  Up until the Iowa game last year, it was pretty close betwixt White and Clay for the title of Best Badger Back.  White was shifty a la Calhoun, had some nice burst, and appeared to have decent hands out of the backfield.  In other words, he's the ideal complementary back for UW's standard power running game.  I loved him.  Hell, the student section even organized a White Out for the biggest game of the year last year (you know, the one where we beat #1 Ohio State even though they were cheating their faces off).  So to see him shuffling around at the line of scrimmage this year is really strange.

White watched Ball reinvent himself in the offseason and turn into one of the premiere backs in college football.  I, for one, would not be remotely surprised if James does that very same thing this year.  Write him off at your own risk.

PS - Totally unrelated, but I just got this in an email at work:


My reaction was pretty much exactly like this.


Would you rather spend time on the island from LOST or East Lasorna?

Wow.  First off, meat no nothin' for calling it 'East Lasorna', as anyone with half a brain and an unhealthy Jurassic Park obsession knows that it's 'Isla Sorna'.  With that out of the way, this is arguably the most difficult question in the world.  But if we're simply talking about spending time, it's gotta be Isla Sorna.  I don't know what I'd do if I actually saw a fucking DINOSAUR, but I'm guessing it would be a pretty special moment.  And if I'm on the Island, who else is there?  Am I there during the time traveling part with the purple flashes?  Do I get to go in the Hatch?  What if Smokey just ticka-ticka'd me right away?  Am I with THE OTHERS?  Because I totally wouldn't mind making a pass at Juliet.

Wait, I can ask similar questions for Isla Sorna: Am I there BEFORE Nedry fucks everyone over?  For both islands, do I get all the knowledge I have right now?  Because that could make a big difference.  No way I'm letting the T-Rex get me.  My head is starting to hurt going over scenarios.

Follow up, which island do you survive longer on and for how long?

Man, LOST makes this real tough to figure out.  The people in Jurassic Park probably don't live much longer if they can't radio for a chopper, so it's tough to tell how long they'd survive.  You gotta think soon enough they'd be eaten, though.  From a purely survival point of view, I'm going with the Island.  If I know what I know now, I really think I could eventually be the new Jacob/Jack/Hurley, which would be a great job.  Just watchin' over the Island, bringing humans there to play my games, haunting people with dead relatives... all that great stuff.  And assuming I eventually take over that role, couldn't I reign over the Island for hundreds of years?  That's where LOST has an inherent advantage here... time isn't totally normal, people aren't just people.


What do guys really want for Xmas (or Hanukkah)?


I have two Ducks/Duckworth related ideas that need to be vetted:

1. Sconnies are known for their crazy hunting prowess/obsession/ abundance of blaze orange & camo clothing. We are playing the Ducks. Isn't this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of that? Chances are we'll be wearing white again and we stink in white.(I'm not positive but guessing we're the away team) Wouldn't it be an amazing coup to have Sconnie Nation decked out in blaze orange camo (Troy take note, $$) at the Rose Bowl opposite Phil Knight's minions? I know it would be tough to convince the older alumni but I feel like this could gain some serious traction in the student section. Am I crazy? Talk me down and tell me this is not a good idea.

ALLOW ME TO VET.  The scary part is I actually kinda like this idea.  It would stand out so well both in person and on TV.  But it doesn't matter how awesome we think it is, because it just won't happen.  As you correctly pointed out, the alumni will never go for it.  Crotchety (I think I use that word every week, big fan) old people fear change and thrive on tradition.  Fucking TRADITION.  It kills new, fun ideas left and right.

Would the students go for it?  Possibly.  I like that you kinda pitched this to me and Troy, since right now I totally think that Sconnie should sell a blaze orange 'SCONNIE' shirt.  It'd be a hot seller.  But as far as this happening in Pasadena?  Unlikely.
2. This kind of conflicts with the first point, but lets say the first one comes up short. Would it be appropriate to start a quack, Quack, QUACK chant, a la Mighty Ducks, if Duckworth makes another big play? Would people look at it as mocking Oregon and celebrating Duckworth at the same time or would it be looked at as ignorant in the face of Oregon's nickname? Also, are you aware if Oregon does this already?

I'm all for the Mighty Ducks references:

Mighty Ducks is one of the most timeless, amazing movies ever.  Anytime we have a Badger that lets us reference that cinematic masterpiece, we are morally OBLIGATED to do so.  Since Duckworth was mostly an unknown to John Q. Badgerfan, there was no such cheer for him in Indy.  Also, that was the most amazing fucking play I've seen in person in a long time, and I think everyone was just a little too shocked to process what just happened.  Pretty sure I didn't clap or anything, just kinda stood there.  May or may not have been drunk, so that could be part of it.  I was also busy bonding with my new best friend.

STORY TIME: I spent the first half sitting with my friends, but at halftime I moved up a few rows to say 'hi' to some people.  I then quickly realized that I had to stay up there to see if I could potentially swing the mojo in our favor.  Yada yada yada, some guy next to me became my default high-fiver after every good play.  By the end of the game he gave me his card and told me to hit him up in Pasadena.  I told him I was flattered, but I don't swing that way.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.*

Anyway, I think Duckworth will have all of Camp Randall chanting 'QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!' next year, but getting the Badger faithful in Pasadena to catch on will be a tall order.  Not enough students, too many old people sitting on their hands complaining about the drunk guy in front of them standing up.  BUT IT WASN'T MY FAULT, THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF ME WERE STANDING AS WELL.  Confirmed by my more sober friends.  I felt vindicated when they told me I was in the right.

*OK, he gave me his card, but I clearly didn't say that.  Proof:

PS - I would die if anyone here knew this guy.  Not blurring his name out just in case.


Lets hear it: your dream date with Black Jesus. ABC's The Bachelor style- you get the WHOLE day. (And it better be awesome, because I took a three minute break from studying for finals to think of a question and write this email.)

Ready?  Because I'm pretty sure this isn't what you expected.  I don't think it would be that fun to hang out with Black Jesus.  I think he's a little too nice, straight-edged, and conservative to hang out with an idiot like me.  I'd probably just want to go to Camp Randall and have him throw me passes until I passed out from exhaustion, mainly because I LOVE running around on giant, well-manicured fields.  I also find the idea of being in a stadium by myself to be exceedingly awesome.  Yes, I've daydreamt about running around the Kohl Center by myself, just shooting around for hours.  I guess the closest I came to that was when I got to do the 'layup/free throw/half courter for season tickets' game during halftime of the Indiana/UW viewing party thing.  I don't wanna talk about that anymore, though, because I still regret my half courter performance.  SHAKY KNEES.

PS - Huge leap of faith to assume I have any idea how the Bachelor works.  I was under the impression that the guy just picks the girl with the best 'Putting Out : STD' ratio.  I'm also continually stunned to hear that these relationships never last.  If true love isn't boning some random hooker after going sandboarding and dune buggying on a quasi-reality TV show, then I just don't know what is.

PPS - How many of you true Bachelor fans remember the episode I'm talking about?  I'm not gonna say it was a fantastic hour of television, but it pretty much was.  Ashleigh sucked so much, and everyone knew that there was no way that he would pick a girl that spelled her name that ridiculously.  I was perfectly content with Vienna being chosen in the finale.

PPPS - What percentage of failed Bachelor contestants end up in porn?  70%?  85%?


What is your opinion on blacking out for major games (Super Bowl, Rose Bowl)? You've spent all this money going to this awesome game, and then a 20$ bottle of Minze makes you forget the whole thing

I don't even know anymore.  I keep finding myself being disappointed in getting too drunk for sporting events, but then quickly rationalizing it by saying that you can do it while you're still somewhat young, since you have years and years of more sober viewing down the road.  That's logical, right?  Right.

I (obviously) went to the Rose Bowl last year.  I was part of a group that rented some party bus to take us from LA to the Rose Bowl, where we set up shop in the parking lot.  Countless games of flip cup and a few random shots later, and it was blackout city.  I know I made it into the stadium a good 40 minutes before kickoff, but I truthfully do not remember a single play from the game.  Now, since I've been told that we lost the game, that's actually not too much of a bad thing.  But I'm starting to think that there's a better level of drunkenness to attain for a sporting event.

I'm firmly confident in saying that I was PERFECTLY drunk for the B1G Championship Game in Indy earlier this month.  Loose enough to have a good time and yell a little, sober enough to remember the game in detailed fashion.  I've since decided that this is probably the ideal level of drunkenness - ESPECIALLY for a game that requires lots of time and money to travel to.

So if you see me drinking before the Rose Bowl, please do not encourage me to start ripping Rumplemintz.  I'm too weak to say 'no', and I really would like to remember at least a few plays of the game this year.

This plan will go to shit so fast once I'm in Pasadena.  Ugh.

- How jealous were you that at 3:30am in Indy, I was content after my Jimmy John's and you were threatened with a Taser?  #PoliceBrutality

Well, considering I'd rather get tazed than eat Jimmy John's, I wasn't that jealous.  I'm not gonna address my disgust with JJ's, since I've done that before here.  Instead I'd like to focus on your hashtag usage outside of Twitter.

I've seen a lot of people say stuff like, 'If you're hashtagging on Facebook, you're an idiot.'  That's ridiculous.  I LOVE hashtaggin', and do it very frequently in my tweets.  I've also begun incorporating it into gchat and text messages.  I'm about to hashtag the shit out of this mailbag.  #justwentthere.  What's so wrong with that?  It's just a matter of time until a guy proposes via hashtag, or the Pope gives a speech with hashtags, or an NCAA coach molests a child via hashtag.

The way I see it, I'd much rather be at the forefront of a trend than trying to play catchup.  But once the hipsters get a hold of hashtags, I'm the fuck outta there.  Hipsters just ruin everything.  I think Big Star is the only thing that hipsters love that I embrace.  They will never alter my love for $3 whiskey, queso fundido, and sonoran hot dogs.  Mmmmmmmmmm.
PS - I just decided to start using hashtags in conversation.  Example:

This is some of the best ranch I've EVER had.  HASHTAG REALTALK.

Every word, including hashtag, is spoken there.  This should catch on immediately.

1. Do you think the gross oversight of Montee Ball for running back of the year was simply that, an oversight? Or some type of SEC conspiracy? What's your theory?

I was all ready to claim conspiracy until I saw that Montee didn't even do well in the Midwest, which is just ridiculous.  By now, I've pretty much gotten over the Heisman thing.  It's tough to argue against RGIII's fantastic season, and is the difference between 2nd and 4th really that big?  Probably not.

It was probably much less conspiracy and much more people writing him off as some kind of product of the system.  UW, obviously, churns out stud college running backs year in and year out.  True, none of them have really put up numbers quite as absurd as what MBS did this year, but I can at least see where they're coming from.

There's also the fact that UW's athletic department went all-in on Black Jesus winning the Heisman.  That definitely hurt Montee's chances, since it kinda is a popularity contest, and he was way behind by the time they made their little Heisman push for him.

If MBS came back, he would 100% be a top frontrunner (probably with Matt Barkley from USC, since it looks like he's coming back) to win the Heisman next year.  But I'm having a very difficult time envisioning him back next year.  Running backs only get so many miles out of their legs before the years of abuse beat them down.  All we can do now is wish him luck and hope he sticks in the NFL for as long as possible.

2. How would you rank the following side dishes? 
  • waffle fries
  • crinkle fries
  • steak fries
  • sweet potato fries
  • tater tots

No 'regular' fries?  Just using those 5, though, I'm gonna order them like this:

5. Sweet potato fries.  I just haven't jumped on the sweet potato bandwagon.  For some reason I compare it to getting the S'mores slice at Ian's.  If you're trying to get that sweet and salty taste juxtaposition, I highly recommend dunking fries from Wendy's into a frosty.  Damn, that actually sounds really good right about now.
4. Steak fries.  Simply because steak fries are massive and therefore very potato-ey.  If that makes sense.  Bonus points if you have them with an actual steak, because then you can soak up some au jus, which makes anything taste 1,000x better.  Especially rolls.
3. Crinkle fries.  If more places had crinkle cut fries like Superdawg, they might be higher on this list.  Superdawg's fries are damn near perfect.  Also, the best grilled onions.
2. Tater tots.  Taste-wise, they're probably not as good as some of the others here.  But tater tots are PERFECT for tossing and trying to catch in your mouth, which happens to be one of my favorite games.  I WILL do this everytime I'm at Redmond's and someone orders tots.
1. Waffle fries. Fo' free.  Why aren't waffle fries more prevalent?  Buff Joe's kills it with their waffle fries.  Chick-fil-A has superb waffle fries.  Do they require an inefficient usage of the potato?  I don't get it.  I hope I'm not alone in saving the one giant waffe fry for last, because I do that every time.


most overrated restaurant/dish in madison

Restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings.  BDubs had a good run, but then they started jacking up the price of wings on Tuesdays (I think it was .35 cents my freshman year, and around .50 cents by senior year).  It was also the worst physical restaurant in Madison.  Pretty much a giant hallway with a crappy bar and terrible TV's.  Then they even spent the time and money to upgrade their TV's... and they bought like 17" screens.  Never understood that.  Plus, with Quaker Steak just down the street, there's literally no reason to go to BDubs anymore.

Dish: Breakfast Scambler from Mickies.  I wish I loved this, espcially since it's like a big combo of all my favorite breakfast foods.  But it just never sits right with me, and the bacon in mine was woefully undercooked last time.  Once you factor in the hike to get there, there's really no reason to freak out about this place.
how would the badgers bball team fare in a xavier/UC style brawl? would any of them survive?

Oh, I get it.  Because Wisconsin is a bunch of white boys, they can't fight.  Is that right, Dingo?  You disgust me.

I know I wouldn't wanna fight Jordan Taylor.  Dude's built like the lovechild of an NFL linebacker and a semi-truck.  I also have a personal rule about never fighting a guy with a hightop fade, so Evans would horrify me.  Brust has that Neitzel skinhead look, which is very intimidating.  I think we'd hold up just fine in a brawl.  But my darkhorse pick for best street brawler in recent Badger memory?  Stiemsma.  There's a darkness about him that terrifies me, he has crazy reach, and I'm guessing his skull is of above average thickness.


 What do you think of Tebow?

What do I think about Tebow?  I think I figured out his secret:

If I were a Broncos fan, I would do nothing but wave my arms like the little kids in Angels in the Outfield.

Now, to more seriously answer your question, I guess I kinda love him now?  It was far too trendy to hate on Tebow before, so I just wanna go against the grain and get on the Tebow Train.  Does that make me a hipster Tebow fan?  Possibly.  Am I just disgustingly jealous of his forearm muscles?  No doubt:

You would never guess it from that picture, but apparently Tebow doesn't bone.  People doubt that, but you don't get jacked up forearms from being a RUSHING quarterback.  Just remember, Timmy:


If you were a GM, what round would you take black Jesus in the draft and why? Also do you think that despite being engaged, black Jesus is taking home any biddies from the kk on a Saturday night when all the jersey chasers throw themselves at him?

Man, if I'm the GM of your team, you're in SERIOUS trouble.  But just to throw a number out there, I'd say if you want to groom a back-up or take a shot on a kid who just might be good enough to start, you gotta pull the trigger somewhere in the 4th-5th rounds.  I feel like he's a much more intriguing draft prospect than people are giving him credit for.  Based on my untrained, novice eye, I feel comfortable saying he has a real LIVE arm.  The ball seems to pop off his hand nicely.  Accuracy has also been a plus, but he'll need to work on his deep ball - a few too many times this year he's just missed that 40+ yard throw.  He'd for sure be one of the top 10 most mobile QB's in the league, and I have few doubts about his ability to sense the rush and get out of there in time.

But it's not all perfect.  His height will knock him down a rung for most teams, even though he already succeeds behind an NFL-sized offensive line at UW.  I mentioned above that he has a LIVE arm (as opposed to those QB's with the dreaded dead arm), but I think his actual arm strength is a little short of what NFL scouts drool over.

My favorite part about Black Jesus?  The INTANGIBLES.  And I'm gonna make them so tangible right now by explaining what I mean:
  1. Icy cool demeanor.  I don't think I've ever seen him get too high or too low.  It just seems like he's always in control the situation.  Key attribute of a good QB.
  2. Blessed.  He's very, very blessed.  You probably wouldn't know this if you just listened to interviews of him, but it's just a sixth sense of mine to immediately tell how blessed an individual is just by looking at them.  And let me tell you - Russell Wilson, that's one BLESSED football player.
  3. Oozes leadership.  It's not easy to transfer to a program and get voted captain like 2 hours later, but Black Jesus accomplished that feat no more than hour ago.
  4. He's a sponge.  As an aspiring NFL quarterback, I'm gonna go ahead and guess that you need to absorb a stupid amount of information in small amount of time.  We've already seen that Wilson is more than capable of doing just that.
As for the second part of your question, I immediately stopped reading when I got to 'biddies'.  I tried it on for size, but I just can't roll with that.  I would've accepted tricks, marks, mark-ass tricks, trick-ass marks, skeezers, skanks, skig-scags or scallywhops.


Why are smoke breaks legal? Further, why are Cigerettes legal in general.  The health costs are astronomical and the productivity costs of someone leaving for 15 minutes every hour have got to be off the charts.  If I ever ran a company neither would be legal.

I like how you would make smoking illegal if you ran a company.  That's the kind of leadership I can get behind.  I'd say it's the second best idea ever, after my plan to let people work 15 minutes late Monday-Thursday so they could leave an hour early on Friday.  Who WOULDN'T do that?  Probably smokers.

Anyway, cigarettes are legal simply because of money.  Tobacco companies have lobbyists, who make sure that politicians do only what is in the best interest of the group they lobby on behalf of.  You see, that's one time where I don't feel bad about ending a sentence in a preposition.  I always thought that was a bullshit rule.

Back to cigarettes - as long as Big Tobacco has all that lobbying power in Washington, Cigarettes will keep ruining the world, one stick at a time.  Which is exactly why I want to be a lobbyist.  I'm pretty sure it's the best job ever that doesn't have a union.  You just get paid billions of dollars to buy lobsters, blow and hookers for all the senators and representatives money can buy.  This is why I have a seriously difficult time ever getting involved in political mumbo jumbo.  It doesn't matter if something is beneficial to the greater good, it only matters if it keeps the rich rich.  As someone who is not filthy rich (AT LEAST NOT YET), this offends me.  I'm sure once I'm a trillionaire I won't care about the rest of the peasants in the world, but that day is still at least a few months away.

This brings us back to smoke breaks.  I have always felt that in lieu of taking 15 minutes every hour or two to smoke a stick, I can justifiably play on the internet.  The way I see it, we'll all be working the same amount of time, except instead of emphysema and a lifetime of talking like Richard Harrow from Boardwalk, I actually extend my life due to the countless laughs from things like these:

That little dance Oprah does at the end there kills me every time.  Just absolutely slays me.


Bowl game ban for osu is HUUUGE!!!
Who else is going to challenge us for the leaders division title now that osu is ineligible? Penn state is fucked. Illinois always sucks. Don't even look at the teams from Indiana. Second trip to Indy and a date with Michigan is pretty much booked
It's enormous.  Ideally, we'd still beat OSU when they come to Madison next year, but there's a good chance that we won't even have to do that.  You kinda broke it down already, but let me add to it for a second here:
  • Penn State.  Worst recruiting class in recent memory, terrible offense, no shot they win more than 7 games.
  • Illinois.  New coach, same old shit.  Not a threat.
  • Indiana.  I've heard some rumors that now that they have a respectable basketball team again, they might actually eliminate their football program.  No one would ever notice.
  • Purdue.  Didn't they used to get good quarterbacks all the time?  What the fuck happened to that trend?  Idiots.
So I guess even WITH Joey Brennan or true frosh Bart Houston at the helm, anything less than a birth in the B1G Championship will be a monumental disappointment.  If there's a futures bet you can make right now about us being in Indy, bet your house on it.  Whether or not we beat Michigan/Nebraska/MSU in the title game, well, it's way too early to tell.  But you gotta like the way next season is shaping up.  We might contend for another Rose Bowl without a serious threat under center.  Amazing.

Lastly, just wanna wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and if any of you celebrate Kwanzaa please let me know because I have a lot of unanswered questions.


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