Thursday, February 23, 2012

Badger Preview: @ Iowa & @ #9 OSU

Well that went pretty much as expected, didn't it?  MSU flexed their muscles and showed us why they're currently the best team in the conference, followed by Bo and company taking care of business back in Madison against Penn State.  Yeah, the MSU loss was a little uglier than we'd like, but you really don't need to read into it that much.  Tough opponent + on the road + shots not falling = ugly loss 100 times out of 100.

What WAS encouraging, however, was the shooting performance in the Kohl Center on Sunday.  As a team, the Badgers went 11-22 from downtown (THAT'S 50%).  I don't have these numbers in front of me, and doing research isn't in the cards right now, but I'd wager that we have a very, VERY good record under Bo when the team shoots at least 50% from three.  I might even go as far as saying that if we can do that Sunday in Columbus, we'll have a chance at stealing a ridiculously large road win from a top 10 team.  Using some very advanced statistical analysis that I can't explain to you, I give us a 5% chance of doing that.


Wisconsin vs. Iowa All-Time Football Record: 42-42-2

Wisconsin vs. Iowa All-Time Basketball Record: 77-77

That's absolutely INSANE.  I don't know what the odds of this happening are, and the F if I wanna play the probability games and figure it out right now.  But let's just safely assume that this is the most amazing stat in the history of the world, and therefore the game tonight is the most important game in college hoops HISTORY.  Remember where you were when The Great Wisconsin/Iowa Tie ended.







If we're just being honest here (when are we not?), Berggren really frustrates me.  All you ever hear about is how sneaky-athletic he is (30"+ vertical), and yet when I watch him maneuver (underrated goofy word, really messing with my brain right now) in the post I feel like he completely forgets that he IS athletic.  He's always hunched over, and when he finally DOES make that power move to the hoop, he can't finish.  UGH.  Like I said, very, very frustrating.  And this doesn't even mention the fact that he falls in LOVE with the three pointer during stretches where we're desperately in need of an inside presence.  YOU = BIG MAN.  GET DOWN LOW AND BANG.

PS - If he plays soft D on Sullinger this Sunday, he'll be right back on the bench like he was down the stretch of the last OSU game.  I know Sully's a big boy, but you gotta man up against him and make him earn everything.  Evans and Bruiser did respectable jobs at that.  Berggren needs to do it this time, though.

Is it almost cliche at this point to say that OSU lives and dies by Buford's performance?  It isn't?  Good!  Because it's the damn truth, and I have EVIDENCE:

Pretty telling, that is.  In OSU's win over Illinois Tuesday night, Buford casually poured in 17 points on 7-9 shooting in an blowout win.  If Bucky wants ANY chance of swindling a win in C-Bus this weekend, Ryan Evans and the rest of the squad are gonna HAVE to frustrate Buford into a rough game.  True, they did that when OSU came to Madison 3 weeks ago (4-15, 11 points), but Buford was the one who delivered the dagger when he drilled a huge 3 to push it to a 4 point game late.  Despite his up and down season, I am more than kinda excited for him to graduate and never play in a Big Ten game again.  That guy is good.


Foreigner - Juke Box Hero

I'm pretty sure the only reason I ever downloaded this song was just because of its appearance in Wet Hot American Summer. I'm also pretty sure that the only reason I'm using this song this week is because it gives me an excuse to mention how excited I am about a WHAS prequel. Or maybe it's a sequel - I'm still pretty confused by that.  But it sounds like everyone is back and ready to rock, which makes me happy.

Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved

I'm not sure I've ever heard a person say something negative about Bob Marley?  I don't think it's even possible to hate on Bob.  RELATED: Is Marley the most famous 'Bob' in the world?  Other possibilities:
PS - I did a little googling and this was the first site I came across:

Holy crap.  I don't know what's more surprising: That the site is still under construction, or that they went with Tripod over Geocities?  Also:

I think the Bob that made this website should add himself to the list, because he is a GENIUS.

Alkaline Trio - Nose Over Tail

Crack my head open, on your kitchen floor
To prove to you that I have brains

Always weirdly enjoyed that line, and it's just a fun song to rock out to.

Air Force Fight Song

DISCLAIMER: I'm a fight song whore.  I LOVE fight songs.  And it just seems appropriate that the badasses in the Air Force have one of the best fight songs in the country:

We live in fame or go down in flame
Oh nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force

So intense.

PS - If you're a fan of a Big Ten school, there's roughly an 80% chance I know every word to your fight song.  Buy me a drink or two and maybe I'll sing it for you.  MAYBE.


Revenge?  Bo says 'no'

Make some shots, get a big win

We lost to these guys?

Then off to C-Bus

Do we end their title hopes?

That would help Izzo...



This is, quite litrally, the worse basketball sequence I've ever seen.  At any level, and in any country.

A few things about this one:
  • Playing it cool almost makes it worth happening in the first place  Well done, Bates.
  • My face would be ELECTRIC red if this happened.  I've developed situational rosacea (can't BELIEVE I spelled that correctly on the first try. Thank you very much Aaron Craft) in the last few years where when I'm put on the spot, my face lights up like a stop light.  It's BULLSHIT.
  • I would definitely have a conspiracy theory if this happened to me.  I've seen the Jackass episode when Bam rigs Phil's chair to collapse enough time to know how easy this would be.
In the wild, there is no air guitar.  There is only... LEG GUITAR.

Like every video I ever watch on the internet, I have to wonder if this guy knocking himself out in a kickboxing match is real.  I hope it is, and I hope his friends and family had this reaction.


It's not enough that he's easily my favorite current wrastler.  It's not even that he's done promotions with Ian's in Wrigleyville.  Nope.  I love CM Punk right now because he went HARD at Chris Brown.  Watch for yourself.  For a professional wrastler/entertainer, Punk is surprisingly well-spoken and insightful.  And logical.  And he would absolutely DESTROY Chris Brown in the ring.  We're already planning on buying Wrastlemania (The Undertaker vs. HHH?  Cena vs. The Rock?  Punk vs. Jericho?  YES YES YES), but I feel confident in saying we'd spend a couple hundred bucks on it if Punk was getting in the squared circle with Chris Brown.  I like to think that every woman in the world would watch that just to get the satisfaction of watching him get his ass handed to him.

PS - Love CM Punk.  I hope he DISMANTLES Jericho.  Make him submit with a Liontamer and END that pompous geezer's career.

PPS - Give me The Undertaker over HHH every day and twice on Sundays.  He's a legend and I love the dead man.  HELL IN A CELL, OH YEAH.


I know it's hoops season, but I can't resist bringing this up.  Check out the sign in the OSU athletic center comparing the majors of OSU and Michigan* football players:

That's outrageous.  Is a communication degree or a 'family resource management' degree from OSU really that much better than a general studies degree from Michigan?  WAIT.  What the fuck is a family resource management degree?  How to live your life as an adult?  Because there are 24 communication/FAMILY RESOURCE MANAGEMENT majors on the OSU team, and 24 general studies majors on Michigan.

This is the type of shit I hate seeing in the Big Ten.  Why do you have to put other schools down to make yourself look better?  Can't you just be proud of what you've got going for you?  I understand that hating on Michigan is always fun, but I'm an immature idiot with a blog, not a full-grown adult man with a family and job.  It's just like political ads that spend ALL of their time trashing the opponent.  You can keep on being Kane and trying to embrace the hate, but I'm gonna go with Cena and say RISE ABOVE HATE.

*Whenever I type 'Michigan' I really wanna type 'Mishigan'.  Also, I'd rather live in Bosnia than be a Michigan fan.  Which may be misleading, since Bosnia is DEFINITELY my favorite third-world country.  I just don't get why they couldn't get along with Herzegovina.  Someone please organize Beer Olympics so I can win gold with the BosnianHerzegovinans.


I mean that's about as accurate as accurate gets.

Boy, that's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.  Sage advice and such wisdom at such a young age.  And so COMPASSIONATE.

Easily the best part of a buzzer beater is the wide array of reactions from players/fans.  After UConn drained a 30 footer to beat Villanova, the camera smartly panned to this cheerleader who REFUSES to believe that that actually happened.  HER JAW IS LITRALLY DROPPED.

PS - Still the best:


Garlic chicken from Steve's Deli.  I have no idea how you get a chicken breast that large.  Is it pounded thin or something?  NOT PICTURED: Roasted potatoes that came hidden under the gargantuan piece of chicken.  If we ever have a potluck at work, my partner in crime and I get a huge pan of those roasted potatoes.  They're ALWAYS a huge hit.  If you work/live in River North, I highly recommend this place.  Delicious food.


When you see a picture like this, you should be able to understand why I don't really dig on skiing at places in the Midwest.  It's. Just. Not. The. Same.  I don't think I've ever skied Keystone, but with views like this I definitely want to.  I've done Breck/Copper/Steamboat... they're all worth the price of admission.

PS - The first time I went skiing in jeans I felt like the world's biggest badass.  NO PUFFY KIDS SNOWPANTS FOR THIS GUY.

PPS - My only near-death experience happened at Steamboat many years ago.  We went up during an absolute blizzard (because skiing in a blizzard just sounds amazing - no sarcasm).  There was one part where you came around a corner and then had to kinda side swindle your way up a little hill to get on the next route.  Well, because of the blizzard/terrible visibility, I missed the sign telling you to do that and kept going forward.  Next thing I know, my parents are shouting at me, I stop, look down, and the tips of my skis are hanging over the edge of a cliff.  WTF.  I remember thinking that it seemed far too easy to almost kill yourself in that situation.


I'm talking about this:

I actually wrote about this before, and not much has changed in my opinion of The Miracle:

Enough with the 'preventing disasters' list - this is the one truly awesome thing I wish I could have seen with my own eyes.  If you don't know what I'm talking about by now, you're either a) clueless, b) foreign, or c) a clueless foreigner.  And since I know how many clueless foreigners I have on this list, let me fill in the blanks: USA/Soviet Union (yeah, before they turned into a bunch of Russian losers) Medal Round Olympic Hockey.  The Soviets were pretty much the best team ever.  It was like a team of 20 Wayne Gretzky's with NHL 10 Roberto Luongo in net (I fucking hate NHL 10 Luongo).  The Americans?  A bunch of baby faced college kids, most of which hated each other because of their regional/collegiate rivalries.  Led by Herb Brooks, the Americans began making moves and winning improbably all the way to the medal round, where those dirty commie bastards awaited them.  Well, the rest is history.  If you don't get goosebumps EVERY TIME you watch that video, I question whether or not you're a zombie.  It's the best moment in sports history.  It was the most symbolic sporting event ever.  It was probably the biggest upset of all-time.  And it was a bunch of American kids doing it on home ice against the anonymously evil superpower from the Soviet Union.  I'm sorry, but I just can't imagine what it would be like to be in the building.  Shivers down my spine every time Al Michaels lets it out: "5 seconds left in the game... do you believe in miracles?  YES!"  There will never be another moment like that.



I think gift cards are due for a serious upgrade.  It always sucks not knowing how much you have left on a card, and dialing a 1-800 number and entering in your 20 digit card number seems like a tedious and archaic way of doing things.  Therefore, I propose that gift cards get some kind of chip in them that can be read via a smart phone app, letting you not only instantaneously check the balance of a gift card, but also keep track of all of them in one organized, specific place.  I don't know if this is even possible without an addition to your phone that lets it physically 'read' things like chips and magnetic strips, but I'm not planning on handling the engineering aspect of this venture.  I just want the part where I get the billions of dollars and donate enough to UW that they name the turf at Camp Randall after me.  Basically, I wanna be a younger, worse golfer version of Andy North.

Gonna revolutionize the gift card game.  Just wait.


I get that Iowa beat us at home already this year.  But we shot like 2 for 1,000 from three that game.  Coming off a hot shooting performance against Penn State, I'm banking on that momentum carrying over in Iowa City.  Bo's got the guys playing well on the road this year (other than the East Lansing letdown), and I don't think they look ahead or slip up here.  Pull off the win tonight.  The Pick:


This should be interesting.  After the previous UW/OSU matchup, Jared Sullinger's dad (SATCH) came out and complained that 'certain programs' were physically targeting his son, dropping 'bows on him and abusing him.  Simply an outrageous claim, and one that assuredly put an even bigger bullseye on Sully's back.  Can we pull off the upset in Columbus?  Probably not.  But if Sullinger gets frustrated and Evans controls Buford, then it's definitely not out of the realm of possibilities.  I wouldn't bet on it, but I have a sneaky optimistic feeling about this game.  I think it's closer than most people would expect  The Pick:



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Badger Preview: @ #8 Michigan State & Penn State

Well, the end of that Minnesota game was FUN, wasn't it?  With 7:41 left in the game, Jared Berggren hit a jumper to make it 51-41 UW.  Here's the rest of regulation for the Badgers:
  • Ryan Evans turnover
  • Ryan Evans missed jumper
  • Jared Berggren turnover
  • Jared Berggren turnover
  • Just burned the roof of my mouth on a piece of pizza.  Deemed it moderately more enjoyable than the previous 4 possessions.
  • Jordan Taylor turnover
  • Jordan Taylor missed jumper
  • Ryan Evans missed jumper
  • I may have blacked out during that stretch, did that really happen?
  • Jordan Taylor missed jumper
  • I threw up right around this point
  • Jordan Taylor missed jumper
  • Jared Berggren missed jumper

That's absolutely atrocious.  Fortunately, we made a bajillion free throws in the extra period and held on for a HUGE road victory.  Ready for something that still bottles the mind?  The Badgers control their own destiny in the Big Ten.  That's right.  Win out and UW is guaranteed at least a share of the title.  Of course, the odds of that happening are pretty freaking slim considering we travel to East Lansing this week and Columbus a little later on this month.  But still, it's pretty damn incredible that we're still in this title hunt considering:

  • We lost at HOME against IOWA
  • We lost at HOME in OVERTIME against MSU

UGH.  At least MSU is a good team.  But losing at home to Iowa is one of those things that just makes you wanna put your fist through a wall.*  Much worse than the year we lost to One Of The Directional Dakota States at home.  GROSS.

PS - As a result of our incredible ability to win on the road this year, my new favorite tag is definitely #roadwarriors

*One of my favorite episodes, and possibly Jim's best prank.  Although I still don't really get what Pam was supposed to be doing when she was drinking water in front of the door.  Would people be so shocked by her beauty that they wouldn't notice the 6-foot-4 guy standing on a counter digging around in the ceiling behind her?  TWEEDLEY DEE, DEE DEE DEE DEEEEE





This is a big one.



Is Ryan Evans actually good?  Is it time to start accepting that?  I feel like I was very ready to write him off last year.  The guy has absolutely ZERO natural basketball instinct.  Basketball IQ?  I imagine Evans' mom having to 'convince' Bo Ryan to let him come to Wisconsin a la Forrest Gump's mom with the principal.  Jumper?  Flat and disgusting.  But something weird happened this year... Evans started making not-terrible plays.  He kinda-started finishing around the hoop.  A few of those ugly jumpers went down.  Most importantly, he's been AGGRESSIVE on the offensive end during a season in which anyone not named 'Taylor' has been beyond passive.  Not to mention, Ryan has played some of the best defense on the entire team.  He will most likely draw the assignment of slowing down...

Draymond Green.  Monster.  The Big Ten POY race is essentially down to him and Sullinger (more on him later).  And stop me if you've heard this one before: DRAYMOND GREEN IS A GREAT LEADER AND SUCH A GOOD INTERVIEW, I WISH ALL COLLEGE HOOPERS WERE MORE LIKE DRAYMOND GREEN.  I think everyone gets the point by now.  Unfortunately for the rest of the B1G, he's also one hell of a player.  15/10 a game with respectable percentages everywhere.  And he dropped a cool 18 and 14 on UW in the Kohl Center.  A big emphasis for the Badgers will be competing on the glass with the Spartans, and that starts and ends with Dray-Dray.  Unrelated: I think Draymond is a terrible name.


Foxy Shazam - I Like It

So I ended up getting a ticket to see The Darkness last Saturday, and these guys opened for them.  If the goal was to find an opener just made all sorts of sense based on the headliner, then the tour organizer absolutely NAILED it.  They also provided one of the highlights of the show:

(Slow part of a song and the lead singer is just kinda talking about random stuff)

Random Guy Behind Us: Play a fucking song!
Foxy Shazam Lead Singer: Who said that?  Raise your hand!
Random Guy Behind Us raises his hand
Foxy Shazam Lead Singer: You know the difference between you and me?  You're looking up at me, and I'm looking down at you!

The place went wild, they finished the song, and the guy most likely felt like a jackass.

The Darkness - Get Your Hands Off My Woman

In unsurprising news, The Darkness absolutely KILLED it.  They played EVERY song from their first album, and they did it while the lead singer was diving into the crowd from 30 feet up and doing extended guitar solos while meandering through the crowd on the shoulders of a security guard:

That is the very definition of rock and roll.  I guess they're doing another tour in the summer, and this is me guaranteeing I'll be seeing them if they come to Milwaukee or Chicago.

PS - I take it back, this is the very definition of rock and roll:

I remember playing 'Ode To Joy' behind my head when I was a kid and thinking I was on my way to STARDOM.  Didn't quite work out like that.

Goo Goo Dolls - Name

I have a serious love/hate relationship with this song.  Love: It's an amazing song, and I had one of the lyrics in my AIM profile for YEARS (old school).  Hate: To play it, you have to tune your guitar in 9 different directions, making me snap a string last week.  #firstworldproblems


Win in East Lansing?

We are the road warriors...

Let's make Izzo cry

Penn State... not so hot

Both on the court and off it

And also in it?

(Legal system joke?)


It might just be the nerd in me talking, but I found this video of the flights in/out of Indy Super Bowl weekend FASCINATING.  It looks like something out of an 80's action movie.  I think it's the same system they used to hack into the vault in Die Hard.

I have a new rule: Every time* I find someone* that hasn't seen this video, I will post it here under the belief that there are still some of you out there that are missing out on one of my all-time favorites.  This also doubles as an excuse to use an old video when I don't have a lot of new hotness to throw out here.

PS - Only 815,000 views?  Is everyone else on the internet intentionally avoiding this masterpiece?  ALL MUST KNOW ABOUT JOBY.

I don't think I ever really thought about how cool normal (and non-normal) things could look when you just reverse themThere's really one glaring omission.  351!  351!  ROVER SIT!  HUT!  HUT!

*A few people have mentioned it to me randomly, but I have a hard time knowing which words are really one word vs. two words.  'Everytime' sounded perfectly reasonable to me until Google gave it the red squiggly line treatment.  Like, you're gonna tell me that 'everytime' isn't a word, but 'squiggly' is?  Also, whoever invented the red squiggly line was clearly a dick.  There has to be a nicer, less offensive way to tell you that you suck at spelling.  Might be time for a new billion dollar business idea for me.


And let me tell you: There needs to be a formal investigation into this system.  Because in no way, shape or form should this thing be deemed Best In Show:

Are you kidding me?  That's not even a dog.  That's a cat with a wig and a perm.  I actually don't know what a perm is, but I think it's the one that poofs your hair up?  Right?  Regardless, this was an abomination.  Remember when that judge at the Olympics was all corrupt and screwed over the hot Canadian chick?*  This is like that, times a million, and a whole lot worse.  For my money, it didn't get better than the dalmatian:

Full disclaimer: I don't really care for dalmatians.  You always hear how they're terrible with kids, Cruella Deville, all that terrible stuff.  BUT THIS DALMATIAN WAS IMMACULATE.  Ugh.

My pick for second place/runner-up:

THE DOBERMAN.  I just think this looks like a champion of a dog.  The type of dog you could go to WAR with.

Finally, what's the deal with terriers?  Are they all this bizarre looking?

I didn't know dogs had facial hair.  Like, yeah, they get whiskers, but weirdo terrier #1 up there has a full on SNOUT BEARD.  And WTF, does that second dog even have a face?  How does it see?  The third one there could give the dad from The OC a run for his money in the 'Good Lord Look At Those Eyebrows' category:

I'm so confused, and I will definitely never be getting a terrier.

PS - I feel like I've said some questionably offensive things writing these previews over the last few years, but I just get the feeling that I deeply offended someone by going hard at terriers.




Love it.  She's staring daggers with that icy look on her face (pun!), and the Russian figure skater dude is making a look that only a Russian figure skater dude could.  He was probably created and raised in a remote lab somewhere in Serbia.  IF HE SKATES, HE SKATES.



I have no idea why, but apparently the Rifkins spent the past week eating nothing but lamb shanks.  Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure what a lamb shank is.  Is it like the turkey leg of the lamb?  I'm feeling quite stupid asking a question like that.  All I know is that my family has embraced the food porn mentality, and that makes this section much easier every week.


Possibly used before, and not even true sky porn, but you get the idea.


There's litrally no doubt in my mind right now that Bo needs to grow out this 'stache.  It couldn't be more 'Bo' if it tried.  I feel like it kinda accentuates his standard sideline crouch?  That makes perfect sense in my head.

Genius.  Teams should hire that kid to sit under the opposing team's basket in every big game.  Nevermind the fact that the other team is dunking in his grill piece in the pic.  It's still awesome.


IDK.  I'm just not feelin' this one.  I think Izzo will have his guys fired up at the idea of sweeping us for probably the first time in the history of the world.  And they're probably still riding high after knocking off the Buckeyes in Columbus.  If this is one of those games where we struggle to break 40, I really won't be surprised.  Prove me wrong, Road Warriors.  The Pick:


And what's the best way to get over a frustrating road loss?  Come home to play Penn State!  I know it was a tough, hard-fought win in the first meeting, but I'm having a very difficult time envisioning a Bo Ryan coached team struggle twice in one season with a team this bad.  They'll study the film, learn from their mistakes, and take care of business.  The Pick:



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Badger Preview: @ Minnesota

Well.  That game sucked.  Here's what I saw:

  • Bruiser flipped a switch and played like a MAN.  11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.  Although when I see 4-5 from 2 point range and 1-6 from downtown, it makes me think that maybe you should STOP SHOOTING SO MANY DAMN THREE'S AND GET TO THE BASKET.
  • Ryan Evans was back to his surprisingly productive self (14 points, 50% from the floor, 5 rebounds).
  • The students came out in full force.  The Kohl Center looked great and the students being there early was a huge help in that.
  • Really grasping at straws here.  Like I said, this sucked.

  • This 'Rob Wilson is a D1 hooper' experiment has run its course, I think.
  • 3 free throw attempts is just downright terrible.  At least we made all 3 of them.  For that reason and that reason alone, this gets filed under 'bad'.
  • Oh who am I kidding?  Let's just get to the 'ugly'.

  • Jared Berggren trying to play post defense on Sullinger.  That was comically bad.  If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that Berggren was on the bench down the stretch.  Bo was much more content watching Evans and Bruiser front Sullinger than watching Jared get abused.
  • Taylor's two late turnovers.  The first came after Bruiser pulled UW to within 1 with 3:40 to go, and it led DIRECTLY to a Buford 3.  That hurt.  And with 1:26 to go in a 4 point game, Taylor essentially iced it by giving it away again.  Uncharacteristic.  Painful.  F.
  • Gasser and Brust combined: 1-8 from the field, 0-6 from three.  And Gasser played the entire game.  You simply cannot get that little production from your backcourt and expect to win against a team as talented as OSU.  And you DEFINITELY cannot get that little backcourt production and expect to win against a team as talented as OSU when...
  • Jordan Taylor goes 4-10 with 3 turnovers.
  • As a team?  5-27 from three.  Don't get out your calculator.  That's 18.5%.  ABYSMAL.

I have no idea why I'm still talking about this game.  Any outside chance at winning the B1G died with the final buzzer in Madison on Saturday.  Now it's about finishing top 4 in the conference and making a run in March.  Both of which are very possible and very doable.  Somehow, this team has done it's best damage away from home.  Maybe this is the Bo Ryan team that just catches fire at the exact right time.  Impossible to know right now, but here's to hoping it is.






What happened to Brust's stroke?  I know he wasn't feeling well before the Penn State game, and the results would seem to indicate that there's no fluke here: 0-8 in the last two games from downtown.  But you could go back even further: 5 for his last 23.  That's just not gonna get it done for a guy that is really only out there BECAUSE he can shoot.  Shooting, in general, has been this team's biggest issue all season.  When the shots have been falling, they've been very, very hard to beat.  But as you saw on Saturday, when this team isn't draining 'em, not only are they a pain in the ass to watch as a fan, but they have very slim chances of pulling out a tough win.  Early on this year, I really thought Brust was gonna be that kid that could step in off the bench and knock a few down to get the rest of the team going.  So far, that hasn't really panned out.  And it's not like he can make up that value on the defensive end.  Oh yeah, have you ever seen a fadeaway jumper get blocked so easily?  Terrifying.  Need him to put some down going forward - and Minnesota would be a LOVELY place to start.

What goes on in this program?  I can't even keep track of who's on the Minnesota roster with all the transfers, suspensions, and injuries they've accumulated in the last few years.  Their best player (Trevor Mbakwe) is out with a torn ACL (he was also suspended an entire year after transferring form Marquette because of a felony assault charge).  And then there's all of this:

In-season drama has become the norm for Tubby Smith's program. In his third season with the Gophers, star recruit Royce White transferred to Iowa State before he ever competed for the Gophers.
Al Nolen, his starting point guard the last two seasons, missed most of the 2009-10 campaign due to academic issues and the bulk of last year with a foot injury. And standout combo guard Devoe Joseph transferred to Oregon in January.

That's terrible.  How they've managed to stay above .500... I have no idea.


The Black Keys - Lonely Boy

I'm always on the prowl for fresh new dance moves to bust out on the weekends... and I think I've just stumbled upon a GOLD MINE.  This video is highly entertaining.  Oh, I suppose the song isn't half-bad either.

PS - My suite-mate freshman year convinced me to download a bunch of their music.  I've had it in my iTunes library for about 7 years now.  Have NEVER listened to it.  Maybe it's time to get on that?  Am I missing out here?

PPS - I like any song that reminds me of Jock Jams.

Gotye (ft. Kimbra) - Sombody That I Used To Know

This song inspired my latest billion dollar app idea - I want an app that automatically notifies me of ANY video on YouTube that amasses 10 million views.  My thinking is that anything with 10 million views is at LEAST worth watching once.  I know that there are a lot of idiots out there in the world, and internet access isn't quite as hard to come across as it used to be.  But 10 MILLION views is serious business.  The music video for this song has 63 million views.

The Darkness - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us

Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhh!  SO happy to see the Darkness are back and shredding.  It's tough to pin down the exact reason I love them so much: They seem like a living anachronism, wailing/shredding guitars, catchy hooks, one of the most gifted singers in the world, etc.  So many good things going on here.  As a result, I was more than ecstatic to hear that they have a new album coming out.


They're playing a show 3 blocks from my apartment THIS Saturday... and I'm just finding out about this now?  And it's sold out?  OF COURSE it's sold out.  UGH.  Someone be my hero and find me a ticket.  PLEASE.

Arcade Fire - Ready To Start

Another band that I feel like I should like, but for one reason or another it just hasn't transpired yet.  Didn't stop me from enjoying this song when we were jamming last week.  Few things can stop me from having a good time while jamming.


Weezer - Hold Me

Almost for sure have used this song before, but I don't care.  It's one of the RARE Weezer songs written after 1996 that I absolutely love.  I've been known to call it a modern day Say It Ain't So simply because the structure of the song reminds me of SIAS in many ways.  Also, Rivers just belts it out on this track.


Worst colors ever

Dumbest court in the Big Ten


(I think I was dangerously close to attending Minnesota.  Good thing someone in the UW admissions office recognized my POTENTIAL.)


The first time I saw this monster 7-foot-5 kid in high school dunking in everyone's grill-piece, I couldn't help but think that we need someone to shut him DOWN.  Fortunately, I know just the kid:

I'd love to see Mamadou Ndiaye try and put one down when Combat Boots is patrolling the paint.  This would be a high school game I would pay to see.

I don't think there's anything quite as satisfying as a well-thrown snowball.  This was also much better after I re-watched it with the sound on.  BROKEN GLASS.

I thoroughly enjoy these Jimmy Kimmel 'challenge' videos.  The latest one?  'Unplug The TV During The Super Bowl'.  Downright cruel, but pretty hilarious.

PS - I got an email right when one of the guys was dropping an f-bomb.  I have since concluded that the default Outlook 'message received' noise is a PERFECT substitute for the standard 'bleep' noise.


I took the day after the Super Bowl off from work, anticipating a raging hangover from celebrating a Packers victory.  Since that didn't really pan out, I decided to use my day to hit up Hot Doug's, which is usually a difficult task considering its limited hours and long lines.  But there were no issues Monday, however, as we encountered ZERO line.  I opted for the bacon sausage with creme fraiche, caramelized onions and St. Paulin cheese off the specials menu (in the middle on the bottom).  Absolutely delicious.  I've really never had a bad experience there - one of my favorite places in the city for a special meal.


Another Flood Lake Michigan special.  I should also clarify that I never had to actually google which way Lake Michigan was.  That's crazy talk.

Full moon in London.  It kinda sucks knowing I'll never take a picture 1/1,000th as cool as this.  Unless encased meats and cheese fries are cooler than airplanes flying into blood-orange full moons above a badass London backdrop?  Yeah?  Yeah.  Nah.



Someone used the FanCam thingy and found freaking WALDO at the Super Bowl.  That's amazing.  Is this a thing?  It should be.  Every major sporting event should have a FanCap and one designated Waldo hiding somewhere in the crowd.  Between this and my 10 million views on YouTube app, I'd say I'm churning out billion dollar ideas left and right these days.


Just impossible these days.  Does the team that barely got by Penn State and couldn't hit a shot to save their lives against Ohio State show up in Minnesota?  Or does the team that somehow won AT Purdue and AT Illinois make an appearance?  If you can sit here and confidently answer that question, then you might as well take your talents to Vegas.  I guess I'm just gonna hope that Taylor, Berggren and Bruiser all step up in their return to their homeland.  Maybe Brust finds his stroke.  Perhaps Gasser decides to be a factor offensively.  Who knows.  This team is frustrating, but I think they've got another big road win in them.  The Pick:



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Badger Preview: #3 Ohio State

January 8th was a dark day.  Less than a week after getting home from a brutal Rose Bowl defeat, we had to go out and get smokeshowed by Michigan in hoops.  Losing to Michigan is NEVER enjoyable, and on the heels of a Rose Bowl loss and overtime heartbreaker to Izzo?  Just absolutely devastating (spelled it right on the 3rd try!).  There we sat, 1-3 in Big Ten play, seriously questioning whether or not we could make the tournament.  Rock Bottom.

Fast forward to today: UW is riding hot on a 6 game winning streak, and, miraculously, is a win on Saturday away from being in FIRST FREAKING PLACE in the Big Ten.  I still have no idea how this is possible.  What I DO know, however, is that I'm loving every second of it.  I can watch games again.  Jordan Taylor is reasserting himself as an All-American.  College basketball is FUN once again.  All is well in the world.

But that brings us to Saturday.  Stop me if you've heard this one before: A highly-ranked OSU team is coming to Madison with serious title implications.  This has almost become a yearly occurrence.  LET'S REVIEW:

1/9/07: #4 Wisconsin 72, #5 OSU 69.  KEY PLAY: After demonstrating the taped up wrist of Greg Oden on her own wrist, Erin Andrews throws the tape into the crowd.  I caught it and cherished it for years.  Also, I think Oden had more fouls than points.

2/24/08: #10 Wisconsin 58, OSU 53.  KEY PLAY: The teams didn't meet in Madison this year, but I just wanted to bring this game up so I could talk about how GOOD that Wisconsin team was.  Big Ten Regular Season and Tournament Champions, 31 wins... and it all unraveled before my eyes against Davidson in Detroit.  It just had to be in Detroit.

2/14/09: Wisconsin 55, OSU 50.  KEY PLAY: College Gameday came to Madtown for a V-Day clash between... a couple of decent-to-good Big Ten teams?  UW squeezed by FSU before bowing out against Xavier.  OSU lost a thriller in double OT to Siena.  Not the best year for either school.

12/31/09: Wisconsin 65, #15 OSU 43.  KEY PLAY: That Evan Turner guy was pretty good.  And without him, the Buckeyes stood no chance.

2/12/11: #14 Wisconsin 71, #1 OSU 67.  KEY PLAY: How about every shot by Jordan Taylor down the stretch?  Things were looking grim.  REAL grim.  Down 47-32 with 13 minutes to go, Taylor just said 'fuck it', broke his leg, and put the team on his back.  To date, one of the single best performances I've ever seen.*

By my count, we've won like 46 straight home games against OSU.  I will conveniently ignore the losses in Columbus (including a brutal one point game in '07 and the utter destruction last year where they hit 107% of their three point attempts) because this game is being played at home sweet home.  Like I said, CONVENIENT.

Let's hope that home winning streak against the Buckeyes continues on Saturday.  Big game.  LET'S go!

*Everything about this paragraph:

Wisconsin (19-5, 9-3 Big Ten) topped a No. 1 opponent for the first time since 1962, when it was also Ohio State. The Badgers joined Florida as the only programs to knock off the same No. 1 school in both football and men's basketball in the same academic year. The Gators also beat Ohio State in both sports in 2006-07.

SHAMELESS PLUG: I actually don't have anything to plug this week.  That's probably a good thing.





Yes.  I do feel kinda stupid naming the two best players on the court as my players to watch.  But I have my reasons.  Hear me out.

As you saw in the highlights I linked above, the ONLY reason we won that game last year was because Jordan Taylor said we could.  The crowd was absolutely dead and defeated before he decided to start draining 3's in Craft's rosy face.  That was All-American Taylor.  That was the Taylor I would get a FatHead of and hang above my bed.  But that Taylor has been MIA this season.  He hasn't been shooting well at all, and in general just seems a little 'out of it'.  Fortunately for Badger fans everywhere, it seems as if somebody has woken the (dragon) monster inside him.  True, he's still not scoring at the same clip, but you can tell he's feeling it when he starts hitting enormous shots like the late 3 pointer against Penn State to put the game out of reach.  That's the kind of shot he hit with regularity last year, but has struggled to find this time around.  It would be in everyone's best interests if he can keep hitting that shot.

I don't even know where to begin with Jared Sullinger.  Therefore, I will make a LIST:
  • Most perplexing game I've seen in a long time.  I am consistently shocked at how good he is.  He's without question extremely athletic for his size and build, but like 80% of his baskets come from turning into a defender and plowing through with his shoulder while falling over and banking it in.  I'm not hating, because it's remarkably effective.  Instead I wonder: What's he gonna do in the League?  At 6'9", he's undersized at the 5.  Does he have the quickness to play at the 4?  Whatever, I guess this isn't our problem to deal with.  He's a monster at this level, and that's all that matters.
  • That fade-away 3 he hit last year late in the game off a missed free throw was one of the single most impressive athletic displays I've seen by a guy that big.
  • Then there was this whole incident.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.*
  • Isn't the number '0' traditionally reserved for the little guys on the team?  I would respect him much more if he was rocking a hefty '99' on his jersey.
  • PREDICTION: Someone under 6'4" will 'knock' him over during the game.  As a Badger fan, I'll be the first to admit that we flop all over the place.  I hate it.  But Sullinger is good for at least one dive per game where a point guard somehow sends him flying off balance.  Again: HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

*Back... and to the left.  BACK... and to the left.


Big game means big music.  Not like big band, that'd be weird.  But songs that get me ready to go to WAR.  Not like real war, that's obviously a billion times more serious and important.  Maybe I should just list the songs already.

Nelly - Heart Of A Champion

You had me at 'NBA on NBC' sampling.

PS -

My work habit ain't no habit man, I do it on purpose
I push myself to the limit so my talent'll surface
So now it's, curtains and drapes, on anybody who hates
Dislikin what I'm recitin, bitin what I've been writin

I think I'm adopting this as my new life motto.  Nelly is an absolute WORDSMITH.

Scarface - No Tears

Because nothing gets the blood flowing like an unnecessary amount of swearing.

Foo Fighters - My Hero

If you're not ready to conquer the world after listening to this song, there might be something seriously wrong with you.

House of Pain - Jump Around

'Nuff said.

PS -


Holy shit.  My mind litrally just exploded.  How did I never notice this?  Why did no one ever tell me?  Is this a conspiracy?


Big bad OSU

You don't win in Madison

Not now, not ever.


I've never wanted to be a crab so badly in my entire LIFE.  'Oh, you messed up my claw?  Whatever, I'ma just rip it off.'  I'm assuming they're like lizard tails, and just grow back.  That is so cool.  It's like Hayden Pannattierrerritierr's ability in Heroes, which I still recommend for at least the first season, and most of the second season.  Then they just started making stuff up, but weren't nearly as good at it as the LOST guys were.  It took me 3 tries there to get the correct combination of no caps and no italics after typing LOST.

PS - <-- today, he's definitely a crab.

SHEEP CYCLONE.  I'd be crying in my car.

I don't get how anyone can like cats more than dogs.  Have you ever seen a cat do anything remotely as cool as this?  Allow me to answer that for you: NO.  You haven't.  Because cats just poop in sandboxes and run away for days, only coming back when they need to poop in the sandbox again.  I have 3 rules in life:
  1. Dress comfortably when you're traveling.
  2. Don't fuck with the people that make your food.
  3. Don't trust a person who prefers cats to dogs.
I never watched 'How To Make It In America', but I assume it was cancelled because they didn't spend enough time focusing on these 3 vital rules.


Ryan G. sends in 'deep fried snickers a la mode from Rocks in Lincoln Park'.  To which I say, holy fuck.  This is real?

From my personal stash (and I hope I haven't used it before, but it's hard to keep track these days), suicide wings from Crisp in Lakeview.  Crisp is actually a pretty amazing place - Korean fried chicken.  The menu is also very deceiving: You can order 5 or 10 wings.  How dare you insult me!  I can eat 100 wings.  So, naturally, I went with the 10 piece.  Good lord.  These wings are MASSIVE.  I think I started sobbing when I realized the mistake I had made.  What fucking chicken has wings this big?


Something about the sprawled out greenness of the Arlington Race Track and the awesome summer sky above gets me every time.  A really cool place to spend an afternoon.

My turn for a Lake Michigan sunrise.  I walked home from a friend's house 4th of July weekend and decided to take a little detour once I realized I might be able to catch the sunrise.  This was just after I got my new iPhone, so I was OBSESSED with taking pictures at the time (nothing has changed a year and a half later).  I felt a lot better about myself when I noticed that I wasn't the only weirdo at the beach taking pictures.  I WAS the only drunk one though.


I don't care how ugly the Penn State game was, we still won on the road in the Big Ten.  That is NEVER easy.  Just ask our upcoming opponent what they think about winning in places like Champaign.  The bottom line is that we're playing defense at an absolutely ELITE level, so if we can just get some shots to drop, we'll be really tough to beat.  I expect a raucous atmosphere at the Kohl Center for a Saturday game against a top 5 team, and here's to hoping the team feeds off that energy.  Limit the open looks, don't turn it over, knock down the shots, and head to the KK to celebrate.  Or don't, because it's still a dungeon.  #BeatOSU.  The Pick: