Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Badger Preview: Sweet 16... And Elite 8?

Some Badger reviewing before we move on to the previewing...


What a weekend.  And when I say 'weekend', I'm referring to the entire Thursday-Sunday stretch.  Thursday morning started off exactly as planned: A trip out to Pizza Hut to load up on grub for the day.  After an hour or so of somewhat-boring games, UW and The Gregarious Griz of Montana took the court.  Just a classic, clinical Bo Ryan performance.  Jordan Taylor played about as well as he has all season (17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 60% from the field and three).  Evans was AWESOME.  Hell, even Bruiser got in on the action with his first made three pointers since the Nixon administration.

Defensively, it was just as impressive.  Montana's top Grizballer, Will Cherry, was stymied to the tune of 3-14 shooting.  As a team, the Bro Griz couldn't even crack the 40% barrier.  Chalk that up to a Badger team contesting every shot and clamping down in the second half.  True, the Men of Montana did get a decent amount of good looks in the paint early on, but that game was quickly shut down once Bo (most likely) laid into the team at halftime.  Great sign to see the Badgers only give up 20 points after the break.

And then things got a little weird for me.

In my post-Badger victory bliss (and 7ish Rolling Rocks deep), I decided it would be a great idea to set up shop on my balcony and watch the afternoon games from outside.  It was freaking GLORIOUS outside, and it felt a little criminal to spend the ENTIRE day inside like a nerdbox.  A friend on Twitter asked if I had TV's on my balcony (I SHOULD), so I went out there to take a pic showing that I could very easily see the living room TV from the balcony.  As I'm nudging the couch to squeeze by (only suckers take the long way around), I hear something rip.  'Shit, I just ripped the couch.'  At least that's what I THOUGHT happened.  I looked down and my leg was just leaking watered down booze blood.  There's nothing fun about that moment that you realize you just did something really stupid and frustrating.

Anyway, apparently the back of our couch is a Siberian death trap:

So that bled for a while.  I'm not gonna post the picture here, because, gross.  But let's just say getting some stitches probably wouldn't have been a bad idea.  I also realized while I was sitting on the floor tending to my wound that I had some Za Hut heating up in the oven.  So I had to scurry over, trying not to leak blood everywhere, and get that shiz out before it burned.  Needless to say, it was a strange day.  The next day started with a tetanus shot, because fuck lockjaw I don't want that.  I'm still of the mindset that I need to stare as far away as possible from the needle when I get a shot.  Is that juvenile or normal?  Maybe the trick is to stare deep into the eyes of the nurse giving you the shot.  Let 'em know what's up.  I think I'll give that a try the next time I get a shot, which is hopefully never.

Alright, I felt the urge to draw.  Here's a reenactment:

Fo' grizzle.


The St. Patrick's Day/Badger Gameday combo was absolutely INTENSE.  I assume everyone, like me, was hoping for a 1 pm tip - that would ensure not being completely blacked out during the game.  Well that didn't really pan out.  What DID pan out, however, was another very solid performance by the Badgers, clinching their spot in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.  Moreso here than against the Grizzlers, Wisconsin's defense was fantastic.  Vandy has legit 3 guys who will get a good, hard look from the League (Taylor/Jenkins/Ezeli).  Didn't matter on Saturday, though.  A flu-ridden Josh Gasser was beastly on the defensive end, and even Jordan Taylor pitched in to help hold Jenkins and The Other Taylor to a combined 7-25 (3-14 from three) from the floor.

And yet, UW found itself down a point with 2 minutes to go.  Needing a season-saving bucket, Bo turned to Jordan Taylor, who drilled the game-winning 3 as the shot clock expired.  Ice water.  Veins.  After a few defensive stops and a free throw from Evans, Berggs deflected the Ha*l Ma*y inbound pass to send the Badgers to Boston.  I may or may not have been very drunk and very, very excited:

I really wish I didn't have a smartphone when I was hammered.

Regardless, here we are, on the verge of greatness.  Beating Syracuse won't be easy, but if we can get past them, the potential rubber match with OSU could be the single biggest game in Badger hoops history (THE HYPE MACHINE IS WORKING OVERTIME).  Let's do this thing.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Feels like a Redmond's night.  Yeah yeah, we lost to Cornell the last time we tried pulling this off.  Oh well.  I'm trying really, really hard to make my brain understand that where I/we watch a game doesn't actually affect the outcome.  I really want to move past this phase of my life, but I'm starting to seriously think that it will never change.  Just note that if you're eating tater tots at the start of the game and we go on a run, you WILL eat tater tots for the rest of the game and/or tournament.  That shit's real.



BOOM, double letters.  I feel like I've kinda plateaued with my Motion W paint skills.  I can't quite grasp what I need to do to improve.  Constructive criticism is welcome.

  • Former UW Chancellor and Awesome Name Owner Donna Shalala went to grad school there.
  • They play a 2-3 zone, and ONLY  2-3 zone.
  • They've got a rap sheet longer than my... well, it's long.  Seriously, the Bernie Fine thing, reports that kids were failing drug tests 4 times and still playing, Fab Melo's suspension... just a filthy program.
  • Did you know 'rap' is short for Record of Arrest and Prosecution?  Because I definitely did not.  And now we've all learned something completely useless.  Unless you ever end up on a game show and they ask you this question, in which case you probably owe me a hefty % of your winnings.  This will be one of your Slumdog Millionaire 'moments'.
  • FAB MELO.  That's such a hot name.
  • Best 'Notable Alum' I've seen yet: Lexington Steele, owner of Mercenary Motion Pictures and Black Viking Pictures Inc.  I laughed at my desk for a good 3 minutes when I saw him listed on their Wikipedia page.  God bless the internet.
  • This is what the first annual class of Syracuse University looked like:
You know, people were a lot uglier back then, but damn if they didn't know how to dress.  There's a lot of 1870's swag in this picture.

Speaking of the 1870's, I'm definitely baffled that they had cameras back then.  I figured they were invented sometime in the 1950's along with electricity.  Obviously this sent me on a Google/Wikipedia adventure, and I have since discovered that this was the first picture ever taken:

And damn, that's a terrible fucking picture.  Even an iPhone 3G takes better pictures than that.  If I'm Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, I'm pretty pissed off that I'm famous for taking the world's worst photograph.  Look at the shadows.  Are there 2 suns?  THINGS FRENCH PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE AT:
  • War
  • Taking pictures
  • Most everything else not involving wine and/or croissants
I safely assume everything in France is exactly like this terrible quality video.

CONCLUSION: Only French people root for Syracuse.



Ben Brust: ZONE BUSTER.  Or at least that's the hope.  I'm not digging too deep with my analysis here: Since Syracuse will be bopping around in their zone, UW will most likely take a lot of threes.  On paper, a guy like Brust who mainly sees the court because of his ability to drain from deep should thrive.  But it hasn't always worked like that for Ben.  He killed it in the non-conference portion of the schedule, but has been rather quiet since the level of competition stepped up in Big Ten play.  Fortunately, he looks to have regained his stroke in the last couple games, including a HUGE stretch against Vandy when he drained 3 deep balls and finished on a nice backdoor layup.  If Brust can come in and give the Badgers a solid 15-20 minutes off the bench and make a few shots, I think we're in good shape.  It feels like the team feeds off him when he's making shots, and it's gonna take a spark of some kind to push the Badgers through their inevitable second half scoring drought.  Insert Brust.  Do work, kid.

I gotta give the Orange credit: they have some GREAT names in their program.  Scoop Jardine is just an AWESOME name for a person.  I'm not sure if Scoop is his birth name, but I'll happily go through the rest of my life assuming it is.  He's also a pretty damn good point guard.  DID YOU KNOW that Scoop Jardine and Jordan Taylor were roommates at Chris Paul's point guard skill camp?  PLAY THAT ANGLE, CBS.

As I wrote last week, teams in March almost always rely on their point guard to carry them.  Syracuse really isn't that different.  In a hard-fought win over 16 seed UNC-Ashville (wait, what?), Scoop finished with 11 points, 7 assists and a couple of zone-boosted steals.  But with the competition stepping it up a few notches a few days later against Kansas State, Jardine went off for 16/8/5 - very close to Taylor's line against Montana.  The only difference?  Scoop finished the game against Kansas State with a whopping 6 turnovers.  That gives him 14 turnovers in his last 3 games.  UW's game is definitely not forcing turnovers, but Taylor pestering Jardine into a couple costly TO's will definitely help nudge us closer to victory.


Neon Trees - Everybody Talks

If you've been watching the NCAA tournament, you've heard this song approximately 3,000,000 times.  Or, about 1/100th as often as this song...

Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling

I'm not sure, but I think CBS really, really likes this song.  It comes on before and after virtually EVERY commercial break.  Is there a reason they couldn't rotate through a few songs?  The worst part: I LIKE this song.  And they're just gonna go ahead and ruin it for me and everyone else.

Anberlin - A Day Late

What compels someone to leave this comment on the internet?

At the very least, I feel like she owes us a follow-up down the road so we can rest easy knowing whether or not her middle school crush felt the same way.  All thanks to a random Anberlin song.  True love.

B.o.B - So Good

New B.o.B?  I'll take it.  Pretty sure he has a new album coming out, and it's about freaking time.  The Adventures of Bobby Ray WAS my summer two years ago.

Jimmy Eat World - Sweetness

Get it?


Beat the zone, beat 'Cuse

That's easier said than done

But in Bo I trust.


Probably not the type of behavior you expect to find at Stanford.  And there's this:

I've said it before: It's a rare breed of person that comments on YouTube videos.

I'm pretty sure I will always enjoy a good prank call.  And this one is great.

And finally, this week's BLAST FROM THE YOUTUBE PAST: The QVC Katana Slip!  I've laughed all 6,000 times I've watched this clip.  HALLOWEEN IDEA: Have one smaller friend go as a guy with a sword sticking out of his gut, and a bigger guy walking around like a slob talking about doing emergency surgery in the studio.  Too vague?  Too vague.


You're looking at PORK BELLY PASTRAMI from ye olde Pork Shoppe in Chicago.  'Ye olde' is not actually in the name, but it definitely should be.  It was virtually impossible for me to see something like pork belly pastrami on a menu and not try it.  The PBP was actually pretty bacon-y, which shouldn't be surprising because I'm pretty sure bacon comes from the belly of the pork.  I definitely appreciated the selection of BBQ sauces they had (spicy/tangy/sweet), and the fries were quite tasty.  Maybe a little too salty, but that'll happen.  If you're ever out trying to hit up Kuma's or Hot Doug's but don't feel like waiting 5 hours for a table, I highly recommend you go down the street and check it out.

PS - $2 beers make the world go 'round.


More sky porn that I've swindled from other people.  I'm really hoping I can pick up my sky porn game now that the sun doesn't set at 3 pm.  If you have a nice rooftop on your building, you should probably invite me over for a romantic sunset dinner.  I'll bring the wine and my iPhone, you provide the rooftop and dinner.  Ultimate win/win deal.


Comes down to the classic struggle: Mind vs. Heart.  Because my mind is telling me that we simply can't overcome their swarming zone and ultra-fast transition game.  My mind is telling me that we'll have a 9 minute scoring drought in the second half and end up down 14 with 7 minutes to go wondering what the hell just happened.

But my heart... my heart's screaming out 'we ain't done yet!'  Does that read as sappy as it felt writing it?  Tough.  And I guess I just keep coming back to one thing: Is Jordan Taylor really done playing for Wisconsin yet?  Bo Ryan doesn't think so.  Chokes me up a little when he points at Taylor and Wilson, pauses, and says 'There's now way you're being done'.  That's the motto I'm gonna embrace as well.  There's no way we're being done.  The Pick:


I said it at the top and I'll say it again: If we meet Ohio State in the Elite 8, it very well could be the biggest game in Badger history.  I know we went to a Final Four in 2000, but something about this just feels... different.  And there would be no more appropriate opponent to stand in our way than the Buckeyes.  The teams split the regular season meetings, each oddly winning on the road.  OSU is just bursting with talent, and the guy that actually scared me the most during conference play (Deshaun Thomas) is in full-on beast mode in the tournament.  But we've learned that the Badgers are capable of shutting Sullinger down (and sending him sprawling after a graze from our point guard).  Taylor has shown he can score on Craft.  And there's no way we're being done.  The Pick:


Heart over mind, every damn time.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Badger Preview: NCAA Tournament Opening Weekend!


The best time of the year has FINALLY arrived, and I couldn't be more excited.  And in case the NCAA tourney wasn't enough, earth decided to be 70 degrees in Chicago all week.  PERFECT STORM.  I suppose the weather outside doesn't really affect me too much, though, considering I'll be holed up in my apartment with a case of Rolling Rock and way-too-much Pizza Hut all day and night.

For the 89th consecutive year, Bo Ryan has guided Wisconsin to a top 4 finish in the Big Ten and a spot in the greatest sporting event in the world.  Up first for the Badgers?  The fearsome Montana Grizzlies.  Considering I've never even entertained the thought that the state of Montana has running water, electricity, or a college, I think we'll bring back an old section this week to get to know the Griz.



Is it sad that I might be MUCH better at drawing a complicated grizzly bear than the standard UW Motion W?  Because I'm dead serious, that's the best picture of a bear in the world.  For comparison's sake, here's what their actual Griz looks like:

I should counterfeit Picassos and make millions.

PS - Not only do I thoroughly enjoy drawing the matchup instead of swindling it from ESPN, but I refuse to use their image when they call this the 2nd round.  That's hogwash, and I NEVER call stuff hogwash.  This is the first round, and I will believe that for the rest of my life.  Yeah, those games in Dayton were hot last night, but they were play-in games.  And everyone knows play-in games don't count.  Thursday/Friday = First Round.  End of story.  Fuck you CBS.

PPS - Seriously, before you move on, look at that hot ass Griz I drew one more time.  Quality craftsmanship.

  • I am SERIOUSLY entertained that their womens teams care called the Lady Griz.  I'm determined to find a way to bring 'Lady Griz' into my normal vocabulary.
  • Official colors?  Copper, silver, gold.  I'm just surprised that they didn't go with Dinosaur Fossil Grey and Random Patch Of Dirt Brown.  This was more of a 'did you know' than 'something nice'.
  • The only alum that I found REMOTELY interesting was J.K. Simmons, better known as the dad from Juno... and maybe that dickhead of a boss in Spider-Man?  That's really it.  A couple non-noteworthy athletes, a few scientists that played with isotopes, and a writer or two.
  • I take it back.  One of their 'Notable Alumni' is a woman named Jennifer Servo, who is famous for being murdered and featured on America's Most Wanted.  IMPRESSIVE STUFF MONTANA.*

*Couple thoughts on that:
  • It's on my bucket list to recognize a murderer from one of those shows, stealthily track him and then POUNCE on him, bringing him to JUSTICE.  This is right up there with my 'fugitive on the run' and 'rescuing people out of burning buildings after a terrorist attack' fantasies.
  • I really like that her boyfriend's last name is 'Sepulveda'.  I have NO idea why, but that name always EXCITES me.  Like it's Mexican royalty or something.
  • I wonder, relative to other stuff, how difficult it is to get away with murder?
  • The current/ex-lover is ALWAYS the prime suspect.



There's no point in getting cute with this.  Come tournament time, you lean on two things: 1) Your best player, and 2) Your point guard.  Jordan Taylor happens to be both of those for Wisconsin.  And if the Badgers wanna make ANY noise this month, Taylor will have to revert back to 2010-2011 All-American form.  That means hitting shots at a high percentage, finding open teammates, and not turning it over.  I'm not even sure what's more frustrating with Taylor this season: The 30% drop in FG% or the extra half a turnover he's averaging per game.  I HATE BOTH OF THEM.

But there have been some signs of life.  Other than the IU game in Indy (when Taylor was missing layups, picking up charges, and just being generally awful), he's been hitting shots - especially from downtown and the line.  I'm not sure what's gonna happen in the next few days, but I can promise you that if the good Jordan Taylor shows up, Wisconsin will be in a pretty good position to make it to the next weekend.  It starts Thursday against Montana.

I'm about to drop a bomb on you: I have watched 30 seconds of Montana Griz ball this year.  I think I was changing the channel and caught their conference championship game, saw it was a blowout, and turned it off.  That's it.  Accordingly, I am the PERFECT source for a Griz scouting report.  From what I've read, their team runs through Will Cherry, a guy with a name worth remembering.  The junior point guard hails from West Oakland, which makes no sense at all because why would you go to Montana if you're from West Oakland?  Could there be two bigger polar opposites?  Don't sleep on #5 though.  He's averaging 16 points a game while shooting 45% / 37% / 79% (FG/3PT/FT), numbers much better than Taylor's.  The giant grain of salt, however, is that he simply hasn't faced defenses anywhere near the likes of which we see in the Big Ten every week.

Conclusion: The battle at the point guard position will be vital to the outcome of this game.  If Taylor plays anywhere near what he's capable of, I expect Wisconsin to take care of business.


Fountains Of Wayne - Sink To The Bottom

Yes, I'm just as surprised as you are to learn that they ever recorded another song.  Stacey's Mom is a timeless classic, but this isn't half bad.

Queens Of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow

Good life advice as well in many situations.  And I think this is a really cool music video.

Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

...because we're going dancing?

Jurassic 5 - Jurass Finish First

1) This is my go-to 'oh, it's amazing outside, I need a song that embodies how awesome that is' song.  First really nice day of the year, without fail, I blast this song.  Today was that day.
2) I don't know what the hell they were thinking with all the talking/nonsense at the end of this song.  I laughed the first few times I heard it, but have hated it ever since.  Just get rid of it.  Stick to rap rap rappin'.


It's one and done time

Play like there's no tomorrow

Step 1: Beat the Griz.


I have no idea why, but this popped up in my news feed and it gets me every time.

"Well just in time for St. Patrick's day..."

PS - This makes the video:

Since The Hot Glove went dead, I'm struggling to find new videos.  Here's another blast from the past.  And by past, I mean pre-YouTube.

This is why the internet is great: Miami Marlins Theme Song vs. Dora The Explorer Theme Song.  And while that was well done, nothing will ever top this.


Let's take a trip down memory lane to the year 2000.  That was the last time UW made the Final Four.  Here are a few facts to chew on:
  • Two games were played at The Pit in Albuquerque.
  • The 1 seed in Wisconsin's region (Arizona) was missing one of its best players (Loren Woods).
  • UW had to beat a Big Ten team in the Elite 8 to make the Final Four.
  • Before the NCAA tourney, the Badgers lost 3 times to eventual 1 seed Michigan State.
And now, a few facts about the current Badger team:
  • Their first 2 games will take place at The Pit in Albuquerque.
  • The 1 seed in Wisconsin's region (Syracuse) is missing one of its best players (Fab Melo).
  • UW will most likely have to beat a Big Ten team in the Elite 8 to make the Final Four.
  • Before the NCAA tourney, the Badgers lost 3 times to current 1 seed Michigan State.
I'm not saying this is really creepy and we're a lock for the Final Four, but I've already started pricing airfare to New Orleans.  And if we go that far?  At least we won't have to see MSU again until the championship game.  That team is very, very good.



This game is actually pretty amazing.  Simple premise: You get a choice of 3 things to try and draw, and your partner/opponent have to guess what you were drawing.  Basically, it's iPictionary.  WITH COLORS.  Like just about everything, it's much more fun when you play with people you actually know (instead of random internet stranger creepers).  A couple recent favorites:

Some people may have drawn a crude, thatch hut that a tribesman would live in.  But if you're playing me?  Just go straight for the one, true love: Za Hut (SO EXCITED FOR TOMORROW).

I don't think I've ever nailed anything more than I nailed this Pauly D picture.  Anyone who can't tell EXACTLY what I drew there is a moron.

Not pictured: I've gotten 'Ewok' like 5 times and I absolutely kill it.  A Deathstar shooting it's green laser with X-wings poking away at it, an AT-ST shooting lasers at a furry little dude with ears poking out, big red circle around the furry little dude.  Boom.  Ewok.  Works every time.

PS - My name is PureBwa.  If you already play and haven't challenged me yet, bring it.  And if you haven't played?  What the fuck are you waiting for?


Chicken and waffles from Roscoe's Chicken And Waffles.  God that looks amazing.

A Flood classic: Cookie Monster Cookie Cupcakes.  Genius.


When in doubt, use a picture from someone I follow on Twitter.  Thanks!  (I guess that's a protected account.  Oh well.)


DUH DUH DUHHHHHHHH.  So maybe my BTT predictions weren't so hot (although we did beat IU!).  That happens.  But I'm not nearly as nervous as I was last year.  This year's team has shown the ability to win on the road/neutral sites, and that's HUGE.  The only, and I mean ONLY way we lose to the Griz is if we shot like absolute shit.  I'm talking at home vs. Iowa shooting.  And since I do NOT expect that to happen, I feel comfortable penciling us in to play on Saturday.  The Pick:


Yup, time to look ahead.  UW will take on the winner of Harvard/Vanderbilt.  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Vandy is the most trendy thing since skinny jeans.  People are picking them to go all the way to the Final Four.  Crazy what beating a disinterested Kentucky team can do.  Last I checked, they played in the SEC and had the same record as Tennessee (a team in the NIT).  Should UW beat them?  I think so.  Will they?  I hope so.  The Pick:


BIG weekend.  NCAA tourney kicking off, St. Patty's, hot weather... live it up.  This is what it's all about.  Time to take care of business.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Badger Preview: Big Ten Tournament!

I don't think I've ever seen a more dejected and defeated team than the Illinois team that came into the Kohl Center last Sunday.  Man, they have just COMPLETELY given up on Weber.  But the sympathy ends there, because the Badgers took care of business on Senior Day, sending Taylor and Wilson off in high fashion.  I'm pretty sure they said at one point that Bo is the only coach in the Big Ten who is undefeated on Senior Days.  Off the top of my head, one school that HAS lost on Senior Day is Ohio State.  To Wisconsin.  Weeks later, still loving that.

But after the long grind of the regular season, we've finally reached the glorious conclusion to the journey: TOURNAMENT TIME.  First up?  The appetizer better known as the Big Ten Tournament.  Apparently it starts Thursday, but being a Badger fan I'm not sure I actually believe that.  FACT: Bo Ryan has had a first day bye in every Big Ten Tournament since he took over at Wisconsin.  FACT: That is insanely impressive, and yet another feather in his cap of consistently incredible coaching.  Whether or not that makes sense, I can't tell you.

Unfortunately, previewing tournaments requires some guesswork.  I'm gonna have to make a few assumptions along the way about our potential opponents, but I like to look at it like this: I'm going to predict that we'll face the most difficult path... so either I'm right, or I'm wrong but happy.  CLASSIC WIN WIN.  On with the show.



Holy shit, that 'W' looks like it's about to jump off the screen and just kill some Hoosier bitches.  Now that's what I call a MOTION W.

(I spent far, far too much time working on this picture.)


I'm not gonna lie, looking at these standings kinda pisses me off.  The top 3 schools are all terrible in every aspect of life, and we lost twice to Iowa.  IOWA.


DON'T MIND IF I DO.  Recycling a couple old favorites:



*Underrated, Google is simultaneously the smartest and dumbest company ever.  Why isn't strikethrough available in Gmail?  Why can't you sort messages in your inbox?  Why can't you use bold and italics in text messages?  Even though that last one isn't really Google's fault, it kinda is.



I have no idea what happened to Bruiser.  DID YOU KNOW he is 2 for his last 22 from three point range?  And that he hasn't scored in double digits since February 4th?  Look, no one is expecting him to be a high scorin', hot shootin' machine.  But for a guy who's consistently playing 30+ minutes, you HAVE to start knocking some shots down.  And if the range isn't there, then you HAVE to attack the basket and put some work in down low.  We simply cannot afford to have a guy out there playing this poorly on the offensive end.  This is worse than Jarmusz.  Fortunately, one of Bruiser's last solid offensive performances came against the Hoosiers in late January (double digit points!).  If we can get something like that out of him tomorrow afternoon, I like our chances.

Let's get one thing clear: Cody Zeller is a stud.  And he'll only get better with age.  We're talking about a freshman big man averaging 15 and 6 while shooting a staggering 64% from the field.  That's DAMN impressive.  But he's also the type of kid that experienced Badger teams can pound on and slow down to a halt.  When the Hoosiers came to Madison (remember, we didn't travel to Assembly Hall this year), the Badger front court combined to hold Zeller to 7 points and 3 rebounds on 2-7 shooting in 19 minutes.  A big part of that?  They drew 4 fouls on Zeller.  Look for Berggren to attack attack ATTACK and try and neutralize Indiana's biggest weapon.  Because if he goes off and the crowd starts getting into it, we'll be planning our Selection Sunday parties a day or two earlier than we'd like.


No Doubt - Just A Girl

Sneakily my favorite No Doubt song.  I don't really identify with it, considering I am, in fact, not a girl.  But that shouldn't stop me from enjoying it.

Fastball - Out Of My Head

Better known as 'The White Hootie & The Blowfish'

The Presidents Of The United States Of America - Lump

Tough call betwixt 'Lump' and 'Peaches'.  Decided to go with 'Lump' because I love when the drums are just banging away during the verse.  I really wish I could play drums and not sound like someone having a seizure while playing Rock Band.

If it's good enough to be CM Punk's intro song, it's good enough for me.

PS -



First beat the Hoosiers

Then bigger and better things

Like beating Izzo

Can we make a run?

Crean first, and then it's Izzo

I hate both of them.


Unfortunately, you read that right.  After a great run, Katz is officially closing the book on The Hot Glove this Friday.  If we're being perfectly honest, I'm pretty sad about this development.  Not only did I enjoy writing there every week (well, most weeks), but the site was an endless source of comedy and entertainment.  Most people probably don't realize, but he was up every day at 5:30 am finding links/videos/pictures and writing about them.  If there's a silver lining in this, it's that this week is featuring a quasi-'Best Of THG' feature every day.  COMEDY GOLD.  Here we go:


One of my all-time favorites: A guy at Coachella SHTRUGGALING to put his flip flops on.  I've watched this roughly 9,000 times.

I'm terrible at assembling tents sober.  I can't imagine trying it while tripping on ether.


There is nothing better than the Russian Aquarium Brawl.  Underrated, this is the only fight video on the internet where the two teams are wearing uniforms: White shirts vs. dark shirts!  Makes it MUCH easier to keep track of everything.  Also, total miracle of modern science than the main protagonist in white never falls in the pool once the fight starts.  Double also, are there like dolphins swimming in that pool the whole time?  WHAT GOES ON IN RUSSIA?  Could this happen at the Shedd?

Russia totally summed up in 15 seconds.  There is literally nothing missing.


NO ONE has ever given fewer fucks than this guy. He gettin' paper.  LOOK AT HIM NOW

I don't know why this is grouped in with the dancing videos, but I'll never hate on a kid tryin' to do hood rat stuff with his friends.


Hear me out: Every little convenience store/mini-mart/bodega is EXACTLY the same.  An entire aisle of chips, 3 day old bread, Oscar Meyer bacon, and NO legit chocolate milk.  This is egregious.  That's why I'm currently in the process of designing the world's FIRST organic, free-range mini-mart/bodega.  God I love saying the word 'bodega'.  But seriously, I'm talking like a combo of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, with the convenience of 7-Eleven.  Does this make sense?  Say you're preparing some elegant dish in your vaulted ceiling, stainless steel appliance-equipped condo and you realize you don't have any pain au levain.  What do you do?  Do you get in your car and drive 10 miles to Whole Foods?  Or do you walk down the block to your friendly neighborhood Organic Bodega (temporary name)?  I think the answer is OBVIOUS.  Because trust me - you're not gonna find any Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles at the Clark Street Pantry.

Organic Bodegas - coming soon to Lincoln Park and River North.

I'm SO excited to be a billionaire

(One of these ideas is gonna stick, I have faith.)


And they've traded up from a boxcar to a school bus:

A postal worker called Child Protective Services on Wednesday after she found two Splendora, Texas, children living in an abandoned school bus. An 11-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother were discovered in the window-blocked vehicle that was covered in trash in the woods.

The kids, whose names have not been released to protect their identities, have been living basically alone in the vehicle since the beginning of the year. Their parents are in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to embezzle money from Hurricane Ike victims in 2008. Both parents were sentenced to 18 months.
The mom also says the bus has hot and cold running water and electricity, and that she's on the phone with her children from prison very frequently. She says she is hoping to regain custody of the kids when she's free in 30 days.

I think if you step back and really evaluate the situation here, this is a pretty savvy move by the family.  All families have to overcome hardships.  Sometimes your dad loses his job.  Maybe your dog dies.  Every once in a while your parents get caught embezzling money from hurricane victims.  It's how you OVERCOME the hardships that defines you as a cohesive family, and I think this group is on the right track.  Go to prison?  Have your kids live in an abandoned school bus in the woods like hobos.  It's not like it doesn't have running water and electricity.  I remember when I was a kid, I totally wanted to live in the bus from Camp Nowhere.  These kids are just living the dream.

PS - The Boxcar Children was written by a woman named Gertrude Warner.  Gertrude is one of the most classic old people names ever.  Off the top of my head:

1) Gertrude
2) Louise
3) Ethel
4) Mildred
5) Bertha

And for the men:

1) Ira
2) Melvin
3) Wilbur
4) Mortimer
5) Harold

No one under 80 has any of those names.

PPS - For some reason, the Boxcar Children reminded me of Goosebumps.  I had almost all of them, but I don't think I read a single page.  I just thought they were cool and collected them.  I'm mildly embarrassed by this looking back.  Childhood-me was even more strange than you might realize.

PPPS - Still laughing at 'Mortimer'.  Something about that name is absolutely hilarious to me.


Balsamic vinaigrette (no idea if that's the right word) pasta with breaded chicken and a freshly baked baguette.  Well, the baguette was from Trader Joe's, but it was rubbed in oil and tossed in the oven.  Hence, baked.  Obviously, I melted some cheese on top... of just about everything.  For composition purposes only.  #topchef

(I didn't cook this.)

Did somebody say... JAMBALAYA?

And because my family wants to torment me, they make incredibly good looking tempura chicken tenders* and send me pictures.  I was probably elbow deep in a slice of Beggar's when I got this.  So very unfair.

*Because I see this often:

1) Tenders
2) Strips
3) Fingers

In that order.



Now that Indiana has won and they are OFFICIALLY our next opponent, I can tell you in total confidence that I think we are going to win tomorrow.  DID YOU KNOW that the current UW seniors have NEVER won a game in the Big Ten Tournament?  Nope.  We've lost in the quarterfinals 3 straight years.  That's absurd.  I don't know if we can pull the whole damn thing off, but I fully expect us to come out tomorrow and silence the home crowd like they've never been silenced before.  The #roadwarriors are back, and they're ready to take Indy by storm.  The Pick:


Time for assumptions.  If we beat Indiana, we will most likely be facing Michigan State (unless Gatens and Iowa keep getting their nut, which is definitely possible).  And man, I'm just not sure.  That MSU team is TOUGH.  But you know what?  They've NEVER won the Big Ten Tournament, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit here and let them plow through us on their way to their first title (because I have a huge impact on the games).  Beat us once, shame on you.  Beat us twice, shame on us.  Beat us three times and Bo Ryan will eat your face off.  The Pick:


Win those two and we're playing in the championship on Sunday.  And you know what?  I WANT the Buckeyes.  I wanna see Jared Berggren dominate a supposed lottery pick again.  I wanna see Taylor outplay Craft on both ends.  I wanna see Buckeye fans streaming out to the exits crying while Badger fans are taking their stubs to get closer to the celebration.  And damnit, I wanna roll into the NCAA Tournament with some kickass momentum and another banner to hang in the Kohl Center.  The Pick:


Lots of close games.  I have officially lost my mind.  Oh well.  #MADNESS


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Badger Preview: Illinois

This is supposed to be a slightly abbreviated version considering there's just one meaningless game and I've been stretched thin this week.  Whether or not that holds true remains to be seen.  We're gettin' right into it this week because there are FUN things to talk about.


There are 4 different links in the OSU line.  YOU SHOULD CLICK ON ALL OF THEM.  Seriously, it's just a great feeling.  I spent my Sunday morning eagerly looking forward to the OSU game, but with ZERO expectations.  Could we win?  Sure.  But it just didn't seem likely given how up and down this team has been this season.  Hell, we got swept by IOWA.  They haven't been relevant in decades.

But once the game was underway, it was clear that the Badgers were not going to get smokeshowed like they did a year ago in Columbus.  The team came out aggressive, played unbelievable defense, and hung around long enough to deliver one final blow to win it.  We were on the ropes 2 separate times in the second half, and you know what happened each time?  We fought back:

OSU goes on an 8-2 run early in the second half to take a 6 point lead, planting that first seed of fear that things could get ugly.  Fortunately, UW responded with a 9-2 run of their own to take a 1 point lead.

After the Buckeyes countered with a 9-0 spurt, the Badgers found themselves down 8, on the road, with 8 minutes to play.  THIS is how you quiet an arena:

At this point, you knew the game was coming down to the wire.  Such TENACITY.

Stray observations from the final 4 minutes:
  • Deshaun Thomas makes a layup and gets fouled, flexes his guns for the entire world to see... and promptly misses the free throw.  I litrally laughed out loud.
  • Shouldn't the 's' in 'Deshaun' be capitalized?  DeShaun?
  • Sullinger's bucket to take a 1 point lead with 49 seconds left couldn't have looked easier.
  • But then you see why he can be frustrating when he doesn't rotate over to contest Berggren's game-winner.  Jared took that shot without hesitation and drained it.
  • DeShaun Thomas, who was hosting a gun show under the hoop a few minutes ago, took one of the worst shots I've ever seen in a 2 point game.  GROSS.
  • Bergs ices it at the line like an upperclassman should.
  • I nearly collapse out of pure happiness.
Like I said at the time: TASTE IT, BUCKEYES.



#realtalk, I love the Sunday noon tipoff.  Not too early that it prevents you from sleeping in... yet early enough to make you wake up and get on with your day before the dreary monotony of the work week settles in.  Plus, now that Sundays have the Walking Dead and Eastbound back, you have something to look forward to after the game.  If only the day after Sunday was like a bonus day without work.  I think I'm advocating a 3 day weekend - another in a long list of my billion dollar ideas.


NOTES: The Badgers are guaranteed a top 4 finish in the conference for the 357th consecutive year.  Maybe it only feels like that - but since Bo took over, they've never finished lower.  That's amazing.

Since we're a lock, this will also be the 14th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for Wisconsin.  Tied for the 5th best streak in the nation.  Hopefully Texas plays themselves off the bubble so we have one less team to fight with.  Again, amazing.  I LOVE THIS SCHOOL.



Rob Wilson, last 3 games:

THOSE NUMBERS ARE NOT SUPREMELY TERRIBLE.  In fact, they're quite good.  On a team that struggles to score and lacks guys who can attack the rim, this late season surge by Wilson makes me all warm and tingly.  I WANNA buybuybuy Rob Wilson stock, but there's still a festering pile of fear in the back of my mind that he's one terrible turnover and a foul 30' from the hoop away from getting benched.  Out of all the players I've ever watched under Bo, NONE has had a leash as short as Wilson's.  With Bruiser disappearing and Brust still trying to find his stroke, Wisco's gonna need Wilson to keep contributing.

Sure, technically Bruce Weber is not a player.  But I wanted to wish him fare thee well, since without QUESTION he will be fired within 10 seconds of Illinois' final NIT game.  Since losing to UNC in the title game with Bell Self's recruits, Weber's tenure in Champaign has been nothing short of a bucket of failure.  Coaching the state school a few hours from Chicago, it's inexcusable that he could not land hot recruit after hot recruit.  Illinois should be a force in the Big Ten every year considering how much talent comes from the state, yet Weber never truly capitalized on that.

And even when he DID land a good recruit, they simply never developed under his tutelage like you'd hope they would.  Truthfully, I'm sad to see him go.  As long as he was coaching Illinois, I could (for the most part) not worry about them being a true threat.  But assuming Illinois doesn't botch this hire completely, they're gonna land a pretty good coach who will surely start taking advantage of the deep talent pool in Chicago.  Ugh.

PS - Not sure what makes me want to puke more: The whiny voice or the orange blazer.  DO NOT WANT.


At The Drive-In - One Armed Scissor

1) You're not allowed to listen to this song unless it's turned way the fuck up.
2) Apparently they broke up, but now they're getting back together, and they're gonna play Coachella?
3) Admittedly, I don't like anything else by them.

The Gaslight Anthem - The Diamond Church Street Choir

I have a really hard time defining their sound, but I think I like it and this song works for me.  Part of the problem is definitely that when I hear the name of the band, all I can think of is this:

And needless to say, The Gaslight Anthem would have a TOUGH time getting a gig at Gasworks.

The Offspring - Americana

The Offspring is one of those bands that I think I like, but I'm pretty sure I don't care enough to call myself a fan.  Don't matter, I enjoy this song.


No excuse to lose

Weber's seat is pretty hot

This won't help his case


Score one for the internet: Pulp Fiction - SHAKESPEARE STYLE.  Iambic pentameter.  1500's.  Genius.

PS -

Behold the mighty mind of Brentanius!

Killed me.

Not sure what's going on here, but I do know that it's super nerdy... and I'm strangely entertained.

Have I ever posted this before?  This NEEDS to be my Halloween costume.  I will pay millions for it.

PS - First thing I thought of when I checked the comments:


Sitting at home Monday night, I noticed a strange tweet pop up.  It was from an account called @DimosWrigley - odd, considering I don't recall following any place named Dimo's.  They were talking about changing their name.  Oh well.  But then I realized it was in my 'Friends' group... and there's only ONE pizza place I consider a true friend of mine.  I nervously clicked on the picture in their tweet to get the story behind this bizarre news:

WTF?  So... Ian's is just vanishing overnight?  Does this make any sense?  Obviously they're doing fine financially - the place is always packed at night.  So what gives?  I was quickly assured that the pizza (and ranch) were not changing at all, but they were no longer going to be called Ian's.

So.  Confusing.

And should I be bothered by this?  Once they told me the pizza (and ranch) weren't changing, I didn't really care.  But then I started thinking about it, and it really doesn't sit right.  Since I'm such an intrepid investigator, I put in a few calls to my sources*.  Here's what I've learned:
  • Dimo is a guy who worked at the Ian's in Madison, and obviously worked at the one here.
  • I get the sense that the timetable to open your own Ian's franchise is so long that some of their tenured employees grow frustrated waiting for their time to start branching out to make some bank.
  • Certainly, Ian (HE'S SO MYSTERIOUS, LIKE THE WIZARD OF OZ) isn't cool with an employee taking his pizza, slapping a new name on it, and setting up shop.  This leads me to believe that there are certain 'negotiations' going on behind the scenes.
  • It doesn't appear that there's any bad blood - at least not with the people who work in the store.
  • It was every bit as surprising for a lot of people involved as it was for the rest of us.
Unfortunately, I was not privy to ALL of the details, but this is the gist of it.  Gonna take some time to process all of this.

Meanwhile, is this now a collector's item?

I can't use it, right?  It's definitely worth more than $3.75.  These are dark days in my life.

*You're damn right I have Ian's sources.  I AM THE REAL MR. OCTOBER.


It was big news the other day that some nerdbox proposed to his girlfriend via the internet.  Essentially, it started with a bunch of goofy pictures and then grew into a widespread hashtag on Twitter: #SayYesKatie.  First ever hashtag proposal?  I think so.  BUT THIS CAT SAW IT COMIN' MONTHS AGO:

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 bottom line is that I'm clearly on the forefront of both technology and romance.  And those two disciplines are RARELY combined.  If my YouTube app comes out in the next 6 months, I will safely assume my ideas are actually amazing and I need to start PROFITING from them.


Steak, eggs and LAWRY'S.  I've written about it before, so I won't bore you with the details.  But Lawry's is everything I love in life.  It goes well on litrally anything - including both steak AND eggs.  Also, I guess my dad decided to start eating like a king for breakfast.  Seems unfair.


All together now: AWWWWWWWWWW.  She is ADORABLE and it kills me that I'm sitting here in Chicago while she's running around my house in Milwaukee.

And yes, the name was inspired by this.  We're huge Seinfeld fans.


Senior day against a team with a lame duck coach and nothing to play for?  I'MA GO OUT ON A LIMB WITH THIS ONE.  The Pick: