- It's not easy drawing conclusions from games against inferior competition. With that said, a mostly vanilla UW defense has given up zero points this season. ZERO. That is good. I mentioned in the offseason how excited I was to see the changes made on the defensive side of the ball, and so far I am quite obviously loving what I'm seeing. Rooting for an aggressive, blitzing defense is simply more fun.
- I will be going to the Illinois Supreme Court DEMANDING a recount in the Musky Queen election. Ali had a beer bong voting box, a musky cake, more propaganda than every other girl combined, AND our good friends at Dimo's Pizza* hooked her up with a bunch of gooey mac and cheese bribery goodness. Getting 2nd out of 22 Musky Queen candidates is nothing to be ashamed of, but I think we all know there was some SWINDLING going on. For those of you who went and voted for her, thank you. And if you see Ali at Will's in the near future, buy her a shot for a well-run campaign.
- Our third-string, true-freshman running back is currently 18th in the country in rushing. That is insane. Personally, I have MGIII as our top rusher and then White/Clement as 2a/2b. Our running back depth is scary good, and I don't envision it changing for the worse anytime soon.
- I was in San Francisco last weekend and didn't watch the game. But I did eat a porchetta sandwich at 9 am (delightful), go to Alcatraz (very cool/I spent the entire time mixing lines from The Rock and Shawshank), watch the America's Cup race (high-speed sailboat racing, FEEL THE RUSH), hit up the Guy Fieri-approved Pier 23 (stand-by for #foodporn), make it into AT&T Park for 2 innings of a Giants game (the scalpers are literally crackheads/#garlicfries), and dip pretzel bread in a cheese fondue fountain at Michael Mina's personal tailgate (WTF) before watching the Packers drop a hard-fought game at Candlestick (shitty stadium, great game). I guess my point is that I'm OK with having missed Musky Fest and the destruction of Tennessee Tech. Also, if you can't tell, I think San Francisco is an amazing city.
- No more cupcakes. It's time to find out what we've got. @ASU/Purdue/@OSU/NW/@Ill. I'm hoping to come out of there with one loss. If that happens, I'd be very, very happy. But if that one loss is Northwestern I'm gonna hurt someone.
- Ooooooooooo, a NIGHT GAME at Will's. In other words, Brandon will be recording the game because there is a zero percent chance he remembers it the next day. God, talking in the third-person is the most OBNOXIOUS thing. Never again.
- Projected forecast for Saturday night in Chicago: 56 degrees. THERMAL SEASON IS UPON US. I cannot wait! I'll ignore for a second the sadness of my realizing 2 weeks ago that I have no idea where my UW jersey is - #thermalseason makes everything better. Plus, it's been like a million degrees in the Midwest this week and I'm done with melting season. BUST OUT YO' THERMALS.
- This Saturday will be exactly 4 weeks before the Homecoming rumble with Northwestern. I think I've slowly but surely talked myself into heading up to Madison for that weekend. Important game, early enough in the year that the weather should still be tolerable, afternoon kickoff... lots to like here. Personally, I'm not a fan of going up for Homecoming (too many people/chaos), but the home slate isn't very inspiring this season.
*OFFICIAL Dimo's Power Rankings:
- Chicken Penne Alfredo. This guy's been holding down the top spot on my list for a while and I have a hard time imagining any other slice unseating him. I'm not sure why he's a 'he', but let's assume he's a gregarious eye-talian man who always smells like garlic and wields a Mario-esque mustache. Do Mario and Luigi have last names? Wario definitely doesn't, because Wario's an asshole. Fine, yeah, I just spent an hour on the Mario Wikipedia page. Conclusion: I still have no idea how a Japanese video game programmer created an Italian plumber from New York.
- Spicy Chicken Quesadilla. FINALLY. Finally a freaking restaurant backs up their 'spicy' claim on a dish. The chicken in this slice has legit heat, but ranch is necessary (well, it's ALWAYS necessary) because it can get a little doughy towards the crust.
- Chicken Cheddar Bacon. If you need an explanation of why this is a good slice of pizza, you need to put the quinoa down and LIVE a little.
- Mashed Potato Chicken Bacon. I don't get why this is a seasonal slice. I'll eat mashed potatoes in January just as quickly as I will in August. If I could afford a lobbyist, he would be offering sex and blow to all Dimo's employees to make this slice year-round.
- Smokey The Bandit. This is the only one I'll refer to by its 'official' name. I'm not a big BBQ sauce guy, but the ranch balances it out pretty well, and the bacon comes over the top to prevent it from dominating the taste.
- Mac and Cheese. Let's not get too cute: it's a great piece of pizza. But I think it needs to be dressed up a little to reach its FULL potential. Enter: this week's special. I will be 100% drunk-stumbling into Dimo's this week to grab a slice of mac and cheese with bacon and jalapenos on it. That sounds perfect.
- Chicken and Waffles. Pizza with maple syrup on it is what every stoner wants, but never can find. Go to Dimo's. Find it. Maybe even just lick the top of it to make sure it's real.
- Definitely not Steak and Fries. I'm not a fan. I think usually the fries are busted, and, again, BBQ sauce. Woof. Some people swear by it, but you won't find me filling up a punch card with Steak and Fries slices.
- If you're the person ordering cheese or pepperoni at Dimo's, stop what you're doing, empty your money into the tip jar, punch yourself in the face, and leave.
LAST CALL FOR VOTING - ENDS 9/14: WE'VE COME SO FAR. If you're one of the stragglers that hasn't voted for my picture, spend the next 5 seconds of your lovely life helping a guy out. Thank you.
WEATHER: HOT DAMN 90+ DEGREES, I SEE WHY IT'S AT NIGHT, OF COURSE LEST WE FORGET, ONCE WE'RE OUT THE STADIUM, WE'RE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING DESERT
DAWG, LET'S GO INSIDE THE MIND OF A SUN DEVIL
- Al Michaels, announcer. You know how sometimes you encounter a person doing exactly what they were born to do? I think Al Michaels is near the top of that list. He was destined to call sporting events, and call them well. I'm not gonna blabber on for a thousand words about what he does, so let's all just watch this for what should be the 10 millionth time each, get goosebumps, and love America. 'MERICA.
- Kate Spade, purse or bag designer extraordinaire I think. I'm going to level with you: I had no clue she married (and took the name) of David Spade's brother. I also have no clue if this makes her cooler or weirder, because I'm not actually sure if I like David Spade. Don't get me wrong, he's great in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, Oscar-worthy in Joe Dirt, and no one will EVER forget him as Guyblow in Grandma's Boy... but he's kind of a weasel, isn't he? Yeah, he had a nice stint on SNL with roles ranging from Bill Shakespeare to getting choked out by Cindy... but I always thought of him as Dana Carvey 2.0, AKA a much worse version of Dana Carvey. I won't hate on him for riding Farley's coattails, however, because I WISH I could have ridden those coattails to fame and fortune and everything that goes with it. I thank you all?
- Spencer F. Silver, co-inventor of the Post-It Note. Stupidly simple, fantastically genius. I like Post-It Notes:
- George 'Bucky' Glickley, social entrepreneur. WHOA HEY WHAT'S YOUR ANGLE, FAKE-BUCKY? I'm strongly considering editing this Wikipedia page to get Fake-Bucky out of there to guarantee victory on Saturday. Unless this is a really good sign, and we have a MOLE within the famous ASU alumni ranks. Do you remember the show The Mole on ABC? I LOVED The Mole! I remember carefully studying the opening credits, looking for any clue of who the mole could be. Lord knows I'd be the worst mole possible. I can't lie. Poker face, DO NOT HAVE IT. Bonus Fact: the first season was hosted by Anderson Cooper. Also, did someone say mole?
- Wes Bergmann, MTV personality, owner of a Porsche, monster truck, and 30 companies, probably not a liar. Of COURSE Wes went to ASU. Easy to get into, infinite girls to creep on (emphasis on the creep), ideal place to hone his sunburning abilities. It had it all for a douche like Wes. It was great watching him talk shit last week on Rivals 2 after Johnny Bananas started puking post-challenge. I seem to recall a day not too long ago where he had to be physically carried throughout the final challenge. Speaking of final challenges, here's how I'm handicapping the remaining teams on Rivals 2:
- Jordan & Marlon, 2:1. The hard part for rookies on The Challenge is MAKING the final. Not only are they new to everything, but the veterans will, at some point, decide enough is enough and gang up on the rooks. Well, that's a bit of a problem when the rooks are winning challenges and showing no fear. Plus, Jordan has one hand and can still clean and jerk with the rest of the bros in the house. I loved watching him do it to impress Jonna, exact same thing Ryan was doing in The Office when he dropped to do one-handed push-ups in front of Kelly.
- Frank & Johnny, 5:2. If Frank can take a break from tracking the last time Diem and CT smooched, this team should be capable of finishing whatever ridiculous, grueling challenge the MTV Wizards throw at them. Johnny's puke performance is a bit of a red flag, though.
- CT & Wes, 9:2. CT doesn't win challenges/Wes is soft/they're going to fight mid-challenge.
- Emily & Paula, 3:2. They really caught a break avoiding the final jungle, and they're monsters. Plus, Paula is a long distance runner! ADVANTAGE: PAULA.
- Cara Maria & Cooke, 3:1. Cooke is a beast and I'm really attracted to Cara. I have no idea why. I'd be happy seeing them win.
- Camila & Jemmye, 6:1. I'm convinced that Camila just decides when to have an accent. I love when she flips that switch 'on'. Plus, if I could watch one girl in the house get blackout drunk and have a meltdown, it's Camila 11 times out of 10.
- Aneesa & Diem, 15:1. Unless the objective of the final jungle is to embarrass yourself while getting played by your ex, I don't think these girls make it to the final. And even if they do, I'm having a very, VERY difficult time envisioning them going home with the cash.
THE ULTIMATE MADISON BUCKET LIST
10) Steal a Terrace chair from the Memorial Union
I'll get it out of the way right off the bat: I've never done this. Maybe I'm too much of a coward, but I've never even come close to stealing one of the chairs. I never think it's a big deal until I go to someone's house that has a few of them and I fill myself with mad jealousy. I mean, it can't be THAT hard, right? They probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with it if they didn't charge $9,000 to buy the chairs all legal-style. I'll call not swindling a chair from the Terrace a minor regret of mine from my time in Madison, but I suppose there are still endless visits as an alum... hmmm....
PS - Do you have a good story about snatching a chair? Get busted? Know someone who got busted? Ever try to steal the BIG chair? Let me know.
Honorable Mentions: Shouout posted in the Badger Herald, Wait in line overnight for tickets, Pontoon Porch
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
ASU QB Taylor Kelly vs. UW Defense
A year ago, Kelly completed 67% of his passes, throwing for 29 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. I was gonna say those are good numbers for a sophomore, but those are good numbers for just about anyone. So that's kind of scary considering Wisconsin has one player in the secondary with some real experience. In ASU's season opener, Kelly cruised to 5 touchdowns and 300 yards as the Sun Devils blanked Sacramento State 55-0. Yikes.
But it's not hopeless for UW. Kelly was sacked 31 times in 13 games a season ago, which sounds like a lot but maybe it's actually not that bad. Either way, I fully expect Borland and the rest of the front 7 to be attacking off every edge and through every gap from the first series until the last. Getting pressure on Kelly will be vital for Wisconsin as they clearly will want to take as much pressure of Hilary, Jean and Shelton as possible. Predictions: Borland records 3 TFLs and Shelton gets his second pick.
Aggresively drinking Wisconsin fans vs. Arizona desert heat
This isn't a matchup as much as it's a warning: if you're going out to Tempe for the game, you should probably drink a lot of water. And wear chapstick. Otherwise you're going to pass out with dry-ass lips and no one wants to hang out with that person. This is the one part of this preview where I'm OK with my decision not to hop a flight and go to the game. I'll be content with 60 degree thermal weather at Will's Saturday night.
RANDOM MUSIC I'M DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK
Kings Of Leon (covering Robyn) - Dancing On My Own
You see? Now THIS is how you cover a song. Make it yours without completely twisting the song into something it's not. I've probably unfairly hated on Kings Of Leon just because USE SOMEBODYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY played way too many times and destroyed my brain, but this is quality work through and through.
Hayley Williams and Random French Guy - Ignorance
Hayley Williams of Paramore fame sings 'Ignorance' with a street performer in France. Immediately you should be able to tell that she a) has pipes, and b) is marriage material. <3 <3 <3
Paramore - Misery Business SELFIE MODE: ENGAGED
Hayley grabbed a camera from a girl in the front row and did a POV performance of their hit song. Actually, they did that but she forgot to hit record. So they came out and played the ENTIRE thing again. I'm pretty sure at the end of the video you can hear the girl getting her camera back, screaming her face off, and then dying out of pure ecstasy. BTW, Hayley's got a new look and I'm not thrilled:
HAYLEY HAS GONE FULL HIPSTER. NO. Also, girls, whatever makeup thing she's doing around the eyes there... just don't. Ugh.
5 days after my birthday, I kind of have to go, don't I? It's gonna be all 14 year old girls and me, isn't it? OK never mind I'm not going.
THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU
First test of the year
We get to be underdogs
Winning sounds like fun
This isn't on YouTube. And it's not a funny video. But 9/11 is a day every year that stirs up some emotions in me. So here's the opening of the first SNL episode after 9/11.
PS - No one loves America more than I do:
I don't speak Danish, but watching this video I learned two things:
- Their 'happy birthday' song is SIGNIFICANTLY better than ours.
- Someone must have started chopping onions right behind me when they showed the bus driver tearing up.
Literally crying at my desk right now laughing at this Japanese interpretation of American ski-jumping. And then it led me here (skip to 1:15):
And from there I was reminded of this:
...and it's clear at this point that Japan has won YouTube.
Corned beef hash from Pier 23 in San Francisco. I can't remember the last time I made it to a restaurant in time for their brunch menu, so I didn't really have much of a choice. Stuck between a few different items, I asked the waitress which one I should get. Before I could even finish saying 'corned' she was all, 'YES YES GET THAT IT'S INCREDIBLE'. She was right. By the way, I will ALWAYS ask a waitress/waiter what they DON'T like on the menu before taking their advice. If they give you one of those, 'well, I think EVERYTHING is good!' answers, you need to disregard their opinion immediately and order a burger. I DEMAND HONEST SELF-ASSESSMENT
PS - The main strip there in San Francisco (never call it San Fran, that makes you a TOURIST) is called the Embarcadero, which I spent the entire weekend singing to the tune of the Canyonero:
The Roosevelt University Building is one of the sneaky-cool buildings in Chicago. Every time I walk by it I think, 'you know what? That building deserves more LOVE'. So here's me giving it some love. Perfect blue sky in Chicago today.
Here's another link to my Instagram profile, because I say so.
LOOK AT THIS FUCKING HIPSTER. Immediately you notice the classic Hipster Cut: quadrants 1 and 3 are buzzed in tight, while quadrant 4 is swooped over towards quadrant 1. CLASSIC HIPSTER SWOOSH. Our friendly Red Lining hipster rounds out his look with shorty-short cut-off jean shorts, egregious flower shoulder tatts, and some deep v-neck/tank top combo that almost looks like it has spaghetti straps. I'm a big fan of the 'animal eyes where your nipples hang out' look for ANY shirt, let alone a hipster Deep-V Tank. Only confusing aspect here? Standard-issue Apple earbuds. Why don't you go shopping at Macy's and eat a hamburger at the local McDonald's while you're at it, mainstreamster? I bet he skipped right past Tame Impala's album and put on Robin Thicke. REPULSIVE.
What we've got here is essentially Seinfeld's dick and brain playing chess against each other, except it's my brain and my heart. You know me - nothing would make me happier than a huge Badger victory on the road against a quality opponent. But my brainpiece keeps reminding me that ASU is good, it's going to be a late kickoff, 1,000 degrees, in a hostile stadium, and we still haven't seen Stave really win a big game on the road. And that's a key right there - I'm not sure we can bank on the run game to take us to victory. Scoring 21+ is a MUST in winning this game, and unfortunately I'm not 100% convinced our offense is capable of that against a quality defense like Arizona State's. And do any of you have confidence that we can hit a big field goal late with the game on the line? Forget that - how about just hitting a field goal PERIOD? Ugh.
Before the season I said this was a coin-flip - I'm not sure what's changed, but now I see it 55/45 that we come home empty handed. Boy do I want to be wrong about this one. THE PICK:
ARIZONA STATE 24, WISCONSIN 21