Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Season Preview

Well well WELL. NINE days until Wisconsin and LSU face off in Houston. 9 STUPID WASTING-MY-DAMN-TIME days until the Miller Lite flows and the cheese curds fry and the red bows are red bowing all up in our faces. If we can survive those 9 days that will all feel like Tuesdays, we'll be in store for one hell of a show. I've already decided that the LSU game is going to be AWESOME. We're not going to get blown out. We're not going to blow them out. Nope. It's going to be two pretty gosh darn good teams releasing an offseason eternity's worth of pent-up energy on each other like it's the goddamn Super Bowl.

It's hard to overhype that game. Look at our schedule after it: WOOF. We'll all still be excited on gamedays because that's what we do. But until we're contemplating going to Indy in December to watch us beat MSU, it's a parade of 'meh.' I refuse to get too upset over this, because in all honesty there was basically nothing we could do about it. They did the somewhat logical thing in dividing the divisions geographically. It's not our fault that the teams in the West are hot garbage outside of UW. Wasn't Nebraska a football powerhouse? What happened to them? Iowa? Pass. Northwestern? Probably not a GOOD sign when one of your best players gets suspended and then transfers within a month of the season.

I could ramble on here for days. This won't be the best Badger football team we've ever seen, but they'll be pretty good. And a pretty good team with an easy schedule can make a lot of noise. Just like in basketball, all you gotta do is make the tournament to have a shot. For the first time ever, the same logic applies in football.

CHICAGO BADGERS: In case you've been out of the country all year, there's a new Badger bar in town that looks pretty amazing. It's called Will's and it's actually not new but it IS pretty amazing. Looking forward to another great year at the best Wisconsin bar in the city. Feel free to come say 'hi' sometime and/or chug a beer.

I WANT YOUR REFERRALS: Some of you came through last week, but the vast majority did not. SHAME ON YOU, VAST MAJORITY. Don't hog the BP all to yourself. Shoot me some email addresses and spread the love.

DO YOU LIKE BASEBALL? Probably not since hating baseball is almost as cool as hating soccer. But if you DO like baseball, I highly recommend checking out THE DUGOUT, a podcast hosted by my freshman year roommate. At the very least, click on that link to see a pic of him wearing an old man golf hat. BOLD FASHION CHOICE



Boy this section really got flipped upside down recently.
  • Robin Williams. I generally try not to get worked up over famous people dying because billions of people die every day. But sometimes you can't help but feel like a ton of bricks fell on your head when you hear about a famous person dying. Robin Williams falls in that category. The amount of times I've referenced Mrs. Doubtfire is astronomical. I REFUSE to change the channel when Good Will Hunting is on. Go to my house back in Milwaukee and you'll find VHS copies of Aladdin and Hook worn down to the bone. Have I fought off tears during Patch Adams? Of course I have. I'm a fucking human. Here, let's all laugh and watch one of his best bits:

  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Did anyone not like him? I'm still partial to his role in Almost Famous. I feel like that movie kinda floats around under the radar. That movie is amazing.
  • Bob Hoskins. AKA Eddie from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I don't remember the last time I watched that movie, but anyone who got that close to Jessica Rabbit is a hero in my books. Absolute smokeshow.
  • Gabriel García Márquez. If you took Spanish in high school, you should know all about Señor Márquez. Even though I could understand half of the stuff he was writing, I was always impressed with how awesome his name was. Having a cool name is such a sneaky thing to pull off. I want a cool name so badly.
  • Casey Kasem. How to know you've made it in life:

  • John Pinette. If you know who this is by name, you're insane. I had no clue until I pulled up this clip:

Can we just establish one fact? The enforcement of the Good Samaritan Law here is BULLSHIT. If someone's getting carjacked at GUNPOINT, you do not go over there and try to help. What, you're supposed to get between a maniac with a gun and some other person's car? That's insanity. Sure, maybe Jerry could've called the cops on his cell phone (can't believe he had a cell phone, what year is this). But that cop had to be 40 feet away while this was going down. If anything, they should be CITIZEN ARRESTING the cop for being so fucking clueless. You know in The Office when they print the watermark of a duck boning a goat? And Creed (quality assurance) finds out who was sick that day at the mill and ends up getting her fired instead of him? That's basically what this cop did. He failed his job, so then he found someone else to stick their head under the guillotine.

This is why no one likes police people. That and because they sometimes ride really scary horses.

PS - Pinette is the fat guy getting carjacked, not the cop.


George Rushing, WR, Freshman. Every wide receiver recruit in the country should be lining up to play at Wisconsin. The upperclassmen have been completely underwhelming. You wanna come in and play as a freshman? DO IT. Having watched zero practices and interviewed zero coaches, I can tell you that Rushing is doing everything he can to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him. He has decent size and is not an absolute burner, but he's catching everything, running nice routes, and impressing everyone in camp. Should he maybe be a running back based on his name alone? Probably. But it sounds like he's gonna get some real tick as a true freshman.

Lubern Figaro, S, Freshman. How disappointed was I to learn that it's pronounced fi-GAR-o? About as disappointed as I was when Revolution stopped selling A Little Crazy. I LOVE THAT BEER AND WANT IT BACK NOW. Regardless, Figaro is gonna play. And he might even start. I love having freshmen starting at important positions. If they pan out, boom, 4-year starter. Shelton did it last year (SPOILER: he's gonna be a stud), and Figaro is in prime position to do it himself this year.

Rafael Gaglianone, K, Freshman. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT A KICKER. THIS IS IT. PEAK KICKER EXCITEMENT. Why am I so damn excited? Hmmm, idk, maybe because he's a Brazilian soccer player from Tennessee that weighs more than every non-lineman freshman. Is that a good start? How about the fact that he's been dropping absolute BOMBS in practice. Want more? The team's been jumping up and down while serenading him with 'OLEEE OLE OLE OLEEEE OLEEEE OLEEE' songs while he's kicking. It's a double-platinum lock-it-up GUARANTEE that the whole student section starts singing the Olé song either before, during, or after he kicks. I can't wait for that!

Congratulations, Madison. Here's your new kicker for the next 4 years:

100% serious, I try to pick one person on the team each season to be my favorite player for the year. Looking forward to not having to make that choice until 2019.


Kush and OJ is arguably the best mixtape of all time and Rolling Papers was a great studio debut, but Wiz pulled up super lame on his follow-up, ONIFC. While it has its duds, Blacc Hollywood at least gets him back in the right direction. "So High" is nothing new from a lyrical standpoint, but the beat, flow and chorus are addicting. (@DannyGoldin)

If I was a Badger fan I'd say something like "Ya'll opponents better retreat this year!". Fucking Badgers. (JQW)

It's remarkable how much easier it is for me to have a new song to drop here at the beginning of the season. I've got MONTHS of music to burn through! But then December gets here and I'm digging through 'Best of the 90s' playlists and dreading this section. But for the next few months? HOT NEW TRACKS*

*None of these songs are actually new. Can someone please teach me how to find new music I'll like? And if it involves listening to a bunch of crap I don't enjoy on the way to the good stuff, I'm out. Ain't nobody got time for that.

I will never get tired of this song. Top 3 cover of all-time, and it's not even close. I feel bad for every other cover in the world.


Joel Stave, QB, Redshirt Junior. I BELIEVE IN SUNSHINE. I don't care if that makes me an idiot or a homer or something in between. I think he's going to have a pretty good year. If you're hoping McEvoy wins the job, then I'm afraid I have some bad news for you: he's not going to. Yes, the staff wants a mobile quarterback. And you are correct - Stave's best attribute is not his speed (it's his hair). But Joel's got experience, has shown flashes of success, and I'm guessing he'd love nothing more than to stick it in the face of everyone hating on him. I won't say losing Abby is a good thing for him, but he definitely got locked in on Jared way too often last year. Now he HAS to go through his reads and find the open guy. I'm all-in on Stave. Every time he tosses a touchdown this year, I'm just tweeting #Sunshine #AllIn. I HATE that the capital 'I' looks exactly the same as a lowercase 'l'. English is the WORST. #SUNSHINE #ALLIN

PS - That kinda confirmed that I have to do those hashtags in all caps, right? That's a problem, because I really hate completely unnecessary caps lock usage.

PPS - 

You could bet against that hair, but where's the fun in being a moron?

Reggie Love, WR, Redshirt Sophomore. The trio of freshmen wide receivers have been making some noise during fall camp, but it's been redshirt soph Reggie Love raising the eyebrows. At 6'3, he's got the height necessary to get up there and SNATCH a ball over a shorter cornerback. He's been making plays in practice. He's out there on the field doing everything he can to earn a starting spot. I think he's going to put together a nice little season. <3

Joe Schobert (Junior), Derek Landisch (Senior), Vince Biegel (Redshirt Sophomore), LB. Pick your poison. You all know how much I love Chris Borland. But if there was one position where I felt we could really reload, it was linebacker. I'm not even sure if Schobert/Landisch/Biegel are all gonna start, but I guarantee they will each make some BIG plays for the Wisconsin defense this season. Plus, it was nice to see all of them leaving their mark on South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl: Schobert with a sack, Landisch a forced fumble, and Biegel 3 solo tackles. With nothing but playing time in front of them, you can expect big things.


First up? L-S-U

Then off to cupcake citay



Home games in CAPS.

Opponent: #13 LSU (unintentional caps, game played in Houston)
Date: 8/30
This is the game most likely to... determine whether or not we can sneak into that playoff.
We will win if... MGIII runs wild, Stave doesn't turn it over, the defense keeps LSU's mini-Adrian Peterson freshman running back in check, and about 14 other things go our way.
What's for sure actually going to happen: You know what? I'm ready to shock the world on opening night. We'll be singing OLÉ all night after Gaglianone drills a 52 yard field goal for the win with 2 seconds left.

Date: 9/6
This is the game most likely to... make people forget that we played LSU a week ago and bitch about our lame non-conference schedule. Don't be that idiot.
We will win if... ebola doesn't break out in Madison Friday night.
What's for sure actually going to happen: Sometime during Musky Fest, someone will look up and quip, 'Oh, there's a football match today?'

Date: 9/20
This is the game most likely to... make people unnecessarily question this year's team.
We will win if... we come out with energy and stick to the plan of ramming MGIII and Clement down their throats.
What's for sure actually going to happen: Bowling Green is not a bad team. Not at all. They're picked to win the MAC this year, and when you're a MAC team and you see you're going to Camp Randall in September, you do a couple extra reps in the offseason. They're gonna give us their best shot, but their only chance of winning is outscoring us. I don't see them stopping the run. Survive and advance.


Date: 9/27
This is the game most likely to... be forgotten 3 weeks later.
We will win if... a bear shits in the woods. FYI, bears shit in the woods.
What's for sure actually going to happen: Drubbing City, Population South Florida.

Opponent: at Northwestern
Date: 10/4
This is the game most likely to... feel like a home game outside of Madison.
We will win if... we do to Northwestern what we do to every other team without an amazing defense: run run RUN. And then when they put 14 in the box? #SUNSHINE #ALLIN
What's for sure actually going to happen: I do not enjoy games in Evanston. I say that from the perspective of a fan of Wisconsin who wants them to win, and as a person who enjoys traveling to the occasional road game. Hopefully there are no trickerations, we win, and we all gather after the game at Buff's to toast wings and talk about how we never want to go back to Evanston. Ever again.

Opponent: ILLINOIS
Date: 10/11
This is the game most likely to... be followed by a postgame nap.
We will win if... holy shit we play a lot of these crappy B1G teams in a row.
What's for sure actually going to happen: 

Opponent: MARYLAND
Date: 10/25
This is the game most likely to... bring me back to Madison.
We will win if... we don't want to give Maryland a gift in their first B1G game in Madison.
What's for sure actually going to happen: I will go to the game, not remember any of it, wonder if they moved the stadium a mile further away from campus while walking back, curse loudly for not getting an Uber, probably eat Ian's while sitting on the curb, go the KK against my wishes, and feel really old. :(

Opponent: at Rutgers
Date: 11/1
This is the game most likely to... make me really hate that we added Maryland and fucking RUTGERS to the B1G.
We will win if... I'm starting to think these should all be 'We will not win if...'
What's for sure actually going to happen: Remember in Billy Madison during the academic decathlon, they get to the musical performance event? Eric shreds the violin like he's George Gershwin and Billy is farting F flats out of his mouth into an oboe? Wisconsin will be Eric. Rutgers is Billy. As we jog off the field, Rutgers will point at us and simply say, 'they're good.'

PS - I really dislike being Eric in this analogy.

Opponent: at Purdue
Date: 11/8
This is the game most likely to... bring me Kyle Orton-related joy writing that week's Preview.
We will win if... Drew Brees is unable to get past security.
What's for sure actually going to happen: I'm gonna say something crazy: I don't think Purdue would beat Wisconsin if they had Drew Brees at quarterback. He's not Cam Newton who can literally do it all by himself. Brees needs receivers to make plays. He needs an offensive line to protect him. I don't think Purdue has had a noteworthy receiver since Taylor Stubblefield. I feel really stupid saying that I firmly believe Wisconsin would beat a Drew Brees-lead Purdue team.

Opponent: #22 NEBRASKA
Date: 11/15
This is the game most likely to... make me miss Taylor Martinez's cute little sidearm flingy thing.
We will win if... we can stop the run.
What's for sure actually going to happen: I think Nebraska hates us. I get why: we smokeponied them in their first B1G game and then Bert busted out all the trick plays in the book en route to a 70 point night in Indy a few years ago. I'd hate us too. But I'm not convinced they have the team to do something about it. Especially not in Madison, and DOUBLE especially not when we'll be fighting for a title.

Opponent: @ Iowa
Date: 11/22
This is the game most likely to... determine the winner of the B1G West.
We will win if... we ignore the crowd and limit mistakes in a hostile road environment.
What's for sure actually going to happen: Iowa feels like a more talented Northwestern, in that they seem to give us more trouble than they should. That's not good. After beating Nebraska, pundits will call this the de facto B1G West Championship Game. I'm ready for Gary Andersen to start winning the big games on the schedule. When in doubt, Gaglianone for the win. OLÉ

Date: 11/29
This is the game most likely to... make me google 'empty minnesota trophy case.'
We will win if... Stave, McEvoy, and Gillins do not all get injured in practice the Thursday before the game.
What's for sure actually going to happen:


By far the best ASLELS challenge yet. If Mayweather picks a page of a Harry Potter book with Hagrid speaking, I guarantee he gives up after the first 'yer'. That shit ain't worth a million, let alone 750k. YER FUCKING ANNOYING, HAGRID. #TEAMHODOR

His parents gave him a cutting board as a gag gift. The kid was still beyond appreciative. Then in a shoe box (apparently he had been gluing his shoes to stay together) they gave him a tablet. That reaction is fucking perfect.

You know, when I do these things, I have no control over which frame it picks to be the image here. I'm hoping it picked the one of his face upon seeing the tablet, but just in case it didn't, here we go:

Do you see that right there? That's a feeling that adults are no longer allowed to feel. I don't care what you think, but once you're like 14 and hit puberty and turn into a little asshole, you are forever banned from feeling that kind of unbridled joy. Look at that face. This kid's been gluing his shoes to stay together so his parents didn't have to buy him a new pair. He was exceedingly grateful about getting a goddamn CUTTING BOARD as a present. He's not even old enough to use a knife. And then madre y padre drop the tablet bomb on him and his face is paralyzed with excitement. The fuck if anything cool like that can happen to adults. Even the son who surprises his dad with a '57 Chevy on his 57th birthday couldn't elicit this kind of reaction.

Okay, fine, another ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video. But this one works for me on about 14 different levels. I kind of lost it when we got to this point:

PS - Hogwarts? Psh. I know a muggle when I smell one, and I smell a MUGGLE.

Skip ahead a minute or two and enjoy the best laugh in the world. That it comes from an adorable old man makes it so much better. I'm not entirely sure what's going on here - some kind of comedy show in a barn. Is this Iowa? Feels like Iowa. But it must suck for the 'comedian' there that nothing he ever does will be nearly as funny as this old guy nyuk nyuk nyukking up on stage.

PS - The end was surprisingly entertaining.

I want to be a Russian duck herder and I want to be one yesterday.


MMMMMM homemade garlic parmesan and teriyaki wings. Since the wings were baked, they're TOTALLY healthy. I am also currently starving and I don't know why I ever do the #foodporn section on an empty stomach. Equally as dangerous as grocery shopping when hungry. That's a mistake 11 times out of 10.

HEY! Do YOU have some good #foodporn pictures? Send them my way and I'll happily link to whatever Instagram/Twitter profile you've got.


Every time I see someone post a pic from a boat I just judge them for rubbing it in everyone else's faces. Then I get on a boat and LOOK OUT it's picture time! SUCK IT, LAND PEOPLE.

WHOA HEY, got some #skyporn pics? Send 'em over. Guess what happens when I use one in a Preview? You can add PUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPHER to your resume. Build up that portfolio.


LOOK AT THIS FUCKING HIPSTER! Quadrants 1, 2, and 3 are buzzed nice and tight. Quadrant 4 makes you wanna pop the latest Neutral Milk Hotel vinyl on your record player and wonder what life would be like on a bike with a gear shifter. There's also the casual vintage blazer with accompanying handkerchief and rolled up sleeve look. NO ONE rolls up the sleeves on a blazer like a hipster does. Well played, Hipster Man.

PS - Can I amend my 'worst words in the world to spell' list from last week? HANDKERCHIEF? What the fuck is that 'd' doing in there? If you look me in the eye and tell me you knew how to spell that word, I'd call you a LIAR and defriend you on Facebook.


Remember that Seinfeld sketch where he reserves a rental car, and then when he goes to pick it up they don't even have a car for him? The whole 'you know how to take the reservation, but you don't know how to hold the reservation' bit? That essentially happened to me with U-Haul. For some idiotic reason, I eagerly volunteered to be in charge of the U-Haul for moving our 4 bedroom apartment. Somehow I went from having a 22' truck available for pick-up just down the street... to a 17' truck 20 minutes away. Whatever.

I showed up exactly on time on moving day and they started tapping away on their computer a little bit longer than I wanted them to. Obviously, they didn't have a truck for me. I've realized these days that the best way to get in contact with a human for customer service is to tweet at their customer service account. In U-Haul's case, that means dropping twitter bombs on @UHaul_Cares. A nice man by the name of Paul started emailing with me. When I was at the U-Haul depot without a truck, he even had dispatch call me to try to strike a deal. Unfortunately, I did not feel like driving an additional 30 minutes out of the way to get the wrong size truck, so I declined. I decided to send Paul one last email:

Paul never responded.


PS - The day after we moved, I got the standard 'Tell us how we did by taking a survey!' email from them:

Never again.


I mean, we're gonna be favorites in all the games but one. It's probably safe to guess 9-3 or 10-2, because even if you had an 80% chance of winning 11 of your games, that would leave you with an 8% chance of running the table. We're GOING to drop a game. Maybe it's LSU. Maybe it's at Iowa. I have no idea. But you know what I DO know?



11-1, 4th or 5th depending on the loss, right on the edge of that playoff, do some lobbying Barry and get us in.



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