Thursday, September 4, 2014

Western Illinois

I have absolutely no idea what's going on.

As I sat down to start writing this, Andersen called a press conference to address Joel Stave's status. Is he hurt? WAS he hurt? If he's not hurt, why isn't he playing? Is he shut down? The answers to all of these questions have varied. He was practicing leading up to the LSU game, so he couldn't have been hurt. But then reports came out saying that he WAS hurt, and that his shoulder was bothering him. But NOW we're being told that he's NOT injured, and he just has a wicked case of the shanks.

In other words, this was our quarterback in practice last week:

And this was our quarterback warming up before the LSU game:

I'll spare you a thousand words on the Tanner/Roy McEvoy connection. Allow me just to say that I'm depressed that I had to use TWO Tin Cup videos for such dire circumstances.

But this wasn't all just limited to Sunshine. I haven't even mentioned the MGIII debacle. His is similar to Stave's, just kind of in reverse: first he WAS hurt with a little hip flexor thing, then he WASN'T hurt and just had some kind of misunderstanding with the coaching staff, but now maybe he does have an itty bitty hip flexor thing? CHRIST. What in the fuck is actually going on in Madison?

I like Gary Andersen. He seems like a genuinely good guy. He seems like he really knows football - especially on the defensive side of the ball. He seems like he's a pretty good recruiter, and it even seems like players enjoying playing for him. But I no longer trust him. There's simply not any good reason to believe the words that come out of his mouth going forward. It's really not that damning of an indictment - coachspeak is a thing for a reason. Coaches have all sorts of motivation to be coy and play games of semantics. I understand that. And if he was doing it to protect his players, then I suppose it's rather admirable. I guess I just thought we had a straight shooter at the helm. That is no longer the case.

With that said, here's what I saw in the LSU shitshow:

  • MGIII ain't afraid of SEC speed. Averaging almost 9 yards a carry is impressive against Southeast Oklahoma Tech A&M. Doing it against LSU? That's damn near incredible. The 63-yard scamper was a thing of beauty, but also a sign that perhaps he was a little dinged up. True, he didn't take the best angle, but I have a hard time believing a fully healthy MGIII gets caught from behind that easily. Minor quibble - when he was in the game, he was a force.
  • Reggie Love is making me look smart. I've whiffed on my breakout players for like 4 straight years, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm momentarily a little proud of myself for giving Love some... love here. That Jet Sweep was executed PERFECTLY.
  • That rebuilt front 7 actually looked pretty good while it was healthy. In fact, they looked REALLY good while healthy. LSU didn't really have much cooking on offense. They burned us deep on one play when our true freshman safety took a brutal angle, but otherwise LSU really didn't do a damn thing offensively on us... until the injuries happened. Zags and Herring went down, and THEN the Tigers started moving the ball with conviction. I remain optimistic on this defense.
  • Michael Caputo is a monster. He made every single tackle AND recovered a fumble. The defense still has some question marks, but he is not one of them. HUGE year coming.
  • #GAGLIANONE. I tried to tell you how much you were gonna love this kid. I have a feeling el gato is now officially out of el bago. Forget for a second the 51-yard field goal that he KILLCRUSHED. Let us enjoy:


Man. I can't get enough of that. What a marvelous individual.

In fact, let's see that again, in SLOW MOTION:


  • Corey Clement had some tough sledding. 15 carries for 45 yards is nothing to write home about, but at least he got his first real high-tension game experience. And he scored a touchdown. It's a start.
  • LSU got a delay of game on the opening kickoff of the second half. I just wanted to make sure no one forgot that. That's bananas.
  • Not Drew Meyer's finest performance. The numbers are a bit deceiving (one of those rugby kicks took a very nice roll), because he was having all sorts of trouble punting the ball. He's probably maybe injured as well, but Stave and MGIII are stealing the kinda probably maybe injured spotlight.

  • Well, there's this:

At least no one can accuse Wisconsin football of being boring this week?

PS - My eye has been twitching all day and today is Tuesday while is also doubling as a Monday and is it basketball season yet?

PPS - If you haven't realized yet, a lot of this is written on Tuesdays. I'm aware that NOW it is Thursday.

CHICAGO BADGERS: #MUSKYFEST is upon us! Muskyfest is fantastic if only because all the candidates essentially spend the day bribing people with food and booze to vote for them. A typical exchange:

Candidate: 'Vote for me!'
Random person: 'Why?'
Candidate: 'I made peanut butter cup cupcakes!'
Random person: *votes*

I really hope someone makes peanut butter cup cupcakes.

LET'S go!





From Wiki:

Inspired by the surrounding “vast golden prairie strewn with purple coneflowers,” Western Illinois University adopted purple and gold as its official colors in 1902. WIU is the only non-military institution in the nation with permission from the Department of the Navy to use the United States Marine Corps Official seal and mascot, the Bulldog. Colonel Rock, or Rocky, is the University mascot representing “The Fighting Leathernecks” for all male sports teams. Rocky was named after Ray "Rock" Hanson, a former WIU athletic director and former Marine. As of the Fall of 2009 the men's and women's teams were unified under the Leathernecks name. Previously, the women's teams and athletes at the school were known as Westerwinds.
Vikings colors? Check.
Middle of nowhere? Check.
Ripping off the Navy AND the Marines? Double check.

And yet, despite all of that, I'm still totally digging the Fightin' Leathernecks as a team name. There are way too many Wildcats and Bulldogs and Tigers out there. The world NEEDS Fightin' Leathernecks.

PS - New theme party idea: Leathernecks and Westerwinds. I have absolutely no idea what that entails, but at least it's not golf pros and tennis hoes or some other stupid, played out, questionably sexist concept.


Again, straight from Wiki:

Simpkins Hall, home of the English and Journalism departments, has long been believed to be haunted by the ghost of an adolescent child, in a large part due to its former use as a training school. Simpkins is also said to be haunted by “Harold,” a former janitor or graduate assistant who lurks among the classrooms on the third floor and in the Writing Center. Students have reported hearing the disembodied sound of keys jingling, doors opening and closing, or a typewriter clicking. Another story circulating the hall is that of a woman who can be heard crying in the first floor restroom.[20] Bayliss, Tanner, Thompson, and Washington residents halls have their own ghost stories, all of which are based on unsubstantiated student deaths ranging from suicides to accidents. In Washington Hall, for instance, a girl supposedly ended her life after a fight with her boyfriend. According to the storytellers, the phone in her former room rings even though no one is on the line.
I had to check the citation for [20] up there, because it sounded a LITTLE too familiar:

So, to summarize: Wisconsin is playing a football game against a team of wannabe Marines decked out in Vikings colors that may or may not contain several spooky ghosts. I would like to hear Gary Andersen tell some of those ghost tales around a campfire:
"Yes, these halls are haunted by some of the SPOOKIEST ghosts a leatherneck has ever seen! I just want to clarify, I never said that there were any actual ghosts here. What I meant was that maybe there were spooky ghosts here. If you're still not grasping this, we had a scenario where there was probably a little ghost thing in there the other day. There are no ghosts here. Next question."

PS - Just realized, I actually know a WIU alum. He was a simple man. Simple like Forrest Gump, except he couldn't run like the wind or fight in Viet-fucking-nam or be a ping pong champion or start a shrimping empire. But he wore a lot of purple and gold, and anytime you asked him a question, the answer would be preceded by an audible, 'durrr'. I wish I were making this up.


First off, thank you for your help on this. A bunch of you sent me suggestions, and I liked a lot of them. But in the end, I thought it would be appropriate to count down all the great UW alumni out there. Seems only fair considering I do basically the same thing for every OTHER school we've ever played.

Throughout the season, I'll be counting down the HOTTEST of UW alums one at a time. How do I define the 'best'? I have no idea. Like the writers of LOST, I'm just gonna make this up as I go.

We'll begin the countdown next week. In the meantime, who do YOU think is the greatest Wisconsin alum? Since Dekker hasn't graduated yet, he'll have to wait to ascend to the top. Hit me up with your pick.


1) Michigan State, 1-0 (0-0). Big week as MSU travels west to take on Oregon. Damnit. I wish WE had a home and home with Oregon. Rose Bowl rematch? Come on. That makes all the sense in the world. Instead we're stuck with these stupid neutral site games. I want the big boys to  come to Madison and tangle with us.

2) Wisconsin, 0-1 (0-0). This, I guess:

3) Ohio State, 1-0 (0-0). Unsurprisingly, OSU's backup quarterback had a Black Jesus-like 12/15, 226 yard, 2 touchdown debut against Navy. If you're surprised that their backup quarterback is more than just 'good', you're not paying attention.

4) Michigan, 1-0 (0-0). My biggest non-McEvoy disappointment of the week: Appalachian State not being able to pull of the Michigan Miracle Part II. I was cradling, nurturing this little seed of belief that they could go in to the Big House with a worse team than last time and STILL shock the world. No such luck.

5) Nebraska, 1-0 (0-0). Tim Miles, the Nebraska hoops coach, is quickly becoming one of my favorite coaches in the conference. All of these New Orleans media people have been accidentally tweeting at him instead of LSU football coach Les Miles. That he even reacts on Twitter to these things is amazing:

6) Penn State, 1-0 (0-0). Oooo, you know what's been missing from my life? DEJECTED FAN SHOTS:

These will literally never get old. Someday I'm gonna compile thousands of them and make a photomosaic of Michigan fans crying. It's going to be GLORIOUS.

7) Maryland, 1-0 (0-0). Maryland hung 52 points on James Madison despite not having any quarterback throw for more than 111 yards, any running back rush for more than 86 yards, and any receiver rack up more than 53 yards. I'm going to assume James Madison is as bad as they sound and Maryland was scoring points with the second and third string guys. But hey, you score 52 and I'll at least start paying attention.

PS - Maryland's schedule from 10/4 - 11/22:

@ Wisconsin
@ Penn State
@ Michigan

I'm sure they'll fare very well in that voyage.

8) Iowa, 1-0 (0-0). World's coolest dog:

I would KILL to party with that dog. Boozing, cigars, skateboards... that's the high life no matter who or what breed you are. I guess my only question is what kind of boner location is this that doesn't let skateboarding, smoking, boozing dogs come party? Sounds like the lamest spot on earth.

PS - Such a boozehound

9) Illinois, 1-0 (0-0). I thought Wisconsin had punting problems... until I saw Youngstown State execute the PERFECT #buttpunt: 

It's no #buttfumble, but the #buttpunt is strong.


10) Minnesota, 1-0 (0-0). For some reason, whenever I think of Minnesota football, I really wanna sing 'Glamorous', but instead of spelling it out I wanna spell out I-R-R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T. This will be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

11) Rutgers, 1-0 (0-0). Damn you, 14th team. These extra couple of Fear Rankings spots are BRUTAL.

12) Purdue, 1-0 (0-0). Completely convinced Purdue will never be good again. I'm sure people thought Wisconsin was destined for centuries of suck back in the day, but I have no idea why Purdue would be primed for VICTORY anytime soon.

13) Indiana, 1-0 (0-0). One month from basketball season means we're only one month from another year of CREAN. YES. Can't wait for pathetic losses, sideline meltdowns, and hopefully a few drive-by handshakes. He's the rock in my blogging life.

14) Northwestern, 0-1 (0-0). Anytime you can lose your home opener to a team that won ONE game the year before, you kind of have to, don't you? That's just such a rare opportunity. Historical. CHICAGO'S BIG TEN TEAM.


I'm not typically a fan of mashups, but props to this track for turning the vocals of 2 rap heavyweights into a beach anthem. (@DannyGoldin)

Great workout song. Also a good song to do illegal drugs to, preferably uppers. (JQW)

I'm pretty sure this song should be much, much more popular than it actually is. I guess it was on the soundtrack for Blended, which is a movie I had to google because I've never heard of it. Oh, it's a quirky date movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? So it's basically just 50 First Dates, except now it's 10 years later and they have kids? I'm sure that's a SPLENDID film.

Either way, this song is truly awesome and it NEEDS to be a hit. They're also a fun show if you ever get a chance to see them. HEAVY endorsement here.


Tanner McEvoy's Arm vs. The Patience of Badger Nation. Let us be clear: we do not NEED to throw the ball once on Saturday to win. There's simply no way Western Illinois will be able to stop our ground attack, even if we rest MGIII and let Clement + the frosh take over. Of that, I am completely convinced.

HOWEVER, this would be a great opportunity to help McEvoy find something that resembles a rhythm. Against LSU, he was a Jew at a breakdancing competition. At some point this season, we're going to need more out of him. No one knows when Stave's shanks will disappear. Maybe Andy Ludwig needs to change his name to Romeo, start dating an exotic dancer, and feed Stave tequila the night before the Iowa game. I DON'T KNOW. NO ONE KNOWS.

So until we do figure out how to prevent Stave from shooting chili dippers up Bo Pelini's butt, we need McEvoy to learn how to throw a football without looking like he punted it with his elbow. NO MORE ELBOW PUNTS, TANNER

PS - I am secretly loving every second of this shit. Tin Cup references for DAYS


Still very clueless

Our quarterback has the shanks?

I just can't even


I enjoy that we're trending towards a world where we strap GoPro's on anything and everything and hope for the best. Also, that house is ridiculous. Do these people own all of Sicily?

The Big Ten Network dropped a hot new Game of Thrones-style commercial over the weekend, but there was one problem: they didn't wanna cough up the dough for the theme song. Thankfully, the internet doesn't need to pay for things! Yeah internet!

This is the first I'm hearing of Ten Second Songs, which makes me feel old and uncool. Guy's probably been pumping out hot videos since YouTube was born. Either way, this is impressive.

Dash cams in Russia, always a treat. The first time I watched this, I was like, 'this isn't funny - this guy is getting his face stomped!' But THEN I realized at the end that he was fine. So I re-watched it and BAM, hilarious. Seemed like something out of a cartoon, which lead me to...

Absolutely perfect.


Prime rib, roasted potatoes, and some veggies from Johnny's Kitchen & Tap in Glenview. I feel like I have a prime rib once every 3 years. That's a damn shame. Prime rib is a WONDERFUL chunk of meat. Went very nicely with those roasted Greek-style potatoes, which maybe the most underrated form of potato.

Unrelated to the food, but I went there with my family a few weeks ago. I got there early with my grandma and uncle. My grandma came out of the bathroom all worked up because she lost her diamond ring and couldn't find it anywhere. The manager there literally emptied the garbage by hand looking for it in case she accidentally threw it away. Nada. We assumed she accidentally flushed it, and this was a major bummer. She loved that ring.

15 minutes later at the table, she found it in her purse. Nana's had better nights.

And that's my Johnny's Kitchen & Tap story.


Awesome sunset shot my friend took from his new apartment. Chicago is fucking glorious, and these late summer/early fall sunsets have been blowing the sky up night after night. Best time of the year for a million reasons, and intense #skyporn is right up towards the top of that list.



Well, after some more time to think on all the foolishness of the last couple days, I think I'm feeling a little better towards Andersen. Without question, GA hasn't handled this very well. But I truly believe all of his mistakes were born out of the desire to protect his kids. Stave's shanks are hard to explain, and coming out right away with the truth would have subjected Sunshine to some seriously uncomfortable questions. But Andersen was foolish in thinking this back and forth junk about him being injured would disappear without a concrete resolution.

Meanwhile, I just hope Stave can overcome whatever demons are plaguing him. I'm not sure why, but I've always had a soft spot for him. Lord knows McEvoy ain't the answer, and you can guess what kind of confidence the staff has in Houston/Gillins if they didn't bring either of them in while McEvoy was vomiting footballs out of his hand.

This won't be an issue on Saturday. It might not even be an issue until November. The schedule is that soft and the running game is that good. The defense looks legit, and should only get better with more reps. Hell, this team can still win the West without a real quarterback. But to beat MSU in Indy, they're gonna need Stave to figure out whatever it is that's wrong with him. Move all the change from one pocket to the other. Flip his hat around backwards. Tie his left shoe in a double knot. Stop pronating. Whatever it takes, we're gonna need Sunshine at some point.

I remain, perhaps idiotically, #ALLIN on #SUNSHINE. We're here for you, bro:





1 comment:

  1. Now the name of that WIU alum eludes me and its torture I can't get hold of an OJ yearbook while at work, but I distinctly remember the seeming endless supply of snot dripping down his obtuse face at all times like a toddler after a temper tantrum. I wondered as a camper how someone they called a “counselor” and looked like a 40yr old man could be constantly lost like the majority of campers during Trojan-Spartan general naming/ripping ceremony. Lets not even discuss him trying to officiate football during the Week becuase I'm sure it still makes some people cringe and boil with anger.