Thursday, October 30, 2014

at Rutgers

Observations from Madison:
  • CRANES EVERYWHERE. I love the people that cry about the city building itself up a little. 'GONNA LOSE THAT SMALL TOWN CHARM I LOVE'. Dumbest thing in the world. If you don't modernize, in 15 years every building looks like that really shitty little house that used to be across the street from Riley's/420. You do not want a city full of that shitty little house that used to be across the street from Riley's/420. Madison is all CUTTING EDGE with small town charm. That requires some new, hot looking buildings with rooftop pools and additional BBQ restaurants. Fucking love Madison 2.0.
  • One time not long ago I remarked that I loved when girls wore all those red/black flannels on gamedays. Someone quickly pointed out how absurdly Sconnie it is to find that look supremely attractive compared to the 'standard' gameday getups around the country. Touche. But still, hellllo.
  • The KK is still exactly what the KK has always been. A dungeon that people trick themselves into believing is the best bar on the planet. I'll never fully understand it. But I at least went with the flow and enjoyed myself because of the company, not because of the location. Plus, anytime two large people are basically having sex at the bar at like 7 PM, you can sit back and smile:

FYI her hand is up his shirt there. That giant man has a shirt held together by the two middle buttons, which is some kind of sorcery. It's also in the most visible part of the KK (front bar, right by the entrance). Eventually one of her friends came by and gave her the 'I think you're really drunk and should go home before you accidentally have sex on top of the bar and people take Snapchats of it, k hun?' speech. That's both the best and the worst friend possible. We may or may not have booed her.
  • Everyone knows that the REAL KK is the Karaoke Kid. I could not speak on Sunday or Monday because my voice was thrashed from belting out 'Sex on Fire', 'Since U Been Gone', and a million other hot jams. Karaoke Kid is just a strange little spot. It's basically a hallway of a bar that I think sells sake bombs and is owned by an old Asian lady (PERHAPS THE ASIAN FROM RILEY'S? perhapsnot) and has killer karaoke. Great way to be drunk and act out and not feel completely psycho.
  • Is it me or does every place with a parking lot now do OFFICIAL gameday parties? The fucking HONG KONG CAFE was throwing DOWN in their parking lot. Rocky's was one-in one-out just to booze there, let alone chew. I've never seen this before. Maybe I never walked down Regent in a sober enough mindset to appreciate it, but it's absolutely beautiful and glorious and Wisconsin that any property with a square foot of pavement is selling beer and playing music.
  • Speaking of music, fully on board with T-$wift Shake It Off. I don't think she's really that good of a singer, but if she can write hooks like that song then it doesn't even matter. Fucking danced my face off to that song all weekend at every opportunity possible. I wanna release a remix of it that just does the chorus again instead of the brutal white girl rap part. Damnit Taylor. Don't you remember what happens when you try to look too cool?



Oh fuck me, I'm hate hate hate hate hate hating aren't I? I'M SORRY T-$WIFT
  • The food at Camp Randall still sucks. Boring hot dogs. Plain brats. I finally found the ONE different stand that sold some sausage sampler platter and drunk Brandon was EXCITED. Meh. It was 3 interesting mini sausages on buns with no fun cheeses or sauces or toppings and oh god I just need Hot Doug's back in my life. Anyway, for a fucking state FAMOUS for the kind of food made for stadium concessions, Camp Randall gets 0 curds out of 10.
  • Asian Kitchen, still fire.
Good times, as always.

PS - If you think I've been doing anything other than listening to Shake It Off while shakewriting this entire section then you're out of your damn mind. If my friends from Will's are reading this, I think we know what the new pre-game song has to be. TIMBER OUT. T-$WIFT IN. #ONSHAKESCONSIN



CHICAGO BADGERS: Post-Halloween 11 AM gamedays really separate the men and women from the boys and girls. Don't be a boy or girl. Be a man or a woman.




WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ESPN
WEATHER: 40s, RAINY, SWEET WEATHER YOU GOT THERE RUTGERS




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Maryland

So I'm going up to Madison this weekend. I'll probably end up at Camp Randall for the game, and I'm sure I'll drink a million beers regardless of where I go. But on an email chain planning out the weekend, one of the guys tossed out going to L'Etoile Friday night for dinner. Couple problems with this in my mind:
  1. I've literally NEVER been to a restaurant with a name I can't pronounce and enjoyed myself.
  2. When I think of all the beautiful booze I could buy with that money, I start to tear up.
  3. I know for a fact that I would be SIGNIFICANTLY happier eating at Rocky's than I would eating at Frenchy McFrencherville's.
I'm aware that I'm in the minority for that. Everything dictates that because this is a really nice, fancy place with a chef that people have probably heard of, the experience would be OUT OF BOUNDS. But I don't dig on that. I'm also a firm believer that when you have a group of 8 bros, you don't need to spend every waking second of a weekend trip together. I have zero intention of preventing the group from feeding each other pan-seared scallops with asparagus puree and a sprinkling of deconstructed zucchini pasta HAND-CRAFTED by Chef MoinsoreƩ. If you get down on that, power to you.

But I'll be much happier with a fine Sausage pizza thrown in the oven by Chet, the sophomore from Janesville working the Friday night shift at the Rocky's on Regent. You can get fancy Maine lobster with buttercup squash beurre blanc ANYWHERE. Rocky's sausage is UNIQUE and not available in Chicago and therefore I WANT.

PS - It used to be 'How do you know you don't like it? You've never tried it!' Yeah well I've started trying all this fancy shit and I just don't like it. #TeamRockys4Life

PPS - Pretty sure for $20 you could eat like a king at Rocky's and drink like 5 beers. I don't know how anything could make more sense.

3xPS - If I make it through this entire weekend without getting Rocky's, I will be MOST
disappointed.



CHICAGO BADGERS: I think the LOFOMO (Law of FOMO) should make me want everyone to stay home and be boners since I'll be gone. But that's crazy. Go get your Wills on.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: BTN
WEATHER: 66, SUNNY, LATE OCTOBER SUNBURN HERE WE COME



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Illinois

UGH. Every inch of that game was exactly the miserable experience I expected. It wouldn't be a trip to Evanston without shitty weather, a sloppy game, overeager nerds, and a final score that makes you wonder how it was all possible. How does a team with Melvin Gordon rushing for 259 yards on 27 carries only score 14 points? How does a team that rushed 25 times for 50 yards the week before go off for 203 yards against what was a stout Wisconsin defense? How did Gary Andersen and Andy Ludwig watch Tanner McEvoy throw the ball during fall camp and decide that HE would be the starting quarterback? Oh, I know the answer to that last one! "We want a mobile quarterback who can make plays with his feet."

WELL THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD CALL PLAYS THAT UTILIZE HIS ABILITY TO MAKE PLAYS WITH HIS FEET. Read options, options, rollouts, bootlegs... you know, plays where a mobile quarterback can actually be lethal? Why don't we do any of that? Instead, we get a mobile quarterback with 1 rushing attempt for 8 yards and 10 passing attempts for 24 yards. That is on the coaches. It's not McEvoy's fault that he can't throw the damn ball. It's Andersen's and Ludwig's fault that they put him back there and asked him to be a standard pocket passer. NOT HIS STRENGTH. Here's what I saw in that Northwestern game (I was drunk and haven't re-watched it and have no desire to do so):

THE GOOD:
  • MGIII would be a top 3 Heisman contender if Stave was named the starter before the LSU game. I STILL maintain we would've beaten LSU, and no way were we going to lose to Northwestern if Stave had 4 games and 5 weeks of practice with the 1's, as opposed to coming in cold off the bench at halftime after being mentally mind-fucked by one of the worst decisions Wisconsin coaches have made in a long time. I have no idea what other kinds of mind-fucking there are, but this was a deep mental mind-fuck on Stave. Regardless, MGIII has 871 rushing yards with 7 regular season games to go. To get to 2,000 yards before a hypothetical B1G Championship Game (LOL) or mid-card bowl game (SEC boning, coming right up), he'd need to average 161 yards a game. Illinois/Maryland/@Rutgers/@Purdue/Nebraska/@Iowa/Minnesota. I'm not betting against it.
  • Stave's 4th quarter touchdown drive. Small victory, but he made two throws that McEvoy would stand no chance of making. Given how rusty he is, those two throws alone are enough to confirm what I've known for a while: Sunshine gives us our best chance at winning football games.
  • Schoolbus drinking. Big ups to Will's on filling TWO schoolbuses, allowing for maximum schoolbus drinking. Haven't been wasted on a schoolbus in a long time. Felt good.

THE BAD:
  • That Gaglianone field goal attempt. You might think it should be 'ugly' given how badly he missed it, but attempting a field goal from that distance, on that field, in those conditions... well, it was just a stupid plan to begin with. And if you want to call Gaglianone ugly, then you're an idiot.
  • In the second half, with Stave at the helm, we won 14-10. Maybe this should be under 'good'!

THE UGLY:
  • 4 Wisconsin turnovers, 0 Northwestern turnovers. That we almost came back and stole that game was incredible. You literally never deserve to win a game with the turnover margin that lopsided. Stave's goal line pick was one of the single worst decisions a quarterback can make. The playcalling was probably worse: 1st and goal from the 3 and you have the best running back in the country. Give him the rock. 4 times in a row if you have to. And if you ARE going play-action, then the call is either 'dump to the wide open guy or THROW IT THE F AWAY'. Everything about that sequence was god-awful.
  • Speaking of turnovers, our quarterbacks get ZERO help from their receivers. Stave threw some decent deep balls, and even McEvoy's pick wasn't that bad (idk, again, drunk). But if the receivers are content sitting there waiting for the ball to get to them, then they're also content watching the other team make plays on the ball and making me want to cry. Get up there, high point it, and make a damn play. Big area of concern coming into the season being validated right in front of our sad eyes.
  • The rushing defense. Just, ugh.
  • Playcalling balance. Any time MGIII racks up 260 yards on 10 yards a carry, YOU SHOULD NOT BE THROWING THE BALL MORE THAN YOU'RE FEEDING HIM. In what galaxy do you expect to get 10 yards per passing attempt with this offense? I don't care about time or situation: if you have no passing game to speak off, then you feed your Heisman-caliber running back who was in the midst of ripping their defense apart, one first down at a time.

There are probably 17 more 'uglies'. I'm over this game. Hate it. Done with it. Don't like its face.



CHICAGO BADGERS:
 I'm sure the turnout at Will's for an 11 AM game on the heels of the debacle in Evanston will be super. This is my yearly reminder that yes, even as shitty as they look, you'll YEARN for these gamedays once they're gone. Don't let a silly little thing like a hangover hold you back. Chug water, pass out, scalding hot shower, greasy food, Sugar Ray, BOOM, no more hangover. It's worked for centuries.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ESPN2
WEATHER: 50s, MOSTLY SUNNY, SMALL CHANCE OF TEARS BECAUSE I WILL LITERALLY CRY IF WE LOSE TO ILLINOIS


Thursday, October 2, 2014

at Northwestern

Who's ready for a QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY?
"I feel a lot better than I did about a month ago," [Stave] said. "Obviously, everything around that time was pretty emotional for me. I was upset and frustrated and everything that goes along with it. That's something that I had to work through, but I feel like I did a good job with that."

...

"He's starting to look like the old Stave getting his confidence back," Badgers wide receiver Kenzel Doe said after Tuesday's practice. "You definitely see him in more team reps. You can tell he's starting to get that confidence back, and he's starting to throw the ball like he used to."

...

"If things start to go bad or Tanner gets hurt, through this whole thing I've prepared mentally like I always would," Stave said. "I've watched film, taken notes and done what I need to do to feel like I have a good enough feel for the defense. So just continue to do that. If my number is called, then I'll be ready to go." (via)
I AM I AM I AM.

Listen, we've seen the Tanner McEvoy show. It IS pretty cool having a 6'6 quarterback who can run and juke and take a hit. But it's kind of a lot cooler having a quarterback who can throw the ball with at least a TINY chance of hitting the receiver. Too many times we've seen McEvoy miss WIDE OPEN receivers. That's probably the most frustrating part: those 'layups' that Andersen is so adamant about completing are being missed with glaring inaccuracy. I will ALWAYS believe that if Stave was named the starter for the LSU game, he never would've gotten the shanks, and we would've won that game.

That's why I'm hoping Stave can get his head on straight and work his way back up the depth chart. This offense will NOT be able to thrive against Nebraska, Iowa, and maybe not even against Northwestern this weekend if it's purely one dimensional. Our running game is our bread and butter, but without the play-action throw as a viable threat, we're going to hit troubled waters. I do not like troubled waters.

So keep on keepin' on, Stave. It may be cloudy now, but the sunshine will poke through soon enough. Please.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Well, how about that? Will's IS providing bus transportation to the Northwestern game this Saturday. The tentative plan is to leave Will's around noon, get dropped off near the stadium, and then bus on back after the game. Price will be $25 and include beer on the bus. If you're interested, send me names. Also, if you have extra tickets to the game itself, let me know.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ESPN2
WEATHER: DON'T WORRY IT'S GONNA BE OKAY i hope