Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Outback Bowl vs. #19 Auburn

What a long, strange trip it's been. A season that started out with the perplexing McEvoy-over-Stave decision and ensuing LSU chokejob has ended with a new coach and a somewhat familiar date with an SEC opponent on New Year's Day. I'm not sure how we'll look back at this year down the road, but I do know that ending with a victory over Auburn will put a MUCH more positive spin on things. STRONG TAKE CITY.

But regardless of the outcome on Thursday, I enter the football offseason BRIMMING with optimism. GA - for all his faults - assembled a pretty impressive recruiting class this year. And almost all of them have reaffirmed their commitments in the wake of the coaching turnover. The staff will come together nicely, and frankly as long as they get a few guys who can recruit, it won't really matter much. Chryst and Aranda represent two of the most gifted coordinators we've seen. Offensive guru head coach with strong Wisconsin ties inherits young badass defensive whiz who has quickly established his system in Madison. That's a thing of beauty.

So enjoy the game on Thursday. The basketball team will take the spotlight starting on Sunday, but it's a long, long time until we can all gather around a bucket of curds to watch Sunshine sling us to victory. Offseasons suck. Let's have fun Thursday.

CHICAGO BADGERS: I know. I already feel the pain you feel. It's an 11 am game the morning after your respective New Year's Rager. No one ever said having fun was easy. But you're gonna suck it up. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, remember my IRONCLAD method to conquering a hangover:

  1. Slam water before bed. This is a must. Multiple glasses. Just do it.
  2. Take a scorching lava hot shower when you wake up. Roughly 10-10:15 am on Thursday should do the trick.
  3. Eat something magnificent. Fuck cereal. Bananas are BORING. You need real food and you need it immediately. If it's not bacon or something that could conceivably have bacon on/in/around it, then you need to rethink EVERYTHING.
  4. Listen to some Sugar Ray with extreme prejudice. I prefer a little 'Fly'/'Every Morning' medley.
By now you should be feeling more than good enough to get to Will's before kickoff and muscle that first giant beer down. Once you get the first bucket of beer in your gullet, it's all downhill from there. I feel like 'it's all downhill from there' has a negative connotation, but if you think about it, it's SO much better than it all being uphill from there. I'll gladly coast down a hill guzzling beers into the wee hours. Sounds like fun!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pre-Outback Bowl Mailbag

No shortage of things to talk about. Let's dive right in. Thank you for your questions.


Alison S:
What is wrong with Wisconsin?! My million dollar question is who will be our next head coach? Hopefully Aranda.
Well it was SUPPOSED to be me. Got my application and résumé in to Barry before the deadline, but I never heard back. Since Paul Chryst has already been announced as the 30th coach in Wisconsin football history, here's the application I sent Barry's way:
Mr. Alvarez, 
My name is Brandon Rifkin and I’d like to formally apply to be the next head football coach of the University of Wisconsin football team. What I may lack in actual football knowledge, I more than make up for in SPIRIT and the ease at which I would assimilate myself in the Madison culture. 
My football experience is vast and plentiful. Here are the highlights:
  • 1997 Camp Ojibwa Pineapple Football Champions. My responsibilities included snapping the ball (not between my legs, seems really hard), wrapping up (form tackling – flags are always moving), and trying not to cry when a power tripping 19 year old from Highland Park yelled at me for failing at wrapping up.
  • Two time Bayside Middle School/Maple Dale Middle School CHAMPION. This was basically the Wisconsin/Minnesota rivalry, minus the axe/plus puberty. NOTE: If you do a background check and hear about the kid who got shot in the neck with a firework at one of these games, I was TOTALLY not involved in that. NOTE #2: I rumbled on the O-Line, #Sconnie4Life
  • Made a really sweet one-handed interception in a UW-Madison intramural game one time. And it was my LEFT hand.
  • Dominated a pick-up football game on the front lawn of the Kohl Center while waiting for basketball tickets. Wasn’t even sober. Ran like the wind.
  • December 3rd, 2011. Wisconsin vs. Michigan State in the first ever B1G Championship. 4th quarter, 2nd and goal at the 5, down 6. I told EVERYONE I knew sitting by me that we were gonna run the shovel pass. I LOVE THE SHOVEL PASS. And what did Russell do? Ran a pitch-perfect (get it?) shovel pass to Montee. Six.
But there’s so much more to coaching football than football itself. How can you adequately evaluate me unless you really know me? And there’s no better way to know a person than to ask them what kinds of movies they like. So, let’s keep this relevant. Coach Rif’s Top 5 Favorite Football Flicks:
  1. Remember The Titans. I’m all about diversity, and moving players around to find their best position, and STRONG SIDE
  2. Sleepers. Not a football movie, you say? OH HO HO, I challenge you to find a more satisfying victory than the boys beating the guards and Rizzo giving his LIFE for victory. That’s the kind of motivation I aim to employ.
  3. The Blind Side. I start to salivate thinking about what we could do with a kid like Michael Oher. GOTTA COME TO O-LINE U, KIDDO.
  4. The Replacements. I have an idea for a new movie. It’s called: THE WALK-ONS. And it’s all about how we’re gonna own the B1G with the best walk-on program this side of MILWAUKEE.
  5. Jerry Maguire. You see how much Jerry loved his players? And how, in turn, they believed in him and achieved success they could only DREAM of? Yeah. Let’s do dat.
As you can see, my heart and mind are in the exact right place to lead Wisconsin back to glory. Pound the rock on offense, Blitz B on defense, Wisconsin forever.


Coach Rif

PS – Can’t call myself Coach B for obvious reasons, people don’t forget.
Also had to update the old résumé:

After submitting, I realized I missed a letter in 'pizza'. Gonna assume UW handles résumés the same way the rest of the world does: grammatical mistake = automatic rejection. I'll be kicking myself over this for years. YEARS.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

B1G Championship vs. #5 Ohio State

I'm a big fan of callbacks. I love when some seemingly unimportant detail from the past is suddenly relevant and takes on a whole new meaning. Perhaps I'm being vague. Let's use an example:

That's a tweet from 2 years ago from some guy named Cardale Jones. At the time, he was just a no name idiot on the OSU football team tweeting out something funny that sports blogs used to fill the page during the day. Now? Now he's starting at quarterback for Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game.

That just kind of sums up this game, though. I have no inside information, but I firmly believe athletes at Wisconsin actually have to take care of the student part of student-athlete. I know several recruits they really wanted had to go elsewhere because they couldn't even get accepted at Wisconsin. I'm going to assume it's not the same kind of operation at Ohio State. Feels like we're going up against a football factory.

And that's what will make it all the sweeter when we emerge from Indy with ANOTHER B1G title. 4 in 5 years would be downright stupid. Wisconsin fans are for sure going to be outnumbered in Indy - OSU is still alive for the playoff - but that won't be the first time that's happened. And we've done alright in Indy in recent years.

Now let's go beat the shit out of the Buckeyes and grab some hardware.

CHICAGO BADGERS: THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT NIGHT GAME ALERT. I LOVE NIGHT GAMES! And this one is great because we get to watch the UW hoops team STOMP Marquette during the day, rest up, and THEN we all gather at Will's to rage for another B1G Championship. CAN'T WAIT. See ya there.