Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Bowl vs. #25 USC

Love this 9:30 pm kickoff. LOVE IT. I wanna build a fire and wear sweatpants and just cuddle the shit out of it for HOURS. 9:30 kickoff means there's AMPLE time to get out of work, get appropriately geared up, eat chicken quesadillas con jalape├▒os, play 6 games of euchre, drink 7 beers, and be PERFECTLY tuned for the game. What else could you ask for?

New Year's Day bowls are beyond overrated. Who wants to have to do something before like 5 pm on New Year's? Even if that activity is drinking-themed, I'm gonna go with sleeping until I can't and then easing into 2016 like an old man sliding into a hot bath on a cold January day.

If the playoff is out of the picture, I'm taking season finale night game over 11 am Hangover Bowl every single time.

PS - If I ever invent a marketable hangover cure, I'm ponying up all my SERIES A funding to sponsor the first bowl game on January 1st. The Hangover Bowl, cured by HANGOVER DESTROYER. That's the best sponsorship the world will ever know.

PPS - If you're actually working on 12/31 and you're not a nurse, doctor, or bus driver, then just quit that job because it's not fit for human endurance.

WHOA HEY USC HAS A BILLION IMPRESSIVE ALUMNI

Seriously, this is a fresh list.
  • George Lucas, inventor of Star Wars. If you haven't see The Force Awakens yet, look away. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILERS INCOMING.
Things I liked: Rey, BB8 holding up the lighter for the thumbs up, Finn humor, potential Finn-Rey bonefest in VIII, gritty feel that matched IV/V/VI more than I/II/III, the moment Han and Chewy walked in, every time Chewy talked, Han dying

Things I didn't like: the plot being A New Hope all over again, speaking of which maybe the bad guys in this universe should stop making planet weapons that can be defeated by 7 X-Wings and loose intel, Adam from Girls being the main baddie, Han/Leia romance, obvious hinting that Rey is Luke's daughter (looking for something more clever here), supposedly non-Jedi (Finn) holding his own in a lightsaber battle with a supposedly powerful Jedi (Kylo Ren).

Overall it's a 4/5 for me. If it felt more like the original trilogy than the modern trilogy, then it was guaranteed at least a 3/4. Added point for Rey being a great character and the movie feeling like a truly great launching pad for what could be some potentially INCREDIBLE movies in VIII and XI.
  • Will Ferrell, actor. I got caught up in that SNL in the 90s thing that VH1 is always pimping, and my conclusion is that Will Ferrell is a top 4 all-time SNL cast member. I'd throw Farley in there as well, but I'm probably not old enough to judge all the 70s and 80s legends. So I'll give Ferrell and Farley the nod for the 90s+.
  • Neil Armstrong, astronaut. Bro.
  • Louis Zamperini, olympian and CAB (Certified American Badass). Seriously, if you haven't read Unbroken yet then figure your life out. The word 'hero' gets tossed around a lot, but it was meant for guys like Louis Zamperini.
  • Minnette Gersh Lenier (Ph.D. 1971) – teacher who used magic to improve students’ learning skills. WITCH
  • Art Clokey (M.A. 1956) – clay animator; creator of Gumby. Hardest hitting clay animator in da leeeeeague.
  • Jim Lovell, star of Apollo 13. Wait, are we SHARING Lovell with the Trojans? Whatever, he's more ours than theirs. DIBS ON LOVELL
  • OJ Simpson, football player. And that's all I have to say about that.
  • Mark McGwire, baseball player. Don't care they were all juicing. Sammy and McGwire going back and forth was the best thing ever. Also, hey Mark, sick bomb on #62. Really poked that one good.
  • Dan Bane (B.S. 1969) – Chairman and CEO of Trader Joe's. If I knew that the CEO of Trader Joe's was in play and I didn't include him I think my mom would disown me. Shop Trader Joe's.
  • Richard Knerr (B.S.) – co-founder of Wham-O; the creators of the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, and Superball. That's like the old school version of creating the Macbook, iPod, and iPhone. How come we don't see any commercially bankrupt movies about Dick Knerr?
  • Chris DeWolfe (M.B.A. 1997) – co-founder of MySpace and current CEO. Anytime I hear MySpace, this is all I can think about:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#20 Northwestern

Jumping right into the mailbag. Part 1 up top, part 2 down below. SUCH SUSPENSE.

Tim S:

How happy are you to get a break from what has to be the least aesthetically pleasing 8-2 team in CFB history?

It was great! Slept in, went to a bar dressed in neutral grey, didn't watch a second of football, turned my brain off and had fun. Is that how non-weirdos do Saturdays? I really dug it.

With that said, I'm ready to get right back at supporting the worst 10-2 team in NCAA history. Clement still recovering from his hernia and also a dog bit him? Keep the weird coming!


Matt B:

Bryant, Schwarber & Rizzo: marry, fuck, kill - go!

Marry: Rizzo. I feel like my mom would like him the most.

Kill: Bryant. Oh, you're 6'5", dreamy, AND you are going to be the best player in the league? That's a little too perfect for me, kid.

Fuck: Schwarber. Remember in Good Will Hunting when Will is telling the story about how his dad used to give him a choice between a stick, a belt, and a wrench? And Will always chose the wrench because fuck him? I'm using that logic here.


Jake S:

First of all, I'd like to say, "body wash" is bullshit, and all men should be using bar soap. What's the etiquette on bar soap? My personal opinion is if you are showering at someone else's house and all they have is bar soap you are allowed to use it. Soap is self cleaning.

What are you, 80? Bar soap is the worst thing in the world. Are you supposed to rub the bar all over you or just rub it in your hands a lot and then rub yourself down? I do the latter on the 3 occasions each year I find myself with nothing but a stupid bar of soap in the shower.

Body wash is superior in every way imaginable. However, the body wash/shampoo all-in-one combo is a little too much for me. Like when Costanza has the fridge built into the side of his recliner.


Jake R:

Ok so here's the scenario. You have to pick one animal to fight in a one-on-one arena match with another animal. You don't know which animal you will face before the fight. Humans not included, which animal do you choose?

Hippo. Always hippo. Nothing beats a hippo. When's the last time you saw the inside of a hippo's mouth?



Disgusting and terrifying. It does not even matter that this battle doesn't take place near water - no creature on this planet is taking down a hippo. Not an elephant. Not some kind of super gorilla. And clearly not a rhino.

Hippos are MONSTERS.


Mike L:

Are the 90's officially the new 80's?

Nah. The 80's are the worst decade ever, and the 90's are still pretty cool. Yeah we all looked stupid back then, but that's the case looking back on pretty much every decade. What are the 80's known for? I don't even know. But the 90's gave us cell phones and the internet and Saved By The Bell and Jurassic Park and Weezer. Nothing in the 80's was CLOSE to that.


Joe H:

Were you at all butt-hurt when you found out that Penn State had a shorter and fatter kicker than Wisco did? The guy in question really has a story that begs youtubing. Not only did the fatty kick footballs in high school, but he apparently had D1 soccer scholarships AND ran track for a year. I imagine his races looked like this. Further neat facts include he was born in our hometown of Milwaukee but sadly did not attend high school there. And finally, as a sophomore in HS he was 5’10 (as he is currently) but only 185lbs….that’s a lot of eating, good for him.

Joe also provided this image to further illustrate his point:


Fair points. But an overweight guy from Milwaukee is one thing: an overweight kicker from Brazil that grew up in Tennessee and CHOSE to come to Wisconsin? That's beauty. Plus, Gaglianone was a baller on the pitch as well. And he has better hair.

PS - Love that they didn't round the 259 up to an even 260. That's like the psychology when you sell cars for $19,999, since it FEELS like a lot less than saying an even $20k. Smart fat kicker Penn State has. Why am I typing like Yoda.


CHICAGO BADGERS: Oh we are on a TEAR of 2:30 games. So great. Unfortunately I'll be at a wedding, which is good because this game has sneaky potential to frustrate the hell out of me. Thank god it's not in Evanston.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN




Thursday, November 5, 2015

at Maryland

I think Corey Clement just made a loud statement about his value to this team. We kinda spent most of the year wondering if the running game sucked because of the O-Line, the backs, or both. Without jumping to conclusions (because Rutgers), I think we can safely say the issue was squarely on the back up running backs. I don't mean this as a slight to Dare and Deal, but they were back ups for a reason.

So here we are. 7-2 (4-1) in a season where we've had injuries at literally every position on the roster. A transition year with a new coach (albeit a familiar coach) and a young team... and yet, 7-2. That's actually pretty damn impressive when you consider everything that's gone wrong so far.

My excitement for this team is increasing. Something about them gutting out wins despite being in shambles is kinda fun. Like the German sub in U-571 that was all messed up, but the Americans took it over and kept battling on it and eventually sank a giant German destroyer with it after Trigger drowned while fixing the leak in the torpedo system. Out with the Remember The Titans season metaphor, in with the U-571 season metaphor. WHAT MOVIE THAT'S ON HBO EVERY WEEK IS NEXT?

PS - OMG, Trigger from U-571 was SMALLS from The Sandlot? That's amazing. And a few years ago he was arrested because he headbutted a cop after he was told he was too drunk to get on an airplane? You just never know where the internet is gonna take you.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Afternoon game, and don't look now but we're running out of gamedays. I'll preach now what I preach often: take advantage because while a game against Maryland might not be very exciting now, you'd murder for a 2:30 gameday party come January.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rutgers

Entering the home stretch of the Purdue/Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland stretch, which has somehow been an uglier stretch of opponents than we ever imagined. Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland all looking for new coaches, and Purdue probably looking for a new coach. That's magical.

But it's fine. We'll take the easy wins to pump the record. In all honesty I'm rather enjoying a low-stress season. A loss on a Saturday puts everyone in a pootie mood. But this year? This year we're all just having fun and throwing back beers and living the high life.



CHICAGO BADGERS: 11:00 am game on Halloween Saturday in Madison and brace yourselves here come the 'WE SHOULD TAKE THE STUDENT SECTION AWAY FOREVER BECAUSE THEY DON'T APPRECIATE IT ENOUGH' tweets.

PS - Costumes are encouraged at Will's. Rumors swirling that there's a prize for the best costume.

PPS - I just made that rumor up but I bet if we believe it hard enough it could happen.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN




Thursday, October 22, 2015

at Illinois

Wisconsin/Purdue summed up succinctly: the official BTN play of the game was a 7 yard untouched rushing touchdown.

I'm not sure what else I can say about that game. We're not that good, they're much worse, we broke Purdue football forever. End of story. Moving on to the Illini.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Are you as pleasantly surprised as I am that a Wisconsin/Illinois game in late October is at 2:30? Amazing.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Purdue

Ended up catching the last few minutes of the game on Saturday, and it looks like I didn't miss anything before that. Oh well. Always nice to gut out a tough road win when nothing has been going your way lately. Winning ugly and all that jazz.

Best way to maintain a little momentum? Purdue comes to town. I refuse to lose to Purdue forever. Ever since we broke Kyle Orton and Scott Starks scooped up that fumble for a touchdown we cemented our dominance over them. Never again will they beat us. Nuh uh. No way.



CHICAGO BADGERS: 11 am Wisconsin game and a 7 pm Cubs NLCS game? Congratulations bars of Chicago, you win. You win, you take all my money, you swindle my dignity, and you leave me in a drunken heap at 4 am. This should be a good time for all. GO CUBS



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


Thursday, October 8, 2015

at Nebraska

Listen, I'm not gonna sit here and pretend Stave played well. He didn't. He played pretty damn poorly actually. But you need to consider a couple of facts before you start checking to see if he has a Twitter account to harass (he doesn't) or calling for Gillins to be the starter (ain't happening for 1,000 reasons):
  • Our top WR (former walk-on) got concussed
  • Our other starting WR is a quarterback-turned-safety-turned-wide receiver
  • Both of our top TE's were banged up
  • Our starting running back was 9,000 miles away getting German surgery
  • His back-up is a former cornerback who dropped a pivotal screen pass
  • Our offensive line is inexperienced and, quite frankly, not as talented as previous groups
  • The skill position players that were healthy and out there were about as bad as any group I can even remember at UW
That last one would be true even IF Erickson, Traylor, Fumagalli, and Clement were healthy. Hands down, this year's team had the worst group of running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends I've ever seen. Blame recruiting failures by previous coaching regimes. Blame poor development of wide receivers going back to Bielema's era. Blame MGIII for leaving early actually wait no don't do that.

Blame whatever you want. But if you're going to sit here with a straight face and tell me we lost that game purely because Stave sucked then I'm going to sit here with a straight face and tell you you're an idiot.

He was awful. We all get that. But his supporting cast is not only awful from a talent standpoint, but they were miserable from an execution standpoint as well on Saturday.

Everything about that offensive performance was painful. Let's move on and hope things can't get worse. At least the D is as nasty as we hoped. Yay optimism!



CHICAGO BADGERS: Gonna be in San Francisco for a bachelor party this weekend. It's going to be 70 and sunny every day and I'm treating it as a mini vacation from Wisconsin football. Perfect time for a mini vacation.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Iowa

Another shutout. What a surprise. It's almost as if Aranda is the best defensive coordinator in the world. I hope Barry personally delivers a chest full of rare doubloons to Aranda's house that's probably on a golf course in Verona. No more BS about being unable to pay assistants - this athletic department makes more money than 99% of the colleges in the world. Pony up the cash - Aranda is worth every single doubloon we can spare.

Why the hell am I ranting? Let's all watch this gem and get ready for #IowaWeek:






CHICAGO BADGERS: 11 AM GAME NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

PS - Whoa hey Will's got weird in a hurry last week. Starting to think I got vodka-bombed but have no way of confirming it. Hmmmmmmmm.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hawaii

I haven't seen one second of the Troy game and I am totally okay with that. I was stuck at a wedding in Minnesota Saturday afternoon, and it sounds like I didn't miss much. I don't think I've even looked at a box score. Have I grown up? Am I mature? Did I reach a point in my life where I don't need to obsess and schedule my life around a completely meaningless September buy-game? Not sure, but it feels pretty good to not worry about the Badgers and just live a little life out there.

PS - Wedding thoughts:
  • Pretty sick of old people hating on young people music, even though I know it's gonna be me soon enough. They're playing songs like Runaround Sue and every parent on the dance floor doesn't shut up. 'I tell ya, they don't write songs like this anymore.' You know what happens next? Shut Up And Dance comes on and the roof of the building is removed by force as a bunch of fifty-somethings slur 'I LOVE THIS SONG'. They don't write 'em like they used to? Well they definitely didn't write 'em like they do. Goes both ways, generation haters.
  • Day weddings are downright LETHAL. This one was at a brewery, and the open bar was just a guy pouring straight from growlers they brought up from the brewery. How can you give me unlimited amazing amber beers and expect me to keep it together? And then you're all telling me to 'come on, just dance'? Okay, I'm not sure if you know how this works, but when you're a nerdy guy who sucks at dancing, it only becomes tolerable when you're drunk. And it only becomes fun when you're wasted. Classic messing with the bull and getting the horns situation.
  • A friendly reminder: if you're making a speech at a wedding, keep it short. You're not Stephen Colbert who's gonna go up there and entertain the masses with some mind melting oration. You're going to ramble and look like an idiot and probably stumble into something awkward. Don't be that person with the terrible speech.
  • If you're a wedding DJ/band and you don't play any Taylor Swift then you need to find a new profession. Maybe go to trade school and become some union manual laborer. This line of work ain't your thang.  

PPS - Just heard the news about Clement needing surgery. That... sucks. No other way to spin it. Not only are we a worse team without him, but all you ever heard from him since he arrived is how he was going to wait his turn until he was the top dog in the backfield. Really just feel bad for him. Hopefully he comes back healthy and can help us upset Michigan State in Indy. Looking forward to that.

PPPS - Just kidding, can totally spin this:


Sunshine, COMING IN HOT. Clement's injury kind of a blessing in disguise for the #StaveHeisman campaign. Gotta ride the Stave Train all the way to port.

4xPS - Welcome to Wisconsin Football 2k15:




CHICAGO BADGERS: Bless all that is a night game in September. Life is good. Even though it's a relatively weak opponent, I'd anticipate Will's being pretty packed Saturday night. Just get there early and drink it down.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Troy

Probably one of the most boring 58-0 games I've ever seen. But it's an acceptable type of boring, because it definitely beats a nail-biter against a joke of a school like Miami of the Ohio. I never checked their Twitter account after the game, but I'm going to safely assume they did not go back to the statistical analysis. At the end of the day, they learned with the rest of the teams on our schedule are going to learn themselves: Stave is fo' REAL. But it's not just Stave that has taken a leap: our receivers were steaming hot garbage last year. Well, they've been trash ever since Abbrederis left. Seeing their improvement this year has me thinking that coaching can really have a big effect on players - even in the short term. Wheelwright is out there snagging touchdowns away from his body like we always hoped he could. Erickson remains rock solid. Even Dare looked respectable in the passing game.

Overall, you have to like what you've seen so far from the Badger passing attack, especially given that the rushing game has been borderline nonexistent so far. The Chyrst Effect? Perhaps.

Now I just spend games hoping we don't get ahead by too much. Can't have them pulling Stave early and limiting his numbers. We've got a Heisman campaign to run here.

#StaveHeisman




CHICAGO BADGERS: I'm traveling to the exotic land of MINNESOTA for a wedding, enjoy being able to get to Will's before kickoff without setting an alarm. That's what we live for.




WHO/WHERE/WHEN




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Miami (Ohio)

As the immortal #Swiftness says, shake it off. No other way to respond to the Alabama game than shaking that loss off and moving on to bigger and better things. I think deep down we all knew we were in real trouble when Caputo's head was floating in a different galaxy a minute into the game. Watching him line up on the wrong side of the ball and have absolutely no idea where he was was downright horrifying. Hopefully he takes his time and gets back to full strength, because we're going to need him this year.

And there were some positives: Stave's Heisman campaign is off to a solid start. The ball was coming out quickly and for the most part was on target. He spread it around and we got contributions from half the damn team catching the ball. I like that. On the other side of the ball, TJ Edwards led the way with 12 tackles - another good omen for the rest of the year.

So you won't find me dwelling anything. NO DWELL SITUATION. Time to take care of business and defend the Camp.

PS - How do we feel about calling Camp Randall "The Camp"? I think I used to hate it, but ever since that video serious it's warmed on me. I think I'm just about ready to go all in.

PPS - Love going all in.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Don't miss MUSKY FEST at Will's this Saturday. I love Musky Fest, mainly because the smart ones know that we can be easily bribed with cheese curds and baked goods. Yes, that's a lovely elaborate vote box you've crafted (PINTEREST WORTHY), but you had me at peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars. Mmmmmmmmmm



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


Thursday, September 3, 2015

#3 Alabama



WEEKS, RANKED:

1) GAME WEEK
2) Every other week
3) Shark Week

That's it. So whatever is bringing you down this week, just remember that not only is it game week, but it's SEASON OPENER ALABAMA NIGHT GAME WEEK. That's the kinda magic you need to bottle up and save for a miserable day later in the year, just to remember how awesome life can be. So yeah it's a thousand degrees in September for no apparent reason and the week is officially dragging but WHATEVER. Game Week. Bama. Night Game.

Yes, it's just one game. But the LSU game was just one game last year and we learned all KINDS of important things from it (like that Gary Andersen was kind of a boner!). So, what will we learn this year?
  • If our O-Line is ready to continue the tradition... or take a step back
  • If Corey Clement is the next stud Wisconsin running back... or just another guy
  • If Sojourn Shelton is about to be that shutdown corner we hoped for... or go back to sophomore slump status
  • If Stave is truly ready to make his Heisman push... or jk he's def ready to make his Heisman push
Fine. Maybe not ALL of these will be definitively answered Saturday night. But one way or another, we'll head into the rest of the season knowing if it's going to be a special one, or a don't-have-to-schedule-your-life-around-Badger-football kinda season.

Who am I kidding. I'll still schedule my life around UW football.

#BeatBama



CHICAGO BADGERS: I'll give the same warning this year that I gave last year: do not stroll up to Will's an hour before kickoff and expect to get a table (or even get in without waiting in line). If you're confused about this, just scroll back up to that part about season opener Alabama night game.

LET'S go!



WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: ABC
WEATHER: GULF MONSOONS BUT I THINK THEY HAVE A ROOF


Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015 Season Preview

I've unscientifically deduced that August is the fastest month in the world. It's already August 27th? How is that possible? Even Father Sky and Mother Earth are confused and are tossing us sexy fall weather this week. And that weather is the most pleasant reminder around that Wisconsin and Alabama will be playing a football game right soon. GLORY.

You really couldn't ask for a better game to start the Paul Chryst era (other than this game being in a real college stadium in front of real college fans). And it's an era I'm oddly optimistic on. Was he a sexy hire? Nah. Is he going to KILLCRUSH the recruiting scene? Probably not. But he's going to lead juggernaut offenses. reestablish the relationships with the Wisconsin high school coaches that GA damaged, and let Aranda run a dirty defense. That's a recipe that can cook up some playoff appearances in the future.

Cautious optimism. Feel it in your bones.



STILL LOOKING FOR REFERRALS: Hit me back with email addresses and I'll add your friends/sisters/cousins/fraternity bros/grandparents to the list. Gracias.



CELEBRITY DEATHS

Before we look to da future, we must pay respects to those that have left us. Rest in peace, celebrities ranging from obscure to legendary.
  • Rowdy Roddy Piper & Dusty Rhodes, WWE Legends. It's no secret that pro wrastlers live hard and they live fast. And yet, it still hits like a sack of bricks when you hear the news that hall of famers like Rowdy Roddy and Dusty Rhodes have passed away.
  • Jerry Weintraub, Producer of Ocean's 11. Seriously, Ocean's 11 is sneakily one of my favorite movies ever. And I'm not talking about the original old people version - I'm talking about George Clooney and Brad Pitt and Matt Damon being awesome at thievery. Any guy who had a hand in making that movie is a total bro in my eyes.
  • Uggie, Dog. Color me surprised to see a dog show up in my intense, thorough research for celebrity deaths. But lookit the little guy!

Here's Uggie with his memoir. Uggie has a memoir. I am less accomplished than I ever nightmared about.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 Preseason Mailbag!

Thanks for the questions. Let's get on with it.


***

Jeff A:
How "dead" is Jon Snow? Is Jamie Lannister eventually going to kill his sister Cersei? Is Tyrion Lannister really a Targaryen? Why is it taking George R.R. Martin so long to finish writing a measly 1500 pages? What is with people having 2 middle names?
I want to make a rule that EVERY mailbag is required to have at least one Game of Thrones question. With that said, if you are behind on the show then HELLO SPOILER CITY and stop what you're doing go finish it.
  • There's no way Jon Snow is done. He may be dead, but he will be back. Will Red Devil Lady resurrect him like she saw Beric Dondarrion resurrected way back when? Will he become the NEW Night's King? Will Bran make his miraculous return by warging Snow back to life? Will Ghost perform CPR with his paws THAT WOULD BE ADORABLE. The possibilities are endless. But I am basically 1,000% sure he's coming back in one way or another. After all the not-so-subtle hintdrops about his lineage (I'm on board with the theory that his parents are Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen), there's simply no way he just poofs out of the show like that.
  • Jamie killing Cersei would be insane. That's like Red Wedding level insanity. I feel like it's completely overshadowed how crazy the Jamie/Cersei relationship is about to be. She sent Jamie off to Dorne to get Myrcella, and under his watch she got poisoned. Cersei is going to lose her shit and I can't wait to see it. Does Jamie go to war over it? Can Bronn be king soon? Sitting here like a LOST nerd full of questions.
  • Is Tyrion a Targaryen? Is that a theory? I DO like the sound of Tyrion Targaryen. I think if he rides a dragon to save Dany then we'll know that theory has legs and/or wings. I demand more dragon-riding.
  • Martin is sneakily one of the weirdest creatures on the planet. Since I'm not a book reader I actually don't care if he ever finishes. He told the showrunners how it ends, and at this point I'm fully confident they'll take us home in style.
Ugh, so many sleeps until GoT is back. DAMNIT


1225 Mound St
White or red pants on the road?
I'm a fan of the all whites on the road. But now that it's looking like Under Armor will replace Adidas, I'm hoping to see some change. Our uniforms are BORING. In all sports. It sucks because the Motion W is bad to da bone. Bucky is a kickass mascot. And Cardinal is a great color. Now is the time for us to mix it up and drop some hot unis on the world.

I liked the start in recent years with all the new helmets. I'm also totally okay with them using some black in the uniforms. Black isn't any team's color - black is ALL of our colors.


At the end of the day, recruits dig this shit. And I don't really care that much. So if messing with the uniforms results in one good recruit picking UW over OSU and MSU, then it was totally worth it.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Season Finale Mailbag

Well. The 2014-2015 Badger football and hoops seasons sure ended quickly. Now we're just left sweating through summer, patiently awaiting a date with Alabama in Dallas. Oh fuck, that's not good. But at least we still have STAVE. Can't wait for #Sunshine to silence the haters once and for all this fall.

Now, your questions. And I'm going to make this easy for you since this will most likely be really long - I'll group questions together by topic. So if you're still smarting from the Duke game and don't want to read anything about it, go ahead and skip on down. Oh yeah almost forgot, fuck Duke your fans are lame and I never share news stories on Facebook but if Coach K got arrested for running a prostitution ring in his spare time I would share the shit out of that story on Facebook.


***

#SPORTZ

Rachel S:
I understand that as a die hard Badger, I am 100% biased in judging that game. I understand as a sports fan that no game comes down to one call, and we had a lead (and momentum) that we shouldn't have given up, especially since Okafor was on the bench in foul trouble. HOWEVER, there were two calls at the end of the game that were UNDENIABLY called wrong (and in Duke's favor) that lead to points by Duke that iced it for them. What do we do about the officiating moving forward? Their excuse that they "didn't see the angle we did" is no consolation - in fact, it's maddening. It just felt like we were supposed to win, didn't it? UNC. Arizona. Kentucky. I can appreciate how fun this team was to watch - on and off the court. But I'm having a really hard time making peace with the fact that we can make a very real argument that this game was taken out of our hands because of disgusting reffing, and I'm not sure how to make peace with that. Not with this team. Not this year. Help me make peace with losing this way. How many questions/requests is that?
Bruce G:

Tired? Ran out of gas? Forget the officiating. Had we done our job as we have in the past we would have won by 15. I'm going with Post-Kentucky Stress Syndrome. Thanks for walking us through a great year of Badger bball.
Bruce is pretty spot on here. Blaming the officials is a bad look for ANYONE. It's just not how you wanna go down. And to be honest, while there were a few rough calls, we still woulda needed some SERIOUS magic to make that comeback. I refuse to watch highlights or check box scores so I'm going off drunken recall, but I think all the controversy happened after Duke made their run and crushed our souls.

Do you want to know why we lost? We lost because we stopped playing our game. Right when the tournament began, all I could think was that we were the Americans and Kentucky was the Russians and the Miracle on Ice was about to have a sequel. It all lined up so well: Kentucky a well-oiled machine of professionals stuck playing against amateurs (ignore all our NBA talent). Biggest game in the entire tournament just being a semifinal. And after the emotionally draining victory over the anonymously evil Kentuckussians, we still had Dukeland to conquer for the gold. IT ALL MADE SO MUCH SENSE.

Every thing about this team made perfect sense. It was all aligned. But in the end, the boys just came up about 13 minutes shorts. Think about that. They played over 1,600 minutes of hoops this year and they were 13 minutes away from walking off the court as National Champions. That's insane.

I don't blame fatigue, or emotional exhaustion, or PKSS. I simply attribute the loss to playing a top 4 team that figured out how to play defense, and that defense made us uncomfortable enough to get out of our offensive rhythm. It's unfortunate as hell, and I'll never forget it.


Seth M:
What is the potential ceiling for next years badger basketball team...and how bad could they be?
The ceiling for any Bo Ryan team is a Final Four appearance. I love how people are down on next year's team. Yeah, I get we're losing arguably the greatest player in UW history, and Dekker, AND a multi-year starting point guard. But we return two sophomores that will battle for first team recognition in the conference. Nigel might even warrant some inclusion on preseason All-American lists. Look at how far his game expanded after one year under Bo's tutelage. Now, go give him ANOTHER offseason to improve his game. That's scary.

Of course, the other super-soph returning is Koenig. You remember how we talked about Trae going down being a mixed bag because it would give Koenig valuable development time in live game action? That has already started paying off, but next year it's going to explode. I think the world is going to be blown away with what that kid will do the next two years.

Two studs and solid role players with a dash of Bo Ryan is a recipe for another top 4 finish in the conference and a chance to make a run in March. Why do people expect anything else? This is how we do.

PS - If you want a name to look out for next year, it's definitely Ethan Happ. Happ redshirted this year (I can't imagine how difficult a decision that was knowing how good this team was going to be) and has been battling Frank/Sam/Nigel in practice every single day. Reports are glowing, but the George Marshall Effect may apply here. Either way, playing time is wide open, and I'll give the kid who's spent a year in the program the benefit of the doubt over any of the true freshmen coming in.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

NCAA Tournament Final Four

Having too much fun, Charlie Murphy. Having way too much fun.

That's about all I can say about this team and what they've been doing all season. The UNC game was a blast - Will's was bumpin', UNC gave us their best shot, and we still rolled out of there on top.

The Arizona game was something truly fantastic. I watched it at a tiny Badger bar in San Francisco and you could not move in there. Just a little pocket of Badger freaks surrounded in all directions by hipsters and venture capitalists. Didn't stop us from guzzling Miller Lites and freaking out after every Dekker bomb. That last one? The dagger?



Brought me so much joy. Like a lot of people, I've had sky high expectations for Dekker since he committed. There have been some ups and downs, and he's had the shortest Bo leash I've ever seen, but it all pays off with performances like this. The kid has been CRUSHING it in the tournament. Anytime Frank drops 29 and 6 and isn't the best player on the floor is a good time to be alive.

With that win, the matchup the world has been waiting for finally arrives: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky. Revenge vs. The Streak (I'm making these names up). Can UW avenge last year's crushing defeat? Will Kentucky go 40-0? I think you know what I'm rooting for, but how about the entire country?


I love you, Minnesota. Don't ever change.

Now. Let's go beat Kentucky:



Thursday, March 26, 2015

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 & Elite 8

What a perfect example of why I love this team so much. There's not a person out there that would think Oregon is better than UW. The moms of the players on the team know it. The coach's daughter knows it. That stupid, spoiled duck knows it.

But that didn't stop Oregon from taking UW down to the wire. Wisconsin really played a pretty bad game, and Oregon did all they could to make it interesting. Of course, this Wisconsin team can play a pretty bad game and still punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. Because they're just that fucking good.

Now, however, it's time for the shit to get real. No more cupcakes. No more outclassed opponents. There exists a possibility that UW would have to beat UNC/Arizona/Kentucky/Duke to win a National Championship *knock knock*. That is INSANE. That's like the Mt. Rushmore of college basketball right there (whatever UCLA). And if you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best.

So let's do this thing. Let's go beat them all. It starts with UNC Thursday night.

BUT WHATEVER DO WE KNOW ABOUT UNC?


  • Location? Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Colors? Carolina Blue and White. Note the distinct lack of teal. We in the big boy leagues now.
  • They have a bullshit tree:
Also located in McCorkle Place is the Davie Poplar tree under which the university's founder, William Richardson Davie, supposedly selected the location for the university. The legend of the Davie Poplar says that if the tree falls, so will UNC. Because of the tree's questionable health from damage caused by severe weather such as Hurricane Fran in 1996, the university has planted two genetic clones nearby called Davie Poplar Jr. and Davie Poplar III.
That is GARBAGE. If the school falls when the Davie Poplar tree falls, that's IT. You don't get to do bullshit witchcraft cloning science to cover your asses. Whoever started that legend didn't live before hurricanes and thunderstorms were invented. Maybe they should've not been idiots and tied the existence of their university to the life of something that dies.

And whoa hey apparently I have no idea how cloning was. I thought cloning just like made an exact replica of the thing you cloned. Shouldn't that just make a new shitty tree on the verge of dying? When they cloned that sheep, how did that work? When we get to human cloning, can you just make a fetus that turns out to be EXACTLY the same as the clone source material? Cloning is fucking BANANAS. I've seen The Prestige, I know exactly what happens when we start cloning. I want nothing to do with that.

In summary, UNC employs witchcraft to make devil tree clones so their school doesn't die. Why don't they clone Sean May and Michael Jordan and just end this charade?
  • Is there spooky grass in Chapel Hill? There's not NOT spooky grass in Chapel Hill:
The student members of the university's Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies are not allowed to walk on the grass of McCorkle Place out of respect for the unknown resting place of Joseph Caldwell, the university's first president.
Mentally I think you learn to obey that rule by playing the LAVA GAME. Grass of McCorkle Place is straight lava, you step on it you burn your leg off. Bang, no one ever touches the grass. In other news, McCorkle is a name I can get behind. Fantastic name. McCorkle McGee should be the name of their mascot.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

NCAA Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds



DO YOU FEEL ALIVE I feel alive. FULL OF VIGOR AND EXCITEMENT AND DREAMS. That Kentucky loss still tastes real bad in my mouth like the time I ate an oyster. YUCK. But this is the year we cleanse our souls of that disappointment. This is the year we show the world that Bo Ryan is literally the best coach in the history of coachery. And before I go flying off the reservation with hyperbole and nonsense, I'm going to slow down a bit.

What a Big Ten Tournament that was, right? Kinda fun how all three games were so similar: not the strongest starts, opponent makes some moves early, some clowns start wondering R WE GUNNA LOSE TO MICHIGAN/PURDUE/MSU?? And then this team reminds you exactly why all the hyperbole in the world is somewhat acceptable. They're just that good.

Even down 11 with 8 minutes to go against a Tom Izzo-coached team in March, I wasn't ready to doubt them. Sure, it wasn't an ideal spot to be in... but these kids are too good to write off. So when people are tweeting 'game over', I'm sipping my beer and waiting for the next Koenig splash.

Do me a favor: don't give up on this team. Even when it looks like we're totally cooked and it's just not our night, don't give up on them. I refuse to believe that this team is destined for anything short of greatness. You should feel the same. When all else fails, believe in the #SpiritAnimals:


It all starts Friday night with a first round date with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Big Ten Tournament

That dismantling of Ohio State was something truly spectacular to behold. To go into a conference rival's house on their Senior Day and straight up embarrass them a moment that should be cherished. Hold on to that shit, store it away, and bring it out the next time you're sad.

It's not like we did that to Northwestern or Nebraska. That was OSU. That was a top-25 team with a potential first team All-American stud. That's a team that some people will put in their Final Four. And we walked in, took a look around, and then beat the crap out of them like that was the damn National Championship.

And that's why (amongst a million other reasons) I'm sky-high on my hopes for this team as we enter #TournamentTime. Bo is the master of instilling that mentality. He'll straight up tell his boys to play like it's the National Championship every game. All out, nonstop, max effort for 40 minutes every time you step on the court. And THAT is the mentality needed to win a championship.

But of course, you need more that just that mentality. You need the talent to along with it. And you need a little luck. We know the talent is in place - we literally have the best player on the floor going into every single game this year. He's surrounded by studs. And Trae could be ready to rejoin the fold come NCAA time, giving us some MUCH needed depth. The only remaining doubt in my mind is luck. Will we catch those handful of breaks that EVERY champion needs on their path to glory? Will the shot rattle home when we need it? Will that key questionable call go our way? These things are often overlooked when evaluating postseason success. They'll be key factors in determining how bananas the next month is going to be for the Wisconsin basketball program.

#LETSgo!



CHICAGO BADGERS: If Bucky takes care of business on Friday, we're shaping up for a noon tip on Saturday. Join me in the #WearRed approach to St. Patrick's Day and let's get weird at Will's. Green is a fucking heinous color and we all know it. That one shirt you've been day drinking in the last 10 years can use a year off.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



Lots to chew on with 14 teams now. DOUBLE BYE CITY.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

at #23 Ohio State

Where does the time go? TWO regular season games left? 2 weeks until the NCAA Tournament is underway? How is this possible? Didn't this beautiful, historic season JUST get underway, like, 10 minutes ago? I suppose the age-old saying applies here: time flies when you're having fun. And if #WinningIsFun, and we've been doing a lot of winning...


TRANSITIVE PROPERTY APPLIES. It's pretty nuts that we haven't won a Big Ten Championship in like 7 years. But we all knew this team was going to be the team to take care of business. It was never really in doubt, even after Maryland closed the gap a bit.

Two trophies down. Two to go. Plenty of work to be done, and the real fun is just around the corner. Nothing else needs to be said:





CHICAGO BADGERS: Looking forward to gathering the troops at Will's once the BTT starts. And if you're thinking of watching the NCAA games anywhere else you're a damn fool. Believe that.



WHO/WHERE/WHEN

TV: CBS



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Michigan State & at Minnesota

If you were upset for more than 8 seconds about losing that game against Maryland, then I think you need to check yourself. I probably should tell you that this team is fine, but I'm not going to. You should know that. You should know that the ceiling for this team has not changed for one second since the season started. The ceiling was not lowered when we lost at home to Duke. The ceiling remained unaffected by Trae's injury and the loss to Rutgers. The ceiling is perfectly in tact after Maryland got the best of us.

That ceiling was and always will be a three-pronged ceiling of SUCCESS:

  • B1G Regular Season Championship
  • B1G Tournament Championship
  • NCAA Tournament Championship

Lord knows how many of those things will actually happen. The B1G Regular Season Title is inches away. The two tournaments are one-and-done crapshoots where we have reasonably better odds than most. But nothing is guaranteed.

All I know is that this team is still fully capable of achieving its three-pronged ceiling of success. Other things I know:
  • Duje will snap out of his funk, and he's going to snap out of it at the best time possible. I'm gonna guess he hits multiple threes in one of the B1G Tournament games and then goes on a tear in the NCAAs.
  • You'd rather get your 'cold streak' out of the way in February than in March. I put 'cold streak' in quotes because if your 'cold streak' means losing one game and just being less than dominant in the 5 preceding wins, then you're fucking fantastic and should smile every day when you wake up.
  • When you're on the road in a hostile environment and can't catch a single break, you're going to lose sometimes. That happens. Questionable calls, untimely offensive rebounds... these things have a way of swaying the game. Last I checked, the postseason tournaments are played on neutral courts. We like neutral courts.
It's all good. Let's squash Izzo on Senior Day and stampede our way into the postseason.



CHICAGO BADGERS: If you're not aware, we're 44 days from Game of Thrones, under a month until 7 pm sunsets, and 5 weeks from Wrastlemania. Shit's about to get real.


HOUSEKEEPING NOTES: I'm sick of the BP email getting stuck in spam folders. New format going forward: first section will get sent out via email, everything else will be right here on the blog.




WHO/WHERE/WHEN


TV: CBS

TV: ESPN


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Minnesota and at #16 Maryland

It's just a beautiful thing.

I could watch this team every day for the rest of my life and never get bored. That Penn State game started out as straight fire - 8/10 from the field, Penn State struggling to score, cruise control on the verge of being enabled. But then things slowed down. We started missing shots - easy shots. Penn State was tossing up junk that was finding the bottom of the net. And the end result was a familiar one as the team headed to the airport with another road win in their pocket. I suppose that would be their collective pocket. One giant pocket filled with road wins! ELITE POCKET

9 straight B1G wins. 24-2. #1 offense in the country with the best player in the country leading the charge. Clinching at least a share of the conference title can happen as early as this weekend.

Believe it or not, we're less than a month away from Selection Sunday. Time flies when you're having fun, and nothing is more fun than winning. My advice has not and will not change: enjoy every fucking second of this team. You will not see a better one in Madison. Not any time soon.



CHICAGO BADGERS: Heading up to Madison on Friday. Cannot wait. Do your thing.

SPAM ALERT: Apparently if you put a million pictures in your email, everybody's spam filter catches it and ERRONEOUSLY marks it as spam. If you don't see anything from me by Friday, check your spam folder. Also, when you drag it to your inbox (YOU BETTER DRAG IT TO YOUR INBOX), make sure you select to do that action with all future mail from the sender. I AM NOT SPAM



WHO/WHERE/WHEN



TV: ESPN


TV: ESPN