On January 26, 1997, the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XXXI. That championship was the very first title, in my lifetime, for one of the local teams (Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Wisconsin Badgers) that I grew up rooting for. I had waited just over 19 years to witness my first championship, and it seemed, at the time, that the Packers were a dynasty in the making. And then, BALL KICK, something that has happened over and over and over in my “adult” life…instead of celebrating championships, I end up witnessing ball busting heartbreak. With that, I bring you…The 11 (10 wasn’t enough) Biggest Ball Kicks since Super Bowl XXXI:
1. Super Bowl XXXII. Packers (24) vs Broncos (31). Easily the number one moment on this list. After breezing through the regular season and playoffs, the Packers entered Super Bowl XXXII as double digit favorites to repeat as NFL champions…as the NFC had won 13 straight Super Bowls. Instead, Terrell Davis gashed the Packers defense for 157 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game’s MVP. I still get sick seeing the above image of John Elway helicoptoring through the air.
2. 2015 NCAA Championship. Wisconsin (63) vs Duke (68). This is from an earlier post. I was actually at this game…and I wake up almost every single day thinking about being up nine points in the second half. I’m not sure Wisconsin will ever be in that position again during my lifetime…but if they are, you can guarantee I’ll be there to watch. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about these two calls…#DuckFuke
No call…Winslow clearly steps out!
Duke ball…and Winslow was clearly the last to touch it!
3. 2014 NFC Championship. Packers (22) vs Seahawks (28) OT. An all-time Puddy performance for former head coach Mike McCarthy…he should have been fired after this game! The Packers led 16-0 at halftime and 19-7 with under three minutes left in the game. The above play will forever stand out, but there were multiple mistakes made by the Packers in this debacle.
4. 2018 NLCS Game 7. Brewers (1) vs Dodgers (5). Again, I was at this game…tickets courtesy of manager Craig Counsell (which we had to pay face value for). The Crew took a 1-0 lead on a Christian Yelich home run in the first inning and we were dancing in the aisles. A two-run dinger by Cody Bellinger in the 2nd inning and a Yasiel Puig three-run shot in the 6th were more than enough runs for the Dodgers as the Brewers failed to score after the Yelich homer. It was a quiet ride home from Miller Park…no words were spoken.
5. 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. Bucks (2) vs Raptors (4). After the Bucks took a 2-0 lead in the series, I went ahead and purchased a flight to Oakland. At that time, it looked like the Bucks were well on their way to facing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals (the plan was to see Game 4 at Oracle and fly home for Game 5 in Milwaukee). After losing Game 3 of the series in double overtime on the road (a game Giannis fouled out), I was still convinced the Bucks would close this one out and head to the Finals, but it wasn’t meant to be and the final three games of the series were a slow death for this loyal Bucks fan. Note: I did attend the Bucks 108-100 Game 1 win at the Fiserv Forum.
6. 2001 Eastern Conference Finals. Bucks (3) vs 76ers (4). This was David Stern’s NBA…no one wanted the Bucks in the Finals versus the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA preferred an Allen Iverson led Philadelphia 76ers team. The Bucks won Game 6 at the Bradley Center behind Ray Allen’s 41 points to force Game 7 in Philly. In Game 6, Scott Williams was charged with a flagrant foul, but not thrown out of the game. The league later suspended Williams for Game 7, a game the Bucks lost 108-91. In the series, the Sixers finished with advantages of 186-120 in free throws, 12-3 in technicals, and 5-0 in flagrant fouls. Only time has, slightly, healed this wound.
7. 2007 NFC Championship. Packers (20) vs Giants (23) OT. A game I could have attended, but with a game time temperature of -1 degrees and a windchill of -23, plus the fact that I was coming off my 30th birthday surprise party, I chose to pass on this one. And what did I miss…nothing but Brett Favre’s last pass as a Green Bay Packer, which was intercepted on the second play of overtime and helped set up Lawrence Tynes game winning field goal. It was also the first NFL/NFC Championship game loss at home for the Packers.
8. 2011 NLCS Game 6. Brewers (6) vs Cardinals (12). I had tickets to Game 7 of this series so I was really hoping that the Brewers could pull out Game 6 at Miller Park. Well, Ron Roenicke decided to trot Shaun Marcum out for Game 6…and was that a mistake! Marcum was gassed heading into this game (as evidenced by his 8.18 ERA in his previous six starts) and series MVP David Freese made him pay by hitting a three-run blast in the first inning as the Cardinals jumped out to 4-0 lead. Marcum was pulled after the 1st, and the Crew tried to make a game of it, but ultimately three errors did not help their cause on this particular day.
9. 2019 NL Wild Card Game. Brewers (3) vs Nationals (4). The Brewers got out to a 3-0 lead as Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run home run in the 1st inning and Eric Thames added a solo shot in the 2nd and the Crew had Max Scherzer on the ropes early. Brandon Woodruff went a solid four innings as the initial out getter (allowing one run on a Trea Turner homer) and Brent Suter and Drew Pomeranz kept Washington off the board after that, sending the game to Josh Hader in the 8th for a two-inning save. Hader, who was 2nd in the NL with 37 saves, struggled with his command from the onset. After a very questionable hit by pitch (replay failed again as the ball clearly hit the knob of the bat), Hader allowed a broken bat single and a walk to load the bases. Juan Soto laced a two-run single to right field, but Trent Grisham (playing in place of the injured Christian Yelich) badly misplayed the ball to allow the eventual winning run to cross the plate. *The Nationals would go on to win the 2019 World Series, four games to three, over the Houston Astros.
Sidenote: Just two games earlier, in Game 161 of the season (a game that included possibly the catch of the year from Lorenzo Cain), Hader gave up a game tying home run with two outs in the 9th as the Brewers lost to Colorado 3-2 in 10 innings, preventing Milwaukee from catching St. Louis atop the Central Division. The game was not without controversy as Cain was injured sliding into home when Rockies catcher Tony Wolters blocked the plate in the top of the 9th (again, replay did not overturn the call). Game 162 of the season would not matter much as the Cardinals would go on to blast the Cubs 9-0 to claim the Central Division crown. The Crew would finish two games back of St. Louis and concluded the month of September with a 20-7 mark and a 13-5 record without the injured Yelich.
10. 2011 NFC Divisional Round. Packers (20) vs Giants (37). Just another game that I was at. I also had NFC Championship game tickets (see above) had the Packers been able to get past the Giants. I’ll forever remember watching Packers’ receivers drop eight passes from Aaron Rodgers and the Giants connecting on a Hail Mary to end the first half…it happened right in front of us (and Charles Woodson) in the north end zone. As New York took a 30-13 lead in the 4th quarter, I couldn’t believe how many Packers fans were heading for the exits. We stayed (till the end) and watched the New York fans take over the seats behind the Giants’ bench…embarrassing effort by Packers fans on this day.
11. 2011 Rose Bowl. Wisconsin (19) vs TCU (21). Guess what, I was at this game. As I look back at this contest, I’ll always remember the dropped passes, the six penalties on the nation’s least-penalized team, Phillip Welch missing a 39-yard field goal in the second quarter, and (usually aggressive) Bret Bielema’s decision to settle for a field goal late in the first half. The #unbielemable hashtag was coined later after this game when Big Game Bret decided to go with a shotgun formation on the game tying two-point attempt, after the Badgers had just run the ball down the Horned Frog’s throat on the previous drive. The rest is history…as Wisconsin would lose the next two Rose Bowl games (2012 – Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38 and 2013 – Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14), even Barry Alvarez couldn’t salvage a win in the last one, as #unbielemable left for Arkansas. Good riddance!
Update: Welcome to the next decade, Wisconsin drops the 2020 Rose Bowl to Oregon 28-27, and now becomes the Buffalo Bills by losing four straight in Pasadena. The Badgers had their chances in this game, but four turnovers, nine penalties, and a missed field goal proved costly. A controversial offensive pass interference call on Wisconsin will be remembered in this one, as the refs and replay continue to get in the way of themselves in these type of big games.
MORE ball kick moments that just missed out on making the top 11. (These events are in order by date).
1998 NFC Wild Card. Packers (27) vs 49ers (30). The game is often referred to as The Catch II, but I’ll always remember that Jerry Rice fumbled.
Ray Rhodes hired as Packers Head Coach (1999). The “Dark Year” as some of my friends call it. At least Ron Wolf knew he made a mistake and canned Rhodes immediately after his one season as head coach.
2000 Final Four. Wisconsin (41) vs Michigan State (53). The Spartans led 19-17 at the half. Michigan State beat Wisconsin four times that season.
2003 NFC Divisional Round. Packers (17) vs Eagles (20) OT. 4th and 26…do I really need to say more? Years later, I got to see LeRoy Butler break down that play in an all-school assembly.
Brett Favre retiring…and then unretiring (2008). Seeing Favre playing for the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings still seems odd. It took me awhile to get over this.
2009 NFC Wild Card. Packers (45) vs Cardinals (51) OT. Joe Buck with the call, “Rodgers, gets a hand to the face…the ball is out.” Karlos Dansby would scoop up the fumble and run it in for the winning score. There was no flag on the play.
September 24, 2012 (Week 3). Packers (12) vs Seahawks (14). Simply known as the Fail Mary game. Just another Roger Goodell mistake. The real referees were back the following week thanks to this travesty.
2014 Final Four. Wisconsin (73) vs Kentucky (74). Aaron Harrison drills a deep three-pointer over Josh Gasser to send Kentucky to the title game in the closing seconds of the game.
2015 NFC Divisional Round. Packers (20) vs Cardinals (26) OT. Aaron Rodgers completes TWO Hail Mary’s to Jeff Janis in this game…the final one forcing OT. Then the coin DOES NOT flip before overtime and the Packers offense would never see the ball as Larry Fitzgerald takes over.
2016 Sweet Sixteen. Wisconsin (56) vs Notre Dame (61). The Irish score the game’s final eight points as the Badgers cannot buy a bucket, or call, down the stretch.
2017 Sweet Sixteen. Wisconsin (83) vs Florida (84) OT. Zak Showalter hits a running three-pointer to force overtime (does the belt to a courtside Aaron Rodgers in the Garden). But, in overtime, Florida’s Chris Chiozza (I’ll never forget that name) drives the length of the court in four seconds and hits his own running three-pointer for the win.
2017 Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin (21) vs Ohio State (27). The 12-0 Badgers miss out on an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff. The turf also literally fell apart in this game.
The Badgers, having dealt with the Howard Moore family car accident, Micah Potter’s eligibility, and Kobe King’s transfer, found a way to win a share of the Big Ten regular season championship, and looked poised to make a run in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments before their season was canceled due to the coronavirus (at least we will always have this).
The Bucks had a league best 53-12 record when the NBA suspended the season on March 11th after Rudy Goebert tested positive for COVID-19. Milwaukee was never the same team when their season resumed on July 31st in the Bubble at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The Bucks went 3-5 in the seeding round of games, beat the Orlando Magic (4-1) in their first round series, but were eliminated by the 5th seeded Miami Heat in the conference semifinals after a controversial Game 2 ending and Giannis playing through an injured ankle in Games 3 and 4…ultimately having to sit out Game 5 due to that injury.
All aboard the Cleveland Browns bandwagon! No, I have not changed allegiances (although Cleveland could be referred to as Green Bay East), but I do have a rooting interest in the Browns, as a good friend of mine is a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan…can you imagine the misery of all that! Last season, I hosted a Browns watch party in Week 3, and we witnessed something that had not happened in 635 days…a WIN! It was an epic Thursday night as Baker Mayfield took over for a concussed Tyrod Taylor and led the Browns to victory. Cleveland was transformed, as some may say, as Mayfield became the team’s starting QB moving forward. With some notable offseason additions, the Browns now have a target on their backs (when is the last time that was said), so here is my educated guess on how things will play out in 2019. Bring on the watch parties!
Week 1 – Tennessee Titans…The Titans are coming off a 9-7 season in which they just missed the playoffs by losing at home in Week 17 vs the Indianapolis Colts…that should never happen and the hangover continues in Week 1 at the Dawg Pound. WIN
Week 2 – at New York Jets (MNF)…The Jets were the opponent when the Browns snapped their 19-game winless streak. New York will be looking for revenge at home and this one will be on MNF, but the Jets now have Adam Gase and his crazy eyes at the helm. WIN
Week 3 – Los Angeles Rams (SNF)…Cleveland faces the Rams at just the right time as Los Angeles will be coming off a big game in Week 2 vs the New Orleans Saints (thanks for this PI fiasco), but the Rams are the defending NFC Champions and playing on SNF will actually benefit them coming from the West Coast. LOSS
Week 4 – at Baltimore Ravens…Joe Flacco is gone to the Denver Broncos, and will Lamar Jackson still be upright in Week 4…this game will be ugly and probably end up in overtime (we are talking about the Browns, remember). Insert Browns kicker misses FG wide left for the win. TIE
Week 5 – at San Francisco 49ers (MNF)…The 49ers were bad last year without Jimmy Garoppolo and this will already be Cleveland’s third primetime game…San Francisco will be coming off an early Week 4 bye and this will be more of an offensive battle than most believe…oh yeah, Jimmy’s ready! LOSS
Week 6 – Seattle Seahawks…The Seahawks will have 10 days to prepare for this game as they host the Rams in Week 5 on TNF…Russell Wilson may not survive that matchup or this one vs the Browns D. WIN
Week 7 – BYE
Week 8 – at New England Patriots…Just when everyone starts to think that Cleveland is a contender in the AFC, they get humbled by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in Foxborough (the Patriots will even be on a short week as they play at the Jets on MNF in Week 7). Gronk is probably out of retirement for this one as well. LOSS
Week 9 – at Denver Broncos…Flacco is 17-3 vs the Browns…make it 18-3. LOSS
Week 10 – Buffalo Bills…The return of Kareem Hunt for Cleveland (gulp)…Josh Allen will be exposed in this one and Cole Beasley is sure to leave this game with a concussion…looking forward to seeing Frank Gore rock that Bills #20 jersey¡ WIN
Week 11 – Pittsburgh Steelers (TNF)…The Browns were made for TNF…or did the league create TNF because of them? Either way, this one is bound to be a slugfest and guaranteed to end in overtime. I hope Cleveland has their kicker situation figured out by this game. WIN
Week 12 – Miami Dolphins…There is no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick (Fitzmagic) is still starting in Week 12…right?! That leaves Josh Rosen…poor Josh Rosen…this one is going to be ugly! WIN
Week 13 – at Pittsburgh Steelers…We’re on to Cincinnati. LOSS
Week 14 – Cincinnati Bengals…Dalton, Andy. WIN
Week 15 – at Arizona Cardinals…The Cardinals were brutal last year (but got Puddy fired) and they will be brutal this year…Kliff Kingsbury is their new head coach…he went 35-40 at Texas Tech…by Week 15, Kyler Murray will wish he had stuck with baseball. WIN
Week 16 – Baltimore Ravens…Remember that Week 4 tie…well, this one comes down to the kicker again…insert Browns kicker slides the game winning FG just inside the left upright for the win (oh, the humanity). WIN
Week 17 – at Cincinnati Bengals…See Week 14. WIN
Final Record: 10-5-1, 1st in AFC North.
My Green Bay Packers welcome the Matt LaFleur era to 1265 Lombardi Avenue. MLF becomes the 15th head coach of the Packers and now has the task of leading Green Bay back to the Super Bowl. In 2018, the Packers suffered back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1990-91 (and missed the postseason in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2005-06). A healthy Aaron Rodgers (currently dealing with back issues) will again determine how Green Bay fares this season. Will the Packers finally have an offense that doesn’t rely heavily upon Rodgers scrambling, will the defense finally step up and take some pressure off the offense, and will the special teams unit finally be held accountable for all their mistakes? Puddy is gone, and Green Bay is ready to win (some have said), but have the Packers wasted too many seasons of another future HOF QB. Let’s take a look.
Week 1 – at Chicago Bears (TNF)…The kickoff to the 100th season of the NFL (#thisleague). The Bears were 12-4 last season, and history says they will have a drop off this year. Khalil Mack and the D (minus HHCD) are one of the best in the business. Can Mitchell Trubisky manage this one enough so that it doesn’t come down to the Bears kicker (double doink)? LOSS
Week 2 – Minnesota Vikings…This game last year was marred by a ridiculous Clay Matthews roughing the passer call. This year’s edition will end in a controversial pass interference call against the Packers secondary…and #thisleague will change the PI rule following the outcome of this game. LOSS
Week 3 – Denver Broncos…Denver has been looking for a QB since Peyton Manning retired. Flacco is not the answer (especially when he is not playing against Cleveland). WIN
Week 4 – Philadelphia Eagles (TNF)…Keeping Carson Wentz healthy will be the key to the Eagles success this season…Big Dick Nick (Foles) is no longer around to bail Philly out. This one is bound to be another classic TNF shootout. LOSS
Week 5 – at Dallas Cowboys…The last two times the Packers played at AT&T Stadium, they came away with epic, come from behind wins…and that was with Puddy! Ezekiel Elliott (Zeke who?) is currently holding out, Dak Prescott wants a contract extension for $40 million a year, and Jason Garrett is still the Cowboys HC. WIN
Week 6 – Detroit Lions (MNF)…Remember when Green Bay owned Detroit…especially at Lambeau Field. It’s time for that to start back up again. WIN
Week 7 – Oakland Raiders…Will Antonio Brown find a helmet by this game? I will be attending this game and the Packers never lose regular season games when I attend. WIN
Week 8 – at Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)…Can Patrick Mahomes put together another MVP season and can Tyreek Hill keep his hands to himself all season? The Packers have struggled at Arrowhead Stadium…winning there only twice in franchise history. LOSS
Week 9 – at Los Angeles Chargers…Both teams will be coming off tough road games in Week 8 (Chargers at Chicago)…usually advantage home team, but there will be a lot of Green Bay fans at 27,000 seat Dignity Health Sports Park. LA is going to miss Derwin James this year and they better pay Melvin Gordon III if they want to win this one. LOSS
Week 10 – Carolina Panthers…The Panthers finished 1-7 during the second half of the season last year as Cam Newton’s shoulder was completely wrecked (again). Riverboat Ron (Rivera) will likely take a chance in this one…only to cost his team the game. WIN
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – at San Francisco 49ers…If Puddy can go 9-4 (including Ty Montgomery’s mishap last year) following the bye week, MLF can win this one with an extra week to prepare. WIN
Week 13 – at New York Giants…Whether it’s Eli Manning or Daniel Jones…it won’t matter. WIN
Week 14 – Washington Redskins…Adrian Peterson is not going to rush for 120 yards and two touchdowns in this one (especially if Trent Williams is still holding out). By Week 14, who knows which QB (Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, or Dwayne Haskins) will be under center. WIN
Week 15 – Chicago Bears…The Bears will go through more kickers than the Browns this season…and it’s going to hurt them in this one (double doink). WIN
Week 16 – at Minnesota Vikings (MNF)…Still stinging from that Week 2 loss at Lambeau, the Packers secondary plays overly aggressive and it burns them again…as Adam Thielen has a field day. LOSS
Week 17 – at Detroit Lions…Green Bay will need this win to make the playoffs and Detroit will be staring another 6-10 season in the face. Rodgers won’t let the Packers stay home for a third straight postseason. WIN
Final Record: 10-6, (tie) 1st in NFC North.
Super Bowl LIV (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL): New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams. Everyone loves a rematch, right?! Well, how about three rematches! The Patriots and Rams will meet again in the big game after New England knocks off Kansas City and Los Angeles holds off New Orleans in the AFC and NFC Championships for the second straight year (with games in NE and LA). The Super Bowl rematch is much closer this time and comes down to a kicker. Stephen Gostkowski hits the game winner as time expires and Belichick and Brady get their 7th Super Bowl rings…and both finally retire (along with Gronk again) following the game…the entire league rejoices! Patriots 24, Rams 21.
2000 – Jason Collier (15th) Georgia Tech. Collier was traded with a future 1st round pick to Houston for Joel Przybilla (9th overall). The 2000 draft was flat out terrible as Kenyon Martin (who played for the Bucks late in his career), Jamaal Magloire (more on him later), and Michael Redd (who the Bucks drafted in the 2nd round with the 43rd pick) would become the only All-Stars out of this draft. 2001 – No 1st round pick (traded to Houston as part of the Przybilla deal). 2002 – Marcus Haislip (13th) Tennessee. If the Bucks were looking for a power forward, they should have selected Carlos Boozer, who went in the 2nd round (35th pick) to Cleveland. The Bucks were actually rumored to be interested in signing Boozer (a free-agent) last December when they were looking for a veteran presence, but no deal was ever made.
Haislip – BUST! (BTW…who’s the guy sitting in the background?)
2003 – T.J. Ford (8th) Texas. Injuries limited Ford’s time in Milwaukee. Of the point guards drafted behind Ford, only Mo Williams would ever go on to become an All-Star. Williams actually played for the Bucks from 2004-08, and just won his first championship with Cleveland. 2004 – No 1st round pick (traded to Denver in 2001 along with Scott Williams so the Bucks could make room for Anthony Mason…one of the worst decisions the organization has ever made). 2005 – Andrew Bogut (1st) Utah. Solid pick. Injuries derailed his time with the Bucks…and this really hurt! Was traded to Golden State during 2011-12 season. Bogut won a title with Golden State last season. Imagine if Milwaukee had selected Chris Paul with this pick instead…just imagine! 2006 – No 1st round pick (traded to New Orleans/Oklahoma City along with Desmond Mason and cash in exchange for Jamaal Magliore…full circle here!). 2007 – Yi Jianlian (6th) Guangdong Southern Tigers (China). AWFUL! Joakim Noah (9th to Chicago) should have been the pick, but the Bucks were scared off when Noah said he’d never play in Milwaukee. Marc Gasol taken 48th in the 2nd round was the only other player in this draft taken after Noah that would go on to become an All-Star.
Yi – BUST! (The furthest thing from Yao Ming.)
2008 – Joe Alexander (8th) West Virginia. ANOTHER swing and a miss! Brook Lopez (10th), Roy Hibbert (17th), DeAndre Jordan (35th), or Goran Dragic (45th) would have been MUCH better selections.
Alexander – BUST! (Is he even spinning those basketballs?)
2009 – Brandon Jennings (10th) Lottomatica Roma (Italy). Jennings’ career started out well for the Bucks, but he was eventually traded to Detroit in 2013. A deal that saw Milwaukee get Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton…and Vyacheslav Kravtsov? Point guards selected after Jennings that became All-Stars were Jrue Holiday (17th) and Jeff Teague (19th). The Bucks actually signed Teague to an offer sheet in 2013, but Atlanta matched it. 2010 – Larry Sanders (15th) VCU. Sanders seemed to be a steal at 15…until 2013, when he signed a four-year $44 million contract. Everything went downhill from there. Sanders is currently out of the league…and Milwaukee is still paying him. 2011 – Jimmer Fredette (10th) BYU. Traded to the Kings on draft night in a three-team deal as the Bucks ended up with Beno Udrich from the Kings and Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the draft rights to 19th pick Tobias Harris from the Bobcats. I wish the Bucks had just stayed at 10 and drafted Klay Thompson (11th), Kawhi Leonard (15th), or Jimmy Butler (30th). Huge miss here! 2012 – John Henson (14th) North Carolina. Decent pick, but would have preferred Draymond Green, who went in the 2nd round at pick 35 to Golden State. 2013 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th) Filathlitikos B.C. (Greece). HOME RUN! No complaints. Giannis likely would go #1 overall if that draft was done over. 2014 – Jabari Parker (2nd) Duke. Again, no complaints. Parker should be even better next season now that he is fully recovered from his ACL injury. 2015 – Rashad Vaughn (17th) UNLV. Still too early to tell. 2016 – We shall find out very soon (hearing many different names at the 10th selection), but looking at the past history, you quickly come to realize that…NOTHING IS GUARANTEED! So, good luck tonight Milwaukee! #OwnTheFuture
The Chicago Cubs won their seventh straight game on Sunday (in walk-off fashion) as Javier Baez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals…completing a four-game sweep over the NL East leading Nationals. In the process, the Cubs improved their record to 24-6…the best 30-game start since the 1984 Detroit Tigers started 26-4. It is also Chicago’s best start since 1907…the year they won their first World Series title.
To the 2016 Chicago Cubs…PLEASE DO NOT STOP WINNING! As a matter of fact…I hope the Cubs break the 2001 Seattle Mariners 162-game MLB record of 116-46 and while they are at it…take down their own 1906 Cubs club record of 116-36, which is not only tied with Seattle for most wins, but is also the best winning percentage for a single season in MLB history (by the way, neither team went on to win the World Series).
As the wins keep piling up…I cannot wait to see how large that Chicago Cubs bandwagon will get by the end of this summer. It is going to make their inevitable collapse, all the more enjoyable! So, enjoy it now Cubs fans…because come October, you will be back to being those “Lovable Losers!” And just imagine if the Cubs lose in the World Series to the “South Siders” (the White Sox currently have the best record in the AL) of all teams (that happened in 1906). I do not think you could ask for a more fitting outcome…unless something like this would happen again. Until then, go Cubs…and go whoever they are playing against come October!
After 4,710,354 NikeFuel points, my Nike+ FuelBand has finally stopped working. It was a rather impressive run (as I only had to replace my FuelBand once…compared to my wife replacing her’s about four times). I purchased my FuelBand back in February of 2012 through a special online release. This product seemed to be the perfect tool in tracking my physical activity each and every day (plus I’m a total nerd when comes to technology like this). At the time, it seemed like a can’t miss product that Nike and Apple had collaborated on…
But there were flaws…and they became evident soon after my wife purchased a FuelBand for herself a couple of months down the road. We noticed when the two of us would go for a walk or run together, at the conclusion, she would have almost twice as much NikeFuel as myself. We would go for 25-30 mile bike rides at a pretty good clip and still not come close to achieving our daily activity goals as had we walked or ran 2-4 miles instead. And the most obvious flaw, I would golf 18 holes and use a cart (so, basically minimal walking) and end up with WAY more NikeFuel than I ever had before on a given day.
And then last summer, this arrived in my inbox…
You can read the full settlement here. And yes, I’m still waiting for that $25 gift card.
So now that my arm feels completely naked without my FuelBand (and not to mention a massive tan line), I had to move on and find a different fitness tracker (call me a sucker, but I love keeping track of this type of stuff). After a little bit of research, I settled on the Fitbit Blaze (bonus points as I can use it for our insurance plan to save on our premium). After just a few days of wearing it, I am already thoroughly impressed…as I’ve noticed a big difference between the Blaze and the FuelBand. Here’s hoping the Blaze lasts as long or longer than my FuelBand…time will tell, but you can bet, I’ll be tracking it!
It’s finally here…the greatest week of golf on the PGA Tour calendar! But before we can get into all of that…we have Opening Day and the NCAA National Championship to distract us on Monday.
The Brewers…I think this clip from Major League will sum them up appropriately this year…
I’ll actually be surprised if the Brewers don’t get no-hit on Opening Day by Madison Bumgarner. As for my season prediction…69-93 seems pretty realistic. Milwaukee has only lost 100 games ONCE in the history of their franchise, and with so many other bad National League teams (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Colorado, and Philadelphia)…the Crew could actually push their win total into the 70’s…but of course, they are already dealing with injuries to their pitching staff. Here’s hoping they surprise us a little bit…because the football season is a LONG ways off.
The NCAA National Championship…while I predicted North Carolina to win it all…it looks like I will still finish just outside of the money in my pool. With that being said, I’ll probably pull for Villanova to win instead of a Roy Williams’ led North Carolina on Monday night. I don’t think I can stomach Williams winning another championship…especially with the NCAA currently investigating the Tar Heels. Villanova and Jay Wright are due…now go take care of business!
As for One Shining Moment…I’m glad someone came to their senses. This tournament has botched enough of their past traditions…don’t EVER mess this one up!
Side note…I really wish Wisconsin had won the National Championship last year (especially since I was at the game). And I must admit, it felt very strange watching the Final Four on Saturday without the Badgers in it. Here’s hoping they are back next year…and finish things off! Phoenix, anyone?!
The Masters…a tradition unlike any other…
I could listen to that theme song over and over…actually I did (and too many times to count)!
The 80th edition of The Masters starts on Wednesday (for TV viewing) with the Par 3 Contest and concludes on Sunday with the greatest back nine of golf…I already can’t wait to assume the position on my couch Sunday afternoon…and last year’s intro already has me super excited!
As for my winner…I’m going with Jason Day. Meanwhile, I’m going to waste away the rest of this day by watching the conclusion of the 1986 Masters…thanks Jack Nicklaus!
March Madness has finally arrived…and no thanks to the worst Selection Show in the history of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Who would have thought that the entire bracket would get leaked during a TWO HOUR Selection Show (ME…I totally called this)…well, apparently not the people at CBS (idiots). While most people were already throwing things at their television sets or across their living rooms…as Charles Barkley fumbled his way through his picks on the touch screen…someone “in the know” decided enough was enough…and leaked the entire bracket out before CBS was even halfway through unveiling it on live television. To that person, I say…THANK YOU! They should be promoted!
While the next three weeks are guaranteed to be absolute madness (especially with this year’s parity)…let’s look back at last year’s NCAA Tournament. A run for the Wisconsin Badgers, that was truly one for the ages…especially with all the pressure from the previous season’s Final Four trip. So, sit back and reminisce…on a tournament run that feels like it was WAY MORE than just one year ago. The following clips are guaranteed to give you goosebumps! Enjoy!
Second Round – (1) Wisconsin 86, (16) Coastal Carolina 72.
3rd Round – (1) Wisconsin 72, (8) Oregon 65.
Sweet Sixteen – (1) Wisconsin 79, (4) North Carolina 72.
Elite Eight – (1) Wisconsin 85, (2) Arizona 78.
Final Four – (1) Wisconsin 71, (1) Kentucky 64.
National Championship – (1) Duke 68, (1) Wisconsin 63. I was actually at this game…and I wake up almost every single day thinking about being up 9 points in the second half. I’m not sure Wisconsin will ever be in that position again during my lifetime…but if they are, you can guarantee I’ll be there to watch.
And don’t think I’ve forgotten about these two calls…#DuckFuke
No call…Winslow clearly steps out!
Duke ball…and Winslow was clearly the last to touch it! They reviewed this and still got it wrong!
And March Madness is never complete without “One Shining Moment.”
Over the weekend, I was reminded (AGAIN) why I hate Duke so much. In this play, Grayson Allen CLEARLY travels, but no call from the officials (typical Duke). Shockingly, Duke fans were clamoring for a foul on the play…WHERE?! And Speaking of Allen, maybe he shouldn’t have been playing in Saturday’s game to begin with…as this is what he did in the previous game…looks pretty intentional to me (again, typical Duke)…even Jay Bilas, who went to Duke, AGREED!
My hatred for Duke began on March 30th, 1991…when Duke knocked off defending National Champion UNLV (who was undefeated at 34-0) in the 1991 NCAA National Semifinal. At that time, I loved the Runnin’ Rebels with Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, and George Ackles. My hatred for Duke increased the following season…when Duke took down Kentucky in double overtime in the East Regional Final (f’ing Laettner) and went on to beat Michigan’s Fab Five (another team I absolutely loved with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson) in the 1992 NCAA National Championship.
Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, Brian Davis, Cherokee Parks, Marty Clark, Chris Collins, Antonio Lang, Jeff Capel, Trajon Langdon, Erik Meek, Ricky Price, Steve Wojciechowski, Greg Newton, Chris Carrawell, Roshown McLeod, William Avery, Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Chris Burgess, Corey Maggette, Nate James, Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Duhon, Dahntay Jones, Daniel Ewing, J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, Shavlik Randolph, Luol Deng, Sean Dockery, DeMarcus Nelson, Josh McRoberts, Greg Paulus, Lee Melchionni, Jon Scheyer, Gerald Henderson, Brian Zoubek, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Lance Thomas, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, and the entire 2014-15 team (Jahlil Okafor, Quinn Cook, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones, Grayson Allen, Rasheed Sulaimon, Marshall Plumlee, Semi Ojeleye, Nick Pagliuca, and Sean Kelly)!
And welcome to the hate club…2015-16 members, Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard, and Derryck Thornton.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anyone…as how can you forget some of those douchebags. Also, I’m not bitter…I’m not jealous…I just hate Duke! I think this almost four-year old parody sums things up about Dook…I mean Duke.
Here’s hoping we see this look again come tournament time.
Super Bowl L (I mean 50), is SLOWLY creeping its way here. I say slowly, because living in the Bay Area has been constant Super Bowl coverage on just about every network for well over a week. Between the countdowns and the live shots from downtown San Francisco and Levi’s Stadium, I simply CANNOT take any more coverage of this game (and don’t get me started on this song). Even if the Packers were in the Super Bowl, it wouldn’t matter that much (okay, it would be slightly more tolerable)…because all the stories being told by these “reporters” are nothing new to the average sports fan…it’s all fluff!
With all that being said…I still would love to go to the game. I have never been to a Super Bowl or even lived so close to one…I feel that it is my duty to find a way into this game (as I may never have this opportunity again). So, with a budget of $500, I took to StubHub to find a single seat for the “big” game.
Absolutely…NO DICE! At last check…the lowest ticket price was…$3,000! Maybe it’s a good thing that the Packers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. At that price, a Super Bowl ticket would have hurt the old pocket book…just a little bit.
Well, since I (obviously) can’t afford a ticket to the game…maybe I could check out a cool Super Bowl party…I’m sure that would be a lot of fun (maybe even more fun than the game itself).
Here is a list of ticket prices (according to StubHub) to Super Bowl parties being promoted (heavily) in the Bay Area:
Super Bowl Playboy Party with DJ Alesso ($875)
Maxim Super Bowl Party with A$AP Rocky and Lil Wayne ($1,080)
Leather and Laces Super Bowl Party ($825)
Rolling Stone Super Bowl Party with Avicii, Elle King, and Travis Scott ($800)
I did happen to find a couple Super Bowl parties in my price range though…
Live Taping of the 17th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration ($100)
Ne-Yo and T.I. Super Bowl Friday ($130)
Sean Diddy Combs Friday Super Bowl 50 Party ($100)
Golden Anniversary Concert with 50 Cent and more Hosted by Chris Brown ($56)
Super Bowl 50 Launch Party featuring Travis Scott ($56)
Do I roll the dice on one of the above events…or should I save my money for the single most affordable Super Bowl 50 ticket on StubHub…
A PARKING PASS to Super Bowl 50 ($50)!
Nothing like a Sunday drive to Santa Clara (there will still be traffic) and abiding by these rules…TAILGATING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN SUPER BOWL 50 PARKING LOTS. Are you kidding me?!
As for the game itself…sports are often (usually) against me. The teams that I want to win, usually don’t win (it’s actually quite painful). In this case, the Denver defense will probably make Cam Newton do things that he hasn’t done all season long (they did it to Tom Brady…so I’m a believer), and HGH neck (I mean Peyton Manning), will do just enough to allow himself to ride off into the sunset…a two-time Super Bowl champion. Just the thought of this makes me sick…and that’s why I’m (mentally) getting myself ready now. Sports are cruel, and yet, they are still the greatest reality show on television. Broncos 24, Panthers 20.
On Saturday night, as Larry Fitzgerald walked into the end zone for the game’s winning score, a sick feeling passed through my entire body (and no, it wasn’t my alcohol consumption). This feeling, was the same feeling I had a almost a year ago, to the day, when the Packers lost a different type of heartbreaker to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. This is a pain…that takes longer and longer to recover from with each passing season (and also, probably the reason why I am finally getting around to this post today).
As a Packers fan, I invest A LOT into a season (some would say too much), but the Green Bay Packers are a part of me…always have, and always will be (I am an owner). To me, the Packers (and all sports for that matter) are the greatest dose of reality that this world has to offer (it’s also a great escape from the daily grind going on around us). Going into this season, it felt like destiny for the Packers (and me) as Super Bowl L (ahem, 50) would be held in (kind of nearby…depending of traffic, of course) Santa Clara, California, but as things would have it…it just wasn’t meant to be. And while the season had many ups and downs along the way, there was always a part of me that continued to believe (although things were very bleak at times)…that the Packers would make their way to the Super Bowl.
Now that the season is over (and I try to recover), let’s look back at some of the pictures that helped define the 2015 Green Bay Packers.
I think everyone knew the Packers were in trouble when Jordy Nelson went down, but I don’t think ANYONE believed they would struggle so much on offense without him. Here’s hoping the Jordy of old returns next season.
6-0…it felt so great! While there were signs of struggles on offense, the winning definitely hid some of those issues. Going into the bye week at 6-0, everything seemed to be falling into place for a spot in Super Bowl L.
Three straight losses and a home loss to (of all teams) the lowly Lions (it was Detroit’s first win at Lambeau since 1991). At this stage, the offensive struggles were real…evidence shown as Davante Adams couldn’t catch a cold in this game despite 21 targets.
Losing at home, on Thanksgiving night, to the Bears, during Brett Favre’s #4 retirement, with Bart Starr in attendance…I still don’t know how this happened.
The Packers were a complete dumpster fire in the early part of this game, but this Hail Mary on the last play of the game had us forget all about that…and made us believe, once again, that the Packers weren’t dead yet. This play, truly is, the definition of sports fandom.
After a brutal 1st quarter, the offense came alive over the final three quarters to win on Wild Card Weekend, and gave us hope in their rematch with Arizona.
Another Hail Mary (INSANE as Al Michaels called it)…and this time, to Jeff Janis (the People’s Champion). It felt like destiny was on our side…until just moments later, and two separate plays by Fitzgerald.
Another wasted season…is the prime of Rodgers career flashing before our eyes?
So…now what? Where do the Green Bay Packers go from here. While I think (actually, I know) we all have opinions on a number of different decisions…we can probably expect (and wholeheartedly disagree) that the Packers will stick to their plan of course. As for us, the fans, the recovery process after a season like this (heck, just the Divisional game alone), will take some time. Unfortunately, this year, we don’t have the Wisconsin Badgers to take our minds of this loss…and the Milwaukee Bucks, while playing better lately, are still a long ways back from the 8th seed…and the Milwaukee Brewers, it will be a LONG time before they are even competitive again.
So, Green Bay Packers, while this offseason is sure to be long (for all of us)…here’s hoping that we are not in this exact same position AGAIN come next season. GET IT RIGHT!!!
According to Merriam-Webster, a do-over is…a new attempt or opportunity to do something after a previous attempt has been unsuccessful or unsatisfactory. The following organizations are getting an opportunity for a do-over or surely would like the chance at one…and badly.
The Green Bay Packers: Green Bay plays at Arizona in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs on Saturday night. In week 16, the Packers lost at Arizona 38-8…and the game really wasn’t even that close. So, can the Packers (7 point underdogs) pull off the upset…I highly doubt it (my expectations are still very low), BUT if Arizona’s Carson Palmer becomes Carson Hoyer (the Stave of the NFL), the Packers do have a legitimate chance. Palmer, in only 1+ career playoff games (he tore his ACL in the first quarter of his first career playoff start) has these playoff numbers…19 for 37 (51.35%), 212 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, and a passer rating of 66.5. Not exactly numbers that should strike fear in the Green Bay Packers, but Palmer just completed an MVP type season…342 for 537 (63.7%), 4671 yards, 35 TD/11 INT, and a passer rating of 104.6…so which Palmer will show up on Saturday night and can the Packers continue their offensive rhythm from last week…this is the suspense that is making this week SO long.
The Los Angeles Rams: The Rams are moving back to Los Angeles, and in my opinion, that is where they belong. The St. Louis Rams (in the NFC West) just didn’t make sense…besides, St. Louis is a baseball town with a little bit of hockey sprinkled in. Growing up, I enjoyed watching the LA Rams (Ram It!)…they were an exciting team to watch with the likes of Eric Dickerson, Jim (don’t call me Chris) Everett, Henry Ellard, Flipper Anderson, and Kevin Greene. Now that the Rams are going to call Los Angeles home again, I hope they go back to their old color scheme as well…a chance at a double do-over!
I love the classic look!
I also enjoyed this piece on the @LaraMS Twitter handle…sometimes you really can’t make this stuff up.
The WIAA: Oh boy, where do I even begin here. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the WIAA is getting absolutely pummeled in the PR department (it is the second time this week, where I was asked in California, what is wrong with Wisconsin…the other, Making a Murderer, of course). The WIAA’s fun started way back on December 22nd with a sportsmanship email to schools (Seasons Greetings¡). Then on January 4th, April Gehl took to the Twitterverse to express her opinion about said email…
Last Friday (January 8th) a five-game suspension was handed down to Gehl and the WIAA hasn’t been the same ever since. Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) continues to pile on and Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) is going to have his take (One Big Thing) on SportsCenter tomorrow night (be sure to tune in).
While SO MUCH has already been discussed on this topic (ad nauseam), here is my final take (I hope)…
To the WIAA…lay off the Twitter (and all social media) for a LONG while…every time you have posted something in the past few days, you have been lambasted (and rightfully so)…as NO ONE is taking you seriously right now. Give this till at least March or April…by then, people will have already forgotten about this fiasco (or moved onto something else).
To Hilbert High School…you may want to look at your code of conduct. A five-game suspension for a tweet seems kind of harsh (is this the norm…what do other schools in your area have in place). Also, I hope you are having a good and thorough discussion with your entire student body on what is appropriate for social media. Kids will be kids…but let’s try to be more proactive in the future.
To April Gehl…your 15 minutes of fame are long passed. DELETE the tweet and move on with your high school career. Do you really want to be known as this girl for the rest of your life? We all make mistakes (especially as teenagers), but showing a little remorse may have gotten you less of a suspension (and a follow-up apology tweet is long overdue).
It’s time for America’s favorite game…Blind Quarterback Resume! The following 8 quarterbacks will be competing in this weekend’s Wild Card games. See if you can figure out who each quarterback is…as the numbers are based off the 2nd half of the season (8 games).
QB 1: 173/235 73.62 2,212 19/2 126.1
QB 2: 168/249 67.47 2,146 25/2 124.3
QB 3: 137/202 67.82 1,517 11/4 99.8
QB 4: 79/119 66.39 854 6/2 97.1
QB 5: 143/215 66.51 1,561 8/3 94.4
QB 6: 224/335 66.87 2,764 16/11 94.4
QB 7: 95/154 61.69 1,025 6/4 83.4
QB 8: 184/320 57.50 1,884 12/5 80.5
And the answers are….
QB 1 – Kirk Cousins (ranked 1st in the league over the final 8 games), QB 2 – Russell Wilson (ranked 2nd), QB 3 – Alex Smith (ranked 6th), QB 4 – A.J. McCarron (ranked 8th), QB 5 – Teddy Bridgewater (ranked 12th), QB 6 – Ben Roethlisberger (ranked 13th), QB 7 – Brian Hoyer (ranked 26th), and QB 8 is…Aaron Rodgers (the 27th ranked quarterback over the final eight games of the season).
Otherwise known as…the least favorite Badger. Going back to my college days, Wisconsin has always had a player on their roster (that played major minutes) that my friends and I really did not like. The first such player that my friends and I absolutely despised was none other than Charlie Wills (hence the award’s name).
Charlie Wills was the type of player that just didn’t look like he belonged playing college basketball (especially at the Division I level)…and Wills played during an era where Wisconsin basketball was just starting to make a name for itself. The early 2000’s were not like the 1980’s and 1990’s where Wills would have been just another guy on a really bad team. Charlie Wills actually played 19 freaking minutes in the Final Four as a sophomore (finishing with 2 points and 1 rebound). That fact…still amazes me to this day!
So, this year’s least favorite Badger is…Vitto Brown. So why is Vitto Bad (I mean Brown) this year’s selection? Case in point…during Wednesday night’s home loss to UWM (simply inexcusable), the 6-8 forward pulls down a rebound and decides to awkwardly (key word) dribble three quarters of the court with the basketball (there’s little over a minute left in the game, mind you), only to pick-up (you guessed it) a CHARGE! Not smart, and just one, of many reasons (Vitto was also 1 for 9 from the field vs UWM) why Brown is the recipient of this year’s Charlie Wills Award…and a heavy favorite to repeat next year (he wouldn’t be the first).
Here is a look back at past winners of the Charlie Wills Award during the Bo Ryan era…
2015-16: Vitto Brown
2014-15: Traevon Jackson
2013-14: Traevon Jackson
2012-13: Ryan Evans
2011-12: Ryan Evans
2010-11: Tim Jarmusz
2009-10: Tim Jarmusz
2008-09: Jordan Taylor
2007-08: Greg Stiemsma
2006-07: Jason Chappell
2005-06: Jason Chappell
2004-05: Andreas Helmigk
2003-04: Dave Mader
2002-03: Dave Mader
2001-02: Charlie Wills
As you can see, there have been many repeat winners, and only two players…Jordan Taylor (who later became a 2nd team All-American) and Greg Stiemsma (who is currently in his fourth year in the NBA) were able to recover from winning the Wills Award. Today, Charlie is doing just fine, and the good news for Vitto…at least he can sing.
Who knew all it would take to break a 3-game losing streak was a simple hoodie. While James Jones’ hoodie look may have reminded me of a JV football player standing on the sidelines watching the Varsity play on a Friday night (a look I have seen all to often over the years)…his six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown was just the type of performance the Packers needed to get back on track and takeover the NFC North lead. Heck, the hoodie is so popular now it even has its own Twitter account.
Speaking of hoodies, Clara and I (coincidentally) both wore hoodies to watch the Packers game yesterday at our home away from home…The Good Time Tavern.
Official Packers bar in downtown Livermore, CA
Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to watch all the Packer games from home (stupid 49ers and Raiders), I went to Packers Everywhere to find a nearby bar that would show all the Packers games each week. We found The Good Time Tavern in downtown Livermore and pre-scouted it on the Friday night before the Packers vs Chargers game…and the second we walked in, we knew that this was our place to watch Packers games. The Good Time Tavern is a classic Wisconsin dive bar…and with that description, it needs no further explanation.
Robert is a great host each week and a life-long Packers fan. He also loves to talk Fantasy Football.
The GTT even has $3 Miller Lites…and in the new Steinie bottle…you simply can’t go wrong (especially in CA)!
SNOW…Thanks to all my friends and family that sent pictures of Friday night’s/Saturday morning’s snowfall. California wins! I don’t miss that crap one bit…especially when it is snowing days before Thanksgiving…that is just wrong! While I must admit, it really doesn’t feel like late November around here (as people are already putting up Christmas lights), I think I’ll be able to adjust to the Christmas season without snow rather nicely (although it is strange seeing commercials with snow). As for El Nino…let’s just hope that doesn’t happen (for the sake of my job…if I’m not on strike).
I must admit…I did chuckle when I saw this pic Saturday morning.
BAN REPLAY…After Saturday’s debacle in Madison, I’ve officially had it with instant replay! It is time to finally get rid of it altogether. Replay is doing nothing but extending games and destroying pace of play…and (too often), replay STILL doesn’t get the call correct after the review! Look, if we can live with pass interference calls being decided on the field…we can live with ALL calls being decided on the field. If football (and all sports for that matter) don’t want to ban replay, then rules and interpretations need to be simplified…because week after week, the officials are merely choking when it comes to making decisions and replay is not doing its job to avoid Monday apologies…or in the Big Ten’s case, standing up for unacceptable officiating because they don’t want to look bad.
I have no idea what a catch is anymore in football…and this, was ruled a catch on the field!
So to sum up…I guess not all hoods were created equal.
Thursday Night Football…why do I keep watching this crap?!?! (By the way…what happened to that intro?). Seriously…I need a life! Or maybe…I need to find a Thursday night bowling league to distract me from these games (it definitely worked in the past)…words I never thought I’d say last year at this time…I actually miss bowling (at least the camaraderie).
It seems like each Thursday night, the product on the field gets even worse than the previous week…coincidence? The NFL preaches player safety, but yet it continues to allow teams to play on three days rest…I just don’t get it.
Here’s a closer look at this year’s Thursday night clunkers (er, games) so far…
Week 2 – Broncos 31 at Chiefs 24…good finish (FUMBLE!)
Week 3 – at Giants 32 Redskins 21…two crap teams in this year’s crap division
Week 4 – Ravens 23 at Steelers 20 (OT)…probably, the best of this bunch
Week 5 – Colts 27 at Texans 20…see Week 3
Week 6 – at Saints 31 Falcons 21…same old Falcons in primetime
Week 9 – at Bengals 31 Browns 10…classic Johnny Rebab…I mean Football
*Note…I did not include Week 1 – Steelers 21 at Patriots 28…due to each team coming off the preseason schedule and being fully rested.
Not exactly instant classics…basically yawners, blowouts, with lots of ugliness mixed in…and the crazy part is that these games are all DIVISIONAL MATCHUPS! These are the opponents that should know each other better than any others…yet, you wouldn’t know it, watching most of these games.
And the NFL is officially trying too hard when they revealed their “Color Rush” uniforms to us tonight (Ditka plug). Guess what NFL…you are not college football! If you want to be like college football…give them their Thursday night football back…all to themselves!
I think this tweet sums up tonight’s uniforms the best…
Hey, Christmas is only 42 days away…I’ll take some Packers attire (dammit…I’m feeding the beast).
In case you haven’t noticed, the Milwaukee Brewers have already started releasing their 2016 All-Fan Giveaway schedule…and they’re using this whole week to do it¡ Isn’t the suspense just killing you…I can hardly wait to see what new and innovative ideas they have in store for this year¡
As you may have guessed, the all-fan giveaway line-up is littered with bobbleheads. Now, to preface, I have a rather large collection of bobbleheads myself (and I never pass up the opportunity to grab a free one from my sister or friends)…but another Hank the Dog bobblehead (this one barks¡)…REALLY?!?! I love animals, and the Hank story was really great (AT THE TIME!), but I don’t understand why the Brewers are continuing to honor this stray dog…AGAIN! This is year THREE of this mutt (sorry, I’m calling him a mutt, because he has brought ZERO on-field success to the Milwaukee Brewers organization). It is time to cut the cord (er, leash) on this experiment.
A quick check of eBay reveals that there have already been THREE Hank the Dog bobbleheads done by the Brewers alone (and don’t forget the Hank towel) plus another Hank bobblehead done by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (the Brewers Single A ballclub). Hank bobbleheads have become like The Voice episode on Seinfeld. To quote Elaine and Kramer (skip to 2:30 mark)…”still?!” and “played…SO played!” Hank, you are the voice hello…it is time to go, LA, LA, LA!!!
Tidbits…If you are not listening to the Tauscher and Kuhn show (and Greg) on 620 WTMJ, you are missing out. Check it out, Tuesdays at 6pm…it is really good. Last night’s 30 for 30, The Gospel According to Mac, was once again…FANTASTIC! Every one of these films are SO well done. My wife tells me I don’t watch enough movies…well, if they were as good as EVERY 30 for 30…I’d definitely watch more. Lastly, Steph Curry is amazing! Golden State basketball is so fun to watch. The Warriors may win 70 games this year and could threaten Chicago’s 72 wins in a season…they are that good!
Rutgers SUCKS!!! I think we all knew that, but after the Scarlet Knights pitiful performance against the Badgers yesterday, my friends and I are boycotting ALL future Wisconsin vs Rutgers football matchups. If the Scarlet Knights are on the Badgers home slate…we will not be attending Camp Randall that day (I know, easy for me to say…as I currently live in California, but I am still a season ticket holder). It just really annoys me that Rutgers (and Maryland) are even in the Big Ten to begin with. They just don’t belong…especially their football teams! I guarantee Rutgers (and Maryland) WILL NOT win one Big Ten title in my lifetime. In my best George Zimmer voice…I guarantee it!
As I watched yesterday’s game, I wondered aloud…how does Rutgers even have three wins? Then I checked the Scarlet Knights schedule…they beat Norfolk State (a FCS school with only two wins) in their season opener and a game that Rutgers only led 21-13 at half. They beat a winless Kansas team at home (yawn), and their third victory came against Indiana…a 55-52 win (maybe Rutgers belongs in the Big 12). So, not exactly the most impressive resume. I know Rutgers was without their best receiving target in Leonte Carroo yesterday, but outside of a pick six (Stave¡) in the third quarter, the Scarlet Knights did absolutely nothing (offensively and defensively)…and this year’s Wisconsin team is, by no means, a world beater…although it was nice to finally have Corey Clement back (so this is what a real running back looks like).
Last add on the Wisconsin/Rutgers game…I saw the Badgers tweet out that the attendance was 74,575 for the game…it sure didn’t look like that on television. Then again, I had to watch the game in standard definition because XFINITY doesn’t carry the Big Ten Network in HD. It’s almost 2016…why isn’t everything available in HD?!
More…the Minnesota Golden Gophers will now be referred to as the Jerrysota Golden Gophers moving forward. I feel for Jerry Kill and I’m sure he is a great man, but when you have flags saying Jerrysota…you aren’t really honoring a guy…you are simply providing EASY material for your opponent and rivals (That’s Gold, Jerry! Gold!)…because your product on the field is basically Rutgers-ish. And of course, Jerrysota lost to Michigan last night by mismanaging the clock in the final minute and getting stuffed at the one yard line as the game clock expired. Classic Jerrysota!
After 13+ plus years of teaching, I came across two situations today that I never learned about back at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. One would think, having spent SIX YEARS of my life at UW-0, I would have learned everything there is to know about teaching. Well, think again…
Politically…things are not going so well in the district that I am currently teaching in. The teachers union (yes, California still has teachers unions) has just declared an impasse. From what I’ve read…bargaining began in earnest last March. Since May, the district has made NO improvements on issues such as salaries, benefits, or class sizes. So today, before school, we had an informational picket just off the school grounds. Next Tuesday, there will be a community rally to show support for the teachers when the school board meets (some kind of fireworks are expected). Hopefully, some progress will be made in the near future because the word STRIKE (yikes!) has been thrown around rather loosely. This type of situation was never discussed while I sat in classes in Clow, Halsey, or Nursing/Education.
My picket sign I held in support of my fellow teachers. Festive…or a little CG?
Today was the Great California ShakeOut. Yes, we had earthquake drill practice. Drop! Cover! Hold On! More than 10 million Californians (is that a word?) participated…event organizers said it was the largest earthquake drill ever this morning (can I put this on my resume?). The Great California ShakeOut was held at 10:15 AM, as people throughout the state participated in simultaneous earthquake drills…practicing safety and learning ways to prepare in the event of a major earthquake. Thankfully, my class already meets outside (as Mike McCarthy would say…pawsitive) so we didn’t have much to do. While I have yet to feel an actual earthquake here in California…I don’t need my first to be like this. Again, Oshkosh, did you expect all of us to teach in just Wisconsin?
It’s a good thing I have off tomorrow, because after today’s unique events, I’m gonna need the extra day to recover. And Oshkosh, I want some of my money back…NO ONE mentioned strikes or earthquakes during those six glorious years…but if you’re looking for a guest speaker, I think I could help you out (for the right price, of course).
It’s no secret…I do not like Bert…I mean, Bret Bielema! My level of hate for this man is probably higher than I’ve ever had for one human being. So…just when you think you’ve seen it all from #unbielemable, he outdoes himself AGAIN! I’m not sure how ANYONE could have respect for a coach that would even consider pulling a stunt like that on the sideline…much less doing it! One would think that #unbielemable would be a little smarter…considering his days at Arkansas are probably coming to an end very soon…and he just might need an assistant job in the very near future (because NO ONE is gonna hire him as a head coach again…then again someone hired Steve Sarkisian…too soon?).
Let’s take a look at (2-4) Arkansas’ remaining schedule:
Auburn (3-2), Tennesse-Martin (3-2), at (13) Mississippi (5-1), at (6) LSU (5-0), Mississippi State (4-2), and Missouri (4-2).
Not exactly easy sledding (I’ll give them the Tennesse-Martin game and maybe one more home game, but that’s it). With that schedule, #unbielemable is unlikely to become bowl eligible…and considering how many bowl games there are these days…that is flat out embarrassing!
While Bert’s wife may have sent the tweet…the rest of us know that tweet will soon come to fruition. With an overall record of 12-19 and a 3-16 record in the SEC plus a $4 million dollar a year contract…Saturday’s sideline antic wasn’t just stupid, it was sadly and likely, an act of desperation. And as Jen would say, that is…
It’s just too easy to pick (ha…like that) on Joel Stave. It is literally amazing that he is a Division I quarterback (would he really start at UW-Whitewater?)…and how bad are the other quarterbacks on Wisconsin’s roster, if Stave is still the starter (that fact scares me more for the future of the program). After Stave’s dismal performance against Iowa (C.J. Beathard was no better) last Saturday, it is clear the yips are back…although one would argue Stave was never really good enough to even have the yips.
So, last weekend, while my wife was out of town, I hunkered down and watched HOURS of football…it was totally amazing and very disheartening…all at the same time. After watching the college game on Saturday and the pro game on Sunday, it suddenly dawned on me…what happened to all the good quarterbacks? It didn’t matter if I was watching the college game or the pro game, the quarterback play made some of those games nearly unwatchable and frankly, laughable. It became so bad, that my friends and I started calling all of the bad quarterback play…Stave.
We had C.J. Stave (Iowa), Tyrone and Jerrod Stave (Texas), Greyson and Brice Stave (Georgia), DeShone Stave (Notre Dame), Deshaun Stave (Clemson), Aqua Stave (Tannehill), Smoking Jay Stave (Cuntler), Jameis Stave (Winston), Sam Stave (Bradford), Colin Stave (Kaeperdick), Matt Stave (Stafford)…the list could literally go on all day. While I thank the Lord EVERY SINGLE DAY that the Packers have had a Hall of Fame quarterback for the last 21 years…I am very concerned that once Rodgers’ career is over, that the Packers will be stuck with a Stave…just like the Badgers have (for the last 3 years)!
So, how does football go about fixing this problem? Because let’s face it…people will stop watching this game (I know I will) if the best that teams and organizations can turn out is a Stave. Does the problem start at the lowest of levels (Pop Warner), is it a high school problem, is it a college problem, it is an NFL problem? Are athletes just not smart enough to play quarterback? Are defensive schemes so good that quarterbacking has simply become too hard? Or, am I just being too critical of the quarterback position? I’m not sure on the last question, but I don’t think the NFL is doing it’s part…by throwing gobs of money at unproven quarterbacks.
Case in point…Aqua Stave (otherwise known as Ryan Tannehill). This offseason, Tannehill signed a 6-year, 96-million dollar contract…the guy has a career record of 24-28! And then this week…a report came out that Tannehill gets upset at practice, when the practice squad players intercept his passes! It became such a problem, that at times, former head coach Joe Philbin (fired this week, in part, because Tannehill has been a bust) told the practice players to take it easy on Tannehill…you literally CANNOT make this stuff up! Meanwhile, in New England, Tom Brady PAYS the practice squad players when they intercept his passes! Hmm…
So maybe that’s the answer…players are just too fragile to play the quarterback position nowadays. The good news for the Aqua Stave’s of the world is that at least being a quarterback has brought them one thing…