Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hanh Hah!

For the title of this post, I tried to spell out the voice of the obnoxious kid from the Simpsons. It may not be perfect onomatopoeia, but that's all the time I'm giving it. That's because I'm too amused by the Boston Celtics getting crapped on by fate in the NBA draft lottery last night.

The Celts, along with the Grizzlies and the Suns, and to a far lesser extent, the Bucks, were the shaftees last night (that means the recipients of a general shafting by fate). The Blazers and the Sonics were the big winners, coming out with the top two picks in what everyone thinks is a draft that contains two dominant players.
In fact, the two player nature of this draft is why I don't think the Bucks were direct shaftees. That's because if the original, NFL-like order had held the Bucks would have picked third, and there's no clear-cut third best prospect. In fact, there's massive debate about who the best prospects are after Oden and Durant. Maybe it's Mike Conley, the smooth and frighteningly quick point guard who tortured UW last season. (Thank goodness he's leaving!) Maybe it's North Carolina's Brandan Wright, a Marvin Williams clone. Maybe it's the new enormous Chinese import, Yi Jianlian, who apparently has dominated solid college players at pre-draft workouts. The fact that there's such a dispute over who the best players are in the next tier of prospects means that the Bucks didn't lose that much by slipping back from third to sixth. They missed out on Oden and Durant, and that's disappointing, but they weren't the favorites to get either, and they'll have several very good options when they pick sixth. Hopefully, Conley will be there and they'll snatch him. They don't have a stud at point guard, and I think he's going to be pretty special.

What's hilarious about all this to me is the Celtics eating it. The whole hating Boston thing is new to me. I have good friends from the Boston area, and that region does a great job of supporting their pro teams, in stark contrast to the fair-weather fans you find in other major metropolitan areas, like L.A. But they've gotten annoying. The Patriots, under Tom Brady, have been too consistently good. Pat fans have become insanely spoiled, such that they think their management is nearly infallible. And the Randy Moss trade, put that team over the top in terms of obnoxiousness (see the video post of a few weeks back). In terms of baseball, the curse-breaking Red Sox were fun to root for in 2004, but the national media obsession with the team that's followed (Are they on ESPN every damn night?) has gotten tedious. There are other baseball teams out there folks! And if someone like myself, who only sort of follows baseball is irritated by the constant Red Sox fellatio, then I can only imagine how irritated fans of smaller market teams have become.

And then Bill Simmons made me dislike the Celtics. You all probably know who that guy is-- the "Sports Guy" on ESPN's commentary site, Page 2. (How the hell you get yourself labeled the "Sports Guy" when all you write about is the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Celtics is beyond me, but whatever. ) He's also suffered from the Red Sox phenomenon--what was once sympathetic (tortured longing for success) has become tedious and overplayed (e.g., Simmon's unoriginally named book, "Now I Can Die in Peace"). And, to be honest, even before this past year, I already disliked him. His occasional bursts of legitimate humor have always been far outweighed his tedious references to working for the utterly unfunny Jimmy Kimmel, and to his moronically named friends. Then he went and complained about the quality of the donuts in L.A., openly pining for the crap that is Dunkin' Donuts, and truly revealing himself as a parochial jackass. (Simmons, if you ever come across this post, read this, and get a clue--L.A. is the donut and cheeseburger capital of the universe.)

Now in a normal year I could ignore these transgressions, since I didn't care about Boston-area teams, or the Clippers, or whatever else he normally blathers on about. So I'd probably just ignore his columns. But unfortunately, this fall, once it became clear that his Celtics were a sorry team, he started turning an utterly ignorant eye towards college basketball. The idea appears to have been to scout the college ranks for the next hopeful infusion of Celtic talent, since their season was already lost. However, Simmons soon expanded his self-congratulatory column into a regular discussion of college basketball, something I legitimately care about. This led to silly, ignorant comments about how the Big Ten was a terrible league (because it plays at a slower pace), and how the Big 12, featuring his preferred pro prospects Acie Law and Kevin Durant, was so quacktastic (even though it was the weakest big conference by far). Even that sort of nonsense could have been tolerable if it weren't repeated, over and over and over again, every other friggin' day. But it was. Combine that with a certain sense of entitlement Simmons developed towards Kevin Durant (I don't know if he felt he "discovered" Durant or what), and by the end of the basketball season, I really was hoping that the Celtics would eat it in the draft lottery, and lose the chance to draft either of the big two.

And horraay! Eat it they have, in the sense that they've fallen as far as they could, to the the fifth spot overall, after entering with the second worst record in the league. Bwah ha ha! Of course, the Celtics could still find a great player with that selection. And I don't really care if they do--just about the only thing in the NBA that interests me is former UW players doing well. (Incidentally, Alando being projected as a second round pick is worrisome.) But they've missed out on the Big Two, and on Simmons' personally wet dream, that is, Kevin Durant. And for that, I get to laugh.

Update: Simmons' has published a typically self-obsessed recounting of his Tuesday, complete with references to moronically named "friends" (this time its "JackO" and "J-Bug"--apparently all of his friends are extras from the Jackass movies). You can find his wimpy, "why is my team cursed?" lament here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Where are we now?

The University of Wisconsin football and men's basketball teams are on serious hiatus. (It's nearly summertime!) I'm sure many of the players from both teams are hanging around Madison, so lovely this time of year, strength training, practicing informally, taking a few summer courses, and maybe working at some part-time jobs. That's all fun and interesting stuff that I would love to be able to talk about. But since I'm not a student, don't have access to UW athletic facilities and don't even live in Madison anymore, I will be unable to provide you with information about all these fun topics. So if you're looking for the lowdown on how swol' Jonathon Casillas is getting, or how Michael Flowers shot during a pick-up game at the Shell, you're probably better off trolling the various UW message boards.

It's sad but true--we're in an annual lull period right about now. For college basketball and football fans, it's the time of the season when you can actually do things on the weekends without having to worry about what time the game comes on. I guess we'll have to learn to enjoy our free time. I'm going to use my newly open schedule to be a little more handy around the house, tidy up a bit more, etc. While that may sound like a terrible way to spend extra time, I have a semi-nefarious plan. It all comes back to pleasing the woman. You see, I read about this study finding that women are more likely to be sexually attracted to men who do more chores around the house . . .

Now before you go running off to do the laundry, there is a little bit of action on the Packer front. Specifically, the Packers just finished a "mini-camp"-- three days of no-pads practices that the players are contractually required to attend. Since these are the first full team practices after the draft, you can usually expect some evaluations on the rookies and the other younger players on the team.
Various word is that Will Blackmon, our fourth round pick last season who was sidelined with injuries all last year, looked pretty good. This story, about his attempts to recover from injury and stay healthy, was interesting. (He hired someone called a "soft tissue" specialist.) Our third-round San Jose State derived wideout, James Jones, was also making some plays in practice. Lori Nickel, a writer for the Journal-Sentinel's Packer Insider online magazine, mentioned that Patrick Dendy (our replacement for Carroll at nickel back last season), Justin Harrell (this year's first rounder), and a rookie free agent fullback, Corey White, all stood out. In addition, someone wrote that Jennings looked like his old, pre-high ankle sprain, self.

If folks are in need of some summary type articles dealing with the Packers, the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the State Journal both have decent looks at the entire roster. You can find them here and here.

Though this is a slow period, I'll be occasionally posting-- when I come across things to jabber about. Until then, you stay classy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What the?

The Worldwide Leader came out with a post-draft "power ranking" of the NFL. And it put the Packers 24th! Twenty-frickin' fourth? That means we're headlining the bottom quarter of the league. That's absurd. We were 8-8 last year, and we play Tavaris Jackson twice next season. We're in the second year of a new coaching regime, the time when players start to get really comfortable with the coaching staff and what they're doing schematically. Also, we've only lost one starter--dear Greenbo, who, it hurts to say, wasn't the player he was before the injury. Everybody else is back. Plus, so many starters are young (Hawk, Barnett, Poppinga, Jenkins, and Collins on defense; Jennings, Wells, Spitz, College, Morency, and Miree on offense) that you have to expect several of them will significantly improve.

And when you look at some of the teams they put ahead of us, our ranking becomes even more ridiculous. These teams include-- the Cardinals (who were 5-11 last year, added no major free agents, and have a whole new coaching staff), the Bills (who lost McGahee, London Fletcher and Nate Clements), the Falcons (who lost Patrick Kearney and have a whole new coaching staff), and the Titans (who lost both starting wideouts, their starting running back, and Pacman Jones and had a terrible defense last season even with Jones). That's just silly. Where is the love?

Whoever made this list gave it almost no thought whatsoever. It's starting to become apparent that quantity of product, however laughable its quality might be, is what drives things over at ESPN. Maybe I'll have to find a new general sports website to rotely type into my browser when I'm bored.

Who wouldn't?

The Onion delves into the almost non-existent Favre "controversy".


1. brett favre has made brown county and the city/town of green bay hundreds of millions of dollars (not to mention the state of wisconsin). $.

2. "at least moss manned up and asked for a trade"? ok.
brett favre played every game for the last 39 seasons.
i can't really judge his manhood outside of that.

3. although you are right, favre should keep his mouth shut when it comes to other people's money, there is no comparison between him and mike mckenzie. i'm sure he took that into account.

4. as far as earning any right, (and i really have a hard time watching brett sometimes lately) it can be done. he has done it. only 12 teams make the playoffs and 8 of those suck. i'd rather watch favre be awful, than last years cowboys. but if you don't watch football, see #1.

7. favre helped one of the worst rosters in the league go 8-8 last year, and part of his reasoning for getting another reciever was to help work horse donald driver. he needs help helping.

6. great piece, for a lakers fan.

why the fuck did i even read your article

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Some ESPN columnist I've never heard of goes on an anti-Favre rant.

Friday Night Lights

Although the news has been out for a while, I just discovered that NBC is bringing back the high school football drama Friday Night Lights for a second season. Given its ratings and the network's lengthy equivocation on whether to bring it back despite its critical success (it won a Peabody award), I'm guessing that many of you didn't watch last season. Well, you blew it. Friday Night Lights (FNL) was the best show on television last year.

I admit, that is a highly subjective statement, which I base only on the shows I regularly watch--How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Heroes, Lost (which has grown tiresome), Entourage, and Gray's Anatomy (slightly embarrassed about this). And I should admit off the bat that I'm a sucker for teen angst. But still, FNL is legitimately a great show. The plot is engaging, the actors are almost uniformly good, the characters are complex--both sympathetic and frustrating-- and the football backdrop gives it constant drama. Plus, there's high school recruiting shenanigans, "quad" rugby, 'roids, cheerleading competitions, bipolar disorder, and several seriously attractive women-- headlined by Adrianne Palicki who plays Tyra, a bright but under-performing reprobate with serious sass. Throughout the first season, the "dirty hot" (in the words of one of my coworkers) Tyra is in something of an ongoing cage match with Lyla, the cheerleader/girlfriend to the star quarterback. Lyla starts off being a high school Stepford Wife, but gradually becomes more real. She's played by the oddly named and very pretty Minka Kelly. (Don't worry--according to IMDB, both actresses are in their twenties.)

If folks want to catch up, I suggest watching this episode (Episode Five) where Tyra allows herself to be romanced by a young businessman from LA, and where Lyla and the quarterback's best friend repeatedly couple. The episode features Applebee's, a quarterback dilemma, and lots of fooling around. Awesome.

For those of you who believe FNL's the TV show is a blasphemous bastardization of the wonderful Buzz Bissinger book, I once shared your concerns. Friday Night Lights is probably the most affecting book I've ever read about sports. It's heartbreaking and fascinating, and what Bissinger did to write it (move his entire family to Odessa, TX) is just remarkable. In fact, I have such respect for Bissinger as a writer that I almost totally ignored his recent Tony LaRussa puff piece. (Come on, Buzz!)

Friday Night Lights, the book, was then adapted into the mostly crap movie, headlined by Antwone Fisher, the star of the Fast and the Furitated: Tokyo Drift, and Billy Bob Thorton as the coach. This was not a strong Billy Bob performance, as those of you who've seen the movie know. Based on his career, I think it's safe to say Billy Bob is at his best when either pretending to be developmentally disabled (Slingblade, A Simple Plan) or rogering the mother from Gilmore Girls (Bad Santa). Anyhow, because the movie was such a stark failure, even though it tried to be faithful to the book, I can understand why fans of the book would be reluctant to start watching the show. That's where I was.

I actually watched some of the first episode and didn't like it that much. But then at some point, I was talked back into it and got hooked. Early on, it becomes clear that the TV show is almost nothing like the book or the movie. The book provides the setting--a good high school football team in a football obsessed town in West Texas--a small portion of the plot--star player gets badly injured--and the basis for a character--specifically, Riggins seems a lot like Don Billingsley. But then the show goes in totally different directions plot-wise. Plus, for those of you who bemoaned how superficial the movie was in comparison to the book, the show solves the problem. Because a full TV season is way longer than a film, you really get to know and appreciate the complexity of the characters, and you can see how time and experience changes them. (You get that kind of extended character development on some HBO shows, like the Sopranos.)

When we get closer to the new TV season, I'll give you advance warning of the first episode so those who might be interested can set their Tivos/Digital Recorders. (I can't encourage people to watch it live since NBC moved it to the basement office of prime time television-- Friday nights at 9 pm; the network must be fine with it continuing to pull iffy ratings.) Until then, try catching up online or through the season one DVD, when it comes out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Does this sound like sincere remorse?

Or someone who realized he overreacted?
Uh huh.
Now, I realize that it was probably written by someone in the PR department, but he must have approved it at some stage of the proceedings. Which means he realized that he sounded like a desperate, selfish jerk. That is, like a contemporary professional athlete.
Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and click on the Nietzsche or Nitschke link to the right. Hilarious.

Trading Favre

So Favre apparently reacted to the Packers' inability to acquire Randy Moss in the same way as many Packer fans and some posters to this website--with seething anger at Ted Thompson. In fact, Fox Sports reported that Favre was so upset that Moss ended up in New England that shortly after the draft his agent called the Packers and demanded a trade. Then, McCarthy tried to call Favre for a week and Favre dodged his calls. Finally, they spoke and Favre was talked off the ledge, as it were, and dropped his trade demands. But he remains pissed about the Pack not trading for Randy. In fact, he made various comments about how the team may be rebuilding, and how he's not sure if they're planning to "win now" and ponders whether the team is trying to tell him to retire.

Some Packer fans might react to this story with horror-- the best player in franchise history wants out because he thinks the team stinks! Others might view this as verification of their already dismissive opinion of the team's general manager, Ted Thompson. (E.g., "We've got lots of salary cap money, so where are the free agents?" "Why wouldn't he give a third or second round pick for Moss?" "Why the hell didn't we draft [insert high profile offensive skill position player]?") Personally, I find this really funny and a little bit sad. Funny because of the absurdity of the request and his behavior, and sad because it seems that Brett places his own interests above the teams'. I guess this kind of thing happens at the end of someone's career.

First, there's absolutely no way, at this point, that the Packers would trade Favre. In their minds, I'm quite sure that last year was supposed to be the rebuilding year (massive personnel turnover, offensive line revamp, new coaching staff), and now they may actually be eyeing a playoff spot. So if there was any time when they would have considered trading him, it would have been after the 4-12 season. Such a move would have signaled a full on, and perhaps necessary, rebuilding effort. But now they seem to think they can create a team that will be competitive for a long period of time without going through an ugly transitional period. Having Favre at the helm is a key portion of this "rebuilding while maintaining some decency" plan. He'll keep the team's offense somewhat afloat while the brass builds a strong defense, finds new stars to take over on offense, and grooms (or finds) his successor at quarterback.

Second, Brett's reactions to the team's decisions are hilarious. Calling and demanding a trade after a personnel move falls through is like what I used to do in grade school. When I was over at a friend's house and everyone would decide to play a game I didn't like, I'd just say "ok, then I'm leaving," go get my stuff and start to walk away. More often than not, my friends would cave and we'd end up doing something I liked better. Brett's second move, dodging Coach McCarthy's calls, is more Mean Girls-esque. It has a very high school feel-- I don't want someone to tell me why I'm being irrational so I'm just not going to talk to them! What is this, the Breakfast Club? Is Ted Thompson a modern day Dick Vernon? Talk about being spoiled. It looks like ESPN's constant hero-worshiping has sunk in a little too far.

But third, he's probably right about the team valuing sustainable long term success more than short term success. Why else wouldn't Thompson be willing to give up a third round draft pick for Randy Moss? They know that Moss would be a short term loan. He'd be looking to come into a decent offensive system, catch a bunch of bombs, resuscitate his reputation, and sign some T.O. like free agent deal with a better team. That was apparently one of the sticking points--he only wanted a one-year deal, but the Packers wanted two years. It's clear that management would rather develop a potential replacement at left tackle or find a new starting safety or wide receiver than borrow a talented, petulant and under-performing wideout for one season. Can anyone really blame them?

Fourth and finally, Brett doesn't seem to realize that these moves may make more sense for the team. Not overpaying iffy free agents, not reaching for offensive skill position players, and not giving away a solid draft pick for a one-year gamble are decisions that make long term sense. They may not make more sense to him, personally. But maybe he's forgotten, maybe we've all forgotten, that he isn't the team. That it's not all about going 10-6 his last season, or getting him back to the playoffs, or him breaking Elway's record for career wins. It's about the team being consistently successful, even after he's gone. He seems to have forgotten that, and it looks like many fans have forgotten as well. Maybe it's time we all start to remember.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Not Even the Special Sauce...

Since I generally discuss the minutiae of the Packers, and Wisconsin football and men's basketball, you may be wondering why I haven't been rejoicing over the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers currently have the best record in baseball--their first exciting bit of success in a long, long time. Well, wonder no longer.

At some previous point, I referenced my apathy regarding major league baseball in general, and the Brewers in particular. To put it bluntly for the record--I just don't care that much about the Brewers. Some might say that this makes little sense-- Wisconsin natives who are Packer and Badger fans should naturally cheer for the Brewers and the Bucks. After all, they're the state's only representatives in professional baseball and basketball. But I'm just not interested. And it's starting to strike me as kind of weird. I mean, I went to a 1982 World Series game with my father. I still vaguely remember it. When I was in grade school, I was mystified by the old Brewers logo, and its clever intertwining of the M/b into a baseball glove. I love brats, polish sausages and the special stadium mustard. Frozen custard is one of the great culinary joys of my life. I'm even amused by socialist politics, and I love the Alice Cooper Milwaukee reference in "Wayne's World." So what went wrong?

I think I've narrowed it down to a few things-- first, when I really started paying attention to sports, that is, in high school, the Brewers were poor. Plus, they had just let their best player, Paul Molitor, walk away, and, even worse, join the division leading Toronto Blue Jays, and even more horrible, Molitor led the Canadians to a World Series Championship. Triple face. After doing quite well in 1992 with Molitor, but still finishing behind the canucks, the Brewers went on to go 187-234 the next three years (my last three full years in Wisconsin), totals that would have been even worse if the strike hadn't shortened two of those seasons.
Second, whether it's due to their status as a smaller market team, or to Bug Selig being a skinflint, the Brewers have never been big players in free agency. In fact, their biggest free agency acquisitions may have come in the last few years, by signing semi-middling players like Jeff Suppan and Johnny Estrada. So if their farm system wasn't producing stars, which it usually wasn't, the team was putting a bunch of replacement level players on the field. 1992 marked the last season of competitiveness for the Molitor, Yount, Gantner generation, and after that it was no-talent central. Only the recent, home-grown batch of Heavy-P, Weeks, Hardy, and, when healthy, Sheets, have re-upped the talent level. Basically, from 1993 until a year or two ago, the team was deathly boring to watch.
Third, County Stadium was, and Miller Park is, relatively charmless. County's best feature was a tie between Bernie the Brewer, sliding from his chalet into a mug of beer, and the food. Otherwise, the interior was unremarkable, and it was surrounded by a sea of parking lots, and hemmed in by the freeway. Good for tailgating, but not much else. Currently, Miller's redeeming features are limited to the food and the sausage race. The roof leaks (it leaked on our seats last time I was there), the Bernie's mug has been removed (dear Focus on the Family types, the team is called the Brewers, alcohol references are part and parcel), and the production staff does a terrible job (the music is deafening and the "live interviews" with the fans are annoying and contrived). And it's still surrounded by freeways and parking lots.

I could go on and on--being friends with Cub fans so going on lots of trips to Wrigley; a general discomfort with Milwaukee sports, headlined by Marquette basketball; going to camp during the summer so missing a good chunk of the baseball season; being a little weirded out by Milwaukee as a city; sucking at Little League and therefore disliking baseball generally as a kid--but I think the main ingredients for my apathy are above. (My father would go on a largely justified rant about Bud Selig, which would probably include Selig's culpability for the strike, his penny-pinching, and his moving the team to the National League in order to mooch off the Cubs' popularity and avoid paying for a DH, but that can't really explain my own feelings.)

In sum, during my formative sporting years, the Brewers fielded talentless, losing teams in a charmless venue. There was nothing to get excited about, or even feel emotionally connected to. So I grew up not caring. And the Brewers especially paled in comparison to UW football (first Rose Bowl and Camp Randall and Madison on gameday), UW men's basketball (Stu Jackson and Michael Finley and the old Field House), and the Packers (Favre/White renaissance in historic Lambeau). Now those teams weren't always great, but they were competitive. And they had the potential for greatness (like the UW Finley/Griffith/Webster team beating Michigan's Fab Five minus Webber team), which made them fun to watch and wonderful to cheer for--nothing like pulling for a talented underdog whose time may have finally come. In contrast, the Brewers were just sad.

So, I don't heart them. In fact, I don't heart any baseball team. Now, I'd like the Brewers to do well-- Brewer fans certainly deserve it, and it's neat to see teams win with young talent. But I don't live and die with them, and I don't care for them any more than I do for several other teams. Specifically, since I live in the Chiccy-G, it's fun when the Cubs and the White Sox are good, so I'd like them both to be decent. But I can't pick one or root strongly for both because their warts are too apparent. That is: Cub fans are about 60% morons (I know-- I live nearby), Wrigley's food is terrible, the GM is an embarrassment, and 40% of the stadium is bad seats; while White Sox fans are mostly urban/suburban rednecks with anger management issues (you know, the offspring of people who threw bricks at Dr. King when he marched in Marquette Park back in'68), the team is boring (especially with Thome on the DL), their manager hurts the team, and the stadium is charmless and overly loud. I lived in LA for a while, and enjoyed going to Dodger games, but then they fired DePodesta after a year and a half. Maybe I should become an A's fan. They develop prospects, their management is full of folks who are decidedly not stupid, their colors are Packer-ish, and I think I liked their logo when I was really young. And isn't that where Rollie Fingers came from?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I feel bad even talking about this

So, UW's quarterback for the past three seasons, John Stocco, affectionately known in these circles as Elvis Stojko, had a tryout last weekend with the Packers. That's probably old news to most of you by now. While this event could have been the best conglomeration of UW and Packer interests since Tauscher became a starter at right tackle, and thus something to celebrate and discuss, I've avoided writing about it. That's because players who tryout for NFL teams (that is, who aren't drafted and aren't signed to free agent contracts right after the draft) rarely get signed. And sadly, it has come to pass for dear Elvis. You can read about it here and here. Good luck to you in your continued quest, John.

Peter King has a somewhat interesting piece on Favre and the Packers. Most of it is stuff a well-read fan, such as yourself, likely already knows. But it's still worth checking out. It's here.

Finally, some high school recruiting news. Generally, I try to avoid commentary on high school recruiting until the players are signed. First, it's skeezy to obsess over teenagers, and second, who knows whether kids will turn out to be any good, and third, they could always screw up in school or change their minds. Plus, it's a shady business, and one where UW, not being a hugely populated or particularly diverse state, has a historical disadvantage. But I do want to note one promising development--two UW men's basketball commitments for 2008 have been seriously upgraded in the player rankings. Specifically, both of these commitment are now listed as top 100 players, 57th and 99th. In the previous list, one was around 150th and the other wasn't ranked at all. Now I don't know if these rankings really mean anything, but it is nice to see that some other sources, besides the UW coaching staff, think that these guys are legitimate prospects.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Randy Madness

This could've been you Wisconsin. Nice work Ted.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Aaron Rouse's Path to the Packers

The previously mentioned Aaron Rouse video, for your viewing pleasure.

My Favorite Packer Draftee

Has got to be Aaron Rouse, Safety, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. First of all, he's 6' 3" and runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash, while weighing 230 pounds. That's Sean Taylor-esque.

Second, I found this NFL network video about his background to be quite moving, although, I admit, I'm a huge sissypants. I tend to wince when people have kids at a young age before they're married (the exceptions know who they are), but being a father, and an apparently doting one at that, should give Rouse extra motivation to utilize karate and kick some ass. Also, he's already graduated from Va. Tech. Well done, Mr. Rouse, Bachelor of Science in Sociology.

Finally, his quotes about being drafted are fantastic.
He told the Wisconsin State Journal that: "I got the phone call (from the Packers) and did a Lambeau Leap. I'm just ecstatic."
Then, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, after discussing how he believed he should have been drafted earlier, he said:
"Most definitely I got something to prove. I got a big chip on my shoulder, and it's shaped like cheese and it smells like cheese, and I'm ready to go to Green Bay."