Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Running Backs, Running Backs

As most Packer fans must have heard by now, the oft-injured, but, when not injured, most impressive back on the team, rookie DeShawn Wynn, has been put on injured reserve. His one carry against the Broncos led to a "stinger" in his neck that was so serious he would have missed most of the team's remaining games. So, a la Noah Herron, instead of waiting for him to regain his health, the Packers put him on injured reserve, ending his season. My apologies to all of you who picked him up on your fantasy teams. Wynn looks like a pretty talented guy, and, if he drops some excess weight, could be a legit starting back in the league. But that's only if he can stay healthy, something that looks dubious. But hell, he was a seventh round pick! Keep him around, and see if he can do anything. There's virtually no risk on the Packers' end.

As far as this season goes, I'm hoping that losing Wynn won't hurt the Packers that much. Although this may mean we see more of the (right now) totally pedestrian Brandon Jackson (Brandon's only 21, so I have hope for his future development), Ryan Grant and Vernand Morency should be able to contribute about as much as Wynn could. And it's not like the team isn't used to playing without Wynn anyway, with all of his various injuries and health issues.

In more immediately troubling news, it looks like PJ Hill may not be able to play at OSU on Saturday. And Lance Smith is still suspended for road games, due to his cab fare/battery of girlfriend/shoe stealing incident. (Man, being an Ohio native, you have got to think that Lance would have been really amped for this game.) This means that the running game will be in the hands of true freshman Zach Brown, backed up by true freshman Quincy Landingham. Uh oh. Zach has good acceleration, and appears to be an excellent blocker, but he has not shown that he can pick up tough yards or break tackles like PJ, though, to be fair, few backs can. And he certainly doesn't have Lance's agility or experience. Since OSU is ranked number one in total defense so far this season, and number four in rushing defense, you have to think, come Saturday, there won't be a lot of wide open holes for Badger backs to run through. PJ's ability to get yards after contact and Lance's ability to freestyle probably would have come in handy. Zach will do his best, I'm sure, but the offensive game will largely be in the hands of Donovan and the receiving corps. Double uh oh. Unless the defense comes up absolutely huge in Columbus, it could be a long day.

Now it's time for some happier running back news. Two Badger running back recruits from the Chicago area had huge days in the first round of the Illinois state playoffs. Eric Smith, from Bolingbrook High School (far Southwestern suburbs) had 25 carries for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Dex Jones, from Montini High School (a Catholic school in the Western suburbs) had 15 carries for 202 yards and a score. Now, since this was the first round of the playoffs, and both guys are on pretty good teams, they weren't playing against totally awesome opponents or anything. But you'd hope your recruits would dominate middling opposition, and so it's good to see they did. Treading positive...

Screw OSU

We have won the last 3 games in Columbus. We have 4 out of the last six games. We can do this. Get in the right mindset. We matchup well versus these guys.

We took them down in the Matt Schabert game. We took them at the Horseshoe down 17-0, a game I will always love because the dudes I watched the game with (in college mind you) decided that they had seen enough and cursed Bollinger and went to go eat at Qdoba. When they came back it was 42-17, and I had my favorite "I'm a WAY better fan than you" moment.

But those two contests pale in comparison to my favorite game ever at Camp Randall. The snowy night game in 1993. The sounds of gloves and mittens clapping. Our team actually was playing in a big game, a NIGHT game, a game to either emerge from the rubble or fall back under it. So, I'm planning on a win this week in Columbus, even though a Tie could be pretty sweet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


All you can say is, "wow, that ruled." The defense bent, and bent and bent all game, was gifted a fumble at their own one, had the altitude forcing them to suck wind, gave up a game tying 95 yard drive in the last two minutes, and made it rain yellow handkerchiefs. But they only gave up 13 points, and the Packers won the game. And the offense actually ran the ball, but then made bizarre calls like a no back shotgun formation from the three-yard line. (Hello! The team was actually running the ball! Run it some more!) Or got boneheaded penalties that shot them in the foot. Or was totally on the wrong page-- remember that play when Favre thought it was a run to the right, and everyone else blocked and moved left, or the play from the five when Favre badly missed an open Donald Driver? Or moved the ball until they were just out of field goal range, then stalled, and punted the ball into the end zone? (That had to have happened at least three times.) Or got completely shut out for the entire second half? Yeesh. And still, they won.

Man, two touchdown bombs will change a game. Those throws were excellent, and the two young wideouts, one a rookie, and another a second-year guy, made great plays. Could anyone believe that Jones ran past the Champ Bailey on that first one? Especially when his after-the-catch moves showed his pretty average speed? How long did it take him to get to the end zone after he caught the ball? It felt like five minutes. And Jennings made a wonderful play to get open. He was even with Bly, then leaned inside, taking Bly with him toward the middle of the field, then saw the ball headed toward the sidelines, and because he had led Bly inside, had enough room to go back wide and make the catch. It was a wonderfully run route by Jennings. And folks should recognize that the game-winner doesn't happen unless the running game is working. The Bronco safeties were playing run, and the fake prevented them from getting back to help deep.

The most important plays in that game were clearly the two bombs, the Bronco's fumble at the goal line, and Jennings' call of heads at the start of overtime. He calls tails, the Packers lose that game. Hell, we all thought they were going to lose it anyway. They had been shut out in the second half, and Denver was rolling. But then that beautiful play-action fake, and the bomb. So pretty. Jennings, with the coin toss call and the catch, is my game MVP.

I don't know what this game means going forward. It might mean nothing. The penalties, even though several seemed ticky-tacky, were disturbing, especially the false starts on the goal line. Bigby's ball kicking was unacceptable. The defense didn't get much direct pressure-- all of Kampman's sacks were "coverage sacks"-- even though they blitzed more than usual. Al didn't have a particularly good game, it seemed. Besides the goal line fumble, the D didn't create any turnovers. A replacement back ran pretty successfully on us. Javon Walker didn't play, and Cutler still looked pretty good. The Packers' D was clearly gassed by the end. Maybe this game is a sign the D is plateauing. Or maybe it was just the pressure from the big game and the altitude.

The offensive bombs were great, and were derived from a successful running game. But who knows if they'll be able to run on anyone else? I guess it's good that Packers were successfully running with subs in at center and right guard. But the Broncos' run D is terrible, and they had injury problems of their own. And what happened to Deshawn Wynn? How many hits did he take before he whacked his shoulder and left the game? Will he ever be able to stay healthy?
The end of that game was wonderful, and I appreciate that that was the first time the team's ever won in Denver. But the Packers remain an enigma.

Flippin' Sweet

Oh my God, that was awesome. I just had the funnest sports weekend ever. The only thing that could have made it better is if the Red Sox and all of their douche-bag fans didn't get to celebrate, but I'm not letting the bags of douche get me down. I just drove 2,000 miles round-trip to see the Badgers put it on the Hoosiers and then see two amazing 80-yard bombs from Favre to demoralize the Donkeys for the next several years...from the front row of the end-zone!

I had been planning to drive back to Madison to try to see a game at Camp Randall for a few years, and 4th year of med school (aka the most expensive vacation of your life) was the perfect time to do it. We packed the kids in the car and trekked across the evils of Husker/Hawkeye country. Tickets were tough to come by earlier this year, but after 2 ugly losses, we ended up with fairly decent seats on the Badger sideline at the south end zone about 20 rows up. It was the wife's first game at Camp Randall and my first in 11 years (an awful Homecoming loss to NW involving a Ron Dayne fumble while trying to run out the clock). My son, who's only other Bucky game was vs. San Diego State at the Q when he was a baby, sat with my dad. At any rate, it was a perfect football day with Union South marching bands, Bucky smashing people in the mouth, Jump Around, the 5th Quarter, and only minimal Eat Shit-Fuck You chanting. (Do the students even know that that come from Tastes Great-Less Filling?) The Badgers are a very flawed football team, but on Saturday they were a lot of fun to watch. Not six hours after the game was over, we packed the kids back in the car (now adorned with a brand-new Bucky sticker) and drove back home to Denver.

A friend of ours was bragging to us a few weeks ago that he was going to the Broncos-Packers game, and we demanded to know where he got his tickets and if he could get more. Having grown up a Packer fan, I did not expect the response of, "Oh sure, my friend has three extra seats that he was wanting to sell." So we bought three tickets at face value...oh, and did I mention that they were first row in the end-zone!

The train downtown was filled with Packer fans. It was ridiculous. Clearly, more of the season ticket holders probably drive to the game, but walking in it felt like half the stadium was Packer fans. Even in our section we had Packer fans to our right and directly behind us. The drunk, 'roid-rage Bronco fan behind us calling the guy to out right a "homo" got a little old, but the guy shut him up by telling 'roid guy that front row seats he bought cost more than his $200 car. Very amusing.

Apparently, my son (and the right half of my body) had his 5 seconds of fame during the 2nd quarter. It seems as if Ben was on ESPN coming back from commercial, at least that is what the dozen or so phone calls and text messages that we got a minute later would suggest.

While the second half was horrible for the Packers, the two bombs totally made up for everything else. Unfortunately, they were both scored in the opposite end zone, small price to pay for being there. And the $300 total that I paid for the two games was well worth it.

Thoughts from Saturday:

  • Jackie I played phenomenally. He totally shut down a Hardy, who will be playing on Sundays in a year or two.

  • Stumpy Guns is a very mediocre QB. He didn't seem to blow quite as many reads, but he definitely left a lot of points on the field all by himself.

  • I agree with Ando, we need PJ if we want to beat good teams, especially without Smith on the road.

Thoughts from Monday:

  • Atari Bigby is a hack. The guy cannot keep his hands off of anybody on a pass play. We need a new safety.

  • Stokely repeatedly burned Al Harris in man coverage. Is he losing a step?

  • Do not get excited about Grant. Your grandma could run on the Broncos D, especially without John Lynch.

  • Jones beat Champ Bailey for that TD. Score one for the rookie.

  • On the way out of the game, the entire ramp from the upper decks was chanting "GO PACK GO!" It was really cool be on the road and have the whole stadium echoing with a Packer cheer.

I may just have to do this again sometime.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pound that Meat

It's good to wake up delirious on Saturday morning kick the girl out of bed and instinctively head to your favorite Badger Bar. It's bad when the door is locked. Good when you knock and good when they answer. Bad when you're clearly the first person there. Good when the waitresses and bartenders are all smoking hot and are willing to flirt.

This is a long way of saying that when Randy Moss says he'll meet you and he doesn't, its damn good to come out running the ball at a bunch of corn eating, pick&roll oriented, won't get the hot girls at school because that goes to the basketball players, douchebag wimps from Indiana. We gave the rock to Pressly just to scare them. Then we ran at their heads some more. The Mexicans holding "Viva Mr. Man" banners just ran back inside the Alamo. Big white men from the north were running in formation and trampling people. Its good when our O-Line hurts people, it feels good anyway.

Also, in further news, turns out PJ Hill did not get "knocked up" during the game. As we all know, PJ is a "giver" not a "taker". A "pitcher" not a "catcher". A "hot dog" not a "hot bun". He may have gotten nicked up, or maybe knocked out, but for sure he is not knocked up.

I can't wait to get to the Horseshoe. I've found Matt Schabert, working at a Potbelly's, and he's ready to go in the 4th quarter if needed. Unfortunately, Lee Evans was called and accidently caught a 4th quarter 85 yard bomb yesterday.

The OSU all special academic exception squad is whatever. Suck us. Fuck them. It's on.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alrightie then...

Wisconsin just finished spanking Indiana 33-3 in the Badgers' annual homecoming game. The Badgers never trailed, coming out to a 17-0 lead, rushing for 280 yards, getting 5 turnovers, holding Indiana's talented duo of James Hardy and Kellen Lewis to 4 catches for 17 yards, and 17 of 33 attempts for 112 yards passing, respectively. A very solid all around performance, and something that was very heartening-- the Badgers outperformed their expectations. No one was picking them to win this big, and most people predicted a very close game. Game thoughts--

We don't appreciate Hill enough. When he went out, the Badgers' running game sputtered. He's the only one of UW's backs, besides the fullbacks maybe, who consistently gain yards after contact. Smith has great quickness, but it's rare to see him drive defenders back. Brown has a nice burst, but simply isn't powerful enough to do what PJ does. When PJ got knocked up (he hurt his ankle, and was on the sidelines in a boot during the second half), the Badgers had been running the ball quite well. Indiana then started run blitzing, which stymied the run, and UW's offense stagnated until the fourth quarter, failing to capitalize on several turnovers. With Hill in the game, I think UW scores more points. Badger fans better hope he's healthy for next week's game in Columbus. That will be some tough sledding, though today has got to give you some hope.

Donovan looks to have regressed as a passer. The Washington State game may have been his best performance of the year. He was repeatedly over and underthrowing guys, causing them to jump up and get in vulnerable positions (see Swan's injury against Illinois), get out of stride, or lurch backwards. In some cases, he had serious pressure, so it was understandable. But he made too many mistakes. He threw one pick, where the defender watched him stare at Hubbard for about 5 seconds, then jumped up and picked off the ball. That was in the end zone, and thus completely unacceptable. He should have thrown a second interception earlier in the game, when he stared at Garrett Graham streaking down the middle, and failed to see a defender sliding over. The Indiana player just dropped that one. Donovan's a solid runner, for sure (though he lost a fumble today). And he's a tough guy-- he does take a lot of hits. But he's a step backwards from Stocco, in my opinion.

The defense might have come around. For most of the game, the defense looked very sure; which, in my lexicon, means there just weren't a lot of busted plays or big gains allowed. There were still missed tackles, and some decent gains for Indiana. But the Hoosiers number one threat, (no, not bears) James Hardy, was basically a non-factor. And, at long last, the turnovers, in particular, the fumbles, both caused and recovered. Guys flew around, and in some instances, did it how they tell you-- let the first guy wrap the ball carrier up, and the later tacklers go for the ball. Well done. And, they did it without my favorite linebacker, #47, Jaevery McFadden, who hurt his elbow last week. (The coaches have finally realized he should be on the field in the defense's 3-3-5 alignment.)

The team has three very tough games left. I don't know if the Badgers' home form the past two weeks will mean anything against OSU, or Michigan, or even at Minnesota, for that matter. But I hope it does.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Didn't I Predict This?

Right, I did. More than once. I am the Big Nostradamus! Anyhow, Lance pled guilty to a few misdemeanors, but entered a first offender program, and the charges will dismissed if he completes it. Hopefully, he will. Boo Wade had the same deal, failed to complete his program, didn't get his charges taken away, and dropped out of school. Don't make the same mistake, Lance.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ranked Again? Uh oh.

The UW football Badgers have re-entered the rankings. That is, a ranking, specifically, the coaches poll. The team is 25th. I find this annoying and undeserved. UW played it's first solid game of the season last Saturday, in pounding a completely injury-riddled Northern Illinois squad 44-3. That's one solid game in eight tries, and only the second game where UW's defense has looked solid-- the other, arguably, being the Iowa game. Plus, it wasn't an all-facets butt-kicking either, as Donovan threw an interception and the team hardly had any passing yards. I guess I just I feel better about this team when it's fighting for respect. It's had too much respect given to it this season, as best shown by the #5 ranking going into the Illinois game.

Also, I do not want this team to be overconfident going into the Indiana game. Indiana's QB is Randle El, the Older, esque, and that team had a good shot to beat Penn State, if their punt returner hadn't totally blown it. (Indiana was down six, and they forced PSU to punt with about 90 seconds left. Their punter returner called for a fair catch around the 35, but then let the punt go over his head where it bounced to around the 5. This is not the NFL-- game over.) And a reminder, PSU beat the Badgers by 31 points.
I also saw some ranking of wide receiver prospects for next year's NFL draft and it had James Hardy, IU's enormous touchdown machine (31 career TD receptions), rated as the 5th best prospect, behind Michigan's Mario Manningham. Let me think about that. Ummm . . . . no. Hardy is freaking awesome. I would take him over Manningham in a heartbeat. He looks like Calvin Johnson or Terrell Owens. He schooled PSU's Justin King repeatedly on Saturday; even though King is also a probable first day draft pick. This will likely be Jackie I's toughest match-up all year.
Thus, I expect the Badger defense to "regress" to Sparty-like form next Saturday. The badass performance against NIU will have been a blip on the radar screen. The offense will have to outscore them. Thank goodness Lance can play home games, and Hubbard is back.

Oh, and if you don't have the Big Ten Network, the only channel that's carrying the Indiana game, you're welcome to watch the game at my place. I would normally use this as an excuse to push Dish Network, but they just charged us for a package that I called about and canceled, twice. Even the guys who give you good deals are evil. Argh.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hughes Fans Should Dig This

Particularly specific people who shouted "Start Him!" whenever Hughes was on the court last season. Get psyched.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tanner Bronson?

Seriously? Did the Journal-Sentinel actually write that? And hasn't Tanner Bronson been the scrappy guy on the end of the bench for 8 years or something? There is no way that guy has any eligibility left, even if he still looks like he is 13.

I demand more elucidation on this undisclosed "medical problem". I respect that Michael Flowers wants privacy, but we should at least get to know when/if he will return. Seriously, unless I had acquired VD or something, I wouldn't be embarrassed to share why I needed to go to the doctor.


I've got one question for everybody: (Just go to the link, people. I have no idea how to hypertext)

Where hast thee gone, oh unwavering Badger spirit? 2 Losses and the Lambeau Camp wants to cede the war to the South? Consider the Alamo? That's our slogan? Consider the Alamo? Sounds like weak taco sauce to me.

Illinois slipped through our fingers and Penn State whipped us. I'm over it. HerewegoletsgoletsgetfiredupHerewegoletsgoletsgetfiredupHEREWEGOLETSGOLETSGETFIREDUP

What the Hell?

Michael Flowers, the lone upperclassman in the male basketball Badgers' backcourt, has taken a "medical leave of absence." No idea what this means. He has cancer? Herpes from that tramp in KD? A flesh eating bacteria infection? Hep C? An embarrassing cold sore? Rickets? Anyhow, I hope he's alright and heals up soon. Flowers is a Madison kid who was more of a pure athlete than a basketball player coming out of high school, but has worked his butt off and become a very good college basketball player. He's easily the team's best defensive guard. Flowers also could pull off a mean Urkle. Losing him is a serious blow. The only positive may be that it'll give some of the younger guys more time on the court, and thus more time to develop.

And they'll need time to develop-- since Mickey Perry transferred last season, the remaining guards are true freshman Tim Jarmusz, and sophomores Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes. Since Bohannon is more of a college two-guard, if Flowers is out for an extended period of time, this means that Hughes will be the starting point guard entering the regular season. Trevon oozes talent, but besides an excellent performance against Marquette, he didn't see the court that much his freshman year. This season was already predicted to be a bit choppy, given the loss of Alando and Kam from last year's team. This could make the ride even bumpier. And for all those fans who were crying out for Hughes to get more time last season, you may be about to get your wish. Should be interesting stuff.

Addendum: Oh, crap. I was reading coverage of this online and just saw the words "Tanner Bronson."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chris Chambers Gets To Be On A Decent Team

Right before the NFL trading deadline passed on Tuesday night, the Miami Dolphins traded former Wisconsin Badger Chris Chambers to the offensively loaded San Diego Chargers. In return, the Dolphins receive the Chargers' second round pick in next spring's draft. Miami is 0-6, and appears to have punted on the season, despite Ronnie Brown's emergence as an excellent player.
It'll be neat to see what Chris can do as part of a talented offense. If you have the best running back and tight end in football on your team, you'd think your wide receivers would see a lot of single coverage. And Chris has been playing at a high level this season-- even with Miami struggling, he's been on pace to have 1,000 yards receiving, so he could really be a boost to the Chargers passing offense. I'm not that impressed with Vincent Jackson or Buster Davis, so Chris may very well become the Chargers number one wideout. Good for him. San Diego's nicer than Miami anyway. (And Mexican food kicks the crap out of Cuban food.)

The Packers, as you might anticipate, didn't make any trades. Their one potential trading piece, defensive lineman Corey Williams, who's an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, has made himself too valuable to the team-- subbing in well at end and tackle, and forcing the Santana Moss fumble that enabled Woodson to score the game winning touchdown against the Redskins. The team's likely going to lose him in the offseason, and will receive almost nothing in return. (Football does give compensatory draft picks, but they're almost always really late in the draft.) Hopefully, his play over the rest of the season will be worth it.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I think that's the best we can expect from the Badgers this year. It could be as bad as 7-5. Hell, if they lose to Indiana in two weeks, which seems possible, it could be 6-6, and the Motor City Bowl. Awww, yeah. Nothing like Detroit in December.

We were all reminded the past two weeks how difficult it is to win on the road in the Big Ten. Especially when your defense impersonates the local high school's JV team, and your offense thinks the field ends at the other team's 40. This means that, barring some sort of miracle turn around, the Badgers will have another Penn State like score when they play Ohio State in the closed off Horseshoe. And the way Michigan's been playing since getting depantsed on national television by Oregon, the November 10th game at Camp Randall could also be a beatdown. That leaves three winnable games-- next week against Northern Illinois in Madison, then home against Indiana, and the last game of the season against Minnie in the Dome. Northern's struggling with injuries, and in the middle of a down year to begin with, since losing several stars to graduation. Indiana got shut down, sort of, in East Lansing against Sparty last week. But they did manage to beat Iowa, in Iowa City. And they have some pretty talented guys, like James Hardy at wideout, and their wee, but speedy quarterback. Right now, Minnesota is not a good team, especially on defense. But their offense isn't bad, and they have an emerging player at QB, and some good pieces, like Ernie Wheelright, at the offensive skill positions. That game is actually worrisome because Minnesota's a young team, and is likely to be improving as the season goes along. So Wisconsin will be getting them at what will probably be their peak. And Minnesota will be super fired up, looking to end their season on a positive note, by beating a rival in a trophy game, at home. Whereas Wisconsin will probably be reeling from the Michigan game, and looking to get the game over with so they can rest up, and get into bowl practice. That game will be serious trouble.

So I'm calling it-- 8-4 at best. Lets say opposite Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl:
So beautiful...

Not what you'd hope for when you're ranked 7th going into the season, but everyone thought the defense would be way better, and no one knew that the D-line would be a five man rotation, that Smith would be suspended for every road game, or that Hubbard and Swan would miss most of the year. San Antone! Yee haw.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Packers' Defense Saves the Weekend

The stupid Bears-Queens game (ok, it was a good game) prevented me from seeing the Packers edge the Redskins 17-14. The Skinflutes were winning at halftime 14-7, and it looked like the Packers were unaware that Chris Cooley was on the field, since he was burning them repeatedly. But the D sacked up, shut out Washington in the second half, and Woodson displayed his Heisman-like form by returning a Corey Williams caused fumble for a touchdown. Yee haw.

That was certainly needed, because the Scott Wells-less offense had a bad day. The Pack gained only 225 total yards. Brett shattered the all-time interception record, thanks to two bombs that Sean Taylor picked off. Tauscher and Clifton ruined a perfectly good touchdown drive. And Mason Crosby disturbingly missed two makeable field goals that would have made the game far more comfortable. Normally, when you're playing a good team, and your quarterback and kicker have bad days, you lose. But a defensive touchdown makes a world of difference, and the second half the Packer's defense played was remarkable.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This Sucks

That's basically all that can be said about this game. The defense is making Morelli look like a Heisman finalist. Scott's replacement is gashing the D. Gilreath should not be on the field--he's tiny and can't hold onto the ball. How about trying Daven Jones? At least he showed some aggressiveness on that punt coverage. Either Donovan's synapses fire incredibly slowly, or no one is open, because when he's getting sacked he's waiting and waiting. That pick he threw was really bad. Hill's fumble was ridiculous. Barring a miracle, you can write this one off. In effort to avoid the halftime highlights, I've opted to start watching "Three To Tango" starring Mathew Perry and Neve Campbell on HBO.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I can't wait for Badger Football season to start!

Don't you love the beginning of a new season? All of the unknowns will finally be answered. Especially with a team as young as Wisconsin...

Seriously though, I think Badger fans need to adjust their perspective. As Mr. Man pointed out, with the exception of our All-American TE and our currently injured tailback, Bucky is incredibly green at all of the skill positions. I am including Stumpy Guns in this group because, though he is a 5th year senior, he is playing like a first-year starter (which he is). The defense, while more experienced than the offense, clearly lacks the leadership that they typically rely on from their scrappy, undersized, less-athletic (read: white kid from Northern Wisconsin) safety.

From here on out I will view Wisconsin's season as a building year in which I will be pleased with a late December bowl, and ecstatic with a New Years Day bowl. I have been miserable watching the Badger's first 6 games because I expected so much and they gave me so little. It was awful having to suffer through all of the mediocrity. With my new perspective though, I will accept the mediocrity as growing pains, and be excited with the big plays, viewing them as strides forward. I hope this will make me a much happier college football fan.

This new perspective does raise a couple of questions though:

1. Was Bielema just riding on Alvarez's coat-tails last year? I think time will tell. I believe he will be an excellent coach, but I don't think we will truly know until he has all of his own recruits playing his system.

2. Should Evridge be starting or at least playing more? He is going to be the starter next year, and needs some time in the offense. He has better skills than Donovan and might be more entertaining to watch. I say if we lose 1-2 more games Everidge gets the ball.

In regards to PSU, I find Ando's theory compelling, but I fear multiple INTs due to balls forced into triple coverage against Beckum.

A Happy Trip?

The University of Wisconsin football team plays at Penn State tomorrow at 2:30 pm Central. You probably know this already. I'm not going to get into who's favored (I strongly suspect that it's PSU) or why. Or go into a detailed reconstruction of UW's woes. If you're reading this, you're likely already aware that the offense is missing its starting wide receivers, and that the defense has only forced four turnovers in six games, and has generally been leaking like a heavily syphilitic . . . well, you get the idea. You also probably know that Penn State has a fair amount of talent, including a stout rushing defense with future high draft picks at linebacker (Sean Lee) and cornerback (Justin King). And that their stadium is enormous, and their home record is excellent.

You may not know, however, that Penn State's starting running back, Austin Scott, has been suspended from the team due to just being charged with sexual assault. (Grim.) Or that PSU only scored 9 points against a Michigan defense that had been impersonating a swinging gate. Or that the Nittany Lions have committed sixteen turnovers in six games. Or that the Nittany Lion, as a species, is extinct. (I figured this out on my own.) Or that Joe Paterno regularly accosts other drivers on the Penn State campus for driving dangerously. (This past week, while Paterno was scolding a woman driver for running a stop sign, a man approached and informed Joe Pa that he was the woman's husband. Paterno responded: ''That's your problem.'')

Here's what I think-- this is another game, kind of like Iowa, where the Badger defense has a chance to play well. PSU's coaches, particularly their offensive coaches, are not particularly creative or bright. Example-- in their loss at Illinois they called four or five screens, but the play never worked. I was shouting at the television the last time they made the call-- it resulted in a two-yard loss. Penn State's qb, Morelli, has a big arm, but a slow wind up, and has struggled against good competition. (His TD to interception ratio against Notre Dame, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa is 3 to 6.) The runners may be talented (one of Scott's replacement ran for over 150 against Iowa), but they'll be green. In short, I do not think this will be Illinois or Sparty. The defense may give up some big plays, particularly a deep pass or two to PSU's talented receivers, but PSU should not run wild. And the Badgers will likely have opportunities to get turnovers, given the young runners and Morelli's track record.

However, the offense will be severely tested. Penn State's defensive is ranked fifth nationally in yards allowed, thirteenth in passing yards, and eighth in rushing. (They have played two utter patsies, yes worse than the Citadel, in Buffalo and Florida International, but those are still good numbers.) We can expect PSU to run blitz on Hill, try to get to Donovan to create turnovers, double cover Beckum, and generally show little respect to anyone else. Thus, it's up to the unheralded or overlooked guys, like Garrett Graham, Andy Crooks (should he play), Zach Brown, Mickey Turner, Kyle Jefferson, David Gilreath and Marcus Randle-El to make plays. I think they have the ability to get it done, but I'm not confident they will.

Sorry to be typical, but it may come down to TOs. If the Badgers can finally create some, and get the ball with some decent field position (a huge problem against Illinois), they should be able to take this game. And similarly, Donovan and Hill will touch the ball a lot. They've got to hold on and make sound decisions.

As I said earlier, I think this game is winnable. Coming off a tough loss and tough injuries, and with deflated expectations and all that, the team has a great opportunity to respond. Lets hope they do it.

A Fun Way To Waste Your Time

If you're still a bit sad about last week's football defeats at the hands of the navy and orange hordes from Illinois, here's a fun way to distract yourself. The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team is having their "Midnight Madness" opening practice tonight, Friday, October 12, at the Kohl Center in Madison. Admission is free. Since the team lost three starters in Alando, Kam Taylor, and J-Cheezy (who's t-shirt website is operational, by the way), it'll be quite interesting to see how this season's squad shakes out. I think most people look for talents like forward Marcus Landry and guard Jason Bohannon to emerge as dynamic and important players, but knowing how Bo works, the guys that he trusts and who've put in a lot of time, like guard Michael Flowers and big men Brian Butch and Greg Stiemsma, will likely get a lot of time on the floor. (Consider Bo's recent quote in State Journal that "I think Michael Flowers is ready to have a huge impact on the Big Ten, on both ends, offensively and defensively.") This initial practice, and the team's intra-squad game that's coming up, could offer some hints.

However, if going to the practice is impossible and/or kind of embarrassing, it'll also air on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 pm Central, this evening. So if you want some easy entertainment, and your satellite/cable provider gave into Rupert Murdoch and thus carries BTN, check it out. I'm planning on Tivo-ing that, mainly so I can watch it when the woman is out of the house. She'd totally make fun of me, then complain about how watching practices is stupid, and then insist on watching "Design To Sell" on HGTV.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All Things Must End

And so it was this weekend. No more jinx-inducing talk of streaks for the Badgers and Packers. Both teams had wonderful runs, as did we as Badger and Packer fans. Now it's regrouping time.

For the Packers, it shouldn't be that hard. They had the game in hand. Subtract one turnover and one or two key penalties (Williams' bizarre field goal line-up or Barnett's facemask, for example), and they win. They gave the game to the Bears. And, since they do have the youngest team in the NFL, you'd expect some occasional mistake-ridden games. Hopefully, this is the one time it costs the team a win.

For me, the really worrisome development was the second half offense. Where'd it go? Did the Bears adjust to the Packers' running game, and did McCarthy fail to adjust back? Did losing Scott Wells (he got poked in the eye) really hurt that much? Did the players just start playing badly? Did losing Jennings for a little while gum things up? I can't answer these questions. All I know is that the Pack racked up 300 yards of offense in the first half, then had 5 three and outs in the second. Maybe the first half offense was just a fluke. I mean, they sure looked better than at any other point in the season. Maybe all the running surprised the Bears for a bit.

For the Badgers, things are a bit more worrisome. Luke Swan is out for the year with what, based on the replays, looks like a torn hamstring. Ick. With Paul Hubbard still healing from his assault by a moronic UNLV defender, this means that Jefferson and Gilreath or Randle El are the likely starters. That spells trouble, although it looks like Jefferson can run by almost anybody. Maybe another guy, like freshman Daven Jones, who's already burned his redshirt, I believe, can step up. Whatever it is, our wideouts will not get a lot of respect, and given their lack of experience, we may see more balls like that first interception against Illinois-- thrown somewhere in the vicinity of the freshmen receivers, but not exactly to anyone in particular. This also means that opposing defenses will focus even more on stopping Beckum. He'll see a lot of double coverage. The offense will also need some leadership, now that two fifth year seniors are out--can UW get a full-speed Andy Crooks, please? If Crooks gets back, look to see a lot of three tight end sets, with him, Beckum, and Graham. That group could be very effective against most linebacking corps.

To throw in a positive note, I must say, that the offense's performance in the second half against Illinois, with no Swan, Hubbard, Lance Smith, or Crooks, and a nicked-up Hill, was impressive. At least until the two picks, but those just look like iffy play-calls and/or QB decisions. Brown looked good in his appearances, so that's reassuring, especially for next weekend at PSU, where you know the Extinct Pumas will be trying to knock Hill out of the game.

The Badger defense continues to be hit or miss, great on one down, and lousy on the next. And unfortunately, opposing offenses get multiple downs. It may be dicey all season, alas, a la 2005, especially with no bye week. What I'd really like to see is some more effing turnovers. With only Four, (4!) in six games, the Badgers are on pace to force a historically low number. And getting turnovers is so important-- one fumble or interception could easily have turned the Illinois game in the Badgers' favor. How about the defense just focus on that? Focusing on other more general goals, like "not sucking" for example, is not really getting it done.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Worst sports weekend in recent memory. Cataloging the bed-crapping would be too depressing, and a waste of a lovely Columbus Day. Enjoy the day, and forget about football.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Go Pack!

Since I'm friends with many Cub fans, and the Badger's lost in Shampoo-Banana yesterday, I'm hoping to God that the Packers can revive the weekend by beating the Bears tonight. A loss for both teams would result in a state of Illinois sweep. That's no fun. If I'm talking to the fates, I advocate for the young upstarts to win. Illinois, a struggling team until this season, beat a more established Wisconsin last night. But the Packers are the young turks in tonight's match-up-- the Bears have won the division for two straight seasons, and lost in the Super Bowl last winter.

Let's hope the theme of the weekend is the changing of the guard-- Arizona and Colorado have already eliminated two far more storied teams, so lets have the youngish Indians beat Yankees,
and the upstart Pack cement their reemergence by taking it to the Bears.

Also, if you can watch this past week's episode of HBO's Inside the NFL, do it. They miked Favre up for last week's game. What they manage to capture is wonderful and hilarious.

They Had It Coming

Sadly, we've learned that the Badgers is simply not going to be as good as everyone hoped it would be coming into the season. The reasons for that are a little too myriad for me to explain, but this is how it's going to be-- some very solid plays, others totally blown, few to little turnovers. That's not a successful recipe, and the team will need the offense to control the game in order to win games. In this one, the offense moved the ball very well, over 500 yards total, even against a hard hitting and pretty sound Illinois defense. Unfortunately, in the first half, the offense repeatedly stalled when it got close to the red zone. And they made plays, but not enough, in the second half.

The offense is now officially banged up. But even with that, I thought their performance was pretty remarkable in the second half. When I realized Hill was on the bench on an exercise bike to start the third quarter, and saw Swan was crutching around, I thought they were going to get shut out for the rest of the game. But they moved the ball pretty consistently, and the defense made a few stops, not enough it turned out, and they got back in the game.

Then there were those two unfortunate interceptions. The Badgers were down five, moving the ball with a chance to take the lead, and threw two unnecessarily long passes that were picked off. One looked like it was due to a misunderstanding between Donovan and the two freshmen wideouts, Gilreath and Jefferson, that were in the area. The pass was too high for Gilreath and too short for Jefferson, but just right for an Illinois defender. Confusing between those three was a recurring theme in the second half. It was understandable, given the inexperience. The second was intended for a double-covered Beckum and shouldn't have been thrown. As sad as it is to question Chryst, who generally seems to do a great job, those calls simply didn't work out.

Other notes--
- Gilreath needs to sack up. He fields a kick or a punt, and then runs diagonally. That's not going to work against Big Ten competition. Plus, great kick returners tend to go forward and them make a cut and explode, not run laterally. That's just a recipe for what was baked up yesterday--crappy field position. Also, on one of his receptions, he had the first down by two yards, then jumped backwards, looking to avoid a big hit, and then started moving forward when he was tackled, essentially losing two yards, and ended up barely getting the first down. I guess that makes sense because he dropped a He's a little guy, we all know. But he needs to accept contact and get comfortable taking it.

- The team misses Crooks's blocking. Graham is a very good receiving threat, and Turner is an adequate blocker, but neither are up to Crooks's all-around ability. He was in pads this week, so hopefully he'll actually be back on the field next weekend.

- The defense folded for the last touchdown because of the two picks the offense gave up. But before that, Illinois's man child receiver, #9, Benn, had been knocked out, and the FIBs were down to runs with Williams and Mendenhall. The Badgers then forced two straight punts. This demonstrates, that without Benn, Illinois's offensive became far less scary. If he misses the Michigan game in two weeks, Illinois loses.

- We did know this was coming. Wisconsin had played too many flawed teams far too closely. And the team is now seriously banged up, at a position, WR, where it doesn't have great depth. The question is, how does the team progress from here? As I've said, the defense will probably be hit or miss all season. The offense is gimpy, and can't ride Hill and Beckum forever. But it can still be a successful year. The only game that looks out of reach for the rest of the season is the one in Columbus. Every other match-up, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, the Badgers have a good chance to win. But the freshmen, especially Brown, Gilreath, and Jefferson, will have to step up, especially on the road against PSU next week, when Swan and Hubbard will both still surely be out.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Homers Are Restless

The State Journal's UW football writer has apparently noticed the Badgers' problems this season, and thus picks Illinois to win tomorrow. So do three out of the five Cap Times predictors, though one doesn't even explain why. Can that be a good thing? They have consistently picked UW to win by margins that it usually hasn't met. Maybe the karma will flip-flop?

Also, here's the Trib's take on what the Badgers and Never-Existed Indigenous Peoples each need to do to come out on top.

In unrelated news, Charles Tillman sounds pessimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday against the Packers. If both Tillman and Vasher are out, that could make a major difference.

To Champaign, Urbana, and Beyond!

Right. After a friend prodded me, tickets have been purchased for the Illinois game down in Champaign, which airs tomorrow at 11 am Central on ESPN. Getting there will require waking at the break of dawn, but I'm excited to see the Badgers in person, even if they do down. Verily, I am willing to brave the flat landscape, unattractive strip malls, and strong odor of manure.

I'm trying to convince myself that Vegas is right, and that Illinois should win, and thus be more able to enjoy the game if it's close. (Usually, I'm so freaked out in a close game that I can't really enjoy it until it's all over.) But then someone noted the following-- the Badgers' three really lousy defensive performances-- the Citadel and Sparty games -- all came when Jack Ikegwuonu was out. With him in, the Badgers have given up 21, 13, and 13 points, and Jack admitted he played poorly when UW gave up 21 to Wazzu. (Jack is apparently good to go tomorrow, knock on wood.) Is there a pattern? I hope so, or otherwise I fear we're going to see Illinois running spread options with the Juice, Benn and Mendenhall all day tomorrow.

I shall report back on Sunday with photographs-- reconnaissance from behind enemy lines.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

America's Number One Threat:

Bears! God, Colbert can bust out some funny crap. Seriously, my hope was that the Bears would be injury-riddled coming into Sunday night's showdown, but alas, it looks like several of their key defenders are on the mend. In last weeks' debacle against the Lions, the Bears' defense was missing Pro Bowler Lance "Rance!" Briggs, and starting corners Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman. And this was on top of losing their starting safety Mike Brown and one of their top defensive tackles, Dusty Dvoracek, for the season to knee injuries.

However, their most recent injury report only lists one player as "doubtful"-- Vasher, their ballhawking corner. Briggs and Tillman are listed as "questionable" as is Tommie Harris, one of the best defensive tackles in the league. This designation doesn't mean much though since Harris played against Detroit last weekend. Assuming that Vasher is out for this weekend, this doesn't create that much of an advantage for the Packers. The Bears nickel back, Ricky "Don't even look at me when I'm in a Denny's" Manning, Jr., is actually pretty solid, and can sub over easily for Vasher. The Bears have also grown accustomed to playing with out Mike Brown since he's been dogged by serious injuries the past few seasons. So with Tillman back, the Bears' defensive personnel, particularly their secondary, should be ok.

In summation, Packer fans should not expect to see the same Bears' defense that rolled over in the 4th quarter against the Lions. Some of their top talent will likely be back on the field, and since the Bears' season is on the brink, I expect Sunday night to be a very tough battle. The Packers may struggle to score points, and Favre could very well have one of his overdue bursts of turnovers. But you'd think the Packers D has a serious advantage over a struggling Bears offense, if the team's secondary can get healthy. (A recent report questioned whether Nick Collins would be able to play, and Woodson and Al are perpetually banged up.) And of course, the team should not punt the ball to Hester. My hope is the Packers will be solid enough on both sides of the ball to take the win against a flawed, but fired up Bears team. However, strange things happen in night games, and the Bears have owned Lambeau lately. I'm antsy about this one. Wait, I'm antsy about all of them. Oh hell, I'm especially antsy about it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Zookster Throws His Team Under The Bus!

Ron Zook, aka "The Zookster," head football coach at the prestigious "University of Ill-uh-noise" (as he pronounced it at his first press conference) apparently has no confidence in his team.

Specifically, in response to a question about Illinois being a three point favorite over Wisconsin according to Vegas, he told the media that "I think that is ludicrous" and that "I don't think there is any way possible a team like us could be favored over a team like Wisconsin." Then he voiced a conspiracy theory that Wisconsin alumni controlled betting lines, saying "I think that's probably somebody from Wisconsin trying to get them upset or get them fired up." (See here.)

Right... That's not just about the silliest thing I've ever heard. Hell, if Wisconsin alums controlled Vegas, then the lights would have stayed on at the UW-UNLV game three years ago!

You'd think Zook would be proud of the line, and how it demonstrates that people have noticed their success and think they're a good team. But apparently not. Is he uncomfortable playing any card but the underdog one? Is he too unoriginal to think of any motivation speech but the "no one respects us" standard? (I guess he's been giving that one for two years now, so maybe he's forgotten all of the others.)

Anyhow, how would you respond to these types of comments if you were an Illinois player? To your coach telling the world that the team you're playing is better than you? I'd be pissed and upset. At him. It's one thing for a coach to be realistic. But it's another to crap on his own team's abilities. Nice coaching, Zookster.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

State of Illinois Week!

So as fate and scheduling would have it, the Badgers play the Fighting But Never Existed Indigenous Peoples in Shampoo-Banana (Champaign-Urbana) at 11 am on Saturday, while the Packers host the Bears on Sunday night. So it's the State of Wisconsin v. the State of Illinois all weekend. As a born and raised Wisconsinite, but currently a guilty resident of the Chiccy-G (those Chicagoland women are tempting vixens!), this has me especially nervous.

First off, the Badgers, although so far undefeated, are struggling. They edged a banged up Iowa team, and let a somewhat talented Sparty make their defense look like warm brie. And they're injured and shallow at key positions. Hubbard is out for at least a few more weeks, Andy Crooks has played one snap all season, Lance can't play road games, Jackie I. has missed two entire games with various ailments, Jefferson was recently concussed, the linebackers are gimpy, and the d-line is as shallow as a kiddie pool. (Anyone seen Kurt Ware on the field lately?)

Yes, yes, they've gutted out victories. And Sparty may have been the most talented offensive opponent Wisconsin has played to date, but the problem is, Illinois may be even better talent-wise. Benn was one of the top wideout recruits in the country and, after enrolling early, is playing like it. Rashard Mendenhall was the top running back in Illinois his senior year of high school, and has been excellent this season. Juice Williams, the Illini's QB, is going through a bit of a sophomore slump-- he's still an effective runner, and has a strong arm, but his accuracy is up and down, even with Benn running routes. Illinois runs a version of the shotgun spread, also used by the Indianapolis Dolts, UNLV, and the Citadel. They run out of that formation most of the time, but throw in a lot of bells and whistles. Unfortunately, the Badgers have struggled (hell, they've struggled against everyone except Iowa) against this type of offense this season.

Illinois also has a tough, fast defense, led by graduate student/linebacker J Lehman (shortening your first name to a letter is, for the record, retarded), and Vernon Davis's little brother, Vontae, an excellent corner. That defense injured PJ last season, if you'll recall. I don't think their D is up to Iowa's level, but it's not that far behind. Plus, this will be the Badgers' first tough road game of the season. No, playing in front of a half pro-Bucky crowd in Vegas doesn't count.

Given all this info, it's not surprising that a fun post in a chat room already claimed that the Badgers are the underdog against Illinois according to the sports books, even though Wisco is ranked 5th and the "Looks like University of Illinois!" football team is still "receiving votes." The Communist Times seconds that info. That seems deserving given the way the two teams have been playing. But that's only if you view Penn State as a good team. Besides that close victory at home, Illinois lost to Missouri (currently ranked #17) in a close game, and beat the 'Cuse, Directional Illinois, and Indiana.

I do think the Badgers can win this game, and I'm not convinced they should be the underdog. Illinois' running game is good, but Williams is not a scary passer. The Badgers should stick Jack on Benn, and otherwise focus on stopping the run--forcing Williams to beat them. (He actually got pulled against Penn State last week.) The offense shouldn't be hard to figure out--runs up the middle and options with Mendenhall, end arounds and wide receiver screens to Benn, and occasional play-action passes. Call it a 70% run, 30% pass mix. It's an easy way to let athletic, non-braniac guys do some damage. Hopefully, UW can figure it out, and shut it down.

On defense, Illinois will be pretty tough. However, I don't think they have anyone who can match-up with Beckum, and the offensive line should be able to open up holes. The Badgers won't have Lance, but it's not like they were giving him the ball that often anyway. (Which is too bad, since he's quite good.) PJ stays intact, and Donovan holds onto the ball-- the Badgers have a good shot at the victory.

I'll hold off on discussing the Bears game until Chicago's injury report becomes clearer. If Vasher, Tillman and Briggs are still out, that could change things significantly.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Knuckles, not Fingers

Over the past few months, I've read a bunch of books by this English "mystery" writer, Lee Child. The best term to describe his books is "embarrassingly entertaining," meaning that you enjoy the books, but realize they're completely ridiculous and you probably shouldn't talk to other people about them. Nearly all his books feature this enormous, uber-bad ass ex-MP protagonist/narrator given the hilarious name of Jack Reacher. Anyhow, there's a scene in this one book, Killing Floor, where he's in a state prison and gets jumped by a group of neo-Nazis. Reacher is getting choked from behind by some enormous skinhead, but is able to peel him off and ends up kicking the skinheads' asses. Reacher later explains that the skinhead messed up by choking him with his fingers extended. This enabled Reacher to grab some of the skinhead's fingers and break them, thus freeing himself. Had the skinhead instead bent his fingers in, and choked him with his knuckles, Reacher admits, he would have been unable to pry off the attacker's fingers, and been killed.

This seems like an apt metaphor for the Badgers thus far this season. They're the skinhead-- they've ambushed the opponents, it's time for the kill stroke, and they can't deliver. Now so far, they've still managed to win the fight, no one has done a Jack Reacher on them--come back all the way to beat them--but if they keep letting people off the hook it's going to happen.

Consider last week's game-- Badgers are up ten, toward the end of the third quarter, the defense sacks the Sparty QB, actually forcing a three and out and a punt, and UW gets the ball at midfield. A good team marches down and scores, and puts the game out of reach. Wisco had just scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half, and had marched down the field to kick a field goal at the end of the first. They're moving the ball well on offense, their defense has actually done something, and it's time to firmly take control of the game. Things start out promisingly, with Hill running for five, Donovan scrambling for a few more, and PJ churning out a first down.

The ball is now at the Sparty 45. Twelve more yards, and Taylor's in field goal range. The blood should be in the water. The hands are around the neck, so to speak. But UW then starts going backwards. MSU defenders pile on Hill for a short loss. Donovan forces a pass to a double-covered Beckum, and the Sparty DBs break it up (and, alas, other players were open on this play). Then the Badgers run a swing pass to Hill, who's closely covered and tackled for a four yard loss. Boom goes the punt, which unfortunately goes into the end zone for a touchback, and the fingers are pried off the neck. Sparty has new life, and they score a touchdown on their next drive, suddenly making the game close again.

I don't know if the Badgers lost focus, or a few play calls went awry, or if Donovan made an iffy decision or what. And I know that Jefferson and Randle El were both out of the game at this point, so the passing attack was in semi-disarray. But they had the ball in opposing territory with a ten point lead late in the third quarter. That was the Badgers chance to put the game out of reach, and they went backwards. If UW wants to continue to win and start being taken seriously, it needs to take advantage of those opportunities. Stomp on opponents when they're down. Take your kill shot when you have it. As Jack Reacher would advise, use the knuckles, not the fingers.


i am not a stat guy. i leave 'sports facts' to people that are better at explaining what happens on the field than whats happening in their hearts. the packers are amazing. they like to drink blood and they will shank if they have to. there isn't a single non-tackler on the team. The punter is even a punk bitch. i love this team.
if we had a legit running back it would be a downer. i have never experienced having to figure out who the guy carrying the ball has been for my favorite team 4 weeks into the regular season. its hilarious. i hate every team in the NFC except ours and i can honestly say that that is due to other team's heartless coaching staffs, and rosters that only an HBO film could love.
next week we are going to go 5 and 0. its going to be a bloodbath. the trib is going to be amazing and the sun times will be better. i will be arriving in chicago monday morning and i can't wait to read both. the bears are awful. the best chance they have at being better is garret wolfe. they suck. brian griese griese is the juciest cheeseburger that you could possibly put on a plate in front of ryan pickett and johnny jolley and aaron kampman and cullin jenkins and all the other angry hungry licensed pittbulls that we run at this bullshit league every sunday. i can't believe that i get to be excited about this team. unexpected. thank you ted thompson. thank you mike mccarthy. thank you old man.
how many years is A. Rodge gonna have to wait? at least 1 more. trade him now. can we grab ladell betts? am i an idiot. 4-0.