11.25.2007

Weekly Wisconsin Sports Wank

Yeah I changed the title just a little bit because the "Wonk" part bothered me because it was borrowed. Plus "Wank" sounds just as good I guess. It doesn't exactly sound like Wisconsin is jacking off nor does it really sound like I'm calling myself a "wanker" which is high English for "fucker". Anyway I would say my teams are doing fairly well this week, so I will get down to it:

Packers: A-
Wooohoo!!! It's good to be a Packer's fan right now. Since the Pack won in KC they have put the mash on Minny, Carolina, and the Lions on Thanksgiving and are now poised to avenge some of the buttkickings Dallas used to give us when a young Favre had the Packers almost at that Super Bowl level but not quite yet, perenially getting bounced when when had to go to Texas in the playoffs. Alas by the time the Pack had acheived full force in '96, Dallas was in full decline so we never got a chance to meet in the playoffs again . . .until now. Despite the ominous New England shadow that seems to tower over any puny representative the NFC elects to the title game, this game might be worth watching by more than fans of the two teams. The Pats might be invicible, but I don't think anyone told the Packers that yet and the winner of this game is going to feel pretty good about their chances against anybody, anywhere, anyday.

And the Pack could actually be developing a dependable running game at just the right time. In Ryan Grant's five starts he has broken the century mark 3 times. Salvation from a Notre Dame running back??!!! I'll take it.

Wisconsin basketball/football: B+
Wisconsin's basketball team entered this season unheralded and unranked but have looked optomistically good early in the season while getting to 5-0. Starting point Travon Hughes is a talented athlete who reminds me of Devin Harris his freshman year. Brian Butch looks like he might finally be able to produce on the potential that got him in the McDonald's All-American game. Nothing spectacular so far but he's been very steady which is saying a lot given how his college career has gone. Marcus Landry could be the next Alondo Tucker, the bench/supporting players are still solid, and our coach has not gotten any dumber. I predict we sneak up on the rest of the nation once again this year.

I would give Wisconsin football a B- this season. They started the season ranked very high in a great position to make a serious title run but once again could not maintain focus for all 12 games. That's starting to get kind of old. Wisconsin didn't really have football tradition to speak of until Barry Alvarez (although we did have a Heisman trophy winner) but this is the home state of the Packers so Wisconsin fans have quickly developed a sense of entitlement and will soon be demanding the same success from their teams as fans of programs like Michigan, Notre Dame, and Alabama do. 9-3 is good. Playing on New Year's Day is good. But eventually fans are gonna expect this team to take that next step.

Bucks: A+
Giving the Bucks highest grade this week because they are currently atop their division, are undefeated at home, and can count the Lakers and Mavs among others as early season victims. All this after I fully expected them to just be looking for their 2nd or 3rd win of the season by now. I mean I really expect no success from the Bucks this season except be in a good spot to land Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose in the draft (O.J. Mayo will be a bust in the league, you heard it here first. He's the next Starbury). But the season has pretty much gotten going and they are still holding their own, I'm impressed. Maybe Larry Harris is not the most incompetent GM in professional sports after all.

Marquette basketball: B+ for their performance against the hated Duke Blue Fairies in the championship game of the Maui Classic. Marquette really should have won this one. Dominic James' off shooting night didn't help. Oh well it's still early in the season and this is one of those games commentators will give the Golden Eagles credit for saying they played Duke tough. (Unfortunately I think this Blue Devil team will be very good this year, get ready to hate Kyle Singler). And now comes the part of the schedule when they play the instate rivals: Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee. Two conceivable losses. Of all Wisconsin sports teams I feel the least loyalty to Marquette because they only compete on a big time level in basketball and the school itself is generally viewed in the community as being kind of snooty, but when everybody plays each other I always root for the school that has the best chance at a good year. Wisconsin has potential but is not ranked, Marquette is. So I'm going for MU on Friday so they can stay ranked.

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