3.31.2008

Weekly Wisconsin Sports Wank


University of Wisconsin men's basketball. A+
After the finality of UW's loss to a once in a generation Davidson team slowly sank in Friday night and Saturday morning, I realized that the Badgers accomplished a lot this year. This was a team that had lost their two top scorers to graduation (one NBA first round pick Alondo Tucker) and had no clear leader or go-to scorer to speak of. They were widely picked to finish in the middle to lower tier of the conference but proceeded to win the regular season and tournament titles. Over the course of the year they grew as individuals and as a team. Brian Butch never has quite live up to his McDonald's All-American status, but he developed into a solid, dependable player who could often deliver in crunch time. Joe Krabbenhoft continued to solidify his status as UW's 'glue' player (although Jason Bohannon has developed some competition for him). Trevon Hughes managed to become a better decision maker as the season wore on. And Michael Flowers may have played himself into a late round draft pick or surely a free agent signing. Next year looks promising with Hughes, Landry, Krabby, and Bohannon all coming back and some of our young big guys are going to get a real look. So we'll see how it shakes out, after all no one expected much this year either. Oh and Spartan fans are still d*&^riding.

Marquette University men's basketball.
As you know the Golden Eagles season is ovah falling to Brook Lopez and Stanford, however the outlook for next season is pretty bright. We'll still have the same three ankle breaking guards but with an incoming mix of players who can offer contributions in other areas of the court. MU blog Cracked Sidewalks does a better job than I could of analyzing Marquette's season that was while glancing forward to the season that will be. MJS's Eagles blogger Todd Rosiak has a good post-season interview with Crean, D. James and Jerel McNeal. After reading all that I actually think Marquette could have a better year next season. Georgetown is losing Hibbert, Louisville is losing Padgett and Jerry Smith, hmmm . . .
Ok guess what? I wrote that sappy optimistic paragraph Tuesday morning mere hours before the news broke on ESPN that Crean was leaving Marquette for Indiana. After wasting a couple of hours hoping this was some sort of elaborate April Fools joke on the state of Wisconsin, resolution set in. Crean had a lot of debateable shortcomings as a coach, but he restored Marquette's program to national prominence. It would be a blow for any program in that position to suddenly lose the coach that led that change. On the other hand Crean may have departed at just the right time. After another failure to advance beyond the first weekend of the tourney, the murmurs among the fan base calling for a change were increasing. Basic reaction among us is some people say good riddance (and humorously note that Crean will continue to take a beating from Bo's Badgers in the Big10) and some people think he left MU in the lurch. I work with a lot of MU grads and they say don't let the door hit him in the ass on the way out.
I've heard it said of relationships that you should never really trust a girlfriend/boyfriend that you stole from someone else. If they cheated on that person what makes you think they won't do the same to you. Beware IU. This was a guy who spoke awfully highly of 'family values' while he was here, but in the end he didn't even feel attached enough to us to let us know he was leaving. If circumstances play out right what makes you think he won't do the same to you?

Milwaukee Bucks. D
How many ways can you write that the Bucks are playing horribly right now? I'm running out of material along those lines and there are no new developments really in the Bucks GM search. Whoever they hire is going to have the deck stacked against them from the jump. The Bucks front office chain of command is too convoluted to be efficient and thus successful. Too many cooks are spoiling the broth. Kohl wants all personnel decisions to go through him, but he knows nothing about personnel. The new GM (if they manage to get one before the draft) will not even have the lead in draft decisions because Kohl wants player personnel director Dave Babcock to handle it. The thing is in successful organizations there is no confusion about high chains of command. Owners with winning franchises tend to be the ones who hire the most competent, qualified people they can to run them and then get out of their way. Part of the Patriots success is the good working relationship between Belichick and Pioli and the fact that they don't have to worry about Robert Kraft's personal whims regarding the roster. They don't have to worry about being second-guessed or getting vetoed on a trade at the last minute and looking totally impotent to their peers across the league. I remember when Kohl was that type of owner, but he seems to be seeking more control in recent years. It's almost like almost getting to the Finals with Glenn, Ray, Sam, and George created an obsession in him to personally drive the franchise to more success. Leading him to dip his two cents into places where maybe he didn't necessarily know what he was talking about. I don't know maybe Simmons would not be such a bad choice after all.

Milwaukee Brewers. A+
For opening up with a win, which they almost jacked off. Eric Gagne was not very impressive, even to the extremely casual fan. But Tony Gwynn was. Glad that our first win was against the Cubs though. Let's use this opening series to set the tone right away with them. This is the kind of game the Brewers would have lost a couple of seasons ago. It is amazing to see just the transformation of attitude and culture that new blood has brought to the locker room. Oh and Prince Fielder may have an ego bigger than his dad's stomach but he's the real deal and if there is really a Brew Crew revival taking place he will be at the head. It's good to see Attanasio ante up and extend Prince's contract and they will be making an offer to Braun soon too. Suddenly the release of Claudio Vargas last week to free up the money for the offers looks like a no-brainer. Can anyone tell me if it's good or bad that Tim McCarver picks us to win the NL?

Green Bay Packers.
Offseason news: I hear the Pack will probably look to the draft to answer the question at backup QB, probably later rounds first day. This makes sense because it follows Thompson's m.o. and this time I'm starting to feel the logic. Why pay some free agent at the veterans minimum (on average higher than a say 2nd or 3rd round picks rookie contract) when you can just draft a semi-promising kid to be the backup. Who know he might turn out to be the answer instead of Rodgers. And for all the toughness he's shown thus far his skill level is still essentially that of a rookie. If he get's hurt will the drop off in caliber of play be that great? Probably not. Also there are fans calling for the Pack to sign Pacman Jones should he be reinstated. Skill set wise he would fit in good with the Pack's physical defensive scheme. Personality wise, he would hate it in Green Bay. It's not as culturally undiverse as is generally thought, but let's just say it's slower than Nashville (I attended college there) and he couldn't stay out of trouble there partly because of boredom (if you are Afr. Am. and looking for a night on the town without involving anything even remotely related to country music your options are very limited). Pack gets a compensatory 4th round pick for losing Ahman Green and David Martin. This brings their total number of picks to 9. Jarrett Bush has a blog on Yardbarker. Ruvell Martin re-signed for a 1-year deal. Oh and Rodgers your first start will be in front of a national primetime audience against one of our most hated rivals on the season premiere of Monday Night Football. . . but no pressure or anything.


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3.28.2008

That's a wrap folks


That's it. As of the last commercial break there is 5:29 on the clock and UW is down 19 against Davidson. Everybody is acting like Curry is too quick to get a hand in his face and he is draining jumpers effortlessly. I dread games like this. As a fan you have a feeling about the outcome in the corner of your mind. It won't go away. And after your team makes a few crucial errors and gets the short end of a few calls it is almost like a ringing in your ears. It's not our night. From Hughes getting hurt to the inexplicably sloppy play especially on defense, it's not our night. Congratulations Davidson. Yours will most certainly be the knob the media will be slobbing over should you advance to the Final Four. Michigan State fans who have been ragging on UW since the Big10 tournament you know where to stick it (but I'm still reluctantly rooting for them as the only Big10 team left). I can't believe it ends like this for the great state of Wisconsin. . .

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3.27.2008

Irritated Aussie

Brew Hoop hipped me to this video from the Bucks game at Atlanta the other night (of course they lost). Bogut turned in a good effort in a blowout, as he has been doing all season, (avg. 20 and 10, 61% from the field) but as you can see in this clip it looks like the losing and team turmoil may be starting to get to him.



This worries me a little. With his strikingly more consistent play this season Bogut is steathily planting the seeds to take over as the Bucks top guy. Scoff if you like but I quoted his numbers on the season above, and I think most fans will acknowledge that we are coming to the beginning of the end to the Michael Redd era in Milwaukee. I expect him to be involved in a trade by the end of next season, if only maybe to appease Bogut in a way (with the Bucks screwed in the salary cap game until the end of the decade a blockbuster Redd trade may be the only way to really shake up the roster). We've already heard about his opinion of the NBA lifestyle, and I seem to remember some incident earlier this year in a players meeting where Mo Williams basically punked Bogut. Could the experience of this season be disillusioning him to the point where he is starting to plot his escape? I'm pretty sure his rookie contract runs to 2010 so no immediate worries but if the Bucks keep going down the road of a franchise in shambles will Bogut be able to rise above the fray? Or will he become an annoying malcontent?

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Osama Bin Laden March 1957 - ?

So I was over on fellow Blogger site Afronerd the other day and saw this video of one of the last interviews given by former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In this general discussion of the political climate in Pakistan and the outlook for her return, she casually mentions the name of one Omar (Oma?) Sheikh and describes him as "the man who murdered Osama Bin Laden". Interesting. . . wait a minute, what!?!!

You mean to tell me that the co-mastermind and financial backer of 9/11, U.S.S. Cole incident, and bombing of a U.S. embassy in Africa that has supposedly been at the top of the CIA's and just about every international law enforcement agency's most wanted list for years was killed (at least sometime last year?) and there was not even a peep about this in the American media???

Something's not right here.

It's been a while since Bin Laden's name has been a regular utterance on the nightly news. Mostly it's been Obama that is making all the news lately (and don't think the media doesn't take every subliminal chance to remind you of how alike they sound). But his face was supposed to represent the enemy in the war on terrorism, not the shadowy form of some Iraqi 'insurgent' huddling in a doorway waiting to ambush troops. Wouldn't news of Bin Laden's death have been exactly the boost the Bush Administration needed while reeling from the fallout of the failing Iraqi occupation. "It may have taken five or six years, but we still got 'im!" Can't you just see the spittle joyously flying from Cheney's mouth as he says something like that?

So what gives?

A search of a couple of news sources outside of the U.S. did not reveal any significant mention of a supposed Bin Laden death other than the numerous rumors that circulated a couple of years ago. Indeed the CIA has just recently authenticated the voice on the latest threat tape issued by Al Queda to be that of Bin Laden's.

Unfortunately Bhutto is no longer with us, having fallen to an assassination attempt December of last year, so no one can follow up with her on this. The guy interviewing her, David Frost, either missed that comment at around the 2:11 mark or took it as casually as she said it. But (from the snippet in this clip) the topic of the interview was not Bin Laden or even necessarily terrorism but more about Bhutto's reform efforts in Pakistan and her life in general. So it doesn't appear that she would have any motivation to lie or start a rumor. I stand with Afronerd in amazement that this was not picked up in the mainstream U.S. media.

Will Bin Laden end up just fading into history like a Nazi war criminal in hiding? The world may never know.


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3.26.2008

Bo knows . . .

A lot of commenters on Wisconsin sports fan sites have been complaining about the fact that UW coach Bo Ryan does not get enough credit for being the NCAA leader in winning percentage among active head coaches with more than 20 years coached and his .721 winning percentage since coming to Wisconsin. Here it is.

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3.23.2008

Weekly Wisconsin Sports Wank


Bucks. D
BUT, while most of us were caught up in the Madness the Bucks beat the Cavs Saturday night, go figure. They take the four season series 3 to 4. For some reason recently the Bucks always play their best against the Cavs, it just doesn't carry over when they play the rest of the league. Big news with the Bucks this week is the firing/stepdown of Bucks GM Larry Harris. While he was our GM my opinion on his job performance was pretty low. But in retrospect he did a decent job given the situation he came into and the amount of power he was given to change it. And in addition by all accounts he is a good person and excellent to work with. The end of his time here wasn't the result of his failure to cultivate good relationships with the people he worked with. He had been in the organization for 20 years since he was a teenager. His father is Del Harris and Bucks fans are familiar with that name. I kind of regret the fact that a guy like that, who came up thru the ranks, couldn't make it work as the GM. The Bratwurst and others do a good job analyzing his tenure in depth. Speculation on his replacement is still ongoing with Donnie Walsh getting the most mention (which is wishful thinking to me, Pacers might be down right now but the organization as a whole is still in a better place than the Buck are). Most agree that Krystowiak also is on his way out. Besides my earlier mention of Terry Porter I think a good fit for the Bucks might be the forgotton Jeff Bzeldik (forgive if I butchered his last name).

University of Wisconsin men's basketball. A+
For continuing to prove most of the nation wrong (including a**hole teenage Michigan State fans who like to post on UW fan sites. Unfortunately they made it to 16 also.). Unfortunately it's looking like the media was right about a weak BigTen as Indiana couldn't stand their first round test and Purdue bowed out to Xavier. I was real worried about how they would handle Beasley and Co. but the Badgers proved to be more than ready. Next up is Davidson. This Curry fellow worries me too but I think Flowers will be able to get a handle on him. Something about this year's team is beginning to cause a cautious stir in the fan base here. The atmosphere is similar to the feeling in 2001 when Dick Bennett took the Badgers all the way to the Final Four with our unappealing style of play. Dare we hope this season ends in a similar (or even better) outcome?

Marquette University men's basketball. B+
For the season. Yes Marquette's potential road to the Final Four got blown up with a rocket launcher in the form of a last second shot to ice the game for Stanford by Brook Lopez. But that was easily the best game played and the best effort the team has given all year. We had to have all cylinders clicking to even have a chance against Stanford's inside game and for the most part everyone left everything on the floor (could've used more from D. James, 10 dimes but only 9 points). So we died with our boots on, but have to face the fact that once again Marquette does not advance past the first round. None of the major goals for the season were reached (finish in the top 4 of the Big East, get to the Sweet 16) but it was not a total failure. We're still looking good for next year with Trevor Mwabke coming back along with most of the starters. And can anyone tell me why is it Marquette has not recruited a semi-skilled player over 6-9? Does Crean prefer the small ball approach?

Green Bay Packers.
Pack resigned Atari Bigby last week in a good move that will help keep the secondary stable. We still need to start thinking about replacements for Woodson and Al Harris who started to really show some wear and tear last season. Another season with those two starting at corner will probably open the flood gates when we play teams with big, fast, physical receivers. Big move on the free agent market with the signing of Brandon Chillar to compete with Brady Poppinga at strong side linebacker. Wow what a risky move by Ted Thompson! Hope you feel that sarcasm, Ted. Haven't heard any new rumors about prospects for backup QB and Quinn Gray just signed with the Texans so there goes a potential good fit. I really think Thompson might be content to go into the season with Craig Nall as the backup. I think he just does whatever the fan base thinks he shouldn't do and rolls with it. Let's move on, I think I am still in Brett-withdrawl.

Milwaukee Brewers.
Just about ready for opening day with the announcement that (surprise!) Ben Sheets will get the opening day start. Hasn't he always gotten the opening day start since he's been here? (provided he was healthy). Seems the starting rotation is pretty set with Sheets, Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, and Seth McClung. I had no idea opening day was so close. Enjoy it while you can extremely casual baseball fans. Soon the only sports on tv will be golf, tennis, and baseball. Anyway rumor has it Brewers management is being proactive in trying to asuage Prince Fielders ego but face potential difficulty in that Scott Boras is his agent. But at least they are being proactive. In the past the Brewer's approach to their young talent has been to wait until their contracts are up and then hope they will resign for generally less than their market value out of loyalty. Glad Attanasio is putting his wallet where his mouth is.

3.21.2008


Pictured here is the cover of the latest issue of Vogue magazine. Notable for the fact that LeBron James is only the third male ever to appear on the cover of Vogue. In this image of one of the premier athletes on the planet and one of the premier supermodels I see a lot of messages being conveyed on a couple of different levels. Males are rough and animalistic, females are sophisticated and fragile. Black athletes are physically imposing, subconciously suggesting fear. The standard of beauty is a slim boderline malnourished Eurocentric look. All black men lust after white women.

Messed you up with the last one, huh? But go ahead and admit the stereotype did cross your mind didn't it? Maybe somewhere way down deep? Well over at ESPN.com Jemele Hill is calling you out. Well not really in a confrontational way but her take on this photo might make you think a little bit. Check it out when you come out of your basketball coma tonight.

3.20.2008

Another side of Keith Olberman

When I was finally able to watch Sportscenter on a regular basis (my family didn't have cable growing up)Keith Olberman was one of my favorite anchors. I enjoyed his witty back and forth with Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen and his signature deadpan call on three's during basketball highlights, ". . .from waaay downtown. Bang.". I always thought that his move from the WWL in sports to a sweet deal at MSNBC was a big mistake. It just always came across like he was out of his element a little.

But even though to me he seemed to be more comfortable commenting on foreign draft prospects rather than foreign policy, he would usually have something at least halfway interesting to say. Well when I saw this clip (I would have embedded it but $&%^%#* Blogger is tripping) of some editorial commentary from one of his recent shows my respect for Olberman went up a couple of notches. It is basically 9 minutes of him putting Hilary Clinton on blast, calling her and her supporters out for the underhanded tactics that have been used in their campaign against Obama.

I was impressed with what he said and how he said it. What impressed me most is that he said anything at all. He could have just rehashed what has already been said by the media in general about the subject, but he chose a response that goes against the conservative white grain. But then again it's not surprising as Olberman keeps showing us that he will always be a free thinker. Oh and big ups to Native Son where I first saw this clip.



Ha. Found it on YouTube instead.

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3.19.2008

A New Hope



Sooooo. . .I guess Saturday's fan exercise in free speech was kind of a reality check for Herb. Being on the Hill most of the time maybe the Senator could not quite appreciate the level of fan dissatisfaction in southeastern Wisconsin. But once he had guaged the situation first hand you can clearly see from his expression at the end of this clip that he knows action is needed.

And so a reason for optimisim was presented to Bucks fans today in the form of a news release announcing the end of Larry Harris's reign as Head Idiot in Charge (or GM) of the Buck woeful front office. Donnie Walsh and Doug Collins (in the past) among others have been mentioned as replacements. As has been said in many places whoever Harris's replacement will be, they will need to wield more power than Larry did. He made some mistakes with Simmons and Gadzuric but there were always rumors of blockbuster trades that would have made fans drool getting vetoed in the last hour by Kohl that made it clear that maybe he wasn't totally allowed to run the Buck his way. He'll probably get more of a shot wherever he ends up next.

But this is reason for fans to hope. Bucks just really need to wipe the slate and close the book tight on the post-Karl-Ray Allen era. We need a change in culture and a real move in a new direction, Krysto you gotta go too man. Sorry, you're a great assistant and college coach who was a dependable starter for the Bucks once upon a time, but we need at least a semi-experienced coach who's not afraid to think outside of the box and still knows what he's doing when he gets out there. Personally I would try to get Terry Porter to come back. It just felt like the Bucks were right on the edge of a breakthrough when out of nowhere he gets fired. That would be in a perfect world but it's not too storybookey to actually happen. Let's just hope the Senator can handle this selection better than the Dumbocrats are handling their selection of a presidential candidate (heyooooooh!!).


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It's almost here!


With the eve of the best weekend in sports upon us I thought it would be appropriate to once again rehash everything the local news, sports radio, and newspapers have been saying about the outlooks and hopes for our beloved Wisconsin teams in the NCAA tournament.

We got two teams in this year (which is pretty damn good compared to Wisconsin teams of my childhood), UW and Marquette. Not happy with Wisconsin's seeding considering they won their conference tournament and regular season championships, and Texas who the Badgers beat in Austin earlier in the season is a #2? You are not alone. I was not surprised though considering the fact that Texas has been ranked above Wisconsin all year, even after they lost to them at home. That and the Big10 is generally considered a weak conference anyway. We only got 4 teams in (for comparison the Big East landed 8 teams, half the conference) and the tourney and regular season champ gets only a 3 seed. I'm not really complaining about the number of teams in, if you want to dance you need to prove you can at least step, but there should be a little more respect for a conference champ.

Marquette also got the seeding I expected. They're really lucky to get one that high. Even though they won 6 of their last 8 and got to the Big East semifinals they were never seriously in the race for the regular season title and consistently showed inconsistence throughout the season. But despite all of that Cracked Sidewalks has convinced me that maybe the Golden Eagles can go deeper than people expect.

Oh and I almost forgot the whole reason that inspired me to post today besides the Madness, this board over at Buckyville. Seems that Michigan State fans were really upset about losing to UW in the Big10 semifinals, upset like Tom Izzo crying upset. Someone at Buckyville linked to the MSU fan board and they noticed and linked back and hilarity ensued.

So I am pumped, I can't wait until tomorrow morning when there will be important basketball games on at 10:00 in the morning, long distance cellphone shit talking, and some overlooked barely mentioned low seeded team that takes their opponent to double overtime before surrendering to superior talent and/or depth. What could be bett. . .duh!! Bar-b-q! I'm out to the store.

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3.16.2008

New Blogger?

I've come across several blogs and sites lately that mostly just hand out free advice to newcomers to the blogosphere, which I like very much in that I have been blogging for less than a year. One of the best I have come across so far is linkbacklink.blogspot.com. The concept is simple link to him and he links to you. Good way to maybe get a little more traffic going on your site for bloggers that need that, like me. Thanks for the exposure linkbacklink!

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Chris Bosh, what were you thinking?

This is very late, but I stumbled upon this on this website while going through the blog roll of this ratings widget website Blogorator. Seems as if Chris Bosh was desperate to drum up some votes for the NBA All-Star game just played recently in New Orleans. So desperate that he made this 'commercial'(?). I know it's supposed to be funny like a parody, but it kinda comes off as just weird and low budget. Most of the website I found this on is posted in Chinese (I think) so possibly not a lot of people have seen this yet at least stateside. Hey perhaps Obama can adapt this to his campaign somehow?:) Enjoy.



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3.15.2008

Weekly Wisconsin Sports Wank







So I'm finally getting around to posting a wank. I've been really busy lately so forgive me if you look for an installment of this running series on a semi-regular basis (I have been noticing my SiteMeter numbers rising lately, why I can't say. Not that it's going to my head.) Lots to talk about what with championship week in full swing and the Madness right around the corner. And suddenly we're starting to get warm weather in Wisconsin. It's as if George Mason going to the tournament again woke up Mother Nature herself and she said enough of the deep freeze. And Wisconsin and Marquette are still alive in their respective conference tourneys and in their quest for the highest seeds possible.

University of Wisconsin men's basketball. A-
For now. We'll see how they do in the Big10 tournament and in the NCAA's. They won another outright regular season title so they deserve much props for that. Badgers won another game they should have in their opening tournament game, suffocating Michigan and advancing to the semis against Michigan State. A couple of years ago I would have feared this match up but I'm pretty confident this year (no jinxes). This team doesn't have a big time star, but they are efficient especially defensively. That efficiency might even get Michael Flowers a sniff at the league. It seems like maybe things have loosened up a little for Wisconsin after they won the regular season title. I wouldn't be surprised to see them get as high as a 2 seed and maybe even get to stay in the region. On second thought no. If they got that high a seeding they would probably be shipped out west to balance it out. Out of the teams that will probably get #2 seeds I think the committee would let Kansas stay in the Midwest before UW. But it doesn't matter where they play. I think through the course of this season they have fused into a special team. Anyone could step up big in any game. Tough to gameplan against.

Another update: Wisconsin did it to Hizzoe again.

Marquette University men's basketball. B+
Marquette ended the season on a sour note losing to Syracuse, but have made a good showing so far the the Big East Tournament. In the first round they beat Seton Hall for I think the third time this year and in the second round got some key contributions to ease them by #14 Notre Dame. Next up Pitt, who they dusted by 18 when they last played them at the BC. I guess we'll see which team's memory and motivation is better. It seems like at this point in the season MU's up and down the floor conditioning is giving them a little edge over their competition. It's going to be hard for Pitt to go all out again to contain Marquette's running style after going to overtime to knock off Louisville (great luck by the way, no way we would have beat them). 3 of the top 4 seeded teams have been knocked out already which means the Golden Eagles would have a good chance of meeting and beating Georgetown in the final.

Update: I'm posting after the game so I saw how Pitt turned the tables on Marquette. MJS's Golden Eagles blog has a good take on the game also. Reasons for the loss? Bad shooting, not much contribution from our leading scorer (James had 10pts), and Pitt just wanting it more. I don't really expect this will affect their seeding one way or another. Their penetration into the semifinals pretty much reflects where they finished up in the regular season standings.

Milwaukee Bucks. D
You know we midwesterners here this a lot, but it is true. We are a different breed of people. We take pride in hard work and respect and embrace people who have the same values we do. We don't give up and throw in the towel when things start to get rough. Here in Wisconsin our sports teams for the most part emulate that regional culture. Nondescript as the Bucks have been the last couple of years, I don't think they have ever tried to intentionally tank a season as they have been accused of at various times pretty much ever since Ray Allen left. I'm sure there are some Bucks fans out there whose mindset is that this season is a wash and we should just try to land in the best position to get a high draft pick. But I'm also sure there are more, with that Midwesterner ethic, thinking that it's not too late to turn it around and at least end the season on a positive note. We are in the East, we might still be able to sneak into the playoffs. A little commentary to back me up can be found over on BrewHoop where they analyze the potential effectiveness of a planned fan protest that will take place tomorrow when the Celtics come to the BC. Yeah I wonder if Ray still misses Milwaukee after witnessing first hand from afar what new lows this franchise has sunk to.

Green Bay Packers.Everybody is speculating on the future of Aaron Rodgers. The general consensus is that he’ll be alright. He showed some heart in the game at Dallas. Kind of reminded me of how Mark Brunell and Matt Hasslebeck used to play when they were here backing up Brett and they would get in during the scrub time, or the preseason games. I read an article somewhere that quoted Brett as saying that that might have been the turning point for Rodgers as far as earning the respect of his teammates and showing them he was capable of leading. My paraphrased recollection of it is “ I don’t know, it just seems like the guys look at him different now”. It was a blog post somewhere I think that was talking about how Favre thought Rodgers would do just fine in becoming the starting QB. Meanwhile not much news on the free agent front, other than cornerback Frank Walker leaving to go to the Ravens, Nick Barnett having his disorderly conduct charges stemming from a nightclub incident (he owns the nightclub) dismissed, and the prospect of signing Jaguars backup Quinn Gray.

Brewers. I won't grade the Brewers until the games count. As I've said before I'm an extremely casual baseball fan who almost forgot about spring training what with the Madness going on. Well what to report so far? The Crew is 11-6 heading into a game with the 9-7 Royals tonight. Ned Yost is trying to narrow down the pitching staff cuts. They are playing good ball overall but there are some concerns. Whatever. No major trades, injuries, or earth shattering news. I'll check back when 'One Shining Moment' starts to play.


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3.09.2008

Fuck

Fuck. How did I know somehow that Marquette would lose on the road to a Syracuse team that seemed all but dead in the water. Because Boeheim is a Hall of Fame coach who always seems to get a rise out of his teams just when people write them off. Cracked Sidewalks breaks the loss down best. Once again Marquette had difficulty with the 2-3 zone. Doesn't look there is much realistic hope for the Eagles to go deep into the tourney, unless they can somehow get in a groove during the Big East tournament. I know this team has consistently shown the same weaknesses (the 2-3 zone, teams with strong inside games, rebounding) all season that one would expect to see from a very mediocre team, one thats probably not capable of getting past the first weekend but. . . they are 22-8, 11-7 finished 5th in the Big East universally acknowledged as the toughest basketball conference in the country. RPI is 22 so the commitee should be good to go on the surface. And despite how inconsistently they seemed to have played lately they have won 6 of their last 8 since losing back to back games to Louisville and Notre Dame. With out a good showing in the BE tourney I see a 5-6 seed and don't make travel plans past the first weekend.

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3.08.2008



Saw this article over on Diary of An Anxious Black Woman from a couple of days ago and just had to post on it. This is an example of a proposed (?) PSA poster that will be circulated in the Milwaukee area. The point of the ad is supposed to be that older men having sex with underage teenage girls, no matter how mature their bodies might seem, is legally and morally reprehensible. Of course with the way the ad is layed out, the real meaning could be misconstrued in a number of ways by anyone. Is it really necassary to perpetuate the stereotypical image of the well-endowed, curvacious black woman when you're supposed to be depicting underage little girls? Wouldn't an ad like this whose aim is to eliminate pedophilia just simply tantalize someone who is attracted to young girls anyway, thereby making the whole point of the add moot for them?

As a Milwaukee resident/native I can see the need and value of a campaign like this. There is a real combined mindset here of older males thinking it is ok to 'cruise the strip' trying to talk to these young girls and young girls (partially influenced by this society's skewed culture) wanting to grow up and look grown up way too fast. I'm 35 and I have talked to males my age and even older who will readily admit to only being interested in girls that fall into the 16 - 25 age range. Last year in Milwaukee there was an incident that drew some national attention where a 14-year old girl was gangraped for an extended period of time by a large group of males ranging in age from14 to 35. So I feel it is an issue that might be more prevelant here than in other places. The kind of issue that might call for the kinds of shock techniques (I guess you would call them) being used here. To me they are similar to the latest teen preganancy PSAs where they have a picture of a shirtless pregnant boy instead of a girl and the caption reads 'this should be just as disturbing if it was a young pregnant girl'.

I haven't seen them posted around the city anywhere yet, but I think if they were they could be useful in conveying the message. Fellow Milwaukeeans, comments?



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3.07.2008

Attention People

Want to draw your focus for just a second to the CLICK THIS section of my side bar. Lately I have been finding out or stumbling upon some great Wisconsin oriented sports blogs. I've been so busy favoriting them and trying to find more that I have neglected to take time to link to these fine sites. But now I'm all caught up (mostly) so you should check out some of the new links to sites like Wisconsin Badger Sports, Sports Bubbler (that is a great name for a site in the Midwest cuz we don't drink out of water fountains), Badgercentric, The Bratwurst, Buckyville, Bucks Diary, and HoopsMarinara. Any militants out there chill. I'll be updating the BlogBrothas and Sistas roll in a minute.

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3.06.2008

Taking a Moment

As I have been blogging for less than a year and haven't really been noticed I didn't feel like it was my duty to immediately post on this. My initial reaction is best described by My Official Green Bay Packer Blog. I just wanted to take some time out, try to gather my thoughts and experience this totally from a fan perspective.The mood is almost like Favre died, you would think he did from some reactions. But that's just how deep it goes with Green Bay's fans. Very few athletes manage to not only transcend their sport, but weave themselves into the very fabric of the community their team represents the way Favre did.

Take for example the famous pain killer addiction phase of his career. When the situation became public there was almost no wavering in support from the fan base. We treated him like we would treat our son or brother or uncle. He was human, despite what some of his perfomances on the field indicated. He made mistakes. He was one of us.

I talk to a lot of Packer's fans these days who are too young to remember the days of utter futility. Well now that I think of it things weren't too bad for the rest of Wisconsin sports back then. The Bucks had the misfortune of being in the same conference as the Celtics and Sixers, and the same division as the Bad Boy Pistons but still were one of the upper tier NBA teams of the '80's. The Brewers made a World Series appearance and were pretty good with future HOFs Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Marquette was decent with Rick Majerus coaching and Doc Rivers in the backcourt. But the Pack experienced nothing but inept coaching, teams bereft of NFL caliber talent, and losing season after losing season. I remember the Randy Wrights, Anthony Dilwegs (out of Duke for Godssake!), Brent Fulwoods, and Rich Campbells.

Hard to believe that one guy could change what had been going wrong for more than 20 years, but that's what he did. And it was destined. Ron Wolf is a good football guy but he took a chance. Not a huge one for just a draft pick but he had no way of being sure a guy who thought it would be ok to come to practice drunk would turn into one of the best QB's ever. That part was dumb luck. And since I don't really believe in the concept of luck I believe it was destiny. It was time for history to repeat itself and for the Green Bay Packers to once again be a dominant force in the NFL. And we were ready for that ride and embraced the player that sparked it all the way he embraced us.

A lot of people say Brett Favre was way overrated as a quarterback. I ask overrated how? Too many interceptions, critical turnovers? Too many mental errors that cost games? Well yeah he is human remember? That's the gunslinger mentality; he can't waste time overthinking the play he has to follow his instincts. I'd rather have a guy like that than a guy who is so worried about not making a mistake that he doesn't know how to recover when he does. A lot of times Brett has made some of his biggest plays after turnovers. I think the overrated argument ultimately comes from jealousy. Fans of other teams wish they could have a quarterback that good who was also a good enough person that they could idol-worship him and he wouldn't end up leaving in free agency or because of a contract dispute. Orjust turn into a douch in general.

So thanks Brett. For everything. For restoring a once great franchise to it's rightful place as one of the most revered teams in professional sports. For bringing back memories of the old Packer heydays for grandpas who have had season tickets for 30 years. For giving us another example of how cool it is when an athlete is identified only with a specific team for their whole career. For showing a young man who had grown up thinking that bad situations very rarely get better that the universe can turn life around when you least expect it. Thank you for that gift.Enjoy a secure retired life and the love of your family. And if in a couple of months you find yourself some Sunday wondering why you are not in someone's stadium somewhere know that in the hearts of true Packer fans everywhere there will always be a #4 on the field.

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