THE Wisconsin Sports Wank

Forgive me if the Wank seems kind of dry this week, but I do not want to be in Milwaukee right now. I need to be in Nashville for Tennessee State University's homecoming week for my classe's ten year reunion. But alas those days are pretty much behind me now that I am the responsible father/husband type . . . but I got to get down there next year fo'sho.

So anyway without further ado:

No grade this week, they had a bye. But I heard they have been doing a good job of healing up. Safety Atari Bigby might be ready to return to action Sunday, DT Jason Harrell is looking like he is ready to start trying to earn some playing time, and anytime AR is not throwing is good rest time for his seperated shoulder. With the bye week there hasn't been a whole of news coming out of Lambeau. Aaron Rouse was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week last week for his performance against the Colts (that's another questionable TT draft pick that looks like it is finally paying off). Nick Collins was also up for the honor so that's a good indication that maybe fans can start thinking of the Pack's secondary as a strength again, instead of nervously crossing fingers whenever a team with a big receiver has a 3rd and long.

Being that this is the bye week it's also about the time we start to see the inevitable midseason grades being thrown out. Here are some midseason rankings for those who obsess over them, and Acme Packing Co. rates GM Ted Thompson's job performance so far. Not surprising to note that the Pack is dead last in penalties, but 6th in 3rd down conversions and 1st in turnover margins. Big reasons why the Pack has never really been blown out yet in any game they played (yes except Atlanta).

Looking ahead to the next opponent Tennessee, linebackers and defensive linemen will have their hands full trying to contain their power running game. Hopefully Hawk will be closer to 100% and the real Nick Barnett comes back from whatever planet he has been on this season. If we can just get some pressure on Collins and force him to speed up his progression I think we can turn the ball over in the secondary and that is what will probably be key in handing this team it's first loss. But the Titans have a pretty good secondary of their own so we also need for AR to play his patented no mistakes/good decisions game. And I don't think the Titans are keying on our running game, so any success we can have with that increases our chances of winning. Right now Tennessee is definitely one of the best teams in the leauge so it's a good barometer game, even more so than against Indy.

The NFL scheduling committee must love to see the NFC North beat up on each other every year. Or is it just a coincidence that the whole division had a bye this week with only a game seperating the leaders . . . except for Detroit . . . so yeah every team took last week off.

If the recent Favre rumors are still leaving a bad taste in your mouth check out former Packer executive Andrew Brandt's take on the whole thing. This guy was/is a master of diplomacy, no wonder he kept the salary cap in such good shape.

Bucks, D.
Right now the Bucks' play is not generating the kind of optimism felt over the summer with the hire of Hammond and Skiles. The coach and players are still "feeling each other out", waiting for some sort of regular lineup to emerge while the team "meshes" or "gels". They only won 1 preseason game (and that was in China) and in the season opener against Skiles' former team they picked up right were they left off in March, losing. Redd got his 30pts of course (on 10-19 shooting) but as it was discussed at length over the summer on blogs like Bucks Diary, that doesn't really do much for the Bucks overall goal of winning. Put simply the Bucks do better when Redd scores less, like tonight against the Oklahoma City Garth Brookses (and the Thunder rolled!). Redd got 20, RJ got 20, Charlie V got 20, everybody was happy and the Bucks win. So the style of play in those two games could be indicators on game outcomes this season. If you turn on the tube and see Redd pulling up on fast breaks with no one under the basket and Bogut high-fiving himself on the charity stripe, that game is probably going in the L column. But if you see guys hustling, smiling, and Redd playing within the flow of the game but looking kind of pouty chalk up the win.

Sifting through all the preseason predictions, I saw an interesting philosophy or rather theorem regarding the outlook for this season over at Bucks Diary. The Gradual Rise Theory basically states that the Bucks will start off playing inconsistently but as the season goes on their quality of play will improve. A fitting way for any Bucks fan to frame their expectations for the season as Skiles implements his five-point plan.

I was a little disappointed at some of the Bucks roster moves right before the season opener. For one Damon Jones is still on the roster and I was hoping he might have been shipped out in some sweet trade by now (has any team ever just obviously carried a player for trade bait like this?). And we waived Adrian Griffin to pick up Austin Croshere. Couldn't we just have kept Matt Freije (who is basically a younger version of Croshere) and traded Griffin and Jones? Seems common sense to me, but then again there is a reason why I'm just an Armchair GM. Besides Croshere probably better fits Skiles coaching profile (he's a veteran, knows how to play decent D, etc.).

The Bucks have always had a solid fan base in southeastern Wisconsin but they know things have been a little lean this decade on the success side. And they know with the economy being how it is things are kind of on the lean side with fans too. So Bucks owner (and U.S. Senator) Herb Kohl wants to assist you in supporting your Milwaukee Bucks by pricing all 8,000 upper level seats in the Bradley Center at $10 a pop for the first 2 months of the season. It's nice to here about an NBA team lowering prices for a change instead of hearing about $93 dollar 'cheap seats' and $5.00 hot dogs so I have to give props to the senator for that. Finally we're getting our money's worth when we attend a Bucks game.

All the talk lately is about who the Brewers will pick for the manager spot (most bloggers are saying it will be Ken Macha) and if they can really afford to give CC Sabaithia the new deal he deserves.

The popular thinking is that Macha gets the nod because he has ties with Melvin and has experience being successful with a small market team. I vaugely remember Macha's managerial style from his days in Oakland (they used to have a young roster packed with talent too) and judging from that I think he would be alright here (though I still think Melvin should have just stuck with Svuem). I do feel for Willie Randolph though (but I don't think he would be right in Milwaukee) cause it just always seems like he got a raw deal with the Mets after quietly paying his dues for years on the coaching circuit. Hopefully he can get another managerial post somewhere. Oh and whoever the new manager is Al has some questions for him.

The Crew will also be replacing their scouting director after Jack Z. skipped off to Seattle to be their new GM. Most fans are probably familiar with Zduriencik's role in the Brewers recent resurgance but for those who are very casual fans like me he is the guy who was responsible for drafting Prince Fielder, Manny Gallardo, Ryan Braun, and JJ Hardy among others. Obviously he will be missed but word is that his replacement will be coming from inside the organization so hopefully the dropoff will not be too great.

So lots of folks have been analyzing this CC thing, breaking down the numbers to properly evaluate whether the Brewers, as a small market team, can afford to keep a player with the kind of salary that Sabaithia will demand and just what kind of deal we can offer. At the same time the rumors have been swirling again that the Yankees and their deep pockets are after Mike Cameron who also contributed greatly to the success of this season. As I understand it if we resign both they will account for a significant percentage of the total payroll, and that means some of the other players who made big contributions this season won't be around next year. Guys like a Gabe Kapler or a Craig Counsell. And then the Brewers would be at a crossroads of sorts. Will the future makeup of the team generally be a collection of good solid players, guys who know their roles, with a few young stars like Braun and Fielder? Or will it become a team of mostly mediocre journeymen type guys with a few really good players (one of whom is sliding down the hill to 40). Maybe that's another reason why I have never become a hardcore baseball fan. It's easy to root for a team that is always generally successful because they can acquire all the players they need, and can afford to keep them together for an extended period of time. Alas in a small market baseball city it just can't go down like that. So we develop the players, witness their ascension to The Show, watch while they give us a few great years, and then watch when they inevitably leave for that big payday. I think we should try to resign CC for a fiscally responsible amount and let Cameron go if he wants. I'll go to war with guys like Prince, Braun, and Hardy as the stars. In my opinion we should try as much as we can to be the MLB version of the NFL Patriots. If your organization is tight it doesn't matter who you plug in. Again it may not be the best baseball strategy but I'm speaking more from the heart of a fan right now.

Rickie Weeks was often a target for fan and blogger ridicule this season, but according to this sites numbers he was the 14th best 2nd baseman in baseball this year.

In the Right Field Bleachers it's never too early to try to predict next season.

Brewers have put the word out that Fielder is available.

Update: Macha is the man.

Badgers, B+.
Badgers continue their dismal season this Saturday in East Lansing against a ranked Michigan State team. Needless to say they are not in the running for anything much more than a whiff of a bowl game (although I'm sure if they can eke out 2 more wins to be bowl eligible some bowl will invite us because our fan base travels so well). UW stands at 9th in the Big10 with a 1-4 conference record. That one win came against an inconsistent Illinois team last week in Madison where the Badgers suddenly turned out the performance expected of them earlier in the season. It helped that Juice Williams did not have his best game and that the Illini coaching staff seemed to have a curious game plan (A. Benn only had 2 catches) but the defense finally showed that big play capability that we've been told they have. New starting QB Dustin Sherer will not draw any comparisons to Joe Montana, but he made enough plays to ensure the win (I really hope Curt Phillips is ready next year). Can we play spoiler at MSU? It will take another consistent offensive outing (consistently making plays) and another max performance for the defense against future NFL'er Javon Ringer (who ran all over us last year).

TE Travis Beckum is out for the rest of the year with a broken fibula. Tough way to end not only a season but a college career for one of the most heralded recruits in the state of recent note. Beckum was heavily recruited out of Oak Creek by the Michigans and Ohio States before he decided to stay at home and help out the state school. He played linbacker and defensive end in high school but never could break through on defense at the college level until the coaches brilliantly recreated him as a tight end where he's been an All-American and probably would have been a top draft pick if he had come out last year. He's had a disappointing injury plagued senoir season but I think his name will still be called in June (or whenever the draft is). Thanks Travis for being loyal and contributing to the success of the Badgers these past 4 years. Good luck on Sundays.

Ok enough with the depressing UW football season, it's almost time for UW hoops! The early preseason rankings put the Badgers at 29th so no one is really checking for the defending conference champs. But by now you know how Bo does it; just win baby and eventually the media will have to start respecting us again. I know, I know you hate our style of play and we're so boring to watch in the tournament but get used to it because Bo Ryan and his highest winning percentage in the Big Ten since 2001 are not going anywhere.

Let's end the post on one of those sappy-feel-good-story points. With all we hear about T.O. and Pacman and NBA "thugs" it is nice to see a story in the media about a responsible athlete. Marcus Landry is one of such. I have two toddlers to account for most days too; but I'm not sure I could have done it going to school full time, playing basketball, with all the other responsibilities. Regardless of the direction UW basketball takes this season, this brother has his head on straight.

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THE Wisconsin Sports Wank

Well since my last wanking 2 of our major sports teams have pretty much slipped off into that good night. The Brewers struggled valiantly against their streak of subpar performances, but finally succumbed to the will of a Phillies team that was playing pretty good ball and is now in the World Series. The college football season is far from over, but it's pretty much a done deal for the Badgers hopes of a conference title and room service on New Year's Day (unless they have tickets to a BCS game). One team who many thought may be down for the count continued to show signs of life Sunday while another's newly hired management team turns an optimistic eye towards the hope of a new season, seeking to rise from the depths of past failure. All coming up in this week's edition of THE . . .Wisconsin. . . Sports. . . Wank!!!(cue dramatic theme music).

Packers B+.
The Pack has performed well in back to back victories on the road in Seattle and against the Colts in Lambeau this past Sunday, particulary heartening after the shellacking dished out by Atlanta. As Packer's radio announcer Larry McCarren is fond of saying the bye week couldn't come at a better time providing a much needed chance for Atari Bigby and Ryan Pickett to get healthier, Woodson and Rodgers to rest their respective injuries, and Justin Harrell to work his way into the game rotation. Pack stands at 4-3, tied with the meatheads to the south for the division lead. Next game up is against Tennessee where we will see just how strong the defenses resolve is. They seemed to take the challenge of stopping Peyton Manning personally and they'll need the same mind set going up against Tennessee's running game, our weakness all season.

So after 7 weeks of live competition what do we know about this team, if anything? Well I think one of the things we know is that we will be ok at the quarterback position from both the health and the talent standpoints. AR showed me something last week in Seattle. He showed me that just because at lot of folks think he is a little bitch, he doesn't have to act like one (and he doesn't need phone calls from The Great One to convince him to play thru pain) and that he's tougher than a lot of people thought. Usually being 'injury prone' goes along with a prissy attitude, but Rodgers has shown that he is willing to play thru the pain and that makes a big difference. The Great One was always getting banged up during the season (how do you think he got addicted to pain killers?) but no one ever labled him as injury prone. I think AR has earned a little of that respect now and even the veterans who were loyal to that other guy are starting to see that.

I think we also know that we do have some playmakers in the secondary. This unit was a big question mark during the offseason after big receivers ran freely for big plays last season like Plaxico in the NFC Championship. The question was what do we have after Charles Woodson and Al Harris, can anyone currently on the roster step up if these guys go down? 4 picks returned for touchdowns later I think we have an answer. Collins, Bigby (when healthy), Trammon Williams, and Aaron Rouse have all stepped up big this season while Harris mends his spleen. One play in particular where Collins came from the other side of the field and leapt in the air to deflect a pass to a receiver about ten yards behind him in the end zone made me say 'wow, so that's what they saw when they drafted him' (and I love the handshake ritual after an interception). The way they put the clamps on the Colts recievers for 4 quarters a fan can't gush enough about the way this unit has performed under pressure. Now keep it up for 9 more weeks.

The O line did a good job this week matching up with the smaller very quick Colts front, Tauscher in particular. Who says the tackles are washed up!?

It's been mentioned that Woodson in having a Pro Bowl caliber season, but Nick Collins really looks like he is 'getting it'.

Earlier this season I said Nick Barnett looked like he was poised for a breakout year to 'star player' status. I now officially recant that statement.

RB Deshawn Wynn is back on the roster, special teams ace Tracey White was cut the other week. Sorry to see White go, glad to see Wynn back (he reminds me of like a Kenneth Davis type).

TT whiffed on not dealing for Tony Gonzalez for a second rounder. It would have given Rodgers a virtual security blanket and provided a good means to attack those seams down the middle more. I think that is an often overlooked detail that contributed to The Great Ones development as a quarterback, he always had a good TE saftey valve. Give AR something to work with besides Donald Lee and Tory Humphrey.

I've been hearing the rumors of The Great One taking the initiative to call the coaching staffs of Packer opponents to give them the scoop on Green Bay's offensive philosophies. I must add that right now this is only a rumor and is only really being reported by FOX Sports (and we know how reliable FOX News is, not). We'll see how this shakes out and if The Great One even responds to it, but my gut tells me that this is a little far-fetched for someone to have made up on their own without there being some truth to it somewhere. And if it is true . . . I'm speechless. Getting traded to another team and giving them info on your old team when the two play each other is expected. A player going out of his way to contact his former teams opponents and offering to break down their playbook? WTF is that? Packer's Ring of Honor? That is reserved for men who understand the meaning of the word.

Brewers B+.
Well the Crew hung in there when the going got tough, but they ran out of lives against the Phillies. But it's still sunny here in southeastern Wisconsin. The Crew did accomplish some of the major goals they sought to acheive at the beginning of the season. Season attendance went well beyond the 3 million mark thanks to the Crew being in contention for the division title for most of the season. And we finally made the postseason again, even if for only a few games. They made baseball in September relevant again in Wisconsin. A lot of today's fans are too young to remember '82 so they got a little taste of what that was like (and it was so fitting that some of the guys who were here then were running the show this season: Yost, Simmons, Yount). From every fan account I heard and read just getting there was worth it. Having seen both I would have to say both seasons were equally special but in different ways (mostly because of the outcomes).

So now on to the offseason matters. GM Doug Melvin considered keeping Svuem on a manager, but ultimately decided they needed someone with a little more experience (Melvin got the extension he was looking for though). MJS's Tom Hardicourt runs down some of the early candidates. Right now I would guess Ken Macha could be called the early front runner because he was offered the Brewers post right before they hired Yost. No one available right now jumps out at me as being the perfect fit for this team. I think Melvin should have stuck with Svuem.

Brewers pulled off one of the greatest mid season trades in history by acquiring CC Sabaithia and it has been pretty much assumed that he will walk in free agency. But CC is not saying that's a done deal and neither is Melvin. But if CC does end up walking, maybe the Crew could pick up a guy like Jake Peavy?

University of Wisconsin football, D+.
Maybe with all that went on this summer and then the excitement of the Brewer's run I just haven't paid enough attention to UW football. We've been spoiled ever since Alvarez resurrected this program. For the past decade it has pretty much been the most consistent (major) sports team in the state, but all things move in cycles. For whatever reasons (inexperience and subpar QB play are most often cited) this team just cannot get it together consistently this season and has opened with their worst record in Big Ten play since '96. I hear there are still some bowls we could make but no one is really holding their breath for the Motor City Bowl.

When a team underperforms like this a lot of the blame tends to fall on the shoulders of the coach (deservedly so), but fans calling Bielema's firing are way out of line. It's way too early for talk like that. Bielema is a good coach, was hand picked by Alvarez, and before this season had only lost like 4 times in his tenure. Believe me I understand the addiction to winning and being ranked but this isn't some football factory where quality coaches are lining up waiting to come here. We don't need to start firing coaches every 2 -3 years like Alabama or somebody. Just be patient and stick with Bielema like we stuck with the other guy named Brett for so long.

And I feel you Camp Lambeau, but UW is still a football school first. This is Big Ten country and that has always meant football.

If I were giving the Bucks a preseason grade it would be a D. They have only won 1 game in the preaseason so far and have not really been competitve in most of them. I don't really have any high expectations for this team, but I expect them to do better than last year in both effort and results. What that expectation is based on is not anything I could rationally explain so let's just say I have hope in Skiles and Hammond.

The Bucks have a lot of new pieces and it looks like right now everybody is just kinda feeling things out, seeing how the pieces will fit together. The two rooks haven't really shown too much during the preseason. Luc Richard has pretty much been as advertised; high energy guy who defends and rebounds and has shown glimpses of offensive potential. Alexander still looks a bit overwhelmed but has shown some improvement.

The Bucks invited four players to their training camp and have cut the two guards already. Matt Freije has made a good impression so far so the Bucks may be trying to figure a way to keep him although they already have 15 guys signed (remember Damon Jones is not in camp and has an expiring contract).

Check out Charlie Villanueva's blog over on NBA.com. He's got some interesting perspectives on the Bucks moves this summer, the outlook for this season, and how he has supposedly been refining his diet. Something I found interesting was the fact that he had his first child this summer. Often time that maturing process you go thru as a first time parent carries over to the rest of your life. Maybe Charlie will finally be able to channel all that talent he has into consistent performances on both ends of the floor.

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Obama's the racist huh?

My favorite comment in this video is the lady who says "I'm concerned about Obama and his wife, that they might be anti-white and that they may hide it".

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Ok back to this guy. Please forgive if you were looking for a quicker follow up post on Mr. James T. Harris, but I was thinking since he has become (for the moment at least) the face representing all Black Milwaukeeans to the nation (and I'm only barely exaggerating) I had to take the time to break this brother down properly.

It didn't take that long. A little while after I first read the commentary and saw the video from the rally in Waukesha I just happened to get a phone call from one of my old college running partners, known for his 'radical' views on politics, history, and such. I was still steamed about this cat so of course I began venting to my old friend. After letting me ramble on about how much Nigga Jim was setting back our race (my friend happens to be mixed race btw, black and white) he cut me off in mid-sentence. "Why would you even waste your time try to reach this guy or start some kind of protest against him? He's lost bro. There's not anything anyone could say to that man that would convince him to change his views. The best thing you could do for him would be to attract more attention to him."

And as I did my due dilligence as a credible blog writer and looked at his posts on WTMJ's site and then took the time to read some of the posts on his site National Conversation, I realized my old friend was right.

This guy has totally disassociated himself from being a part of the African-American community. The tone of his posts makes it clear that he does not consider himself to be a part of the diaspora. You can tell that from his post on the fate of Milwaukee's Black Holocaust Museum (which may not close after all) alone. Let's just say it wasn't sympathetic (and I'm not linking to any of this brother's shit anymore, look him up if you have a strong stomach).

Now don't get my reasons for saying this twisted. There's nothing wrong with being a black conservative (though in this society it is not in your best interest) or a black Republican. If you want to vote for John McCain and happen to be black there's nothing wrong with that (though again, not in your best interest). But this guy has turned against his people, his heritage. How? It's right there in his blog. He takes care not to use the words 'they' or 'them' when referring to African-Americans but that artifical seperator is there. You know, like how some white people refer to African-Americans. It just something that you hear in the tone of their voice, the tone of their writing. His posts have a pattern of focusing on effects (or symptons) rather than causes, jumping on the current popular conservative sentiment that institutional racism is no more and blacks have only their own laziness to blame for their current state. Because of this he can never get to any real causes, so I guess in his diseased mind he decides that all Blacks are like animals who have no higher morals or values and would like nothing better than to just get high and shoot at each other all day until our welfare check comes.

So yeah this guy is lost. He's not going to change his thinking for anyone (except maybe McCain). All the hate comments and emails calling him a race traitor and an uncle tom, he was LOVING it. He had more traffic on his site last week than in the past year. And he's finally shown his conservative buddies at AM620 that he can be just as spiteful to the liberals as they can. Given all that I would have to say that scene at the rally was staged and that he is loving every second of the controversy it sparked in the blogosphere.

But I for one will not fuel his need for confrontation to spread his ridiculous rhetoric. The best way to silence this dude is to pay him no mind. He'll have to find his own way back to self. It might be harsh but it's best to just dismiss brothers like that, because when the real revolution manifests itself and it becomes apparent that we are uniting as a people, brothers like this will feel threatened just as if they were white.

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On a lighter note

It's not all about sports and social commentary here at the Rogue Hour.  Sometimes it's about inspiring too.  This post is for my baby Jailah who just loves to putter away on the keyboards of her mommy and daddy's computers and really could not care less if the Packers won Sunday or if Barack Obama becomes president, but is happy as long as her daddy is happy.  And who has taken shine to a certain 50-year old bear that I was very fond of when I was a child.  If you are say in the 27 - 38 years age group let your inner child enjoy this clip.


Milwaukee's Black Rush Limbaugh

Fellow Black Milwaukeeans, can you believe that this man is actually one of us? What an embarrasment to the African American population of Milwaukee. There's nothing wrong with supporting whoever you want to vote for, this goes beyond that. The mudslinging in this campaign so far has already been thick and he's calling for more of it. As pointed out in the comments of Fields post the enthusiasm of the cheering was because it was a black man saying this about Obama, not because he said anything remarkable. And the worst thing about this is that the black community here is really just to weak and disorganized (in the wake of scandals like Ald. Michael McGee and State Sen. Gary George) to even voice some objection to this guys rhetoric (to bad brothers like Homer Blow aren't still on the air). Well, rest assured I am going to start keeping close tabs on this 'brotha'. Times like this I wish this blog had a higher following 'cuz I bet most registered AA voters in the Metropolitan Milwaukee Area are not even aware of this. More to come(H/T the Field Negro).

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Donna Brazile

As usual says it best.

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White Folks, y'all got to do better.

Ok. This is the final straw.
I was kind of trying to stay above the fray regarding the presidential election that is now less than a month away for several reasons. One of which is there are so many other blogs out here in the diaspora that do a tremendous job of dropping social commentary like the Field Negro, Jack and Jill Politics, Fackin' Truth Blog, etc. that I feel inadequate. I'm a brother who has knowledge and awareness of self and where I am (or should I say where we are) and I've taken part in some pretty 'radical' activities to express my views, but I wouldn't dare to style myself as an 'activist'. I have too much respect for real ones (and honestly I think I'm better at writing critiques about sports than politics). But with this last round of mudslinging by the McCain campaign I just can't keep silent anymore when I have this forum to vent, especially as this tatic is working.
Back during the Summer Olympics I had a great idea for a post, after I had read an article on ESPN.com that speculated on the idea that fans expectations of the USA Men's basketball team's performance in Beijing were too high. It got me to thinking that that same description could be applied to America's viewpoint on the world in general. When it comes to competition in certain sports fans here feel a kind of sense of entitlement. We kicked the world's ass for so long in basketball in the Olympics we were shocked and kind of took it personally when we lost the gold in '88. We are used to that feeling of superiority, and not just when it comes to sports.
In my experience a lot of my countrymen express befuddlement when it comes to understanding why the world's opinion of these United States and it's citizens is pretty low these days (and to be sure there are a lot of people who could not give a fuck less what any other nation thinks of us). But I believe if the average American citizen is honest with themselves, is interested in having some kind of awareness of the world around them, and is willing to make the effort to not just accept everything mainstream media spurts out as gospel, they would actually be willing to admit that perhaps, just maybe, there is a remote possibility some of this nation's actions in the past have led to this viewpoint.
My point is this: If you are one of those people who actually cares about how the world at-large perceives the U.S., about how you as an individual are viewed when you travel abroad, and you want to dissprove the view that this is one of the most morally bankrupt societies in the world, think seriously about casting your vote with Barack Obama.
Now like I said I know a lot of people could not give a fuck less what other countries think about the good old U.S. of A. I'm not talking to you (and besides I suspect you guys would rather cut off your own genitalia than vote for a black man as President). I'm talking to the people who do care, and most specifically the white people who care. The ones who think our country's reputation for neo-colonialism is undeserved. And the ones who are of the opinion that Blacks need to stop whining about racism and 'stuff' that happened 40 years ago, because the only reason (or should I say the main reason that will never be officially acknowledged) Obama will not (I don't think he will) be elected is because of this society's refusal to deal with it's issues of race.
I had a relationship with a woman once who had a lot of 'issues' on a personal level and they kept manifesting themselves in our relationship. When we used to discuss these issues and I would bring up specific examples to illustrate my arguments she would always evade responsibility for her actions saying that I was being passive aggressive trying to play the victim role and it was I who was really at fault because I didn't love her for who she was, etc. Finally I said to myself, 'fine maybe she has a point' and put aside my issues and assumptions, but you know what she kept proving me right by exhibiting the same behaviors until eventually we ended the self destructive cycle that was our relationship.
I see a lot of (assumedly) white commenters on blogs like Field's going on and on about how it's really black folks who are racist these days and that we keep excusing our own laziness as a people based on events that happened decades ago, and that they can't even take pride in their race without being labeled a racist, and of course that institutional racism is practically non-existant these days and black people are just crying wolf. But when white politicians running against black opponents steady resort to tatics like the ones linked to in this post's first paragraph and I keep seeing these independent documentaries on current.com and other places showing countless white people in America's Heartland solemnley stating that they don't care (or even really know) what Obama stands for but they will not be voting for him because it's "just not right", I know I'm being shown that race is still a deep part of this country's legacy. You guys keep proving people like me, who say that racism is alive and well, right.
And let me just digress here with one of my favorite jewels: A lot of people confuse the concept of racism with prejudice. The basic difference is racism involves the use of power to subjugate a particular group of people based on race. A prejudice is a preconceived stereotype based in ignorance (of which many people of all colors are guilty of possesing). By it's definition African-Americans in this society are not capable of racism because we don't have the institutional power to practice it.
So that's why I say it's not only black folks who need to 'do better'. You want terrorists to stop fucking with this country so our children and loved ones don't have to die in a desert somewhere to defend it? You want some of these other nations to start showing some gratitude for the genuinely good things we do around the globe? Do you care about being perceived as an airheaded member of a decadent society? Then open up your mind to the possibility that a black man can be POTUS. Stop accepting every convenient excuse McCain will hand you to fear an African-American in office. Stop letting them cater to your fears based in ignorance and embrace your higher calling as a human being. If you can do this it will go a long way towards showing the world that this is not the America that they think it is.

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Drink up

Badger, Brewer, and Packer fans could all use a soothing cold one right now. Let's distract ourselves by queuing up the best beer commercial ever made. Ladie I'm sure some of you will find this quite offensive, but hey we're men. We still love and respect you, but we're still men.


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The Wisconsin Sports Wank

If anybody really paid attention to this blog I would be asking for a little props right now. Not only do time/sleep constraints limit my ability to post on a regular basis, but to top it off I had to replace the hard drive on my laptop this week. But lucky for you guys I'm one of those techie types, so I slapped a brand new Seagate Momentus hard drive in there after restoring the original image and we're back in business. Besides with things going the way they are in Wisconsin sports right now, a good wank is just what's needed (that last "wanking " reference will probably double my hits this week;)). So without further ado, shall we . . .

Packers. D+
I don't want to say the Pack are on the ropes but I do feel the urge to slap Mike McCarthy and scream "Look at me, Rock!!" and Rocky's face at the end of the first movie is a good analogy to the physical state of our roster right now. Yes the injury gods, who showed favor on us last year, seem to have forsaken us this season. Al Harris and Cullen Jenkins look to be done for the season. Atari Bigby, Aaron Rouse, A. J. Hawk, Woodson, and Ryan Grant are all still banged up to varying degrees (although Woodson has turned in a Pro Bowl season so far being named NFC defensive player of the month), and of course Aaron Rodgers sprained his throwing shoulder in the loss to Tampa and will be a game time decision against the Falcons Sunday.

Rodgers going down is really the key to the whole rest of the season. Without good QB play we will be automatically handicapped going into games like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Flynn has some talent and is capable (remember he did start for the college national champions last year), but right now he's in over his head. And unfortunately it would not be possible to facilitate on-the-job learning for Flynn for however many weeks while still trying to fufill the expectations for this team coming into the season (playoffs at least). Meaning with Rodgers this is probably a playoff team, with Flynn probably not. But don't forget Rodgers' injury is a sprain so he will eventually be back, Flynn just needs to hold it down until he is. This would also be a good time for the offensive line to get their shit together and pick the running game up. Ryan Grant, stop massaging the back of your thighs in whirlpools and start earning the contract you held out for this summer, your team needs you to play like it's week 10. Everybody at every position on both sides of the ball needs to pick it up a notch. To this end McCarthy is trying to turn up the intensity of the practices and concentrate more on the fundamentals.

On the injury bright side Acme Packing Company has a point. The Pack had the youngest team in the leauge last year, a good team (even without The Great One). This plauge of injury is giving the roster a chance to get deeper in terms of game experience. The secondary so far is holding steady in the abscence of Harris and Bigby with guys like Trammon Williams stepping up. And it looks like things have finally clicked for Nick Collins whose play is beginning to approach the Butler/Sharper level.

On to other things, the Pack has signed a new defensive lineman who just happens to be the guy who was in the car with Richard Collier when he was shot, Kenny Pettway. Pettway was part of the last cut in Jacksonville, a former seventh round draft pick. He's kind of light for an end so he definitely won't be rotating inside. Seems like a reach but hey we will try any guy who is breathing over 250lbs.

Speaking of guys over 250 Tony Mandarich recently admitted that he was taking steroids most of his college and NFL career, which is a no brainer in retrospect. What a supreme waste of talent and a draft pick. By the way Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders were the next players chosen in that draft just to rub that salt a little deeper.

And have all you trill cats out there heard that Lil Wayne is a serious cheesehead? Check his blog on ESPN out. They do have some excellent taste down there in the Dirty.

Brewers, C-.
Well I can't say that I was a believer all the way, but the Crew managed to hang on and play just well enough to claim the NL wildcard berth. After which they promptly reverted back to their crappy ways with even CC being affected getting tagged for a grand slam in Game 2. But facing elimination tonight in Milwaukee against a team they have lost to the last 6 times they've played they somehow turned out a good performance (with Dave Bush pitching no less) and avoided elimination. Now if they can just keep it up for the next 2 games Brewer fans will be in heaven. If it takes being backed into a corner between a rock and a hard place with no paddle situations to motivate this team they couldn't be in a better place. Everything literally and figuratively is on the line with every game now. Prolonging the success of this season, legitimizing the move to acquire Sabaithia (which I say is already done, they got him to make the playoffs mission accomplished), legitimizing the move of dumping Yost (which is kind of a weird afterthought now just a few weeks after happening), and fulfilling many fans rapidly expanding hopes and dreams for this team. If they could by some turn of fate win this series the sky would be the limit.

Ryan Braun blames the first two losses on trying to blog. I agree. You see a lot of athletes doing the blogging during competition thing these days, but it makes sense that they really can't devote a lot of attention to it because well they're competing.

It's really messed up that Sheets has to sit out of the playoffs. He was one of the first good draft picks that came up thru the farm system and turned into really good players, contributing to the team's turnaround. He should have been starting Game 1 just on general principle. But once again his body wouldn't let him, can't help but think that this all traces back to those problems with his throwing motion.

I never understood why everyone was so geeked about Gallardo coming back for Game 1 like it was a Willis Reed type thing. He had a major knee injury and this was really his first game back, I was worried.

Fielder seems to have cooled off a little the last several games.

Sveum seems to have a little of the same stick-to-his-way-of-doing-it thing that Yost did. So far he's used the same lineup all three games.

University of Wisconsin football, C-.
The Badgers play has been lacking in fundamentals and suffers from inconsistency, but their two losses have come down to the last plays of the game. That's where the lack of experience and poor decision making have really hurt UW. Last week at Michigan where a player who hadn't practiced all week lined up in an illegal formation that negated a two point conversion that would have sent the game into overtime, and this week where the defense allowed a methodical OSU winning scoring drive with four minutes to play after John Clay and P.J. Hill had pounded OSU's defense back to their goal line to take the lead (capped by the scoring play where the linebackers were clearly confused before the snap). UW is 0-2 in Big Ten play and probably just blew their shot at a conference championship. And they can probably forget about playing on New Year's Day too, more like around Christmas. The defense did do a good job containing Pryor overall though, with the linebacker play being pretty good, until that last OSU scoring drive.

No time to lick wound though with Penn State coming to town next week. Despite not being able to make the play that counted today against the Buckeyes the Badgers showed good resiliancy after a tough loss on the road in an important game. Let's hope that they understand that they have to play on a different level next Saturday.

Congrats to Chris Pressley for being a finalist for the national scholar athelete award. UW is a very good academic institution in addition to being known as one of the biggest party schools in the nation.

Training camp opened this week and Skiles is running everybody hard, no big surprise there. Everybody seems to have a good upbeat attitude about the new regime so far. Bucks told Damon Jones to stay at home until they have a trade for him, which is just fine with most Buck fans. No one loves Damon as much as he does, if only his jumper was as consistent as the constant flapping of his lips.

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