Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Leno hits Packers and Michael Irvin

In his monologue tonight, Jay Leno had a Wisconsin Sports Bar two for one. He made a joke that hit nearly all of us here. I'll paraphrase:
Did you see the guy run onto the field during the Packers-Eagles game this weekend, spreading a white powder on the field? He said it was the cremated ashes of his dead mother. Then his mother's ashes scored two touchdowns on the Packers. And did you see ESPN announcer Michael Irvin running behind him to snort the powder?
If Leno could have worked in the Brewers, he could have had himself a trifecta. And become enemy number one of the WSB.

Now that we've established the ground rules

Let's understand the ground rules here as laid out by Ched Head. Michael Irvin is not allowed to be an ESPN commentator nor is he elgible for the NFL Hall of Fame because:
  1. He's been accused of a crime, possession of drug paraphenalia.
  2. He's claiming the pipe is not his, that it belongs to someone else, and it's likely Irvin's guilt or innocence will have to be determined at a trial.
  3. Stuart Scott is possibly a bad interviewer
  4. Grumpy and Rush Limbaugh have had employment issues
  5. Irvin may have to turn his friend in
  6. Ched Hed apparently has gag reflex issues and shouldn't ride Space Mountain

Given the extenuating circumstances of points 3, 4 and 6, Michael Irvin should definitely avoid bumpy rides at Disney World with Ched Hed, especially if Stuart Scott is running the ride. "One more spin in the tea cups, Mr. Irvin?" "Hang on, Ched Hed, here we go again!" "urrrrp." "Oh, No! He got Grumpy!"

But for the rest of us sportsfans, the question tends toward a little more sober analysis. As a Dallas Cowboys fan (lest ye forget), my first reaction was, "Why is he going with the same alibi that every other person in his position has tried?" It's hard to imagine such a defense to be credible, but it is the defense Irvin has offered, and he's determined to have his day in court, apparently.

Should he be found guilty, it's likely ESPN will consider suspending him or firing him. It's likely Irvin will have a tough time finding another position like the one on ESPN. I'm not asking for much sympathy for Irvin. After all, if found guilty, it's certainly something he brought on himself. No, just the normal human compassion we feel for anyone who is trying to overcome addiction and fails. For that, we just might set aside team fandom for a moment or two, if only for our own sake.

Should he be found guilty, some sports writers may use this as an excuse to vote to keep Irvin out of the NFL Hall of Fame for another year. Never mind his accomplishments as a Wide Receiver in the National Football League. Michael Irvin should be punished or something, and dammit, that's what those writers are gonna do.

Of course, we won't ask those writers how the voted on Lawrence Taylor. We won't ask those writers how they intend to vote on Brett Favre, despite his addiction to prescription painkillers. We'll never know where he got those extra pills and how, will we? But Favre's "a lock" for the NFL Hall of Fame. There are other players as well. We might even ask, given the example of baseball's draconian penalty for betting on baseball by players and coaches, does Alex Karras and Paul Hornung belong in the NFL Hall of Fame?

But if these are the new ground rules for Michael Irvin, let's open the books on everyone.

A tale of two guys with bookies

Pete Rose's eligibility for membership in the Baseball Hall of Fame expired yesterday, pretty much ending any hope of the disgraced slugger ever being enshrined at Cooperstown (ht: Vodkapundit).

Pete Rose violated the one big rule in baseball posted in every clubhouse, no betting on baseball. He did it in full knowledge and despite the precedent of the "Chicago Black Sox" of 1919. He voluntarily accepted the lifetime ban in 1989, but then fought the ban. He finally admitted to betting on baseball, including betting on the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team in the late 1980s, in his 2004 autobiography, Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars.

Meanwhile, another degenerate, unrepentant gambler continues to be honored by the Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, despite having been suspended for gambling on his team as a player and despite his continued association with betting on National Football League games with those still involved in the NFL.

Paul Hornung does not express any regret over his suspension. Worse, he continued to participate in gambling with San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie Debartolo, Sr.
Hornung says Rozelle met with him in New York on Jan. 8, 1963, to confront him about the gambling issue. Rozelle also tried to get Hornung to name teammates and others in the league who gambled. Hornung refused.

"At first, I denied gambling on anything," Hornung writes. "But I knew he had me when he told me the league had been conducting a secret investigation for 10 months and had tapped my phone in Green Bay."

Hornung said he did some gambling with Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. on the 1979 Super Bowl, Dallas vs. Pittsburgh.

DeBartolo bought the San Francisco 49ers for his son, Eddie Jr.

"We talked about the point spread and finally, because of something I said, Mr. D. changed his mind and decided to bet the other way," Hornung writes.

"I asked if he could bet a couple of dimes (thousands) for me because he had a bookie in Pittsburgh who was offering a more attractive point spread than the one I was getting in Louisville. We won our bets and Mr. D said, 'I saved a lot of money because of you.' "
Paul Hornung, you're despicable, and you should be tossed out of the NFL Hall of Fame.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Irvin is Despicable

Just watched the whitewash interview of ASSHAT extraordinaire Michael Irvin on ESPN Monday NFL countdown. Of course the interview was conducted by fellow ASSHAT Stuart Scott. Scott took the interview up to the point of asking Irvin what he would do to prove his innocence. Irvin spun some crap about doing what his lawyer tells him and the typical "whatever it takes". Scott never asked Irvin if he would take a drug test to prove definitively his innocence. He also said he thought he paid the ticket that the initial warrant was issued for. You can read ESPN's take on this BS here.
The real question I have is why did Irvin appear on Sunday NFL countdown without a word of this being mentioned? The incident occurred on Friday. Could you imagine working for Disney and getting arrested Friday night then show up for work at Disney World Sunday to greet the kiddies dressed as Grumpy. Think ABC/Disney might fire you for this? Think any major corporation in America would not fire an individual under the same circumstances?
The hypocrisy of ESPN, in comparison to the Rush Limbaugh incident, is astounding.

Finally, it must be said, the real disgrace here is Irvin throwing one of his rehab buddies under the bus to save his own skin. Is there anything lower then one recovering addict ruining another's chances of a normal life after discharge by using him as a scapegoat. I despise Michael Irvin as a human being and even identifying him as one of my species has elicited a gag response. If you would like to contact the ESPN ombudsman and enquire about the time line you can drop him a line. If you would like to drop a line about Irvins upcoming Hall of Fame election you can contact the MJS Hall of Fame voter (I'm not sure if its Christl or McGinn, I believe its Christl because of seniority) here.

GBFan beat me to it, but...

The firing of Steve Mariucci was announced by the Lions moments ago.

The Lions loss to Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day was one of the worst coaching performances I've ever witnessed. When you run the ball only 12 times against a team that allowed Samkon Gado to rush for over 100 yards and 3 scores, and you're averaging 5.8 yards per carry (excluding QB runs), and you pass on almost every snap even when the game is still close, maybe you deserve to get fired.

Heck, maybe you were trying to get fired.

Lions Fire Mooch

Foxsports is reporting that the Idiot Matt(I wish I was John Madden)Millen has fired head coach Steve Mariucci.

Hmmm for right or wrong reasons, the Green Bay off season just got more interesting

I am going on record now Mooch isn't the answer here maybe if Brett was 5 years younger and we had some talent to surround him with.

But you know your going to hear calls to bring Mooch home.

Regards,
Mike Shermans biggest Fan
GBFan

Irvin Found With Drug Paraphernalia

Former Dallas Cowboy WR Michael Irvin, best known for pushing off on every single one of his 750 receptions, and for his 1996 felony cocaine possession conviction, was found with a "drug pipe." during a vehicle search:

Irvin told The Associated Press late Sunday the pipe belonged to a friend of 17 years who left a Houston rehab center and came to Irvin's house in Carrollton for Thanksgiving. Irvin wouldn't reveal his friend's name.


Yeah right. Like that guy has any friends. Well, I guess it could be Nate Newton.

Steve is lazy.

Why is Steve lazy? Because there is no simpler solution than advocating the firing of everyone. It doesn't require any analysis or critical thinking. It's like that South Park Episode (Free Hat!) where a newscaster mistakenly believe that the kids are in favor of killing babies:

Newscaster: Can you give me even one good thing about murdering babies?

Stan: It's easy?


Just because it's easy doesn't make it right. For instance, comparing Steve to a murderer of children was surprisingly easy, but that doesn't make it right.

Blaming the defensive coordinator is simply ludicrous. He has one run stopper who can't rush the passer (Jackson) one pass rusher who can't stop the run (KGB) one linebacker who is always, always, ALWAYS out of position, and on those rare moments when he is in position, fails to make the tackle as was the case on one of Westbrook's longest runs of he day (Barnett), and the walking pass interference penalty that is Ahmad Carroll (although he had an OK game on Sunday).

It's natural, when a team is so obviously bad, to try and come up with creative theories on why they are bad, but really bad teams don't require any creative theories. They are bad for obvious reasons.

For instance, the Packers are bad for the following reasons:

1. They have two offensive linemen who do not belong in the NFL. This is a serious downgrade from last year, when these positions were manned by pro-bowl players.

2. They have several wide receivers, who actually play in games, who do not belong in the NFL. While Javon Walker and Donald Driver are excellent, near pro-bowl caliber players, Turd Ferguson, Antonio Chatman, and Andrae "the human turnover" Thurman have no business on an NFL roster. Except for Turd, they don't even have any special teams value.

3. They do not have an NFL caliber RB. Sam Gado had good numbers on Sunday, and has even shown occasional flashes, but his big games are largely due to poor defenses, and his ypc will never be NFL caliber. He also fumbles more than Ahman Green. I mean, what are the odds of having two RBs on your roster that refuse carry the ball in their right hands? Do we scout for this trait?

What do the Packers have? A good QB, a solid #2 receiver, one linebacker who is great when he's not hurt (Diggs) one good to great CB (Harris) and a promising interior lineman (Jenkins). Kampman is OK, (a good effort guy) and Jackson and KGB have their uses, but that's about it.

When you have these kinds of personnel problems it is impossible to tell if the coaches are having a significant effect. There is too much "noise" in the information at hand. However, it is safe to say that Bates is not the problem.

It's easy (like killing babies) to say that "if the defense had played a little better" that they might have won. Well, better than what? The way I see the Pack is that the defense is improved from last year even though the personnel is worse, and the offense is worse (meaning that they are often on a short field, and that they are out there for extended periods of time). If the defense improves when all personnel indicators say that they should be worse, then that defensive coordinator must be doing a good job. Q.E.D.

The offense cost that Packers the game on Sunday, as it has for the past several weeks, where they have given up 19, 20 (7 of these were scored by Devonte Edward), 25 (win), 20 (7 of these were scored by Polamalu), 21 (Favre threw 5 picks in this game), and 23 (in a game they lost on a 56 yard FG, and in which Longwell missed 2 short field goals).

If the defense has had a melt down, it was against the Vikings on October 23rd, but in that game they still did enough to win it, and the offense let them down.

Over that same stretch of games, the offense has put up 14, 17, 33 (win) 10, 14, and 20 points.

And you're going to sit there and blame the defense?

Diagnosing this team isn't as easy as simply calling for everyone to be fired (or killing babies) but it's still pretty easy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Jib's analysis of the Packers

This team really sucks.

Can we fire them now, part 2

With us officially eliminated from the NFC North chase, all-but-officially eliminated from the wild-card chase, and guaranteed a losing season, it's time to once again call for the wholesale firing of both the entire coaching staff (yes, this includes "Genius" Bates) and Ted "O-line's overrated" Thompson. The latest in the Fire Bates saga - 34 rushes by the Eagles, 180 yards; 6th failed stop to give the Pack a fighting chance out of 8 opportunities and 11 games (though this one deserves an asterisk; it was a field goal given up which made it a touchdown game instead of a field-goal game, with Favre's 2nd pick of the game (both his fault) coming in the end zone after an ill-advised play to send Turd Fergie alone into the end zone, a stupid decision by Favre to throw into triple-coverage, and a premature fight for the ball by Fergie that ended before the ball got there).

Revisions/extensions - Points given up by the Packers defense in the first 3 quarters - 13 (4.3/quarter), points given up by the Packers defense in the 4th quarter - 6. And no, you can't blame a tired defense. 3 3-and-outs by the Packers offense, the last in the 2nd quarter, and an equal number of plays.

Sigh Where is Chris Chambers when we need him

No this loss is not Fergies fault I just like picking on him, He was only triple covered on that last play but he must have run the wrong route.

As for the team in general the Defense should sue the Offense for lack of support. But Man Sherman is still doing a great job that team didn't quit. He deserves to come back next year if it wasn't for the injuries we would be right in the thick of things in this division. See I am free basing the Kool Aid to kill the pain. 4 or 5 turnovers sigh well at least they tried hard.

I do believe Bates is working miracles with that defensive squad.

Look at the bright side tonight one of the 2-8 teams will become a 3-8 team and climb over the Packers so we will stay in the top 4 positions for the draft.

Oh before I forget Happy Losing Season everyone. I want to apologies for saying at start of the season that the Pack might win 8 games I am so ashamed of that statement.

5 games left any chance we are going to win one of them? Ohhh ABC must be mad as hell over that DEC 19th tilt over the Pack and the Crows wow that game is already starting to stink. Hate to say it I am looking at 0-5 Bears just keep finding ways to win and that Defense looks nasty Brett is going to get killed.

Well would love to have someone try and convince me things will get better but I believe things will get much worse before we can even think of getting better.

Like a wino we need to really hit rock bottom before we can think of the long climb back to being a good team.

Regards,
GBfan

Sometimes the Gambling Gods take pity on you

Anyone who has followed my gambling this football season knows I have taken a couple of nasty bad beats. Well today the Gambling gods took pity on me I had 3 games today all had the same line giving 3.5 Carolina took their time but covered late. Then it gets interesting I had Carolina and San Diego in a two team. I had St Louis as a single. Well up until about 3 minutes to go in both the Chargers and the Rams games I figured I was screwed and going to lose both bets. Then gambling Karma began to pay me back for some of the bad beats from earlier in the year. First both teams managed to tie the game up and get to OT. While I knew I had some hope I figured with my luck this year I would lose both games by .5 a point. I mean how often is a overtime game won by a touchdown usually they get in field goal range and shut it down and play to set up the kick.

Your only hope is long breakaway touchdowns. Well I didn't get one long TD I got two "Yeah Baby" LT went on a long scamper to win the game for the Bolts who also survived a turnover in their own territory late in the game but drove the Skins back out of field goal range.

Ok now I had the Two team in hand I am good for the weekend I could have handled losing the Rams game but no bam a 50+ touchdown pass wins that game for the Rams and they cover. What a swing of emotions in a 10-15 minute span.

I understand I got really lucky but hey I have been really unlucky this year so I will take it.

Now if Owens Damn Aggies could have layed down and gotten steam rolled by Texas like they were supposed to it would have been a monster weekend.

Days like today are why we gamble no drug could match the feeling from coming back from the dead in those games.

And Yes I am going to take a shot at the Sunday night game too lol

Regards,
GBfan

Very Quick Picks

I'm looking to rebound from a 0-2 week.

Bengals (-10) over Ravens
Packers (+4.5) over Eagles

Why the Packers? The Eagles mirror their running problems. In a game that will consist almost entirely of passing, I'll take Favre over Mike McMahon. The Eagles D isn't what it was either.

Good luck.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Marquette Wins The Great Alaska Shoot-out

Ryan Amoroso the 6-8 Soph forward had a career night as Marquette held off last years NIT champion South Carolina to win the Shootout.
Wes Matthews Jr. is nice but his freshmen backcourt mate Dominic James from Richmond Indiana is the real catalyst for this young team.
Marquette has three seniors and two juniors on its roster but only Steve Novak will be asked to contribute regularly. How this team does this year is dependent on the ability of Tom Crean to get the most out of his young guys. They stepped up this morning and played an almost flawless game. I know they will be unable to play this well game in and game out throughout a Big East season but they gained some good confidence out of this win.

This will make ESK very very very happy

the Badger Mens Hockey team beat the #1 ranked Michigan 3-2 ESPN is saying the Badgers should vault to the #1 spot in next weeks poll. What makes this even more cool is the Badger Womens teams is also ranked #1. So for the moment Madison is the Center of the College Hockey Universe.

I am hoping when he sobers up ESK has something to say about this weekend of Hockey.

Regards,
GBfan

Wisconsin Men Win NCAA Cross Country Title.

After finishing 2nd 3 years in a row the Badger men broke through to win the Title this year.

On Wisconsin and Go RED. I never was a CC person but I had a number of friends who ran CC so I feel thier pain takes a speical kind of person to do that sport.

Any time a Wisconsin team wins a title it is a great thing.

Regards,
GBfan

I heard it that time, Gary Rossington, Lynard Skynyrd, band out of Jacksonville Fla, recorded during the live version of Freebird

I have heard many times on this web site that Jim Bates should become the next head coach of the Pack. Maybe maybe not. Bates is a disciple of Bill Belichick (first NFL job as LB coach for Belichick in Clev.). That is good. His scheme is simple and even dolts like Ahmad Carroll can understand it. That is good. Bates had a nice turn as HC in Miami last year finishing 3-4 for a terrible team. That is good. Bates has a good rapport with players that buy into his system, and is not afraid to jettison malcontents (Hideous Cunt I mean Cletidous Hunt). Bates also will keep around aforementioned malcontents if he needs them, Grady Jackson comes to mind. That is not good. Bates is in his late fifties and that is definitely not good. He is not Ted Thompsons guy, that is also not good. Bates was hired by Sherman, not Thompson, again not good. Make no mistake about it Bob Harlan hired Thompson because he was a Ron Wolf guy. Thompson new at the time who he wanted as HC and believe me its not Mike Sherman, and its not Jim Bates. Thompson may want to hold on to Bates but it wont happen. They would have to offer Bates equal money to the HC to stay because Bates is older and is making his final run to be a HC in the NFL. Bates took a calculated risk by coming to G.B. because he felt he could make the "D" respectable on a team that would make a deep run into the play-offs. That ain't happening. Bates is looking to move on immediately. Shermans extension was given by Thompson as a way to stabilize the team so they could make a run at the play-offs. That didn't work. If the Packers were to release terms of Shermans buy-out clause I think it would be obvious that Sherman had one chance and that was this year. Sherman will be gone at minimal cost to the organization.
Ted Thompson is the new sheriff in town and he will bring his people on board. That is why he held sway in last years draft.
Harlan understands that the GM is the anchor of a franchise. He gave Ron Wolf Carte Blanche and he has done the same for Ted Thompson. It may not be obvious to the casual fan yet but it will become quite evident Jan. through May 06.
Ted Thompson is the one single person that will attempt to re-build your Packers into elite status. You may not like it but he will have four years to make that happen. Harlan may be gone but Thompson has iron clad control.
Personally, that makes me happy. I think Ted Thompson is a no nonsense guy who will, indeed bring us back to the elite level. His handling of Sharper and Hunt were great (the case of Rivera and Wahle were handled by Sherman, remember that when the Urinal Sentinel tries to lay that on Thompsons door step in three years). The revolving door of assistant coaches will end and accountability will be demanded. I see a bright future, what do you see?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Anyone Else Notice This?

Opening kick-off of the Dal-Den game and streaking down the field to make the tackle is celebrated Dallas safety (Mr. Destinys Child) Roy Williams. Fast Forward to final play of overtime and Jason Elam kicks the game winner and the holder is none other than MVP candidate and pro-bowl QB (at least this year) Jake Plummer.
These are two of the healthiest teams in the NFL and both lead their division. Obviously having these players on special teams is not causing massive injuries and depleting the teams ability to compete.
Some one please explain to me how our holder has cost us three games (according to the winy kicker)? Why is the only starter that plays on special teams (Ferguson ie; turd on this web site) complaining to the local tree killing newspaper about his role on that team?
Its rather simple rookies play on special teams no matter where your drafted under Parcells and Shanahan and that sets the tone for the players. No one pops off about it.
Now that I got that rant off my chest I have just cracked a Yeungling blond and will be rooting for a Badger victory in Hawaii. You see if the Badgers get an east coast bowl game I have permission to attend. Go Badgers...I want Florida in January.

Quote of the day

Surely, the name "Samkon Gado" will be the answer to an orange pie slice in the "Genius Edition" of Trivial Pursuit 2020.

Steve Czaban, Czabe's "40 yard dash" of NFL non-sequiturs

Mariucci out in Detroit?

It looks as if yesterday's game between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons may have had an additional casualty not listed on the injury report: Lions head coach Steve Mariucci. According to ESPN:
The Lions are in discussions that could lead to the firing of head coach Steve Mariucci possibly as early as Friday, according to reports in the Detroit Free Press and on WJBK-TV in Detroit. After two and a half disappointing years with Mariucci at the helm, the loss to the Falcons on Thanksgiving may have been the final straw.

"I don't know what's going to happen or anything like that, but nobody's stupid in here," offensive lineman Damien Woody told the Free Press. "People know that, hey, things didn't go right. It was a pretty bad loss on national television. We'll see what happens."

The Lions are 15-28 since 2003 under Mariucci, including a 4-7 record this year, a year that began with high hopes in the organization. Thursday's loss dropped Detroit 3½ games behind NFC North-leading Chicago, and 1½ behind second-place Minnesota.
If the Packers were smart, the moment Mariucci's firing becomes official they should begin negotiations to sign Mariucci to coach the Packers.

Ron Freakin' Dayne

Somebody 'splain it to me. Both the Cowboys and the Broncos just sat on the ball at the end of the game playing for overtime. Denver wins the coin toss and marches right down the field with... Ron Dayne. We got beat by the classic Heisman trophy bust. I know everyone loves Dayne; I kept watching to see if he going to choke on that disgusting looking cobbler during the post-game interview.

By the way, we'll see monday if Parcells is true to form and fires another kicker.

Black Friday Morning Roundup

I actually am at work today (markets pulling a half day) and I never really made it home between the holiday revelry and my 3:30 am start time so I was trolling around the city in the wee hours and there were already people getting rady to head out to their own favorite shopping havens to await the store openings. Absurd. I will actually be braving Best Buy (which one I haven't decided, but going all the way out to Delafield seems promising) when I am done with work in an hour or so, so wish me luck.

In the meantime there are some relavent stories around the country dealing not only with our Brewers, but a Packers draft outlook from Philly as well.

Potentially as important for the Brewers as it was for the Sox, Boston seems to have landed Beckett yesterday. A press conference will be held sometime today. Basically the deal boils down to Beckett, Lowell and Guillermo Mota for Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia. This deal could also free the Sox to move a pitcher (Clement is the only real possibility) to get Overbay. If it is going to happen I would imagine it would happen pretty quickly and I think the addition of Mota (solid bullpen help) indicates the Sox are looking to move a pitcher, move Papelbon into the rotation and go from there.


In Packer news, The Philly Daily News has this little nugget:

"who's going to wind up with the first pick in the 2006 draft? Put your money on the 2-8 Packers. Of the eight teams with three or fewer wins, they have the toughest remaining schedule. Their six season-ending foes have a .550 winning percentage. The 2-8 Titans are second at .517."

Andy Baggot has a nice article up on the Badger hockey team. This weekend is the most important weekend of the season so far as the #2 Badgers and #7 Minnesota Gophers head to Michigan to face off against the #1 Michigan Wolverines and #18 Michigan State for the College Hockey Showcase. The Badgers are on a ten game unbeaten streak and hope to continue that tonight against State. The main course, however, is on Saturday when Bucky faces off against the top ranked Wolverines. It WILL be incredible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A shotgun post on the Pack

They say opinions are like a**holes, everybody's got one. Since I'm a giant a**hole, I'm going to chime in on this Packer talk with a lot of opinions.

-First, the defense. This is an undertalented defense. We all saw that last year, and the talent on the defense did not improve over the off season. But with the change in coordinators, the unit is playing much better than last year. Is it as good as we want it to be? No. But that isn't Jim Bates fault. He seems to have squeezed every last bit of talent possible out of this unit. They are tackling better this year, they are executing their assignments much better (still with notable exceptions), and they are playing as unit. That can all be chalked up to the coaching.

-It is tough to judge the offense because so much talent has been depleted due to injury. The Vikings exposed something that is going to haunt this team the rest of the year-that you can double or triple cover Driver without worrying to much about the rest of the receivers. Unless Ferguson gets better, there is no other receiver that can beat you. Will Whitticker is a problem on the offensive line, and the Packers need to remove him from the lineup. But even with personnel on the line getting shifted around (Tauscher to RG, Barry to RT), it isn't going to help the running game much, because the backs that are left just aren't that good.

-Samkon Gado is going to have a short NFL career. The fumbling problem is the first knock against him, and the second is that he does leave a lot of yards on the field. Sherman was right when he said Gado left 40 yards on the field versus Minnesota. He missed a number of holes and made some poor decisions when he did get through holes.

-I've called for Sherman's head at times this year, but I will give him credit for one thing. He has kept this team fighting. A lesser team would have packed it in weeks ago. Some of that has to do with the veteran leadership, but a lot of it has to do with the tone set by the head coach. So I'm now torn. While I don't think Sherman will ever be a Super Bowl coach, I actually think he's doing an okay job given the circumstances.

-Ted Thompson. Like Sherman, my gut tells me that he'll never build a Super Bowl team. At the same time, I don't really have a problem with his inaction this year. Even with everyone healthy, this wasn't a Super Bowl team this year. If your goal is to build a Super Bowl team, and this year's team has no shot, why would you waste money on players that aren't going to get you there? May as well take your lumps, see what your young guys can do, and save your money for some free agents and higher draft picks in the off season that might make you a contender next year. Personally, I think that's the plan. Re-signing Sherman and keeping him despite this season will keep Brett around another season. In the off season, the Pack will have some cash and cap room to play with, and hopefully some talented draft picks. If there can be a happy send off for Brett, it'll be next season.

-Tom Rossley has to go. They should have done it 2 or 3 years ago.

-As for the occasional puke pundit that calls for benching or trading Favre in order to get Aaron Rodgers some playing time. Why? So Rogers can go out there with subpar talent and have his confidence ruined for the rest of his career?

-As for Rodgers, I have a bad gut feeling that says he'll never be more than an average NFL quarterback. But gut feelings are at times just gas, so I'll sit here and hope this one passes.

-I'd give my right arm to see the Packers beat the Bears this year. Call it a moral victory.

World's smallest violin, NFL edition

According to FoxSports.com, arbitrator Richard Bloch upheld both the 4-game suspension of Terrell Owens by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Eagles' right to pay-and-not-play-or-release him. I have but one word - BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In defense of my bash of Bates (pun intended)...

Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm absolving the offense, special teams, Mike "Ho-Hum" Sherman or Ted "the offensive line is overrated" Thompson, but I do have two exhibits for your consideration:

  • Exhibit A - Points allowed allowed by the defense in the first 3 quarters - 126 (for an average of 3.2 per quarter per game); points allowed in the 4th quarter - 61 (6.1 per game). The two returns for TDs given up by the Packers offense is equalled out by the 2 returns for TDs done by the Packers defense (against the hapless Saints).

  • Exhibit B - 7 times this year the Packers defense had the chance to get a stop inside of 5 minutes left in the game to allow the offense a chance to either tie or win, 5 times, the defense could not come up with the stop. The other two times, the offense failed to come up with the score after the stop. Heck, why don't we run through the 7 -

    1. Week 1 - Detroit starts at their 42 with 7:35 left and a 10-3 lead; they score a touchdown with 4:17 left to provide the final margin of victory (to be fair, they were already within field-goal range by the "magic" 5-minute mark).

    2. Week 2 - Cleveland starts at their own 20 with 3:32 left and a 19-17 lead; rather than run out the clock, they throw 4 times out of 5 and score a touchdown with 1:50 left. This is especially vexing because the Packers march back down the field and score a touchdown, but couldn't recover the onside kick to continue the comeback.

    3. Week 3 - Tampa Bay starts on their 31 with 5:03 left and a 17-16 lead. 7 runs, 1 pass and 2 kneel-downs later, the game ends with them still with the ball on the Green Bay 21.

    4. Week 4 - Carolina starts on their 36 with 3:01 left and a 32-29 lead. The defense does get a 3-and-out to get the ball back with 1:58, but the offense goes 5-and-out-on downs.

    5. Week 7 - Minnesota starts on their 36 with 0:17 left and a 20-20 tie. They march down to the Packer 38 in 15 seconds and get a 56-yard field-goal with no time on the clock to win.

    6. Week 8 - Cincinnati starts on their 20 with 3:05 left and a 21-14 lead. They do get a first down, but the Packers get the ball back with 56 seconds left. With some help from the infamous drunken fan and a poor decision by Favre to throw the ball 4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (and not even to the end zone), the Bengals survive.

    7. Week 11 - Minnesota starts on their 33 (after a piss-poor decision to squib the kickoff) with 2:59 left and a 17-17 tie. The march down to the Packers 7 in 2:20, center the ball, run the clock to almost zero, and get a chip-shot field-goal with no time on the clock to win (where have we seen this before?).
Bottom line; when it comes down to crunch time, the defense just can't get the job done. Yes, some of it's personnel, but guess what; if the players weren't so gassed (goes back to coaching, and I don't believe that Sherman controls the defensive rotations), and Bates and company weren't so inflexible that a Pop Warner coach can figure out how to score against their scheme after being exposed to it for 3 quarters, maybe they'd be .500.

Guest Post: David Orgas

David Orgas is one of the most interesting people I've met. As far as I can tell, he has a photographic memory. He runs a complex fantasy football league that I'm lucky enough to participate in, and, as far as I can tell, he has never forgotten anything football-related in his life. Recently David completed work on Dare to Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story, which you can purchase on eBay here. (If the previous link dies, search for "Kulwicki movie.") I haven't seen the movie yet, as it was just released on DVD, and I don't live near any of the locations where it is being screened, but I will see it soon. I'm not a Nascar fan at all, but Kulwicki's story is pretty amazing regardless of how you feel about Nascar, and David is an excellent storyteller. Here is a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article about the making of the movie. You should check it out, especially if you have a Nascar fan in the family.

David is also a big Packer fan, and he broke down this terrible season as follows:

There are two main reasons for the Packers' abysmal record this season:

Personnel and Coaching.


Personnel: When the receiving corps took major losses the Packers brass did nothing to shore up the holes except bring Andrae Thurman back. Tonight he ran an "in" on the interception return for a TD when Favre threw an "out". When Favre throws an "out" and the receiver runs an "in" you can be certain that the receiver was wrong. Especially if the receiver is Andrae Thurman. On the final Packer drive, he let a pass go right through his hands inside the 10 yard line. Both hands were on it, the defender did not deflect the ball (as Michaels suggested might have occurred) but he dropped it anyway. Had he caught a ball placed in his hands by Favre we would have had 1st and goal from the 7 or 8 and a chance to go up by 4 points.

Good thing we didn't sign Andre Davis after he was cut by the Patriots earlier this season. He's only a receiver who caught an average of 40 balls per year for the Browns with deep speed and the ability to return kickoffs for scores. We don't even have that! Chatman is a sub-par return specialist who is extremely limited as a receiver. He missed a ball on that last drive just before Thurman's drop. Unless he is uncovered running crossing routes he has little value. Davis could have helped in both areas with his size/speed.

Personnel: Jason Horton is in our secondary.

Coaching: It took Sherman half the season to realize Adrian Klemm cannot play guard. He still hasn't figured out that Wil Whittaker cannot play either. Every game Whittaker gets beat badly (I mean, he completely misses his blocks and assignments). Eventually he may realize that he could move Tauscher inside to RG and start Kevin Barry at RT. Tauscher has played more snaps at RG than Whittaker may ever play (since Sherman is likely to be fired at the end of the season and no other coach would be likely to play Whittaker again).

Coaching: If KGB cannot stop the run in the second half of games then KGB needs to come out until a passing down occurs. This is simple logic. Bryant McKinnie is not a road-grader as a run blocker and yet he made KGB look like a rag-doll most of the game.

Coaching: If the only player the opponent can complete a pass to is their TE, then we should cover their TE. Of course, this has been a re-occurring theme.

Coaching: Mike Sherman has lost more games at Lambeau than he has won. Maybe not, but it's getting close.

Personnel: Wouldn't Odell Thurman have looked good on this defense? Many publications, including the Packer Plus, thought he was the 1st round pick for the Green and Gold. Instead we took Rogers. You cannot prepare for the retirement of Brett Favre with a QB. That guy is screwed. If you want to prepare for the end of Favre's era you have to do 3 things: Make him stay around longer by supplying him with weapons and a chance to win (delay the end). Build a strong defense that can keep you in games (ala Chicago). Maintain your running game so whoever the QB is, he has a chance (i.e. have solid guards).

Personnel: Is it too late to get in on the Reggie Bush sweepstakes???

Tickets, anyone?

Not one, but two commenters here seem to feel selling superfluous football tickets to be near criminal. GBFan001 calls Packer ticket holders who sell their tickets to Vikings fans "asshats." Steveggg actually wants the Packer organization to take season ticket rights away.

I call that downright un-American. Furthermore, you want less Vikings fans making the trip to Green Bay? Then ask the Packers to raise prices.

Is it the Vikings fans' fault that the Packers insist on selling their tickets well below market level? Is it the fault of the Packer season ticket holder, faced with a subpar product with an inordinate demand, decides to sell his ticket for the cash and enjoy the game at home (where he can walk out of the room in disgust)?

No I say, it's the fault of the Packers, who consistently underprice their product knowing full well the real market value of the ticket is being found on E-bay. What's more, the Packers' failure to maximize their revenue while asking for a taxpayer subsidy is a disgusting example of the anti-competitiveness nature of corporate welfare. It's easy to call the Vikings "Viqueens" but the real queens are the corporate welfare queens Bob Harlan and co.

So while a few tavern owners are happy they get to continue to generate revenue year after year by reselling their tickets without fear of taking a loss, while auto dealerships and real estate companies get to use underpriced Packer tickets as promotional items, some commenters are ready to condemn the lowly season ticket holder for daring to re-sell the ticket he can't use to watch a lowly, poorly coached, arena-football-level team.

Two Football Questions

I will for the moment refrain from commenting on my lowly football team, however I do have two questions of Madden, Michaels, and the rest of the Monday Night Crew.

1. When they translate the speed of a throw in a football game into "baseball speed," what does that mean? I understand that when Jennie Finch throws a pitch in fast pitch softball that the mound is closer to the plate than it is in baseball, and so a 70 MPH pitch in softball can look like a 95 MPH in baseball, but all season long on MNF they've been telling us that Favre throws at about 68 MPH, and that that is the equivalent of throwing 96 MPH in baseball. What does that mean? Last night they did this on Favre's first 15 yard TD pass to Donald Driver. The pass actually traveled much further than 15 yards, as Driver caught it in the middle of the endzone near the sideline. I did a quick back of the envelope calculation and discovered that the ball probably traveled between 24-32 yards (if I remember the play correctly, adding distance for the end zone depth and Favre's dropback, and doing a little Pythagorean theorem action), or farther than the 60 feet, 6 inches that a MLB pitch travels. How can the ball appear faster in that kind of a situation? It makes no sense.

I think they are just making this up out of thin air.

2. Does Minnesota's line spacing really keep them from running between the tackles? If so, isn't this an easy problem to fix? Madden mentioned this at least 4,000 times last night. What made him think of this? Did some scout tell him? Was he thinking back to his coaching days? And if he felt so strongly about it, doesn't that mean the he implicitly thinks that Mike Tice and Co. are incompetent?

Personally, I think it has more to do with the loss of Matt Birk than it does with line spacing.

Un-freaking-believable

You reactionary bastids are forcing me to write today despite being swamped. Let me preface this with saying I only watched the first half of the football game last night as I had to be into work at 3:30 this morning to deal with some fortuitous goings on that occurred while I was in the vast wasteland that is Minnesota over the weekend watching my little sis put up thirteen points in four games and garnering front page recognition (in her po-dunk boarding school town) for her official commit to Badgerland.

First, Favre did not, as GB fan puts it, throw two INT’s right to Vikings players. I didn’t see the second so he very well might have, but the first interception was an incredible play made by an athlete who jumped a route, guessed right and broke to the ball faster than the receiver, who was in position to make the play but was too slow to react.

Second, blaming the defensive coordinator is insane and makes all involved in this little forum look like fools. The Packers defense allowed 13 points yesterday and stuffed the best running team in the league last week. You tell me what other man could have molded such a shoddy defense and such marginal talent into a top 15 defense so quickly? No, he hasn’t been able to get through the titanium that is Ahmad Carroll’s skull but listen to that man talk for one minute and you understand that teaching anything to a guy with an IQ of an eggplant and the verbal skills of Eliza Doolittle (pre-elocution) has got to be difficult to coach up.

This was a failure of the offense, period.

On to more important matters, like the Brewers offseason.

Speculation is already gearing up (I thought it would wait until at least the All-Star break) that Ned Yost is anxiously awaiting his shot at the Atlanta Braves, and the Cox is on his last legs as Braves skipper.

Brewers are BORING so far, mostly because they don’t want to get Hammoroids (the best ailment I could come up with incorporating Jeffrey Hammonds).

Overbay for Clement? The first piece of the puzzle may well be in place as the Sox are inches from signing A.J. Burnett which would make Clement expendable considering they want to insert Papelbon ASAP into the rotation. Burnett-Schilling-Wakefield-Papelbon-Wells(?) Not a bad rotation even if they have to give up Clement to get an everyday first basemen. Rumors are circling that the Brewers would even be willing to drop their ESK clause (the one that states the Brewers MUST get a catching prospect in any Overbay deal) something obviously I feel is a MASSIVE mistake.

The Game

The kick that tied the game for a couple of minutes Longwell did his job
Our enimic offensive unit
Brett threw both of this Int's right to the Viking defenders nice job
Second half kickoff

Samkon Gado, thanks you cost both of my good fantasy teams their games.

Well were to start on the game I will just tell you what I from my seats. First William Whitticker 79 Rookie guard got his ass kicked most of the game. The guy he was blocking was in our backfield most of the night. One of the reasons Gado didn't do well was had no where to run.

KGB cannot play the run they kept running to his side and he would crash down and the Vikings running back would run right by him.

Offense is just sad the Defense gave them two turnovers in the first half one in Vikings territory and guess how many points our offense got ZERO Yes the defense fell apart on that last drive but hey they were on the field most of the Second Half.

Sherman has to go this empty cupboard is his fault as a GM and I don't want to hear the injury excuse this team has sucked since day one of this season. Before Green and Walker et al went down.

a fellow fan last night, "but if we get rid of Sherman Farve will leave" my reply "well we are 2-7 with him", I got no reply.

Final thought since I got home at 4am and I am a tad bit tired(read hungover) Mike Sherman legacy will be destroying the homefield advantage the Packers had for over a decade he has lost so many games at home and would be 0-3 in playoff games if Al Harris misses that pick in the Seattle game.

Fire Mike Sherman now.

Regards,
GBfan

Pregame post are over at spotted horse this post was also posted there.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Can we fire them now?

Random thoughts from the debacle at Lambeau...

- Once again, it's good and bad from Favre. The good, he threw 3 touchdowns. The bad, one of them was to the Viqueens, and he threw in a second pick.

- KGB does not belong on the field on running downs. Not only does he routinely get run over, it wears him out on passing downs.

- Can we stop the Sam Gado as the second coming of Edgar Bennett now? 10 carries, 7 yards and a fumble is the bottom line.

- Since when did we let Viqueen fans in Lambeau Field? If I were Packers management, I would take away every ticket that was scalped and start moving the waiting list along.

- When Mike Sherman gets fired, can we get the joke of a defensive coordinator fired as well? How in the hell does a team that hasn't done anything offensively the previous 2 games have their way in what is supposed to be a hostile environment (see rant #4)?

- While we're on the subject of firing, I renew my call to throw Ted Thompson under the bus. He'll just blow the high-first-round pick on an offensive tackle and let Tauscher and Clifton go because "tackles are a dime a dozen".

Return of the M-B glove logo?

JS Online's Daywatch had a little piece on the Brewers' "Winter Warm Up" on December 1. Tucked about half way down the entry was this little nugget:
In addition to the panel discussions, the show will feature the debut of the team's new Sunday home uniforms.
The Brewers were testing the waters on the old M-B glove logo last year. It'll be interesting to see if the new Sunday home threads include it.

In other Brewers news, the Crew resigned Jef Cirillo to a one year contract.

The temerity of some people

But what else would you expect from a lefty rag like the Strib. I would deconstruct this article but theres just too much to write about. Let me just say that after rambling on about not dissing Favre and G.B. and tooting his own horn as being neutral he totally backtracks on everything.
Typical of the idiotarians at Lake Woebeperpetuallyhere. Note especially what he says about Packer Fans.

Response to GB RE: Bears, I'll give him a break though he was at Deer Camp

I was going to post this in the comments section but felt everyone needed to compare and decide for themselves.

This is my response to GB’s assessment that maybe the Bears don’t suck.

Reminiscent of four years ago when the Bears were 13-3 and hosted a first round play-off game. That year they lost to Philly in the first round 33-19. Other similarities abound from leading the NFL in Defense to having a QB that "manages" the game. That year it was Cade McNown replaced by Shane Matthews then Jim Miller. This year its Rex Grossman replaced by Kyle "another shot of Jack please" Orton. The RB was rookie Anthony A-Train Thomas now it’s another Thomas, Thomas Jones. Urlacher was in his second year and Mike Brown returned interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive weeks for OT wins, thus announcing his arrival as a difference maker.

The Bears “D” gave up 203 points that year, followed by Philly giving up 208 and Pittsburgh giving up 212. Comparisons to the 85 team were rampant. They won four straight heading to the play-offs. The always reliable Shitcago Tribune held a contest to give a nickname to the defensive line. The Monsters of The Midway were back and poor little Brett Favre didn’t have a chance against this juggernaut.

It all sounds so familiar that I think de ja vu has replaced reason.

That year the Packers handed the Bears two of those three losses. They won in week nine at Shitcago 20-12 and followed that up with a week twelve 17-7 win at Lambeau. Neither game was close. Green Bay lost in the same round of the play-offs as Shitcago in Favre’s infamous 5 pick game at the TWA Dome in St Louis (remember when Kurt Warner was invincible).

Of course the Pack was 12-4 that year (Mike Shermans second year as HC and first as GM) not 2-8. Yea they beat Carolina at home by scoring 13 points but Brett almost singlehandedly beat the same team at their home, if a TO was called and a proper play set up The Pack exposes Carolina and not Shitcago. Not to mention Longwells faux pas. Relax guys they are still Shitcago afterall.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Oh yeah Going to be a long long long long long season for you Golden Chicken fans

As a Badger Fan/Alumnus I take a special kind of pleasure when anything bad happens to a Marquette Golden Chicken basketball team.

Well good news came pretty early in the season for old GB.

Marquette Golden Chickens now of the Mighty Big East64

The Winthrop Eagles of the Big South Conference 71

Oh yeah baby I cannot wait for them to get to the Big East part of the Season. Can you Marquette fans say "Bottom Feeders"

I also cannot wait for December 10 2005 MU has to come up to the Kohl Center, as Evander Holyfield says "come on out and get your whupping" Wisconsin is going to beat them like a drum.

Oh yeah its going to be a wonderful college basketball season I can feel it in my bones.

Here we go Carebears Here we go, Here we go Carebears here we go.

Regards,
GBfan

Hmmm maybe the Bears don't suck?

I got home from deer camp early enough to see the Bears/Panthers game I am starting to believe the Bears are more then the NFL version of Smoke and Mirrors that I had been branding them with. They stood the kitty cats up and punched them in the mouth. Man the defense looks tough, funny thing the guys on the score were saying the Green Bay games scare them the worse even though our "Precious" is 2-7 and swimming at the bottom of the pool when they feed.

I think the pack will have a hard time keeping Brett upright the Bears where kicking Jake Delhomme ass with a straight 4 man rush.

It would be nice to see the Pack salvage a little bit of this season with a win or two over the Bears. Sad we have sunk to 80's level where beating the Bears can make up for a season that sucks.

Regards,
GBfan

If You Didn't Stay Up and Watch These Games...

you missed two great games.

I want to be the first one to make the argument that JoePa and Penn State should move into the three spot of the BCS. Miami lost at home (ha ha ha Mike "snort blow off hookers asses" Irvin, o.k. I stole that from an author on this site) convincingly, to newly sanctioned Georgia Tech. The Rambling Wreck dominated on both sides of the ball and should have won by much more. The throttling that GA Tech imposed on "the U" made last weeks Miami dismantling of VA Tech look tame. It also showed how overrated VA Tech is (notwithstanding the beat down they gave to VA today). I'm not going to get into the whole Wis beat No Car and No Car beat Boston College and Boston College beat GA Tech and GA Tech beat Miami so Wis should get a BcS bowl game. But (theres always a but) it was quite obvious tonight that Marcus Vick better spend his last two years of eligibility in college and Miami is further from the 94 team then they are closer to the 84 team. I love watching The U lose at home, and not just because it saves us from another interview with Donna Shalala.

With a DB at QB (Robinson was recruited as a DB and moved to WR when he couldn't crack the line up) Penn State is exactly 8 seconds away from being undefeated. They lost to Mich on the road but beat Ohio State impressively. VA Tech has played one top ten team and lost at home to Miami 27-7, PSU has played two top ten teams and has split losing 27-25 to Mich on the road and beating OSU 17-10 at home. The average margin of victory is in favor of VA Tech but that reflects the class of JoePa and the tendency of Beamer to run it up, not the respective ability of their football teams. This will be brought up ad nauseum next week. PSU has beaten 7 teams that were or are in the top twenty, VA Tech has beaten six such teams. I'm afraid though once again the hype of Vick will outshine the consistent brilliance of PSU and they will not leapfrog VA Tech into number three in the BcS.

And that brings us to the other game that just finished 16 Fresno St, at the coliseum vs 1 USC. The final score was 50 for USC and 42 for Fresno. Fresno was at the eighteen yardline with 1:20 left in the game and threw an interception to finish things off. Fresno was in the red zone three times and came away with no points! With no pass rush and four turnovers Fresno was still within eighteen yards of beating the unbeatable. My impression of the game (it was only the third time I watched USC this year) was that Leinhart is over rated and anyone in the NFL draft that thinks they are getting Carson Palmer better beware because they are getting closer to David Carr. Reggie Bush grabbed his back several times throughout the game and I hope he doesn't show up in GB next year. Save this post and remember Bush is another Peter Warrick. Fresno was going for the kill shot all night instead of tackling, and that led to Bush's record breaking output. USC should be thanking all that is holy that tonight's game was at the coliseum, without that they would be looking up at VA Tech and hoping for a win by Bobby Bowden in the ACC Championship game.

Looking at the big picture JoePa and Penn State should be number three. It doesn't mean much today but if you had watched how close USC was to losing that game tonight and the GA Tech outcome you might see how the three spot takes on more meaning then ever.

Why Did I Have To Go To ESPN To Find This Out?

The injury reporting process in the NFL has become a joke. Whether its Belichik listing half his roster as questionable or the B.S. that prompted Belichiks response, the Falcons listing of Mike (STD) Vick as probable, all the while knowing he wasn't going to play. Don't get me wrong here, I understand the gamesmanship and strategy of making an opposing coordinator prepare for something that will never occur in a game. But (and there is always a but) its a nuisance to have to surf through four or five web-sites to find out the status of a player. That sounds petty I'm sure but believe me the No Fun League will clamp down on this with a big humongous iron fist before next year.

The nadir of this rant began as I tried to find out the status of Robert Ferguson for Monday Nights game. The Urinal Sentinel had no update on Fergusons injury that occurred late in practice Friday. I also visited NFL.com, Sports Illustrated. com and the Packers web-site, still no news could be found. I finally went to ESPN (the whores of any news reporting) and lo and behold I found the info I needed. This is what I found out.

Anyway, I just wanted to say the Packers have not downgraded Ferguson and Sherman is optimistic that he will play Monday night.

It Makes Sense To Me

This may be bad news for Packer fans. It seems the Viqueens are attempting to run a thoroughly professional organization. The Wilf family is intent on getting these idiots on board and making sure the inmates no longer run the asylum.
The reason this may be a problem for the Packers is twofold; first if the Viqueens get their s**t together they will be tough to beat in the coming years. I think they are at least one year ahead of the Pack towards development of a championship team. Secondly, the Pack has an unknown commodity in Ted Thompson as the architect of their rebuilding process. Only time will tell.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Rosenhaus fills his mouth with water and Javon Walker speaks

Caught the NFL Live in studio interview of Javon Walker by Trey Wingo late last night. First question was about Walkers rehab and Javon said he would begin running next month, this is neither behind nor ahead of schedule. Problems with an ACL recovery usually doesn't occur until the weight training begins. No news is good news.

Then Wingo got into the heart of the interview and asked about Walkers relationship with Brett Favre. Walker said there was no ill feelings between the two. Wingo pressed on and segued into the comments that Brett made during Walkers threatened hold-out. Walker said Bretts comments slowed down the process, and that if the Packers were going to do anything as far as an extension Bretts comments and his standing with the club slowed that down. He then repeated the same slow down statement. Walker was very guarded in his responses but he did make the inference that Brett held sway during the threatened hold-out. He immediately back pedaled and that is when he repeated the "slowed down the process" talking point. Very well coached by Rosenhaus, stayed on point, even when he did drift and a personal opinion entered the conversation he quickly returned to the point at hand.

Asked if the franchise would be lost without Favre, Walker was very candid and answered straight forward Yes. He expounded on this a bit, stating that the club had not made any moves to replace him. He never mentioned Aaron Rogers and Wingo didn't push it. Javon also had no answer if Brett would be back or not.

Wingo finally entered the Rosenhaus area I had been waiting to here. Wingo tip toed to the edge of the "what has Rosenhaus done for you" question and ran the tape of that being asked of Rosenhaus on Monday. Wingo could easily have followed the tape with the same question but he backed off. Walker took the opportunity to back his agent and state the company line that the agent works for the player and Rosenhaus has many clients he repeated that twice and Wingo moved on when Walker began to flounder.

Javon said he wouldn't mind having T.O. as a teammate, but surprisingly meandered back to the Rosenhaus point, as if he hadn't made his point clear enough that Rosenhaus was a really clever and astute lawyer who only had love for the players in the ongoing battle with the evil NFL and club owners. Of course this argument doesn't work in G.B. because we are the owners. But Walker stressed the point none the less.

Javon handled the interview well and came off as a thoughtful young man. Wingo never asked the tough questions that I would love to know, but that's standard for ESPN. If the choice is between getting a tough answer that might make a player squirm (for instance why would you stay with Rosenhaus when he hasn't done anything for you) or shilling for that player or his agent they always choose the latter.
I did feel some slight resentment towards Favre when Walker answered those questions. The vibe of us vs. them was pervasive throughout. It seems to me that Rosenhaus espouses this line to all his clients, lets stick it to the man. Walker apologized for Rosenhaus' over the top rhetoric during Mondays press conference and made excuses for him throughout. It didn't sound like Walker was going to get a new agent anytime soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ouch the WSB high school football curse strikes again

From the MSJ "flog" from Camp Randall

Stratford wins its third consecutive state title as well as its 42nd game in a row with a 25-7 victory.


So St Marys Springs ran into a buzz saw in the team from Stratford, but you have to be in the Championship game to lose it.

Bummer
GBfan

11-6-1

After a split last week. I'm still a bit bitter about the Redskins-Bucs game. Bad beats are inevitable, in sports betting, of course, but I basically lost on an off-sides penalty on an extra point, or, alternatively, a bogus touchdown awarded to Mike Alstott. I grant that there it was no sure thing that Washington would win the game had Tampa simply kicked the PAT, but the odds would have been in their favor.

Anyway, Carolina held up their end of the bargain, so it was still a successful weekend. Do I go with Carolina again? They are only 3 point favorites here in Chicago. No, I don't think so. It's still windy down here, and it's also cold. In situation like this, it is not wise to go against THE SYSTEM!.

I'm not a big fan of any particular game again this week. I suppose in that situation it would be smarter to bet on a large number of games (diversify) rather than concentrate. But since I only get 2 picks, here goes.

First I would like to mention that Pitt and Baltimore has no spread yet, probably due to uncertainty about the Steelers QB situation. I would advocate anyone to take the Steelers in that game as long as the spread isn't completely outrageous. But time grows short for me, so I can't take that game.

While Carolina has been easy money, I also like Seattle. Great ground game, efficient passing game, underrated defense, and a terrible division. This week the Seahawks take on the lowliest of the low, the San Francisco 49ers, fresh off of the Wind-Bowl in Chicago. The Hawks are giving 13.5.

Happily give the 13.5, and take the Hawks, in an ugly, Shaun Alexander 5 TD performance blowout.

Next we have the Oakland Raiders (warm weather team) in Washington (cold weather venue). Oakland can't stop anyone, and Washington is going to bounce back nicely from that debacle last week.

Take the Skins, -6.

Good luck, everyone.

Eagles fan on the roof

Jonathan Last has sunk a long way since he predicted the Eagles would go undefeated.
How bad is it? The Eagles aren't just 4-5, they're 0-3 in their division. Before this season the Eagles were 22-4 in the NFC East over the last four years. Read that again 22-4. Those days are long gone. It isn't clear that the Eagles will finish this season with even one victory in their division.

And don't go buying the argument that this is just parity with the rest of the NFC East catching up. Yes, the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys are each slightly improved, but none of them is as good as their records suggest and I'll be very surprised if any of them is good enough to win even a single playoff game. It's a mediocre division and the Eagles are locked, gimp-style, in a box in the basement.
Ain't it great?

Death of the sports column

Sonny Bunch in the Weekly Standard explains why the sports columnist as we once knew him has been reduced to a shouting hollow shell:
...the problem is with the sports columnists. With a few exceptions, they have become know-nothing, self-aggrandizing, laughing stocks; a bunch of blowhards who squander precious inches of newsprint on trash talk, instead of crafting coherent essays. Who it to blame for the decline and fall of the sports column? ESPN.

A recent study by Missouri School of Journalism doctoral student Scott Reinardy purports to show that sportswriters and their editors "believe jargon, entertainment-based writing and ESPN's SportsCenter is altering the tone of sports writing," and that "creativity is being substituted for fact-based reporting, and sports reporters' aspirations of being on radio or TV has impacted their sports writing and reporting." One needs look no further than shows like ESPN's Around the Horn and Quite Frankly--which feature current and former sports columnists and loud-mouthed TV sports pundits--to see the effect that the channel has had.
I think sports radio plays a large role in this, too.

Go Ledgers

St. Marys Springs is now the offical playoff team of the WSB this year. Thanks to loyal reader Benjamin and coupled with the fact Mukwonago and Homestead both went down to Racine Park leaving the Ledgers as "Our" Team.

I am going to fisk Benjamin's scouting report from the comments

You guys may not have anyone left playing in the playoffs, but this loyal reader will be heading to Madtown on Thursday to cheer on my old team, the St. Marys Springs Ledgers. Springs has one of the best programs in the state, winning multiple state championships while in WISAA(I was a member of the '97 championship team and a captain of the '98 championship team) and has won one already in their first 5 years of WIAA play. The coach is Bob Hyland who is the all-time winngingest coach in state history.

This years team was down in talent a little. They went 4-5 and finished with a 3-3 conference record making them playoff eligible. Actually they were 3-6 in games they played but North Fond du Lac forfeited their game and Springs played a game in Illinios that weekend to fill the schedule and lost to a big school. But the playoff run isn't unexpected though. They play in a conference with much larger schools and always advance deep in the playoffs. Alright I'll stop bragging about my school.

Gametime is 1pm on Thursday so if anyone is watching the game root for the Ledgers so someone here can go out a winner.

So I hope he enjoys the game and that the WSB isnt a Kiss of Death to that team lol.

Regards,
GBfan

Bucks end 17 game West Coast losing streak

Nice this Bucks team keeps proving that the franchise has turned a corner. Winning out west is a big for the Bucks as winning at PNC is for the Brewers. If they win there you start to think this season could be a good one. I was one of the people who said spending that kind of money on Michael Redd was foolish, well guess who Mr. Redd is making look stupid(not that its that hard to make me look dumb) He is playing like a team leader is earning this money. TJ Ford being back is key though man did this team miss him.

Lets hope they can keep this run going, Games you win now make life that much easier at the end of the season.

So go Bucks

Regards,
GBfan

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Welcome back to ESK

Great stuff ESK nice to see things are slowing down and you are getting time to post again. You were missed, we were all wondering if you had joined some sort of Bloggers Anonymous lol. :)

I myself have been locked in a back store room and will use that excuse for my lack of posting that and my lack of knowledge on basketball.

Regards,
GBfan

Drink the Kool-Aid...Drink It!!

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Trust Brett Favre...

The second half of the Bears season is going to be as bad as the Packers first half. Over the next 6 games they will go 1-5 to bring their record to 7-8, including two losses to Green bay and setting up a monster finally against Minnesota.

Green Bay on the other hand, will finish 4-2, bringing their schedule to 6-9 and absolutely owning the tie breaker between them and the Bears with the season sweep.

Chicago plays Minnesota at Minnesota the final game of the year, where they will lose and finish the year at 7-9.

Green Bay, on the other hand, finishes the season with Seattle at home. A victory here puts the Pack in the playoffs, and they will crush Seattle, who will have nothing left to play for as by then they will own home field, and the Packers will be your NFC North champions, assuming the Vikings continue getting rawked on the road.

Likely? Not at all. Out of the realm of possibility? Check the schedules and you tell me. Chicago plays Tampa, Pitt, GB, and Minn on the road, while Green Bay only has to go to Chicago (Favre's house by now) Philly (minus TO and McNabb)and Baltimore, arguably the worst team in the league.

Schedule is definitely favorable kiddos.

The Herd Mock Draft

I just heard my first mock draft on ESPN radio's the Herd with Colin Cowherd. The guy is a prick and one of the few Favre-haters in the national media, but he is better than Jim Rome...rack it. He has the Packers falling all the way to the eigth spot and taking Lendell White (love this pick). His order is Texans, 49ers, Saints, Cardinals, Ravens, Titans, and then the Pack.

I would be just as pleased with White as I would be with Bush. The Pack has strong receivers, I want a running back who is going to run, and run often. Bush may be a playmaker, but his speed will have diminished efectiveness in the NFL, where everyone is fast. He won't be able to fly by mediocre corners in a bad defense conference like he can now. I want a between the tackles, hit the hole type of back, and I think White is that guy. I also think that the Packers will be drafting around the 8-10 mark, and White will be available. Drafting him will give them the option of letting Green and Davenport go freeing up some cap room to sign defensive help or o-line help (if any is available). I also expect this to be the only "skill position" pick they make next year, and I wouldn't be surprised if they take an o-lineman with their first pick, especially if Debrickshaw Ferguson (sp?) drops to them.

Anyway, never too early to mock draft

More Reason to Hate Terrell Owens

Asshole has a sculpture of himself in his foyeur. What a jag.



These are photos of his house in Atlanta, which can currently be yours for a mere $5 million.

Congratulations Commissioner Selig!

I was watching PTI yesterday afternoon, suffering through the obnoxious Dan Lebetard, when the news came down that the union had caved. It was a great moment in TV, as the two men (Wilbon and Lebetard) had no clue how to react. They don’t want to be too overjoyed because they don’t want to celebrate the veritable collapse of a union (something I will do every time, I love living in the age of the death of unions) and didn’t want to congratulate or really acknowledge the total and complete victory of the greatest baseball commissioner of all time.

I say that with total and complete sincerity. I can’t believe the criticism the guy got/gets in Milwaukee. While he might have tightened the budget in his last two years in order to make the team more sellable, he and Bob Uecker are solely to thank for Milwaukee even having a baseball team at all. From the moment the Braves skipped town Selig was front and center lobbying for a new team for the great baseball town of Milwaukee, a task that was not the leasr bit easy. He employed the help of his old friend Ueck and together they made all the right PR moves and bugged and bothered all the right people until the opportunity finally presented itself. To hear some of the 60’s owners and baseball people talk, Bud was like the little kid in the back seat “are we there yet? Are we there yet?” To put it simply, without Bud there would be no baseball in Milwaukee.

As commissioner he was forced into the role because of his incredible baseball knowledge and his savvy business sense. He understood the need to expand baseballs television presence and did so the same way college football conferences were, expanded playoffs and focusing on rivalries. The divisional splits and the wild card have been strokes of genius, as it keeps almost every team alive through August, and means even when your team is out of it they are playing meaningful spoiler games through the end of the year.

Since the advent of the position, the baseball commissioner has had probably the easiest job in pro sports. Baseball was America’s game until the late 70’s when it started to be challenged by the NFL, and until the late 80’s held off the threat well. A commissioner was necessary maybe a handful of times, most notably the Black Sox, Pete Rose and probably most necessary during the 90’s strike. No time was more important for baseball. During the 20’s and the 70’s, baseball was mostly unchallenged for sports supremacy. The commish had to try and get the scandals out of the headlines as soon as possible, but didn’t have a lt to do as far as damage control because there were no real sports entertainment alternatives. On the other hand, the 92 strike could have been the beginning of the end for the National pastime. Baseball came through it with brilliant marketing, an emphasis on fan interaction, and innovative ideas that jumpstarted a stagnant product. Bud Selig can be thanked for that.

On a somewhat more disappointing note, Selig also jumpstarted the game by taking a passive view of steroids. Home runs were filing the stadiums and baseball was happy to get the fans back. Combined with the changes to the ultratraditional game, baseball was soon booming again. Now, Selig dropped the hammer. 50, 100, life. Brilliant. Mr. Selig got steroids to work both ways for him. They brought back his struggling product and when the beast threatened to bring back down that product, Bud was able to tame it.

Congrats Mr. Selig. You kicked the crap out of the union, gained the thanks of Senators who were on thin legal ice (CBA anyone?) and made massive PR points. The icing on the cake is the addition of amphetamine testing.

Total. Utter. Victory.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'd like to thank Donovan McNabb

...the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL for throwing the one pass when it really counted.

Touchdown, Roy Williams! Cowboys win! Cowboys win!

(BTW, thanks also to GB Fan for having me over to watch the game.)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Waiting for Gado

That's more like it.

Sam Gado may never have a game like that again, but if nothing else it serves as an important reminder of just how crucial the running game is to Favre and the passing offense. While the Pack has suffered massive injuries at RB, remember that even when healthy Ahman Green was having a terrible season. When the running game has clicked this year, during Najeh Davenport's few productive appearances, the offense as a whole has clicked.

I wasn't as impressed with Gado as I was with the line. Did benching Adrian Klemm actually make that big of a difference? Last week, when I was at the Pitt game Gado looked like a hard runner who was too slow to the hole, but on Sunday he was routinely getting through the first layer and punishing linebackers. It is obvious that the line improved significantly this week.

The other big factor for the pack this week was that they managed to play from ahead. Except for New Orleans the team has been behind for basically the entire season, and as the Football Outsiders have noticed, the Packers are absolutely horrible in "late and close" situations:

A team which outscores its opponents 168-159 should be a lot closer to 4-4 than 1-7. The disconnect isn't just one big win over the New Orleans Saints of San Antonio the Packers have also lost four games by a field goal or less. The problem is that the Packers are the league's worst offense in what we call "late and close" situations: second half, game within eight points. Favre averages 4.8 net yards per pass in these situations with an interception once every nine passes. The rest of the time, he averages 7.3 net yards per pass and throws an interception once every 46 passes. (For the DVOA-inclined, the Packers are -78.1 percent in late and close offense. San Francisco is the only other team below— 35 percent.)


I think this can be explained by the fact that Donald Driver is the only above average skill position player still healthy (other than Favre). Late in games, if you're trailing, you are going to be restricted to passing exclusively. In these situations, it is crucial to have an above average #2 receiver to take advantage of double coverage on the #1. Right now it's easy to take Driver out of the game and make Chatman and Thurman beat you. If the Packers can play from ahead, they can still be successful on offense.

A few other quick notes.

1. Al Harris continues to have a spectacular season at corner.

2. Vick looked slow to me. Linemen were catching up to him. What gives?

3. Nick Barnett actually had a pretty good game, and not just because he recovered a few fumbles. He maintained his gap responsibility and didn't overpursue. If you're MLB is out of position against Atlanta, they'll run all over you.

4. Bubba Franks looks like he's fully recovered. He actually looks faster and leaner to me than at any other point in his career.

5. B.J. Sander is still a disaster as a holder. It was a bad snap, but it was not impossible to field.

6. Longwell is still excellent as long as the ball gets to where it is supposed to be.

7. Jim Bates did a remarkable job changing up his normal scheme and pressuring Vick and Dunn into mistakes. Atlanta was clearly not prepared to deal with extra pressure.

8. The pressure had the added bonus of forcing Vick to try and pass. He's still a terrible passer. Instead of LBs chasing him around he was forced to scramble away from DBs. After Al Harris got into the backfield a few times he looked tentative.

9. I think that Carolina will finish ahead of Atlanta to take the NFC South, and that Atlanta may end up missing the playoffs altogether.

10. Every game left on the schedule is winnable, with the possible exception of Seattle. Getting into the 5-11 - 6-10 range is possible. We finish with:

Minnesota
@Philly
@Chicago
Detroit
@Baltimore
Chicago
Seattle

Weekend Thoughts

First now that Homestead has been beaten I believe this blog has no more high school teams in the playoffs.

I want to take this chance to thank Barry for all he did to bring the Wisconsin football program back from the dead. I remember the Don Morton era and how we were a nation wide joke. Shame they couldn't close out his last home game with a win.

John Stocco Sucks!

Now for some good news. Wow how about the Bucks down 14 with 3 minutes to go and win on an ABA three pointer by Mo Williams. At 4 and 1 this team as already shown a months worth of heart. It is nice to see another Milwaukee team turning it around even though the Bucks haven't had near the problems as the Brewers.

Speaking of good news the Green and Gold mess up from Brown County put together a total game and beat an over rated Atlanta team. I will stow the fire Sherman talk for this week even though this win doesn't change my mind.

Great game by Sammy the Bull Gado and Donald Driver is a true Warrior. It was nice to watch a Packer game and not feel sick at the end. I remember when every Sunday felt like this.

Kudos to the young guys on the Defensive line, on one play I thought Colin Cole #90 had broke Ron Mexico into when he busted through and planted Vick about a foot under the Georgia Dome turf. Only a circus pass by vick saved him from being sacked by Cole. With this season lost its time to start looking for guys who want to help turn this ship around next season.

Oh and Nick Barnett I wont even bitch about your dancing since you had a good game.

Only bad thing about this win was it knocked us out of the first place in the race for the number one pick. I believe Houston is back in the drivers seat for that pick.

I am going to jump on the Colts bandwagon as far as going undefeated. I really dislike the relics from the 72 Dolphins team so I would love to see the Colts run the Table.

Another scary thing every team in the NL West I mean the NFC North won. Be Afraid Be very Afraid.

Regards,
GBfan

I pulled an ESK and goofed and first posted this at Spotted Horse lol.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Windy City

The Bear game is actually very entertaining, especially for a game with no passing. It is windy today, and TV isn't doing it justice. I was down on the south side this morning and drove by Soldier Field twice, and it is ridiculous out there. You could feel the wind rocking your car, even when you were stationary. On game days they use parking cones on Lakeshore Drive to separate the lanes of people parking from the rest of traffic. This morning, every parking cone was blown over and rolling around, screwing up traffic. Anyone who watched Robbie Gould's first FG attempt has some idea, but really, I'm surprised he even got that close.

So there's no passing at all. The 49ers just completed their first pass of the game in the third quarter. Kicking and longsnapping are dangerous propositions. Cedric Benson suffered a horrific injury when Bryant Young (I think) fell on him. They're saying it's a sprained knee right now, but if he plays another down this season I'll be shocked. It was painful to watch. Not quite Napoleon McCallum, but along those lines. And at the end of the first half, the 49ers tried a ridiculous 51-yard field goal that was short, and returned 108 yards for a TD by Nathan Vasher. Bobby Wade has also fumbled twice on punt returns.

It barely even qualifies as football at this point, but it's highly entertaining. Hopefully the 49ers can get something together and steal this one. They've definitely got a shot.

Re: Busch suspended for remainder of the season

I would've had this first, but I was lazy with getting my NFL picks in (it didn't help that I lost power for a while this morning). Anyway, I caught this live on the "Todd and Eddie Show", and they reported it was Crown Royal that really put the pressure on Roush Racing to suspend Kurt Busch.

This brings up a couple of interesting things for those of us that follow NASCAR, questions that prove the folly of the Chase -

  • Does he get replaced in the Chase, and if so, by whom? We do have 2 choices - Elliott Sadler (11th place after the fall Richmond race - the Chase cut-off) and Jamie McMurray (currently 11th).

  • Does Rubberhead lose the bump-up in drivers' points he got after Richmond and face the possibility of dropping out of the top 10?

  • Similarily, does Roush lose the bump-up in owners' points he got for the #97 after Richmond because he's running a non-Chase driver in the car?

  • Finally, can NASCAR "un-invite" Rubberhead to the awards banquet in New York City?

I'm not surprised that it wasn't NASCAR that suspended him; they let Scott Wimmer drive after his DUI back at the beginning of the year. I'm also not surprised that Roush dumped him. I wonder what Roger Penske has to be thinking right about now. We may know more tonight; Penske is a scheduled guest on Speed's "Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain". Ricky Rudd is still available, even though he is headed to retirement - the Blue Deuce is the one ride he would have done the 2006 season for.

Homer nod - fixed a malaprop.

5-7-2 made me be late this week

Well, I was on-time with the non-explanation version of this back at the short-order blog, but I knew I didn't have time to explain myself on-time there or make it here on-time.

Green Bay (+9.5) @ Atlanta - Just too many points to give up.
Kansas City (+2.5) @ Buffalo - At least it's not snowing.
NY Jets @ Carolina (-9) - Come on, say it with me - J-E-T-S SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!
San Francisco (+13.5) @ Chicago - The Bears won't score 14 points.
Denver (-3) @ Oakland - No altitude, no problem.
Houston @ Indianapolis (-17.5) - I can't give too many points in this one.
Baltimore (+6.5) @ Jacksonville - Upset special time.
New England (-3) @ Miami - What, this isn't 13 points?
Minnesota @ NY Giants (-9.5) - Stick a 2 in front of that.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-7.5) - No Big Ben, no problem.
St Louis @ Seattle (-7) - The Seahags have the Lambs' number.
Washington @ Tampa Bay (-1) - Washington is the worst 5-3 team in the history of sports.
Dallas (+3) @ Philadelphia - The Eaglets' season is DONE!

Busch suspended for remainder of the season

This had to have been an easy decision for Jack Rousch. His defending Nextel Cup champion has been an immature pain in the ass, he bolted from his contract a year early, there are only two races left, and he has 4 other drivers in the Chase. Still, I applaud his decision to suspend Kurt Busch for the remainder of the season.

Kurt Busch charged with reckless driving

NASCAR star Kurt Busch was "detained on suspicion of drunken driving and cited for reckless driving" Friday night. Look, the guy spends most of his life making high speed left turns. Putting him out on the road with the rest of us who actually drive straight, turn right or even stop without hitting a wall* is just asking for trouble.

My favorite part of this,
As a result of the roadside investigation the deputy did take Mr. Busch into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol," said Chagolla, a Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman.

Chagolla said the deputy smelled alcohol on Busch, but the driver refused to perform standard field sobriety tests. Busch did submit to a field breath alcohol test, disclosing the presence of alcohol.

The deputy drove Busch to the raceway, where a sheriff's facility is located, to administer another breath test but the machine there failed. The deputy then decided to cite Busch for reckless driving and he was released, Chagolla said.
You can just imagine the scene in the sheriff's office.
"He dun broke the machine."
"What you been drinkin' Mr. Race Car Driver, that you broke the machine?"
* for the record, I hit a metal post, not a wall.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Best Badger Hockey Team in Years

Well, I am again writing from a sleeping friends computer, I just couldn't resist. The men's hockey team looked fantastic last night, despite a disappointing 2-2 tie. The Badgers came out flying, jumping to a quick 7-1 shot lead and having two or three open net chances that CC goalie, Matt Zaba had to stand on his head to stop. After about ten minutes CC seemed to get some steam as their big guns Sterling and Sertich got it together and started to put a little pressure on Wisconcin. Brian Elliott gave up a weak little nubber from a bad angle to "the best pure goal scorer in ten years" Brett Sterling. Screw him, the guy is a little punk. He started begging for calls about two minutes into the game and never got out of the refs ear. It was embarassing. The guy can play, no doubt about it but he whines like Allen Iverson. Elliott let in another bad angle shot, this time on a fantastic top shelf back hander from freshman Joey Crabb only five minutes later. This one was UW defenseman Olinger's fault. He let Crabb carry the puck out of the corner and get off a shot that never should have been fired. It was ridiculous.

Wisconsin got one back on a breakaway when Jake Dowell hit Tommy Gilbery exiting the penalty box who five holed Zaba for his second goal of the season with a minute left in the period. Bucky tied it up in the second when Skille cleaned up the rebound from a nice play by Ross Carlson to create a turnover and create a little mele in front of the net. Skille lifted it past Zaba as he was falling backwards to knot the game. It was a nice heads up play from the beloved freshman. I think if anyone benefitted the most from the Phil "Turncoat" Kessel affair, it was Skille. It was well known that the two disliked each other intensely when they played together on the junior national team and some believe that factored into the best American hockey player in the past two decades to turn his back on his home state and go play for the maroon and mustard, an unforgivable sin. To tell you how big a deal this is to Badger fans, my little sister was offered a ride to Minnesota about a month before Wisconsin officially offered. When the rest of the family found out, I laid it out for her. I would root for her to lose, and to lose miserably. My entire extended family told her the same thing. My mom was the only person who was open to it. I told her she could go anywhere else (I wanted her to go to BC) but Minnesota is out of the question. Well, the story had a happy ending and she'll be a Badger next year, however it illustrates the intese hatred between Badger and Gopher hockey fans. It is intense and it is real and that is why Phil Kessel will be the most hated man in Wisconsin come Jan. 27 when they come to town, and also why Skille, who stayed home, is considered a hero and is cheered as loud as any proven Wisco player like MacMurchy or Earl.

If you can make it to a game this year I suggest you go, there is literally nothing like it, and this is the best team Wisconsin has had probably in a decade. They are fantastic to watch and incredibly deep. Plus, go once and I guaranty you will follow them for life, it is incredible.

I gotta roll, but it looks like Melvin is trying to up the price for Jenkins and is dropping the ball on Washburn, not even meeting with his agent Scott Boras, his agent, during GM meetings and announcing his intention of not opening the wallet for a pitcher.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Weekly Picks

Oh, oh, oh, I'm on fire. I'm now sitting at 10-5-1, and I've hit 4 in a row. There are a lot of big spreads this week. What happened to all of the parity?

There are no games that really jump out at me this week, but there are a few that I'm fairly confident about.

First, Carolina is giving 9.5 to the Jets in Carolina. That's a lot, but Carolina is red hot, and Brooks Bollinger, despite his mediocre showing last week, is still terrible. Wisconsin QBs have no business in the NFL. Carolina starting to look like the best team in the NFC, and the Jets just can't catch a break.

Take Carolina, -9.5. It should be a blowout.

Next we have Washington in Tampa Bay. Take advantage of the Chris Simms disaster while you still can! Chris Simms is, frankly, terrible, and this week he faces one of the tougher defenses in the league. The Redskins are a solid 5-3 in a tough NFC East. Tampa has the same record, but they're free-falling rapidly. Once Tampa gets in a hole, they have no way of climbing out of it. They're still overvalued based on their early season success, and you should take advantage.

Take the Skins, -1.5.

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