Friday, March 31, 2006

Final Four



PLUS
















EQUALS: a great time in D.C. this week.

That would be George Mason and the Cherry blossoms in bloom.

Was down in D.C. for business this week and the excitement for George Masons Final Four appearance along with the influx of tourists made for a memorable week. I did work long hours (which kept me indoors much of the daylight hours) but got out on Thursday to witness the local populace and their passion for George Mason B-Ball (apparently it was show your spirit day because I witnessed several business men and women wearing gosh awful green and yellow T-shirts over their business attire), although I believe much of the hoopla was bandwagoneering it was still legitimate for the residents of D.C., because of the proximity of the campus. The vibe was palpatable and the spirit overcame me (as you'll see in my next post of picks for the final four). I noticed for the first time the number of parking permit stickers from the George Mason Campus in the parking garages and the receptionist at my work site volunteered much of her academic career and alum status at that university. Very proud she was.

I never understood the whole cherry blossom phenomena because I grew up on a farm that had cherry trees, and yea they were nice, but my main concern was when the cherries were edible. The trees looked o.k. Thursday but still no big deal. Then today I finished my work at noon and emerged from my hole in the wall to a bright sunny, 76 degree day, with an azure sky, that highlighted the pink blossoms and was in awe. It wasn't even the height of the blossoms but my goodness it was breathtaking.

A whole lot of tourists show up for this including many from Japan and they truly understand the significance of how the Capital of the free world has preserved this tradition. The couple I spoke to had arranged their entire vacation around this event.

Overall a pretty good week. My favorite time of the year in Wisconsin growing up was Fall but this was pretty special and I would recommend to all, if they get the chance, to visit D.C. in the spring.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

How bout the maroon and mustard! Basically, it was a 16 beating a 1. Screw Kessel and screw the freaking Gophers!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

All This Noise, What does it mean?

Honestly,
Marquette Warriors are a seven seed, the Stinkin' Badges are a nine seed.
Milwaukee is a respectable 11 seed, or a respectable 12 seed, or a respectable 13 seed.

So the Warriors are seeded seven? They draw Alabama. In a weak SEC, Alabama is the fourth best team in that conference. Remember Creans run with Dwayne Wade began with back to back wins vs. SEC teams. Marquette wins going away.

My thought is; we finally get UCLA (in the second round), It is common knowledge that Al McGuire had less then amicable feelings for John Wooden. Al kept an open mind and offered Wooden an invite every year. Wooden refused, Al recruited from N.Y.C. and Wooden from L.A.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Attention gambling degenerates

(Cross posted at No Runny Eggs)

The NCAA tournament starts tonight, with Hampton (16-15, won the Mid-Eastern tourney) and Monmouth (18-14, won the Northeast tourney) playing for the right to get destroyed by nominal #1 overall seed Villanova (24-4, 2nd in the Big East) in the Midwes...er, Minneapolis regional. Take Monmouth to win their first NCAA tourney game. Morever, the Marquette CareBears got their wish; the only way they'll run into the Milwaukee Panthers is if they both make it to the championship game, which isn't happening.

As for the rest of the tourney for you moderate degenerates, remember - gambling is illegal except in Nevada and off-shore havens, so if you get busted for using these nose picks in your pool, don't come crying to me.

First round, Midwest: Villanova (1) over Monmouth, Wisconsin (9) over Arizona (in the battle of fading programs, the Mildcats have fallen further than Bucky), Montana (12) over Nevada (your historic 12-5 upset split, plus a Milwaukee connection with Montana coach Larry Krystowiak, a former Buck), Boston College (4) over Pacific, UW-Milwaukee (11) over Oklahoma (too much offense from Rob Jeter's group), Florida (3) over South Alabama, Northern Iowa (10) over Georgetown (no, there's no anti-Thompson bias here :-) and Ohio State (2) over Davidson

First round East, er, DC: UConn (1) over Albany, UA-Birmingham (9) over an over-seeded Kentucky, Washington (5) over Utah State, Illinois (4) over Air Force, George Mason (11) over Michigan State, North Carolina (3) over Murray State, Wichita State (7) over Seton Hall, Tennessee (2) over Winthrop

First round South, er, Atlanta: Duke (1) over Southern, UNC-Wilmington (9) over George Washington, Texas A&M (12) over Syracuse (this 12-5 upset's for you, Owen), Iona (13) over Louisiana State, Southern Illinois (11) over West Virginia, Iowa (3) over Northwestern State California (7) over North Carolina State, Texas (2) over Pennsylvania

First round West, er, Oakland: Memphis (1) over Oral Roberts, Arkansas (8) over no-longer-a-surprise Bucknell, Pittsburgh (5) over Kent State, Kansas (4) over Bradley, San Diego State (11) over Indiana, Gonzaga (3) over Xavier, Alabama (10) over Marquette (sorry CareBears, Novak and a bunch of freshmen can't get it done), UCLA (2) over Belmont in the battle of the Bruins

Second round Midwest: 'Nova over Bucky (if one Wildcat doesn't beat you, the other one will), BC over Montana, UWM over Florida (that's right, the Panthers are Sweet-16 dancing again), Ohio State over Northern Iowa

Second round East: UConn over UAB, Illinois over Washington, UNC over George Mason, Tennessee over Wichita State

Second round South: Duke over UNC-Wilminton, Texas A&M over Iona, SIU over Iowa, California over Texas

Second round West: Arkansas over Memphis for your first ousted #1, Pittsburgh over Kansas, Gonzaga over San Diego State, UCLA over Alabama

Midwest Semis: 'Nova over BC, Ohio State over UWM (too much inside from the Buckeyes)

East Semis: Illinios over UConn, Tennessee over UNC

South Semis: Duke over A&M, SIU over California

West Semis: Pittsburgh over Arkansas, UCLA over Gonzaga

Final Four: 'Nova, Tennessee, Duke, Pittsburgh

Champion: Duke over Tennessee, Bruce Pearl still gets hoisted off the court on his players' shoulders

Sunday, March 12, 2006

This Can Not Be Called Journalism

Don Walker, dwalker@journalsentinel.com, apparently "wrote" this article, instead of the story being reported.

The NYTimes and Washington Post (WaPo) invented this method of yellow journalism and it would seem the lazy among journalists have adopted this as procedure.

You see, the lede, Walkers Ultimatum Draws Support, is utterly false. Not one source in the story supports Walker not fulfilling his end of the contract. ] This fact alone discredits this article.

Frank Winters said: "You sign the contract. . . you abide by that," said Winters. "That's part of business."

Not one single player in the article actually supported Walker, with anything more than a standard issue statement.
These statements were posted by players of the GB Packers.

"Everybody has a right to their opinion," Poppinga said. "He's a great player, man. It's nothing personal. It's a business issue."


And would Walker be welcomed back if he changed his mind? Poppinga said yes. "I'd welcome him with open arms."

So would linebacker Nick Barnett. "I'd like to see him back here, as far as that goes," Barnett said. But the dispute, he said, is between Walker and the organization. "Let them iron it out," he said.

William Henderson, a running back and special-teams player who wants to finish his career with the Packers, said Walker may learn that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. Henderson praised the Packers organization, saying it afforded him the opportunity to succeed in football.
What would he tell Walker? "Just encourage him to really think about what he's doing. Don't ever burn bridges," Henderson said.

IN DON WALKERS WORLD, this is what passes as truth. Walker's ultimatum draws support, ire
In the grand tradition of Jason Blair, Don has "massaged our thoughts".

Don, you get a mulligan, please use your resources wisely. Just one slam.

Javon Walker is a quality athlete. That is not the extent of his reach. Ben Franklin did not invent electricity. Freaked me out how about you? Are you able to agree?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Please Let This Shit Bird Go

Wide Recievers in the NFL are becoming a dime a dozen so why do these guys feel they have the power to control their teams personnel decisions.
Javon Walker, is popping off at the pie hole once more (is any one surprised).

I say let the guy languish for the year and throw him 1 or 2 balls a game, hang him out over the middle a couple times (only vs. the Bears and Urlacher) and let his next team pick up the pieces.

McCarthy should explain to this disillusioned young man that the organization is moving forward and a new day is dawning and if he chooses not to participate have a nice life. We don't have time to deal with the likes of this petulant snot nose eedjit.

Hold Your Breathe

It doesn't look good coming out of Milwaukee Brewer Spring Training. Ben Sheet's left the game with soreness were he had surgery on the off-seaon. I have to echo some of the Brewer Players...We Need you Sheeter..
Geoff Jenkins' first question after he finished his five innings of work on Thursday was, "How's Sheeter?"
Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets abruptly exited his second spring start against the A's at Phoenix Municipal Stadium after recording just one out with what a team official called "irritation" of the same back muscle that he tore last August.

The team will know more about Sheets' condition on Saturday, when he visits with head physician Dr. William Raasch. Jenkins is among the Brewers bracing against a serious injury.

"Can't have it," Jenkins said. "We need him."

Sheets tore the latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder while throwing a curveball on Aug. 26 against the Braves at Miller Park but had been rehabbing successfully this spring. In his previous spring start, against Oakland on March 4, Sheets threw only fastballs and changeups, but on Thursday, he snapped off several curveballs.

Sheets surrendered five Oakland runs on six sharp hits, including Mark Kotsay's two-run home run. He had just given up an RBI single to catcher Jason Kendall when pitching coach Mike Maddux, followed by manager Ned Yost and head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger paid a visit to the mound.

Yost signaled immediately for reliever Kane Davis.

"It wasn't a knifing pain," Yost said. "It was a little dull ache back there. So to be safe, we decided that it was enough."

"Ben describes it not as pain, but as an uncomfortable feeling," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "[Caplinger] did some manual testing and feels like there is still strength in the shoulder. He doesn't feel like there has been any reoccurrence."

Ash said it is possible that Sheets will undergo an MRI scan, but said, "It's going to be [Raasch's] call. Obviously, he's very familiar with the injury and the progress, having examined [Sheets] numerous times during the winter."

Sheets declined interview requests and slipped out of Phoenix Municipal Stadium before the end of the Brewers-A's game.

The 27-year-old will earn a club-record $11.5 million in 2006, including part of the signing bonus from the contract extension he inked last April. Sheets is scheduled to make a fifth consecutive Opening Day start when the Brewers host the Pirates on April 3 at Miller Park.

"I think there's some concern, but is there major concern? Not really. Not yet," Yost said.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bonds, Before The Pundidiots Get Their Hands On This

I hope the link to the Bonds story in my earlier post is still working. I have an SI insider account so it works from my PC but may not from anyone else's.

First lets see what kind of an argument can we make to support Bonds. Clearly if the documentation was as detailed as the writers claim to be then Bonds lied to the grand jury when he said he accidentally took flax seed oil. The debunking of the documentation starts there. Why would the Govt. not go after Bonds if they had in their possession all these startling revelations and Bonds lied to them. Easy the documentation is not as damning as the writers would have us believe. That will be the first line of defense for Bonds Apologists.

Second, the jealously factor. Much of the data compiled by the writers came through interviews. This is hearsay and not hard line facts. Many people dislike Barry Bonds and it would probably be rather simple to line up a murderers row of people to espouse anecdotal evidence against him.

Finally, and the reason for this post is, "the race card". I can see Michael Wilbon, Steven A. Smith and Bryant Grumble (intentionally misspelled as a joke) along with other Bond's apologists throwing this trump card on the table endlessly in the next few weeks (at least until the NCAA tourney starts). You see two white writers (Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams) from whiter then Salt Lake City, San Francisco, acknowledge that the highlight of the book is the revelation that the reason for Bond's overt cheating was his desire to surpass Mark McGwire as the single season HR champ. This will not sit well with many of the race hustlers that disguise themselves as concerned citizens of the black community. The cries of; why wasn't McGwire privy to such scrutiny and the timeline of McGwire being caught with andro (perfectly legal at the time) prior to Bond's use of the juice, only means Bond's was leveling the playing field. This will all be brought up under the guise of fairness. The writers will be discredited as disgruntled Giants beat writers that Bond's ignored and had an ax to grind with Bond's. But overtly and perhaps sometimes blatantly they will claim Bond's skin color as the real reason these guys went after him. Of course no mention will be made of Bond's racism when discussing the HR chase and his desire to only pass Ruth and not Aaron.

I will try to follow the fall out from this story and I would love if my next post had nothing to do with race but I'm afraid that will not be so.

Follow-Up On Kirby

Fist, let me say thank you to ESK for eloquently putting into words the feelings I had but could not express for Kirby Puckett. ESK's moving tribute and rebuke of the paleo-media was heart felt and to the point. Thanks again for your thoughts and I personally will say a prayer for Puckett's immediate family and his extended Twins family.

Above the Hatred

As a young kid I learned early an intense hatred for all things Minnesota. Hockey was the seed but soon that loathing permiated into all things Gopher. From the maroon and mustard clad college kids to the baby blue baggy roofed bastards that named their baseball team after the fact that they had two similarly dismal cities (I have since begrudgingly come to really like Minneapolis the city). Only two things escaped that hatred, Bob Dylan, a man who seemingly despised Hibbing as much as I despised the entire state and Kirby Puckett. The pudgy guy with a slash for a swing and a grin for a growl was impossible to hate. He seemed like an overgrown six year old who had yet to lose his baby fat or his innocent nature and played baseball with a love and enthusiasm that not even a precynical Griffey could match. I liked him, and I hate that we can't just remember him for his game. I wish the media could have given this guy one day for us to remember him as a jubiliant gamer, and a guy we all loved when he played. Instead they bring up stories mostly brought to light in one SI article, hearsay from an alleged mistress and a disgruntled wife who was betrayed by a professional athlete. I'm not saying it shoudln't come up, but do these allegations tarnish his legacy so much that they are given as much weight as the rest of his life? At the very least, the question is pertinent.

Note The First Item From The New York Daily News

This is the Rumor section of SI and I just wanted to mention that I wrote about this last week.
Damn, now I have the same injury that George C. Looney sustained at the Oscar ceremony on Sunday night. The injury is a type of tennis elbow injury that comes from patting yourself on the back.

It Would Seem That Barry Bonds Did Have Quite A Bit To Hide

Here is the initial report from SI on the bombshell book coming out 27 March 2006. From the tragedy that was Kirby Pucketts all to soon departure, to the tragedy of a man on the verge of being forever damned as a cheater, to the exhiliration of the USA's initial WBC tourney game.
Quite a day indeed.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

WIAA Wrestling Team State

Congratulations to the following Schools for winning the WIAA 2006 Team Wrestling State Finals yesterday in Madison.

Division 1 - WISCONSIN RAPIDS
Division 2 - LUX. CASCO
Division 3 - WRIGHTSTOWN

One Million Brewer Tickets Sold

I don't know about you, but with the Brewers playing pretty good in the first three days of Spring Training Games. Why not; maybe this could be a year of promising. Already two months ahead of tickets sales from last year.
The Milwaukee Brewers on March 2 reached one million tickets sold for the 2006 season. This marks the second-fastest climb to the one million mark, more than one full month ahead of last year's pace.
The one-million plateau was reached this morning after the team set a franchise record for single-day ticket sales when 94,000 tickets were purchased last Saturday, the first day of single-game sales.
"The momentum for sales has been very strong throughout the off-season, but we have seen it escalating to even greater heights in the last week," said Brewers Executive Vice President - Business Operations Rick Schlesinger. "With Spring Training now underway and national media attention focused on our improved prospects for contention, the anticipation is building for everyone as we near Opening Day."
This marks the sixth time in team history that the team has exceeded one million tickets sold prior to the Home Opener (also 1983, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2005). Last year, the team reached one million tickets sold on April 5. On this date last year, the team had sold 769,000 tickets.
Then again, unless you're like me a die hart Brewers fan living in a different state this is just talk. I'm hoping to make a trip to Atlanta on August 12th to watch the Brewers in action against the Braves that should count for something.

With All Due Respect To Mary Tillman, This Is Ridiculous

The US Army has announced that they will conduct a criminal investigation into the death of Pat Tillman. This is the FIFTH investigation into this tragic occurrence.
I fully understand the feelings of the family, I myself have lost a loved one at the young age of 29 (my younger brother), the constant search for the answer to, "what if I did this" and "I should have done that" is neverending. For years I searched for the "answer" to why this tragedy befell my life. The answer is, this tragedy did not befall my life at all, rather it befell my brother. I have worked through this, as should the Tillman family. The human condition demands that we find a cause and effect for every event that occurs in our lives.

"The military has had every opportunity to do the right thing and they haven't," she said. "They knew all along that something was seriously wrong and they just wanted to cover it up."

The facts have been gathered, they have been told four previous times. Do the soldiers who fired their weapons that night feel any less guilty for the loss of life that night? The idea of a cover-up is ridiculous, has any combat casualty been investigated five times? I'm not naive, I live in the real world and that is the reason why I have to object to this investigation.
The only outcome to this investigation is to find a scapegoat. This is demanded by the paleo-media. Unfortunately the paleo-media has the ear of Mary Tillman and they will run this horse until it drops of exhaustion.

When this scapegoat is identified will the Tillmans forgive him? No, because the antique media will force their hands to denounce all that is the War On Terror.

My thinking is that there will be no change from the previous four investigations, and that is, this was a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided only by the clairvoyance of 20/20 vision.

The man was trapped in an ambush and was taught that the only way out was to move forward and shoot your way out. If you hesitate or try to cover you will be overwhelmed. The recovery team was responding to enemy fire or at least what was perceived as enemy fire. Those men were risking their lives to rescue a fellow Ranger. The thought that any criminal action occurred dismisses the entire premise of the Ranger; leave no man behind.

I apologize to the other bloggers on this site for bringing politics into the Bar. But really is there a bar you have ever been at that did not talk politics?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Owners Holding Up Progress

The last two days the roar has gotten louder that the real rift going on in the NFL is not between the players and owners but rather between the owners and their brethren.
At issue is the revenue sharing that has made the NFL the envy of all sports leagues world-wide.
The numbers I'm hearing is between 6 and 8 owners are balking at the current revenue sharing plan between the teams.
I first heard this yesterday on Around The Horn when Michael Smith brought it up and it caught the other three reporters by surprise. Throughout the entire evening ESPN reported nothing about this, I thought it was just another hyped story by the antique media since I found nothing about it earlier today on SI.com, ESPN.com or NFL.com.
Smith again brought it up on tonight's Horn and it was followed up by Jay Mariotti and Woody Page. Mariotti did couch his statement by stating that" if it's true" what Smith is saying. Page had no reservations and based his answer on the revenue sharing point of view. Chris Mortensen finally addressed it outright during tonight's Sportscenter. Mortensen mentioned six as the wayward number of owners. Michael Wilbon also added credence to the story and even put the total at eight as the number of owners bickering.

This would be a major crack in the owners armor if this infighting proves to be true. With all this being said I wondered who these owners would be that could actually shoot, butcher and feast on the carcass of the fatted calf.
Wilbon mentioned Cleveland, New England and Washington. If we throw in Dallas (a given with Jimmy Jones, who sued the NFL once already to preserve his exclusive contract with Pepsi) and Oakland that gets us to five. Those five are easy since those are the usual idiots, Snyder was the first to charge fans to watch training camp, New England is flying high and has a huge fan base to draw from, Al Davis is still mad that the NFL didn't merge with the AFL. Where the hell does Cleveland fall into the equation except as johnny come lately owners who have done nothing but make mistake after mistake, but they do have a new stadium though and a great deal from the city to go along with a rabid fan base.
Who are the other two or three? I think its the Glazer boys down in Tampa, who have forgotten the not so long ago days of ten to fifteen thousand attendance and Bidwell in Arizona (with his own sparkly new stadium). If these are the stingy seven I suggest those fans get on the ball and call these bozo's out.

I must hedge my own bets here by mentioning that this story may be hot air because the names involved are all employed by ESPN and they have never met a union they didn't love. It may be the player friendly paleo-media getting the players out in front of this to gain leverage.

RMS NFL races full steam towards big White thing in the Water.

It appears to your humble bartender the Fools on both sides of the NFL labor world are about to kill the goose that has been laying golden eggs.

It maybe fun to sit back and watch the NFL plays out its oven version of Revelations.

I know a lot of people who will think its the end of days if the 08 season doesn't happen. This could crush some sports books.

To be honest I could live without the NFL for a season if I had too. Its not like Baseball or Hockey were there wasn't another brand of that sport to watch. So you move some College games to Sunday and dust off your Canadian football rule book.

If these asshats want to destroy the Football Garden of Eden let them. Someone should send Upshaw and Tags both a copy of Miltons "Paradise Lost"

Is it just me or does every year put us one step closer to the world at the beginning of Basketball?

Regards
Chris

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Disregard March 8

I hope everyone penciled March 8th in on their calendars, because it doesn't look like Favre is going to use that bonus payout as his decision deadline. Instead, it looks like he's waiting to see if the Packers prove they are committed to winning this year through their actions. Can't say I blame him. If you are Brett Favre, why would you come back if the team has no shot?

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