Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Area Man Eats Three Qdoba Burritos in One Sitting

He's used to eating two Chicken Queso Burritos from Qdoba, but the third one proved to be quite the challenge.  Re-live the final three minutes of his hour long quest to make history! Congratulations, Gweeds. You truly are an American Hero.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where is the 2022 World Cup? Qatar for some reason.

Before I start ranting and bitching about how lame FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar instead of the United States is, let me just share with you one passage I found from some random chicks blog describing what summers are like in the middle-eastern country:

I can't begin to explain the heat here! I have no idea how people survived in this country before Samsung and LG start selling airconditioners en mass.

Let me try to give you an idea of this heat if you're lucky enough not to be in Doha right now:

1. It's 11pm and I've just taken a shower. The sun has been down for about 5 hours now. When I turn on the cold water tap the water that comes out is uncomfortably hot. That's right - this is not water coming out of the water heater - this is water from the cold water tap. It's so hot from the sun that boiled the tanker that it stays in during the day (5 hours ago!) 
2. If I walk out of an airconditioned lobby with my sunglasses on they will immediately steam up (you won't believe it until you experience it!)
3. If I walk from the car park to the office block I feel as if I just took a shower - I'll be drenched in perspiration.
4. If I walk outside right now (at 11pm) it is hotter than any English summer midday I've ever experienced (even the heatwave) 
5. I have four airconditioners on in the house and I am still breaking a sweat.
So there are about five million reasons why the United States should have received the World Cup bid over Qatar (ever heard of it before today?), but I'm telling you, the fact that their summers average 115 degree temperatures is enough for me. Also terrible reasons for hosting the Cup in Qatar include the fact that nearly none of their stadiums are built yet, Qatar as a nation is going to be a terrible World Cup team (the host country automatically qualifies), and did I mention already that they are in the Middle East!

I don't want to be offensive here, but hosting the biggest sports tournament in the world doesn't seem like something a middle-eastern country that is smaller than Connecticut is capable of. Then again, I think that is exactly why FIFA chose them to host the 2022 World Cup. Lately when it comes to FIFA, the illogical has become the logical when they are making decisions. The World Cup in South Africa seemed like a bad idea at the time, but the fact that the Cup turned out successful is more reason why FIFA head Sepp Blatter went with unproven Qatar for 2022, and took Russia over more logical choices such as England and Spain for 2018. The whole theory of thinking outside of the box seems to be FIFA's end game right now, and one could argue that they did the same thing when they chose the United States to host back in 1994.

The biggest thing to take away from this announcement, besides the fact that is a terribly stupid one, is that FIFA wants to spread the game and impact countries that wouldn't normally be impacted, and that's ultimately why they chose Qatar. Even though America has better facilities, better transportation, a safer environment, and fan bases from every country in the tournament, FIFA decided to go with the underdog. Nevermind the fact that I'm sure Qatar bribed them with a shitload of money because there's no way in hell they should be hosting this tournament.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What ever happened to The Bucky Channel?

I feel like I've seen this exact post written one a hundred different blogs out there, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. After the Packers loss last week to the Bears, I sat at my computer for a good while trying to figure out how to write a column that would be seemingly be going against the grain. Despite everyone panicking that the season was over because we lost to the Bears on the road, I didn't think the loss was that much cause for alarm. I'm not sure if it was because of how mad I was at people that were overreacting or if I was just tired, but I just did not feel like writing the article.

As the week went by, I still just did not feel like writing the article, and that has kind of been the problem around here lately. I'm not going to pretend like I'm a terribly busy guy, but when this blog was in it's heyday it's because I was either a) writing it from work, which is impossible now or b) working very little if at all, which gave me mounds of freetime. Hell, I've been planning on this article for five days, and I just haven't been able to.

It sucks because I've seen so many blogs come and go, and while I'm not saying that I'm shutting things down completely, I can now realize why those blogs packed it up and said goodbye. If I really wanted to make this site to be what I really want it to be, that would take up a lot of time and energy that I just don't have right now. Because I've been looking at this as more of a chore than a hobby, I'm probably going to shut it down for awhile. I don't really know what that means, or how long I'll feel like this, but to those of you that have been coming here this week wondering what the hell has been going on, I wanted to write this little blurb.

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has come here and read the things I've had to say. Thanks to Bear and Gweeds for contributing, thanks to Dan for the good things we were able to do on SportsBubbler, thanks to Wally and PocketDoppler for letting me write some Winks Thinks over there (which I will still probably do on occasion). Thanks to everyone really.

Honestly, if this was my final post I would probably just take the site off of Blogger. I do love writing, and I do love sports, but I just need an extended break right now from The Bucky Channel. Unfortunately, it's going to be an indefinite break and I don't have a timetable for my return. Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll get the itch, and something will be bound to happen.

Man, Favre is such a douche.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If Brett Favre isn't retired, then I will retire from Brett Favre

I remember exactly where I was the first day that Brett Favre retired from the Green Bay Packers. 

Not from football exactly, but as it turned out just from the Packers, as this moment would become the first in a long series of quote unquote retirements from the ol' gunslinger, as everyone likes to call him. On that fateful March day, I was covering the La Crosse Aquinas Blugolds basketball team as they were taking part in the state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison, but my attention was quickly averted to the television in the press area under the stadium. By the time word spread of what was unfolding, at least fifty some press pass wearing individuals were watching Favre trying to keep his tears off of his buttoned-up blue shirt. While the details of that day still remain quite vivid, what I remember most was how much emotion I felt that day, and how sad I was to see my hero walk away.

How quickly things change.

We all know the details of what happened since then. Favre started to get that infamous itch, and then "something was bound to happen". He tried to come back to Green Bay, but Teddy Thompson made his best move to date and shipped him to the Jets. Favre had a successful twelve weeks in New York but then collapsed and the Jets missed the playoffs. He retired again. Next thing you know, Favre was a Purple People Eater and the Vikings led by Favre were beating the Packers at Lambeau Field. Favre took his new team on a clear path to the Super Bowl, threw a terrible pick for no reason against the Saints, and then went into offseason number six where his main objective was to be as coy as possible about his future. Hell, remember the season in 2005 where the Pack went 4-12? I did whatever I could to get to Lambeau for the last game of the season because I thought that was Favre's last game. Clearly, I was fooled. As were we all.

It's easy to see though that the last two years have been quite tumultuous in the life of Brett Favre, and thus so have the lives of anyone that considered/considers themselves a Brett Favre fan. I always like to contend that I was amongst the most diehard of the bunch, owning as much Favre memorabilia as I could get my hands on with my most prized possession being the football he signed for me when I met him at the age of twelve. About two weeks before he ended up "retiring" from the Packers (and I truly believe no word has been used within the context of quotes as the word retirement as when pertaining to Brett Favre), I nearly bought a personalized red training camp jersey with the number four on both sides and the inscription of "GOD" on the back. This guy was my idol, there were no two ways around it.

But now, on the day that he has apparently decided to retire from the NFL for good after 19 years in the league, I feel nothing. My brother text me "No more Favre!" about twenty minutes after the news came down that he was to inform the Vikings he was calling it quits, but for some reason I didn't feel the same joy that I thought I would to see this man finally out of the league. When I came home for lunch, I turned on the 1pm SportsCenter as per usual and even though it was wall-to-wall Favre coverage, I didn't throw a temper tantrum as I had done anytime the network even mentioned his name in the last year. I realized then and there that it didn't and therefore doesn't matter to me anymore whether this man plays another NFL down again. When it comes to Brett Favre, my idol and hero for 16 years, I can honestly say that I just don't give a shit about him anymore (remember, I swear now on this blog. Hey, if Kenny can toss out a "bullshit" out of nowhere on TBS's My Boys, then I can take a little liberty to swear on this half-assed site as well).

The indifference could be because of the fact that I'm not entirely sure that Favre has even retired, but more on that in a moment. What I think is really driving my lack of caring about anything Favre related is that I'm just drained out by it all. Looking back on things, last year was an exhausting year for us Favre haters. First, we had to deal with all the so-called Packers fans that liked Favre enough to bolt the Packer bandwagon and head on over to Minnesota's. Lame. Then, we had to watch how Favre beat the Packers not once, but twice during the regular season, both in heartbreaking fashion. After all that, it finally became clear that Brett Favre was actually going to be taking the Minnesota Vikings to a Super Bowl until he threw arguably the worst interception of his career and gave the Saints a free birth to the championship. With that said, I still maintain that the fact that I am right now wearing the Saints NFC Championship shirt that I ordered five minutes after that interception happened is purely coincidence.
Honestly though, who is this decision really affecting anymore? The best part of this whole breaking news today is that I'm not even sure anyone believes it. Members of the Packers and the Bears and hell, anyone else throughout the NFL that was asked about the news on Tuesday spoke out about how they won't believe it until they see Favre's name isn't in the starting lineup before they play him. 

ProFootballTalk is flat out convinced that Favre will be in a Vikings uniform this season, and even the anchors on ESPN where skeptical when they were showing basically the same interviews and highlights regarding Favre's retirement that they have been showing for the past two offseasons. I can't believe how much coverage Favre did receive on Tuesday about retiring even though we never heard straight from the man himself, but something tells me that is exactly the kind of thing that makes Favre tick.

Who's not to say that a few days from now, or hell, even twelve minutes after this is posted, that Favre won't hold a press conference to dispute all the speculation that he is retiring. Can't you see it now? Well golly gee, I didn't never know what all this fuss was about. I was just out on the farm picking some good ol' strawberries all day, and I get home to my portable phone and see all these text messages about retirement. I didn't say nothing to nobody, guess it was just a misunderstanding. I'm still waiting to see how my ankle feels, might throw a little ball with the high school lads this afternoon. I can't say I've made up my mind, it's too early for that. I wish I knew, I just don't know. Favre is retiring apparently, but we never heard Favre say that yet, and that has me believing that come that first game against the Saints, Favre will be under center and this will just be another wasted day in the lives of anyone that follows football.

Honestly though, right now. You. Do you feel like Favre is retired? If you do, can you honestly say 100 percent that is the case? Because I can't. I really think that because we haven't heard anything remotely close to Favre or even his agent, we can't take this seriously. If you look at every fantasy draft board out there, Favre is still going in the fourth or fifth round. The Vikings are still a good bet to head to the Super Bowl this season, and Tavaris Jackson still doesn't think he'll be taking the first snap on Thursday night of week one. Favre's whole motivation these last few offseasons has been to skip training camp and get a few snaps in before the season starts, and I don't see him changing his tune this season. I do feel though that Favre will be starting against New Orleans week one, and we'll all just laugh about this pseudo retirement come that night.

In the end though, I don't care if he's taking snaps that game. I also don't care if he's sitting at home watching the contest on his big screen television that night. Nor do I care if he chooses to sit out with the Vikings but then joins a team after their starting quarterback goes down in week three. No matter what Favre does this season, I just don't care. And I think that's actually why I'm happy about all the news or fake news that has been reported on Tuesday. Because whether he stays or whether he goes, I just don't care anymore. And not caring about Brett Favre, while something I never thought would be possible, is something that I have no problem with.

Come back, don't come back, I just don't care anymore.

Oh, how quickly things change.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Is Why I Don't Believe in Anything

Alright, so maybe I'm overreacting with the title here, but what a heartbreaking loss it was for the United States on Saturday. Even though the circumstances were different, the result was the same - a 2-1 loss to Ghana has eliminated the United States from the World Cup.

I know that once things settle and I look back at this World Cup I'll remember it for how miraculous some of the things that happened to the USA were, and that it was a great time where the nation really started to rally together around this team. From the Clint Dempsey goal against England, to the Slovenian comeback, to the Donovan goal in extra time against Algeria, it really has been quite amazing what has happened to and for this team. But the fact remains that even with that, even with all the luck on our side, another team I root for not only has their run come to and end, but it ends in heartbreak.

For many of you, watching this game may have been a decent way to spend an afternoon, but tomorrow you'll be back in your regular sports mode where soccer is on the backburner. But for me, soccer is a big deal. This national team is a big deal. Watching them try to improve their position in these World Cups every year since 1994 has been a big deal for me, and it's just gut wrenching to watch the Americans exit a little earlier than they should have, again.

In 2002, there was a non-called handball in the box by the Germans, but it went undetected and the Americans were sent home. In 2006, it was a disappointing loss to Ghana that kept us from advancing out of group play, losing because of a unquestionable penalty kick that was awarded to the opposition. This year, it was the fact that 120 minutes was just too much for these team, as they had already been pushed to the brink both physically and emotionally. In every one of these Cups though, the U.S. could have done better, and I keep waiting for the Cup where they do in fact do better. This year just isn't the year.

It makes me wonder - as all heartbreaking ends often do - why I even root this passionately for this stuff. The Packers loss to Arizona left me in shambles, and that's pretty similar to how I feel today. There's just a feeling of emptiness, a feeling of frustration, a feeling of wondering when all this fan heartache is going to finally pay off with a championship of any kind. As stupid as it sounds, it's hard being a sports fan, especially when you really do put a lot of your own emotion into the battles that someone else is fighting for you. It's a strange phenomenon really, how affected we are by sports.

But if I'm feeling this way, God knows how the players are feeling. Even though it's one and done in the knockout stage, you really have to be proud of these guys. They fought hard, came back to tie the game, and ended up running around a soccer field for 120 minutes, just one goal short. Hopefully people realize how special this team was, instead of retreating back to pissing all over soccer again.

The game itself started just like any other typical U.S. game as of late, as they gave up an early goal when Kevin-Prince Boateng scored in the game's fifth minute. It was a goal that had many questioning the starting nod to Ricardo Clark by Coach Bradley, and why Bradley didn't go with the lineup that looked so strong against Algeria. The defense was cut up on the play, the ball squeaked past Tim Howard on the near side, and the Americans once again found themselves needing a comeback.

They were granted with one when Clint Dempsey was ripped down in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Landon Donovan. Donovan barely made this kick, using the inside of the right post to guide the ball into the back of the net. At that point, the U.S. was in control of the game, and they had plenty of chances to take the lead. But just like the first ninety minutes of the game against Algeria, no matter how good the chance the U.S. just couldn't convert.

With the game tied at one and the final whistle blown, the stage was set for extra time. Thirty more minutes were to be played, no matter what. If the game was still tied, we were going to the penalty mark. But again, Ghana found a way to shred the defense and score early, as Asamoah Gyan somehow was able to keep his balance and lift a ball just over Howard. From that point on, the Ghanaians used every time-wasting tactic in the book, but it didn't matter. This game was over from the moment that ball hit the net, and the U.S. just didn't have anything left in them to comeback once more. There were some chances late, but when you run out of gas you run out of gas, and the tank was empty for Uncle Sam.

This wasn't a team that was going to win the World Cup by any means, but they did have a great opportunity to at least make it to the semifinals and play on the final weekend of this World Cup. Ghana will now take on Uruguay (winners over South Korea) in the quarterfinals in what has to be the weakest quadrant of this tournament's knockout round. Both teams are deserving, for sure, but both could have been beaten by the United States. Especially Ghana, although they were ready to capitalize when they had opportunities while the United States could not.

In the next couple of days, Bradley will be questioned for his lineup, I will be questioning why Jozy Altidore thinks he's a wide receiver instead of a top striker, and people will go back to not caring / hating soccer. Things will revert back to normal, and you won't hear from this sport again until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

In the next four years, the United States better hope the young guys have learned from this experience while grooming new members to step in, because one of these times we can no longer be waiting for a future where we are a soccer powerhouse. We should have the team that wins a game like this, and we should have the type of team that is playing after this weekend. We need to do everything in our power to make sure we keep developing players and building the sport. Because soccer in this country is never going to be more than a four year event until we have a team that can consistently make a deep run every four years.

Thank you though, to all of you that have hopped on the bandwagon. You may all now return to your normal everyday activities. I'll be in the corner crying, waiting for the heartbreak to pass.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts on Nebraska to the Big Ten

For a guy that has been struggling for the last 26 years to get out of Fond du Lac, believe me when I tell you that I do love change. I love when people move away from me, because they have the balls to change their lives in a way that I never could. I love when new buildings and streets are created, and I've often spent many sleepless nights scouring the Wisconsin DOT website for upcoming projects. That kind of nerdiness is why I'm so giddy at the prospect of Nebraska joining the Big Ten, not only for what it means for our conference but what it means for the entire landscape of collegiate sports.

For the Big Ten, the main change in all of this is that they will finally be able to get a conference championship game for college football, something the conference has been dying for so that they are no longer irrelevant for the entire month of December. Of course, there are like twenty other collegiate sports this will affect too, but really we all know that football is the driving force behind this move. Hell, we know it's not basketball. At least, Gweeds and I didn't because we just had about a ten minute conversation wondering if Nebraska even had a basketball team. Apparently, they do.

The move, assuming it's finalized of course, isn't going to take affect until 2012, but expect a lot more moving and shaking to happen once Nebraska does accept the invite to the Big Ten. Some Big 12 insiders are saying already that the conference is dead, as a handful of the conference's teams have an invite to join the Pac-10 in their quest towards a 16-team conference. Some of the Texas teams could then be heading for the SEC, leaving teams like Kansas and Missouri as possible Big Ten targets as well.

For years, the popular speculation was that if the Big Ten ever did expand to twelve teams that the logical choice would be Notre Dame. Notre Dame however has been beyond stubborn in their desire to join the conference, and continue to say that they enjoy being a football independent. But I have a hard time believing that if all this moving keeps happening, if the Big 12 truly dies, and if it really becomes four superconferences, I have a hard time believing that the Fighting Irish will still be as stubborn. Eventually, I would guess that the Big Ten is going to expand to 16 - Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas, and possibly Rutgers (New York market for the Big Ten Network).

It's funny but really, the Big Ten Network was pretty much the reason all this has happening. The conference has banked off of having their own network, even though the selection is pretty weak between March and August (unless you like watching Iowa/Indiana football games from 1998, and Penn State campus programming). Other conferences now want to follow suit, and are gathering up as many teams as possible to being to build a strong television network. Like I said though, I'm all for this change, and can't wait to see how this all shakes out.

Now, if only I could get the hell out of Fond du Lac.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bucks Survivor: Round Ten

And then there were four. Slowly but surely, Bucks are being eliminating from this Bucks Survivor contest. Similar to the NBA Playoffs themselves, the contest starts out hot in April and then wears a little thin on you by the time June comes around. At this though this contest is proving to be somewhat interesting, outside of the lackluster NBA Finals. I don't know, maybe it's because the Celtics and Lakers got together already a few years ago, but I'm surprised with how uninterested I am in these Finals.

Nevertheless, the Bucks Survivor finals are just one week away, as it's now time for another double elimination round. Not joining us this week will be Carlos Delfino, as he was eliminated with 51 percent of the vote. Ersan Ilyasova was next with 24 percent, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute wasn't too far behind with 18 percent.

This week's double elimination will be a bit different, as you'll be voting on which pair of Bucks you'd like to see eliminated. Whichever pair has the most votes will not be advancing to the finals, but I think by now everyone understands how the process of voting works. Again, voting can be done at the top right of this blog, and vote for which pair you'd like to see eliminated.

Brewers Continue to Build for (Near?) Future

After using their first round pick to take a prep pitcher in Dylan Covey, the Brewers looked to the college ranks for arms in the early rounds of day two. With the 64th pick, Milwaukee nabbed James Nelson out of Alabama, and then followed up with Tyler Thornburg from Charleston Southern. Both of these guys seem to have a capable future as starters in the big leagues, or least solid options out of the pen.

With their next pick, in the 4th round, the Brewers selected one possible replacement for Prince Fielder when they took Hunter Morris out of Auburn (pictured). Morris is another left-handed power guy, just like Prince, and was actually a second-round pick back in 2007 to the Boston Red Sox. He can also play either of the corner outfield positions, so it's highly likely there will be a spot for him sometime in the future at Miller Park.

After that, the Brewers continued to stock up on pitching, including spending three of their next four picks on right-handed arms. MLB.com has the rundown of the rest of the picks from day two, make sure to check it out.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brewers Select Dylan Covey

He may not know how to spell Milwaukee, and the only thing he might now about the Brewers is that they have a slide in the outfield, but Milwaukee Brewers fans should get to know Dylan Covey. Taken by the Brewers with the 14th pick in the MLB draft, Covey is a right-handed pitcher set to graduate from Marantha High School is Pasadena, California. The Brewers could have taken a guy from college in an effort to get their first round pick up to the big leagues faster, but they instead chose the third prep pitcher taken in the draft.

Covey seems like a good kid, already drawing comparisons to Chad Billingsley. This season at his high school, he went 7-1 with a 0.40 ERA, collecting three saves as well as striking out 138 batters. He's got a fastball that can hit 96, and also seems to have a pretty effective slider, curveball, and changeup. Sounds like a quality pitcher to me.

Of course, the issue with drafting prep players is that you have to get them to sign rather than to go to college. He does have a scholarship to the University of San Diego, but in the previously linked article to Haudricourt's story, Covey seems like he definitely does want to sign. From everything I've read, I honestly don't see how this kid doesn't sign, and the Brewers seem to have added a quality arm to their minor league system.

Don't be going out and buying Covey jerseys already though, as again, this kid is just 18 years old. We have to remember that the MLB draft is completely different than that of the other leagues, and rarely does a guy go right from the draft to the bigs. Even Stephen Strasburg, a can't miss guy, spent a year in development before finally debuting Tuesday for the Nationals. Hell, we drafted Jeremy Jeffress in the first-round in 2006 and still haven't heard from him (remember, he's currently serving a 100-game suspension for drug abuse).

Still, I like the Covey pick here, and I'm glad that the Brewers got a guy that not only seems legit but one that also seems likely to sign. A lot of the players that the Brewers were projected to add in the first round were taken much earlier, but I'm thinking things turned out already for Milwaukee.

But I guess we won't really know though for another five years or so.

The Nightmare is Finally Over

You know what, I've decided I'm not going to gloat about this. I've been about as hard as you can be on Jeff Suppan during the last few years, and I suppose that I can lighten up on him now that's he finally been released from the Milwaukee Brewers. You know, Jeff Suppan the person is not a bad guy. I've met him before, he was very friendly, and of course we all know that he's been generous to charities and in the community. But he's just no longer a major league pitcher, and the time had come that he had to be released.

Actually, the time had come probably two years ago, but when you pay a guy $42 million over four years, it's hard to just cut ties with him so suddenly. But there was just no way to justify keeping this guy on the roster anymore, and as stubborn as Doug Melvin is he finally realized that fact. This year, in mostly mop-up duty even, Suppan went 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA. He was given a chance about a week ago against the Mets when Macha put him in when the game was tied at three in the sixth, but predictably Suppan struggled and the Brewers lost the game. For many, that was our final straw, and Melvin finally agreed.

The release of Jeff Suppan means that Chris Smith will be called up from Nashville. Smith pitched alright when he was up with the club last year, and has been pitching very well so far in Nashville as their closer. It's always a lot better to have guys in your bullpen that you are confident in, and it was apparent that the Brewers had lost all confidence in Jeff Suppan. I'm not sure if any other team is going to pick this guy up or not, but I doubt it. A minor-league contract maybe, but that's stretching it.

One of the reasons why Jeff Suppan was expendable at this point in the season, according to Doug Melvin, was that the Brewers are more comfortable with their pitching depth now than they were at the beginning of the season. It's hard for me to believe that the Brewers have any comfort level with their pitching staff, but to each their own.

Enjoy your $10 million parting bonus there, Jeff.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Brewers Salvage Sunday, Drop Series to Cards

This post was originally written a full day ago, but Blogger decided to go ahead and crash so I wasn't able to enlighten you on the Brewers series against the Cardinals. Thankfully, the site is back up and running. Also thankfully, nothing major happened today so I don't feel like I missed out on anything. Oh, what's that? Suppan was released? Damn you, Blogger!

The Brewers do not have a lot of series victories under their belts this season, and when you're heading to Busch Stadium to take on the Cardinals, you don't often come home with said series victory. It was decided before game three of this set that the Brewers weren't going to win this series either, but they did have a chance to salvage things on Sunday night with Manny Parra on the hill.

Parra got the start over Dave Bush, although Ken Macha never really gave a clear reason why. The real reason though is because the Brewers need to start decided what this team is going to look like the next couple of years, and we have to make sure we know what we have in Parra. Even if they would have won this series, this season is pretty much lost already, and if that's the case we need to put our eggs behind Parra rather than Bush. But Parra did get the start, and he made the most of it, going 5 1/3 innings with ten strikeouts (including four in one inning due to a wild pitch).

The wheels did start to come off a bit for Mannywood though in the fifth inning, and the bases were quickly loaded up. Enter unlikely heroes Dave Bush and Kameron Loe. Bush struck out one batter to get the second out, and then Loe got the next guy and pitched 1 1/3 innings more as well. The bullpen actually didn't do half bad in this one, although Villanueva did allow one of Loe's baserunners to score and the game was tied at three heading into extra innings. Kudos to Zach Braddock for keeping the Cards off the board in the ninth (he gets credit for the win), and nice work by John Axford to pick up the save in a 4-3 victory.

Now, one of the most interesting things for me this season is this little Player of the Game contest I do, and on Sunday ESPN gave their honor to Prince Fielder. Prince went 3-for-4, which is very respectable, and it does put him in contention for his first Bucky Channel POTG. However, Prince also had zero RBI and only made it home the one time, although it was the winning run. Offensively, he would be my POTG (Weeks, McGehee, and Hart all had RBI, but just one a piece). But in this game I'm going with Parra, for pitching effectively against a good team on national television, in a game he wasn't sure he'd be starting until just a few days ago.

Ugly girls be quiet, quiet. Pretty girls clap, clap like this.

This was a series that did go the Cardinals way however, as they won both Friday and Saturday night, finding different ways to bring pain into the lives of Brewers fans. On Friday, the misery was at the hands of Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright who pitched his first career complete game shutout all while holding Milwaukee to just a pair of hits. In nearly game in which you get just two hits, you are going to lose. That's even more true when you are spotting your opponent eight runs.

St. Louis had no problem taking advantage of the Brewers that were on the bump that evening, as they got after Randy Wolf over 6 2/3 innings, collecting five runs off of him. Jeff Suppan - yes, he's still on the team - game in to pitch the remaining 1 1/3 innings, in which time he gave up three runs of his own. Really just a frustrating performance all around.

As for a Player of the Game for Friday night, these are the games in which I'd probably be better off not giving out the award. But I do like to hand it out the full 162, so let's pick somebody. Let's see, the pitchers were terrible, so they're ineligible. Taking at look at the two guys that had hits in the game, it looks like Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart could both be in line. Both hits were doubles, so that's a wash. But Hart struck out two times to Weeks' zero, and Weeks didn't leave any on base. Let's give it to him.

On Saturday the Brewers managed to deliver a little bit more of a respectable performance, although they still did come away without a victory. Things started off about as well as they could have for Milwaukee when Rickie Weeks hit a lead-off home run, but then the Cardinals answered right back with four runs in the bottom half of the first. Things looked gloomy from there, and it looked like it was going to be another Cardinal rout.

But the Brewers kicked it up a notch in the 6th inning, starting with a Casey McGehee RBI double. Corey Hart then grounded into a fielder's choide that brought home a runner, and then George Kottaras brought McGehee home via the sacrifice fly. The Brewers tied the game up at four and were able to extend this one into extra innings.

It was in extra innings though when the heartbreak struck us again, only in an entirely different way than the night before. After Chris Narveson went six innings, the Brewers used Kameron Loe and Carlos Villanueva before they got to John Axford. I've been real impressed with the Ax man since he came to Milwaukee, but the Cardinals got to him on Saturday and Colby Rasmus finished it off with a walk-off single to end the game. The Brewers have done real good this season at allowing teams to win in their final at-bat, and this was no exception.

Thankfully though, Milwaukee did pick up the win on Sunday night, and at least fooled a national audience into thinking that they are competitive team. We'll see what happens against the Cubs this week, as their three game set with them starts Tuesday (see you at Miller Park on Thursday if anyone's going).

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