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ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.

ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Welcome, Bear!

Cuddle up kids, The Bucky Channel has an announcement to .... announce. In an effort to deliver more content that goes with our motto of being neither 1) informative or 2) worth your time, we have added a staff writer here at The Bucky Channel. You may know him from posting on every blog I write anyway, so I'm giving him the freedom to post for real. Not sure when he'll do it or what he'll write about... but I know he specializes in fantasy sports and sadly, The Gauntlet.

Join me in welcoming "Bear" to The Bucky Channel!

Badgers Hold Off Indiana Comeback



After cruising to a 20 point second half lead, the Wisconsin Badgers were able to hold off an Indiana comeback and earn a 62-49 victory. It was an impressive win for the Badgers, and a much needed one at that. The Badgers will head on the road for the next five of their seven games, including one at Indiana. They'll probably spilt the season series, but it's a lot better winning the first one and going for a second, then losing at home and then fighting for a win on the road. Badgers did a good job of containing Eric Gordon (16 pts, most in the 2nd half), although D.J. White did put up 22.

Nevertheless, it was a convincing win for the Badgers, who have been on a roll (minus Purdue) since they upset Texas to crawl back into the Top 25. This Badger team is really surprising me, I expected them to be top four Big Ten, but not this good. Bo has them playing really good basketball, and they are also getting good play from the man you see in the top left of this posting, the worst McDonald's All-American selection ever!

Review: Lost (Season 4, Episode 1)

If you haven't seen the new episode of Lost, I'd advise you not to read this. I think you'd get more enjoyment out of watching it then you would reading about it. Because Lost is awesome.

Eight months ago, Lost pulled off one of the biggest "game-changers" in TV history. You'd be lying if you didn't expect rescue off the island to be the final scene of Lost. But then 48 episodes before the series was scheduled to end, we found out they got off the island. Second that. We found out that at least Kate and Jack got off the island, but who else? And why does Jack so desperately want to go back?

We start season four were season three left off, with a flash forward. Of course, we're all expecting, and hoping, to see Jack. That's where the story left off, that's where it should continue, right? Well we see Jack, albeit briefly, as he's watching a high speed chase on TV featuring none other than Hurley. The soon to be infamous, "I'm one of the Oceanic Six!" line is shouted by him as he is taken into custody.

Hurley ends up in an interrogation room, and it becomes clear he is having "visions" about the island. He jumps quickly at a cops offer (who coincedentally, even though nothing is coincedental about this show, was the former partner of Ana-Lucia) and is taken to a mental institution.

He has a visitor who claims he's a lawyer with Oceanic Airlines, but, and someone will need to help me on this one, he looks very familiar. It turns out he may not be who he says he is, and goes as far as to ask Hurley "Are they still alive?" Things don't get much easier for Hugo, when our presumed to be dead friend Charlie appears. Charlie explains, "I'm not dead, I'm here." It appears though that Charlie is just a part of Hurley's wicked imagination, all though he does tell Hurley "you know they need you."

So who's still on the island? And how did the Oceanic Six find rescue? We start to find out that getting rescued isn't going to be as easy as the Losties initially thought. In the Hurley camp, he finds out, along with Sawyer, Sayid, Bernard, and Juliet that Charlie has died. They listen to Desmond's concerns that there is something suspicious about the boat that has come to get them. They're off to find Jack's camp, but Hurley gets separated.

While he is lost in the jungle, he runs into a familiar scene for Lost fans, Jacob's house. The house plays tricks on him, appearing and re-appearing, and then he's greated by the first John Locke appearance of the episode, who at this point is either the most crazy person on the island, or we may find out he's the most sane.

Meanwhile, Jack follows a trail of blood with Danielle and Ben, while Kate follows a different trail and finds Naomi, the girl that parachuted in towards the end of season three. She had ran off, but dies shortly after Kate finds her.

The groups reconnect, and tension are high for a couple reasons. First, Hurley informs Claire that Charlie has indeed died. Second, Jack is out for revenge and even goes far enough to shoot Locke in the forehead. However, the gun is not loaded, but it's a good indication of just how far Jack is willing to go to get off this island.

That sets up one of the themes we've been hearing about in previews of the new season; Jack vs. Locke. Jack thinks they need to stay close for a possible rescue. Locke thinks the only way they'll stay alive is if they get as far away from the shore as possible, all the way back to the Others' vacated barracks.

Back to the flashforward, we find Hurley still in the mental institution, with another visit. Only this time it's someone we trust, that being Jack. He asks Hurley if he is going to "tell", Hurley says he hasn't yet. He also tells Jack they need to go back to the Island, although Jack says there is no way they are going back. "Never say never, dude," Hurley replies. And of course, the fact that Hurley mentioned he should have gone with Jack instead of Locke signifies just how important that moment was on the Island.

So that's what happened. But you knew that. So what have we learned? We're definitely in a new era of Lost, that's for sure. Every new episode is still going to pose more questions than answers, but that's what we've come to expect. I imagine the Jack vs. Locke theme, and the two groups being separated, will continue on through these eight episodes that were written before the writers strike. And there's still a whole new group of characters we're going to meet from the crew that is supposedly there for rescue.

Also, we were given the hint that this episode's flashforward, featuring Hurley, happened before the one featuring Jack that we saw in the third season finale, mainly because Jack tells him "I think I'm going to grow a beard". I am loving this new style of story-telling, with these flashforwards. There wasn't much that they could do with the flashbacks, most everyone's story has been told. I've read there will still be flashbacks this season, and I'm interested to see how that will work. Each episode will be a constant guessing of whether we're watching a flashback or flashward. When we do get a flashforward, we'll still be guessing where it fits in the timeline. And I'm assuming they'll eventually make it back to the Island, although probably not in this season.

So there are now 47 episodes left of Lost, and we have a long way to go. These next seven that we'll get are sure to be very exciting, as it seems "Lost" has gotten a second wind of sorts, from the creators, the fans, and the public. I'm sure there will be much debate as to who the "Oceanic Six" are. We know Kate, Jack, and Hurley. I'm not even sure who I'd guess. Sawyer? I can see him dying before they get off the Island, maybe sacrificing himself. Claire and/or her baby? Rose or Bernard? Sun, Jin, Sayid? That will be a fun one to talk about.

You gotta admit though, it's good to have Lost back, even if it is just for a short eight weeks. I can honestly say that tonight was the first time I truly was angered over the writers strike. This show was intended for 3 more seasons of 16 episodes each, and I'm not sure how the strike will affect that. All I know is, these eight weeks of Lost are going to go by quickly. I'm just glad we can once again all find ourselves "Lost".

Yi Named to Rookie Team

Well, the Bucks likely won't have anyone named to the actual All-Star team (unless voters paid attention to Royal Ivey's 19 point performance the other night), but they will have another representative on the rookie squad. Yi will join Kevin Durant and Al Horford among others, as they take on a team of second year guys February 15h.

Yi's play has improved greatly as of late, currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. The Bucks may be struggling this season, but his presence has given the Bucks a worldwide (ok, maybe just Chinese) following this season.

Thank You Packer Chatters

Just wanted to conclude my morning updates with a shoutout to PackerChatters. The Brett Favre article was picked up by them yesterday. The same network of guys also run the sites BrewerChatters, and BadgerChatters.

Hopefully, articles like this can get a little more exposure to the fastest growing Wisconsin sports site on the web (Data may be inaccurate).

Cant Wait Until March 31?



Can't wait until the season opener for your Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder fix? Neither can I. Luckily, three spring training contests will be broadcast on the wonderful FSN Wisconsin.

Friday, March 14 vs. San Diego, 8:05pm

Sunday, March 16 vs. Seattle, 2:05pm

Monday, March 24 vs. Colorado, 2:05pm.

Rememeber, the Brewers start their spring training schedule Febraury 28th vs. the Oakland A's. You can always find who and when they play next on the right of this page.

Huckabee's Next

Felt we had to "weigh in" quickly on the Presidential nomination race, which we've been following pretty closely (why do I keep saying we, it's just me here really). We have to think that no matter what diet he is on, Mike Huckabee is the next candidate to drop out of the race. And soon. On the Democratic side, it's between Obama and Clinton, and that's a race that is near impossible to predict, and I don't think things will become any clearer after Super Tuesday. The Wisconsin Primary is February 19th, and that could end up playing a huge role in the process. As for the Republicans, it's basically between John McCain and Muppet Romney, with Huckabee hanging on through the week (broke) and Ron Paul making a push (we think) as a third party candidate.

We'll be honest though, the only reason this post is up is because we just came across a picture of the pre-Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee, and thought it'd look good on the website. Happy Thursday everyone.

Oh, Kansas!

We here at The Bucky Channel aren't just fond to teams within the Wisconsin state lines. Although the teams that reside in the Badger State will always be number one in our hearts, there are a few teams outside the borders that we have come to appreciate. One of those teams is the Kansas Jayhawks, who lost tonight to rival Kansas State 84-75. It's a tough loss, but we're still going to go ahead with our plans to pick Kansas to win it all once the brackets are revealed in March, even though we don't gamble (but if we did, we'd be very upset at the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Twenty dollars upset.)

You'll see our top ten non-Wisconsin favorites in an upcoming column, but we wanted to address, even though some readers are asking for it, you won't be seeing any reviews of the Real World / Road Rules Challenge. We haven't watched anything Real World oriented since Stephen slapped Irene on her way into the taxi during the Seattle season (come on, you remember.) Our deepest apologies. Anyway, a few more blogs in the works for tomorrow, keep it here, and tell your friends!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Bucks Got Killed

I'm going out for awhile and won't be around at the end of the game, but I'd say it's a pretty accurate guess.

The Bucks Are Getting Killed

At the start of the 4th quarter, the Bucks are down 77-47 to the Sixers. They are on pace for about only 68 points themselves. Hey! It's Mo Williams! Remember when we paid him a big contract because he made a game winning shot and we thought it was the greatest thing ever? What is wrong with this team? Don't they know they are only 1 1/2 games out of the playoffs!!!! Is there anyway they can get Scott Williams to put on a Bucks uniform???

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We All Know He's Coming Back, Right? Right?

I'm sure many of you have already seen this picture in a forwarded e-mail in the last week or so. Favre still our quarterback in 2035. At that time he'll be around 65 years old, and I guess that's the retirement age for normal people. Although not with this upcoming recession! (Ba da bing)

We've literally been having the Favre retirement talk for five years. I still remember five years ago sitting in the car on the way to the casino in Escanaba, Michigan (I won't get into how much that place owns me until another day), but as we were driving up there was a Packers press conference in which half the group of guys going were convinced it was going to be about Favre retiring. Five years ago! Then there was the game against Seattle at home when we were 4-12, which I attended thinking it would be the last ride for number 4. And who could forget the New Year's Eve game on NBC where we thought a four game win streak would be fitting enough for our hero. Well now, it's 2008, Favre is 38 years old, and you're barely hearing anything about Favre retiring.

Most people expect him to tell the world he's coming back within the next couple of weeks. Frankly, I don't see how he doesn't. And it's not because he doesn't want his last pass to be an interception (because let's face it, it most likely will be). But, as he's been saying all along, he is going to play for as long as he can play. And even though I said before the beginning of this season that "we will never win another Super Bowl with Favre", you gotta admit we don't make it as far as we did without him this season.

When I watched the replay of Super Bowl XXXI the other day, the thing that got me, and the thing that always does, is how young Favre looked back then. I'm nearly that age now, and there's no way I'm going to be doing anything close to winning Super Bowls in my mid-20s. (I still am hanging on to saying I'm in my young 20s). Now, we have grey haired, short cut, trim bearded Favre running the show. He's gone from being the young kid supported by a group of veterans, to the old man leading the way for all the rookies. The receivers he had when he started are now 20 years older than the receivers he had last year.

I've actually called for Favre to retire in the past, that's something I cant shy away from. I wasn't on board with Aaron Rodgers when we drafted him (you all know I'm a Craig Nall fan), but I figured if we were going to field one of the younger teams in the league, we might as well give them Aaron Rodgers so the team can mature together and be good in three years, instead of continue to be held hostage by Brett, as we so affectionately call him. Well, for the most part, I was wrong.


Rodgers is still under contract for two more years, and part of my worry about Favre staying was that we would have spent five years grooming this kid (who I believe could start for us, and at least one-third of the teams in this league, easy), only to have him bolt out the door. And I've heard the rumor that Favre's only mission is to play until Rodgers leaves because he hates him, and I don't believe that one for one second. Well, maybe one second, but that's it.

But Favre can still play (unless its cold, I'm sticking by that one. Snow, yes. Cold, no.), and I believe he'll come back. I want him to come back. And I think most of us in Packerland would go into this year believing it's his final season if he did come back, and we could accept that. And with the taste of an NFC Championship loss on their home turf, I think Favre is exactly what this young team needs to rally them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to the Super Bowl. Expect him to make an announcement soon, and then the only question heading into the 2008 Packers season will be: Why are Aaron Rodgers headphones so god damn huge?

Split Night for Milwaukee Hoops

The Bucks dropped to 10 games under .500 with a 87-80 loss tonight to the New Jersey Nets. It's actually the first time the Bucks lost to another team under .500 in the entire month of January, as they were previously 6-0. The Nets snapped a nine game losing streak, with help from a poor shooting night from the Bucks, which was around 38 percent from the field.

As for Marquette, they pulled away late in the second half to beat South Florida, 62-54.

(In other news, if you watched Larry K's post game interview, you could see the mic flag from the Chinese TV station that interviewed me earlier this season at a Bucks preseason game!)

Video Blog: American Idol

I've never "video blogged" before, so I don't really know what the rules are. I'll give it a shot though.

video

I Think I'm Up and Running

Well I was down for about six hours today, and to be honest I'm not sure how I'm back up. I went through a lot of channels to get this back up, and none of them worked. Then it just appeared. So we'll have to see if this thing doesn't blow up again in the next few days. Other than, when I have TV blogs, I'm going to keep them on the same page. It's what The Bucky Channel is all about. Plus, I think trying to add a page is what blew me up in the first place. Thanks for your patience, and keep it right here on this channel.

My Site Crashed Already!

Not sure what's going on, but right now you can't access this through thebuckychannel.com, which by the way is upsetting me greatly. I'm working on this problem. Vigorously.

Mrs. Rhodes, We Found Your Son!

This just doens't look right does it? I wasn't a Ray Rhodes hater at all, we really couldn't complain about an 8-8 season in 1999 could we? We were on the downfall anyways, weren't we? Anyways, after a stint in Seattle, Ray is continuing to move up in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, your new assistant defensive backs coach for the Houston Texans! Good luck Ray!

Monday, January 28, 2008

32 Wins Could Get the Bucks in the Playoffs

The Bucks are 18-27, 9 games under .500. Yet, they are only one game out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. This means if they go .500 the rest of the way, and get a little help, they could get into the playoffs at 32-51. And what I just said is realistic. Now, the Bucks could either just tank the season and play for yet another lottery pick. OR, they could take a shot at this thing, face Boston or Detroit in the playoffs, and hope for a miracle. I say they go for it. So we might get stomped in the playoffs as an 8 seed. Or we pull it together, get hot, and pull a Golden State Warriors.

If we're going to do the latter, we're going to need to pull off a trade. We need a big man. Our D is lacking. There was rumor of a Zach Randolph trade for Simmons and Charlie V, which I'm for, even though Randolph is as much a defensive liability as the rest of the squad. And he's not a good enough citizen for Herb Kohl's liking. So there are two problems here.

1) The Bucks need a big man.
2) The Bucks aren't marketable enough as a team.

I think this solves both problems.

Should Have Thrown It to L2

Brett Favre must not play enough Playstation. Everyone knows that when their first option in Madden is covered (for me it's my tight end), you look towards a different receiver! Well, Favre apparently forgot to do that on his final throw of the 2007 season.

I'll let the guys at Profootballtalk.com explain...

Mrs. Kelley, We Found Your Son!

I've been worried for ages about what happened to our good friend Mike Kelley. Turns out, he's alive and well. In fact, he's working for ESPN these days, and you can catch him this Saturday on the Deuce. He'll be calling the Rider at Siena game with Bob Wischusen (who? who? and who?).

Actually, I'm not even sure Mike Kelley deserves his own blog post, he doesn't even have his own Wikipedia page! But you know who does!!!! The New Zealand Breakers' Kirk Penney!

Farewell, Andy


You got to be a diehard Packer fan to know or even care about Andrew Brandt, but if you do, bid him farewell. Brandt has served the role of Vice President of Player Finance/General Counsel for the Packers for the last six of his nine years with the team. In people terms, that means he was the go-to guy when it came to salary cap issues and negotiating. He didn't really say why he was leaving, but he was one of the few candidates to replace Bob Harlan, a role that was filled by Mark Murphy.

Badger Men Fall to #13

Looks like the pollsters didn't mind that the Badgers lost to Purdue too much, since we always lose there anyway. The Badgers fell to just 13th in both the AP and ESPN / USA Today Coaches Poll. Their next game is against #11 Indiana, this Thursday night on ESPN. Memphis remains #1 in both polls.

Not Every Brewer Game on FSN This Year!

I thought this was exciting news. Usually About 153 of the 162 Brewer games during the season are on FSN Wisconsin, 8 are untelevised, and then 1 is on ESPN because I think it's in their contract to show at least one game from every team. But the big news out of Brewers camp today is that four, yes four games, will be on FOX this year! FOX! Home of the World Series! FOX FOX FOX!

Here they are:

May 10 - vs. St. Louis Cardinals 2:45pm
May 17 - at Boston Red Sox 2:55pm
Aug 2 - at Atlanta Braves 2:55pm
Sept 13 - at Philadelphia Phillies 2:55pm

All games are Saturday, of course.

God, the Brewers can't get here soon enough.

Thank You Brats & Beer

The Bucky Channel is fast making friends in the world of blogging, and we'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about Brats & Beer. They are pretty big Packer and Badgers fans, and are worth a read. You can check them out at bratsandbeer.com.

For those of you new to the site, it's all about Wisconsin sports, baby. I do write reviews about TV shows, hence the Bucky "channel", but I'm working on a way to separate those from the main page of the site.

If you're new and want to see what we're about... here were some of our top articles for the month:

A column on why I love the Packers, and how they broke my heart.

The top ten teams I hate in all of sports.

I answered reader questions at a time I had very little readers.

Hope you stick around, and stay tuned as I continue to build the site to make it one of the top destinations for Wisconsin Sports fans!

And, again, feel free to say hi to Brats and Beer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bucks Edge Wizards in OT

Hey! This is promising news for the Bucks. They came back in overtime to knock off the Wizards 105-102. No Michael Redd forced the other Bucks to step up, and they did in a big way. Bogut had 18 points and 15 boards, Mo added 25 points and Charlie Bell had 22. The Bucks are still 9 games under .500 at 18-27, but in the East that's competitive. Two road games against the Nets and the Sixers this would could put them in the top 8. Big win tonight for Milwaukee.

More Changes Coming....

Just an update that the site is still a work in progress. I'm also trying to get more recognition on google, so it's easy to search for the site. I have added little capsules on the right of the page that show what's next for the Pack, Crew, Bucks, and Badgers. And I still plan on writing some TV reviews, but not on the main page, I'll be working on that this week. Drop me a line or add some suggests to the comments on what you'd like to see.

Grey Ruegamer is Hannibal Lecter

I'm trying not to pay much attention to all the Super Bowl hype this week (Tom Brady's limp is reaching Lindsey Lohan who cares anymore status) but this story about former Packer Grey Ruegamer was pretty odd. Let's just say he castrated lambs with his teeth.

The Mailbox - Sunday January 27th

No better time to open the mailbox then on the day of the new site launch! Let's see what you've come up with over the last few weeks. If you'd like to send a question, go ahead and drop me a line at winks@thebuckychannel.com.

Q: Jon wrote on your Wall:"set your DVR (if you haven't done so already)...Super Bowl 31, Friday at 11:30am. I watched S.B. 20 last night and I am recording it today."

Winks: Thanks Jon for the heads up. Super Bowl XXXI, the one of course where the Pack beat New England, was on today too on the NFL Network. It's on right now, the start of the 4th quarter, and it's already 35-21, so there's not much else too see, except the celebration. I am taping it, but I had a hard time trying to watch it today. I watched the Patriots first drive, where they had to punt and Desmond Howard had a 32 yard return. Then the Pack ran a play to Edgar Bennett, and the next play of course was Favre's audible to Andre Rison. It was at that point I had to turn it off. Even though it was probably the best day of my life, I couldn't let myself watch the Packers celebrating in a Super Bowl against New England. In exactly a week from when I'm typing this, the two teams should be squaring off in a Super Bowl rematch, but the worse loss in Packer history took care of that from happening. One thing I've realized though, is that Ryan Grant does look an awfully lot like Dorsey Levens.

Q: "DEAR FRIEND,I MR. FREDRIC WILLIAMS, THE CHAIRMAN OF CONTRACT AWARDING COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT(ECC) IN BURKINA FASO WEST AFRICA. I GOT YOUR INFORMATION IN A BUSINESS DIRECTORY FROM THE BURKINA FASO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND NDUSTRIES, WHEN I WAS SEARCHING FOR A RELIABLE, HONEST AND TRUST WORTHY PERSON TO ENTRUST THIS BUSINESS WITH. I WAS SIMPLY INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED TO PICK YOUR CONTACT FROM THE DIRECTORY AFTER DISCUSSING MY VIEW AND YOUR PROFILE WITH MY COLLEAGUES, THEY WERE VERY MUCH SATISFIED AND DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU IMMEDIATELY FOR THIS MUTUAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP. WE WISH TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF USD$36.000, 000.00 (THIRTY SIX MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY.) INTO YOUR PERSONAL OR COMPANY'S BANK ACCOUNT." - Fredric Williams

W: Sounds legit. I'm a little thrown off by the all caps lock, but anytime someone offers you 36 million dollars for nothing, you'd be stupid NOT to accept it.

Q: "Dear Cash Winner,This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash prize of Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand Pounds Sterlings(£750,000.00GBP) in the just concluded Uk National Lottery Online programme held on the 25th of January 2008 inUnited Kingdom.The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selectionsystem(ess) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from which you were selected." - UK National Lottery Headquarters

W: This might be the last blog post you ever see from me if I keep winning free money like this.

Q: "What is your opinion on American Gladiators??? Personally I couldn't watch more than 20 minutes before it was old to me. Hulk should quit with the Hulkamania act, and the cheeziness of the gladiators, commentary, and corny contestants was too much for me? Am I the first to ask a serious question?" - Bear, Fond du Lac, WI.

W: I don't know about you, but I can't stand junk mail.

Q: palaeoethnologic raising dialect microlepidopteron maudlinly conic blunderbusses blunk

W: You're probably right, Favre should have got the MVP in that Super Bowl. At the time though didn't you think, "It's ok though, he'll win another one in his long career." And then they choked in Super Bowl 32, and have only a real shot shot at going back one other time. However, they don't win that game without Desmond Howard.

Q: "SuggestionDeal dot com It is a night to be possessed with passionJust Come to us And the chicest girlies can show youWhen you see obscene Show Without paying any penny"

W: Good question. I got through the first five minutes of American Gladiators, and then skipped through it just to see how it looked. I like the idea that they brought back the show, I've been watching it on ESPN Classic when I come across it. But the problem when they remake shows like this is that they try to go all "hip" with the graphics. I'm not a big fan of the Gladiators new hip "Football Night in America" graphics, I think it would actually look cooler if they touched up the old ones a little. It's not appointment TV for me, and to be honest I probably won't watch it again unless it's on at a bar. But, with not much else on TV these days, it's a viable option. Hogan is terrible as the host though.

Q: "Plan your winter adventure to Breckenridge. Book four nights of lodging and three days of adult lift tickets and receive FREE an additional night of lodging and an additional day of adult skiing or add more winter activities the Winter Adventure Package and save. Breckenridge, Colorado. Now in Season. What are you waiting for?"

W: Yeah, it's a whole different web site, but that's the point. I really do plan on spending more time on it, with news and game updates about any team that plays within the borders of Wisconsin, even Marquette. It will be challenging, as I do actually have a real job that I spend the majority of my time doing in. But it should be fun, and I wouldn't mind some help if there was anyone out there who didn't have a real job and sat at his computer in his parent's basement all day anyway. Cough cough, Bear.

Q: "Privet, dear!I love children very much, and I often notice that they reach out for me too. I smile very often, a smile is the way to a person's heart; while smiling, a person opens up herself and makes other people feel comfortable with her. Do you agree with me?" - July, Russia

W: The Lakers are in a for a tough stretch without Bynum, for sure. They lost today to the Cavs (which would have cost me ten bucks, thank god gambling is illegal) after holding a lead for most of the game. I still think they'll make the playoffs, never know though in a conference where New Orleans is in first place. (I know it wasn't about Wisconsin sports, but I'll answer anything in these mailboxes).

Q: "The one and only Spades platform on the web. Win some dollars get up to 200 usd signup bonus"

W: Yeah, I couldn't help it. I'm back watching the end of Super Bowl XXXI on the NFL Network, mainly because there is nothing else on, and I don't get the Bucks game tonight. I forgot that Madden spent the whole 4th quarter wondering if Jim McMahon would get in the ballgame. Also, our defensive line was incredible. Hey, a Travis Jervey sighting! Man, this just feels like a different time, this Packer win. I'm so depressed right now. I'll never get over this Giants loss.

Welcome to The Bucky Channel

Well I've made a few (slash a ton) of changes to the site. I'm going forward as "The Bucky Channel", with the focus on Wisconsin sports and TV news, just like always. I'm not happy with the way everything looks still, but I think I'm going to stick with the red font on the white background. I'm intending to put more time into the site than ever before, with it being your go to place for Wisconsin sports news. I've changed the title to reflect that.

You may have accessed me at bartwinkler.blogspot.com, which you still can do. But go ahead and feel free to access the site at http://www.thebuckychannel.com/, it will work as well. This is an huge splash into the blog world on my part, bear with me as I figure out what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

Also, if you would, feel free to tell your friends about the new site!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Badgers Fall to Purdue

The Badgers fall short in their bid for their 11th straight win, as they lose at Purdue 60-56. Indiana fell to UConn, so they are still tied for second in the Big Ten. Losing close games you are expected to win is becoming a common theme for sports in Wisconsin.

Now ask yourself, why I have posted this update? Could it be a part of the new focus of "Winks Thinks", debuting tomorrow?

The Super Bowl Super Bowl

Well, I went ahead and finished up with the beloved "Super Bowl Super Bowl". Sorry for killing the suspense. (Let me just admit that whenever the Packers won, I did a genuine fist pump)

Here are the Elite Eight:

1966 Green Bay Packers (2 seed)
1969 Kansas City Chiefs (5 seed)
1973 Miami Dolphins (4 seed)
1991 Washington Redskins (6 seed)
1991 Buffalo Bills (16 seed)
1996 Green Bay Packers (6 seed)
1999 St. Louis Rams (8 seed)
2000 Baltimore Ravens (2 seed)


Interesting top 8... no 1 seeds, 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers, or Patriots. But two Packer teams!

You'll have to check out the bracket to see who won, but let's just say the results were once again heartbreaking.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Name Change!

Alright kids, I'm changing the name of this site. Winks Thinks is great, and it's not the last you've seen of that clever outburst. But I'm going to broaden my horizons a little bit, and the change will go into affect Sunday. Hope you like it! (nervous face)

Name Change?

Hey gang. So here's the deal, I'm trying to spread the popularity of this blog a little bit. Not that I don't like you guys, I do. But the more readers, the more I'll be forced to update the page, and that's good right. But do to that, I think I could come up with a different name for the site, a different URL. Something that doesn't have my name in it, and can reflect my "narrow" focus of TV and Wisconsin sports. Any suggestions?

Also, I'm hearing you loud and clear that the Super Bowl Super Bowl is stupid. So I'm going to hold on off it until later this weekend, and complete the tourney in one sitting, and move on with our lives. Also, new Mailbox coming Sunday!

Big East Gets Pranked

I skimmed across this while on the internet, and wanted to share it to the five of you. The Big East Conference held a conference call with all their coaches from Men's Basketball, and somehow, it was sabotaged. It's about three minutes, and worth a listen.

No Lie: This Show Sucks

I learned a new lesson, something I probably should have learned a long time ago when it comes to watching TV. Just like you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, please don't judge a show by it's preview. I say this because I thought this show looked, not awesome, but entertaining enough. People strapped up to a lie detector forced to answer tough questions in front of their family and friends! Why would I miss something like that?

Well, apparently they take the test before hand, and then have to answer the questions later. To win just $10,000, you have to answer six of these questions, and to win the grand prize, $500,000 I believe, you have to answer 36 in-depth questions. You think that would be exciting, but it's not.

I sat through the first contestant on the Wednesday premiere, which was Tinker "Ty" Keck. I'd make fun of his name, but my first name is Bart. And apparently he is a former pro football player. Is it just me, or have a lot of game shows lately had "former pro football players" on as contestants. I put this in quotes, because apparently getting cut by the Giants in camp and playing for the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL is enough to qualify as a pro football player. If anything, former pro football player Rodney Peete was rooting for him. How do I know this? Because he was on the show!

In the end, Tinkerbell ended up telling his wife that there "is something he has done that would cause her to lose trust in him", and that he "doesnt want to have kids because he's not sure they'll be together long" and ended up walking away with zero dollars. Well, hope it was worth it.

If you want to check it out, feel free. Most of the American Idol audience last week did, and it was one of the top rated programs of the week. But the show is dreadful, not even Mark L. Walberg can save it. But of all the things FOX has tried over the years, this one is probably the most painful one to watch.

Trust me.


"Whatever happened to Temptation Island?" - Walberg

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Top Ten Teams I Hate in Sports

All I could think about all week after the Packers crushing loss was how I much I hated the Giants. I hate them. I HATE THEM! Grrrrr I hate the Giants Ahhhhhh! So I wondered, just how much do I hate the Giants? Do I really hate them as much as all the other teams I can't stand in sports? Or was I just temporarily mad at them for what they did to the Packers? Well, I hate them, I do, but they are nowhere close to the top ten.

Honorable Mentions: Boston Red Sox (MLB), Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA), Cincinnati Reds (MLB), Oshkosh West (FVA), BYU (NCAA), Iowa Hawkeyes (NCAA), New York Giants (NFL), Seattle Seahawks (NFL), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), Illinois Fighting Illini (NCAA), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA)


10. Houston Astros (MLB)

You'll notice that much of my hatred comes from division rivals of my beloved Wisconsin teams. The Astros make it over the Reds and Cardinals for a few reasons. The most exposure I've had of this team was in 2005 when they won the NL pennant. I hated everyone on that team. Everyone on that team was either small and skinny (Craig Biggio, Adam Everett, Chris Burke) or fatly athletic (Jason Lane, Mike Lamb, Roger Clemens, Lance Berkman). Also, Minute Maid Park is a joke. These moderns baseball stadiums all have their quirks like whatever that damn hill is called, just because they want to be a stadium that has a quirk, or an identifying feature. How in the world does baseball let that continue, there's no way that is safe. Another reason is I'll never forget Aaron Levine from Dream Job Season 1 on ESPN do a story on the "Killer E's", Everett and Ensberg. I didn't like Levine ergo I don't like the Killer E's. They'd be higher on this list if I didn't like Hunter Pence so much.



9. Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)


We're going to stay in the NL Central a little longer, and talk about the Pirates. Why should I hate the Pirates when they haven't been good since Andy Van Slyke? Well, that's exactly why I hate them, because no matter how bad they are, they still beat the Brewers consistently. And it seems every time we need a win, we have to play Pittsburgh, and they beat us. Like when we're trying for our first winning season in 2005 but we stall against the Pirates on the final weekend. And I've always had something against the colors yellow and black. I think it goes back to my junior high days when my crosstown rival in Fond du Lac, WI, Theisen Junior High, had those colors. The nice thing about them as a Pittsburgh fan is that you can wear any one of your favorite team's jerseys for any team in that city and not stick out in the crowd. And oh yeah, Randall Simon.


8. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)


This one is sad for me. After visiting Philly in 2002, I fell in love with the Eagles. They were playing the Bears in a divisional round playoff game that weekend, and I got swept up in Eagles fever. I bought a Donovan McNabb jersey shirt. I asked for his bobblehead for Christmas. For some reason, I thought the world of McNabb, and rooted for the Eagles every week unless they were playing the Packers. But then 4th and 26 happened. Then the T.O. drama, and the Eagles being the entire focus of the 5pm Sportscenter happened. Then McNabb quitting during the final drive of the Super Bowl happened. Then Rush Limbaugh was right (maybe not about all black quarterbacks, but at least about McNabb). I can't stand them. If you don't believe me, ask the McNabb bobblehead I stomped on years ago.



7. Washington Nationals (MLB)


This one is the most random and probably most misguided hatred of any team on this list, but the hate is there nonetheless. The Nationals are the kid in class that I sits three chairs down from me, and even though I barely know him, everything about him bothers me. Maybe it's because I'm jealous of him, or maybe he's a little too much like me, or maybe I just don't agree with anything he does. Either way, I know I don't like him. If we were at a party one night, we'd probably end up being good friends, but no way I'm letting that happen, at least not until after we graduate. Anyways, besides that terrible argument of why I hate a team, it really comes down to two reasons. When the Nationals started playing, not only did everyone buy their hat, but they all wore it with a flat brim. What? That, and they have the same font as the Brewers did during the mind 90's on their uniforms. I hated those Brewer jerseys more than anything, especially I got in a car accident while wearing a hat with the MB diamond logo. I'll never wear anything with that Brewers logo again, and just the sight of the Nationals reminds me of Jeff D'Amico and those awful Brewers teams.


6. Detroit Lions (NFL)


We'll see more NFC North teams as we continue, you can be sure about that, but the Lions are the first to make it on the list. I never really hate the Lions, they always suck and Barry Sanders was fun to watch. But, like the Pirates, I just hate when we lose to them. If you asked a Packers fan to name the worst loss to the Lions, I bet 90 percent of them would say the loss on Thanksgiving where Dre Bly owned us and they were wearing their throwbacks. Thanksgiving games are always tough, because they can really ruin your holiday if you lose. Packers / Lions doesn't have the edge that the Vikings and Bears rivalries do, but that might change when they are good again (if?).


5. Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)


The second Philly team but the only NBA team to make the list. Well, they haven't got any press on the blog yet, but naturally the Bucks are my favorite NBA team. Save your condolences. None of the Bucks divisional rivals make this list, not even the Pacers, who destroyed us for three straight years in the playoffs. But the Sixers make it because they ended the only legitimate shot the Bucks had at the title in my lifetime. You remember the 2001 team with Big Dog, Ray Ray, and Sam. The one that got knocked out of the playoffs by Rodney Rodgers, and a missed Glenn Robinson jump shot. The one that would have given the Lakers a much better run for their money than the Sixers did. So, for that series only, the Sixers make it all the way to five. That's a lot of staying power for something that happened seven years ago. And even though they are similar to the Giants, in the way which they beat a team I love, my hatred for Eric Snow helped them earn and keep the five spot warm and cozy.


4. Dallas Cowboys (NFL)


All the teams before Dallas I'd classify in the third tier of my hatred. The Cowboys are alone in the second tier. My hate for this team was at it's high point in the mid-90's, when the road for every Packers season ended in Irving, Texas. Those teams were unstoppable, and they owned Favre and the rest of the Packers. Most of the games they'd let us hang around, just to knock us out in the 4th quarter. I can't tell you how sick I was of watching the Packers lose there year after year. And the regular season games were never good, either. Even if the Pack held them to just field goals, they found a way to get seven of them and beat us 21-6 by the leg of Chris Boniol. Talk about Thanksgiving Day losses, how about the one to Jason Garrett? The 37-27 loss to them this year on the NFL network didn't help much either. And I think the Packers would have been able to beat Dallas in Dallas this season, which makes me hate them for losing to the Giants, however odd that seems.



3. Chicago Bears (NFL)


Welcome to The Big Three. As you could have guessed, the top three teams will all be division rivals, and they will all come from bordering states. The Bears used to be at the top of this list, and I still think I hate losing to the Bears more than any other team, just because of how much Bears fans are idiots. You think Packer fans are lame for hanging on to 1996 all the time, the entire city of Chicago still pretends it's 1985. Well, in 2008, Ditka is doing erectile dysfunction commercials, the Fridge is selling is autograph at car shows, and McMahon has won a Super Bowl with Green Bay. Time to move on. What I hate about the Bears teams of late is that they aren't good at all, yet they find ways to win. The Bears don't have a winning season in the last ten years if Mike Brown and Devin Hester don't play football. But the reason I think I hate the Bears and our next team so much is because, had I been born in a different state, grew up somewhere else, I could easily see myself liking them. Don't hate me for saying that, you know it's true. The Bears do get thank you points however for George Halas helping keep the Packers around in the 1920's.


2. Chicago Cubs (MLB)


The Cubs have been skyrocketing up this list for the last few years. I gotta admit, this is another team on here that I used to like. Who didn't though? Before the days of every baseball game on TV, the Cubs were the team to watch on WGN. They had great announcers, they always played games during the day, why wouldn't you watch them? Well, then the strike happened, and then the Brewers switched leagues, and at first the Cubs / Brewers rivalry was like the Brewers saying, "Well, we need a rivalry, and the Cubs are close. Let's hate them." And everyone went along with it. But then words like "Wrigley North" started to get thrown around, and Cubs fans started invading Miller Park. It was terrible. Cubs fans are trendy, and they turn on their team too quickly. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano are the two guys I hate the most in all of baseball. And if Mark Cuban ever did become owner of that team, it would be over. We would never have a shot at winning the NL Central, with all that money flying around. Wrigley Field is great, and I love the city of Chicago, but the Cubs are everything that is wrong with baseball, in my opinion. BY THE WAY, are we over the Steve Bartman thing yet? Have Cubs fans not realized that a) ten other fans were going for that ball, and b) Alex Gonzalez sucks. And this Billy Goat curse is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Why does everything have to be a curse when you lose for 80 years. Why can't you just admit you either suck or couldn't win the big one? Can anyone else sense the mixture of me trying to finish this column and my hatred for the Cubs? When Bob Uecker sings the 7th inning stretch, you don't boo him! I need to breathe. This is pure hate coming out of my fingers right now.


1. Minnesota Vikings (NFL)


I don't know if I have enough left after my Cubs freak out. The difference here though is there is no way I could have ever envisioned myself being a Vikings fan. When I think of Vikings fans, I think of college girls running into my dorm when the Vikings beat the Packers screaming at the top of their lungs just to annoy me when they don't even like sports. I think of how you never see a Vikings, Wild, or Twins jersey unless they are winning (although girls in Twins shirts are hot). I think of that damn horn that goes off on first downs. I think of the Metrodome being the worst venue in sports. Living on the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota has definitely contributed to this rankings, as did the fact I would choose the Packers over the Brewers (only with a gun pointed to my head, of course), and therefore I must chose their rival. I would rather see the Cubs win the World Series than the Vikings win the Super Bowl, that's for sure. Vikings fans and Packers fans have a lot in common, mainly that we both think we are better than the other. But now we have another thing in common, a heartbreaking loss at home in the NFC Championship. In overtime. When we were both the hands down favorites. When the Falcons beat the Vikings that year, I've never rooted harder against a team in my life. And when the Giants beat Green Bay to go to the Super Bowl, my first thought was that every Vikings fan in Minnesota is on the phone right now calling each other about how happy they are. And I hate them for that. But you know what? The Giants gave them that joy! You know what, maybe the Giants should have been on this list.

Agree? Disagree? Really, really disagree? Discuss in the comments, won't you?

The Super Bowl Super Bowl, Day 4

One of the biggest reasons I'm doing this is to try and finally have the 1972 Dolphins lose, but would they? Could Brett Favre do what he failed to do with the 97 Packers (and 07 for that matter) and mount a fourth quarter comeback in a big game? Do the 06 Bears stand a chance against the 02 Bucs? All these answers and more!

We're down to 32 teams in the Super Bowl Super Bowl.

New to the site? Confused about how stupid this tourney is? Read what it's all about.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Review: Breaking Bad

Let me get right down to it, ever since this writer's strike, I have not spent a lot of time watching TV. That could be because a roommate moved out and took all the furniture with him, so there is nothing to watch the TV on in the living room, but I'm going to blame it on the strike. But, I heard about a new show called "Breaking Bad" (AMC, Sundays 10/9c) starring Bryan Cranston. I like him a lot, so I thought I'd give the show a try.

You may not know Cranston by name, but you'll know him when I tell you he was the dad on "Malcolm in the Middle", and also Dr. Tim Whatley on a few episodes of "Seinfeld". He breaks his mold by starring as Walter White, a disheveled high school chemistry teacher / car wash attendent who has just turned 50 years old. It doesn't take long, however, to realize that this role is perfect for him.

We meet him the same way we met him in Malcolm in the Middle, and that is in nothing but his underwear. He crashes an RV that appears to be full of dead people, and he points a gun down the road at the sirens in the distance. We then get hit with one of the more overused TV styles of today, and that is by taking us back in time to find out how this character got here. In Breaking Bad, we go back three weeks earlier.

It doesn't take long to figure out that Walter White is unhappy when we see him at the breakfast table on his 50th birthday. He is joined by his son, who has some sort of walking disability, and his wife, who we learn is pregnant. His 50th birthday never gets any better, and it ends with a suprise party at his house. His brother-in-law, Hank, has everyone watch the news while they are there, because he was interviewed for his role in bringing down a meth lab for the DEA. Walter White is instantly in awe of all the money that goes along with the making and selling and crystal meth, and realizes it might be his ticket out of his mundane life, as he sees it.

A ride along with Hank brings them to another bust of a meth lab. While left to sit in the car while the drug teams investigate, White sees Jesse Pinkman, a former student of his who is trying to escape the meth lab he helps run. That is how the two reconnect, and Pinkman (in need of someone to cook meth) and White (has the knowledge as a chemistry teacher, just doesn't know the business), eventually become partners. And three weeks later, they are at the side of the road with a crashed RV and sirens coming at them.

I hope it's not because I'm just looking for a show to like, but I'm on board with Breaking Bad. There are a lot of different angles they can play with here (meth lab, relationship between old student and teacher, White being on the edge of insanity, the DEA officer of a brother-in-law, and the family issues). I haven't even mentioned yet that White found out he had lung cancer, and has a few years to live at best, and nobody but him and his doctor know.

What I liked about this show I think is that it didn't feel like any old television show. AMC let a lot of swearing, sex, and violence go through, and it helps make the show believeable and real. It's also shot, and edited, like a movie would be.

It's a breakthough role for Cranston, who will be in the Emmy race for best lead actor for sure. He does a fantastic job letting you see his character's pain, and you instantly buy him in that role. In a world where new TV is at a minimum, I'd check out Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad airs Sunday nights at 10/9c on AMC. Nine episodes have been ordered, seven have been completed before the strike.

The Super Bowl Super Bowl, Day 3

Could Walter Payton finally score a TD in the Super Bowl? Is this the day a 5 seed goes down? (yes, obviously) Would the Seahawks once again blame the refs after a loss?

The updated bracket.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Super Bowl Super Bowl, Day 2

Can the 1991 Bills, a 16 seed, avenge a lifetime of suffering for Bills fans? Would Favre's 153 passing yards be enough against the 1970 Cowboys? Is Joe Theismann better than Tom Brady? Who's the King of L.A., the Raiders or the Rams?

Check out the updated bracket of The Super Bowl Super Bowl.

What is this crazy post about. Read up on the details.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How Did You Spend the Day After the Loss?

Well, no matter where you were, if you were a Packers fan, this was a difficult day for you. You probably got some grief from non-Packer Backers, and I'm sure there were moments you wanted to cry. Me too. But, unless you can think of something worse than doing a news story on all the Giants NFC Championship merchandise that was being made today, keep it to yourself. I described my experience today as getting dumped by my girlfriend, only having her and her new boyfriend come to the restuarant where I work, and I'm their waiter. I also got to see this nice little sight:

You can check out my story online at this website.

The Super Bowl Super Bowl, Day 1

And the dorkiest playoffs in the world are underway! An interesting first batch of eight games, as in 7 of the 8 games, the more recent team prevailed. But would the 1966 Green Bay Packers be able to beat the 1974 Minnesota Vikings? Found out here. (To see the scoring summary, and even play-by-play, click on the link by each game. Then cut and paste the link that I have provided in the box. Got it?)

Also, for fun, I simulated last night's Packer game. Oh, what could have been.

Who's the Best Super Bowl Team... Ever?

With help from WhatIfSports.com, and bracketmaker.com, we're going to set up a 64-team tournament to decide which Super Bowl team is the best of all time. What I've done is ranked the 41 winning teams by their point differential in their Super Bowl game. The top ranked team is the 1989 San Francisco 49ers, with a point differential of +45. I then, to get to 64 teams, included the 23 losers with the lowest point differential. The last seed is the 1969 Vikings, with a point differential of -16.

The tournament will be updated daily, starting today until the Super Bowl, and on the day of Super Bowl XLII we'll crown the best Super Bowl team of all time (the participants of Super Bowl XLII are not eligible). You might think this is the geekiest thing I've ever done, but believe me, it's far from it. FAR from it.

The bracket can be viewed here - The Super Bowl Super Bowl

And the schedule for the tournament is this:

Jan 21- Jan 24 Round of 64
Jan 25- Jan 28 Round of 32
Jan 29-Jan 30 Sweet Sixteen
Jan 31-Feb 1 Elite Eight
Feb 2 - Final Four
Feb 3 - Super Bowl Champion

Good luck to all the teams (I guess).

NFLN vs. ESPN

Update on the popular contest, in which I turn on NFLN and then ESPN to see which network I'd rather be watching. Don't expect to find it for at least the next two weeks, as I've boycotted the networks until after the Super Bowl.

The current score is ESPN 2, NFLN 1

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This Is All I'm Saying

Twenty-three years as a sports fan and I have never gone through a week like this. Each and every day my confidence shrank, for reasons I wasn't quite sure. The Packers had the better team, we had everything going for us, and we were at Lambeau. We had a bunch of breaks, couldn't capitalize when we had opportunities, and ultimately the Packers beat themselves. It was a tough game to watch, a heartbreaking finish, and one I don't think I'll ever get over.

Does that sound a little too extreme? It does, but that's what happens when you invest so much time into a certain something. For me, I have spent hours, days, weeks, on the Packers. Talking about them, watching them, looking forward to them. And to have it all come crashing down on a Brett Favre interception and a 47 yard field goal from a choke artist like Lawrence Tynes (the Giants new L.T.), it couldn't have happened any worse.

At the beginning of the year, who would have even thought we would be in this position? I would have gladly taken a loss in the NFC Championship if you offered it to be five months ago. But as the season continued, Favre regained his old form, the young players emerged as stars, and we became a team that hit on all cylinders. We earned a first round bye, we had the Championship in Lambeau, and the Super Bowl was in our sights. But after a game where we couldn't muster more than a few good plays, an empty feeling has now made it's way across Wisconsin and the rest of Packer Nation, wherever they may be.

The same can be said for the Giants however. They weren't expected to be here, and now they are in the Super Bowl, in what has become an appealing re-match with the New England Patriots. They are the NFC Champs and I will tip my hat off to them for their incredible turnaround, and an incredible season.

I wrote a few days ago just what the Pack means to me. That they are more than just a team, that they are a way of life. And if you're just a casual sports fan, or have no interest in sports at all, you may think I am over-reacting. But when you decide to like a certain team, and end up falling in love with them, heartbreak is inevitable after a loss like this. And it's what I, and the rest of the Packers fans I know, are experiencing tonight.

In the end, it's just a game. The sun will rise tomorrow, and I'll have plenty to look forward too. But this was the toughest loss I've endured as a fan in any sport, bar none. 4th and 26? That sucks, but isn't close. Super Bowl XXXII? Gutwrenching, but it wasn't like this. Lawrence Tynes in OT. It's something I don't know if I'll ever be able to talk about again.

When I head into work tomorrow, I will be doing so in an office with a majority of people that pledge their allegance to either the Vikings or the Bears. I know they will want to say something to me, but many of them will keep their mouth shut and let the elephant in the room sit on my desk. And there might be one person who thinks it will be funny to say something, someone that doesn't understand just how serious I am taking this loss, and I'll have to let it slide. It will be tough, but after a game like this, as a fan, it's best to move on.

If anything, this loss shows you that in the NFL, and life itself, you can never take anything for granted. It shows you just how hard it can be to accomplish your goals. But when you do fail, you have to learn from it, and draw from your experiences. So that's what I'll do. I'm going to remember that this is only a game, and I am only a fan. I'm going to remember that there is more to life than the Green Bay Packers. I'm going to remember that there is always next year.

And that's all I'm saying about the 2007 Green Bay Packers.

Four Hours to Kickoff!

Well, the ten year wait is now down to just four hours. I'm gonna settle in and watch the Patriots / Chargers and then finally the Giants / Packers game will get underway. It's been a nerveracking week. Lot of high fives going on. Lot of talk about what we'll do if the Pack make the Super Bowl, lot of talk about what we'd do if they lost. I thought about doing a live blog, briefly, before I realized that the majority of my "readers" will be watching the game with me in my living room. If you are in the mood for a live blog, profootballtalk.com usually does good work.

You've probably noticed things slow down at Winks Thinks during the weekends. We'll (I'll) make up for that with some quality posts this week, and stay tuned for what might be the dorkiest thing I'll ever do on this site. A playoff bracket to determine the best Super Bowl team of all time! I'll share it with you, but it might be one of those things I'm better off doing alone and then not telling anyone else about. I might try to post a video blog during the week as well, we'll see.

Enjoy the games today.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NFL Championship Picks

Thirteen years old. Who do you know that is thirteen years old? How would you describe them? Awkward? Moody? Think they know everything? Zits? What do you know at thirteen years old? Most kids that age are still waiting for there first kiss at the awkward dance in the school cafeteria. Kids that age only care about Xbox and Taco Bell. Nothing significant in your life happens when you are 13.

Unless your favorite team goes to the Super Bowl. I was 13 the last time the Packers were in the Super Bowl. Thirteen! At that point, my memory was really only a good eight years old, and I could always remember the Packers as a decent NFL team. I do have some pre-Favre memories of Majkowski and Dilweg, but I try to block those. And at 13, my team was in the Super Bowl for the second straight year? How could I comprehend how hard it is for an NFL team to do that at thirteen years old?

Granted, we lost that year to Denver (thanks NFL Network for replaying that game three nights ago), but at that point I thought, "oh we'll be back soon." Well, we haven't been. And there's no guarantee we'll make it back this year. But the Packers are currently in a place they haven't been in the last ten years either, the NFC Championship Game. Ten years, really? Even blind squirrels have been to the NFC Championship game in the last ten years. (sorry Lions, Niners, Cardinals, Redskins, and Dallas. Dallas?) I guess I forgot about the Eagles little run there. Anyway, ten years is a long time. And with some of the teams we've had, you think we would have been there at least once. And there have been many heartbreaks along the way... 4th and 26... 6 picks in the dome.... Vikings / Falcons losses at Lambeau.... T.O catch after the Rice "fumble". It's been a tough ten years.


But the Pack is back, and this time it's back in Lambeau. But ten years! So much has happened to me in ten years, I'm a different person than I was ten years ago. Hell, I'm a man. I'm 23! (I have previously told people Mike Gundy references are getting old. But they are not yet, although their shelf life is expiring. Any Jim Mora Playoffs? reference should be banned though. Wasn't that about ten years ago too?) I think part of the reason I'm soaking this week in and not being able to go five minutes without talking about it is because how little I realized when I was 13, that going to the NFC Championship Game is a huge deal.

But I guess if we lose, it will just be another heartache. On to the Picks.


Chargers at Patriots, Sunday 2pm CBS

The similarities are eerie between now and the 1996 season, the year the Packers last won the Super Bowl. Let's take a look.

Packers beat Niners at home by 21 in the 1996 Divisional Round
Packers beat Seahawks at home by 22 in the 2007 Divisional Round

Panthers upset Dallas 26-17 to travel to Green Bay for the Championship in 96.
Giants upset Dallas 21-17 to travel to Green Bay for the Championship in 07.

Patriots cruise past a team in the divisional round and host the Championship in Foxboro in 96.
Patriots cruise past a team in the divisional round and host the Championship in Foxboro in 07.
The Jaguars shock the Broncos in Denver 30-27 to advance.
The Chargers shock the Colts in Indy 28-24 to advance.

Hmm.

There's more reasons than that though why I think the Patriots are going to be victorious in this one. First of all, they are 17-0. Why sit here and list stats about how good the Pats are when all I need to do is write that they are 17-0 (that and I don't want to look anything else up. I've exhausted Wikipedia already with this column, that's not my style). A lot of people have been questioning their defense over the last few weeks, but I'm not one of them. (I will however question them next week if they play the Packers!) They already took care of the Chargers once this season, and the genius that is Bill Belichick now has to worry about Billy Volek and Michael Turner. I think he'll be fine.

The Chargers have been playing hot, and this is basically the same team plus Chambers that when 14-2 last year, but they've had two tough contests in the playoffs already that I think will catch up to them. Plus, I just don't think they are the team that can win in Indy and New England in back to back weeks. I'm sure Rivers, LaDain, and Gates will all end up playing, but the Patriots have a date with destiny on February 3rd, and Norv Turner isn't going to be the one to stop it.

New England 35, San Diego 20

Giants at Packers, Sunday 5:30pm Fox

Those similiarites between 96 and 07 see the Packers hosting another title game at home. Who doesn't remember Terry Bradshaw handing the NFC Championship trophy to Mike Holmgren on a cold Sunday afternoon? I don't care what kind of story the Giants are this year (Eli performing on the big stage, Coughling getting through to the boys after a rough start, rebounding without Tiki, 9-1 on the road), the inspirational Sam Mills story couldn't do it for the Panthers couldn't do it eleven years ago. I might have crossed a line just there. Not sure. No, I think I'm fine.

What I'm worried about is that almost everyone is rooting for the Packers this week, more specifically Brett Favre, to knock down New England's perfect season. And when everyone thinks something will happen, for example Pack/Cowboys and Colts/Pats, we get Giants/Pack and Chargers/Pats. I wouldn't be surprised if they have already painted Packers and Patriots in the endzones in Glendale, Arizona. And that worries me. We could just as easily end up with a Chargers/Giants matchup that pits Eli vs. Rivers as we could one that pits Favre vs. Brady.

Like last week, I was worried about the Seattle game (especially down 14-0), but I knew the Packers had the better team. The Packers don't have anything the Giants don't, and I think the Packers matchup better at every position than the Giants. Ryan Grant may have been coy on PTI this week, but there is no question he wants to do what he did last week against the Giants. Favre knows this is most likely his last shot at a ring, and he'll do whatever it takes to win this week (wait, that might be a bad thing). Much like this blog, the Packers game may not be written smoothly, but it will satisfy in the end.

Also, Uni Watch pointed out the Giants may have been the first team to ever win two road playoff games in a row in their home jerseys, and, well, they are back in white this week, and that's all the reasoning I need.

Packers 23, Giants 9

By the way, if you're going to Lambeau this week, make it twice as loud as last week. No way a team is going to beat the Packers in that environment, and I do not want to come this close to the Super Bowl and not get there. I got too many emotions riding on this game. That, and 20 bucks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Packer Links

Not much new here at Winks Thinks today. Made some changes to the blog, with a preview section on the top right of your screen. You also can email stories I put up to friends using by clicking (not clinking, thanks bro) on the envelope after a story.

I got picks coming tomorrow, although you won't be surprised who I am going to pick. How's that to get people excited? I'm in full out Packer mode right now, even though I'm having a hard time finding people that like the Packers at my work. That's what I get for moving to a city on the border of Minnesota I suppose. I will probably venture back to my native Fond du Lac for the game this weekend, it's where I watched the other three NFC Championships the Pack were in, so why not. That, and I love spending money on gas.

So if you're not a Packer fan, I'd come back tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some links to help get you jacked up for Sunday's game.

* Here's a good one to get us started. Favre's first completion.

* Too much was made of the Jessica Simpson / Tony Romo vacation. But this video has a got picture of a drunk Eli Manning, so we'll allow it.

* Speaking of Eli, WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay is pulling their broadcast of Seinfeld on Saturday night, because it's Eli's favorite show. Not a bad way to get some promotion for your station.

* 1961 NFL Championship Game: Packers 37, Giants 0

* Is there a better year to decide to quit your job in Syndey, Australia and move to Green Bay to follow the Pack? Meet the "Once in a Lifetime Fan".

* A message board on the Giants website has a thread about Packers and their celebrity look-alikes. Including A.J. Hawk as Ellen.

* And the Packer fans responded in kind.

* Don't vote Rudy Guiliani for President, simply because of this.

* Only the Fond du Lac Reporter would make this connection.

* I often thank my dad for raising me a Packer fan, I don't think this kid will be doing the same.

* I think the Brett Favre to Charlie Fyre comparisons have stopped after this year.

* My favorite part about our Super Bowl year were all the new Packer songs. Here's the latest.

That's all for now. Four days away!

Major Changes to 24?

When 24 finally returns, the season may not be 24 episodes long. Each episode would still be an hour in length (episode time, and "real-time") there would just be less of them. The details can be found here.

What do you think? I don't know if they should abandon the 24 episode format, that's the whole reason the show is called 24. But it would eliminate a lot of the garbage that shows up in a given season (you'd hope), and might be the only way we get 24 back.

That Was Quick

My Brett Favre's back and you're defense is in trouble.


Monday, January 14, 2008

My Life, the Packers

You might question me if I were to tell you that the moment I'll remember most from attending the Divisional Playoff Game between the Packers and the Seahawks started in the bathroom. And I wouldn't blame you for doing so. You see, like many of the 72,000 plus fans at Lambeau Field that day, I had been indulging myself in some of the six dollar beverages, and I was due for a bathroom break. The Packers were up by fifteen at that point, so I could afford to miss a few plays. It was on the walk back from the bathroom to my seat in section 114, row 40, that I realized the significance of just exactly where that was. I was walking back into a stadium of fans that had been on their feet for nearly three hours of football. I was walking back into a stadium where the home Packers rebounded after an ugly fourteen point deficit. I was walking back into a stadium that was completely covered in white. From the field. To the top of every fan's head. To the sky, and the millions of snowflakes falling down from it. A picturesque scene in a picturesque stadium, and I was once again a part of it all.

It's moments like this why I say the Packers are more than just a football team.

Everyone that loves sports, or even has a limited interest in them, has a favorite team. For some people it's the team they grew up watching with their dad. For others, it might be the kids that now play at their Alma mater. Some people like a team because they are good, or their favorite player is on it, or they like the colors of their uniform. Everyone has a favorite team.

But even people that have a favorite team, even people that say they are die-hards, would be in awe of the three hours that transpired at Lambeau Field in Green Bay last Saturday night. Now in Wisconsin, we have plenty of teams to choose from, plenty of teams to like. Who doesn't like the Brewers, especially as they are on the upswing? There's nothing wrong with spending a night watching some basketball with the Bucks, Badgers, Golden Eagles, Panthers, Phoenix, and the rest of great basketball that is played in college and high school gyms throughout the state. How can you not enjoy the experience of Camp Randall on a fall Saturday morning?

Somehow the Packers transcend all of that.

It's a way of life, really. Instead of talking about the weather to a stranger while making small talk, we talk about last week's game. Drive five minutes on any country road in this state, and I bet you'll find at least three mailboxes with the Packer "G" painted on it. Look in any kid's bedroom, and Packer memorabilia is sure to line the walls. Hell, I'm 23 and half my room is laden with Packer gear, everything from jerseys to pennants, to bobbleheads and tickets. Hell, there are grown men aged 40 and over that have turned their entire den into a Packer room. And it was their wife's idea.

Anyone that moves to Wisconsin can see after five minutes that people like their Packers on a whole different level. The level that people will drive to Lambeau and shovel the bleachers, just to be inside the stadium. It's the level that compels people to pay $150 dollars for the latest hat worn by Brett Favre at his press conference, and to wait in line for the Sports Illustrated that bears his photograph. It's the same level that people are so proud of this team, they don't mind wearing the 1996 NFC Central Champions hat along with their Pro Player jacket, many years after they have gone out of style. The same level where orange is the unofficial third color of the Packers. It's the same level that has someone signing up to be number 63,429 on the season ticket waiting list, even though they own stock in the team. It's just different here.

Whether it's healthy or not, it's our culture. It's the driving force that brought 72,000 plus strangers together on a Saturday afternoon to watch the surprising, yet deserving, 13-3 Packers beat the Seahawks 42-20 to advance to the NFC Championship Game, to be played right back in Lambeau Field. It's the reason we pay whatever it takes to sit cramped together on bleachers that aren't even good enough for some high school football stadiums. It's the reason we'll do it again next week.

If you're not a Packer fan, or don't live the Packer culture, it's easy to not understand why we do what we do. It's easy to hate us for doing it. It's easy to hate the media for their lovefest of Favre. It's easy to hate us for always thinking this is the year we're going to win another Super Bowl. It's easy to hate us for going a little too overboard about the Packers. But I'll never waver. I'll never give up hope. And I'll never stop believing. Because this is the team I love, the lifestyle I live, the culture I embrace.

And you can't question me for that.

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