I thought I'd be nice and tell you that we're going to be out of town for a few days, but when we come back we're going to be better than ever.
Monday night, we'll have a recap of the Packers game and the weekend that was the Milwaukee Bucks.
On Tuesday, we'll put up a photo diary of our trip to Nashville, assuming I don't break the camera (as I did last year in St. Louis).
Of course, this all hinges on if we come back alive, considering what happened last year.
See you Monday night...
Update: Just got back from Nashville, had an amazing time. I'm excited to tell you all about it, as well as talk about some of the happenings from the sports world this past weekend. But after a long day in the car, I'm going to have to grab some shut eye. Many updates coming tomorrow.
I thought I'd be nice and tell you that we're going to be out of town for a few days, but when we come back we're going to be better than ever.
Here's the deal, Aaron. We've been watching in you in the Green Room all day, and we're shocked that you haven't been drafted yet. But I, Ted Thompson, want you to know that I'm not only going to take you with the 24th pick of the 2005 draft, but I'm going to make you rich.
You're going to have to earn your money though. We're probably going to keep you on the bench for a good three years, so you can learn our system, and what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, from none other than Brett Favre. Favre's kind of a prima donna, and he's not going to be very receptive to you at first. Just weather the storm, and say the right things. It will be worth it in the long run.
We're going to make the NFC Championship Game following the 2007 season, but Favre will be exposed in that game, because it's going to be very, very cold. Ice Bowl cold. After that however, that's when things are going to get interesting.
Favre will retire. We'll then put our 100 percent support behind you. Favre will try to come back, but we'll trade him to the Jets. Here's where you come in.
All you have to do at that point is stay relatively healthy for seven games. That's it, just seven. We don't even have to be that good, a 4-3 record will suffice. That's all you have to do. Follow these instructions, and we'll extend your contact for another five years, and throw another $57 some million dollars at you. Deal?
Personally, I think this is a fantastic move. Why not sign this guy long term? Clearly he's proven he can compete at a big time NFL level, and he's only going to get better from here.
One of my biggest arguments about getting rid of Brett Favre this offseason was that if we didn't, we were probably going to piss off Rodgers so much that he would leave us. He's train and practice with us for five or six years, and then bug out of town.
Thankfully, douche bag was traded, and Rodgers is our quarterback for a long, long time!
Not sure whose book this is, I just felt like it was time for a new picture. I also felt like it was time for the return of this column, which as you know took a one week absence.
The absence was for two reasons. One, my picks have been terrible. Two, I have never received a positive comment about this column, as some of my most loyal readers admit they skip through it.
But I come to you this week with a renewed confidence. Last week, I had the total point total in my league, picking only three games wrong (Dal/TB, Jax/Cle, SF/Sea). I'm in the think of the points race with half the season remaining. I'm going to win this thing, and you're going to have the chance to go through that process with me.
Feel free to start skimming now.
This week, I'll talk you through my pick process. The first step is simple. Find out who plays Detroit and Cincinnati, and issue the points accordingly.
14 points - Chicago over Detroit
13 points - Jacksonville over Cincinnati
Following that, find some other teams that are bad, such as Seattle and Kansas City, and then look at the matchups. Seattle plays Philadelphia, and there's no way the Seahawks come out on top in that one.
12 points - Philadelphia over Seattle
I'm not as confident in the Kansas City / Tampa Bay game, so let's knock them down a few points.
9 points - Tampa over Kansas City
So now we need to find some games to assign to the 11 and 10 spots.
11 points - Atlanta over Oakland
10 points - New York Giants over Dallas
There we go. The rest of the games are pretty close, so you have to find some things to separate them apart. Brett Favre is a terrible quarterback, so this one is easy.
8 points - Buffalo over New York Jets
Now this next one is a little interesting. Apparently there is a statistic that says however the Redskins do the week before the Presidential Election determines which party wins. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party maintains office. If they lose, the challenging party takes the White House. Well, I'm an Obama guy, so....
7 points - Pittsburgh over Washington
The next one is interesting, as it's the New England / Indianapolis rivalry renewed. Granted, this year is a little different with the Colts sucking and Tom Brady hurt. The Patriots were pretty convincing last week, and the Colts haven't looked good in awhile. So I want to pick the Patriots, but I'm going with the theory that when you think you know something, you don't know anything. So let's go Colts here, at home.
6 points - Indianapolis over New England
The next four games here are a toss-up, and they are barely for any points. So let's just randomly assign points to teams.
5 points - Cleveland over Baltimore
4 points - Denver over Miami
3 points - Minnesota over Houston
2 points - St. Louis over Arizona
Or, I guess I could have just went with all the home teams.
And lastly, it's the Packers / Titans game in Nashville, which I have repeatedly mentioned I will be at this weekend. Any other week, I'd probably give a few points to the Titans, but this week I have to stay loyal to the Pack. Plus, if the outcome isn't going my way, I can always run out on the field and get arrested to disrupt the Titans momentum.
1 points - Green Bay over Tennessee
He turned down a chance to manage the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003, but now they are apparently good enough to take a job with for 2009. I'm not really holding a grudge or anything, I just think that should be known. Regardless, I think the hiring of Ken Macha is a pretty good move.
It appears as if Macha was really the guy Melvin wanted all along. Personally, I would have been happy with any of them. Bob Brenly won a World Series with the Diamondbacks, but now he'll go back to the booth at WGN. I wonder how bitter he will be in those broadcasts against the Brewers. Willie Randolph really never had a chance, but I was kind of pulling for him, if I had to pick one of them. But again, I'm alright with Macha.
Melvin wanted to offer the job to Ken Macha in 2003, but Macha was instead offered the job with the A's, as he was already their bench coach. In his four years there, he went 386-280 and reached the 2006 ALCS, after which he was promptly fired.
What do you think of the hiring? Should they have interviewed more candidates? Should Sveum have been given a chance? Was Doug Melvin's admiration for Ken Macha a little too obvious in this process?
How about the fact that Ken Macha looks eerily similar to the character of Mike Novick on 24?
Thursday means Winks Thinks, and we have another such installment for you today. Go ahead, click the link. Don't be shy. If you're unfamiliar, it's basically just 15 or so of the most random things I can think of, and somehow the guys at the Sports Bubbler allow me to post this stuff. And hey, this week I actually got a ringing endorsement from site coordinator Dan Walsh:
"Winks Thinks will be posted later this morning, I can a assure you, this one is damn good. But I'm in a bit of quandary. Some of the best jokes are about him being unemployed and living in his parents basement (all true). If he gets a job, those jokes go away. So do I hope he gets a job or keep hoping for comedy gold?"With that kind of review, how have you not already gone to check out Winks Thinks?
We all know about the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy, where teams like to foul Shaquille O'Neal because he's terrible at shooting free throws. Last year against the Suns in the playoffs, it was a strategy Spurs' Coach Gregg Popovich seemed to be quite fond of. Just recently, Shaq called it a "cowardly" move. So how does Pop respond?
If you still are one of those people that "hate" the NBA, it's time to come back on board. Too funny.
I was driving on Highway 45 this morning when I passed a billboard that was advertising $10 upper level Bucks tickets through the end of 2008. 'Man, do I love the Bucks', I thought. I realized then that maybe I came down a little too hard on my assessment of the Bucks' season opening loss against Chicago.
In that loss, I saw a lot of things I saw in the '07-'08 Bucks, when writing about them became more of a chore. They didn't shoot well, defend well, and Michael Redd continued to prove he only cared about his scoring average.
One night later, I realized I may have overreacted. Sure, a 98-87 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder doesn't really prove anything, but I was pretty impressed with their play tonight. Quick thoughts:
*Besides Bogut getting in foul trouble early again, he looked pretty good. He's definitely the glue that holds this team together.
*An even 20 points out of Redd, Jefferson, and Villaneuva. The three of them played together, and played to their strengths.
* I really like our bench. Malik Allen and Tyronn Lue serve their role. Charlie Bell works as a 6th man. Mbah a Moute might be my new favorite Buck.
Whereas last night I put too much stock into a loss, I have to be careful I'm not putting too much stock into a victory. But regardless, this was a pretty good performance by Milwaukee, and it brings optimism that more performances like this one are to come.
It looks like the Joe Dillon era is over in Milwaukee. The Brewers utility man extraordinaire was designated for assignment today in order to make room for 3B Casey MeGehee, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs.
MeGehee, 26, went .296 for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in 2008, knocking in 12 home runs and 92 RBI. You may remember him as one of the September call ups Lou Pinella used in his surrender lineup against the Brewers and the Mets. MeGehee was unable to make much of an impact in his time in The Show, however, only batting .167 during his brief stint.
With Branyan a free agent, Counsell unlikely to be retained, and Hall a major disappointment, MeGehee has about as good as a chance as anybody at seeing regular time at 3rd base for the Crew next season. By the time the season starts though I'm sure the Brewers will have figured out a better option to head into '09 with.
As for Joe Dillon, he was always a favorite of mine, but really couldn't deliver this season. Not a surprising, or frankly relevant, roster move.
With the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays tied in a crucial Game Five of the 2008 World Series, Bud Selig announced that the game would be suspended due to inclement weather. The game was heading to the bottom of the 6th inning, and when it was to resume, the Phillies would be batting with Grant Balfour on the mound.
It was a tough decision to make, but Bud made the call. You got a problem with that?
Apparently, yes. Yes, you do. Well, you personally might not, but there are a lot of people that are up in arms about the decision. Some say that the game should have been officially in the books, and the Phillies should win the World Series because five innings of the game were completed, Phillies with the lead. Bud realized the possibility of this before it even happened, and said that no World Series game should ever be called after less than nine innings. How can anyone disagree with that?
What's surprising me is how many people agree with the decision to suspend the game, but disagree about when the decision was made. Some say the game went on too long, others say that it should have been called as early as the 3rd inning.
Look, this is a circumstance that has never happened before in baseball's history. No World Series game has ever been suspended for a day, much less for two days. But that's what happened this season, and instead of going back to Tampa tonight for a Game Six, we're going to play 2 1/2 innings (at least) of baseball in Philly.
It's the decision that was made, but it's still unacceptable to many. And why is that, exactly?
Because Bud Selig made the call.
No matter what the decision, people always find a way to criticize the moves Bud Selig is making. The guy just never seems to get a break. I say that he could very well be the best commissioner of a major American sport. Maybe not, but it certainly is up for debate. Yet, everyone just loves to come down on the guy.
Is it because of the All-Star game tie in Milwaukee in 2001? Is it because steroids became popular in the mid-1990s, and ruined the integrity of the game? Is it because baseball was forced to strike in 1994? Or is it because the sport was embarrassed with possible contraction towards the turn of the century?
Sure, those were some tough times for baseball, but I'd like to argue that the criticism given to each and every one of those cases is overblown. Well, except for the strike, that was terrible.
I know it sucks that our favorite heroes used steroids and mashed home run after home run, but it brought me back into the game after the strike. And I know I'm not the only one. So that's a grey area.
Contraction? Sorry to the fans in Minnesota and Montreal about your hurt feelings. But baseball was going through some difficult times both financially, and in terms of on field quality. The discussion of contraction eventually lead to increased revenue sharing, and has improved the product of baseball.
The All-Star Game tie? I love that the All-Star game actually counts for something now, I do. But seriously, declaring the All-Star game a tie should not be a reason for us to hate Bud. The game went 11 innings, it was enjoyable, and Selig did what was in the best interest of his players. What's so wrong about calling it after 11 entertaining innings? I guarantee nobody would remember who even won that game, if there was actually a winner.
This is the man that gave us the Wild Card, inter league play, and the World Baseball Classic. He's been constantly helping to revolutionize the game, and keep it competitive. He's also been responsible for keeping the fan interest alive, at a time when the NFL has become the favorite sport of Americans.
He's a guy that loves baseball, and works everyday to ensure it's success.
So when a World Series game is suspended because of something beyond any of our control, as in the weather, what is this guy supposed to do? He was put in a position to make a decision, and I believe he made the right one. Some agree with it, some don't. But there are way too many people to disagree with it solely because it was the decision of one Allan H. Bud Selig.
I say, enough is enough. Forty thousand people rose to their feet when Bud Selig threw out the first pitch before Game Four of the NLDS in Milwaukee, and gave him a standing ovation. Those forty thousand people realized the hard work and commitment that our commish has given us after all these years. Sure, there were hard times, but there have also been a lot of good times. Baseball is a better game because of Bud Selig, and we realized that.
If only the rest of you could do the same.
Opening the season on the road, still playing in preseason form, the first night on the floor with an entirely new cast of teammates. These are all more logical reasons for the Bucks struggles tonight than that of my proposed Failed Live Blog curse. No matter what the reason, the Bulls were too much for Milwaukee tonight, as the Bucks lost 108-95.
It was close until about the middle of the 3rd quarter, when Andrew Bogut had to head to the bunch after his 4th foul. Chicago took advantage of the Bucks bench, and knocked in a few 3-pointers to pull away. As far as the stats go, Redd scored 30, Richard Jefferson added 15, and Malik Allen came off the bench with 10.
I was actually fairly confident that the Bucks would come out victorious tonight, but clearly that wasn't the case. They didn't play too bad in the first half, but started getting sloppy in the fourth quarter. There were bad turnovers, bad defense, and bad shots.
Ultimately, I'm not too concerned about it. It's an 82-game season. The Bucks play their first 20 out of 33 on the road, so it's going to be tough. We're only returning six guys from the roster last season. There will be growing pains, but by the end of the year, I think this team will really start to show what kind of team it can be.
Unfortunately, I don't think that will be happening within the first couple of months, and games like tonight's will be about as frequent as they were last year.
Prove me wrong, Bucks!
Well, we ended the live blog a little early. We couldn't make it past the first half. Next time, I will make sure to advertise it days in advance. I'll keep the blog up if you want to read through it. If you want to save time though, this pretty much sums up what you missed:
With less than 24 hours to go until the Bucks regular season opener, they have decided to made a slight tweak to the roster. Forward Adrian Griffin has been placed on waivers, while forward Austin Croshere has been claimed from them. Croshere is an 11-year veteran, with nine years in Indiana, one year in Dallas, and most recently a year with Golden State.
I don't really know much about Croshere, quite honestly. To me, he's always just been a guy I picked up when I was in a fantasy basketball pinch. I wasn't even 100% sure he was white until I found his picture a few short moments ago. But it's not a bad move for the Bucks. Griffin wasn't going to contribute much anyway, and Croshere is likely to see a fair amount of minutes.
This keeps the Bucks roster at 15, including Damon Jones who will not suit up for Milwaukee this year. There was some speculation Jones could have been traded by now, as the Bucks were liking what they saw out of forward Matt Freije. But Freije was placed on waivers last week, so the count is still 14 plus Damon Jones.
The Bucks will open their 08-09 campaign tonight in Chicago at 7:30pm.
Each week, the CBS affiliates in Wisconsin are given the choice of which game they would like to broadcast, assuming they don't already have the Packers game at that time. It's no surprise that when given the chance, they often pick Brett Favre and the Jets.
Now, there is still a large pocket of fans in this state that blame Thompson and McCarthy for everything that happened this summer. If you're still in that camp by now, well then there is really no chance of changing your opinion. But there are also a large contingent of fans that watch these games for a different reason. Sort of the reason why you watch a hockey game for the fights, or an air show for the possibly of a plane crash.
Personally, I watch these games hoping for a disaster. I want to see Favre throw three, near four, interceptions to a team as bad as the Kansas City Chiefs. I want to hear the boo birds rain down upon Favre from the highest levels of the Meadowlands. I want to see the classic shot of Favre on the sidelines, wondering how the ball he threw up for grabs could have possibly been intercepted.
I guess I've never been one to get over things quickly.
Favre's Called Out by Media, Not by Own Family
His terrible performance wasn't just noted by jaded fans of his. Boomer Esiason recently called Favre out for being "horrendous" in his performance against Kansas City. Per Boomer, Favre was “completely just throwing the ball up and hoping" someone would catch it. And if Laveranues Coles had made one of the best catches you'll see this season, the Jets would be 3-4, losing to the Raiders and Chiefs in consecutive weeks.
One website that won't be calling out Brett Favre anytime soon is the one entitled "The Family of Favre". The site is supposed to include entries from everyone in the Favre family, but is mainly run by daughter Brittany. That was, until Deanna chimed in with some thoughts of her own, regarding the recent phone call he had with Matt Millen:
Lately, my heart has been so heavy. It is very hard to watch the daily toll this has taken on Brett... First and foremost, I am his defender when people tear him down. Thus, each word and accusation weigh down on me like a ton of bricks, because I know the truth behind the rumors. My first instinct is to fight for him—for his character, his peace and his reputation. At the end of the day, I am not just Brett’s wife, I am his biggest fan.
The rest of this surprisingly poorly-written "please stop being mean to my husband" rant can be found here. I'd rip on this situation more, but frankly, I think I've already crossed the asshole line. That, and I could only imagine what it would be like to have a woman defend me like that.
And unfortunately, Brett has yet to contribute to the blog.
We're officially one day away from the start of the Bucks season, and nobody really knows what to expect. When we last talked, Andrew Bogut was deemed the winner of Bucks Survivor, and we were bracing for the changes to be made by the new John Hammond regime.
Hammond played a little Survivor of his own, kicking off all but six members from last year's roster. Entering the fold are guys like Richard Jefferson, Coach Scott Skiles, Joe Alexander, and Luke Ridnour. It's going to take a little while for this team to gel and find out how to play together, and the preseason indicated.
Are the Bucks are a better team than last year? Well, it would be hard not to be. But are they a playoff team? I think they can be, but it wouldn't be any higher than a 6 or 7 seed in the East. If I had to bet my life savings on it (the embarrassing amount that it is), I would probably bet against the Bucks making the playoffs. But they will definitely be a better team, and will definitely be more fun to watch.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, The Bratwurst says we should expect something around 38 wins. Brewhoop says the Bucks will end the season with a 38-45 mark. Over at ESPN.com, only Ric Bucher has the Bucks making the playoffs.
But, of course, these are all predictions. Because until tomorrow night, every team is 0-0. Every team has a legitimate chance and making something happen and putting together a run in the playoffs. Except for maybe the Thunder.
Here's whats on tap for the Bucks this week, as they kick-start the 08-09 season:
Tues Oct 28th - 7:30pm - @ Chicago (FSN Wisconsin)
Wed Oct 29th - 7:00pm - @ Oklahoma City (FSN Wisconsin)
Sat Nov 1st - 7:30pm - vs. Toronto (FSN Wisconsin)
Sun Nov 2nd - 5:00pm - @ New York (NBA.tv)
Today is one of those days when you have to be thankful such a thing like fantasy football exists.
The weekend always has a different feel to it when the Packers don't play until primetime on either Sunday or Morning, but the world feels completely different when the Packers don't even show up on the schedule for the week. Instead of getting all dressed up in my Mike Sherman sweater-vest anticipating the game with a handful of my buddies, I'm sitting here in a Tampa Bay Mutiny jersey with Bear as we watch our laptops more than we watch the games.
Here's our game lineup for today, as we only get four games per week because we have cable. We have the Bucs/Cowboys game on FOX, which for some reason just doesn't excite me. We could flip over to the Jets/Chiefs game on CBS, but I'm still not really in a mood to watch Favre. Giants/Steelers is really all we have to look forward to today, especially with no Sunday night game because of the World Series.
Not to fuel the beast that is the Jimmy Kimmel commercials, but maybe it is time we upgrade to DirecTV. That way, I could watch my risky fantasy start of Matt Ryan take on the Eagles. I could watch upstart teams like the Bills or the Cardinals try to maintain their momentum. Or I could watch the Chargers/Saints game from London, which was really the only game I wanted to watch today.
To bring up Bear again, we had an interesting conversation the other day. I was telling him how I wanted to watch the London game simply for the reason that it's being played in London. Bonus that the game is a matchup between two teams that desperately need to win, but I wouldn't care who was playing, I just want to watch a game that's being played on a different continent.
I like seeing the big game feel in a week eight game. I want to listen to the crowd, and hear who they end up getting behind. I want to see all those random shots of the fans wearing any type of NFL merchandise they could scrounge up. But no, all of us Cheeseheads are still so in love with Favre that the TV stations here put in special requests to watch Jets games. On the contrary, if it was the Jets/Chiefs game being played in London, well then either way I'd probably want to watch that.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that all these things I am complaining about would be so irrelevant if the Packers were on this week.
They looked like they were contenders for the National Championship at the beginning of the season, now they're just hoping to squeeze out enough victories to make it to a bowl game. They got a little bit closer today, with a 27-17 victory over Illinois.
It wasn't pretty, but the Badgers were able to deliver in front of the homecoming crowd. It was the Dustin Scherer and David Gilreath combo that delivered two touchdowns, while Scherer took one in on a 15 yard scamper.
You know, the Badgers will always be a big deal in this state, and it will be a long time before you don't see Camp Randall full of diehard fans. And win or lose, fans in Badger gear will still be filling up the Church Key on Saturday nights. But even so, it seems like everyone has kind of just accepted this season as a bust, and we're hoping for whatever ESPN bowl week game we can get.
So let's continue to wake up late on Saturdays and check the score in between our leave raking, and look forward to the night in December while the Badger game plays in the background at whatever bar we're at.
Anyone who follows soccer in this country knows the voice of one Jack Edwards. The play-by-play man used to be the voice of U.S. Soccer, as well as the MLS. He was known for his ridiculous over-the-top calls, as he tried to constantly come up with the signature call for American soccer, ala Al Michaels to hockey.
Example: "Mine eyes have seen thy glory!" was the call when the U.S. upset Portugal in the 2002 World Cup. That line is taken from the song "Battle Hymn of the Republic", which I would not have known if it weren't for Wikipedia.
But he has long been replaced, leaving many soccer fans to wonder just exactly what happened to our old friend.
I don't watch hockey, like, ever, so I had no idea that's where he went. He's currently calling Boston Bruins games on NESN, and it is probably a good fit for him. To be honest, this whole little thing about Jack Edwards is just an excuse for me to post this video courtesy of Awful Announcing. It was during his broadcast that this glass shattering takedown happened.
Jack Zduriencik. I'm sure by now most of you know who he is, even if you don't know how to pronounce his last name. That's ok, I can't either. The Brewers scouting director is no longer with the club, as he as accepted the GM job with the Seattle Mariners.
This is a major loss for the Brewers, as Jack was Doug's go-to guy when it came not only to scouting, but to other matters as well. This guy clearly knows baseball inside and out, and should be a great signing for the Mariners. Under his direction, they're likely to improve over last year immediately, but that's not saying much. Haudricourt has more on the story.
In other Brewers news, Doug has interviewed Ken Macha, Willie Randolph, and soon to be Bob Brenly. He may stop at those three. The man he passed over, Dale Sveum, might also come back as a coach.
It's Thursday, which means only one thing. Besides the start of the WIAA Boys Soccer Playoffs, of course. Another edition of Winks Thinks has been posted at The Daily Drink, which you can check out here.
While you're over there, I'd also recommending checking out the blog Railbird Central. It's a Packers blog written by Brian Carriveau, who I just found out is a teacher at Fond du Lac High School. Along with Dan Walsh from the SportsBubbler, I had the chance to speak to his class about broadcast journalism. Which is odd, since I am no longer in broadcasting. Just another friendly stop along Unemployment Tour '08.
But yeah, go read the thing I wrote.
So Favre spoke about the whole phone call to Matt Millen situation, and ESPN finally reported it. It's been interesting how the whole ESPN vs. Jay Glazer thing has almost become bigger than the Favre story itself.
Yesterday was one of the few post-less days here at The Bucky Channel, partly because of this story. It was a slow news day on Tuesday, but I had a post written up about the latest developments in the new Favre saga. But this new episode felt a lot like the last one, and I just didn't feel like writing too much about it.
Thankfully, others have. And quite well. Over at the SportsBubbler, the Daily Drink does a nice job of gathering some of the reports throughout the blogosphere. On the same site, Pickled Sports says ESPN's image is just as tarnished as Favre's. Awful Announcing, who supplied us the above video, gives us the audio of how Dan Le Betard is supporting Jay Glazer.
Lots of good stuff there, I'd suggest checking it out if you can't get enough of this. As for my thoughts, well, it's going to be awhile before I allow myself to like this guy again. Whether it went down the way Jay Glazer say did it or not, the fact that this is even an issue says enough about who Brett Favre really is.
Curt Menefee doesn't call him the hardest working man in the business for nothing, but now Jay Glazer is feeling some heat for his allegations that Favre gave the Detroit Lions some insider information to prepare for the Packers. Glazer is standing by his report "1000%", and is not backing down from the story.
What really bothers me about this story isn't even that Favre is likely a traitor. It's that everyone is coming down on Glazer for reporting something negative about Favre. Peter King has basically taken Favre's side on this one, and ESPN isn't even touching the story. Not one mention of this story anywhere on ESPN.com. That's my biggest problem with ESPN, is that if they don't break the story, then it's not really a story.
Anyway, Glazer defended his report today on the Jim Rome show on Monday. Glazer gave out a lot of telling information, including the Packers knowledge of Favre talking to another unnamed team, how the Cowboys wanted Favre to mind his own business, and the reason why Glazer didn't call Favre himself. Of all the things he said, I think this is the most telling:
""I talked to some players (on the Jets), players and coaches. I asked them a couple of weeks ago and they said, 'It wouldn't surprise us.' I said, 'No?' They said, 'No. He is so...he needs to let it go. He is still very upset about this.' They were pretty adamant about his displeasure with the Green Bay Packers."
I gotta say, I'm siding with Glazer on this one. I just don't feel he'd put his credibility on the line for a story about Brett Favre. Favre has proven time and time again not to take everything he says at face value (Remember, him coming out of retirement was just a rumor).
Greg A. Bedard of the Journal Sentinel does a good job of highlighting some of the best parts of the Glazer/Rome interview, and also provides a link to the interview. Our friends over at Stock Lemon have a little more humorous take on the situation.
In retrospect, I'm a little surprised about how little I've written about soccer since I created this site. I watch it, coach it, play it, ref it, but it never shows up on the site. For that, you're welcome. But I couldn't resist posting this goal I found via the SportsBubbler's Daily Drink.
The 81-yard goal was scored by Danny Cepero of the New York Red Bulls in their 3-1 victory of the Columbus Crew on Saturday. It was Cepero's MLS debut, and there's really no better way to enter the league than scoring the first goal by a keeper in league history.
When I was fit enough to play soccer, I was spent the majority of my time between the pipes as a goaltender. My leg was anything but powerful enough to score from 80 yards out, much less to punt it to half field.
I have, however, been scored on in ways just as embarrassing as the way Columbus's Andy Gruenebaum was the other night. I've been scored on from a kickoff. I've been scored on as a ball bounced over my head, not unlike in the clip you just saw. And my attempts at saving the ball by punching it away from the net were so atrocious, it turned into it's own dance at my high school prom.
So yeah, I'm feeling a little bit for Andy Greunebaum right now.
What can you say about this one? To put it simply, this was just awesome. It wasn't the most perfect performance, of course, but it was pretty darn impressive. And what better way to celebrate a convincing victory against the Colts than with a Bucky Five!
5. The Favre Distraction
Well, it looks like Favre probably didn't spend anytime on the phone with Tony Dungy and his staff last week. I know this really isn't game-related, but it's definitely worth mentioning. By know you about Favre and his possible collusion with the Detroit Lions. Favre says it was "total B.S.", which doesn't really do it for me, but a lot of bonehead Favre fans take that as case closed. But the Lions coached ducked and ran from questions about the matter, and apparently no Jets reporters had the balls to ask Favre after the game. The Packers had some pretty choice words for him, however. Either way, it's just another crazy wrinkle in the whole Favre mess.
4. Were Those Really the Colts?
Even with the Favre news breaking, that should not be the main story of this sports day. Clearly, it's the way the Packers completely destroyed and the manhandled the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton Manning looked absolutely terrible, and the Colts as a whole just looked uninspiring. I'm still not sure just how good this Packer team really can be, but with performances like this they should have no time getting into the playoffs, and making a real run at the Super Bowl.
3. Rodgers Continuing to Shine
Rodgers was 21 for 28 with 186 yards and a touchdown. Those might not be numbers that shoot off the screen, but it was another impressive performance by the QB. Rodgers just plays with such poise and confidence, it's easy to see why the Packers were ready to go ahead with him as their guy. It must have been so hard for Rodgers to deal with all the distractions throughout training camp, just waiting for the time he could finally just prove himself on the field. He's doing that now, and it was well worth the wait.
2. Was That Really Ryan Grant?
Now this is the Ryan Grant we've been waiting to see. Grant's average was only 3.4 yards per carry, but he ran much more effectively than he has all season. Not only did he score his first touchdown of the year, he also had his first 100 yard game of the season. The Packers need both their air attack and their ground game to be on if they're going to go anywhere. Today was a good start.
1. The Defense Seals It Again
I'm starting to like this little formula the Packers have set up here. Take the lead, and seal it with defensive touchdowns late in the game. Today's TDs were courtesy of Nick Collins and Aaron Rouse, which now makes it five interception returns for touchdowns on the season (I think). Some of this can be attributed to a big change the Packers have employed this season, where they put a safety over the top of the other team's best receiver.
Overall, a big victory as the team is now 4-3 heading into the bye week, and first in the NFC North. Their next game is in two weeks against Tennessee, and we're making the trip down to Nashville for the game. Not sure why that's relevant for you, but I'm pretty excited about it.
I couldn't even make this stuff up if I tried.
I mean if I really, really tried.
Even if I tried to think of the most outlandish situation regarding Brett Favre and the Packers, I would have never come up with this.
Per FOX's Jay Glazer, Brett Favre helped the Lions prepare for the Packers before their week two game.
Favre spent 60-to-90 minutes before the Week Two game between the Lions and the Packers educating the Detroit coaching staff regarding the Packers’ offensive strategies.
Glazer says that Favre initially called former CEO Matt Millen, who then put Favre in touch with the coaches. In our view, Brett’s legacy with the Packers has officially been forever stained, if not completely destroyed – unless Favre immediately denies the report, and unless people believe it.
Like the guys at JSOnline, I'm going to reserve judgment until the know the whole story. But if this is even close to true, then that's it. I'm done with Favre.
Yeah, I've been talking a lot of shit about Brett Favre ever since he retired, tried to unretire, moaned to some random chick on FOX News, and then was traded to the Jets. But through this whole process, I've admitted that I will eventually feel the same admiration for Favre as I have throughout my childhood.
Also, since Favre seems to be on a mission to destroy the Packers, I'm now 100% convinced that he will not officially retire until he suits up for the Vikings and beats Green Bay.
Seriously, Favre. What the hell is wrong with you?
I was called out last week for being a fair-weather Packers fan, even though the person that did said calling out was completely wrong. Through thick and thin I have followed that team, and they are just as much "mine" as they are "his". And when they are struggling, I continue to write about them on this blog, and watch them every week.
I do the same with the Brewers, as you have witnessed this season when they struggled. Heck, I continually wrote about and watched the Bucks when they sucked last year, without giving it a second thought. Should the Badger basketball team struggle this year, I'll probably be there through the rough times too.
But for some reason, I just don't care that the Badgers lost 38-16 to Iowa today. I don't care that they lost their 4th game in a row, all in the Big Ten. I didn't watch a second of today's game - I had a prior commitment - but I'm not going to seek out the highlights anytime soon.
Maybe it's how college football is set up. Maybe it's that I can't throw my weight behind two football teams at once. Maybe I just don't feel attached to the team in a way I think I should.
All of those reasons are true, but only a part of the story. I am a fair-weather Badgers football fan. I only watch them when they are undefeated or have a chance at the Big Ten title. When I go to games, it's not to watch the football, it's to get drunk at house parties.
I can't believe I didn't realize this sooner.
(If you are a true Badger fan, bless your heart. You can find more analysis, video, and chat on the message boards via our good friends at the SportsBubbler.)
These picks have started to become notoriously bad, and I've come to accept that. I'm a good sixty some points behind the leader of the group, and it's going to take a few big weeks for me to catch up. So do I go with the strategery of throwing big points on upsets, hoping to shoot up the standings? Or does slow and steady win the race?
1 point - Cleveland over Washington
Well, this is one of those upsets. However, I'm only putting one point on the affair. I really am buying into these Browns after their win against the Giants. This is more of a game I think the Browns will win, rather than the Redskins will lose. Know what I'm saying? That, and I have to rely on the Derek Anderson / Jamal Lewis fantasy combo this weekend.
2 points - San Diego over Buffalo
I'm still high on the Bills bandwagon, even though that means I now have something in common with Chris Berman. Ugh. But I still think the Chargers are going to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, so I'm picking them this week.
3 points - Miami over Baltimore
Baltimore started 2-0, and haven't won since. Miami has an a very interesting season, to say the least. To be honest, this pick has nothing to do with how good these teams are. I just like Miami colors better. (I'm joking!.... kind of).
4 points - Indianapolis over Green Bay
I actually think the Packers are going to win this game. Why did I pick this?
4 points - Green Bay over Indianapolis
There we go.
5 points - Denver over New England
Man, I was a believer in Matt Cassel for awhile. But it doesn't look like they are going anywhere with him.
6 points - Houston over Detroit
I'm probably going to kick myself later for not putting more points on Houston in this one.
7 points - Dallas over St. Louis
I originally had St. Louis winning this game, putting them at one point. But then I thought how everyone is seemingly picking this as a could-be upset, so I went with Dallas. Then again, I used that same strategy last week, and the Cardinals upset Dallas as I picked the Cowboys. Either way, that game last week was awesome.
8 points - New York Jets over Oakland
Remember when I said I wasn't going to pick the Jets at all this year because of Brett Favre? Well, if Barack Obama can change his stance on public financing, I can change my stance on the Jets (apology for the random and slightly awkward political reference).
9 points - Chicago over Minnesota
Winner takes the lead in the NFC North, along with the Packers of course! You know, this game will be on TV, and I probably won't watch much of it. I never enjoy watching Bears and Vikings games. Not only do I hate both of the teams, but their games always find a way to bore me to death.
10 points - New Orleans over Carolina
The Saints came through last week when I put big points on them. I probably shouldn't put this many points on them this week, against the Panthers, but I'm feeling good about this game and I need to jump up in the standings.
11 points - Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
For all of Pittsburgh's problems, they are going to look unstoppable this week. I'm not sure the Bengals win a game all season, quite honestly.
12 points - New York Giants over San Francisco
Hey, both New York teams play a team from the Bay. That's cool, right?
13 points - Tennessee over Kansas City
This has trap game written all over it.
14 points - Tampa Bay over Seattle
Because I need some sort of reason to be interested in Sunday Night Football this week.
The moustache has spoken.
Even though Dale Sveum may have saved Doug Melvin's job by leading the Brewers into the postseason, Melvin has decided not to invite Sveum back as the manager for 2009 and beyond. Melvin has this power because he was just given an extension through the 2012 season.
Sveum, as you would expect, was crushed by the news, going on to say his "heart was ripped out". That's just painful to type. I really do feel for the guy, as he was given his dream job with the team he loved playing for. Ultimately though, Doug wanted to find someone with more experience and success at the big league level, and I don't really blame him.
I've often said that Ned Yost was the perfect manager to bring the young group of Brewers and transition them into big league ballplayers. But I also said that Ned Yost was not the right manager that would lead us into the playoffs. Turns out, Dale Sveum was the manager that would get us to the dance, but Doug decided he's not the guy that's going to make us stay competitive.
While sixteen games is a small sample size to measure the merits of a man, I tend to agree with Doug. He already once attached himself to an unproven, stubborn manager. Why do the same thing again, especially now that the young Brewers are finally beginning to reach their full potential? (Minus one Corey Hart, that is).
So where does Doug go from here? Many names have been thrown out there, and apparently, it's because managers are contacting the Brewers. That's a good thing. Personally, I'd like to see Bobby Valentine come back from whatever he's doing in Japan and lead this ballclub. More likely though would be guys like Bob Brenly, Ken Macha, and Buck Showalter. For some reason, I feel like Willie Randolph could be heavily considered.
So for the second time in a month, the Brewers have relieved their manager of their duties, and it's up to Doug and his moustache to fill the void.
Always trust The Moustache.
Remember when those pictures of Matt Leinart at a drinking party came out, and the whole sports world was up in arms about the invasion of an athlete's privacy? I really didn't have a problem with those pics, because in my opinion, I don't really care if Matt Leinart gets drunk or not.
So when I heard about the video of Aaron Rodgers dancing at a Rascal Flatts concert, I hesitated about posting it or not. And trust me, I know that dancing at a concert and doing beer bongs are completely different things, but in both cases I wonder about the relevance. Again, I know that Rodgers dancing and Leinart drinking are so unrelated, it's just how important is this?
One of the reasons I didn't like working as a member of the media is because I felt there were too many occasions in which I felt like we were forcing ourselves into people's lives without invitation. I feel like whenever there is any video of an athlete doing something stupid, most people in the blogosphere are the same way, grasping at the chance to post the embarrassing video.
I realize that I am coming off like I am taking myself too seriously, and I understand that. But fact is, I'm not going to get picked up by sites like Deadspin if I write a good article. But if I find video of an athlete messing up, the link will be posted and the hits will come my way.
So spare the comments about me sounding like I am better than the blogosphere, for I am not. Just enjoy the video.
(via ON MILWAUKEE)
He's suited up for the Patriots, Jets, and the Chiefs since he first came into the league in 1995. Could the Packers be next?
Even though cornerback Ty Law has only been contacted by the Dolphins for his services as of late, Law has expressed he's really just interested in playing for a contender. By name he's specifically mentioned the Packers and the Cowboys.
Both teams could use him. The Cowboys just lost Adam Jones to suspension, and the Packers are dealing with a host of injuries in their secondary. Although, both Al Harris and Atari Bigby have suited up to practice this week.
I'd have no problem signing a guy like Ty Law for the remainder of the season, but then again I'm always up for signing veterans past their prime.
Maybe that's the real reason I like the Tampa Bay Rays. Remember the year when they had Bobby Bonilla, Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, and Fred McGriff when they were all past their prime. Not to mention Wade Boggs.
Anyway, Ty Law is interested in playing for the Packers.
Look at that, a new logo and everything. The fourth installment of Winks Thinks is out over at the Daily Drink, here's the link. That's not an actual picture of me, but it's a lot closer than I'd like it to be.
On Wednesday I received an e-mail from the guys that brought us BringBackBrettFavre.com, so you can imagine my hesitation to even look at what was sent. Now, I'm not sure if those same two guys are the ones behind this little masterpiece or not, but either way, it's a pretty terrible idea. For the low one-time cost of only $19.95, you can join the United Sports Fans of America.
They sent me a video, which not surprisingly doesn't work, but here's what this little thing is supposedly all about, per the e-mail:
The players association was created to represent the players and their concerns as a whole. The best interest of the players is always considered due to the representation of their respected organization. The owners have the collective bargaining agreement to represent the best interest of every team owner.
Being organized and having their best interest represented as a group of owners they are able to accomplish and overcome obstacles that alone in most cases would be impossible.
If the players and owners in sports are smart enough to realize that it takes everyone being organized and issues being addressed collectively in order to be heard why haven't we the sports fans created our organization to do the same?
There's more on their website, but basically all it really says is "You like sports? Give us 20 bucks!" Apparently, your donation makes you a lifetime member, no matter what. And you get some sort of certificate. The money you spend will also go towards advertising and marketing, website development, and other "expenses".
Expenses. Our organization will collaborate and at times confront various organizations. This will require our organization to employ professionals in various industries; and incur additional expenses necessary to achieve the goals of USFOA.org.
That, or they'll see how long they can get people to send this money, and then the site will mysteriously disappear in a few weeks.
Avoid this at all costs.
Sure, the Packers probably need help elsewhere, but when Tony Gonzalez is on the market, YOU TRADE FOR TONY GONZALEZ! This is the one area where I disagree with Ted Thompson, is his inability to make the big trade (well, that, and his joke of an offensive line).
Apparently, the Chiefs were willing to give up Gonzo for a second-rounder, and Gonzalez said that he would indeed play for the Packers. But, the highest Ted Thompson would go in the discussions was for a third-rounder, and the Chiefs called his bluff.
So many things wrong with this. One, Thompson overvalues draft picks more than anybody in the league, so no other G.M. sees things the way TT does.
Two, you only offered a fourth rounder for Moss, one of the most explosive players in the game (minus last weekend), but you'd give up the third rounder for a tight end?
Third, as much as I hate to admit it, the Jets are probably going to make the playoffs this year, so we'll be getting another high draft pick there.
Four, Donald Lee. Tory Humphrey. Jermichael Finley. I like all three of these guys, but THEY ARE NO TONY GONZALEZ.
We've passed up on Moss, mistake. We passed up on Michael Turner. Bigger mistake. And now Tony Gonzalez.
I'm actually kind of mad about this one.
UPDATE: Maybe I was a little hard on Ted. Apparently, the Packers thought they did indeed have a deal in place for Gonzalez, before Carl Peterson decided to pull a fast one. Lame.
Job interviews are not a calming process for anybody. Believe me, I know. But that's what Dale Sveum is going through right now as Doug Melvin is in Phoenix interviewing Dale Sveum for the managerial gig.
Now, I would hate if there were people criticizing and speculating about my current job prospects, but nobody out there is writing a passionate blog about my life. So, let's ask the question. Should the next manager of the Milwaukee Brewers be Dale Sveum?
Technically, Sveum was the manager that led the Brewers to their first playoff berth since 1982, even if Ned Yost got them into the home stretch. That has to count for something. But he went 8-8 overall in his tenure, and wouldn't have reached the playoffs if the Mets did completely collapse.
Sveum also received a great deal of criticism in his short tenure, including leading-off Mike Cameron, and starting Jeff Suppan in game four. But he did do a lot right, especially when it came to managing the bullpen.
There are two schools of thought as to where the Brewers should go from here. If you're in support of keeping Sveum, it's because he's already familiar with the team, and there is a comfort level there. The players have already said they want him back, so why not, right?
But there are others that think Sveum is maybe too comfortable, and almost just as stubborn as Yost. These are the people suggesting the Brewers get a veteran manager (ala a Willie Randolph type) that won't make decisions based on personal relationships.
Which school of thought are you in? Please leave a response in the comments, this could be a worthwhile discussion. And since none of you responded to my "Your Turn" suggestion about how it felt to have the Brewers make the playoffs, this is the least you could do.
Personally, I'm not 100% sure hiring Dale Sveum is the right call. In the end though, I think he's earned the chance.
Now if only employers felt the same way about me.
Before I wanted to do this post, I looked all over the internet and back looking for a picture of what has been dubbed "The Handshake". Thanks to Jim Biever at Packers.com for coming through as usual, less thanks to this guy named Daniel Packer who blogged about actually giving handshakes himself.
So we found the picture, but what does the handshake actually mean? Cheesehead TV says they noticed Woodson doing the handshake after his interception in the Detroit, and it has continued ever since. Some speculate that it's the Packers way of making fun of how strict the NFL is getting when it comes to celebrations.
Personally, I like safety Charlie Peprah's answer: "It was a business trip so we had business-like handshakes."
If there was one thing that could top the Brewers' un-tucking their shirts in honor of Mike Cameron's father on the yet-to-be-made Awesome Scale, I think "The Handshake" might be it.
After a surprising loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field last weekend, I had asked if the Packers might actually be bad. The team had looked good at the beginning of the season, but then dropped three straight games, two of those at home. I know I wasn't the only one wondering if this team maybe wasn't cut out to be a playoff contender.
Now, a week later, I'm a little more optimistic. Not to say I was ever worried, as it was only five weeks into a very young NFL season. The Packers righted the ship on Sunday, beating Seattle 27-17, and this team is starting to play like the team I thought it was. And this season is starting to come a little more into focus.
It wasn't exactly easy, however. When you're down 10-3 to the Charlie Frye-led Seahawks (or any team led by Charlie Frye, for that matter), you need to take a step back and think about where you want to go as a football team. And this Packers team wasn't going to let another game slip away.
Aaron Rodgers once again was the difference maker for the Packers, tying the game at 10-10 with another QB sneak for a touchdown. Rodgers must have a rushing touchdown incentive clause in his contract or something, because he is piling them on.
After half-time, it was Rodgers by air that put the Packers out in front. He threw an absolute perfectly placed ball to Greg Jennings who went in for the 45 yard touchdown score. A John Kuhn one yard TD pass (as you see above) then assured the Packers a victory.
So what do we take away from this game? Well, Rodgers is a stud, and anyone who doesn't think that by now is lying to themselves. Sure, Brett Favre has the Jets at 3-2, and I give him all the credit in the world for that, I really do. But Rodgers has been showing the leadership, as well as the talent, to be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. If he hasn't won you over by now, well then you're just being stubborn.
In addition, the defense looked better, especially the defensive line. Elsewhere on defense, Charles Woodson's legend in Green Bay is growing. As far as the running game, well, Ryan Grant finally remembered how to use the offensive line to his advantage. And the backups that are filling in for those who are out with injuries are starting to really step up.
The Packers are 3-3, which isn't quite what I was hoping for after six weeks. But we are in front in the NFC North. What a great division to be in, right? The Vikings are an annual over-hyped affair, the Bears are the most inconsistent team in the league, and the Lions really haven't been competitive at any point in their history. Whoever wins the division will probably be able to do it at 9-7, and with four more games against NFC North opponents, that should be an easy task for the Green and Gold.
Also, our loss to the Falcons might not look that bad. They beat the Bears this weekend, improving to 4-2. That's the same record as the other two teams that beat us, Tampa Bay at Dallas. The Packers lose to winning teams, and beat losing teams. That's not the most ideal way to get to the playoffs, but as I said, this is the NFC North.
So at 3-3, I'm feeling alright about this team. They played well enough to be a team they needed to beat, no matter how hard Jon Ryan was trying to kick the ball as revenge against Ted Thompson. The Packers will play their first affair against an AFC opponent next weekend as they host the Indianapolis Colts, who are finally hitting their stride.
How do I feel about that game? I'm not sure just yet, but either way, it really doesn't matter. I still don't feel the Packers have hit their stride, and even if it takes awhile yet, it's not a big deal.
Because even though the Packers might not be that good, they're still the best the NFC North has to offer.
The TBS studio team was doing such a fine job so far this postseason. Insightful, humorous, a real pleasure to watch. Much better than the Jeanne Zelasko show over on Fox. That was until this happened...
Baseball Coverage Takes An Ugly, Off-Key Turn (Deadspin)
Before this season, I had a hard time remembering the last time the Badgers even lost at Camp Randall. No way in hell can I remember the last time the Badgers lost as bad at home as they did Saturday night to Penn State. The Badgers were really never in this one, as Penn State rolled over Wisconsin 48-7.
Penn State is for real, ladies and gentlemen, as they are now the number three team in the country. The Badgers, who were hanging on at #24 in the polls, are nowhere near from the ranking now as they didn't even receive a single vote. And deservedly so.
I've said that I have a hard time following the Badgers when they lose once, but now that they are 0-3 in the Big Ten?
Who's excited before a pre-Christmas bowl game!
One of the better stories regarding this year's Packers roster has come to an end many weeks too short. Undrafted free agent running back Kregg Lumpkin has been placed on the injured reserve after dealing with hamstring problems for the last couple of weeks. To take his place on the roster, the Packers have called up DeShawn Wynn from the practice squad. Wynn was one of the backs Lumpkin had originally beat out for the No. 3 RB spot.
It's tough to see the Packers continually go through injury, even though some may be more serious than others. The Packers recently put Cullen Jenkins on the IR, and we still don't know the severity of Al Harris's spleen injury. But for guys like Wynn, who are given a second shot through these injuries, they need to step up and keep this season on track.
It's still unknown whether Wynn will be active for today's game against Seattle. For a preview of that game, check out our friends over at Pack and Cheese.
For being unemployed, I've managed to keep myself quite busy over the last couple of days. Sure, a lot of that has consisted of napping, but you get the idea. But I do have time to do my picks, which may or may not be a good thing (but hey, they are improving!)
1 point - Cincinnati over New York Jets
Bengals are so bad, but I'm serious. I'm never picking the Jets.
2 points - Houston over Miami
Miami will go .500 this season, but Houston isn't starting 0-5.
3 points - Tampa Bay over Carolina
I don't think I really like the NFC South, I don't know why.
4 points - San Diego over New England
I haven't been excited about a Sunday Night game in weeks, but I'm looking forward to this one.
5 points - Jacksonville over Denver
6 points - Green Bay over Seattle
Picking the Packers in a must-win.
7 points - Indianapolis over Baltimore
I think Baltimore came into this season a little overrated.
8 points - Chicago over Atlanta
Could the Bears run away with the NFC North?
9 points - Washington over St. Louis
How low has my fantasy season become? I'm starting Marc Bulger this week.
10 points - Minnesota over Detroit
Detroit is just so, so bad.
11 points - Philadelphia over San Francisco
I agree with Simmons, Andy Reid is a white Art Shell.
12 points - Dallas over Arizona
A lot of people are feeling the Cardinals on this one, but I don't see the Dallas collapse happening for another couple of weeks.
13 points - New Orleans over Oakland
I'm actually not that confident in the Saints this week for some reason, they better come through.
14 points - New York Giants over Cleveland
Could the Giants go undefeated?
I'm sitting here right now trying to watch the NLCS Game Two between the Phillies and the Dodgers, but I may have to turn off the TV pretty soon. The Phillies just scored four runs in the second inning, and have taken the lead. Of the twenty things I hate this most in this world, two of them just occurred.
1) A massive cheer from a Philadelphia crowd.
2) Any Shane Victorino sighting.
I'm not one of those guys that want the Phillies to win the World Series so that we, as Brewers fans, can say we lost to the eventual world champions. I'm one of those guys that wants to see them get absolutely destroyed, so that they can feel the same pain and agony that we felt. That's why I'm actively rooting for the Dodgers in this series.
But in the end, I'm watching these playoffs for one reason, and that is the Tampa Bay Rays. I've mentioned it before that the Rays are my number two team to root for in baseball. I don't see any conflict with rooting for the Rays, as they are in the American League, and they gave us Seth McClung.
I'm often questioned as to why I like the Rays, and my reasons are nothing special. I went two Rays game back in 2004 when my family was vacationing in Tampa. They were playing the Red Sox, and we got to see Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield pitch. The first game we went to was also B.J. Upton's first game in the bigs.
The Rays were a crappy team, but we had fun at the game, so I decided to throw my weight behind them. Through the years, I have worn Devil Rays and the Rays apparel, and I even had a cup from the game on my desk at work. I've always been kind of annoying about how I like the Rays, because when they became good (as they are now), I didn't want people to think I was jumping on the bandwagon.
I'm not sure who you are rooting for, but I see no problem with getting behind a team for the rest of the playoffs. Torre and Manny make the Dodgers a good choice. If you are an eternal frat-boy, then you can root for Boston like my buddy Collin. If you're looking for a team, I suggest the Rays. And if you never want to be allowed into Miller Park again, then why not root for the Phillies.
The main thing here is that even though the Brewers season has ended, I'm not ready for the baseball to be over just yet.
Yes, that's actually for sale. But the real story here isn't the low production value of the commercial, or how much of a waste of money buying that coin would be. It's not even the Chris Berman knock-off of an announcer. No no. The real story is that in the Deadspin version of this article, they mention the great city of Fond du Lac! And they even spell it right! Hooray Deadspin!
Besides the back-and-forth in the comments about whether I'm a true Packers fan or not (I am), it's been a fairly slow week here at The Bucky. So for those of you craving some good ol' fashioned Winks writing, you can check out the latest Winks Thinks at the Daily Drink. If you haven't noticed by now, this is a weekly feature, so enjoy!
So the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since 1982. How does the team choose to celebrate this accomplishment? SHOPPING SPREE!
No, they are not throwing money to free agents already, nor have they resigned Sabathia to a deal that will hamper their free agent spending in the future. What the Brewers have done, however, is announce some changes to Miller Park.
The one I'm excited about is the new scoreboard and sound system, which should be in place by 2010. It's been though to hear anything that is played on that video board, and if I didn't know the dialogue from Animal House I wouldn't ever be able to know what Belushi was saying before a 9th inning rally. So that's a good thing.
Also, the Brewers plan on replacing their outfield grass. This is a good move because... you know, what? I'm sorry. I have just had nothing to write about lately, with the Brewers season ending and all. We'll try to take care of that with some NFL Picks and thoughts on the Packers/Seahawks game coming up.
I miss you, Brewers.
When your team is struggling, changes will happen. This one isn't a major change, but it is noteworthy. The Packers have decided to mix things up in their linebacking core and on their special teams unit, cutting Tracy White and calling up Danny Lansanah from the practice squad.
"We appreciate everything Tracy has done for us," general manager Ted Thompson said in the article on the JS Online blog. "We just felt like Danny is a guy that we believe, based on the way he played in pre-season and the like, that he can add a little bit more juice to us. He's a guy that we want to have on our team."
I like both players, and Lansanah was impressive during preseason. So impressive, in fact, that Bill Parcells was ready to pull him off our practice squad and sign him to the Dolphins roster. So perhaps this move reflects less on the play of Tracy White, and more on the desire to keep Lansanah in a Packers uniform.
It was all Timberwolves Monday night as Minnesota stormed over the Bucks 117-79 in the preseason opener for both teams. This is sure to be one of the more interesting preseasons in recent Bucks memory as the club is only returning six players from a year ago. Couple that with the arrivals of Richard Jefferson, coach Scott Skiles, and GM John Hammond, and there is definitely some actual real life interest in the Bucks this season.
The Bucks kept many of their main rotation players off the court tonight due to various, yet non-serious, injuries. Andrew Bogut, Tyronn Lue, Joe Alexander, and Luke Ridnour were all kept out of last night's action.
That left ample playing time to some of the guys who will be contending for starting gigs and minutes once the season commences. Charlie Villanueva lead the Bucks with 14 points, while Ramon Sessions had 11 points and six dimes. Rookie Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had nine points in 26 minutes of play.
The coolest part about last night's game were that tickets were free, and 9,873 fans took advantage of that. Free tickets for a preseason game. Pretty smart move by the NBA, a league that realizes these contests do not provide the same level of excitement and play as a regular season affair. Are you listening, NFL?
The Bucks are staying busy over the next couple of weeks, as they'll be heading to La Crosse for a matchup with the Mavericks this Friday. The day after that, they'll be taking on Detroit in Milwaukee.
Even though the team has traded away Yi Jianlian, the Bucks are still heading to China for a pair of preseason games with the Golden State Warriors. Both games will be televised by ESPN2.
So while the Bucks did get killed last night, anyone who takes stock in preseason records is wasting their time. A lot of the new guys and more of the young guys earned some valuable minutes last night, which will go a long way as this team tries to rise from the cellar of the East back into the Conference playoffs.
Thank God the Brewers have had the season that they've had, because otherwise I'm just not sure how I would be able to be handling the events of the last month. The Badgers have been a colossal disappointment, while the Packers have lost three straight games, including two at Lambeau. Their recent woes are starting to make me wonder if this Packers team is even any good.
Last year the Packers went 13-3, but it was an inflated 13-3. They won several games they shouldn't have, including the contests against Denver and Kansas City. I still have a text from my buddy Shep, who was at the KC game last year, that reads "Packers looking like shit but Huard keeps sacking himself".
Unfortunately, it looks like those breaks aren't coming the Packers way this year, as proved with the Falcons 27-24 victory over the Green and Gold on Sunday. I still haven't seen much of the game outside the NFL.com highlights, as I was at the Brewers game at the time. I did record the game on DVR, but haven't got around to watching it yet, and probably won't. No need to sit through a loss.
There's a lot wrong with team right now, certainly. I still don't think Aaron Rodgers is one of those things, as from what I understand he had a heck of a game yesterday. The last interception did come after he forced a pass into coverage, however.
For all those people that hated Ted Thompson because of the Favre fiasco, you're vindicated in this 2-3 season, but not really. As I mentioned, the quarterback situation has worked out fine. What has become the problem, however, is the many holes on the rest of the team, including on the offensive line (too young) and the defense line (too injured).
Thompson is still sitting on some $30 million as far as cap room goes, but I just don't know where he's going to spend that before next season. Some fans have suggested trading for guys like Rams DE Leonard Little, but I don't see TT actively pursuing a mid-season deal.
The Packers are 2-3, but even with our problems, it's probably the least worried about a poor Packers start that I've ever been. Some of that has to do with how much talent I think is on this team, some of it has to do with the understanding that the NFC North just isn't that terrific this season. The majority of it though probably has to do with the fact that I've watched about 22 plays from the last two games.
So while the Brewers have provided a nice distraction, it's time to focus all this energy back onto Green Bay. Football season starts now, in my opinion, and I'm ready for it.
Alas, this season could be a short one if the Packers don't find a way to win next week in Seattle.
I highly recommend checking out NFL Predictions and out Free College Football Picks from the legendary National Sports Advisors as well as updated daily NFL Odds and College Football Odds this football season. NSAwins.com posts updated 2013 Super Bowl Futures Odds and Super Bowl Betting Props in addition to BCS Championship Odds and College Bowl Odds throughout the season. Also be sure to get Free NFL Picks and the best Sportsbook Reviews daily from NSAwins.com.
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