No matter what you decide to do to celebrate the turn of the New Year, why not close out 2008 with a bang and check out the latest installment of "Winks Thinks". It's a little different this week, as I've gone back and found all of the things I wish I didn't say in my previous Winks Thinks, but you'll enjoy it. If not, I'll try harder to win you over next year.
Happy New Year!
No matter what you decide to do to celebrate the turn of the New Year, why not close out 2008 with a bang and check out the latest installment of "Winks Thinks". It's a little different this week, as I've gone back and found all of the things I wish I didn't say in my previous Winks Thinks, but you'll enjoy it. If not, I'll try harder to win you over next year.
Now that my friends was a victory. The Bucks stormed into San Antonio tonight and beat the (20-11) Spurs 100-98 to get to (15-17). Tonight was really a testament to what kind of team the Bucks can be. They started off quickly, held off a few San Antonio runs and then showed enough moxie to not only come back from a 4 point deficit late in the 4th quarter, but then hold off the Spurs for the win on the road. This is the second win against the Spurs this season.
Box Score me. The Bucks out rebounded an out shot the Spurs hitting 51.2% from the field. Both Bogut and Ridnour were the stars tonight. Bogut had a strong line of 20 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. While Luke had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, 2 blocks and 2 big three pointers. It's close but he has to win TBC player of the game. Michael Redd was no slouch either scoring 25 points and grabbing a personal season high of 10 rebounds.
For the most part of the game, the passing was crisp and this team really looks comfortable with each other right now. Ridnour has been playing great, and the two real areas of improvement have to be Jefferson being more of a slasher and getting to the line and maybe some improved play by Sessions and CV.
The Bucks have another big test tomorrow as they take on the Houston Rockets at Houston at 6:00 pm.
TBC'S Player of the Game: Luke Ridnour
(AP Photo By Darren Abate)
In a league where you can be an unproven rookie and have tens of millions of dollars guaranteed to you, many veterans begin to get a little upset when they realize they're making below the curve. And when you come off a season with 80 receptions, 1,292 yards, and 9 touchdowns, you probably start to think about how you can cash in on those numbers.
That's the case Greg Jennings is going to find himself in this offseason. He's set to make just $530,000 next season, but is clearly worth more than that. In his short career, he's already emerged as the Packers best receiver as well as one of the best receivers in the game.
Jennings says he's 99.9% sure he's not going to hold out, and that he wants to continue to wear the Green and Gold for years to come. He says he has no problem playing out his contract, and then seeing what happens. But it's in the Packers best interest to keep him signed as soon as possible, with as little distraction as possible.
Last year we saw enough distraction in Titletown even without the whole quarterback fiasco. Ryan Grant wanted more money, Thompson low-balled him, and then it took forever for the two sides to agree on anything. Thompson should just call Jennings up to his office and say, "You made me look good by taking you with a 2nd rounder, how much money do you want?", and then give it to him. Sure, he'll drop a ball here and there, but Jennings is a big-time receiver, one that needs to be a Packer for years to come.
Oh, and don't get rid of Driver either.
I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but to me it always seems like no Packer assistants ever fall on the "hot-list" of assistant coaches that could land their first head coaching job. At least not since the days of Sherm Lewis. This year however, I see your Steve Spagnuolo and raise you Winston Moss, who is reportedly being courted by the St. Louis Rams.
Moss is currently not only the Packers linebackers coach, but he's also the assistant head coach. Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel explains that Mike McCarthy promoted him to this position two years ago in an effort to help prepare him to one day become a head coach. Silverstein also shares this little nugget:
The Rams' interest could have some effect on McCarthy's decision whether to keep defensive coordinator Bob Sanders. Though Moss is not a shoo-in to replace Rams interim coach Jim Haslett, St. Louis’ interest could signal to McCarthy that it’s time to promote Moss and make him his defensive coordinator.After a 6-10, somebody usually needs to be the scapegoat, and Bob Sanders is as likely of a candidate as anybody. I'd love to see Moss fill the defensive coordinator position, but would be happy for him if he did get the Rams job. However, I'm not sure how likely that is.
I haven't heard any other candidates pop up for the Rams job yet, and I'm not sure how keen they are on keeping Jim Haslett. I'm just worried for Moss that he is only being targeted because of the "Rooney Rule", where teams are required to interview at least one minority candidate. The rule has good intentions, trying to make sure that minorities get the opportunities they deserve, but the rule can also be a giant dick-tease for a candidate as well.
Here's to hoping the Rams interest in Moss is sincere, and here's to hoping McCarthy can find a way to keep him.
When we sit down to live blog the Pro Bowl this year, it looks like we'll be doing so during it's last trip to Hawaii (or Hawai'i). Starting in 2010, the Pro Bowl will be moved to the site of the Super Bowl, and be played the week before it. It's a move that's been rumored to happen for quite some time, in large part because no one but us really cares about the Pro Bowl.
This means that players that have earned a trip to the Super Bowl will not be taking part in the Pro Bowl (or the free trip to Hawai'i). However, over-the-hill quarterbacks that are voted in even though they lead the league in interceptions and caused their coach to get fired are still eligible to play.
I can not even begin to think how I would approach writing this article had the Packers lost to the Lions in their season finale. I'm not sure if I would have been able to find the words or emotions to accurately describe the feelings that would go with handing the Lions their only win in a 1-15 season. I don't even want to think about it.
Thankfully, although it was scary at times, the Packers were able to come out on top with a 31-21 victory, and finish off a 6-10 season with a surprising amount of optimism. After snapping a five-game losing streak, I have no problem sticking to the positives.
While it was against the worst team in NFL history (except maybe the expansion Bucs), this was the kind of game the Packers should have been playing all year. Sure, this game featured a lot of similarities to other games this season, but in this one the Packers were able to actually close out the game. And in doing so, they also did this:
* Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdowns and passed for 308 yards, giving him a total of 4,038 in his first season as a starter.
* Had two receivers end the game with more than 100 yards (Driver 111, Jennings 101).
* Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn each finished the game with 106 yards rushing. Depending on how he progresses, it's not unreasonable to think Wynn could get a strong look at the starting job next season.
* This was the first time a team had two rushers and receivers eclipse the 100 yard mark in their respective categories.
* Had interceptions by their Pro Bowl starters, Nick Collins and Charles Woodson, who somehow only get interceptions in games in which they both get interceptions.
* Mason Crosby barely missed what would have been the longest field goal in NFL history.
* And oh yeah, helped the Lions become the first 0-16 team in league history. Shirts are now available.
So the Packers season concludes with a game that was only interesting because of the futility of their opponent. It was a disappointing season, one that I've been surprisingly okay with. You're not going to the playoffs every year, and this just wasn't the Packers time.
The reason I've been able to deal with the losses is that I see a pretty good team out there, in the hands of a pretty good quarterback. Off-season holes need to be addressed (offensive line, defensive line, Tony Gonzalez?), and I'm hopeful Thompson will actually use some of his salary cap surplus. I would comfortably bet a large sum of money and human life on the Packers returning to the playoffs next season, and that relieves some of the disappointment.
Speaking of 2009, the Packers 6-10 record gives them the 9th pick in the draft, so Packers fans will have something to be excited about come April. The opponents for next season have been set, and the Packers will host Dallas and fly out to Tampa in games determined by the final 2008 standings. And the Brett Favre trade will finally be completed, as the Packers will be receiving a 3rd-rounder from the Jets (but giving back a 7th-rounder if he "re-retires".)
The season which will forever go down as "The Season After Brett Favre" really wasn't that much of a success for either the Packers or the Jets. But the year-long drama is officially behind us, and it's now time to look to the future. It's time for the fan-base to come back together and get behind a promising young Packers squad.
Whether you're a Packers fan, a Favre fan, or both, it's time to remember that sometimes things just don't end up the way you'd like.
Just ask the Lions.
The Champs Sports Bowl wasn't really going to end any other way than a 42-13 loss for the Badgers, and we all knew that. The Badgers haven't played since early November (a Big Ten conference flaw) and Florida State was far too superior. The Badgers played this bowl game like they played every other game this season, under-confident and poorly.
I sincerely hope nobody thought the Badgers were going to win this weekend, and I really hope none of you lost money on it. This was a game that many fans treated as ambient background noise rather than something they threw a party for. As a whole, Badgers fans seemed just as about uninterested as the team did.
Some bright spots: Elijah Theus scored the first touchdown of his career in the 4th quarter, P.J. Hill ran for 140 yards and will almost certainly become UW's all-time leading rusher next season (correction: 2nd all-time leader rusher, talk about "an absolute embarrassment!"), and Florida State looked like their old self according to Bobby Bowden. Maybe that last one wasn't a bright spot for Badgers fans, but the Seminoles are probably going to be a quality team next season.
The Bucky Channel would also like to recognize Florida State's Graham Gano. We're all about punters and kickers here at The BC, and we applaud Gano's three punts inside the five yard line as well as his six extra points that earned him the game's MVP honors.
Yes, it was that kind of Badgers season where the punter of the opposing team gets the MVP in their bowl game.
Another wedding this week and another missed Bucks game. What you need to know though if you missed the Bucks game as well is that Damon Jones was in attendance but was not active. The Bucks (14-17) also dropped a the game last night 87-76 to the (17-11) Detroit Pistons.
Per the Box Score, the Bucks played a good 2nd a 4th quarter, but were thoroughly out played in the 3rd quarter. The Bucks leading scorer was Andrew Bogut who finished with 17 points to go with 10 rebounds. Poor shooting was a main problem. CV and Redd finished with a combined 3-18 from the field as well as 7 points. Richard Jefferson shot the ball 3 times and still managed to score 10 points by getting to the line. Session and Mbah A Moute added 12 points as well for Milwaukee.
Milwaukee will try regain the recent winning ways in a tough match up against at the San Antonio Spurs (20-10) Tuesday night at 7:30.
TBC's Buck of the Game: Andrew Bogut - easy choice.
(AP Photo by Morry Gash)
Seventeen weeks ago, there was so much promise for each one of the NFL’s 32 teams as they would embark on a journey for the ultimate prize. Well, maybe not the Lions (easiest joke ever). Now, here we are, with many playoff spots and division titles still yet to be decided in what has been one of the crazy seasons in NFL history, mainly because some games were rigged.
I’ve decided that for the picks column this week I would mix it up one more time. And that doesn’t mean phoning it in and writing haikus. I’m going to forego the confidence picks aspect of the column as I basically have no chance in my pick ‘em league anymore. That means we’re going Simmons style and picking with the spread. Speaking of Simmons, this is what he wrote in his latest mailbag.
Why are you getting a holiday mailbag? Maybe I needed something to distract me from the terrifying realization that the Patriots' 2008 season rests in the hands of Brett Favre. Maybe I needed to make myself feel better after the Red Sox blew the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. Maybe I needed a boost after the Celtics' 19-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Christmas Day, thanks to Kobe Bryant and a gritty 15-man Lakers team (I'm including the refs).Are you kidding me? As much as I love the guy, and as much as I campaigned for him to become the Bucks GM, I really hate when he complains about anything Boston. Boston fans have had it made over the last decade. Sure, they have gone through some tough losses, but it’s a little easier to take when you have multiple championships to sleep with at night. If you think things are bad Mr. Simmons, might I remind you that the Packers not only don’t have a shot at the playoffs but could give the Lions there first win this weekend, the Brewers can’t sign anyone bigger than Trot Nixon, and Bucks fans are celebrating because we have a three game winning streak.
On to the picks….
Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Cleveland
It’s going to be a long time before anyone seriously considers the Browns as playoff contenders again. What a disaster this season was for them. Even so, I’m still not sure Crennel actually gets fired. As likely as it is for them to get a big name coach like Bill Cowher for next season, isn’t it just as likely for them to keep Crennel? They are a team mired in ineptitude, so nothing would surprise me.
It’s too bad for Cleveland that the Browns have been horrible ever since they came back into the league in 1999. Especially when the Ravens have not only won a Super Bowl in that time, but have been successful throughout. Even though it’s been ten years since the move, they are still technically the remains of the old Browns franchise, and the Cleveland fans should be relishing in that success. Personally, I don’t like when teams move, but the history and records do not. Then again, I’ve never seen one of my favorite teams move… yet.
Oakland (+13) over Tampa Bay
There are a lot of high spreads this weekend, and I’m not sure too many teams will be able to cover. There are just too many close games in the NFL for me to confidently say a team can beat another team by two touchdowns. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m so bad at betting. Bucs will win this game though.
St. Louis (+14.5) over Atlanta
We’re seventeen weeks into the NFL season, and I still haven’t seen a down of Rams football. That amazes me.
Not much else about the game, so let me talk about the movie I watched last night, Hancock. Sometimes I go into movies either wanting to like them, or wanting not to like them. I wanted to like Hancock, which is probably why I was satisfied with it after it was over. Will Smith was convincing it in, and I generally like him in anything. But who doesn’t, really.
Even though there was something sort of missing from the movie that I can’t quite explain, I liked it because I wanted to like it. When it comes to movies, I usually judge a book by it’s cover. Not sure why, but I do. On the other hand, I did not want to like Transformers when I watched that the other day, but it wasn’t that bad.
Carolina (-3) over New Orleans
I would say the New York Giants have a 60 percent chance of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl, the Panthers have a 35 percent chance, and then the field has a 5 percent shot. The Saints, meanwhile, are basically the NFL’s version of the Dallas Mavericks and probably won’t win a title anytime soon.
Chicago (+3) over Houston
This game is pretty much even, but Houston gets the three points for being home. While a winning season would be welcome in Houston, it’s beginning to look like they’ll never get over that hump. The Bears are playing with the NFC North title on the line, and I still think that they are going to come through. As bad as they played last week, the team still found a way to win. Teams like that make the playoffs.
Giants (+6.5) over Minnesota
Are the Giants really getting 6 1/2 points in this game? I guess it could make sense, as the Giants really have nothing to play for besides momentum. But the Vikings have made a habit out of blowing their playoff opportunities, and I don't expect them to do any different this weekend. And then it's goodbye Brad Childress.
New England (-6.5) over Buffalo
There's been a lot of debate this season about how unfair the NFL's playoff structure is, but I disagree. Even though the Chargers and Cardinals could win their division at 8-8, these things ebb and flow, and everyone will get their shot at glory someday. You can't have divisions but then not guarantee the division winner a playoff spot. And if you take away divisions, then you might lose those great two times per year rivalries.
However, it looks like the Patriots will go 11-5 and miss the playoffs, despite playing some really good football right now. Same with the Ravens. While a lot of people would love for New England to miss the playoffs, I want to see the best teams in the postseason.
I couldn't decide which position to take for this column, so I just decided to write them both.
Kansas City (+3) over Cincinnati
Sometimes I'm not even sure why they make the teams play these games. No one is going to go, no one is going to watch, and no one is going to try. This is a game that is still being played strictly for gambling purposes, and that is all.
Indianapolis (+3) over Tennessee
Attended a family function this weekend, and sometime in the middle of the evening the karaoke machine was brought out. Everyone karaoke experience I've ever had has been the exact same. First, nobody wants to sing. Someone will finally volunteer, either because they think they are a good singer or they just don't care about the humiliation. Then finally, someone really awful will sing, and everyone becomes comfortable signing. It's the same thing every time.
Also, no matter how many times people do it, everyone signing karaoke always sings like it's the first time they've ever done it. This video pretty much nails it.
Cardinals (-6.5) over Seahawks
The Cardinals are not going to let themselves go into the playoffs with a .500 record, no matter how much the Seahawks might want to win this one for Holmgren. Arizona has been laughable ever since they clinched the division in week five, but they are still a good team when they want to be. I'm betting they win this week, and their first playoff game. That's just how these things happen.
Jacksonville (+12.5) over Baltimore
I thought about the Ravens here, but I still just don't like those high spreads. Jacksonville is pretty awful though I guess. You think Packers fans had high expectations for their team this season, what about Jaguars fans? That is, if there were such a thing as Jaguars fans.
San Francisco (-3) over Washington
I have to be honest, I really didn't think the Niners would bring Singletary back next season. I really thought he was going to crash and burn, especially have the pants dropping incident. Maybe he might be a good coach down the road after all.
Miami (+2.5) over New York Jets
If the Jets win this game, it won't be because of their quarterback. And they very well could win this game, since there is not one person that seems to think they will win this weekend. Anyone want to guess why that is? This might be one reason.
And Jets fans, you might want to pick up one of these things. If not for after this week, certainly for after next week.
Dallas (+1.5) over Eagles
If you were hoping to start your 2009 without having to suffer through wall-to-wall Dallas Cowboys coverage on ESPN, think again. You know they will win this week, and then something will happen mid-week that draws attention to the team one more time, just like it was Roy Williams this week. Same old story. Time to buy a new book.
Denver (+9) over San Diego
San Diego is going to win, no question about it. But they won't cover, as this game will probably go down to the wire. San Diego might win the West at 8-8, but they could easily be anywhere from 9-7 to 12-4. The Chargers are a good football team, my preseason pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. If they get into the playoffs, they could do some damage. I'm already excited to watch that Chargers/Colts game in round one.
Packers (-10) over Lions
You want to talk about a terrifying realization, Simmons? How about the fact that in a year where the Packers were one game away from the Super Bowl and the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time in my lifetime, this is still one of the worst years in Wisconsin sports history. Seventeen weeks into the season, we are still a divided people. The Badgers are about to get embarrassed to Florida State, the Brewers have no promise for '09, and Damon Jones is going to suit up for the Bucks.
There's only one way 2008 can win the crown of worst year in Wisconsin sports history, and that would be a loss at home to the 0-15 Lions. I don't know how the Packers drew the short straw to possibly give the worst team in league history their first win, but that's what we're looking at.
Would not have seen that coming seventeen weeks ago.
Remember this guy? Well guess what, he's back. After being traded to the Bucks along with Adrian Griffin (now a coach) and Luke Ridnour (also pictured), Damon Jones will finally suit up for the Milwaukee Bucks.
A mutual agreement between Jones and the club kept him on the 15 man roster but away from the club. The Bucks presumably tried to look for a trading partner but were unsuccessful. So now, for reasons yet unknown, Jones has decided to be a member of the Bucks after all.
Does this mean that Jones will be here for the long haul, or is this just an exhibition to show him off to possible trade partners. It could be like the situation when Mike McKenzie returned to the Packers only to soon be traded to the Saints, but we'll see.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how he'll contribute and how many minutes he'll get. I wouldn't be surprised if he saw the floor tomorrow against the Pistons as Ridnour was sent home with the flu on Friday, and Charlie Bell is doubtful with a knee injury.
But as my brother said, there's no better way to stop a three game winning streak than adding Damon Jones to the roster.
You can vote for him here.
I'd feel bad about the lack of updates this week, but then I noticed that many other blogs are kind of "taking off" for the holidays as well. But, it is Christmas after all, and I hope your holiday season has been filled with good family, food, and friends. For me, I ran into my 8th-grade girlfriend last night, so I've already had my Christmas miracle.
It hasn't been an entirely unproductive week, however. I stepped in again over at the Sports Bubbler to write up the Daily Drink. Naturally, I am going to provide the link in hopes that you will check it out. Thank you again for all your support of this site, and once again, Happy Holidays.
Usually when you see me post this logo it means a new edition of "Winks Thinks", but unfortunately today that is not the case. Instead, it means that I have taken over the Sports Bubbler's Daily Drink once again, and wouldn't mind if you gave it a look-see.
In it, you'll find who our Bucks Player of the Game was from last night, because Bear was probably too drunk last night to do a recap. There's some good insight from other bloggers about the Badgers loss to Texas on Tuesday night, and there's also plenty of good links about the Packers, Brewers, and even mustaches. (Also, programming note: There won't be a Winks Thinks tomorrow. It's Christmas for Christ's, I mean, Goodness sake!)
Don't spend too long on the Internet today though. Take the time to enjoy some food, family, and loved ones. And for those of you that celebrate Festivus, best of luck in your family's Feats of Strength.
If Doug Melvin wasn't pissed at the Yankees before, he most certainly is now. First, New York outbids for CC Sabathia, although that was a surprise to nobody. Second, the Yankees string Melvin along with a possible Cameron for Cabrera swap, in which they asked the Brewers to take on money. And now, they have signed first basemen Mark Teixeira.
On the surface, that's not really that big of a deal, as they are in different leagues anyway. But when you look closer, you'll find out that the first round pick the Crew was supposed to get for CC Sabathia now turns into a second rounder. The Angels will now get the Yankees first round selection.
How can this be? Well, Sabathia was the number one rated Type A Free Agent pitcher. However, Teixeira was not only the number one Type A Free agent position player, but overall player as well. That means the Angels get the higher pick, the Brewers get the second rounder, and the Blue Jays get screwed just as hard, as they now get a third rounder from Burnett.
We've known for years that the Yankees have a competitive edge over the rest of the league, but I have never seen it this obvious. Even a team like the Red Sox don't seem to have a chance in that division anymore. Barring injuries, the Yankees may have already won the World Series.
Whether it's your Christmas bonus, a birthday present, or the spare change you found in your couch, it's always nice to have some extra money lying around. It's also nicer to turn that extra money into more extra money. Personally, I've become quite fond of BetUS.com for all my sports betting needs.
Although my NFL Picks this season haven't been great when it comes to confidence points, overall I've done alright. Next year, I've decided to mix up the picks by going Nick Bakay style, and actually invest some of my own money and we'll track whatever ups and downs I may have.
In the meantime, if the Milwaukee Bucks are really ready to riSE, then I'm going to cash in on it. Whether you're into college hoops or the NBA (I still prefer the NBA), think about using that bonus cash towards some basketball betting.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go check out the lines for tonight's game, right after I go activate my Sprint phone.
Yesterday I wrote a nice little column about why a Packers fan might root for the Bears in their Monday Night showdown. The reasoning was simple: If a Bears win ultimately gets them into the playoffs over the Vikings, then I would be able to stomach a Packers loss.
I was wrong.
When it comes down to it, I would still rather see the Bears in the playoffs than I would the Vikings. I just hate the Vikings more, and I don't see that changing. But now that I live back on the east side of the state, it's actually more Bears fans that creep into my territory than it is Vikings fans. While I may hate Minnesota more than Chicago, I have no problem saying that I despise both of their fans with the same amount of hatred.
I should be clear, that at no point during the game last night was I actually rooting for Chicago. I wanted to see the Packers avoid a five-game losing streak, I wanted to see them end the season on a high note, and I wanted to see Rodgers get the "clutch monkey" off his back. What I ended up seeing was the same thing we've seen over and over again. Dan Walsh from the Sports Bubbler sums it up best:
This team, this season has really become laughable. Seventh loss by four points or less. As the game continued to progress, you knew exactly what was gonna happen. No killer instinct on offense, play for the field goal. They outplayed the Bears virtually the entire game, but can never put them away. Packers gift wrapped an early Christmas present for the Bears last night at Soldier Field. You can look at Special Teams and Defense, but its something I've been saying since the pre-season: The Offensive Line is not very good. They're soft and can rarely man-up against anyone. That is the biggest reason the Packers are not in the playoffs.And as ACME Packing Company points out, the Packers have been outscored by a combined total of 6 points (194 to 200), but their record is 1-7.
I mean, was there really any difference between Monday night's 20-17 overtime loss to the Bears compared to any other game this season? The only difference was that someone else found the way to blow the lead after Aaron Rodgers put them in (field goal) position to win the game.
When it comes down to it, this season isn't going to be remembered for the play of Aaron Rodgers, and if that other guy would have done better. It's going to be remembered for how big of a joke this Packers team has become. We'll remember how Mike McCarthy somehow became twice as conservative as Mike Sherman. We'll ask ourselves how Rodgers was even capable of having the season he's having when the offense line has been blocking like Ray Budds from "Remember the Titans". And we'll remember the first five-game losing streak by this team since 1990.
But the Packers have one game left. One game to save any sort of dignity you can when you're 5-10. The 0-15 Lions come into Lambeau next week, and basically every Packers fan I know has been predicting a Packers loss since Thanksgiving. I could see it going both ways because a) the Lions are that bad but b) I don't know if the Pack can recover from another heartbreaker like the one against Chicago, especially with them being a division rival.
As for those pesky Bears, I will be able to root for them next week as they face the Texans. A Bears win and a Vikings loss gives them the NFC North. Did you realize the Vikings have never won the division since it changed from the Central? However, perhaps I should just focus all my fandom on the Packers next week, and listen to the advice of "Mente", from the comments:
I grew up in Milwaukee and hate the Bears as much as I hate the Cubs. Then I went to college an hour away from Minneapolis, where half the students are Vikings fans. Then I found a new hatred in the Vikings. I wish the Lions had a chance to win the division, as I would rather root for them. However when you hate something as much as I hate the Vikings and the Bears, it doesn't matter anymore, I just want the Packers to win and let whoever defaults as the NFC North representative in the playoffs lose in the first round.Couldn't have said it better myself.
If you want insight from six different Brewers blog but don't want to spend the extra ten minutes search for it, send a thank you note to Bernie's Crew today. They've put together the first Brewers Blog Six Pack, in which six Brewers blogs chime in on a certain topic. This week the topic is Starting Pitching, and how the Brewers should attack it this offseason.
The participating blogs are some of the best in the state. In addition to Bernie's Crew, you have Right Field Bleachers, Chuckie Hacks, Brew Crew Ball, and The Brew Town Beat. Somehow we at The Bucky Channel have crept in there too, which we're not complaining about.
This week's edition can be found here.
Just a quick question for all of you Packer fans out there, and it really all comes down to who you hate more. If you knew that a Packers loss to the Bears tonight would guarantee the Bears and NFC North title this season and eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention, would you root for Chicago?
Now, when kick-off comes tonight, make no mistake about it, I will be rooting hard for the Green and Gold per usual. But all I'm saying is that if the Packers loss lead to a Bears win and Vikings loss next week, wouldn't you at least consider the idea of rooting for Chicago?
To some of you, this notion seems absurd, and you may question my fanhood from this day on. I understand that. And while the Bears are the Packers oldest rival, to me, my dislike for them does not even come close to comparing to my hatred of the Vikings.
When it comes down to it, I would rather have the Packers be 5-11 or 6-10 this season with the Vikings missing the playoffs, instead of seeing the Packers win their final two games while the Vikings win the North.
I will be rooting hard for the Packers tonight, and I will be cheering for Rodgers to continue to find success. But I've become quite accustomed to the Packers losing close games while playing well, and it wouldn't bother me as much if it happened on Monday Night.
I love it when the Packers win to keep the Vikings out of the playoffs, maybe we'll see what it's like to see them lose to keep the Vikings home. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but as I've said, I would root against Green Bay if it hurt Minnesota.
That's how much I hate the Vikings.
There are only three things I know about Braden Looper. One, he apparently has some sort of relationship with Lou Pinella. Two, he's very in touch with his faith. And three, his middle name is LaVern. There may be a fourth piece of information I'll know about him, which could be that he is a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
According to the Boston Globe, Looper is close to signing with Milwaukee after not being offered arbitration by the St. Louis Cardinals. Looper has been a Dave Bush-like starter for the Cards the last two years, but has spent the majority of his career as a reliever. He'd likely be a cheap back of the rotation starter for the Crew, another low-risk signing that doesn't impress me too much.
(Update: Melvin has confirmed the Brewers are interested in Looper, but does not say that a deal is imminent.)
The Brewers don't really have many other pitching options on the free agent market, unless they change course and go after Derek Lowe (they should). Bernie's Crew put together a list of some of the free agents yet available.
In other current Brewer and former Brewer news, Ryan Braun will be playing in the World Baseball Classic, while Derrick Turnbow could soon be a Marlin.
Just as Mother Nature nailed Wisconsin with snow as if she was furious with rage, the Milwaukee Bucks were busy making life uncomfortable for others well. On Friday, the Bucks had six guys score in double figures as they routed the Knicks in New York 105-81. Despite having just 29 games under their belt, it was the third time Milwaukee beat the Knicks this season.
"This was definitely a critical win," Michael Redd told the Associated Press. "As crazy as it sounds, in the East we're both in the playoff hunt."
Redd lead the team with 21 points, Jefferson and Mbah a Moute added 16, and even Tyronn Lue had 13 points. Andrew Bogut chipped in with 10 points and 13 boards. The rest of the numerical facts regarding the game can be found in this diagram. Redd earns TBC Player of the Game honors for his efforts.
On Saturday, the Bucks showed no signs of slowing down their momentum. Lead by a 37-15 first quarter, and a 30 point lead at the half, Milwaukee rolled to a 105-81 over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Bucks saw eight players achieve the double digit points plateau for their fourth win in their last five games.
Want some other good Bucks facts? The Bucks last four wins have been by an average of 22.8 points. Also, Milwaukee has improved to a 9-0 clip when they hold their opponents to 90 points or less. Let's thank the ESPN research team for that data.
"This is the biggest win we've had since I've been here," Andrew Bogut said after the game. "So, it's nice to be actually sitting [on the bench] in the fourth quarter for once." Again, thanks to ESPN.com for that quote.
Dick Jefferson had 22 points in 21 minutes to take Player of the Game orders. The proof is in the numbers. Is it too early to talk playoffs? Probably, but the Bucks are now just one game back in the East.
And in other state basketball news, Marquette knocked off Western Carolina 94-77. The Badgers were in action this weekend as well, taking care of Coppin State 57-46. A good basketball weekend all the way around.
Leave it to Chris Webber and the rest of the Inside the NBA to deliver the best parody of the Bush shoe throwing incident. Admittedly, I've never really been the biggest fan of George W. (but I'd love to have a beer with him, right!) Still, I have to say I didn't find the shoe throwing incident to be that funny.
Even though Bush made light of the situation by saying, "I saw that man's sole" (hilarious in it's own right), I was still uneasy about the whole situation. Someone just threw a stone at our President's head! I know it's just a shoe, but the intent was to harm our Commander in Chief. Isn't that kind of a big deal?
Per usual, a tip to Awful Announcing for the TNT video. Now for those of you keeping score at home, I do have my confidence points picks for the week, minus the awkward attempts at comedy infiltrated with YouTube videos. I'm off to a wedding, and I'm not sure if the church has wireless access, so this post had to be brief. So let me just throw my picks at you:
1 point - Carolina over New York Giants
2 points - Dallas over Baltimore
3 points - Cleveland over Cincinnati
4 points - New Orleans over Detroit
5 points - Tennessee over Pittsburgh
6 points - Kansas City over Miami
7 points - St. Louis over San Francisco
8 points - New England over Arizona
9 points - San Diego over Tampa Bay
10 points - Buffalo over Denver
11 points - Houston over Oakland
12 points - New York Jets over Seattle
13 points - Atlanta over Minnesota
14 points - Philadelphia over Washington
15 points - Green Bay over Chicago
16 points - Indianapolis over Jacksonville
See you tomorrow, my Buckies.
Sadly, CC Sabathia in pinstripes actually looks pretty natural. Not as natural as him in a Brewers retro, but it still looks like it fits. But that's probably only because we've seen this coming long before he did.
Sabathia was introduced today by the New York Yankees, proclaiming that he's "all-in". You know, kind of like how Doug Melvin said that the Brewers were "all-in" went they traded for Sabathia. Nice line there, Carsten.
So with the Yankees outbidding the Brewers for Sabathia, and then seemingly breaking off all Cameron-Cabrera trade talks, how can the Brewers possibly stay competitive? Well, how about with the Gabe Kapler-esque signings of Trot Nixon and Chris Duffy.
Nixon is a 34-year old left-handed outfielder who had just 41 plate appearances with the Mets last season, while also spending time in the Diamondbacks minor league system. Duffy is also a left-handed outfielder who will likely overtake Tony Gwynn Jr. on the depth chart. The always reliable Bernie's Crew breaks down the signings a little further.
It's still early, but I'm already starting to fear that the Brewers aren't going to make too many big moves this offseason. Maybe a Joe Crede here, a veteran pitcher there, but nothing too spectacular. And now with Cameron looking like he'll stay a Brewers, I'm not sure where they are going to find the money to even make a splash.
There's a new Winks Thinks posted today, and it's already received some pretty harsh criticism. I may have ripped on a beloved Christmas movie that is adored by many, minus me. The Bucky Channel's updates may be few and far between this weekend, so let the latest edition of Winks Thinks hold you over.
Leading during the whole game until the final six minutes. Going 2 for 18 from the field in the 4th quarter. Another failed Live Blog attempt during a Bucks Game. All in all, a train wreck of a night.
Much thanks to those that did show up, but it looks like the best opportunites for Live Blogs should just be Drafts and All-Star Games.
TBC's Player of the Game: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
It was close for most of the game, but Marquette never could quite get over the hump. The game was tied at 32 heading into halftime, and Marquette did all they could to stay in this one. However, it just wasn't enough. The end result: an 80-69 win for Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers.
Because I didn't get to see the game, and because I'm writing this almost 24 hours after the fact, I'm going to take the easy way out and give you some links.
Victims of Foul Play (Journal Sentinel)
Just in Time For Plenty From Chism (Knoxnews)
And here's Sportsbubbler.com's (and MU alum) Dan Walsh's take.
Also, not related, but I thought this was funny:
Marbury Pays to Watch Knicks (ESPN.com)
It's been the most heated debate in Wisconsin sports this year, and quite possibly in our state's illustrious history. Were the Packers right in trading Brett Favre to accelerate the career of Aaron Rodgers? We've had many discussions on this all season, the latest being in the comments of the "Just Accept That It's Over" post. Well now, for one last time, I would like to end the discussion by releasing The Official Bucky Channel Statement Regarding Rodgers vs. Favre.
To begin, let's go over what we've talked about already:
* Brett Favre is the greatest quarterback to ever play for the Green Bay Packers. I enjoyed watching him play for the Green and Gold while I grew up. He was an idol to me, just like he was to every other kid in Wisconsin.
* The retirement talk that has been going on since the 2003 season was growing old. So was Favre's routine of not shying away from it.
* I was heartbroken when Favre retired. Especially after a year in which Green Bay was so close to going to the Super Bowl.
* When he retired, I wanted him to stay retired. This "will he or won't he" off season routine had gone too far, and him trying to un-retire officially crossed the line. When he starting acting like a bitch in the off-season, he crossed the line even further.
* I said I didn't have a problem with you if you rooted for Favre this season, but some of you broke a couple of the rules. I said no wearing Favre Jets jerseys to Packers games!!!
* I'm not sure what the extent of the Favre/Millen conversations were, but Jay Glazer just doesn't make up stories.
Now, after 15 weeks of the NFL, the Packers are officially out of the playoffs, the Jets could win the AFC East, and Brett Favre has been voted to the Pro Bowl. Now that we've seen how it's all shaken out after year one, this is what I am sticking by:
* No matter how good Favre could have played this year, I was going to stick by my opinion that the Packers are better off in the long term by going with Aaron Rodgers this year. I planned to stick up for Rodgers no matter what, and with how well he played this season, it wasn't hard to do at all.
* To call Rodgers "un-clutch" is not entirely fair. He has brought this team back in many games to be leading in the final five minutes of the 4th quarter. That being said, it is true that he has not yet won a game on the last possession. So while it's not fair to call Rodgers "un-clutch", by no means has he truly demonstrated the characteristics of a clutch quarterback. I'd say he falls somewhere in the middle.
* The Packers have two defensive starters in the Pro Bowl mainly because of the big plays they made at the beginning of the season. The defense has been an absolute joke ever since that Saints game, and is the main reason the Packers haven't won a game since.
* Brett Favre has played better than expected with the Jets. If you are one of the many that followed him over there, than I am happy you have had something to cheer about. But if you've cheered against Aaron Rodgers on even one play this season because of your commitment to Favre, then don't ever come back.
* As good as Favre may have played, the Jets as a whole have played better. Favre, based on this season alone, does not deserve a Pro Bowl selection. If the Jets would have had the same season with Chad Pennington at quarterback, Pennington would have not have made the Pro Bowl (Want proof? He didn't make the Pro Bowl having a similar season with the Dolphins).
* How was trading Favre all of a sudden the Packers decision? Who's not to say that this whole retirement was orchestrated by Favre so that he could be traded? Hmmm?
* I did not root for Favre this season, and will not root for him going forward. I thank him for all the memories he has given me, and I hope the Packers and him are someday able to reconcile the right way. But not anytime soon.
* Favre is getting a lot of mileage out of those three MVPs ten years ago. With all the times he has broken our hearts over the last decade, I seriously can not understand how some of you still defend him to your death.
* I am very disappointed in the play-calling of Mike McCarthy this season, as well as the performance of Ted Thompson. The Derrick Frost experiment is unforgivable.
And most importantly...
* The Packers were not going to win a Super Bowl with Brett Favre this season, or next season, or ever again. They proved that last year, when Favre absolutely choked in the Giants game. You want to talk about not being clutch? Exhibit A. That being said, it was in the Packers best interest to go forward with Rodgers. I would rather this season be a mess with Rodgers at QB then be 10-6, first round playoff exit with Favre.
Remember, we're only one season into the Aaron Rodgers Era. Let's wait awhile before we declare this a mistake.
And that's it. No more Favre talk on this blog, at least until the New Year. I'm sick of it.
The next time I argue that the struggles of this Packers' season are the fault of the defense, and not of the quarterback, I won't use the results of the Pro Bowl voting as evidence. The Packers are sending just two players to the Pro Bowl this season, but both will be starting on defense for the NFC.
At cornerback will be Chuck Woodson. At free saftey will be Nick Collins. Both are worthy of their starting nods, and their early season success is ultimately what got them into this game.
Not getting into the game is Aaron Rodgers, who I felt was anywhere from the 3rd to the 5th most deserving quarterback in the NFC. In the end, Kurt Warner will get the starting nod (joined by starters Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin). Backing him up will be Eli Manning and Drew Brees.
Rodgers didn't get in, but another former Packer did. Brett Favre of the New York Jets will be an AFC reserve in this year's exhibition, although I guarantee you he doesn't make the trip. Still, it's exactly the kind of pointless ammunition Favre backers will try to use to prove why Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy and secretly trying to destroy the Packers.
Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler were the other two guys voted in as AFC quarterbacks, and it's clear Favre's nomination was more of a career nod than it was reflective of his season. I can think of a few other guys just as deserving as Favre, if not more so, to have been selected. Phillip Rivers, Matt Cassell, Chad Pennington, Ben Roethlisberger and Kerry Collins, to name a few.
You can find the complete Pro Bowls rosters here, and don't forget to join us for our annual Pro Bowl Live Blog in February! (Or the one tomorrow night, for that matter).
Surely this whole T.O. vs ESPN thing is getting a bit out of hand, even though him calling out Ed Werder on NBC Sunday Night Football was quite humorous. According to The Big Lead, Owens' new found hatred for ESPN didn't end there, as he then attacked the Leader's Matt Mosley after the game:
“I was talking to a player out in the tunnel when I saw T.O. and his entourage approaching ESPN’s Matt Mosley. I recognized Damon Jones (Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers) from T.O’s group. As T.O. walked by, he started hunching his shoulders like he was trying to intimidate Mosley calling him a “chump.” Mosley seemed unsure of what to do and said something, and right then someone shouted, “Stop it!” Everyone turned to see who it was, but it was just a random fan in a Romo jersey who took a picture of Owens. Then Owens and Jones walked away.”
Hold on a second, Damon Jones? The same Damon Jones that is on the Milwaukee Bucks payroll right now for $4,460,186? Are you telling me nearly $5 million is being drained from beloved Senator Herb Kohl so that Damon Jones can be a part of T.O.'s entourage? I'm not really sure where the two players would have crossed paths to form this actually believable friendship, but I would love to know the details on that story.
Can't we trade this guy, already?
How slick are these Bucks red unis? They look as good as the Bucks did tonight, that is for sure. Milwaukee(11-15) got a much needed road win tonight over the Heat 98-83. The great thing about the win tonight was not because it was some crazy fluky shooting night, or a night where they drastically out shot their opponent at the freethrow line or the three point line. No this game was won on minimizing turnovers, rebounding and defense. Contributions were made from the starters as well as the bench. It was an all around great effort, on the road to boot.
Andrew Bogut again had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jon McGlocklin said something interesting tonight, he said that Bogut is right where he should be. You know what? I really agree with that. Maybe saying he is a 20 and 10 guy is too much, or that shooting 10 for 12 is where he should be. He was a number one pick though and being a guy who gets 18-16 points a game and 10 rebounds shouldn't be too much to ask.
On the other hand Charlie Villanueva has been a complete beast off the bench. It is a role he really seems to be coveting this year. Once again he was a catalyst from the pine by scoring 20 points and adding 6 rebounds and 5 assists. If you frequent the Bucks write ups you know how much of a homer I am for bench play. Ultimately, this is my thought process was tonight in deciding TBC's player of the game.
Milwaukee's leading scorer tonight was again Michael Redd who also contributed 5 assists with zero turnovers. Jefferson added 14 points.
B O X S C O R E
Miami star guard and Marquette legend Dwyane Wade was held to one of his worst games of the year amassing only 15 points and 4 turnovers. Rookie Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 20 points 8 assists and 7 rebounds.
The Bucks will look to get on a winning streak when take on the Sixers(10-14) in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. The game will be on FSN again.
In NBA related news, former coach of the Deering High Tornadoes from the TV show Hang Time, Reggie Theus was canned today from the Sacramento Kings gig. Who didn't see this coming. Just check out the link, and be sure to watch the opening scene as well where Reggie gives an outstanding pep talk. The show was a Saturday morning show ala Saved By The Bell, that stole Saved By The Bell plots, had Anthony Anderson as a basketball player on a team that was led by girl, not to mention the court featured 7 foot baskets. The red herring in all this was that Theus was replaced on the show by Dick Butkus, yikes.
TBC's Buck of the Game: Charlie Villanueva - Explained above.
Quick announcement. We're going to be doing a live blog on Wednesday night, starting at 6pm Central time. It will mainly focus on the Bucks/Sixers game taking place at that time, but feel free to stop by and discuss anything else that's even remotely Bucky Channel related.
Speaking of the Bucks, they are looking good right now against the Heat. But I disagree with Bill Simmons, besides the skin tone, the Heat's new coach looks nothing like Kumar.
He won 18 games in 2005, was voted an All-Star in 2006, struggled in 2007, and then destroyed his elbow in 2008. The first Chris Capuano Era was met with mixed results, but now both he and the Brewers are ready to give another go at it.
After wisely deciding to not offer Cappy arbitration, the Brewers have instead offered him a "heavily incentive-based" contract, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. It's a minor league contract, and it's anyone's guess as to where Capuano will be pitching come next season's Opening Day.
Personally, I've always liked Capuano, if only because of his uncanny resemblance to a friend I have, who is also named Chris. While the Brewers need to do a lot more than this before I'm comfortable with their rotation, both me and my buddy Chris approve of this low-risk, high-reward move.
Elsewhere, the Brewers and Yankees appear to have met a stalemate regarding the Cameron / Cabrera trade talks.
Well, that will do it. The 2008 Green Bay Packers season is officially over. Sure, they still have a Monday nighter with the Bears, and the inevitable loss to Detroit, but there is really no reason to go forward at this point.
I'm dealing with it ok, it just wasn't our season. It's unfortunate that some people are still blaming this whole season on the Favre situation, which shouldn't be the case. Rodgers really couldn't have played better this season, minus a couple of poorly timed interceptions at the end of some games. But on a whole, he's played just as well as Favre, if not way better.
Even though I've gone over the Favre / Rodgers thing nearly a million times, I still feel like I'm required to mention something in every post. And while most people agree with me at this point, there's one thing the Favre people have over the Rodgers people.
Favre's team is winning games.
That's just what it comes down to at this point. The Packers aren't winning games in the season in which they traded Brett Favre, even though it has nothing to do with Brett Favre. The Packers aren't clutch this season, especially on defense.
In their 20-16 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday, the Packers lost on a late drive for the third straight week. It's a script we've seen before, and maybe that's what made this week's loss so laughable. Through the entire game, it's almost as if we knew what the outcome would be. And on that final drive by the Jaguars, it seemed as if the Packers defense knew it too.
They just looked like they knew they couldn't stop Jacksonville, because the situation was so familiar to them. Despite their chances at the playoffs already being slim, the defense had no problem letting the Jaguars put the final nail in the coffin.
As I said, I'm dealing with this better than I thought I would. I'm just taking this season for what it is and looking forward to next year. You can't make the playoffs every season. However, I'm not so sure about how Ron Pitts, the play-by-play guy for the FOX broadcast on Sunday, is taking the loss.
How many times was he trying to sell the Packers playoff chances during the game? Everyone in the world knew coming into today's game that it was near impossible for the Packers to make the postseason, everyone but Ron Pitts that is.
It was almost insulting to see the graphic showing which teams were still alive for the NFC Playoffs. They kept showing the Packers as "in the hunt" for the Wild Card, even though they were already mathematically eliminated from the Wild Card. And then FOX showed what has to happen for the Packers to win the North, which would have been impossible anyway due to the fact that Tavaris Jackson is suddenly an elite quarterback.
Some say this Packers season was doomed when the Packers traded Brett Favre. Others say it was after the missed field goal in Minnesota, or the blown lead against Carolina. Truth is, we've all known this season has been over for awhile, but on a pitch of grass in Jacksonville on Sunday, it became official.
A couple of schools from the UW system met on the basketball court Saturday night, and it was the Wisconsin Badgers that prevailed. The Badgers cruised over the Phoenix from Wisconsin-Green Bay 77-57. In a related topic, I've always hated that UW-GB uses the Phoenix moniker. Don't know why, just have.
Joe Krabbenhoft lead the Badgers with 15 points, while Marcus Landry and Jason Bohannon followed with 14 and 12, respectively. For the Phoenix, Somerset, Wisconsin's very own Mike Schachtner paved the way with 21 points. Camp Lambeau credits the Badgers work under the boards for the victory.
Earlier in the day, the Marquette Golden Eagles were in action just down the Interstate. Lead by Jerel McNeal, they knocked off the Mastodons of IPFW 69-50. Now a nickname like the Mastodons, that's something I can get behind.
Sorry Kevin, I don't have much more analysis for you. Just the box scores.
Thanks for reading.
I'm not going to write a usual Bucks post because I saw nothing of the game. Originally I was planning to attend, but that fell through, and since the game was not on TV I really have nothing for you other than the box score could provide. Also I'll just mention that Bogut and CV had double-doubles with Bogut's being of the 20 points and 20 rebound variety and CV had 26 points and 10 rebounds with 3 blocks to boot. Michael Redd led the Bucks with 27 points. Wisconsin native Travis Diener did not play in his return to Milwaukee due to a sore foot.
If you were not able to catch the game, apparently the Bucks had a 21 point lead at one point in the 3rd quarter which was completely squandered. The Pacers then led 103-102 midway through the 4th when the Bucks turned up the D and the O and went on to score 19 straight points to finish off the game. That has to be a good sign. Right......
Milwaukee(10-15) go back on the road Monday night against the Miami Heat(12-11) at 6:30. The game will be televised on FSN.
TBC's Buck of the Game: Andrew Bogut - 20 and 20 with 2 blocks. Pretty schniiisch.
(AP Photo By Morry Gash)
After a six month hiatus, it's the long anticipated return of NFLN vs. ESPN. Some of you might not even know that we do this, but every now and then I turn on the NFL Network as well as ESPN to see which channel I would rather be watching. So why am I bringing it back now? Well, I have the NFL Network again, and I've missed showing off the cool logo I made.
If this still doesn't make sense, go ahead and check out the past matchups between the networks.
NFL Network - I caught two different programs at the bottom of the hour, the first one being "Live Wire". Not the Mountain Dew product, but a show that features sounds from on and off the field. I just caught a segment comparing this year's Lions team to that 0-14 Bucs expansion team. Hilarious, until the Lions beat the Packers in three weeks. Now showing is "NFL's Greatest Games", this one featuring the Tuck Rule game featuring the Raiders and Patriots.
ESPN - Tennesse vs. Temple in Men's Basketball action. I still can't take Tennessee seriously as a men's basketball program, because of how synonymous that school is with women's hoops. So it's no surprise I'm going with the NFLN today.
NFLN 6, ESPN 4
I have no idea what this says, or if it's even a haiku, but I think it will work. You know, since tattooing random Chinese symbols on the back of your thigh has become so popular, I thought this would be a good opportunity to put some on my blog.
My NFL picks column has become the longest column that I write during the week, which hasn't been a problem during my unemployment. But now that I'm back in the workforce - or at least, working - my time is a little more limited than in the past. That's why we're reverting back to what we tried out in Week Five, we're bringing back haikus!
1 point - Atlanta over Tampa Bay
Homecoming for Dunn.
I like him, but not enough.
Gay for Matt Ryan.
2 points - New York Jets over Buffalo
Favre sucking, Pack worse.
Green Bay fans once divided.
Now cheer for losers.
3 points - Chicago over New Orleans
A must win for both.
The Bears prevail on home turf.
Good head start to week.
4 points - Tennesse over Houston
Oilers return home.
Back to the fans they betrayed.
Game still lacks intrigue.
5 points - San Diego over Kansas City
As I write these picks...
Women's buckets on TV.
It's guys hoops, underwater.
6 points - Arizona over Minnesota
Cards clinched the West.
Rolled though easy division.
Vikes hope to copy.
7 points - Pittsburgh over Baltimore
Ravens playing well.
But Pittsburgh is just too good.
Best in AFC?
8 points - New York Giants over Dallas
Owens hating again?
Rumors say he's mad at Romo.
Stop dropping balls then.
9 points - Miami over San Francisco
Miami on top.
Could win the AFC East.
Just have to win out.
10 points - Philadelphia over Cleveland
Browns playing so bad.
But the game is on Monday.
They beat the Giants....
11 points - Indianapolis over Detroit
Worse than Browns? Detroit.
Not going to win all season.
Although could beat Pack.
12 points - Carolina over Denver
Panthers are for real.
Could they be peaking too soon?
Like they just ate grapes?
13 points - New England over Oakland
Last haiku was dumb.
But had to show Samberg clip.
But could not embed.
14 points - Washington over Cincinnati
Redskinds fading fast.
Zorn an overrated coach?
Like he was QB?
15 points - Green Bay over Jacksonville
Too much on my Pack.
Have let me down all season.
Why even watch this?
16 points - Seattle over St. Louis
Need to take chances.
And feeling good about Hawks.
Only cause Rams suck.
They are one of the more recognizable names in American soccer. They've won a number of championships, and have been represented by some of the best indoor soccer players of all time. Their success has reached off the field as well, becoming one of the most generous faces in the Milwaukee community.
But in their 25 years of existence, the Milwaukee Wave have been missing one thing.
As both the Wave and I look to celebrate our Silver Anniversary, we've decided to join forces. Or rather, I bugged their PR department to give me an internship, and they finally budged. Either way, I'm excited to be even the smallest part of the Milwaukee Wave this season.
A season which kicks off Saturday, December 13th, just 24 hours after this posting. The Wave are one of 4 teams that make up the new Xtreme Soccer League, an indoor league committed to bringing soccer fans a year-round experience, both on and off the field.
Once again, our friends at the Sports Bubbler have done a nice job getting you prepared for the upcoming season with some preview videos. Coach Keith Tozer, injured player Marcio Leite, and Media Relations director Matt Schroeder are among the interviews, which can be found on the right side of their Wave page.
There are ten occasions this season where you can catch the Wave at the US Cellular Arena, and I hope to see you there. If you pick one game to go too, I have a couple of suggestions for you. The Reunion Weekend at the end of January would be a good bet. Or may I suggest this weekend's home opener, where they are giving away free hot dogs?
This is my friend, Pat. Pat is what you call "a pretty good athlete". He starred in various sports at Neenah high school, and then was a football walk on at the University of Minnesota. The picture of above is of him doing some of sort celebratory scream while playing professional football in Sweden.
Pat and I are unlikely friends, if for no other reason than our attendance at rival high schools. But one thing I have found out in life is that the bigger the rivals you are with someone in high school, and the better the drinking buddies you are in college and beyond.
Something about this man I did not know until recently - he's also what you call "a pretty good writer". And he started up a blog that I want to make you aware of, not just because I like drinking with him, but because it's a good read.
The site is entitled Walk on Boy, referencing his experience at Minnesota as well as a song he likes by a band I don't know. Basically it's his space to write about whatever comes to his mind, much of that being football related. Case in point: This ridiculously well-detailed post about Matt Turk's decision to run for the first down after a botched punt attempt against the Packers last weekend.
If you like football, and you like reading, then I recommend you become friends with Pat too.
The Brewers kept Mike Cameron because he was friends with CC Sabathia. Now, with CC headed to New York, the Brewers are likely to send their centerfielder there as well.
Early Thursday morning, it was reported that the Brewers and Yankees had agreed to swap their centerfielders, Mike Cameron and Melky Cabrera. Then there were talks that the Kei Igawa was involved in the deal, as the Brewers were looking to add a pitcher to the deal. Things seemed to be all square and ready to go until the Yankees wanted the Brewers to pick up some of Cameron's tab.
"Hey Doug, we know we just shelled out $161 million to take the guy that delivered you into the playoffs, which is just an absurd amount of money. There was no way you could have ever came up with that. But hey, can we also have Mike Cameron? And can you pay his salary?"
This is why people hate the Yankees.
But apparently Melvin is not one to harbor ill feelings, and talks have resumed. It looks like that as of tomorrow morning, Melky Cabrera will be a Brewer, and Mike Cameron will be a Yankee. Fiances and whether or not the Yanks add an extra player seem to be the holdup. Heading into the 2009 season, it's possible the Yankees could have four Brewers from the 2008 season on their roster: Sabathia, Cameron, Sheets, and even Bill Hall.
Of course, making sure CC has all his buddies in New York shouldn't really be Melvin's biggest concern right now. The Brewers need pitching, and they need it now. Melvin's current wish list includes several guys that would likely just be signed to one-year deals, on account of their oldness. They include LHP Randy Johnson (45), LHP Jamie Moyer (46) and RHP John Smoltz (41).
The Brewers may also be considering giving a multi-year deal to Randy Wolf.
After a long day of work, it's time for a well deserved nap. And while I am napping, I'd like you to enjoy this latest version of Winks Thinks. Go ahead, don't be shy. And then, when I awake, I promise I'll return from my slumber with some posts that will blow your mind (actually, I'll probably just write a Brewers post with a bunch of links, but that's still good, right?)
Whats with these guys? After a so-so first half the Bucks(9-15) come out and have a great 3rd quarter, then just completely crap the bed in the 4th. Just ugly, and supremely frustrating. The Warriors(7-15) had 7, count them, 7 guys score double figures as the Warriors outscored the Bucks 37-11 in the 4th and won 119-92. It was a 1 point game at the end of the 3rd period.
I don't even know what to say. The Bucks again let their opponent destroy them in FT attempts, grossly out foul the other team, and allowed an opposing FG% around .500. You just can not win with that cocktail. I don't know how you change it, but it seems as if Skiles has something to work on and it hasn't gotten through to his team yet.
The Bucks leading scorer was Redd with 27 points. Ridnour, Jefferson and Bogut also had double figure points. CV didn't have the points tonight but he grabbed 10 boards and had 4 blocks from the bench.
The Bucks play at home against the Indiana Pacers(7-14) Saturday at 7:30 pm. Fond du Lac and Marquette native Travis Diener is unlikely to play due to a sore foot.
TBC's Buck of the Game: Michael Redd - He had 27 points.
(AP Photo By Ben Margot)
After three days of the Winter Meetings, the Brewers are already out their staff ace. They're likely to lose Ben Sheets in the next couple of days as well, probably also to the Yankees. So where do the Brewers go from here?
One of the biggest decisions now becomes whether the Brewers turn towards starting pitching, or relief pitching. A few of the names the Brewers are looking at include Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman for closers, and Randy Johnson as a starter. However, there may be a problem with any signing, per Danny Knobler:
Two sources familiar with their plans said, general manager Doug Melvin can't shift any of that $100 million into other pursuits. So if the Brewers are to sign even a lower-budget free-agent pitcher, as they'd like to do, they'll have to first move one of their other salaries, possibly someone like shortstop J.J. Hardy or first baseman Prince Fielder.Other notes via Bernie's Crew:
* Not only did the Yankees get Sabathia, they may also be close to landing Derek Lowe.
* The 2009 starting rotation for the Brewers does not look pretty.
* Could the Brewers be in play for John Smoltz?
For the sake of this column, and this column alone, let's forget for a moment how unfair the current structure of Major League Baseball is. Forget that the New York Yankees won the Sabathia sweepstakes because they play in the largest market in the country, and have a seemingly unlimited supply of funding. Forget all of that, for just this column.
The Yankees free-wheeling ways continued on Wednesday, as reports have CC Sabathia ready to sign a $161 million contract to wear pinstripes for the next seven years. The contract will include an opt-out clause after three years, after which Sabathia will have already earned $69 million.
I like the idea of the opt-out clause, something that would have been perfect for the Brewers. As badly as I wanted to keep the man that single-handily got us into the playoffs last year, I didn't think it was the right move to pursue Sabathia. The contract we did offer him was already one the Brewers probably couldn't have afforded, and I didn't want to see so much money tied up into one player for the next five to seven years.
My philosophy in sports has always been to do whatever it takes to win now, but don't completely destroy your chances for the future. A lot of people argue the Packers would be a better team this year with Brett Favre, but keeping him would have (probably) cost us the future of Aaron Rodgers.
With the Brewers, I argued for the trade of CC Sabathia because having him for three months was better for the future of the franchise than the career of Matt LaPorta. While we're a long way away from realizing if that will turn out to be true or not, the trade did get the Brewers into the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. So far, so good.
But despite how amazing Sabathia was, I don't think signing him would have been a smart play. Let's say something happens to CC in the next three years, and he either balloons up or injures his arm. Odds are, he's not going to opt out of any deal paying him cold hard cash, and the Yankees will be tied down by that money til 2016. Alright, maybe not tied down, since they are the Yankees, but still a lot of money nonetheless.
That's money the Yankees can afford, while the Brewers can not. If Milwaukee is going to be competitive in the next six to seven years, they need that money to not only sign free agents, but retain a lot of their bright young stars. Putting all that money towards one person would jeopardize the team around him.
Sabathia will likely be a great pitcher though for the next few years. He might even win a Cy Young in that time as well. I think this signing is a great move for the Yankees, but would have been a bad move for the Brewers.
And because of the current structure of Major League Baseball, that's the unfortunate truth.
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