Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rays Scramble to Download Tears For Fears Hit

I'm really kind of upset about this. Sure, Brian Shouse probably isn't going to be very hard to replace, but I'm really going to miss the guy that brought "Shout" by Tears for Fears back into my life. The song was always played before a Brian Shouse sighting at Miller Park, because "Shouse" and "Shout" sound the exact same if you don't listen very hard. The Brewers though, can now retire that album, as Shouse has signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Despite my pleas to Doug Melvin to resign the crafty lefty reliever, the Brewers showed about as much interest in Shouse as they did Gabe Kapler this off-season. Which would be none. Shouse will coincidentally join Kapler in Tampa Bay, as well as former Brewers Gabriel Gross and Grant Balfour.

The Brewers did not want Shouse for mainly one reason, and that was because the pitcher was looking for a two-year deal. That's not the kind of commitment a guy like Melvin likes to take, especially because Shouse is no spring chicken. The man is 40 years old, and probably ready to break down physically at any time. But they say 40 is the new 30, so who knows what will happen.

Because of this signing, the Brewers will receive compensation in the form of a draft pick this June. The pick will come between the first and second rounds, more commonly known as a sandwich pick. So if I'm doing my math correctly, this means the Brewers are going to receive a better draft pick for Brian Shouse than they will for CC Sabathia.

Best of luck to Shouse, you will be missed. Just for you, let's hear it one more time...

Georgetown Hoyas Are Marquette's Latest Victim

For all the time that I spend actually writing this blog, I probably spend at least twice as much time reading other great blogs written in the great state of Wisco. One of the most common themes I've discovered this week (besides Brett Favre being a D-bag) is that every Badger basketball fan is more than willing to jump on the Marquette bandwagon.

I am one of those such people, and I hope you accept me on the train. This Marquette team is just fun to watch. In each game, you can see the hard work of the seniors Dominic James, Wesley Matthews, and Jerel McNeal paying off on the floor. When Buzz Williams inherited this team, he could have screwed it up just as easily as he could have lead the team to greatness, and he's doing a very good job of the latter at this point. Marquette's 94-82 win against #25 Georgetown is another example of that.

The Hoyas kept up with Marquette in the first half, as they went to the intermission tied at 42. But lead by Jerel McNeal (standard), the Golden Eagles/Warriors were able to pull away and win yet another game in the Big East, improving their record to 8-0 (19-2 overall). McNeal lead the way with 26 points, followed by Lazar Hayward and Wesley Matthews with 23 a piece. Dominic James chipped in with 13 points.

Next up for MU - a matchup at DePaul this Tuesday at 8pm.

Bogut Brings Back Bucks' Bite

The Bucks have been playing nothing short of awful lately, and that has been in large part because of the absence of Andrew Bogut. Now, with Michael Redd out for the season, the Bucks need Bogut more than ever if they are actually going to pull off the old 8th seed that gets swept routine in the playoffs. With a 96-85 win over the Raptors on Friday night, perhaps the Bucks can achieve the playoffs after all (which would me more than enough to satisfy any Bucks' fans liking at this point).

Keep this in mind however - the Bucks are nothing without Andrew Bogut. As the last week has shown us, he is far more valuable to this team without Michael Redd. And while the Bucks probably can't contend for anything more than an 8th seed without Redd, they most definitely would not even be in the position to grab the 8th seed should they lose Andy Boges.

Bogut did only play 16 minutes - the least of any Buck that saw the floor in this game - but just having him out there added a confidence level to this team that has been missing in his absence. Bogut did make the most of his time on the court, pulling down 8 rebounds and scoring 13 points.

Chuck Villaneuva lead the Bucks with 26 points and 13 minutes, while trade-bait Richard Jefferson added 17 points.

The Bucks will have little time to savor the victory as they host the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:30pm. The game will be broadcast on FSN Wisconsin (I refuse to just say FS Wisconsin, but I would say Fox Sports Wisconsin. Either way.)

Numb3rs. Player of the Game: It's CV statistically, but I gotta give this one to Bogut.

Friday, January 30, 2009

How Can Anyone Possibly Defend This Guy Anymore?

Throughout this whole Favre saga, I used to say that even though I hate him now, someday I'll learn to forgive him. Someday I'll welcome him back to have his number retired, someday I'll make the trip to Canton to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame. But after this season and it's many twists and turns, forget it. Favre sucks, and I don't like the guy.

The reason I post this today is because of a highly-circulated interview Aaron Rodgers did on the Michael Irvin Show this week down in Tampa. In it, Rodgers says that Favre hasn't returned any of his phone calls in the past year, and that his presence at training camp was a huge distraction to the team. Part of the transcript can be found here, or you can listen to the interview yourself. I would suggest listening to it, as you'll really be able to feel the pain - if that's the appropriate word - in Aaron's voice as he wonders how his relationship with Favre went astray.

Throughout the interview, Rodgers is asked some pretty personal questions. He answers most of them honestly, but refuses to put words in Favre's mouth or talk badly about his former teammate. If you're a Packer fan, this interview might be weird to listen to at first, because of how accustomed we've become with having Favre just say whatever he wants to whoever he wants without thinking of the consequences (i.e. Greta Van Susteren). Rodgers shows the kind of professionalism and grace in his mid-20s that Favre is still looking for as he reaches 40.

It's not just because of this interview why I am once again attacking Favre, it's more or less the way everything has played out since he fake retired. This offseason is already shaping up to be like the last five offseasons in terms of the drama that follows Favre and his "Will He or Won't He?" return scenarios. I just don't understand how a quarterback who I loved watching growing up has turned into this larger-than-life egotistical drama queen.

Favre is the one that retired. Favre is the one that left. I'm so sorry, Brett, that the Packers had to move on without you. I'm so sorry they spent an entire offseason changing the playbook to better suit Rodgers' strengths, and didn't feel like you coming back would make this team any more competitive. I'm so sorry that Thompson and McCarthy thought that ten years of Aaron Rodgers and no Favre would be better than one year of Favre and no Rodgers. After all this, after all that YOU put Aaron Rodgers through this year, you are the one not returning his calls?

Real professional.

And can we stop with the argument that Favre "earned" the right to do whatever he wanted because of all the success he had in Green Bay? All the success? I guess if one Super Bowl victory followed by years of disappointment "earns" you immunity with a team, then why aren't the Buccaneers on the phone with Brad Johnson right now?

Please, please, please don't try to defend this guy anymore. You can't do it. If you want to still remember the good times he gave us, that's fine. They happened, and they are a part of Packers history. But cherishing the memories Favre gave us is not the same as sticking up for the person he has become.

So go ahead. Retire his number. Induct him into the Hall of Fame. Honor this guy with the awards he clearly deserves for his work on the field. But I'm asking you, when that day comes, I hope you don't forgive him for what he has to his former teammates. I hope you don't let bygones be bygones while accepting the person he has become. And when he is inducted, I hope you don't look at him with the same admiration you did when he wore the Green and Gold.

Clearly, he doesn't deserve it.

NFL Pick: Super Bowl XLIII

Don't goof around too much with that hammer, Brett. You'll need it to destroy tapes of the '98 Wild Card game against the 49ers, the '01 Divisional game against the Rams, the '02 Wild Card game against the Falcons, the '03 Divisional game against the Eagles, the '04 Wild Card game against the Vikings, and the '07 NFC Championship game against the Giants. You could probably use that same hammer for the tapes from the latter half of your season with the Jets, and whatever trouble you find yourself in with the Vikings next year (please go there, please please please).

Speaking of Princess Brett, some of his fans are trying to say that if he was still on the Packers, he could have had a reclamation project similar to that of Kurt Warner with the Arizona Cardinals. But then again, these are the same fans that still bring up Ari Fleischer when they are trying to rip on Ted Thompson. Obviously, they are wrong, as Kurt Warner is playing much better football than Favre could have ever dreamed of this season.

What's interesting about these Cardinals though, is that besides Warner and their receivers, they have really been an awful team for much of the season. They got crushed by the Patriots in December, a game that pretty much told everyone there was no way they could compete with the league's best teams. They backed into the playoffs, and looked like they had no momentum to even escape past the first round. And even though they clinched the NFC West way early, if the 49ers play calling wasn't so dreadful in their Monday night matchup earlier this season, the 49ers could be in this spot. How much more absurd would that have been?

There is a reason why no matter how good the teams around the league may be, I always say that I want nothing more for than the Packers to just make the playoffs. It really doesn't matter how you get there, in my opinion, as long as you do get there. Take a team like the Patriots, they could have won the Super Bowl this season, but they couldn't get in. They didn't have the same chance the Cardinals had in being one of the final twelve. The Cardinals may have done it ugly, but they got there. And that's all that matters. Once you're in, anything can happen.

Are they the worst Super Bowl team of all-time? I wouldn't go that far, because they could very well win this game. This is the matchup I wanted to see - not just because I hate the Eagles - but because I want to see the Cardinals offense go up against that Steelers defense.

The way to beat that defense is to exploit the middle of the field, something the Cardinals have done very effectively this season. The focus may be on Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but don't be surprised if screen passes to Tim Hightower and slant routes to Steve Breaston end up winning this game for the Cardinals.

As interesting as the Cardinals drives will be on Sunday, let's not forget about the matchup of the Pittsburgh offense versus the Cardinals defense. Roethlisberger (I refuse to just say "Ben") will be looking to avenge his so-so performance from Super Bowl XL, so look for him to be raring and ready to go. And because every Super Bowl needs a compelling storyline, it will be fun to see how former Steelers coaches Ken Wisenhunt and Russ Grimm prepare against their old team.

As for a prediction, I predict that the game will actually be entertaining, and not suck. The Super Bowl is usually set-up for a huge let down, but in recent years it's been pretty entertaining. But I can predict that the commercials will suck, the pre-game will get boring, and the buffalo wings will be delicious. I will also be obnoxious in my custom made Super Bowl XLIII t-shirt made by a family friend. SWAG!

But the game itself? After many hours of careful deliberation, I'm going to pull a Joe Flacco and pick the Steelers. Let's go with 27-21 for the final score. But why am I picking the Steelers, even when I want the Cardinals to win?

Because I put money on the Cardinals, and don't want to jinx myself. Although I think I just did.

It's ok though, I already got my free shirt.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Presenting the Inter-Blog Mock Draft Spectacular

I'm really starting to feel the love between some of the blogs of Wisconsin sports, and I have to tell you, I'm liking whats been going on. The latest joint effort in blogging is the first edition of our "Inter-Blog Mock Draft Spectacular", a name which lacks nothing in the hyperbole department. The following are the first couple of picks in our NFL Mock Draft, which was completed by Todd from the Brew Town Beat, Dan from the Sports Bubbler, and Brad from Chuckie Hacks.

1. Detroit (0-16) (Brew Town Beat)

Matt Stafford – QB – Georgia

You knew Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford were going back to school when they saw the Lions had the top pick in this year's draft. You could argue that the Lions should take a bookend tackle like Andre Smith and scoop up one of the QBs next year, but the NFL is a wild beast and even a 4-12 record could prevent Detroit from getting their paws (no pun intended) on Bradford or McCoy next season. And then the Lions also remember that they had turds named Culpepper take snaps for them and dummards named Orlovsky run out of the back of the end zone. So congrats to Matt Stafford, who becomes the next number one pick of the draft to amount to absolutely nothing.

2. St. Louis (2-14) (Chuckie Hacks)

Andre Smith – OT – Alabama

First, as a Packers fan, I'd like to thank the Lions for setting their organization back another 4 years by selecting Stafford. Thanks. The Rams go with the biggest, baddest OT in the draft. They really wanted Jake Long last year, but had to settle for Howie's kid instead. At this point in his career, Orlando Pace is as reliable as a 1974 AMC Pacer…enter Andre Smith. He's a true mauler who can both road-grade for Steven Jackson and protect whichever crappy QB the Rams put back there. I'll be stunned if he's a bust.

3. Kansas City (2-14) (The Bucky Channel)

Aaron Curry - OLB - Wake Forest

With a new GM and a new head coach, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Chiefs also wanted to go with a new quarterback and selected Mark Sanchez. But besides Carson Palmer and maybe, MAYBE Rodney Peete, quarterbacks from Southern Cal really haven't had too much success in the pros. I mean, the whole reason the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl is because Matt Leinart was benched. But I'm not sure how comfortable the new regime is going to be with Tyler Thigpen as their quarterback of the future, so we'll have to see. Still, after agonizing for a good five minutes about who the Chiefs should pick here (I'm not exaggerating, this was a hard pick to make), I'm going to go with Curry from Wake Forest. He's the best defensive player in the draft this year, and when you win only two games in a season, something tells me your defense could probably use some work. With teams having to guarantee so much money to their top picks, I think the Chiefs will go the safer route here and take the linebacker over the quarterback.

4. Seattle (4-12) (Sports Bubbler - Daily Drink)

WR - Michael Crabtree - Texas Tech

Why not? Super stud college WR played in Mike Leach's pass heavy offense. Everybody has seen the last second TD against the Longhorns. But, the Detroit Lions have proven over the past couple of seasons, drafting WRs doesn't give you W's. The Walrus is gone as the coach. Since TT left the organization, it has gotten progressively worse. Problem for Crabtree, there are no other receivers on the Seahawks that amount to jack-squat. Which means the D will have no problem shutting him down. Crabtree brings excitement, but not any W's. Peter Warrick, Mike Williams, Charles Rodgers and David Terrell anyone?

Not bad so far, eh? Because Todd spearheaded this whole Spectacular, I'm going to send you to his site for the conclusion of the mock draft. Only fair, right? There will likely be a few more of these in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Winks Thinks: Backlash

People say they love of all their children the same amount - I think that's a lie. I certainly don't love all of my "Winks Thinks" the same amount, and I wasn't too particularly fond of these weeks. But, it is a weekly column, so I came up with the best effort that I could.

Bear and I like to joke about when things enter a backlash stage. For example, every one loved Dane Cook in college, and then backlash occurred. Every one loved Bill Simmons until the Red Sox won, enter the backlash. Every one loved Favre at one time, now, enormous backlash.

Well, Bear, I think that the Winks Thinks column has finally reached the backlash stage. Give this week's column a read, and then see the attacks on the column in the comments. Some guy even wanted his money back.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weird....T.J. Ford Tied A Career High 34 Against The Bucks.

Tonight is probably a good indication of how the rest of this season is going to go. The Bucks took on a Grangerless Pacer team and lost 107-99. The Bucks are now 22-27 and tied for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

They had several opportunities to comeback but missed close shots at the end of the game by Alexander and Jefferson, missed free throws by Jefferson and a turnover by Charlie Bell helped end a Bucks surge. Milwaukee was down 20 at one point in the first half, but cut the deficit to 2 twice, before again letting the Pacers go on a run.

The Bucks had no rhythm and were completely out rebounded. T.J. Ford dropped 34, and looked like an all star.

Charlie V had 28 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out. A worthy effort, just not enough apparently.

Milwaukee plays at Toronto on Friday night at 6:00 pm. This really is a must win. And Bogut needs to get on the court soon, or we might as well play for Blake Griffin.

(AP Photo by Darron Cummings)

TBC Buck of the Game: Charlie Villanueva.

Bob Sanders Finds a Job

Looks like there is life after the great Defensive Purge of Green Bay after all. Several of the Packers former defensive coaches are landing on their feet with other teams, which is fine as long as that collective group of people never work together again.

The leader of that group, former defensive coordinator Bob Sanders, is taking a job as the defensive line coach of the Buffalo Bills. Former defensive backs coach Lionel Washington has accepted a job with the Oakland Raiders, while former strength and conditioning coach Rock Gullickson recently interviewed with the St. Louis Rams. Congrats to those guys for moving on, but with the current staff the Pack is assembling, I'm not missing them too much.

In other coaching news, former Packers quarterback Doug Pederson has been hired by Andy Reid to be the team's new quarterbacks coach. Dougie will have the task of coaching Donovan McNabb (maybe) and furthering the development of Kevin Kolb. Might he also be reunited with his golfing buddy Brett Favre?

The Tale of Sean McHugh

Sean McHugh may not be a recognizable name to many of you, but I fondly remember his time with the Green Bay Packers back in 2004. He spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans, and then was claimed by the Pack off waivers. He only would appear in one game for the Packers that season as a tight end, spending the rest of the time on the inactive list.

McHugh's life then took him to Detroit, where he played with the Lions from 2005-2007. During that time, he was allocated to NFL Europa's Frankfurt Galaxy, where he won a World Bowl championship.

He'll now have a chance to win the Super Bowl, as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thing is though, this is a guy that started his season with the Lions, a team that went 0-16. Now he's about to be playing for a Super Bowl ring. Not bad.

Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel has the story.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm Really Getting Sick of My Teams Losing Like This

Being a Wisconsin sports fan sucks, kind of. The Packers had a season where they lost on the final drive almost every other game. The Brewers seemed destined for nothing more than a .500 season. The Bucks are lost without Michael Redd. And the Wisconsin football team was a joke. So in these winter months, we're left with nothing but the Badgers and Marquette. Marquette is holding up to their end of the deal of giving us something to cheer about, while the Badgers are just following the lead of the rest of this state's sports teams.

The Badgers deserve plenty of credit for their effort in their 64-63 loss to Purdue on Tuesday night, but ultimately it was another close loss for this team, their fifth loss in a row. That's a stretch Bo Ryan hasn't experienced since a stretch at UW-Platteville in the mid-80s. Yikes.

Purdue lead for most of the first half in this one, but lead by Keaton Nankivil's 21 points (5-5 from beyond the arc) the Badgers looked like they could send the Kohl Center fans home happy. However, Purdue was on a mission tonight, and a couple of quick three point shots gave them the lead.

Now, I've been saying all season long that the Badgers need a guy to take the last shot, and Jordan Taylor tried to be that guy with a left handed jumper at the 5.5 second mark that would have tied the game at 62, but it was no good. Purdue sweeps the season series for the second year in a row, and the Badgers have lost five straight. Shoulder shrug and a deep sigh.

Maybe Collin is right. The Marquette Channel?

I Almost Forgot, It's Our Birthday

I don't know if you've ever forgotten somebody's birthday before, but it's not a good feeling. Now imagine when you forget that it's your OWN birthday, and the only reason you remembered is because you wrote it on your page-a-day calendar a few weeks back. Yes, that's right, The Bucky Channel turned one year old on Tuesday.

As I reflect on what has been a year of writing about Wisconsin sports, it's a wonder how this blog even started in the first place. I guess you could say the roots of this blog go all the way back to my freshman year of college, when I updated my AIM profile with my "Packers News of the Day". After AIM stopped being popular, I started to write recaps about "24" on my MySpace page. For some reason, I decided I wanted to write more about sports, and had the goal of updating my MySpace blog once a day, speaking about something either sports or television related.

Sometime in December of 2007, my brother told me that if I was really serious about blogging, I should move to Blogger. I did so not only because it was a better format, but I found out I could also make money of Google Adsense. Although anyone with Google Adsense knows, it takes awhile to actually make money.

So I started a blog at Blogger using under the URL, which is still accessible. Check out it once. Look familiar? The name of my blog though was called "Winks Thinks" and it had some stupid logo with three gears inside a silhouette of a head. This was the focus of my blog, as described in one of my first posts:

So I'm deciding to throw my hat into the ring, and not just because I've been on a quest to copy everything my friend and future roomate Mark does (he's writing a blog on his myspace as well, only his has a focus. He describes it as going beyond the headlines of the news you see on tv.) And while his does have a focus, mine so far, does not. Sure, once a week I'll write about my true love, primetime television, which I'll label as a "TV Winks Thinks". And if it ever returns, I'll start up the 24 blog I did during season six last year. But other than that, somedays it will could be sports related, politically related, news related, entertainment related, whatever is on my mind that day.
After awhile, I thought that format was kind of stupid. I decided I wanted to actually be a part of the large blogosphere that was out there, and decided I was going to change the name of my blog to "The Bucky Channel". It called it this because I wanted to have two focuses - a) Wisconsin sports and b) primetime television. Sort of a weird mix, but that's what I liked to write about. I actually was initially going to name this thing "Bucky Tube", but thankfully that name was taken. The announcement from that fateful day was as follows:

Well I've made a few (slash a ton) of changes to the site. I'm going forward as "The Bucky Channel", with the focus on Wisconsin sports and TV news, just like always. I'm not happy with the way everything looks still, but I think I'm going to stick with the red font on the white background. I'm intending to put more time into the site than ever before, with it being your go to place for Wisconsin sports news. I've changed the title to reflect that.
Things got off to a decent start at first. I was blogging as much as I could, whenever my free-time would allow me to. I also got in the bad habit of blogging while at work, but which blogger doesn't do that nowadays?

I doubled my staff to two sometime in February, adding my friend Bear to the mix. The main reason why I added him is because he was unemployed and I wanted someone to be able to update things while I was away from the computer. One of the first posts Bear wrote was about the Pau Gasol trade to the Lakers, and his post was picked up by a Lakers message board (aka I created an account and posted it as spam). One of their readers commented here about his dislike for the article, something to the tune of "The Buckey Channel? Wisconsin TV? I've never even heard of these guys?"

That sole comment was the day I decided to drop the television aspect to this writing and focus mainly on Wisconsin sports.

So we chugged along, posting updates, adding analysis, and doing live blogs. We've never really "broke" a story, something my friends like to remind me of all the time (although we did interview Jon Ryan!) But I've always thought of this site as a reaction and commentary site rather than a news site. But I still like to make this a place for people to get their news, so I won't stop doing that. And somewhere along the line I started doing game recaps, a habit I've never been able to break, and hope not to.

One year later, we've come a long way from those start-up days, but are still just a relative blip on the sports blog scene. However, we have made a ton of friends a long the way, which I still find amazing. There are a handful of people in my life I have met only because of this blog, something that still seems weird to me. I won't be able to directly thank everyone that has helped the building of this site, but anyone who ever has is listed in the blogroll on the right of this page. I hope not to offend anyone by doing this, but I have to single out the Sports Bubbler for really giving this site a bigger stage for Wisconsin sports readers. Thanks again for all the publicity, t-shirts, and free lunches.

And thanks to Bear as well, who continues to write for me. And he's no longer unemployed, so that's good.

I still like to think we've had a lot of success though in this short year. This site has allowed "Winks Thinks" to be reborn as a column on the Sports Bubbler. We've been linked on a whole host of sites, including the big ones like Deadspin and Awful Announcing, as well as The Bleacher Report, SI's Extra Mustard, and even a shout out from Bill Simmons which we are quite proud of.

Still though, this site remains a small fish in the blog pool. I like to think of us as a bigger small fish, in that we can still help up-and-coming blogs get some attention. That's something I'll always be willing to do. It's hard work starting a blog, and even though I would consider this blog a success, it's nowhere near what I want it to be.

Sometimes I wonder what needs to be done to take this site to the next level. It could be large-scale things like changing the focus to all sports, but enough people try to do that. Or it could be the little things, like making this rather than That "the" makes a huge difference, I feel.

Sometimes I wonder if my success in the blog world hurts my success in the real world. I've kind of been trying to find a new, better job for the past year, and I wonder if prospective employers come across this site and say, "Um, next." I'm never sure. Actually, one time I used this blog as the main reason why I should be hired for a job at a television station, one where I would basically run their sports website. I was actually told that because of this blog I was the better candidate, but they hired someone else instead (sigh... to be truthful, that's only part of the story. But it's the part of the story that makes me look good, so that's what you get).

But that in itself has kind of been the great thing about this blog. This site has always been my kind of release from the real world, from the few crummy jobs I've held in the past year. It's been a place where I'm my own boss. I like that.

I know I'm getting a little too reflective here, but this site really means a lot to me for just being some site known as "The Buckey Channel? Wisconsin TV?". What means even more to me is the readers that for some reason or another decide to come back here more than once. Especially the people that make this a daily stop on their website rotation. Some of you I know personally, some of you I don't, but believe me when I tell you I thank you for reading what I write. I know that seems tacky, but it's true.

I even want to thank the people that criticize my work. It helps make me a better writer, and helps me develop a thicker skin, a quality I think is so important in a person. But don't criticize too much, ok?

But to reiterate, I would not be doing this if people didn't read it, and I want to keep doing this. So each day, I'll continue to try to do my best to make you keep coming back.

Thank each of anyone of you for being a part of our birthday. Next year, we'll try to throw a party or something.

Assuming I don't forget.

Pack Hire Another Coach

The Journal Sentinel's Greg A. Bedard says that the Packers defense is slowly but surely turning into Steelers West, and that's a comparison I would be happy to live with. You know, because their defense is always good and they're heading to their seventh Super Bowl.

Besides the connections to the Steelers they already have with Capers and Kevin Greene, the Packers announced that former Steelers defensive back and assistant coach Darren Perry will coach the safeties next season. He will be coming from Oakland where he was the defensive backs coach.

Perry is no stranger to those in the Packers organization, having been coached by Capers, played with Green, coached by Winston Moss, and on the Saints when McCarthy was their offensive coordinator. So once again, it's not what you know, but who you know.

How great is this defensive staff turning out to be? For all these years, we have been lead by these soft old white guys that were never any good on the field. Now we have some hard-nosed former Steelers and Dom Capers to lead the 3-4? I'm liking that.

Bedard also speculates that Joe Whitt Jr. will instruct the rest of the defensive backs, while Mark Lovat would take the strength position.

Oh My God, The Brewers Will Be on Sunday Night Baseball. Twice.

I've gotten used to seeing the Brewers play in the national spotlight of either an ESPN, TBS, or FOX nationally televised game. But I can't remember the last time I watched the Brewers play on Sunday Night Baseball. I'm not even sure it's ever happened before, quite honestly.

Even though the Brewers probably won't be expected to have the type of season they did last year, they are being rewarded for the 2008 season with five nationally televised games this season, and possibly more.

This includes two appearances on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Now, a lot of people hate this program because of how bad the announcers are, but I don't care. Watching the Brewers on ESPN on a Sunday night is something I've been dying to do for years (I don't set very lofty goals, as you can see). First, they'll end their first home series with a game against the Cubs on April 12th. Then, on May 24th, their game at the Metrodome against the Minnesota Twins will be showcased.

The Brewers will also get the FOX billing three times this season for their Saturday games. The first will be a June 13th matchup hosting the Chicago White Sox, the second will be a June 20th game in Detroit, while the third will take place on September 5th when they host the Giants.

Also, they could also pick up some games on the TBS schedule, which hasn't been announced yet. And ESPN will likely have the Brewers on for a couple of mid-week games as well. So even if you're not close enough to Milwaukee to catch the FSN Wisconsin broadcasts, there will still be plenty of chances to watch Brewers baseball this season.

The Lemmy Channel

(The Lemmy Channel is a weekly column written by our good friends at Stock Lemon.)

Forgive us for straying from our usual topic of betting Bucks basketball, but the loss of Michael Redd might cost Bucks bettors some green and we'd rather not be responsible for that.

Instead, we're here to talk about something a little more exciting: 2009 Super Bowl 43 Prop Bets! As some of you may have noticed, Stock Lemon is the main squeeze for 2009 Super Bowl 43 Prop Bets and we have some recent posts that are worth taking a look at.

First, if you're unfamiliar with prop betting, check out this basic list of typical Super Bowl proposition bets.

Hopefully that list will get you really flipping excited to learn more about prop bets, so you'll want to check out one of the most popular props that happens to have nothing to do with football--the coin flip!

The opening toss isn't the only pre-game activity that people are betting on, so take a look at our thoughts on betting the over/under for the National Anthem.

The over/under was originally set at 1 minute and 54 seconds, but after reading our post about how the Over is very likely to hit, bookies added seven seconds to that prop, setting the new over/under at 2 minutes and 1 second.

If pre-game betting isn't your thing, well, try betting on post-game props! The ever important "What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach" bet is a good place to start when the game ends.

Of course, make sure to check back to Stock Lemon for props that actually involve the Steelers and the Cardinals and the action on the field.

Since this episode of the Lemmy Channel is basically just a clip show, be sure to check us out and view the full episodes.

Happy Supper Bowl 43 Prop Betting!

Bucks Look Lost Without Redd, Fall to T'Wolves

The Timberwolves are one of the worst teams in the league, or at least, they were. But since the start of the new year, the Timberwolves have raced to a 10-2 record, with two of those wins coming against your Milwaukee Bucks. The latest effort was a controlling 90-83 victory on Monday night at the Bradley Center.

When the Bucks lost Michael Redd for the season, it put a damper on what was looking to be a playoff season for Milwaukee. Sure, without Redd these guys would need to step up offensively, and perhaps swing a deal or two to stay competitive. But after last night's showing, I'm almost tempted to say this season is already lost.

It's not that the Bucks just looked bad on Monday, it looked like they thought their season was over as well. As good as Redd is, all you're really missing when he's out is a pure scorer, someone should be able to step up and fill that void. Charlie Villaneuva? Charlie Bell? How about the big trade target Richard Jefferson? Somebody needs to step up, and it didn't look like anyone was willing to in the Timberwolves game.

The Bucks stayed close in the first half, but this one was over midway through the 3rd. In fact, in the 4th quarter, the Bucks could have been able to make a comeback, but Skiles trotted out a lineup that wasn't worthy of many NBA courts. He left RJ and CV on the bench, while guys like Malik Allen were forced to effort the comeback. Clearly, it didn't work.

I don't yet want to say that this season is over, but based on last night, things aren't looking too bright. However, this team has been kind of playing streaky lately, so who knows what we'll see on Wednesday against the Pacers.

Box Score. AP Photo by Jim Prisching. TBCPOTG: Sessions.

Marquette Is Proving They Are For Real

Vaulted up to a #8 ranking and make on the stage of national prominence, many MU fans were growing nervous that their matchup in Notre Dame was going to be a trap game. Instead, their 71-64 victory on the road proved they not only belong in the top ten, but they may even be a legit national championship contender.

With the victory, Marquette has won ten straight games for the first time since the 2002-03 season. It seems the Golden Eagles have found a nice little formula for victory this season - shoot well, play good defense, and buckle down in the stretch. Three things that any good basketball team needs to be able to do, and Marquette is doing it.

When Buzz Williams was hired to be this team's coach, I thought the hiring was sort of a joke. Marquette had just lost their beloved Tom Crean, and because they couldn't find anyone else quickly they just decided to give some assistant with a goofy nickname a shot. I thought this year would be a decent year for Marquette, but that they wouldn't really be able to do anything with a first-year coach.

Turns out, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Buzz was the perfect hire for this team. The seniors on this team are comfortable with him, and seem to be willing to buy into anything he says. And with this being the final chance at greatness for guys like McNeal, James, and Matthews, I think they have the kind of drive it takes to really make a run at a national title. I'm not sure they have enough as a team talent-wise to pull it off, but it's going to be a fun ride.

And yes, for the record, I'm 100% bandwagoning this team.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Suddenly, Kevin Greene is a Packer

The man who may have inspired the haircut of A.J. Hawk will now be alongside him, every single day. Former Steelers, Rams, and Panthers linebacker will be introduced as a Linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Greene has lead the NFL in sacks twice during his tenure, and was one of the more recognizable players in the game during the mid-1990's. He hasn't really been heard from since he retired from the NFL, but his familiarity with the 3-4 scheme and his participation in a few coaching internships were enough for McCarthy and Capers to invite Greene to their staff.

Now if you're asking yourself, "Wait a minute, don't the Packers already have a linebacker coach?", you're right. His name is Winston Moss, who you've no doubtfully heard a lot about this off-season. So the guy who was once a candidate for both the Rams and Raiders head coaching positions will now be nothing more than the "assistant" head coach of the Packers, as well as their inside linebackers coach. Kevin Greene will handle the duties of the outside linebackers position.

I have to say, I'm liking the way this defensive staff is unfolding.

Thirteen Years Ago, Today...

Thirteen years ago? Damn. Anyway, since I've tortured you with videos of the bad times in Packers playoffs history lately, I thought today would be a good day to relive a good memory. Take a few minutes, and let's remember the good times.

The Dooze

This is Bill Simmons' dog. Or at least, it was his dog before her life ended a little too soon. I post this picture not because of my admiration for all things Bill, but because if you have the time I want you to check out one of his recent articles. It's a reflection of how he lost one of his closest friends, and you can feel the sadness of what a family goes through when they lose a pet. And he does it without stealing $8.50 and two hours of your time ala Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Marquette Improves to 6-0 in Big East

"[McNeal] is like the in-law that comes over to your house," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. "He has a suitcase and he's not leaving. I love the kid. He's a testament to what college basketball is all about. I wouldn't want him guarding me."

As I went to check out the version of this article (which is really just a cut and paste rehash of the Associated Press' leg work), this quote by DePaul's coach struck me as particularly odd. I mean, I understand what the guy is trying to say, that Jerel McNeal is a hell of a ball player. But to phrase the compliment in the form of a Bill Simmons style of comparison just seems weird and out of place.

Wainwright's got a point though, McNeal is awesome. So is this Marquette team right now though to be honest. Even though the 79-70 final against DePaul might not be the most impressive result for a team ranked tenth in the nation, it's already the team's 17th victory on the season. McNeal lead the way with 21 points, while Wesley "If I Would Have Went to Wisconsin They Wouldn't Have More Than One Big Ten Loss Right Now" Matthews chipped in 20.

The win also puts Marquette at 6-0 in conference play, their best start in that category, ever. Admittedly, their schedule is a little light in the front as they don't play the best of their competition until the end of the season, but winning in conference is never easy.

Unless you're name is the Butler Bulldogs and you're playing against UW-Milwaukee.

High comedy.

Badgers Lose, Yet Again

Wisconsin Badgers athletics have officially gone down the tubes, at least as far as this year is concerned. Just months after the Badgers football team completely offended every fan within the great state of Wisconsin, the Badgers basketball seems to be on a mission to do the same. Bo Ryan's squad dropped their fourth straight game in the Big Ten on Saturday, this time by a score of 64-57 to Illinois.

It's the first time they've dropped four straight games in the Big Ten since the 1997-1998 season.

An inability to come through in the clutch coupled with a 35.6 shooting percentage ultimately lead to the Badgers' demise in this one. The loss puts them at 3-4 in the Big Ten, and now 12-7 on the season. A decent record, sure, but not something the Badgers have been used to in years past.

Clearly, the number one thing is team is missing is a go-to guy. They have nobody to answer in the clutch, and nobody to give them a comfortable lead. That's kind of always been the Bo Ryan mantra though, to have an emphasis on the team first. It's worked in the past, but this year the Badgers just can't keep up with the competition. And with Landry and Krabbenhoft leaving after this season, one has to wonder how much longer Bo Ryan's system can bring success to Wisconsin.

I'm not by any means suggesting the termination of Ryan's tenure with the team, I'm just saying maybe it's time for him to think of other philosophies on how to win a ballgame. It seems he's already ready to shake things up a bit for the remainder of the season, as he's planning to play more of a three guard offense featuring freshman Jordan Taylor.

The Badgers won't have long to test out the new offense before it premieres though as they have an upcoming showdown with Purdue this Tuesday. After that, they'll face Northwestern, so at least we know the losing streak will come to an end within the next two games.

Rookies Star in Wave's Silver Anniversary Party

Before I get to the Badgers, Marquette, and Michael Redd recaps this afternoon, I wanted to give you a brief update about the ongoings of the Milwaukee Wave. As I've alluded to earlier this season (and subsequently berated for doing so), I've taken on an internship with the club as they take part in their 25th season.

On Saturday night, the Wave brought back more than 50 former players to greet the fans and take part in an alumni game. My role at the game was to write the the team's press release about the contest. I've decided to post that press release here on The Bucky Channel to give you an update on how the team is doing. Also, it's free content, and I'm trying to make up for an absent weekend. So here it is, but only if you're interested.

Terminesi, MacKenzie tally twice each in 22-12 win over Ironmen

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 24, 2009) -- On a night in which the Milwaukee Wave honored those that played with them during their first 24 years of existence, it was the players that didn't join the club until its 25th year that stole the show. Led by their rookies, the Wave cruised past the New Jersey Ironmen 22-12.

"The past 2-3 days I've been telling these guys about the history the veterans bring," Wave Coach Keith Tozer said. "The new guys are becoming a part of that history."

After a Goran Vasic goal gave New Jersey a quick lead in the first quarter, the Wave began what would become a night of impressive goal-scoring. Their first goal came at the 2:55 mark in the first period, after Chico intercepted a New Jersey pass in front of the net for his first goal with the club.

First-year player Travis McKenzie then gave the Wave the lead early in the second quarter, controlling a pass down the field from goalkeeper Nick Vorberg. Marco Terminesi's seventh goal of the season helped Milwaukee extend its lead just 23 seconds later.

The Ironmen did their best to spoil the party, as Evan McNeley and Lucio Gonzaga added goals in the waning moments of the second quarter. But McKenzie's second goal of the night would give the Wave an 8-6 lead heading into the break.

Once again faced with a deficit, New Jersey found another way to come back. Lucio Gonzaga scored on a volley from Rey Martinez at the 12:41 mark, while Adauto Neto added an unassisted, short-handed goal one minute later.

Now trailing 10-8 in the third quarter, the Wave relied on their rookies to seal the victory. Terminesi was credited with an own goal at the 10:22 mark, which tied the game at 10. Rookie and former UW-Milwaukee Panther Tenzin Rampa found veteran Troy Dusosky midway through the third quarter to give Milwaukee the lead. Keeping true to theme, first-year players Jacek Przednowek and Chad Burt added goals to seal the victory.

"(The rookies) are not playing better because the veterans were here, they are playing better because they are getting better," Tozer said. "(But) having these guys here was a motivation to play better."

J.P. Rodrigues added two 3-point goals against the sixth attacker to complete the Wave's scoring.

Milwaukee's next game is 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1 against the Chicago Storm. It's a Family 4-Pack day; fans can get four Premier level tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $44. The Family 4-Pack must be purchased in advance. Call the Wave office at 414-224-9283.

Founded this summer by the Milwaukee Wave, Detroit Ignition, New Jersey Ironmen and Chicago Storm, the Xtreme Soccer League is more than an indoor soccer league. The Xtreme Soccer Xperience is an energetic and innovative 12-month sports lifestyle brand built around skilled soccer professionals, entertainment and fan participation -- both live and online. For more information, visit

Milwaukee Wins The Battle, But Loses The General

That's right, I made a lame military reference. But its an apt comparison. The Bucks beat the lowly Sacramento Kings 106-104, during which Michael Redd left when he came down awkwardly on Luke Ridnour. An MRI this morning revealed a torn MCL and ACL, effectively ending his season and maybe Milwaukee's.

Now maybe Sessions makes up some of the scoring, Bogut comes back, and CV and RJ step up as scoring leader and they still make a run towards the playoffs. That would be fine, but I always had a feeling that this is a Bucks team, when healthy, would make waves in the playoffs. This virtually assures that this season will be lost in mediocrity. Milwaukee was 5-9 without Redd when he had his ankle sprain.

The Bucks could also be more susceptible to trades although Redd most likely isn't going anywhere.

Milwaukee gets the recently hot Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night at 7:00 pm. The game will be televised on FS Wisconsin.

TBC Player of the Game: Francisco Elson - 10 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 5 steals.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Game After A Playoff Type Performance, Bucks Play Like Lottery Team

So, how would Milwaukee respond after laying a whoopins' on Dallas? Lose by 30 themselves. Everything they did great the night before didn't show up last night as the Bucks drop to 21-25 in the 117-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

All you need to know is that the Hawks, not only out scored the Bucks but had less fouls, more blocked shots, more steals, less turnovers, more rebounds, more assists, shot and made more free throws, and had a better shooting percentage. Here's the Box Score for more grueling details.

Charlie V was the lone bright spot hitting 5-6 threes and scoring 27 points. Redd scored 16. Nobody else was in double figures. Games like these, without Bogut, are games were RJ should be stepping up, but hes not. This is why I like Charlie off the bench, he takes shots away from the Bucks typical front line starters.

Lastly, according to Michael Redd is the top trade target. Regardless if you like Redd or not, this CURRENT team is complete garbage without his scoring ability. Depending on what we get in return I would accept Redd's dismissal, but I have a feeling it isn't going to be much.

Milwaukee Plays at home tonight against Sacramento at 7:30. The game is not on TV locally.

TBC's Buck of the Game: Charlie Villanueva obviously, but he seems to be getting a bit too comfortable outside the arc, this could be trouble down the road.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Packers Hire Trgovac, I Pretend Like I've Heard of Him

This afternoon I came across a couple of Packers blogs that seemed pretty excited about the hiring of Mike Trgovac as the new defensive line coach of the Packers. I want so badly to join the chorus on this one, but I gotta be honest with you guys, I've never heard of him.

Trgovac has spent the last number of years as the defensive coordinator with Carolina, but I haven't watched a lot of Panthers games in my life. Pack and Cheese reminds us that he was the Packers defensive line coach in the Ray Rhodes "era", but I've successfully blocked that year out of my head. My brother reminds me that he was one of the more highly recruited defense coordinators in Madden, but I'm still drawing a blank.

My lack of sports knowledge aside, I'll take these blogs at their word when they speak highly of Trgovac. Many are saying it's a pretty big get for a defensive line coach, so good on you Mike McCarthy.

How this plays into the whole "Julius Peppers to the Packers" discussion remains to be seen. Some say Peppers may want to reunite with his old coach, others say he's one of the reasons why he wants out of Carolina. Either way, I think it's all a moot point, because I'm pretty convinced the Packers will not be signing Julius Peppers.

Although I was also convinced that the Packers would win the North this year. And that Brett Favre would never come out of retirement. So we'll see.

Bucks Lose Coach to the Grizzlies

You may know him as one of the Bucks' assistants that Tony Smith interviews at halftime for FSN Wisconsin, but you will now know him as the newest coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Lionel Hollins has been hired to coach the Grizzles for the third time in his career, effective immediately. Hollins previously coached the Grizzlies during the 1999-2000 season posting an 18-42 record, and also went 0-4 during an interim stint in the 04-05 season.

This will be a blow to Scott Skiles and his coaching staff, but Skiles isn't surprised in the least. Owner Herb Kohl has always said he did not want to stand in anybody's way when it come to advancing professionally. Even though it's a loss, Skiles says he's happy for him (via Bucks Blog):

"When you have the type of staff I have, with several coaches who have been head coaches and are capable of being head coaches, this type of thing is bound to happen," Skiles said. "I'm really happy for him. He gets to go home."
Hollins caught a lucky break in this process as well, earning the job after Avery Johnson declined a five-year deal.

One More Year of Counsell

Minus the signing of Trevor Hoffman, it's been a pretty predictable off-season for the Milwaukee Brewers. On Friday, the Crew made another move that surprised no one, but definitely did please the community of Whitefish Bay. That move would be the signing of utility infielder Craig Counsell to a 1-year deal with $1 million.

Counsell will again provide the stability to the infield that he provided last year, as well as his veteran presence. It's a good low-risk signing, and nobody can really be upset about this move.

So besides the new contracts for Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, are the Brewers done with their off-season signings? Bernie's Crew notes Milwaukee is showing interest in Kris Benson, and could also be interested in Mark Mulder for their rotation. But for all intents and purposes (!), it looks like the Brewers are done.

But why they still haven't signed Brian Shouse yet still baffles my mind.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fielder Agrees to Two-Year Deal

Perhaps this Scott Boras guy isn't as bad as everyone says. Even though he and the Brewers were $2 million apart on their arbitration offers, the two sides quickly came to an agreement that not only avoids arbitration this year, but for next year as well. Pending a physical, Prince Fielder will be signed to a two year contract worth $18 million.

This means that Fielder won't be up for arbitration again until 2011, at which point he'll likely be looking for even more cash, and possibly a long term deal. It's probably safe to assume that if Fielder is traded, it won't occur in the next two years. So let's put that rumor and speculation to rest.

Other than Hart and Weeks, this is probably it for the Brewers spending this off-season. They are already past $80 million on the payroll, and salary-cap Attanasio doesn't seem too willing to go too far past that.

Oh and hey, the Brewers might re-sign CC - Craig Counsell, that is.

Winks Thinks: The Blart Winkler Edition

A recounting of what may have been the worst experience of my life, explaining my latest crush, and calling out tennis. All this, and more, in the latest edition of Winks Thinks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Massacre Of The Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made this face many times tonight, in fact his face may have been permanently stuck this way. Before I tell you the score, these facts should be known:

1) Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd walked off the bench on to the court and towards the locker room with a few seconds still left in the game.

2) Damon Jones got game minutes, and hit a three pointer in his first shot.

3) The Bucks shot 58% tonight, this after shooting only 29% in the first quarter.

Milwaukee improved to 21-24 as they beat the Mavericks 133-99. That is not a typo. The Bucks looked unbelievable for three quarters of basketball. This box score tells quite a story.

Milwaukee looked like they were just having a great time out there, it was pretty refreshing to see and a lot of fun to watch. Cuban's expressions were also priceless. The big stud tonight had to be Charlie Villanueva. He scored 32 points to go with 10 rebounds and 2 assists, 2 steals while not coughing up any turnovers. Michael Redd chipped in 27 points with 7 rebounds. Sessions was perfect off the bench at 7-7 scoring 21 and dishing out 7 assists. Richard Jefferson even had 15, 7 and 8 nearing a triple-double.

It just felt like to me that Damon Jones trotting out, hitting a three, pointing at Jon and Jim, and having the bench jumping around it was like the red-headed kid at the end of the bench on a high school team who gets in during a blowout and gets the team all riled up.

Fun game.

The Bucks head to Atlanta Friday to take on the Hawks. 6:30 pm on FS Wisconsin.

TBC's Player of The Game: CV.

(AP Photo By Morry Gash)

Hawkeyes Knock Off Badgers in OT

What's so great about the man in white in your picture above? Well, it's not that his 21 points lead his Iowa Hawkeyes to a 73-69 win over the Badgers tonight, but rather that his name is David Palmer! As in, former 24 President David Palmer, who coincidentally also played college basketball, although it was at Georgetown. Name aside however, I don't have too many nice things to say about Palmer, as he was responsible for handing the Badgers another Big Ten loss.

Marcus Landry led the Badgers with 13 points on Wednesday night, while also contributing with eight rebounds. Krabbenhoft and Bohannon each had 11 points, while Jordan Taylor and Trevon Hughes each added 10. But it wasn't enough, as a couple of late 3's in overtime sealed this one for the Hawkeyes at home.

The Return of Lost

As much as 24 used to be my favorite show, and as much as I am loving the show this season, my love of Jack Bauer no longer even compares to my love for Jack Shepherd and the rest of the Lost gang. Thankfully, season 5 of the now sci-fi drama is back tonight with a two hour premiere on ABC.

If you're not a Lost person, then clearly you have already stopped reading this post. If you are, you can get your fix early by checking out some of the sneak peek videos currently streaming on YouTube. You can also check out a good speculative preview over at Big Dunc.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brewers Predictably Lowball Fielder

In all honesty, I just don't like the arbitration process. I think all the lawyers, the offers, and the negotiations take away from the fact that these people are getting paid to play a game. I know that it's a way for players to get paid the money they most likely deserve to be making, but there has to be a better way. A least a way that is a little less nerdy.

As of this writing, the Brewers have just three players needing to go to arbitration after they signed Seth McClung to a 1-year deal on Tuesday. Those players are three pretty vital parts to the Brewers offense in Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, and Prince Fielder.

I start with Prince Fielder, who as we all know has Scott Boras as his agent. I don't really think it's that big of a deal, Boras is a good agent who knows how to get the most for his players. But Boras is known to infiltrate the minds of his players to make them have a "me first" attitude rather than think for the good of team, and that's a concern for Brewers fans.

Boras and his client submitted a claim for an $8 million salary for the 2009 season, which was $2 million more than the Brewers offered. If you ask me, Prince Fielder probably deserves a little more than $6 million dollars. Considering Melvin had no problem paying $10 million to Eric Gagne last year or that same amount of money to Mike Cameron this year, you think he'd be more than happy to throw $8 million at Prince.

But arbitration is a game, and Melvin doesn't want to give Boras the upper hand, so they lowballed Prince, in my opinion. Just see the $8 million offer and say yes already. This is Prince Fielder we're talking about. But this one should be resolved peacefully, as both Melvin and Boras are optimistic about the upcoming talks.

As for Hart, he is looking for $3.8 million while the Crew has offered $2.7 million. Weeks is seeking $2.8 million while the Brewers have submitted an offer of $2 million. Reasonable figures for both, but if an agreement can't be reached before February, then a panel of three arbitration experts will determine their salaries.

Pretty nerdy.

Al Harris Headed to the Pro Bowl

Alshinard Harris is heading back to the Pro Bowl for the second straight year, thanks in part to an injury to Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel will not be going to Hawai'i because of a neck injury, and Harris will be his injury replacement.

This puts the number of Packers to be in this year's Pro Bowl back to two, after Charles Woodson previously pulled out because of an "injury". Harris will join Nick Collins, who was voted in for the first time.

Also going to the Pro Bowl for the Pack could be receiver Greg Jennings. Jennings is currently an alternate, but with both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin set to play in the Super Bowl, it's possible one of them could decide to pull out of the annual celebration and promotion of Hawai'i as a vacation spot.

Brewers Blog Six Pack

There has been a myriad of rumors surrounding a potential trade of Prince Fielder this offseason in order to augment the starting rotation with young, talented pitching. Some talk has followed Corey Hart all winter, and Bill Hall is always a fan favorite to trade. If you were Doug Melvin, which Brewers player would you trade, and who would you target?

Find out our answer, as well as the answer of five other Milwaukee-area blogs, in this week's Brewers Blog Six Pack.

The 44th President... For Three!

I feel the need to post something about the inauguration of Barack Obama, if only because of how awesome he is. That's why I'm posting this video from the Bob Boozer Jinx about Barack Obama: The Basketball President.

Man, he is so awesome!

Great Oden's Raven!: Blazers Take Care of Bucks

Well, since we've gotten our annual "woe is me" Bucks post out of the way for the 2008-2009 season, it's once again time to talk about Bucks basketball. Specifically, their 102-85 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, and how far this team still has to come before we can celebrate an Eastern Conference 8th seed.

I'm convinced now that no matter what happens for the rest of the season, Andrew Bogut is the team's MVP. He doesn't always put up the most impressive stat line when he is on the floor, but when he's not this team looks lost. The defense shuts down almost completely, and anyone who has any size to them can easily take care of the Bucks' sorry excuse for backup centers.

The Blazers dominating performance was mostly thanks in part to one Greg Oden and his utter annihilation of the Bucks big men, especially Charlie Villaneuva. Monday night was a vintage Charlie V performance. If you look at the box score, you'll be impressed with his double double of 23 points and 10 boards. But if you watched the game, you will have realized that his soft defense is why Greg Oden was able to score a career high 24 points. If you're going to trade anyone, Mr. Hammond, start with CV31.

So the Bucks streak of win one game, lose the next is over at 13 games. They finished a West Coast road trip with a 1-2 clip, which isn't the worst thing considering they were without Bogut. When they return home on Wednesday to take on the Mavs, I'd like to see the Bucks a little more rested and a little more motivated.

This is a team with great potential, but if they keep struggling to climb over the .500 mark, they will end up on the outside of the NBA's second season.

Player of the Game: Richard Jefferson

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Go For Joe

Despite an impressive campaign, Joe Alexander will not be representing the Bucks in this year's NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Not only did he have less votes than the Thunder's Russell Westbrook, but the winner of the fan vote, Rudy Fernandez, more than doubled Alexander's total. The numbers are sort of embarrassing.

At first, I considered Alexander to be a long shot because a white guy from West Virginia that now comes off the bench for the Bucks doesn't exactly scream star power. But as the voting continued, and Alexander's effort to get in the contest became more and more impressive, I thought the dark horse might be able to pull it off. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

I liked the NBA's idea of opening up a slot for fan voting, but as soon as Rudy Fernandez was one of those contests, we should have known it was over. Anytime you have a foreigner eligible for fan voting, nobody else really has a chance. As hard as the Greater Milwaukee area may have pushed for Joe to get in, it's sort of hard to compete with the entire country of Spain. It's the same reason why Yao Ming will always be an all-star, and why Yi Jianlian may very well be one this year.

It was a good run though, and it pushed Joe Alexander into somewhat of a national spotlight. No please, Hammond, don't give him up if you are going to trade for Conley.

The Lemmy Channel

(Editor's Note: Without futher ado, here's this week's edition of The Lemmy Channel. For more insight into the world of betting be sure to check out Stock Lemon at your earliest convienence.)

While The Lemmy Channel will usually air on Tuesdays (so we can go up against American Idol), this week we're treating viewers with a special holiday Monday episode.

In case you missed last week's season premiere, we covered the hometown Milwaukee Bucks and their impressive record against the spread. We asked the folks here at The Bucky Channel to air this special since the Bucks are in action late tonight in Portland, because we just might have some insight to help in this game.

For starters, the Bucks last 14 games have alternated between wins and losses, and, not to rub salt in those fresh wounds, but many of you know that the Bucks just fell to the lowly Clippers on Saturday. If this is enough of a reason for you to take the Bucks moneyline or +6 spread, go for it, but we aren't here to talk about the spread.

We're here to talk about the over.

If you remember the premiere, we told you that the overs were starting to hit in Bucks games. To be exact, the overs have hit in eight of the last nine Bucks games, and in the last ten matchups between the Bucks and Trail Blazers, the over is 9-1. On the year, the Bucks overs are 25-18, including 3-0 since we mentioned them last week.

The over in this game opened at 194, but has since shot up to 198. Still, there is plenty of value in the over, as the Bucks have seemingly forgotten how to defend in the last week without Andrew Bogut.

For the record, the Bucks are still an impressive ATS as well at 26-15-2, but are just 2-4-1 in their last seven.

That's it for this week. We'll be back to our normal Tuesday episodes next week, so as not to compete with 24.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dom Capers: Sign, Sealed, Delivered

Just one day after my plea to sign Dom Capers as the next defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, Mike McCarthy and the gang actually listened to what I had to say. In all honesty though, I am not even going to pretend to take any percentage of credit for this. The hiring of Dom Capers was the result of two things: 1) The Packers needing a quality defensive coordinator and 2) The Eagles' Sean McDermott having his secondary lit up by Larry Fitzgerald.

But seriously, the Packers just hired Dom Capers as their defensive coordinator. This is a good thing. Capers has been a defensive minded guy throughout his entire career, including his last stop which was as special assistant with the New England Patriots. He is mainly a 3-4 guy, but has had plenty of experience working with the Packers' current 4-3 defense. His 3-4 mentality could help the Packers land a guy like Julius Peppers during the upcoming free agency period, although I still think that is unlikely.

Either way, this is a signing Packers fan should be happy about. After Nolan and Williams clearly played the Pack for better offers from different teams, Capers seems to be a guy that is actually excited about working in Green Bay. With jobs vacant in both New York and Dallas, the quick signing of Capers makes me all the more excited.

As for Sean McDermott, good luck man. You clearly have a bright future ahead of you.

AFC Championship Game Open Thread

Nah, just kidding. I was looking at my blogroll right now and I couldn't believe how many blogs have "AFC Championship Game Open Thread" listed as their top story. Sure, it's a way for people to discuss an on-going game with one another, but I'm not a fan of them. Blogs only do it as a way to post "content" without actually doing anything. That's not really what we're about, but if you want to leave a comment here, go ahead, I guess.

The real reason for this post is to tell you I'm choosing to watch the AFC Championship game rather than write a post about the Marquette victory last night or that the Mets are interested in Ben Sheets. Apologies for the laziness this weekend.

I guess if you're like Gweeds crying for a longer recap, here's this:

Bucky Channel Readers The Real Losers After Bucks' Loss

As you may have noticed, I usually do not write the Bucks recaps here at The Bucky Channel. My friend, and co-author, Bear, takes care of this for me and I appreciate it greatly. He usually does a pretty good job at it too, and I thank him for every effort.

He's over at my house - well, my parents house - watching the NFC Championship game right now, and we're actually in the middle of a discussion about the merit of these recaps. Usually, it's the same thing after every game, and we don't feel it's the reason why people come to this site. In fact my brother, b2, says that he usually doesn't read the recaps, as Brew Hoop is really the only place you need to go for a decent review of last night's game.

Not only that, but I'm starting to write the Bucks recaps at 4:22pm on Sunday afternoon, a full 16 hours after the Bucks actually did lose to the Clippers 101-92. In blog time, the Bucks loss is already ancient news, and people are now focused on who will lose the bet between Leitch and Daulerio.

If I were to write a real recap, however, it would be about how the Bucks continue to alternate wins and losses, how the Clippers snapped a 12 game losing streak, and how Los Angeles shot better than 50% for the first time all season. We would talk about how much it sucked that the Bucks loss, but how we're still optimistic about their season.

Hopefully, after Monday's game against the Blazers, we'll get back into the swing of things of Bucks recaps. That is, if Bear is up to it.

(Editor's note: Sorry I was all in your grill on this one, Bear. Rather that than all up in your box...score.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pack Should Hire Capers, Immediately

Could the man who loves coaching expansion teams be the next coordinator of a defense that has currently been playing like one? Dom Capers has become the latest target for Mike McCarthy in his search for a defensive coordinator, and even though I said the same thing about Jim Haslett two days ago, I think that the Packers should hire Capers within the next 45 minutes.

Despite what I'm hearing about Haslett and McCarthy not seeing eye to eye on various personnel issues, I think that Capers is the better candidate anyway. According to Greg A. Bedard of the Journal Sentinel, Capers' numbers match up better when compared to Haslett's. Even though Capers has used the 3-4 extensively in his career, he has also served under Bill Belichick in New England and knowns how to mix the 3-4 and 4-3 to maximize a defense's potential.

In all honesty though, I still really don't care who the Packers sign, I just think they need to do it soon. Especially now that the Cowboys have a defensive coordinator position open, they could easily steal one of the Packers' candidates. (Update: Add the Giants to that list.)

But don't expect a move to happen this weekend, or even early next week. Gut feeling still says that McCarthy is waiting to talk to Eagles secondary coach Sean McDermott, so we should all root for Arizona this weekend so that the search can finally be over.

Unless Jon Gruden is interested in coming back to Green Bay...

Bucks Don't Bow Down to Kings

I've had a love/hate relationship with Michael Redd for as long as he's been a member of the Bucks. At first I thought he was a good option for Ray Allen, then he became an interesting trade chip, then he became an overpaid three point specialist, and then he "won" a gold medal. But on games like Friday night, Michael Redd showed that he can sometimes be what I never thought he could: a leader.

Redd paved with way with 44 points for the Bucks in their 129-122 victory over the Sacramento Kings, helping Milwaukee win at ARCO Arena for the first time in five years. His scoring outburst put the Bucks ahead a comfortable 20 points at halftime. But this in the NBA, and no lead is ever safe, so naturally the Kings would rally and comeback.

While it was Charlie Villanueva's soft defense that allowed the Kings to comeback, he made up for it on the offensive end of the court. CV contributed with 25 points, including many key bucks down the stretch. If you take a closer look at the box score, you will find that he also pulled down 12 boards. Luke Ridnour had a double double as well in this contest.

The win kept the Bucks win, lose, win, lose pattern in tact, making this the 12th straight game the Bucks result has been the opposite of what it was the game before. Does that mean they will lose tonight to the Clippers when they face off tonight at 9:30pm? Probably, but here's hoping otherwise.

Friday, January 16, 2009

NFL Picks: Championship Weekend

During the Wild Card weekend, I put up a picture of Terrell Owens scoring the winning touchdown against the Packers as a Niner in 1998. Last week during the divisional round, I made you relive the horror that was 4th and 26. This week, if you chose to click on the video, you suffered through the Lawrence Tynes OT kick. Why do I keep putting Packers fans through these horrible moments on a week by week basis. To be honest, it's for no reason besides the fact to remind you that none of these moments would have happened if Brett Favre didn't suck!

Arizona (+4) over Philadelphia

Philadelphia is going to win this game, most likely. Even in a year in which they tied the Bengals and basically gave their season up for dead, the Eagles are probably going to make the playoffs. Yet, I can't pick them this week, because of my new found attachment to the Arizona Cardinals. You see, in the end, as with everything in life, it all comes down to money. And when BetUS offered me free casino money that I turned into ten dollars of real money, I decided to invest that on the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl at 5:1 odds. But because everything I touch turns to crap, I would highly suggest you bet on the Eagles this weekend if you are betting for real.

Pittsburgh (-6) over Baltimore

They say it's hard to beat a team three times in one season, but if anyone can do it I think it's this Pittsburgh Steelers team. Despite the fact that the Ravens have the better defense (although it's #1 vs. #2), Pittsburgh is the strongest horse left in the race right now. They were the only home team to win last weekend, and the highest remaining seed left in the tournament, as some say. So while it may be a push on the defensive side of the ball, I think the Pittsburgh offense is going to be the difference in this one. Even though I don't doubt the rookie Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger is going to lead the Steelers to another Super Bowl title.

Although I wouldn't bet on it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gophers Steal One From Badgers

The last time the Badgers lost to Minnesota in the state of Wisconsin was in 1994 (if you ignore the scandal at the time), when I was a prepubescent ten year old boy. Some of you may have been older, some of you may have been younger. But the point is, that was fifteen years ago, and like me, you probably don't remember it either.

The 2008-09 Badgers took care of that on Thursday night, giving us a new memory of a Gophers win in Wisconsin. They should be commended for their effort, as there were down 14 at one point, and were down nine points with 3:24 to play. They fought hard, played great defense down the stretch, and made their big shots when they needed to. The Gophers earned this victory.

As for the Badgers, this was another example of how they only beat the teams they are better than, and can't beat the teams that are ranked. Again, the win against then-ranked Michigan doesn't count because the Wolverine's ranking was a fluke.

While I've previously said that I'm not worried about the Badgers, a loss like this at home to the Gophers isn't a good sign for things to come. This was a game Wisconsin had won several times. Every time the Gophers would start to crawl back and make things interesting, the Badgers would pull away. Every time except for the last time.

So it's a 78-74 loss that will be haunting the Badgers all season, especially if they struggle enough to be considered nothing more than a bubble team. I still think the Badgers' best basketball is yet to come, but after tonight's loss, it's safe to say that I'm not as confident in that statement as I was a week ago.

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