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


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Friday, December 31, 2010

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 31st

Meineke Car Care Bowl - South Florida (7-5) vs. Clemson (6-6) - 12pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Clemson has had one of those years where when they win, they really win. But win they lose, they barely lose (well, except to South Carolina). I like Clemson in this matchup only because I completely forgot that South Florida was in the Big East, which is not a good sign that they are a good program.

Lemmy: This is an interesting game, to put it nicely. Clemson is without their stud RB, but South Florida is without their stud QB. We'll go with the team that isn't starting a freshman at the most important position. Clemson it is.

Hyundai Sun Bowl - Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5) - 2pm ET - CBS

Winks: Unglue your television from ESPN, bowl fans, we have our first game this postseason not on the four letter network. Unfortunately, it includes Notre Dame, a team which is far from a national draw these days. There's really no allure there anymore, and Notre Dame isn't going to be a successful program again until they realize that. And not letting your video interns die during practice would be a nice start, too. Fuck you, Notre Dame. Although I am picking them to win.

Lemmy: No Randy Shannon can only mean good things for The U. Notre Dame has been playing inspired football as of late, but we'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the Saints in this one. Billy Joel! Plus, in a day where all four bowls involve a team from Florida, it would be a shame to shut them out.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Georgia (6-6) vs. #25 UCF (10-3) - 3:30pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Gotta love when a team starts 1-4 and still makes the "postseason". Even though you might blindly pick Central Florida because of the better record, you have to remember that Central Florida sucks. I like how Georgia has played this season, playing close with Arkansas and for awhile Auburn this season. Even though a 6-6 team has no business playing on the final day of December, I'm still going with Georgia.

Lemmy: Conference USA is a joke and everyone knows as much. Yet, Central Florida has a solid football team and is not going to be the pushover that some other teams in their conference are--like the team that plays at the site of the Liberty Bowl. All that said, a 10-3 Conference USA team usually is equal at best to a 6-6 SEC squad. In this case, they are not even close to equal. Without A.J. Green to start the season, this was a different football team in Georgia (almost as bad as a CUSA team). After a strong finish to the season, expect the Dawgs to continue that momentum in Memphrica.

Chick-fil-A Bowl - #20 South Carolina (9-4) vs. #23 Florida State (9-4) - 7:30pm ET - ESPN

Winks: I've been pretty gay over Florida State lately, but I'm not really sure why. I don't like the Seminoles, and I don't like the ACC. I'd probably take them against most other teams this bowl season, but not against their former rival in the ol' ballcoach. Steve Spurrier is still reeling after getting his ass kicked against Auburn, and I expect him to take his frustrations out on Florida State. South Carolina it is.

Lemmy: The old ball coach should have something in store for his former rival in FSU. We like the Seminoles, but we love the Cocks! Wait, that came out wrong. We are picking South Carolina.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Week 17 Betting Lines

Here we are...the last of the regular season prop bets. I'm going to have to give myself a little dap, pat myself on the back, toot my own horn (which is quite difficult)...all that stuff as I went 7-1 in last week. Along with that, I've been invited to stay in the Presidential Suite at the Packers Therapy Hotel and Casino bankrolled by Going from the doghouse to the penthouse was unexpected to be sure. Thanks again to Chris and Dave for the opportunity and for the love all season. As a side note, the past episode founr Dave allowing himself to get back on the bandwagon...quality stuff. Other than the Giants limited score, that game went as I had imagined. Eli turned it over, Starks wasn't active, Kuhn scored, yada, yada, yada. Rodgers was a beast and we saw ALL KINDS of Manning Face...what a game. That dominating performance should give this team a load of momentum heading into the Bears game.
So, the Bears are coming to town and they may or may not have a shot at a first-round bye. They should know by gametime but I don't know if that will change their strategy...but who knows what that strategy will be. On one hand, you have a team that has secured a playoff berth and could rest guys to get healthier for the playoffs. Alternately, this is a huge rivalry game; Bears/Packers! You'd have to think that the Bears would want to do what they could to keep the Packers out of the playoffs. Everyone knows this is a dangerous Packers squad and there will be A LOT of Bears fans on Sunday afternoon. However, is that enough to convince Lovie Smith to truely "play his guys" all game? We'll all know the answer to that soon enough but in the meantime, let's see if I need to keep my stuff in the suitcase or if I can unpack for a longer stay.

Aaron Rodgers Quarterback Rating
Line: 94
So, here is how you calculate a Passer Rating:

Got all that? OVER
Green Bay Penalties
Line: 6.5
This Packers team is on a collision course with a team-record for lowest penalties in a season. Hard to believe for a team that had a team-record 18 penalties in the week 3 match-up with this Bears team.While I worry that they may incur some bad penalties, I don't think they'll get to 7. UNDER
Number of Designed Running Plays by Green Bay Running Backs
I think McCarthy has found something in this cobbled-together trio (quartet?). The Packer running backs were leaned on 34 and 33 times in the last two games and, despite losing one of the games, it was successful. However, this is a tough Bears defense with a stout line that could push around the likes of Colledge and Bulaga. The Packers will need the play-action passing game and whether or not the run works, the attempts will make that part of the playbook effective. OVER
Jay Cutler Interceptions
Line: 1.5
Does anything describe this guy better than "smug prick"? OVER
Turnovers by Green Bay
Line: 2.5
This is a good Bears defense but the Packers have a +10 turnover ratio. The Bears ratio is not that good...even with that defense. UNDER
Drops by James Jones
Line: 1.5
He juggles a high percentage of this catches and drops at least one per game. He had a bad game against the Bears (drops, the fumble) so I actually believe he'll get up for this game so I'll take the UNDER.
Touchdowns by John Kuuuuuuuhhhhhnn
Line: 1
Dammit...this is a push number...completely legitimate. I would put $20 on the fact that he gets exactly 1 touchdown. Ugh...OVER
Total Return Yards by Devin Hester
Line: 95
What this guy does will determine how the game goes. Shawn Slocum, if you want a job somewhere next year (not in Green Bay, but somewhere) make sure this unit is disciplined and ready to tackle. If Masthay has a net average of 20 because he kicked them all out of bounds, I'll be happy. Hell, just go for it on 4th down! UNDER
Well, there you have it...the final regular season prop bets. Will there be a Round 1 Betting Lines next week? Wait and see but if I'm in the black again next week...I would tend to think so.
Make sure to be BFF's with Chris and Dave of Packers Therapy via their Facebook fan page. You can also share thoughts, questions, snide remarks via e-mail and their Twitter account.

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 30th

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Army (6-6) vs. SMU (7-6) - 12pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Well, Lemmy and I are now notched at 8-6 a piece, because I foolishly took Baylor yesterday. Oops. I'm going to go ahead and put my record more at risk though and take SMU here. Neither team really has had a good season, and I hope you're not planning to wake up and watch this one, because it's probably going to suck like all the rest of the bowls have this season. I'm taking SMU because I'm just not keen on taking the military academies, only because football is put on the backburner at those schools. Thanks for all you do, of course, but that's not going to earn you my pick in a half-assed bowl pick 'em challenge.

Lemmy: Put a Pony Excess of money on... the men of our armed forces! We told you we would never bet against our countrymen. Though Army is pushing it in this one...

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Kansas State (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5) - 3:20pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Look at the brutalness of this day of bowls when you get a chance. Only one team playing today has a better record than 7-5. Terrible. Oh, it's so nice that these college players get a chance to go out with a win and maybe receive a Nintendo Wii or something, great. This is why we don't have a playoff? To watch these shit games? Anyway, I'm going with Syracuse here because they did knock off West Virginia earlier in the year, while I really don't see an impressive win on Kansas State's scorecard. They did beat Texas, but who didn't this season. Let's go with the Orange.

Lemmy: When in doubt, go with the better coach in the bowl game. Bill Snyder and the Wildcats have the edge.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6) - 6:40pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Ah, the classic SEC/ACC matchup. Tennessee actually had a good year, as long as they weren't playing good teams. Of their six losses, five of them came to teams that were ranked at the time (Oregon, Florida, LSU, Alabama, South Carolina - the other was Georgia). But because my boy Gweeds celebrated a birthday yesterday, I'm going to give props to his team, North Carolina. Yes, my picks are sometimes really based on nothing.

Lemmy: Even if the game is in Nashville, Tennessee's lack of a ground game (and lack of overall talent) will be their undoing. We'll go with this plucky North Carolina squad.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl - #18 Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6) - 10pm ET - ESPN

Winks: One fact determines this game, and that is that Nebraska beat a team similar to Washington earlier in the season by a score of 56-21. What's that? That team actually was Washington? What the hell? How often do teams play each other in a bowl game after already playing each other once in a season (if you look it up and let me know I'll give you a Bucky Channel t-shirt. Disclaimer: Bucky Channel t-shirts still don't exist.) College football is stupid. Nebraska.

Lemmy: The Big Ten bound 'Braskans are just about the surest bet on the board. This will be a tough team to beat for The Bucky Channel's Badgers for years to come. As for tomorrow, it will be a tough team for Washington to beat. And they won't.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Week 16 Pack Fan / Bears Fan

One down, one to go...officially. In all reality, the Packers have been in the playoffs since the loss to the Patriots. One loss in the last two weeks of the season and the season was effectively over. Yes, the Packers can still get in with a loss and some help but for this team to have a real shot they need to have some momentum.

This latest win over the Giants is a confounding one. Is this a good win or are the Giants in a free-fall? Did we learn anything about this team or did they just roll over a team that was crushed by the collapse at the hands of the Eagles the week before? These are questions fans may never learn the answer to but one thing is for sure...the offense played well. Whether or not the Giants defense played poorly, Rodgers played well and this offense looked like it did back in week 13. It wasn't all gravy though...let's get to it, shall we?

Pack Fan
  1. Rodgers is back: As opposed to the Miami game following his first concussion, Aaron Rodgers looked great against the Giants. With a regular season career-high 404 yards and 4 touchdown passes, he looked like a guy who is going to make sure this team makes it back to the playoffs.
  2. Running Game: It wasn't spectacular but they got the job done and it made the play-action part of the passing game flourish. Hopefully McCarthy has got something here and they're clicking at exactly the right time.
  3. Defense: Another sack by BJ Raji, 4 interceptions of Eli Manning, 90 rushing yards for the Giants and only 17 points allowed...pretty darn good. These guys are playing well despite the late-season injuries to Jenkins & Zombo. These guys will probably be lining up again in week 17 as both haven't been able to practice much if at all.
Bears Fan
  1. Bears Confidence: Okay folks, it's down to the last game of the regular season and the Bears are still playing well...when is the collapse coming? No one believes in these guys...except for these guys. Hell, God could be against them but as long as the players believe they're winners, things will go their way. The Bears aren't going to lose it, the Packers need to win this game.
  2. Penalties: Week 3...Packers team-record 18 penalties. Since then, this team has, for all intents and purposes, turned it around and are now in line to set another team-record for fewest penalties in a season. Many would say this is a positive...and it is. However, I worry that there may be another landslide of penalties and wouldn't it be ironic and horrendously embarrassing if this team buzzes past that possible record, commits 10+ penalties and loses because of it.
  3. Special Teams: Ugh...the Packer struggles coupled with Devin Hester is almost enough to turn one's stomach. This guy is THE most dominant kick returner in the NFL, possibly ever. He housed one in that September game and has since claimed his NFL-record 14th return. He's the X-factor in this game, period and if Shawn Slocum's crew isn't ready and play him poorly, the season will be over for the green & gold.
Ok, so the Bears Fan POV was all about the upcoming game but there wasn't a lot to be concerned with regarding the Giant game. This team was left for dead midway through the season after the injuries really started piling up...for them to make it to the playoffs and in turn, make some hay will be an outstanding accomplishment for this team and will validate the strength of this team's depth and how well the team is set for the future.

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 29th

So me and my good buddy Lemmy over at Stock Lemon decided to pick the bowl games this season. Needless to say we're not doing so well. I have the slight lead over Lemmy, going 6-5 in bowl games while Lemmy is 5-6. We don't apologize for our poor predictions, but we do hope that you're not using these picks for gambling purposes. Although I'm pretty sure, based on readership numbers, that isn't an issue. On to the picks!

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman - East Carolina (6-6) vs. Maryland (8-4) - 2:30pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Okay, what? We don't have a college football playoff to ensure tradition and yet this bowl is only in it's third year of existence? And it used to go by a different name (the EagleBank bowl)? God I hate this shit. As for the game, I want to keep my one game lead on Lemmy for as long as possible, so there is no way in hell I'm going with ECU. Let's go with Maryland

Lemmy: East Carolina certainly has weapons offensively, with the play-making abilities of Dom Davis at QB and the ever-explosive Dwayne Harris. But Maryland's D is a test that ECU just might not pass. This is another classic case of a clearly superior team in Maryland coming in as the clear favorite, with only their own disappointment in the bowl selection standing in their way of that coveted Military Bowl championship. We'll side with the Terps.

Texas Bowl - Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5) - 6:00pm ET - ESPN

Winks: This is a tough one. Mainly because both teams blow. Lemmy might employ the same strategy, but I'm going to take a look at each team's last three games to see what their level of competition was. For Illinois, it was Minnesota, Northwestern, and Fresno State. Sadly, Fresno State is the best team out of those three. For Baylor, they finished the season with Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma and all were ranked at the time that they played them. Even though out of the two teams the only victory was Illinois over Northwestern, I'm going with Baylor because they seem to be used to playing at a higher level against a higher level of competition. Bring it, Lemmy.

Lemmy: Bad team against bad team, so let's look to how they finished the season: bad finish against bad finish. End result? Maybe the worst bowl game yet in terms of talent. These teams should at least light up the scoreboard, and we expect Illinois to suck just a little less, even in what amounts to be a home game for Baylor.

Valero Alamo Bowl - #14 Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5) - 9:15pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Oklahoma State is ranked. Arizona lost their last four games. For those reasons alone, I'm going with the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. Although the whole ranked strategy didn't really help me yesterday. Fuck you, Missouri.

Lemmy: Oklahoma St. had a chance at a much better bowl game (and opponent) heading into this one, and while we don't expect them to be particularly jacked to play Arizona in the Alamo Bowl, they should be able to avenge the loss of their loftier Big 12 aspirations. Arizona also looked poised to play in a stronger bowl... two months ago. While it's not exclusive to The Bucky Channel, we will let you know right now that OK St. at -4.5 is a Free NCAA Football Pick over at Stock Lemon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Five Packers Make Pro Bowl, But Not Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers certainly does wear that Pro Bowl jersey well, although that will not be the case this season. Inexplicably, Rodgers was left off of the Pro Bowl rosters despite being one of the leading vote-getters just a few short weeks ago. Perhaps it was because of his injury and he sat out a game during the peak of voting time, but Rodgers will stay home because Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees will all be in front of him (because of injuries and the Super Bowl, it's likely that Rodgers will end up being there, even though we'd rather have him not there because we'd rather have him preparing for the Super Bowl, but that's not what this article is about).

Vick I understand, he's an MVP candidate and I really think he's the best football player of all-time, although I'm probably overstating that a bit (a lot?). But Rodgers is a better quarterback than Matt Ryan, it's just that everyone happens to have a boner over Atlanta right now. Drew Brees sure didn't look like a Pro Bowl quarterback on Monday Night Football this week, and he's had an overall down year. The fact that Rodgers didn't get in is more surprising to me than the fact that Chad Clifton did.

That's right, Chad Clifton somehow made the Pro Bowl. Good for him though. He joins Greg Jennings on offense, although neither of them will start. The defensive side of the ball for the NFC will be very green and gold, as Clay Matthews, Nick Collins, and Charles Woodson have all been named starters. Again, we'd rather have no Packers in the Pro Bowl as that would mean we're preparing for the Super Bowl, but it's more about the actual nominations than the game itself.

Full rosters of both the AFC and NFC can be found here.

Bucks Look Lost, Again

Every Monday night, I play in a rec basketball league with some friends. We are far from a team that has any organization for basketball, but it is just more of something to do to get a workout. The one thing I have noticed that we do every game though is that we play like the Bucks when they get beat. We fall behind early only to fight back before halftime, keep it close for most of the game, and then blow it in the end. Not only did that happen to us on Monday, it happened to the Bucks as well. Milwaukee got outscored 29-18 in the first quarter, and then cut the lead to seven late in the third. After that they just tanked the fourth to only score 13 points.

I think the only highlight of the game Monday was that "Ahrywin Wadges" was there (that's Boston speak for Aaron Rodgers, still can't get that out of my head). He is the man, so anything he attends he makes better no matter what the outcome is. I hope he wasn't really watching much of the game, because we don't need the crappy Bucks play to rub off on him. Justin Tuck was also at the game since the Giants were still stuck in Wisconsin at the time because of the snowy airports. That's when you know things are not going your way in life. You blow a 31-10 lead with 8:17 left in the game against the Eagles, get smoked by the Packers Sunday, find yourself on the outside looking in for the playoffs, you then can't get home because home was pounded with 20 inches of snow, and then you  had to go to a 95-80 Bucks vs Hawks game. That's how bad it could be for one person in the matter of a week and a half. Sorry Justin Tuck (although your life is still way better than mine, oh well).

As far as the game on the court, Keyon Dooling played his best game as a Buck on Monday. He finished with 15 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds. CDR is upset with how he is playing, and so are Bucks fans. He plays so well at times, but Monday night he played like he was on my rec league team. Another 37.3% shooting night for the Bucks, and yes, this is getting real old. Almost every time Josh Smith touched the ball the crowd booed him. We treat him like the league treats LeBon James, because he said one thing about Milwaukee. That is awesome. Al Horford owned us with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists.

The Bucks are now 12-17 with a 7-7 record at home. It doesn't get any better tonight for them as they travel to Chicago. The Bulls have been tough this season, and the Bucks will have to step up their game Tuesday night. Delfino, Gooden, and Jennings will all still be out Tuesday, so this team is still short handed. I just wish I could see the real potential of this team. Could there be one last Bucks upset in 2010? Guess you will have to check it out tonight at 7:00 on FSN.

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 28th

Champs Sports Bowl - #22 West Virginia (9-3) vs. North Carolina State (8-4) - 6:30pm ET - ESPN

Winks: West Virginia was apparently close to a BCS game, which is a crime. The Big East was terrible this season, and yet they are still throwing crap UConn into the mix, while a team like Boise State is already done playing football!?!? Yeah, when I do exclamation points and question marks together, you know it's real. Let's give West Virginia the benefit of the doubt though, and go with them.

Lemmy:  Let's make one thing clear: North Carolina is a waaay better team than they are given credit for. The proof? How about a 3 1/2 point spread in favor of West Virginia. The Mountaineers put together another solid season and we mean no disrespect to their football team when we say that N.C. State is in a very good spot here. That said, N.C. State is in a very good spot here. Facing a relatively beat-up WVU club with a very sketchy history in bowl games, we are siding with the Wolf Pack of N.C. State.

Insight Bowl - #12 Missouri (10-2) vs. Iowa (7-5) - 10pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Let's talk about Iowa for a second. What a disappointment they were this season. At one point, they were 7-2 this season, with their only losses to the ranked Arizona State Wildcats and then our beloved Badgers. Then they did the unthinkable and lost to Northwestern. Then they lost to Ohio State. Then they lost to Minnesota!?!?! (the double punctuation again). I think that Iowa could win this game, and will put up a good fight, but ultimately I think Missouri is the better team and they'll get the victory.

Lemmy:  We are going to pull a Drew Magery here and talk about something completely off-topic when we are supposed to be using this space to write about a game. We still can't help but wonder how the Big Ten arrived at the conclusion that Leaders and Legends would fly as division names. We know this subject has already been beaten to death, and we know that they have already announced that they will likely take a mulligan on this one, but how does this even happen to begin with? If Northwestern didn't ruin this conference, we weren't sure anything could. Yet, here we are, watching the Big Ten slowly slip into insanity. Anyway, we doubt Iowa will be Leaders at the end of this game. The Hawkeyes have had a bit of a slide to end a once promising season, and while they are still a quality football team, Missouri is simply better. And sometimes, that's all that needs to be said.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brewers Add Takashi Saito

The Brewers continue to add depth to their bullpen, adding RHP Takashi Saito to a one year, 3.2 Mil deal. 

Saito, who will be 41 in February, posted a 2.83 ERA, 11.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, and 43.6% groundball rate in 54 innings for the Braves this year.  He dealt with hamstring and shoulder injuries and has had serious elbow issues in the past, so the deal reflects the health uncertainty despite Saito's fantastic numbers.

Saito probably becomes the best pitcher in the Brewers bullpen with this move. Zach Braddock has the potential to put up similar numbers, and John Axford was impressive as a closer last year. However, Saito’s command takes the cake from both of these youngsters.  The one downside to Saito is his age.  At age 40 don't expect to see Saito pitching in many consecutive days, but will probably be good for 50-60 innings in 2011.

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 27th

Advocare 100 Independence Bowl - Air Force (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6) - 5pm ET - ESPN2

Winks: Doing a quick briefing of this game online, since I know nothing about either team, it appears that Georgia Tech and Air Force have the top to rushing programs in the country (327.0 and 317.9 respectively - Wisconsin, by the way, averages 247.3). So don't expect a lot of passing. This is a tough game for me, even though I still don't think teams with 6-6 records should partake in the postseason. I'm going to go with the military base though here and take Air Force, because even though they've lost to Utah, TCU, and Oklahoma, they have played the tougher competition and it will serve them will tonight.

Lemmy: In this time of war (we think... foreign affairs have taken a backseat to Free Picks lately), we have one rule: never bet against the men of our armed forces. This supercedes our rule of never citing an arbitrary opinion as the basis of a gambling strategy. In reality, we don't know much about these two teams other than to know that Georgia Tech is entirely outmatched by a far superior Air Force squad. Air Force it is.

UPDATE: Well there we go, crisis averted, Lemmy's pick is up. Just who the hell is this Lemmy guy anyway, you ask? The mystery is solved.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Bucky Five: What an Electric Crowd

1. Power of the G-Force - After going out to New England last week to watch the Packers in hostile territory, I can't tell you how refreshing it was for me to return to a game at Lambeau Field with all the fellow Packer faithful. And seriously, it was nothing but Packer fans at this game. There were maybe a total of 500 Giants fans in the entire stadium, and that's being generous. Good on Packer fans for knowing how big this game was and making sure they held on to the tickets.

In the last couple of years, I've been lucky enough to attend nearly every home playoff game and I've been to a handful of regular season games in that time as well. Let me tell you, if I just went to the game and didn't know the situation, I would have been convinced this was a playoff game. Technically you can say that it was, as the Packers could not afford to have lost if they wanted to gain entry into what we now refer to as "the tournament". And if the game was going to fall under playoff-like circumstances, then the fans were going to make this a playoff like atmosphere. There was no doubt that on Sunday that was the case.

There were so many moments in this one where the crowd was as loud as I've ever heard it. In the beginning of the game when we went up 14-0, after every Eli Manning interception, and especially when Rodgers slid after a run instead of taking a hit. The whole "KUUUUUHN" thing has always been fun, but now fans are doing it in any short yardage situations even if John Kuhn isn't in the game. It's almost like a glorified Rudy situation, and Mike McCarthy played along by putting him in the game when he was summoned. Not only that, but Kuhn would then immediately score even though 70,000 fans told the Giants exactly who the ball was going to.

Between all of that, the unprompted chants of  "Go Pack Go", and the "Bears Still Suck" chant in the games' final moments, this was hands down the best regular season game I've ever gone to at Lambeau, and the best regular season crowd I've ever been a part of.

2. His Head Never Clearer - As a crowd, we definitely had plenty to cheer about, and one of the objects of our affection was the return of our starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After the game, Rodgers joked about how he had to play well just to get his job back, and with the way he played on Sunday he would have won his job back from nearly every quarterback in the league. Rodgers came back from the concussion with 404 yards passing and four touchdowns, and also had a pair of nice runs in which he ended the play safely each time. Furthermore, the offensive line did a very nice job keeping the strong Giants pass rush away from their quarterback, as Rodgers was only sacked twice and didn't feel much pressure at any other point in the game. Not every throw was perfect, but when they weren't, you had guys like Donald Driver making ridiculous one-handed catches. Actually, there were quite a bit of perfect throws. Rodgerz Rulez!

3. Six Appeal - Dom Capers, we salute you. All that the Giants were really able to do on Sunday was connect on two plays, both bombs from Eli to one of his top receivers that went for scores. Other than that, the Giants offense looked unremarkable against a swarmy Packers defense. While Eli was actually only sacked just the once, the Packers line put on enough pressure and the secondary did a good enough job in coverage to force Manning into four interceptions, each throw looking more horrendous than the last. The Giants fumbled twice as well, including a fumble by Hakeem Nicks that seemingly every Packer defender had a shot at before we finally came up with the ball. Huge credit on that play goes to Desmond Bishop for a ridiculous back-handed save to prevent the ball from going out of bounds, by the way. Six turnovers is quite impressive against any team, but especially an offense as explosive as the Giants.

4. Things that Need to be Corrected - The kick return situation was a little suspect, Nick Collins dropped a sure pick six interception, James Jones dropped two easy passes, Brandon Jackson hates momentum, Jordy Nelson fumbled.... ah forget it. Not every game is perfect. The Packers won 45-17, and it was the best crowd that I've been a part of in quite some time. No need to talk about the negatives. Not today.

5. One Down, Five to Go - Last week, we laid out the plans that for the Packers to win the Super Bowl, they needed to win six straight games. Two at home, three on the road, and then one on a neutral setting. It's a tough task indeed, but you can't win six straight games without winning one first, and the Packers did that against New York. So now, a win next week puts the Packers in the playoffs, and that's really all you need to know. Sure, if both the Giants and Buccaneers lose the Packers can still get in with a loss, but that's no fun. And I don't want to see us lose to the Bears again. The game has been moved to 3:15pm to accommodate a larger audience, because that's how awesome Green Bay is. If we do win next week, it's looking more and more likely that we'll end up traveling to Soldier Field for a Wild Card round game, playing an opponent in back-to-back weeks for the second time in two years. Again, we are not going to get ahead of ourselves, as it's one game at a time. At this point there really is no next game if you don't win the one in front of you. Take care of business this week against Chicago, and then we'll talk. And if you are going to Lambeau next weekend, make sure you do everything you can to make this week's crowd look like nothing more than an exhibition. A game against the Chicago Bears to get into the playoffs, it doesn't get much bigger than that. As the G-Force towel in my room says, you have to be "Proud 2 B Loud".

PS. Mike McCarthy - best coaching performance of the season. Sorry about anything bad I said last week.

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 26th

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - Toledo (8-4) vs. Florida International (6-6) - 8:30pm ET - ESPN

Winks: For those people that don't like the NFL, the NCAA is giving you quite the alternative on Sunday night. Little Caesars is sponsoring a bowl game that features a team making the postseason for the first time in five years (Toledo) against a team that is in a bowl game for the first time ever (Florida International). This is some riveting stuff. Record-wise, I would usually go with Toledo but I'm not doing very good in the picks right now so let's change up the strategy. FIU is on a bit of a hot streak anyway, winning six of their last eight, so let's ride the hot hand and go with Florida International

LemmyWhen we think Little Caesers, we think of Pizza, Rome and Toledo Rockets football. Notice that Florida International is not a part of that corporate brand name association. Toledo makes another apperance in this pizza bowl and should make use of the shorter travel time and familiarity in this particular game. While FIU has been a nice story down the stretch, we still remember the brutal 0-4 start to the season and think that the problems they had against stiffer competition should rear their ugly heads in Detroit. Et tu, Toledo?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday Morning YouTube Potpourri

Merry Christmas everyone. What better way to spread some holiday cheer than to open presents from Santa, eat a delicious ham with your family, and then head to the movieplex to watch the instant family classic that is "Yogi Bear". Speaking of which, I saw this on last week and hopefully this is not the ending that penetrates the eyes of your children in your local theatre tonight.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 24th

Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl - #24 Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulsa (9-3) - 8pm ET - ESPN

Winks: No need to sit around the fireplace and spend time with your family tonight, there is a mediocre college football game on for you to watch! This game excites us about as much as Rex Ryan likes shoes, and we'll probably forgo watching this one. But if you do, look for a Hawaii victory. The WAC is a better conference than people give them credit for, while Conference USA definitely not. Neither team has scored less than 21 points in a game at all this season as well, so definitely go with the over.

Lemmy: Mele Kalikimaka. Enough said. Hawaii.

Merry Christmas to the Bucks

Thursday night's win against the Sacramento Kings wasn't a pretty one, but the Bucks were able to come out on top 84-79. When we got Earl Boykins in the off season I didn't think he would have this much of an impact for the Bucks. But there he was, huge against the Lakers and then again Thursday against the Kings. He finished with 19 points, and was plus 14 while on the court. When I heard Jennings was out for 4-6 weeks I thought the next month would be rough for the Bucks. Well, the 5 foot 5 inch warrior from Cleveland, Ohio has been a gift for all Bucks fans.

Another guy that seems to have found his game again as well is Andrew Bogut. He had a huge block with a just under a minute left, and also drew a charge. When the offense is clicking it is always nice to see the defense step up. Andrew Bogut and Larry Sanders each had four blocks for the Bucks. Milwaukee also did a good job of pressuring the ball, as the Kings forced 25 turnovers.

Also Wisconsin fans know it is now how you start the game, but how you finish it. Milwaukee went on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to help them gain control of this game. It seems that when the Bucks win they always go on a run that defines the game for them. I wish they could just play solid for a whole game.

A record of 12-16 is not where I saw this team on Christmas Day, but with all the injuries I guess we will take it. I really feel that if this team can just make the playoffs they could be a threat at any seed if they are healthy. I think as the season moves on this team will gel, and could cause some issues in the playoffs for anytime.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 23rd

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - Navy (9-3) vs. San Diego State (8-4) - 8pm ET - ESPN

Winks: This really is the lamest bowl of them all. If I'm not mistaken, Navy accepted a bid to this bowl at the beginning of the season, so long as they were bowl eligible. Their reward is a trip to San Diego, to play San Diego State! This game tonight will only be watched by people who have a cable/satellite provider that doesn't carry the NFL Network. Actually, the Panthers/Steelers game is going to be dreadful tonight, so maybe more eyes will be tuned in. Navy has the better record, but because of how close SDSU played TCU and Utah in losing efforts, I'm going with San Diego State. 

Lemmy: Man these picks have been so similar the last couple of days, it's almost beginning to sound like we're the same person.... Let's change it up a bit today though. In the pure interest of not doing what The Bucky Channel has already done, let's go with Navy. Hey, we never said there was logic behind these picks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brett Favre is a Dick, Reason #179

I knew there was something fishy about Brett Favre going from ruled as out to suddenly starting the game on Monday Night against the Chicago Bears, and I think I now know the reason why - He was trying to throw the game in the Bears favor by playing, and playing shitty! Maybe that is a stretch, but maybe it isn't. Sure, Joe Webb looked like garbage, but perhaps Favre wanted to put matters into his own hands by making sure the Bears won the NFC North, impeding that route to the playoffs for the Green Bay Packers. I mean, after all, he did tell Julius Peppers after the game to "go beat the Packers in a couple of weeks", so what can we really put pass this asshole at this point?

This is why we still hate you Brett. Because you hate us. You could have avoided any animosity from us a long time ago if you would have made your decisions with your heart and not your ego, but since you've left Green Bay you've decided to take the jilted ex-lover route. Usually, when parents get divorced they still do what's best for their children, and you and the Packers divorce has left millions of Packers fans wondering if there was something they could have done to keep mommy and daddy together. But the more you do shit like this, the more we don't care about you. Hell, we even starting called the new guy "Dad" already. 

What was said on the field between Peppers and Favre after their Monday night game is between them, but why would Peppers lie about something like this, especially when this is just going to prove as motivation for the Packers when they play in two weeks? I guess it's not even Favre that I'm upset at over a comment like this, it's more the "Packer fans" that still side with Favre even though he continues to prove that he doesn't give two shits about Green Bay or anyone who has ever rooted for them. Hell, Favre won't even say the words "Green Bay" or "Packers" in public as his continual effort to give us the cold shoulder. Al Harris took out a full page ad in the Journal Sentinel thanking Packer fans for his time here, and you can't even give us a little sign of acknowledgement? 

Since Brett has left, he's now openly rooted against the Packers, tried to help Matt Millen and the Lions gameplan for the Packers in 2008, showed his four inch penis to the world, almost took our rival Vikings to a Super Bowl, retired and unretired from the Jets just so that he could try to stick it to the Packers by playing for said Vikings (and did beat us twice), and people still like this asshole? Why exactly is that again?

I'll remain firm in that I'll never go back to liking Favre, but I fear that a lot of people on the Favre hating bandwagon will eventually change sides once enough time has passed. But maybe enough time never will pass, especially if Favre keeps doing things to spit in the face of Packers fans. I've always said that I think the Packers should retire his number via a press release and not a public ceremony, but at this point, just fuck it. Give it to some kicker and retire it for him or something. Or just never issue it again not out of honor, but out of shame. This guy is an asshole and we owe him nothing. 

Now let's go win the next two games and shove it in Favre's shitty face. 

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 22nd

Maaco Las Vegas Bowl - #10 Boise State (11-1) vs. #19 Utah (10-2) - 8pm ET - ESPN

Winks: In an alternate universe, Boise State never loses to Nevada and they make one of the BCS bowls, possibly the Rose Bowl against the Badgers. In another alternate universe, Boise State finishes the season as one of the two undefeated teams in the nation and plays for the national title. In another alternate universe, Boise State still finishes 11-1 but is playing tonight not in a shitty bowl game, but in the quarterfinals of the college football playoff system. In another alternate universe, there is no such thing as college football and we are all dead, so this exercise was kind of futile. But in this universe, Boise State is a way better team than Utah, so they get the nod.

Lemmy: In a Free NCAA Pick exclusive to The Bucky Channel (trust us, that's a big deal), we're not only going to take Boise State, but we're going to take them against the spread as well as it currently sits at 16 1/2 points. Hell, we'd take Boise State if the spread was as high as 80, this game is going to be ugly. Enjoy your free pick Bucky readers!

The Little Guy Takes Down a Giant

Coming into the season, one of the strengths of this Bucks team was thought to be its depth, and on Tuesday night that was definitely proven to be true. Without Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden, or Corey Maggette, the Bucks were still able to not only beat the Lakers on their home court, but actually get into their heads and disrupt their entire psyche. It's almost laughable in a way just how the Bucks were able to beat LA, using third-string point guard Earl Boykins in a 22 point effort, which included his complete takeover of the fourth quarter. Lead by 5'5" phenom, the Bucks cruised past the Lakers by a score of 98-79.

Perhaps it was a case of Los Angeles looking past a depleted Bucks team, but make no mistake about it - the Bucks earned this victory. Milwaukee held a small lead throughout most of the game, and then took over in the fourth quarter thanks to Boykins, John Salmons (20 points), and a terrific defensive performance.

"In the second half, we were as good as we've been all year on the defensive end," Scott Skiles told reporters after the game. "To hold that team to 33 points, and 13 in the fourth quarter, that's a difficult task."

It was easy to tell that the Lakers were getting frustrated, as they have been quite used to beating Milwaukee. They took a six game winning streak into this contest, some games which were blowouts and some which were heartbreaking Milwaukee losses at the hands of a Kobe Bryant game winner. But the strong defensive play of the Bucks got into the Lakers heads pretty hard, and that frustration lead to a Kobe Bryant ejection with 2:07 left to play in the fourth quarter. In fact, let's watch it unravel.

The call that led to Kobe's frustration actually came one possession after Bryant did tried to do the same thing to Andrew Bogut, only worse. Using his shoulder to pound into Bogut's chest on a drive, it was actually Bogut that was called with the blocking foul. But Kobe got his comeuppance and was tossed from the game, and then just to add insult to injury it was Boykins that knocked down the pair of free throws after the technical.

With the victory, the Bucks move to 11-16 on the season and actually would hold the eighth seed if the playoffs ended today (and yes, I realize that there is still another four months of regular season basketball to be played, I'll try not to get ahead of myself). I'd like to see the Bucks stay around that mark as they venture through the next couple of weeks without Jennings, and then really start to click a make a run come early January. One thing they must do though during this time is still beat the teams that they are better than even without Jennings, and we'll see if they can do that Thursday night against the 5-21 Sacramento Kings.

Week 16 Betting Lines

Oh boy, we're getting end the end of the regular season where people start over-thinking every minute detail of each game to make sure they're in the black for the season. I'm back off the schnide after a "heroic defeat" by the Green Bay Packers Sunday Night. While I didn't have a clean slate, I'll take 5-3 all day following the 2-6 pounding I took in Week 14. For the record, in the 6 weeks that I've been doing this, my nose is just barely sticking out of the water with a 24-23 record. Last week's picks held up despite the fact that I thought the game would have a dramatically different look to it. As an FYI, I did not come up with the "heroic defeat" term for the Packers' play this week. That was from a listener to Packers Therapy; one who I must humbly disagree with. While it was good to see the team almost win, it was still a loss and the result could have and should have been turned had a few simple, rudimentary plays been made...but I digress.

Thanks again to Chris and Dave for providing the lines at the Packers Therapy Hotel and Casino bankrolled by Another great episode as always, however, I do have to eat my words a bit on something I said last week. While both Chris and Dave are die-hard Packer fans and the podcasts have an even-keeled view to the games, Chris did get a bit worked up this week so be warned. Following the game, I figured Dave would be the one to go on a rant but Chris beat him to it. Quality stuff though, as always. Also, if you're not yet listening to these guys then you're really missing out.
Anyways, on with the show. This week Matt Dodge and his New York Giants come into town after being run off the field following an epic collapse versus Philadelphia last week. As everyone should know by now, the Packers control their playoff destiny so this is a must win...Roll it!
Total Yards Accumulated by James Starks
Line: 34
This future Hall of Famer was dangled in front of the Green Bay faithful against the 49ers and Lions but was a seemingly healthy scratch for the New England game. It's quite hard to say why he was inactive but the running game did splendidly without him. The big question is why was he inactive? What's the reason and will it be the same this week. As far as the active roster goes with this coaching staff, this is a coin flip...especially this year. McCarthy and Co. keep their cards close to the vest but seeing as this is a home game with huge implications, I'll say McCarthy keeps him inactive to bolster the defense. UNDER

Total Rush Yards for Green Bay Running Backs
Line: 68
Green Bay had 131 rushing yards from the running backs on Sunday night versus the Patriots. However, the Giants only allowed 67 to the Eagles running backs if you discount Michael Vick's 130 rushing yards. Of course, this was also in a game where the Eagles were playing catch-up for a good chunk of the first half and all of the second. I think the Packers will continue to prioritize the running game and I'll take the OVER.

Interceptions by Eli Manning
Line: 1.5
Like Chris said, he's always good for at least 1 turnover a game. Packers dropped a few sure picks against the Patriots. This is a must win and the Packers defense has to hold onto the ball to win. I'll take the OVER.

Receptions by Greg Jennings
Line: 6.5
Before Rodgers went down with the concussion, it seemed like he and Jennings were sharing a brain. They were finally sync'd up and it was lethal for opposing defenses. However, it's tough to say what Sunday will bring. They weren't looking great in Detroit before Aaron when out and he didn't play well against the Dolphins following his last concussion. However, Jennings did grab 4 from Flynn in the last game. Maybe Rodgers came back too soon last time...I'll go with that. OVER

Total Points for The New York Giants
Line: 23
Tough call here as that is a good number. Push-worthy for sure but I'll go OVER. They put up a bunch pretty quickly against Philadelphia.

Touchdowns for John Kuhn
Line: .5
I like hearing the "KUUUUUUUUUUUUHN" more now that he's toting the pill on a handful of occasions as opposed to sharing the spotlight with BJax or Jim's brother-from-another-mother, Dimitri. It's a toss-up but I hope the Packers have worked on their goal-line offense and he can actually pound one in. OVER

Sacks by the Defensive Line
Line: 1.5
BJ "The Beast" Raji had 2 against ol' Tommy Boy but Cullen Jenkins is a maybe for the Bears game so he's not going to be available and the guys filling in for him aren't exactly setting the world a-flame. I think they get one but I also thin Clay get's one as well. However, Clay's not a defensive lineman so UNDER.

Punt Return Yards by Tramon Williams
Line: 37
A sore spot for the Giants this week for sure. I think Matt Dadge will learn to kick it where the coach tells him to. Tramon is great, but he's not Desean Jackson and I have a feeling punt coverage had a little extra emphasis on it this week in New York. UNDER

Another tough week but hopefully this game will actually some-what resemble they way I think it will. Can't say it enough...must win game. The Packers have to play a great game to ensure they're still playing after the Week 17 game against Chicago.

Make sure to be BFF's with Chris and Dave of Packers Therapy via their Facebook fan page. Also, Dave was quite entertaining via Twitter following the Patriots game. You can also share thoughts, questions, snide remarks via e-mail and their Twitter account.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 21st

Beef O'Brady's Bowl - Southern Miss (8-4) vs. Louisville (6-6) - 8pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Okay, I know that bowl game sponsors get made fun of all the time, but I really can't believe that Beef 'O' Brady's is going to pick up any more business by sponsoring this thing. Any press is good press though I suppose. Neither team playing in this game has never really done anything to impress me this season, but that's what you'll get from the opening bowl games. I went with Southern Miss in this one because I think I picked against the Big East every chance I could have.

Lemmy: In true Stock Lemon fashion, here's our pick with absolutely no explanation whatsoever. Southern Miss?

Jennings-less Bucks Hoping to Rebound in LA

Just a quick little Bucks post here for you, because I'm not going to force Gweeds to have to go through the misery of that game again. It was a game that never really was in doubt, as Portland got out to a 20 point lead early and never really looked back winning 106-80. It was the first game of many that the Bucks will be without Brandon Jennings, as the young guard will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot. Jennings actually broke his foot against the Spurs, played a little bit against the Jazz, but now will be shelved for a little more than a month.

The first night of the Keyon Dooling era didn't really go too well, as he got the started and played about as much as backup guard Earl Boykins. But the Bucks will at least have a chance to put the Blazers game behind them as they head to the Staples Center tonight against at 9pm Central. The Bucks lost to LA by 11 the last time these two teams got together this season, and now without Brandon Jennings I'm probably expecting a similar outcome to last night. But hey, that's why they play the game, right?

The Bucky Five: The Playoffs Start Now

First of all, many thanks to the gang for keeping things afloat here while I was out in Boston watching the Packers lose another heartbreaker of a game. Turtle did a nice job already of summarizing the Packers 31-27 loss out in New England, but now that I'm finally sober I thought I'd chime in as well.

1. Not What We Expected - Don't get me wrong, the trip itself was amazing. Boston is a cool city, it was my first time out that way, and I'm a sucker for cities rich with history. For the most part, the people were friendly, but that all changed after the game was over. Honestly, Patriots fans are assholes. Before and during the game we got your typical away fan banter, but after the game, after they game they won, it was blitzkrieg on anyone wearing Packers apparel. It's almost like winning makes them more angry. I'll have much more to say on the topic in a Winks Thinks I'm planning this for week, but for now let me just tell you if I ever do go back to Boston again, it won't be for the hospitality.

As for the game, when we first learned that Flynn was starting, we like most other Packers fans were expecting the worst. But the more Patriots fans started to cock off to us, the most confident that I began to feel. Sure, up to this point the Packers season hasn't gone as expected, but when you slice it down we have a good football team. It's not like we were the Carolina Panthers coming in to Foxboro on a Sunday night, but the predictions were coming in that way. I do understand why though a little bit, as the Patriots seem to be the unquestioned best team in football right now. But maybe a little more credit should have been given to the Packers, because even though they were starting a backup QB for the first time since 1992, the guy that would be under center really wasn't that bad.

2. Meet the Flynnstones - I may have been one of the few that didn't think Matt Flynn played poorly last week, but the big problem so far in his young career is that when he makes a mistake, it's about as costly of a mistake as you can make (and can we please alert everyone that he's not a rookie? I mean, he's close enough, but still). Even though there was the interception that was returned for a touchdown and the lack of urgency on the final play of the game, you have to commend Flynn's effort for taking this team into hostile territory and performing the way he did. The former LSU quarterback finished with 251 yards and three touchdowns, including the second quarter strike to James Jones which was one of the prettiest passes I've seen from any quarterback all season throughout the NFL. There's a chance he may have to play again next week, and even though we need Rodgers back if we're going to make a play for this thing, it's nice to know that Matt Flynn actually has the goods when needed. And to think, we drafted him just case in Brian Brohm didn't pan out.

3. McCarthyism - I became pretty furious after the game that the loss should be solely attributed to Mike McCarthy, but I do not want to be one of those people on the "Fire Mike McCarthy" bandwagon. My only real gripe against McCarthy is that sometimes I think he outcoaches himself, and that at times he's a bit timid. My biggest reason for this is in the area of challenging plays. If I can remember correctly, McCarthy, in his tenure, has always been one of the more successful coaches against the challenge. But lately he doesn't seem to want to throw the red flag. This makes two straight games where there was a play in question that I would have liked to see challenged (possible Jennings TD last week, disputed catch by the Patriots on a drive that lead to a touchdown). Besides that though, for now I'm staying with Mike and will remain on his side. The caveat to that thought is that he has to make the playoffs. Yes, he's dealt with a lot of injuries this year and has done a good job of doing so, but with the position we are in now, we absolutely need to get in.

4. Precious Mistakes - As much as some people want to blame McCarthy, as a whole this team is just making too many mistakes. The aforementioned Turtle did a nice of job of explaining them in his Pack Fan / Bears Fan series, and I won't dwell on them here mainly because I don't want to speak of that Dan Connolly kickoff return ever again. But when I rewatched the game thanks to DVR technology after I got home, it was the dropped interceptions by Woodson and Shields that I felt hurt the most. Given that those plays were still early in the game, I think either one of those interceptions might have changed everything. Sure, the announcers say that we have nothing to hang our heads about, but this was another game that we lost even though we could have won. All six losses have been that way, and that's not very comforting.

Still, with the way that people are giving the Packers credit for how they played in this game, for me it's drawing eerie similarities to that regular season finale between the Patriots and the Giants a few years back. When the Giants nearly beat the Patriots to prevent them from going 16-0, I remember Eli Manning being interviewed after the game with the biggest grin on his face. Here, his team had lost, but the Giants were celebrating as if they won the Super Bowl, and lo and behold that loss allowed them to win it just one short month later. Maybe the Packers can build off this game in a similar fashion, and get their revenge seven weeks from now.

5. Time to Win Six Straight - You wanted the Packers to make the playoffs? Well, we're in. However, for us the playoffs start now. The Packers really can't afford to lose either of these next two games against the Giants and the Bears, and it's nice that we get them both at home. Because if we do get into the postseason, every game will be on the road. The Wild Card round would likely be in Chicago, and the rounds after that in possibly Philly, Atlanta, or New Orleans. It's not going to be easy, but at least we hold our own fate to getting into the real postseason (thank you Tampa Bay and New York for letting that happen). At this point, getting to the playoffs would be enough for me, especially in this season littered with injuries. Once you're in the playoffs though, you never know what could happen. The problem is that we have to get there first.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 15 Pack Fan / Bears Fan (The Extra Flynn-y Edition)

So, as was expected, Aaron Rodgers did not play on Sunday night against Tom Terrific and his band of lumpy misfits. Turns out, McCarthy prepared his quarterback and Matt Flynn stepped in admirably. Yes, I hear you, the Packers did lose the game. That wasn't a nightmare...literally speaking of course. As those who watched the game can attest, the end was, figuritively speaking, a definite nightmare. The defense played well aside from a few points which will be made below. Also, we see the return of Pack Fan who abruptly abandoned us last week after that putrid mess of a game in Detroit. Let's just get to it shall we?

Pack Fan
  1. McCarthy Knows What He's Doing: Yes, I'm saying it. This guy knows quarterbacking and Matt Flynn's preparedness and the gameplan formulated by McCarthy and his staff proves it. At times he took overtook the mantle of Captain Check-down from Mark "Dirty" Sanchez and Matt "You Gotta Hit This" Leinart but he was taking what the Patriots were giving him.
  2. The Packers Have a Running Game?: Hell, I don't know. One week they do, the next it's as anemic as any other team in the league. Future Hall of Famer James Starks was inactive apparently due to excessive talent but Dimitri Nance, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn carried the load exceptionally and exceeded everyone's, YES EVERYONE'S expectations.
  3. Playoffs? Playoffs??!?: Yep...and the Packers are actually in control of their own destiny for once. Due to the EPIC, EPIC collapse of the New York Giants on Sunday and the heroism of former-Packer, current Lion kicker Dave Rayner in nailing the game winner in overtime to beat the Buccaneers, the Packers need to win out to secure a Wild Card spot.
  4. *BONUS* BJ Raji's a BEAST: Two more sacks for this dude. Comparing him with his Patriots counter-part, the two looked similar in pressing the pocket and Raji made Brady uncomfortable a number of other times as well.
Bears Fan
  1. Youth and Inexperience: One of the reasons the game was lost. As was eluded to earlier, the final play of the game was a chaotic mess (no matter what McCarthy says). Flynn looked like he was trying to call a time out, huddle the team and call a quick play all at the same time. It was slightly embarrassing and cringe-worthy. On top of that, the play ended with a strip-sack and a heart-breaking loss. Flynn played extremely well but the inexperience showed at times. Hopefully he came away with a lot of confidence and experience to grow on. He still hasn't learned to slide however.
  2. Missed Opportunities: Here's a list of play that very well could/should have changed the final result:
    - Charles Woodson's dropped interception in the first quarter (Drive resulted in Patriots TD)
    - Sam Shields' dropped interception in the first quarter
    - Poor tackling on Offensive Lineman Dan Connolly's return at the end of the first half (Drive resulted in Patriots TD)
    - James Jones finishing route instead of breaking it off and allowing the interception return for a touchdown
    Also, in general, there was a lot of poor tackling, Flynn held the ball too long on a number of occasions (another outcome of his inexperience) and there were quite a number of dropped balls which is just a lack of focus that the Packers couldn't afford Sunday night.
  3. Mixed-bag Offensive Line Play: Obviously, they did well in the run-blocking area but the pass blocking left a lot to be desired, especially in blitz situations. When the Patriots brought extra heat, Flynn was in trouble and looked a bit lost in those situations. It was an improvement over Week 14 but both the Giants and Bears have good, proven defenses and the Packers will need balanced line play if they want to make the playoffs.
It was quite the entertaining game and proved that this Packers team is not dead. It also showed that the Patriots are not infallible. As was stated previously, the Packers control their destiny and with the New York Giants heading to Lambeau on the 26th, who knows what we'll see.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is It April Yet?

Get ready for what promises to be a fun ride this baseball season, because your Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly landed Kansas City Royals ace Zack Greinke. News of this trade kind of came out of left field as I never really heard anything too encouraging about the Brewers chances of landing Greinke. In fact, I saw an article about the winter meetings that said the Brewers basically had no chance of acquiring him.

From the Journal-Sentinel blog, Bernie's Crew:
"The rumored agreement would send shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to Kansas City in return for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and approximately $2M."
An update to the report states that the Brewers will also send righty pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Royals. I think most fans will agree this is a no-brainer deal for the Brewers, especially since he's under contract through 2012. Plus, with the anxiety and depression issues he's had in the past, Milwaukee might be the perfect place for him which could help when it comes time to sign a new deal. The Brewers desire to pay the kind of money he will likely command may be the only thing standing in the way of Greinke being in Milwaukee for many years to come.

So, with all the changes in the past few weeks, let's take a look at what the Brewers roster could look like.

Pitching Rotation:
1. Zack Greinke
2. Yovani Gallardo
3. Shaun Marcum
4. Randy Wolf
5. Chris Narveson

RP. Manny Para
RP. Zach Braddock
CL. John Axford

C. Jonathan Lucroy
1B. Prince Fielder
2B. Rickie Weeks
3B. Casey McGehee
SS. Craig Counsell/Yuniesky Betancourt
RF. Corey Hart
CF. Carlos Gomez
LF. Ryan Braun

Count me in on that. All that stands in the way of these new-look Brewers now is a physical. I don't think I've ever been more excited about another man's doctor visit.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lemmy and Bucky Pick the Bowls: December 18th

There's something special about the bromance between us here at The Bucky Channel and our good friends at Stock Lemon, and we're teaming up this year for our edition of college bowl projections. Obviously, we'd much rather be doing projections for a college football playoff (which Mark Cuban apparently wants to fund) but for now we'll go with the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach. And thus, our college bowl projections begin:

New Mexico Bowl - BYU (6-6) vs. UTEP (6-6) - 2pm ET - ESPN 

Winks: I've made it a habit to never pick BYU in any sort of college football or college basketball pool, stemming from the fact that I dated a Mormon all throughout high school. Crazy lifestyle, that religion. But everytime I pick against them, they always seem to win, so I'm going to bite the bullet and go with them here. Neither team really has an impressive win on their belt, and this shouldn't even be a bowl game, but whatever.

Lemmy: Potential Free NCAA Football Pick Alert! We agreed to engage in a little friendly bowl pick'em with our friends here at The Bucky Channel, but if you had the UNDER on number of games we would pick before trying to pimp out site, you would be a winner! Just like our Free NCAA Football Picks (52% of the time...). At -12, BYU could qualify for one of our system plays, so obviously we will take them straight up. Just like the Mormon religion, BYU is very offensive and there is no way the injury-riddled Miners of UTEP will stop them.

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl - Northern Illinois (10-3) vs. Fresno State (8-4) - 5:30pm ET - ESPN - 

Winks: Northern Illinois has the better record, but I think Fresno State comes from the tougher conference and they get the nod. Sure, the bulldogs were shutout by Boise State, but they only lost to Nevada by a single point. And Nevada is good. I just don't think that the competition that Northern Illinois has played will prepare them for this game, something which I'm sure my buddy Doug Free disagrees with (buddy = partied at my house once in college, has no idea who I am).

Lemmy: This one is a little less of a sure thing. We are banking on a Northern Illinois collapse more than we are a powerful performance from Fresno on that all-nature Boise State bluegrass.

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Ohio (8-4) vs. Troy (7-5) - 9pm ET - ESPN

Winks: Before Ohio's loss to Kent State in the final week of the season, they were riding a seven game win streak, and had they won the final game I might have took them based on momentum. But Troy's resume impresses me more, especially the three point loss to Oklahoma State at the beginning of the season. Let's go with Troy in the nightcap.

Lemmy: On paper, this is a horrible slate of opening bowl games. The teams are less than marquee, but at least in the case of the Troy-Ohio showdown, they are evenly matched. Good for football viewers, bad for pick 'em participants (even worse for compulsive gamblers). We'll side with Troy here, paper thin defense and all.

Many thanks again to our friends at Stock Lemon, and make sure you check them out for their predictions against the spread this bowl season. Looks like we agree on all the games so far, let's see how long that keeps up. We'll keep teaming up with Lemmy here all the way up until the national championship game, so make sure you come back here for shitty analysis on all your mediocre bowl games!

Bonus Potpourri

That last video wasn't terrible, but it really was nothing more than audio. So let's give out a little bonus potpourri posting this morning, sent to me by reader Chris Kuehl. It's pretty self-explanatory what the video entails, as it's called "Damn it Feels Good to be a Packer". If you don't know what song that is in reference too, you're either too young or too old, but that's okay. The following video is shot pretty well, and the rule here regarding Packers fans videos is that as long as it's better than the droll Pat McCurdy put out earlier this season, we'll post it. So with that being said, here are the Lambo Boys:

Saturday Morning YouTube Potpourri

Saw this posting over at Zugzwang the other day, I thought it was timely enough to use as our Potpourri posting for the weekend. Basically, as much as I hate Brett Favre, The Bucky Channel can't seem to get enough of him. Anyways, few people have summed up the whole drama regarding Favre's exit from Green Bay and his time in the league thereafter better than sports talk radio host Steve Czaban has. Have a listen:

Quite honestly, I wrote this post on Wednesday afternoon to be published this morning, because right now I'm hammered somewhere lost on the streets of Boston. And as Favre's streak ended last weekend, I'm not sure yet if as of this posting Aaron Rodgers' short streak is going to come to an end as well. Did I really shell out nearly a grand for this trip to Boston to watch Matt Flynn get crushed on a Sunday night? We shall soon see (unless Rodgers is starting, in which case I look dumb here. Oh well. Just as long as someone gets me hope safe that's all I care about right now.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

#FollowFriday: Greg_A_Bedard

Since we're in Boston this weekend, we thought it'd be timely to give some love to former Packers beat writer and current writer for the Boston Globe, Greg A. Bedard. Bedard claims not to be a fan of any one particular team, but his coverage of the Packers while he was with the Journal Sentinel made him feel like one of us. Earlier this season, he left the JS to head out to Boston, and from what I've seen on Twitter Patriots fans realize just how good of a journalist they have on their hands. I gave up my journalism dream long ago, but if I were to continue it again someday, Greg A. Bedard would be one of the men I'd try to model myself after. 

Week 15 Betting Lines

Before we get to the brief re-cap of last week and this week's slate, can I just point out that the Vikings have found a new way to screw over the Packers. Instead of trying to beat the Bears on Monday Night Football, thy will be trotting out a JV line-up thus throwing in the towel on the season. I guess Favre does get the last laugh...GAH!

Anyways, I went 2-6 last week thanks in large part to me buying into the James Starks hype machine. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on this guy. I think he's a quality player but fans need to realize who he is. He's a guy who missed 2 seasons, has only played in one NFL game and the NFL team he played against just wasn't good. Oh, I also thought the Packers would WIN the game. That was another HUGE contributing factor.

I am not alone as Packers Therapy (sponsored by listeners can attest; Dave shared my pain and my record as it turned out. I think all fans can sympathize with their struggles in processing what was witnessed this past Sunday. For those fans that struggle with the emotional roller-coaster that fan-dom can bring, tune in to these guys, they'll help even you out. On with the disaster.

This week the Packers head to Foxboro to beat up on the Patriots...what? They're GOOD? Since when? ... That long, huh?... What was that? Aaron Rodgers is not expected to play?...uhhh...this just got harder.

New England Point Total
Line: 35
Listen, the Packers are just hurting at this point and since I believe Rodgers won't be directing this offense, I don't see them sustaining drives and this Pats team is ROLLING. OVER

Sacks for Clay Matthews
Line: .5
The defense has been preparing all week to carry this team. Teams have been keying on Clay but I think he steps up this week and I'll take the OVER.

Sacks by New England
Line: 2.5
Matt Flynn, you poor bastard. OVER

Total Green Bay Rushing Yards by Running backs
Line: 58
They'll need help from the running game this week so I say they try to establish it early...they have to to have a shot. OVER

Special Teams Points Allowed (excluding Field Goals and Extra Points)
Line: 6.5
Brandon Tate is fast but Special Teams looked pretty good for the Packers last week so I'll take the UNDER.

Turnovers committed by Green Bay
Line: 2.5
Young, inexperienced quarterback versus young, inexperienced defensive unit. They got 4 interceptions out of Peyton Manning but I've got to follow my instincts which has actually gotten me no where... UNDER

Tight End Receptions
Line: 6.5
Oh Andrew Quarless, you confound me. Who is going to show up Sunday evening? UNDER

Total Penalties committed by Green Bay
Line: 6.5
We might have a sloppy track and I think the poor showing may have rattled this offensive line last week. On top of that we're looking at a new quarterback and Erik Walden starting for Frank Zombo who was Starting for Brad Jones. OVER

Well, there you have it. I appreciate the Packers Therapy Hotel and Casino for giving me another marker this week. As you can see, they're just pissing their money away.

Please don't forget to share your thoughts, questions, holiday facts, podcast discussion points, favorite recipes, etc with Chris and Dave of Packers Therapy via their Facebook fan page, e-mail and Twitter account.

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