Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pro Bowl Changes, Without Changing At All

It's been no secret on this blog that I'm a sucker for All-Star games, and the NFL Pro Bowl is no exception. After the season and Super Bowl are all wrapped up, I like that we get one more chance to see some of the league's best players chum it up and take the field in Hawaii. Even though most people think the Pro Bowl is the most pointless of all the All-Star games in professional sports, I've enjoyed watching so much that we even used to run a live blog during it. This year, however, the NFL decided to mix it up a bit.

The game was moved from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before it, mainly in an effort to drum up more interest for the exhibition contest. Many things were quite different - the game was now played under the lights, it wasn't in Hawaii, it was raining, and none of the Pro Bowlers from the Super Bowl contenders, the Saints and Colts, suited up to play. This meant a more diluted talent pool than in recent years, as proven by the fact that David Garrard threw for 183 yards in an All-Star game. But despite the changes, the game was still pretty much what we've come to expect.

No matter what the league tries to do, the Pro Bowl is still going to be the most boring football game of the season, mainly because the rules are watered down so much, something that's not usually done in other sports. In football's all-star game, you can't blitz, you can't use more than three receivers at once, and you can only use the 4-3 defense, which means things are kept pretty vanilla. I still like to see all the guys get together, interact, and have players from rival teams hooking up for big plays, but in the end it's usually just a boring football game.

I'll still defend the game though, just because I really have that affliction for All-Star games that I can't quite explain. Someone that might be sharing my feelings? Look no further than Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Because Drew Brees is headed to the Super Bowl and Brett Favre doesn't believe in the Pro Bowl, Rodgers got the start and performed very well. But that's something we've all come to expect. Rodgers went 15-for-19, throwing for 197 yards and two touchdowns in about a quarter and a half worth of play. He would have definitely been a candidate for the MVP award had the NFC won, but the AFC took the honors this year winning 41-34 (and the award would have probably gone to DeSean Jackson anyway).

The Packers were also represented on defense as well, but neither player had to make too much of an impact. Nick Collins was credited with four tackles while Clay Matthews picked up one. Charles Woodson was initially named as a starter for the squad but sat out because of injury concerns.

So while it was a pretty successful showing for the Packers, the game itself really wasn't that much different from in years past. I know that the game did sell out in Miami, and we'll have to see how the ratings were but I can't imagine they'd be much different just because the game was played before the Super Bowl instead of afterwards. I guess I do like having the game played in Hawaii, but I also like how there is at least some sort of football game on during the two week lull before the Super Bowl. Honestly, the roommates and I had no idea what to do today with there not being any football on during the afternoon. Thank God Edge returned in the Royal Rumble, or this day might have been a complete waste.

Bucks Burn Miami

After a big win against Miami on Saturday night, the Bucks are now 6-0 at home in 2010, and they finished with an 8-7 record in the month of January. That is their first winning January since 2003-04. It's too bad they have to go on the road this week for a few games before they head back home Saturday though.

The Bucks were in control for most of their contest against the Heat, as they came right out of the gate having a three to five point lead for most of the first quarter. The Heat brought it within two, and Bogut missed a put back with no time left in the first. The Bucks had a 23-21 lead after one.

The second is when the Bucks made things a bit harder for the Heat to mount a comeback. Bogut, Warrick, and Stackhouse played a huge role for the Bucks in the second quarter. They found their shots, and played very good defense not giving Wade good looks. He was off Saturday night in the Bradley center which for him doesn't happen often. He record at Marquette at home was 30-1, so he loves to play at the BC.

Miami outscored the Bucks by a few in both the third and fourth, but never really made a threat to win the game. Warrick scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Also Jennings scored the six points of the game to help the Bucks secure the victory. Another good team effort for the guys in white and green.

Lets check out some highlights from this 95-84 win for the Bucks.

* Andrew Bogut continues to be the key to this team. He had another double double Saturday night has he finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He was also 5-6 from the free throw line something that Bogut has been improving on. This will give Andrew the Bucks POTG.

* Hakim Warrick had one of his better games Saturday night. He finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and his +/- was +13. He was a huge part of this win for Milwaukee. He has these games every once and awhile, but he needs to have a little better role in this offense.

* Brandon Jennings had a nice game too for the Bucks. He ended the game with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Just another solid performance from our young point guard. If he can keep his number around 20, 5, and 5 we should be in most games.

* Dwyane Wade was not on his A game, but still did get 21 points, and 7 assists. I guess I have no choice, but to give him the Hunter of the Night award. The Bucks had a hand in his face most of the game that threw off his shooting Saturday night.

Overall, it was a good win against a Heat team that is struggling right now. We get them again Monday night, but it is in Miami so we have to see if the good Bucks team shows up or not. The Bucks are 20-25 on the season now. We're three games back of the Heat for the 8th seed so Monday will be a big game if they can sweep the home and home. Tip on Monday is at 6:30 Central time. After that the Bucks will have a tough match up against the Magic Tuesday. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Royal Rumble Predictions

Well, since SportsBubbler is coming to an end, I'll no longer be able to use my weekly Winks Thinks column as an outlet for my WWE pay-per-view predictions. So you know what that means? The predictions will instead appear as their own separate posts right here on The Bucky Channel! Feel free to skip over this post if you'd like...

Women's Championship - Michelle McCool (c) vs. Mickie James - You know, for the most part I'm not very excited about this PPV card outside of the Royal Rumble itself, and this match isn't helping matters too much. This match will get it's ten minutes, and at the end of the day I think Mickie James will take the title. Apparently she was looking to leave the company soon, which I'm not sure about, but I think she'll get the win to avenge for the last two months where McCool has been making nothing but fat jokes towards her. Although Vince McMahon does have a history of embarrassing talent before they walk out the door, I don't think her time is up yet and I see Mickie getting the victory, even though I hate both of these chicks.

ECW Championship - Christian (c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson - There are also rumors that the ECW brand will be changing a bit, as apparently the network that it is on wants to see drastic changes. This is a show that is aired every Tuesday night on SyFy, and apparently they want to see more science fiction built into the program. I don't see that happening, but still it doesn't appear as if the ECW Championship will be around much longer, or at least it won't be on the actual ECW program. ECW did a cool thing by having a lot of it's former wrestlers compete for a chance at this title event - guys like Kane, CM Punk, Matt Hardy, and Jack Swagger - but ultimately decided to give the shot to one of the guys on it's own roster. Zeke could very well be a star someday, but I don't see him knocking off the long-reigning champion in the WWE right now. Christian is ECW right now, and the belt will stay on him as long as the show retains it's current format.

WWE Championship - Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton - This match is interesting because it's not often that two heels face each other in a title program (for you non-wrestling fans, heel is slang for bad guy). I'm a big Orton fan, but I think Sheamus is going to keep the strap. Many people were surprised when they actually gave Sheamus the belt over John Cena, but he's been doing a decent job with it since he's had it. Beating Orton on Sunday will give him more credibility as well. Some people think Legacy may actually interfere and cost Orton the match, but people have been thinking that since last August. I think Sheamus wins clean.

World Heavyweight Championship - Undertaker (c) vs. Rey Mysterio - These are two guys that are way over in the WWE Universe, but I don't like either of them. I just can't get into Mysterio, and Undertaker is cool during Wrestlemania, but useless to me the other 364 days of the year. The guy is always injured, he can hardly move anymore, and it seems weird to me that they'd give him a one-on-one with one of the most agile guys in the business. When Undertaker loses this belt, it's going to be in a triple threat match or some other contest where he doesn't have to get pinned, and I don't see Rey winning. It would be a pleasant surprise if Rey did win, although that would be he'd have to then be champion, and I don't want to see that either. Then again, at least he'd actually appear on Smackdown more than once a month. But that would probably mean another match with Batista. No good can come from this matchup.

Royal Rumble - It's approaching the one-year mark since I started watching wrestling, and I have set to see an actual Royal Rumble event. As jacked as I am for this matchup, I don't think I'm going to be happy with the result. Actually, I don't care who wins this thing as long as it's not one of the following people - John Cena, Batista, Triple H, or HBK. Sadly, I think it's going to be one of those guys that does win, specifically Triple H. It makes sense as far as getting Hunter in a title match at Wrestlemania and continuing with the teased breakup of DX, so that's what I see happening. I think the company would be better off giving the win to someone else, either someone who hasn't had a title shot yet or someone that deserves another one. The guys I'm rooting for are about the same as the guys Rory suggested in the comments: Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, Ted DiBiase Jr., Chris Jericho, John Morrison, The Miz, Jack Swagger. Sadly, Hunter is Vince's son-in-law, and I think this match is already decided. Prove me wrong, WWE.

Jennings Selected for Rookie Game

Even if he is wearing a shirt with his name and the golden arch on it, he is not the newest sponsor of McDonald's. But he is the latest Buck to be selected to the Rookie Challenge Game for the All- Star Weekend in Dallas. I guess the news isn't as big as LeBron being named the new face for McDonald's, but in Wisconsin sports Jennings making the Rookie team should get some love.

Jennings joins an already guard-heavy rookie team which will include Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, and Johnny Flynn. They will be up against a tough sophomore team that is full of big men. Sometimes in games like these the pace can get out of control, so the teams with fast point guards are at an advantage.

Joining Jennings also on the team are Omri Casspi, Taj Gibson, James Harden, Jonas Jerekbo, and Dejuan Blair. Not a very name heavy team, but that is why they play the game I guess. This isn't familiar territory for Bucks players to play in this game. Jennings will be the fifth Buck to play in the rookie game. The others being Yi Jianlian, Andrew Bogut, Ray Allen, and Glenn Robinson. So it really is a honor for young Jennings to be mentioned with those guys. Maybe Young Money can help the rookie team end their seven game slide in this challenge.

In a game like this you just hope Brandon goes out and has fun, and doesn't get hurt. The numbers don't really mean anything in a game like this. But a guy like Jennings who played in the McDonald's All-Star game is used to how they are played. If I had to predict what is going to happen I could see Jennings with a lot of assists. His goal in the McDonald's American game was to break the assist record. I can't see his goal being any different when he takes the court Friday February 12, in Dallas.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Badgers Lose at Purdue, Again

Despite the long-distance shooting efforts of my boy, Keaton Nankivil, the Badgers fell just short to the Boilermakers on Purdue's home floor, something that is basically a perennial truth. Before every season begins, you're almost better off just writing a big fat "L" next to the date that says "@ Purdue", because unless the Badgers really play their asses off, they are going to lose that game. Just like the Badgers don't lose to unranked Big Ten teams at home, the Badgers don't win at Purdue. If there's one thing you can say about Bo Ryan's teams, it's that they are consistent. The Badgers constantly losing to the Boilermakers on the road is one of those models of consistency.

Not that they don't get close. Thursday night the Badgers had about as good as a chance as ever, as they actually did lead Purdue by one late in the second half. This was thanks to an insane night beyond the arc from the 6'8" Nankivil, who ended the night with 25 points, 21 of them coming off the three-ball. Unfortunately though, Purdue was dominant from about the halfway mark in the second half up until the final whistle. Trevon Hughes had a couple of chances late to give the Badgers the rare victory, but it was not to be. At the final buzzer, it was Purdue 60, Wisconsin 57. Another year, another loss at Purdue.

Again though, the loss isn't the worst thing in the world, and it shouldn't hurt the Badgers too much in the polls. It might drop them back down to #20, but no further. It's their only game this week, and the Badgers could use the rest as they have another big game against Big Ten leading Michigan State next Tuesday, again on ESPN. The game is at 8pm, as much as I love the Badgers, there is no chance in hell I'm watching that game. Season Six Premiere of Lost that night, come on!

Melvin Tries It Again, This Time With Jim Edmonds

I recently wrote an article about players that were past their prime before they even came to Wisconsin, but one thing I failed to mention in that piece was just how much Brewers GM Doug Melvin loved bringing those type of players into his organization. In recent years, he's brought in guys like Gabe Kapler, Frank Catalonatto, and even Trevor Hoffman. And while he's still looking at getting Mark Mulder to sign with the club, he did land himself another former Cardinal great in the form of Jim Edmonds.

Edmonds will be vying for a backup outfielder spot for the Brewers, and if it makes it this will be his fifth major league stop. He came into the bigs with the Angles, spent some time with the Padres, but we're of course familiar with him from his time in St. Louis and even a quick stop in Chicago. Cardinals fans were irate when Edmonds signed with the Cubs, and I can't wait to see how mad both fan bases will be once Edmonds is smacking homers against them as a Brewer.

That's of course, if he makes the team. Edmonds is pushing 40 and is without a doubt not the same player he used to be. Melvin still thinks he's competitive enough though to warrant a tryout, and will likely make around $800,000 if he's able to make the club. Here's hoping Melvin has found gold in the form of a seemingly washed-up veteran yet again.

Winks Thinks: The Farewell Edition

You may not know it, but there is a lot of things going on with this post. First, yesterday was our 2nd anniversary, and I can't believe I've actually been writing The Bucky Channel for two years. Second, this is our 2,000th all-time post here on the site. And third, well, it's going to be the final time we link to a Winks Thinks article over at the SportsBubbler.

The popular Wisconsin sports website is wrapping things up next Wednesday, and since Winks Thinks come out on Thursdays every week, you can do the math. In this week's edition, I take a reflective look back on what writing some goofy little column has meant to me, so go ahead and have a look.

But while it is the last edition of Winks Thinks on the Bubbler, I'm not quite sure what the future is for a the column. Granted, I can still do that on this website, but I'm not sure if it will be the same. I think for the time being, if I have something really passionate (or random) to say I'll write in under the Winks Thinks moniker, but I don't know how often that will be just yet. Maybe I will do it every Thursday still, I'm just not sure. Either way, enjoy the "last" one, and keep coming back to The Bucky Channel where technically, it's like Winks Thinks everyday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jennings' Runner Gives Bucks Win

With 22 seconds left in the Bucks game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Jennings hit a nice runner in the lane to give the Bucks the lead for good. This was another back and forth game for the Bucks Wednesday night, similar to their game against the Mavs on Tuesday. The only difference in this game was that the Bucks would build a little bit of a lead, only to let the 76ers climb right back into the game. The Bucks were just one point better every quarter than the 76ers Wednesday night.

The Bucks had a one point lead after the first, a two point lead at half, and a three point lead after the third. The fourth quarter was played dead even, which gave the Bucks a three point win. Not everyday you see a game played with so much consistency from each team in every quarter.

Here's some random fun facts for you as well. During the game Paschke and McGlocklin had a few conversations that I found interesting. The first one is that Doug Melvin once scored 55 points in a game during his days in high school. After the game he held up a piece of paper that said 55 on it. The same thing Wilt did after his 100 point game. He must have known at a young age he would be a big deal when he got older.

The second one was that in AAU ball Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, and Kevin Love were all on the same team. Talk about a team I would not want to mess with. And if you couldn't figure this out for yourself they finished the season 33-0. Also the fact that Jrue Holiday is the first NBA player born in the 1990's, which blows my mind. So people my age in your mid 20's you better get used to things like that. But those are three very young and athletic guys in the NBA that should have years and years of good basketball ahead of them.

Random facts, yes, but I thought that if you didn't get a chance to see the game I would drop some info on your ass. Now lets check out some highlights from this 91-88 win for the Bucks.

* Brandon Jennings, can't say enough about him. He finished the game with 18 points, 7 assists, and the game winning bucket. Not a huge game but just another game where he made plays when he needed to and he also kept the Bucks in it. They hit a little cold streak in the third quarter, but Jennings scored 8 of his 18 in the third. With this game he will earn himself the Bucks POTG award for Wednesday night.

* Ersan Ilyasova had nice game off the bench for the Bucks. He finished the game with 15 points, 6 rebounds (four of which were offensive), and he was 7-8 from the field. Always nice to see a guy come in off the bench and do some work.

* Both teams struggled from the free throw line Wednesday night. Each team shot 21 free throws, but each team had a hard time making them. The Bucks finished 12-21 from the line, which is just awful. The 76ers finished 14-21, which is nothing to brag about.

* Bucks took care of the ball which always helps. The Bucks won the turnover battle, with 8 turnovers to the 76ers 16 turnovers.

* Elton Brand owned the Bucks for the whole game except for his second to last shot of the night. He had a bunny to tie it with about 10 seconds left and he under laid it. He got is own rebound and missed a fade away. I would say 99-100 times Brand makes this shot. He finished the game with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He will get the Hunter of the Night award.

Overall a good pick me up game for the Bucks after the heart breaker to the Mavs Tuesday night. The Bucks are still in the 9th seed, with a 19-25 record on the season. It is also helpful when you hold the other teams leading scorer to zero points in the first half (Andre Iguodala). The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Bucks coming up. They have a home/away with the Miami Heat. They play home Saturday night, and away Monday night. This will be a true test to see who, if anyone, will be able to shut down Dwayne Wade. For the rest of the box scores from Wednesday night click the link below.

I brush your mouth like Colgate....

Hint: He may win the Rumble this weekend.... (Winks Note: He better not.)

Mavs Get Lucky Again

The Bucks are now 0-2 against the Mavs this season. The worst part about them being 0-2 is they have lost by a combined 3 points. Getting beat is one thing, but it sucks that both games were so close yet the Bucks just couldn't pull either one of them out. The Bucks played hard all game, fought back to tie the game, but when they would tie it they would give up points and fall behind again. It was a game where they were essentially behind the whole game.

Then when the game felt like it was all but over, Carlos Delfino made an unbelievable three pointer from wayyyyyyy downtown. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who was covering covered Dirk, then forced a huge turnover to give the Bucks a final chance to win the game. The Bucks got a good look when Delfino drove to the hole, but his running was a little strong and the Bucks dropped another game.

Sorry for the short recap but its a day late so who cares, right?. Lets check out some highlights from this heartbreaking 108-107 defeat.

* Andrew Bogut had another awesome night. He finished with a career high 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 13-14 from the field. The hook shot was on Tuesday night, and Bogut did work down low. A game like this will earn him the Bucks POTG award for Tuesday night.

* Carlos Delfino, as I said before, had a huge shot at the end. He also missed a big shot at the end, but he did have a huge game to keep the Bucks in the game. He finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Good game for Delfino Tuesday. He was also 8-12 from the field and 4-5 from downtown. Never a bad thing when Carlos gets hot.

* The Bucks took more free throws, but only made two more than the Mavs did. The Mavs may have won this game at the line making 16 of 17.

* Both benches played a big role for their teams. The Bucks bench had 35 points. You would think that's a good total, but the Mavs were right there with us getting 34 points from the guys on their bench.

* Dirk had a nice game scoring 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Another day in the life of Dirk Nowitzki. That will earn him the Hunter of the Night award. A least he didn't hit a luck shot at the buzzer again.

Overall a tough game for the guys in green. Now, since I've posted this after the Bucks next game on the schedule has already concluded, let's wrap up this recap and head on to one about their game against the 76ers. Until that's posted, entertain yourself with the box score while I get in a quick game of NHL 10.

It's 4:03 and I can't sleep without you next to me...

The End of an Era

It was a little more than two years ago when I first sent a link of an article I wrote to Dan Walsh at the SportsBubbler, hoping to get a little more publicity for my new website. However, my emails hoping to be linked on the website run by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will so go unrequited, as the end of the SportsBubbler website is near.

They've had the readership, but it's hard to lock in enough sponsors for a site like this, no matter how awesome it has been. Some of you may have never been there, some of you might only go there for my Winks Thinks articles, and some of you may have made it a daily stop on your website browsing. Either way, it's shutting down shop next week Wednesday, the end of an era indeed.

Most of the blogs that make up the SportsBubbler - Railbird Central, Bernie's Crew, Admirals Shorts Shifts - will all live on at JSOnline, but I'm still not sure what this means for the future of Winks Thinks. My weekly column has been posted on the site for nearly two years, and now that it doesn't have a home I'm not quite sure what will happen to it. Perhaps I'll try to do something weekly here, perhaps not writing a Winks Thinks each week will lead to more posts per week here on The Bucky, but that's still up in the air at this point.

One thing that is for sure is that my last Winks Thinks on the SportsBubbler will be tomorrow, which coincides with the two year anniversary of The Bucky Channel which is actually today. So prepare for an article with a retrospective-type feel tomorrow. And some good ol' Central Wisconsin bashing of course.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sheets Heads to Oakland

After taking a year off from baseball to recover from an elbow injury and to flirt with the Texas Rangers, Ben Sheets will end up in the AL West after all. Sheeter pitched well enough in a workout to impress the Oakland Athletics into giving him $10 million to pitch for them this season. I was kind of hoping on the long shot that the Brewers could bring him back for giggles, but definitely no where near the price of ten million.

I'm not sure how Sheets will do this season, but the word from his camp is that he's recovered quite nicely is hoping to do some big things for the A's this season. I wouldn't put it past him, but of course he's just got to stay healthy. You don't need me to tell you that he's been injury prone throughout his career.

Regardless though, I'm going change my course here and actually root for a former Wisconsin sports legend despite his efforts to play for another team. I've always liked Sheeter, and would feel this way no matter who he played for this season. Unless it was the Cubs or Cardinals, of course.

There is one downfall to this whole scenario though, as it has led to one of the worst jokes made in this history of the world. This folks, is why Twitter sucks.

Brewers Hope Not to Suck on National TV Again

It's always fun to watch the Brewers play with a different set of graphics on the screen than the FSN Wisconsin set we are used to, but last year that actually couldn't have been further from the truth. The Brewers seemingly were destroyed every time they played in front of a national audience last season, but they'll get plenty of chances to redeem themselves in 2010 with a slew of national TV dates right off the bat.

Usually changes are made to the schedule throughout the season, but for the first couple of months outlets like FOX and ESPN do decide on which games they are going to broadcast. For the time being, here are the games that will be shown on national television:

Saturday, April 10th - vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 2:10pm (Fox)

Saturday, April 11th - vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 7:10pm (ESPN)

Saturday, May 15th - vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 3:10pm (Fox)

Sunday, May 16th - vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 7:10pm (ESPN)

Saturday, June 5th - @ St. Louis Cardinals - 3:10pm (Fox)

Saturday, July 3rd - @ St. Louis Cardinals - 3:10pm (Fox)

So, that's kind of cool. In other news, with this upcoming season being the 40th anniversary of the Brewers franchise and all, there's been some talk about not only the throwback uniforms they'll be wearing but also possible uniform changes for the future. Kind of a neat article if you have a few minutes.

Milwaukee Iron 2010 Schedule

The Milwaukee Iron have released their schedule for the 2010 season. This likely concludes our coverage of the Milwaukee Iron this year.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Badgers Come in at #16

It wasn't their most impressive week in history, but the Badgers did what good teams are supposed to do, and that is to just win basketball games. Close games against Michigan and Penn State may have given Badgers fans a bit of a panic, but they didn't hurt Wisconsin in the polls. In both sets of the college basketball rankings, the Badgers have climbed back up to the number sixteen spot.

So the polls weren't harsh on Wisconsin this week, but their big game against Purdue this weekend will have a big bearing on where they fall next Monday. Purdue was as high as #4 before the Badgers knocked them off a few weeks ago at the Kohl Center, but the Boilermakers have been playing well since their brief bump in the road. Purdue is ranked #10 in the AP Poll and #12 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, respectively, so needless to say this is going to be a big game. Live coverage will be on ESPN this Thursday at 6pm.

In Case You Forgot

God, this is awesome. Everything is awesome today. Things have never tasted sweeter, the air has never been as crisp, hell, even waking up this morning was fantastic and it's a Monday! Just when I thought that things couldn't get any better, Paul Allen and his insane sidekick once again deliver gold through their agony. You think it was awesome to watch Favre throw that interception? It's almost more awesome to listen to him do it. Check it out.

God Bless Everyone!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Forever a Saints Fan

Honestly friends, I don't even know where to begin. I could sit here and complain about how Favre blatantly milked that injury in an effort to increase the size of his legendary status. I could grumble about how at times it appeared as if the officials may have been pulling for the old gunslinger themselves. Or I could talk about how it's been a rough season having to see Favre not only beat the Packers twice, but to see him now just one game away from the Super Bowl.

But none of those things matter anymore, as Brett Favre did what I've been saying he'd do all along. He choked when it mattered, and now his season is over.

Is it wrong to root against Favre so much that it becomes an obsession, one in which I started planning the method of my suicide for if the Vikings would have won the Super Bowl? That's an issue for another time, but the fact of the matter is I'm feeling a new lease on life right now. I wouldn't say that I cried after the Saints beat the Vikings 31-28 to earn a trip to the Super Bowl, but I definitely teared up with joy, as this is a moment that I've been waiting for ever since Favre pulled up in an SUV with Brad Childress last August.

When Favre threw the interception to cost the Packers a shot at the Super Bowl two seasons ago, I was left in a state of shock where I honestly had a hard time breathing. I wrote about it back then, it was terrible. This time around? I couldn't be happier. Favre, in a moment when it mattered most, made an incredibly stupid decision by throwing across his body and the ball found the hands of my new favorite player Tracy Porter. As my fellow Favre-hating friend Shep says, Favre's last passes with the Vikings, Packers, and Jets (and even the Falcons!) so far have all been interceptions. Two of those cost him a shot at the Super Bowl.

Now, here's the thing. This loss doesn't make everything right between Favre, the Packers, and Packers fans. There are still morons out there that will worship Favre until he dies, and I don't even care about them anymore. Favre still did beat the Packers twice this season, terrible moments in Packers history that I will never forget. But through all of this, Favre did do one good thing. Like I said, I felt terrible, depressed, angry, and confused when Favre cost us the NFC Championship Game just two years ago. After Sunday night, he has allowed Vikings fans, the fans of our most hated rival, to feel the exact same thing while in turn giving Packers fans immense joy. That's pure irony for you folks, and that has made this whole terrible journey almost worthwhile.

As for what happens next? Well, we've all seen this before. As of this writing, Favre is at the podium going through his whole "Will I or Won't I" routine, and that's something that Vikings fans are going to have to live with. Is it wrong that I'm taking joy in seeing him up there, with bruises on his face and tears in his eyes? If it is, I don't give a shit, because I love this, I am buying a Saints NFC Champions t-shirt online right now, I am rooting for New Orleans in the Super Bowl, and I have a renewed love for Darren Sharper.

You gave me sixteen years of great memories, Brett Favre, and then you took it all away by how you acted post-retirement and your signing with the Vikings. But for one night, after all the stress you've caused me this season, I can again say thank you. Thank you for another great memory.

Now let's not go through this again next year, okay?

Badgers Avoid Disaster Against Penn State

The Wisconsin Badgers do not lose to unranked Big Ten basketball teams at home under Bo Ryan, it's just not something that they do. But the Nittany Lions of Penn State put that mark in serious jeopardy, as they lead by 16 points early in the second half as they looked to knock off the #19 ranked Badgers.

Desperately not wanting to lose at the Kohl Center, Jordan Taylor hit bucket after bucket to not only bring the Badgers back but to give them the victory in overtime, as Wisconsin came out on top 79-71. Taylor finished with 20 points total on the night, and was without a doubt the player of this game.

Being down 16 points in the second half is never easy to come back from, especially in the Big Ten where points can be as rare as unobtanium in the Avatar universe (reference to movie I've never seen alert). But the Badgers have had a knack for comebacks this season, and ended up looking strong in the game's final minutes to pick up a big victory, one which was fueled by a 15-0 run in the second half.

Next up for Bucky is a big matchup at Purdue on Thursday, a venue in which Wisconsin has had a historically hard time winning. In other news, since I half-ass cover Marquette, I'll pass along that they lost to Syracuse this weekend, and will take on Rutgers this Tuesday.

Bucks Do Work on T-wolves

Yeah, this one was over right after the tip Saturday night, and for once that would be a good thing for Milwaukee. The Bucks had things working the way they wanted to right from the start. They got off to an early 32-22 lead after the first quarter, and they never looked back. This is a game the Bucks needed badly to maybe get some confidence back after a tough loss to the Raptors Friday.

Everyone got in the mix Saturday night for the Bucks. Everyone that played scored at least a point, and each player was also on the plus side of the +/- category. Its was also good to score more than 125 points for a change. The 127 the Bucks scored Saturday was the most since the famous Golden State game where Jennings had 55. This Saturday night no one put up career numbers, but one person did come close.

Carlos Delfino almost had himself the game of a life time. He was two rebounds and two assists away from a triple double. Delfino doesn't usually put up a lot in the assists category. The Bucks as a team were all about passing Saturday as they put up 36 assists as a team. Also throwing in a high total was Brandon Jennings as he had a career high 13 in the game.

Lets check out some highlights from the 127-94 win.

* As I said before Carlos Delfino had a great game. He finished the night with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. He also shot 9-11 from the field. This will earn him the Bucks POTG for Saturday night.

* Brandon Jennings played against Johnny Flynn who was drafted ahead of Jennings. They both put up around the same stats, but Jennings was a lot better on the assist line. Brandon finished the game with 18 points, 13 assists, and 3 steals.

* Bucks bench scored 62 points Saturday night. I know it was a blow out so they got more minutes, but still that is a huge total for any bench. Always good to see the bench throw in a good game here and there.

* The only low point for the Bucks Saturday was they still didn't get to the line. They only attempted 21 free throws to the Wolves 37. Always something that Bucks could work on is getting to the line.

* Not really a good night for Minnesota, but since I have to pick a Hunter of the Night I guess I will give it to Kevin Love. He finished the game with a double double. He scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds.

Overall a great win for the Bucks as they get a few days off before they head to Dallas. The last time they played the Mavs they lost in overtime on a last second shot by Dirk. Lets hope things will be different Tuesday when they meet for the last time this season. The Bucks are now 18-24 on the season. Hopefully Milwaukee can pick up a win and maybe start a winning streak. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Raptors Muscle Past Bucks

Milwaukee was looking for the home/away sweep of the Raptors, but just couldn't find their stroke in the second half. The Bucks played well in the first half and looked like they might set the pace of the game again Friday night like they did Wednesday. Bogut and Jennings closed out the first half playing strong and push the Bucks to a 57-48 lead at half.

The second half is when the Bucks starting throwing up bricks. The Raptors stared the third quarter with a 8-0 run to get right back into the game. The Bucks then found a little shooting area, and started to take command of the game again like they had in the second quarter. After Jennings made an eight foot jumper the Bucks would score just four points the rest of the quarter. Some how after that awful final 5 minutes the Bucks still has the lead after three.

The cold streak continued into the fourth quarter, before Luke Ridnour hit the first Bucks basket of the quarter at the 7:58 mark. For those who don't know, in the NBA you play 12 minute quarters so that's a long time before your first hoop. Things would not get better for Milwaukee from there. The only person that did enjoy the fourth quarter was Jarrett Jack. He scored 13 of his season high 27 in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Raptors.

Lets take a look at some the highlights from 101-96 defeat Friday night.

* Wasn't many bright spots Friday night, but Luke Ridnour did come to play. Luke finished the game with 27 points, 4 assists, and 0 turnovers. Great game off the bench for Ridnour. He kept the Bucks in the game the whole night. This will earn him the Bucks POTG for Friday night.

* Andrew Bogut ended his double double streak Friday night. He still had a good game finishing with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Also another highlight from his stat line is he was 6-7 from the free throw line. Good to see him making his throws.

* Bucks shot 5-26 from downtown Friday night that is not going to help us win games. The Bucks need to make threes to win games because they really only have Bogut as a threat down low.

* Milwaukee kept Chris Bosh in check Friday night. He only had 17 points and 7 rebounds. Most times you would think that slowing him down would help you win. I guess we just have to give up 44 to him every time we play them, so then we win.

* Jarrett Jack absolutely went off in the fourth. He finished the game with 27 points, and 11-12 from the free throw line. Jack just played tough, and Milwaukee could not find anyone to stop him. With a game like that Jack will earn himself the Hunter of the Night award.

Overall a tough loss for the Bucks who had this one all game only to let it slip away late. No time to cry over this one as the Bucks are back at it again Saturday night as they host the Timberwovles at home in the Bradley Center. Lets see if Milwaukee can stop the Minnesota's front line of Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. Game starts at 7:30 central time, but if I know the Bradley Center as good as I do it won't start till 7:40. Game is on FSN tonight, and is also in HD.

For the rest of the box scores from Friday nights game click the link below.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bucks Get Back on Track

The Bucks got back on track Wednesday when they returned home from the road trip from hell. It wasn't easy, but with a good team effort the Bucks pulled out the victory. Jerry Stackhouse saw early minutes Wednesday as he was the first guy in off the bench for the Bucks. I found it a little strange that he came in so early, but I guess Stack feels that he can just learn as he goes. He wasn't a huge threat scoring, but he did throw in some assists and rebounds. His first stat as a Buck was an assist to Brandon Jennings. Welcome again Mr. Stackhouse to Milwaukee.

The Bucks got off to a slow start in the first half as a team, but individually Bogut was hot right away. Bogut scored the first 8 points for the Bucks Wednesday, and he didn't slow down after that. The rest of the guys didn't really wake up til after halftime. Maybe it was a hangover from the road trip, but they got rid of it in the second half Wednesday.

It kind of started when Delfino scored 12 of his 22 points in the second quarter. I think that might have sparked everyone else to step up their games at halftime. After being down 56-49 at half Milwaukee went to work. Milwaukee started off the third with a 12-6 run to cut the lead to one early. The rest of the quarter was back and forth, and after three quarters the Bucks held a slim lead 81-78.

The Raptors have a bad record when giving up over a 100 points so that was a goal for the Bucks all night. Well they didn't let down Squad 6 Wednesday at the BC. Andrew Bogut played huge all game, but did foul out with 4:11 to go. Milwaukee had a 101-96 lead when Bogut left, and I felt that they would let this one slip away without Andrew in there. Wow was I wrong, with offensive rebounds by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova, both for tip ins the Bucks would close out the game.

Lets take a look at some highlights from this 113-107 win.

* As I said above Andrew Bogut was huge again Wednesday. He put up yet again a double double. He finished the game with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks. We have been riding Bogut over the past 6 games. This is also his 6 straight double double. Those stats have Bucks POTG written on over it.

* Thank you Toronto for giving us Carlos Delfino. Del-three-no as Winks likes to say had a nice game against his former team Wednesday. He finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 4-8 from deep. Amir Johnson on the other hand who we gave up for Carlos has just 10 points and 7 rebounds.

* Charlie Bell and Brandon Jennings clicked for the first time it seemed all season. Combined that finished with 29 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. Good to see the two starting guards put up good numbers.

* Bucks only had 7 turnovers on the night. Good to see the guys take care of the ball, unlike how they played on the road trip.

* Milwaukee assigned Joe Alexander to the D-league Wednesday. I smell something I just can't put my finger on it. Oh wait now I can, BUST.

* Stud of the night doesn't go to a guy wearing a Bucks jersey. Instead it was Chris Bosh, as much as I used to not like this guy I do now. I really think the only reason I didn't like him was because he played in Canada. He had a career game Wednesday night as he put up 44 points and 12 rebounds. Good game big guy, and I hope a team in the U.S.A. signs you next year. That will give him the Hunter of the Night award.

Overall always great to get a win, but even better when you are coming off an 1-5 road trip. We get to see the same Raptors Friday night, only different thing is we have to travel to their arena. Lets hope we can use the momentum from Wednesday nights game on Friday. Lets hope they can keep is up, and maybe even slow Bosh down just a little bit. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

I got a fist full fifties, tequila just hit me...

Winks Thinks: The Past Their Prime Edition

After last week's debacle/work of genius, I've decided to concentrate back on sports for this week's edition of Winks Thinks. Inspired by the Jerry Stackhouse signing, I began to think of other players that have come to Wisconsin sports teams well past their prime, and the list isn't pretty. If you hate people like Jeffrey Hammonds and Anthony Mason, then I apologize to you for bringing them back up in your conscience. Otherwise, enjoy.

That's Big Ten Basketball, Baby

I love the Big Ten as much as the next guy, but man can this conference deliver some duds sometimes. Wednesday night's game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines was a poster child for those kind of games, as the Badgers won a snoozer 54-48. Things picked up in the second half a little bit, but this was a game where the Badgers went on an 8-0 run to end the first half, and were still down 21-18 at the break.

The Badgers started off the game ice cold, going 1-for-13 in the first nine minutes of the game. Against most teams, the Badgers chances might have been over. But Michigan isn't very good, so... yeah. Wisconsin was able to stay in the game at least during that point and then break away in the second half.

Leading the charge, as usual lately, was senior Trevon Hughes. He finished with 20 points on the night, 16 of which came in the second half. Hughes has a knack for stepping up when the Badgers need him to, and that helped lead them to the victory. Rob Wilson also chipped in nicely, putting up a career-high 13 points.

Next up for the Badgers is Penn State, game time set for 1:30 this Sunday.

Welcome Back, Doug Davis

There are few things that I like more in sports than when one of your former players comes back for a second go around, and that's happening again for Doug Davis. Of course, the situation is usually better when the player still has some life left in him, and with Doug Davis that is definitely the case. Davis will fill an obvious need in the Brewers rotation as someone that doesn't, you know, suck, as Melvin signed him to a potential two-year deal.

It's a great signing, he brings us depth at a position where we need one, a position that will likely make or break this team as it has done for the past two seasons. This year he'll make $4.25 million with room for incentives, and next year there is an option for $6.5 million. Not bad a signing both in terms of the type of pitcher he is and the financial aspect. Melvin has been trying to get Davis back to Milwaukee pretty much ever since he traded him away, so it's good to see that his patience paid off.

Another move I'm on board with is the re-signing of Todd Coffey. I wasn't sure if they were going to try to hang onto Coffey, but he's been nothing but solid for the Brewers since he came here before the postseason in 2008. He signed for slightly over $2 million, and I feel that the Brewers are spending their money wisely. Good moves all around today.

Melvin has done historically well at not having to go to arbitration, but three guys still remain to be signed. Dave Bush, Carlos Villaneuva, and Corey Hart's futures are all still up in the air, but expect Melvin to settle those soon as well. I can't say I'm against any moves Melvin has made this offseason, from trading Hardy, to signing Wolf, and to the Davis acquisition. Good work so far.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nearly Half the League Interested in Ben Sheets

It may be a long time before the Brewers have a pitching duo at the top of their rotation as formidable as CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, but it may not be much longer before Ben Sheets is actually back in that rotation. Look, I'm just as excited as you are about the possibilities that a YoGa/Randy Wolf duo could bring, but the Brewers still need one more quality starter in their rotation to become a serious contender. Could Ben Sheets be that guy?

Sheeter missed last year with a torn flexor tendon, but has told reporters that he feels "refreshed and fantastic". He's working out for at least seven teams later today, one of them being your Milwaukee Brewers. At this point, I still think the Brewers are the least likely of all the teams to sign him, just because I get the feeling that Sheets would like to try something new, something different than the likes of Brew City. But the Brewers may have to make a move other he could go to a rival.

Scouts from both the Cubs and the Cardinals will be on hand to see Sheets pitch, and I would not be very pleased to see him stroll into Miller Park in one of those uniforms. Other teams interested include the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Mets, and there are rumors that scouts from the Orioles, Mariners, and Yankees will also be there. The Mariners make sense with Jack Z at the helm, and the Yankees were the team where Brewers fans always figured he'd end up, so both possibilities are interesting. Scouts from the Texas Rangers, a team who Sheets flirted with signing with last season, will also be on hand.

Catching up on other Brewers related links, welcome Norris Hopper, welcome back Jody Gerut, and we're still waiting for Mark Mulder.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rockets Send Bucks Home With Loss

The Bucks have to be glad that this road trip is over, but they had a chance to finish it on a good note. One problem was that they just couldn't stop Luis Scola. The way things started for the Bucks I felt that they would end the road trip with a win. They got off to a good lead after the first quarter putting up 34 points. That is a huge quarter for the Bucks, because most of the time they have a hard time putting up points.

But it didn't take long for the Bucks of old to show their true colors as they went cold in the second quarter. They played well for most of the quarter until about the four minute mark. In the final 4:11 of the half the Bucks only scored four points. Milwaukee went on to only score a total of 17 points in the second quarter, after their hot first quarter.

The second half was more of a defensive/poor shooting half. The Bucks kept it within striking range after three quarters, down just 79-73. Their was even hope when the fourth quarter was rough on the Houston Rockets. Houston turned ice cold, but the Bucks couldn't capitalize on the situation as well as they could have. The Bucks did have the lead with 1:38 left in the game when they were up by two, but the Rockets would tie it with 1:04 left.

After that, Bogut made a huge defensive play getting a charge called on Aaron Brooks, giving the Bucks the final shot. I didn't see the game, but it seems that Jennings just ran the clock down and took a deep three. Not sure why this happens every time the Bucks take a final shot, but I hope they realize it is not working.

The game headed to overtime, where the Rockets came out hot going on a 9-2 run to start the round of bonus basketball. I thought for sure there was no chance the Bucks could win this game at that point. But somehow Milwaukee fought back and put Brooks on the line with a chance to ice it. He thankfully missed the second free throw, so the Bucks still had a chance. This time the Bucks were able to get a good look at a three by Ridnour, but it just didn't fall for him. I hear that it was a well run play, and Ridnour felt that it was in after he released it. Can't win them all, but those shots just haven't been going Milwaukee's way this year. Well, maybe they haven't been going Milwaukee's way during any year, but that's for another time.

Lets look at some highlights from this 101-98 overtime defeat:

* Brandon Jennings played well Monday afternoon. He finished the day with 25 points, 7 assists, and only 2 turnovers. He also knocked down four 3-pointers. Wish he would try and get to the line more, but he's still young and I think those days will come soon. Lets give him the Bucks POTG award on MLK Day.

* Andrew Bogut has been a double double machine of late, and I am loving every minute of it. He finished the game with 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 blocks. We have been waiting for him to put up consistent numbers, and I think a passing point guard has helped that.

* Carlos Delfino played a lot Monday. He also recorded a double double scoring 11 points, and grabbed 10 rebounds. Good game for him as he has been one of the keys off the bench since Redd went down.

* Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had a nice game too. He is in this starting line up for his defense, but brought some offense to the table Monday. He finished the game 7-11 from the field scoring 15 points and bring down 8 rebounds. It would be nice if he could learn to hit that 17 foot jumper a little more.

* Luis Scola can be an animal down low some games, well Monday was one of those days. He just went to work on the Bucks in the paint. He finished the game with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 7-8 from the free throw line. Wish Bogut could make free throws like he does. This will earn him the Hunter of the Day award.

* The main reason we didn't win was, go figure, free throws. The Bucks were 7-11 from the line, while the Rockets were 23-28 that is just a joke. GUYS GO STRONG TO THE HOLE AND TRY TO DRAW FOULS.

Overall, the Bucks just couldn't make a three when they needed it, but at least they played well until the end. Honestly, thank God this road trip is over. The Raptors come to the Bradley Center Wednesday night, before we head off to Toronto to face the Raptors there. Lets hope the Bucks get split these game if not with both of them. Also rumor has it that Stackhouse is in good shape, and he might see the court as early as Wednesday night. Click below for the rest of the box score from Monday's game.

Loss Doesn't Kill Badgers Too Much

A loss to Ohio State and a win against Northwestern wasn't enought to keep the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team steady in the polls, but it wasn't damaging enough to drop them too far. In the latest edition of the college basketball rankings, the Badgers come in at #18 in the Associated Press poll, and #19 in the ESPN/USA Today version. Marquette is obviously still unranked, but they did pick up ten votes in the AP poll while still being shutout in the other one.

But, the real poll that we should be following I think is the one and only Bracketology done by's Andy Katz. In it, he's got the Badgers listed as a number three seed for the NCAA tournament, which is incredible given how little faith people had in them at the beginning of the season. Right now he's got them playing Oakland, a team they beat earlier already this season. Marquette, on the other hand, is currently listed as a team in the First Four Out category.

Every post I write about these two teams this season is usually about their tournament chances. At this point, it's safe to say that Wisconsin is a lock, while Marquette still has some work to do. I think they'll be able to get in pretty easily, but they have to start winning some of these close games they are losing. That will get them in the tournament a lot quicker then beating up on patsies like Providence will.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

These Playoffs Are Annoying Me

I received a text from my brother earlier today asking me if this year's NFL Playoffs were indeed the worst playoffs ever, and I have to say that the answer is likely going to be yes. From the Packers losing in the first round, to Rex Ryan earning a trip to the AFC Championship, and of course to Favre and his Pants on the Ground bullshit, it's been a pretty lame playoffs. And depending on what happens this upcoming weekend, it very well could be the worst NFL season of all-time.

With the Vikings blowout of the Cowboys this weekend, Brett Favre is now just two games away from a Super Bowl title, in which case this blog will cease to exist, because my life will cease to exist as well. I know that joking about things like this isn't funny, but that's the thing - I'm not joking.

Anyways, not only is Favre seemingly deciding not to tank in the playoffs like he did with the Packers for the last decade, but somehow the New York Jets are doing their very best to ruin the integrity of the playoffs. Technically, the Jets did what they had to do to get into the tournament, but they way they backed in is a bit lame. Not to mention their coach Rex Ryan ripped on Charles Woodson, something which is not acceptable in any fathomable way.

At this point, I guess it would be pretty sweet to see Brett Favre and the Vikings lose another Super Bowl either to Peyton Manning or Favre's former fling the Jets, but I really don't want him getting that far. The Saints need to win next weekend, and if they don't the pages of this blog are going to be blurred with my tears for weeks to come. Favre in the Super Bowl would not only mean there would be two weeks of Favre loving in the media, but that would put him just 60 minutes away from winning a ring with the rival Vikings.

I know I'm not really saying anything new in this point, just felt like bitching. Thanks for reading.

Bucks Add Some Class to the Team

No folks that is not T.O., but it is Jerry Stackhouse. Since the Bucks lost Michael Redd for the season they have an open spot on the roster, one which will be filled by the guy pictured above. Stackhouse played for my boys North Carolina in college, and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. He also played for Detroit, Washington, Dallas, and now he'll be playing for your Milwaukee Bucks.

Will he play a lot, well, I don't think so, but it never hurts to have a 14 year vet coming off the bench. For his career he averages 18.4 points a game, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. I do not know any of the terms to the contract, or when he will join the team. I would guess it won't be til either the end of the week or early next week. He hasn't played a game all year so I'm not sure how long it will take him to get back into game shape. Also not sure what number he will wear because Charlie Bell wears number 42. That being said, welcome to the team Mr. Stackhouse.

Oh yeah, he can sing too.

Another Split Weekend for Wisconsin Hoops

Beating Ohio State at home is one thing, but trying to knock off the Buckeyes at their place with a healthy Evan Turner is a whole different battle, something the Badgers weren't able to accomplish on Saturday. Losing on the road to a quality Big Ten opponent isn't going to kill the Badgers, but I was hoping they'd be able to steal a road victory and continue their momentum.

Turner missed the first game of this series this season, and he came back strong chipping in with 15 points for the Buckeyes. Trevon Hughes continued his hot streak scoring 18 points for the Badgers, but it wasn't enough in a 60-51 losing effort. Next up for the good guys is a home date against Michigan on Wednesday the 20th.

Marquette on the other hand had just about as good of a day as you can hope for, destroying the Providence Friars 93-63. In what is a rare feat for MU this season, they had three guys score more than 20 points: Maurice Acker (23), Lazar Hayward (22), and Darius Johnson-Odom (22). Next up for them is a trip to DePaul before a big matchup against Syracuse this weekend.

So it was yet another weekend where the Badgers and Golden Eagles had opposite results, but still both teams are looking good on the path to a decent seed in the tournament.

This Road Trip Sucks

The picture doesn't lie, it was that easy for the Jazz Saturday night against the Bucks. Short recap for this game because it was that bad. The Jazz started the game off with an 18-3 run, and they never looked back. Also the fact that C.J. Miles, who scored 19 points to lead the way for Utah, had a nice game just tells you that the Bucks didn't bring anything to the table Saturday night.

Lets check out highlights from the 112-95 loss to Utah.

* Carlos Delfino came off the bench and felt it Saturday night, finishing the game with a career-high 28 points. He made six three pointers on the night too. He also threw in 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. That will get him the Bucks POTG award for Saturday night.

* Andrew Bogut had another double double Saturday night. Bogut finished with 10 points, and 11 rebounds. Solid game for the guy from the land down under.

* Jazz shot 56.4% from the field, while the Bucks shot 43.2%. Not a good night for the Bucks on the defensive side of the ball.

* Five Jazz players scored in double figures: AK47, Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, C.J. Miles. That's what we like to call team work.

* Deron Williams had a nice game for Utah. Williams finished the game with 18 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. He shot very well too going 7-11 from the field 2-3 from deep, and 2-2 from the line. That will earn him the Hunter of the Night.

As you can see it was not a good night for the Bucks. This road trip is almost over and we can get back to work against teams from the East. The Bucks have one game left on the trip Monday they play in Houston. The Bucks move to 16-22 on the season. Not sure what Rockets team will show up on Monday, but either way they will have to lay better than they did Saturday night. Click the link below to check out the rest of the box score.

It's twenty seconds till the last call...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jennings Lifts Bucks Over Warriors Again

It wasn't 55 points this time, but a huge 3 with 18.9 seconds left in the game Friday night gave the Bucks a much needed win over Golden State. The Warriors only had 8 guys dress up for the game. Two of those guys had to play all 48 minutes, Stephen Curry, and Monta Ellis. Ellis carried the Warriors in the first half, and gave them a 56-48 lead going into the second half. It was a pretty frustrating situation because the Bucks were getting out played by a team that only had really 5 NBA players on there team. All three bench players for the Warriors don't usually play a lot of minutes. The Bucks would need a bit of spark which im assuming I provided by going to bed early.

The Bucks started the third quarter out with a 13-6 run, and cut the lead to 2. During this run all the starters, but Illysova had a point. The Bucks continued to roll in the third and actually built a lead after three quarters. Milwaukee had an 84-79 lead going into the fourth quarter.

You would think that the Warriors would start getting tired and throw up some bricks, but that wasn't really how it went. Maggette, Curry, and Ellis scored 19 of the 25 points in the fourth quarter. Golden State made a late charge as Maggette made a layup cutting the Bucks lead to just 3 points. The Bucks needed someone to make a big shot, well Delfino launched up a 3 pointer only for it to rattle out. One of the smallest guys on the court got a huge offensive rebound. Jennings got the board and ran down the shot clock again. With about 20 seconds Jennings fired up a shot from downtown that hit nothing but net. The Bucks would make free throws down the stretch to get the victory 113-104.

Lets look at some highlights from the game Friday night.

* Brandon Jennings might have got some of his "Jack" swagger back after this game. He shot the ball well, made some great passes, but most important got to the free throw line. I really thing he needs to do this to gain confidence in his jumper. Jennings finished the game with 25 points, 7 Assists and 4 steals. He gets the Bucks POTG award for his efforts Friday night.

* This game really needed to go through Bogut because Golden State loves to run. Bogut finished the game with 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Good game for the big guy who will be tested Saturday against Boozer and the Jazz.

* Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Bucks shot more free throws than their opponent. Thats right the Bucks shot 39 throws to the Warriors 27. Bucks also made 31 free throws so they didn't shot bad from the line either.

* Bench play was huge. The Bucks bench had 42 points, while the Warriors bench had 11 points.

* When you think Warriors you think points. Well they were limited with guys Friday so they had to rely one guy to step up and he did. Monta Ellis is a hell of a basketball player. He made great plays Friday night, while also scoring 33 points, and dishing 8 assists. Also when you play all 48 minutes in a game you earn the Hunter of the Night award.

Overall a nice win for the Bucks, the first of the road trip. Good to see Milwaukee could keep it close in the first half. The past few games they have been blowouts by halftime, and the Bucks could never recover. The Bucks will get no time off as they head to Utah for there next game Saturday night. I Thought Milwaukee might catch a break, but looks like Deron Williams will play Saturday night. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out...

Also the Bucks lost Wednesday to Portland. Game sucked so no recap if you want to look at the box score click here. Player of the game goes to......Ersan Illyasova.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winks Thinks: The People of Central Wisconsin Edition

I've come to learn a few things while writing columns for the SportsBubbler, and the main thing is that If I don't write some bland dribble about how great it is to be a Wisconsin sports fan, then clearly I don't deserve to take up any of our readers time. Well, this week I decided to go a different route, and it is not being met with positive results. Take a look for your self in this week's edition of Winks Thinks, in which I introduce to you all of my good friends from Central Wisconsin.

Badgers Beat Northwestern, Thank God

If anyone gets the brunt of my criticism more than the good people of Central Wisconsin, it's the University of Northwestern Wildcats. It's pretty common knowledge that I'm not a very big Northwestern fan, and a loss to them on Wednesday would have absolutely crushed the inner workings of my soul. I was a big worried for two reasons. One, because playing Northwestern at their place after our big win against Purdue had trap game written all over it and two, they were beating us for most of the game.

I'm not sure what I would have done if Northwestern had beaten the Badgers basketball team and football team in the same season. I guess that could still happen later in the season, but I feel more confident with the next game being at the Kohl Center. Things looked rough for their first meeting though, as the Wildcats stayed in the lead for most of the game until Trevon Hughes put the Badgers on his back and carried them to a 60-50 victory.

In college basketball, you without a doubt play your heart out in every game, but things get a bit magnified when you're a senior. Every game is another last of something, and Trevon Hughes was not going to let his team lose in their last visit to Northwestern, especially with how well this team has been playing. Hughes hit four three-pointers in the second half to not only put the Badgers in the lead, but to give them a much-needed win on the road. Again, Thank God.

Next up for the Badgers is a rematch against the improving Ohio State Buckeyes, this Saturday night at 7:00pm on the Big Ten Network.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Woodson Gets the Respect He Deserves

I may hate Brett Favre, but the fact that we only won one Super Bowl with him in his prime is kind of a disappointment. Favre used to be a decent quarterback back in the day, and to only win one title with him was a waste of his talents (I guess we could have won another in 2007 if he didn't quit in the NFC Championship Game, but I digress). I bring that up because I sort of feel the same way about Charles Woodson. If we have one of the greatest defensive players of our generation and can't bring home any hardware with him, that would be pretty disappointing as well.

Woodson, however, will be bringing home some hardware as he's been named this year's Defensive Player of the Year. The award should come as no surprise, as Woodson was the NFL Defensive Player of the Month three out of four times this season, although that still didn't stop the ever-increasing douchebag Rex Ryan from trying to knock Woodson down a few pegs (seriously, weak). Still, Woodson no doubt deserved the award, finishing the season with nine interceptions with three of them going back for touchdowns. He's also a Pro Bowl starter, and the first Packer to win the award since Reggie White in 1998.

It's a nice consolation for Woodson, who said he was having a dream about the Super Bowl before someone woke him up to tell him about the honor. You worry that as Woodson gets older - he's 33 - sooner or later the skills will start to diminish. But Woodson has been the opposite, a player that only gets better with age. Here's to hoping we can grab a Super Bowl title with him while that fact is still true.

How Bout Them Cowboys?

When I was growing up, there were two things that I knew for sure. I loved Brett Favre, and I hated the Dallas Cowboys. Flashforward to the period in my life that is the present and there are two things that I know to be true as well. I hate Brett Favre, and dear God do I love the Dallas Cowboys (this week, anyway).

It was as far back as the mid-1990's, but the memories of three straight promising Packers seasons that were only disrupted by the Cowboys still seem all too vivid. Hopefully now, Brett Favre will have the same problems against Dallas as he did back then, and hopefully the Boys can knock the Vikings out of the playoffs. If they also wanted to take a cheap shot at Favre's knees, that would be good too.

I know that I talk about Favre on here almost to the point of obsession, but I really would not be able to stomach Favre winning the Super Bowl this season. I know for a fact that if the Packers would have won on Sunday only to lose to the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game this year, then I would have rooted for the Packers to lose to Arizona eleven times out of ten. I know that seems backwards, but I just could not have handled losing yet again to Favre this year.

You know, when I temporarily changed the logo of this site to reflect my new appreciation for the Dallas Cowboys, it was really only a half joke. I will honestly be rooting for the Cowboys as hard as I would be rooting for the Packers if they were still playing this weekend. I will get just as invested in the game, I will be nervous slash depressed when they are losing, and I will not be able to breathe if they don't win. I know I'm not alone on this one.

There are only a few distinct times in my life where I can remember rooting for a team like I do for the Packers. I won't make it a secret that out of all the teams I root for inside and outside Wisconsin, the Packers are definitely my number one. I absolutely love the Brewers, but I really only feel the life or death fandom for them when they are either playing the Cubs or in a playoff chase.

I'm not saying that I don't like the Brewers as much as I like the Packers, or that I don't follow them as intently, it's just that there's something different about the level of intensity between the two. I've always summed it up this way: I love the Brewers to death, but the Packers are more than just a football team, they are a way of life. Like I said, there's just something different there, at least to me.

But I digress. Other situations where I have rooted for something with the Packers intensity are as follows - for the USA Men's Soccer team in the World Cup, for my younger brother's high school soccer team when they were in the playoffs, for Michael Phelps two years ago (regretting that one), and for how I will feel about the Buffalo Sabres when they hoist the Stanley Cup this season. It's a rare feeling to extend beyond the Green and Gold, but I will be feeling it this weekend.

Now, I've already let you guys know that I will be buying a ladder and the tightest rope in Fond du Lac if the Vikings win the Super Bowl this season, but they way I look at it is that the Vikings just have to lose once out of three chances. I think that they could easily beat the Saints or the Cardinals, and you never know what bullshit Favre will try to pull if he actually makes the Super Bowl. So honestly, I think Minnesota's best chance to lose is to Tony Romo and the Cowboys this weekend, and that's why I'm willing to forget any ill will I've ever felt towards Dallas and root for them like my life is on the line.

Because in my case, it literally might be.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nash Burns Bucks

Steve Nash must circle the two games when he plays the Bucks every year. Is it me or does he just light up the Bucks all the time? Don't get me wrong he is a great player, but why can't we shut him down just once. Nash and the Suns starters went to work early, and it looked like this might be a long night for the Bucks. At the end of the first quarter the Suns had a nice 36-15 lead.

The second quarter was a different story. This is when four Bucks decided that they were going to fight back in this game. Kurt Thomas, Hakim Warrick, Luke Ridnour, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored all of the 27 points in the second quarter. Not really the guys you would think to put up a nice total for the quarter, but it worked so we won't complain. Bucks were within 12 at half with the score at 54-42.

The third quarter was when things got interesting. Bogut found his hook shot, while Bell made three 3-pointers. This is when I felt that the Bucks might be able to steal a game from the Suns. After another hard fought quarter the Bucks were only down 79-76, and suddenly this game started to feel like a football game that was played 17.1 miles away the day before.

The fourth quarter was back and forth between the two teams. The Bucks had the lead twice, but both times would give that lead up right away. The Bucks tied it at 89, only for Nash to make two jumpers Jason Richardson a three. That would put the Suns up 96-89 and at that point the game seemed all but over. But it wasn't over. Remember who you are talking about here, the Bucks who fight till the end.

Warrick made a nice jump shot, followed by two Ridnour free throws. The Suns lead was down to three, but Amare Stoudemire made a layup to push it back to five. The Bucks needed a big shot, and they got one from Brandon Jennings! Jennings then stole the ball and made a great pass, after driving to the hoop and drawing all the defense, to Bogut who had a wide open lay up to tie it. Only one problem though - HE MISSED IT. That put an end to the Bucks chances in this game as who else but Steve Nash made a 10 foot runner to ice it and crush the chances of a great come back.

Lets check out some highlights from this tough 105-101 loss Monday night.

* Hakim Warrick was in heaven playing a fast paced no defensive game. This guy keeps earning more and more playing time every game. Warrick had his third double double of the season finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. This will earn him the Bucks POTG for Monday night.

* Luke Ridnour and Brandon Jennings had nice games combined. The two guards finished with 31 points, 15 assists, and 6 rebounds. I always like when these guys are on the court at the same time. The play very well together and it seems that Jennings speed really creates open shots for Ridnour who has just been on fire.

* Twenty-two and counting. That is how many times the Bucks have gone to Phoenix only to leave with a big L. I really don't know if this will every change.

* 101 points seems good, but the problem with that is it took 101 shots to get to that total. Just a ridiculous amount of shots by the Bucks Monday night.

* Scott Skiles was taken to the hospital before the game for precautionary purposes due to an irregular heart beat. We would like to send our wishes out to Scott Skiles and we hope he is doing fine.

* Damn Canadians. Steve Nash had an awesome game for the Suns as I said above. He finished with 30 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. I have no choice but to give him the Hunter of the Night award for putting up numbers like that.

Overall I like what I saw in this game despite the loss. After just tanking in L.A. the night before the Bucks come out cold to start the first but don't give up. They also put up 101 points in their first game without Redd showing that scoring wasn't a problem tonight, but it could be in the future. The Bucks will need the bench to step it up like they did Monday. Up next on this road trip is going to be the Portland Trail Blazers. Lets hope that we slow down Brandon Roy and the boys to get our first win on this road trip. Click the link below for the rest of the box scores from the game.

Badgers Continue Their Climb

The Wisconsin Badgers are getting pretty comfortable at knocking off Top Ten opponents, and if they keep it up long enough they're going to be one themselves. The Badgers continued their climb up the college basketball rankings this Monday, as they've vaulted to #16 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, but also to #13 in the Associated Press version (The Bucky Channel officially recognizes whichever poll the Badgers are ranked higher in, by the way).

It's a trend the Bucks can hopefully keep up this week, as they've got Northwestern on Wednesday and then travel to Ohio State later in the week. The Buckeyes are a team we can beat, we've seen that earlier this season, and Northwestern is a joke of a university so I have no doubts about that game either. Two wins this week probably won't get the Badgers up to the top ten, but if they can stay hot up until their rematch against Purdue on the 28th, then you might find this Badgers team as one of the elite squads in college basketball this season. Although that could be more difficult with top scorer Jon Leuer sidelined indefinitely.

As for Marquette, they received a total of eleven votes between the two polls, so that's something.

Redd = Out For Season. Surprise Factor = Zero.

I found out this news before I wrote my post about the Bucks losing to the Lakers, but I wanted to refrain from the cliche "Not only did the Bucks lose the game, but they lost a whole lot more" transition. And, there it is anyway. But seriously, are you telling me Michael Redd is out for the season again? What is with this guy and his injury prone body? And why are the Bucks so bad that an injury to Michael Redd is actually going to be a devastating blow to any potential playoff chances?

Redd suffered a torn MCL and a torn ACL in the Bucks loss to Los Angeles on Sunday, which will undoubtedly sideline him for the rest of the season. Kudos to Redd for trying to fight through these injuries year after year, and here's what he told the Journal Sentinel earlier this season: "I've been in funks before, but this is a little different. I'll find my way out of it... I hate to put any excuses on it. We all know what I came back from. I'll keep fighting. I won't dwell on the negative...I've just got to keep playing, keep playing, keep playing, and it will click."

Sure Michael, or it will get busted up again. Conversely, the following is an interview exclusively to The Bucky Channel, as I actually just got off the phone from Michael Redd and here's what he had to say about his injury: "Yeah Winks, I'm hurt pretty bad. You know, once again I heard that there were rumors about me getting traded and just like I did last year, I decided to get hurt because I'm pretty comfortable playing for a team with low expectations so that I don't have to try too hard. All the while, I'm banking on a contract that I earned after one good season because the small market team I was playing for was desperate to keep someone that people outside of that market of heard of. So yeah, I'm living the good life right now. Also, have fun with your poorly written blog that you rarely proofread, you underachieving Bill Simmons wannabe."


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