ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

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

The Bucky Channel is on Facebook

Like The Bucky Channel on Facebook for progress updates.

TBC on Twitter

Follow The Bucky Channel on Twitter!

ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

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

ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Work Hard. Play Hard.

So it begins on Tuesday, as the Bucks start training camp. All the talk this off-season about the moves they made and people they drafted doesn't mean much unless you produce during the season. I really can't say when the last time I was this excited about an upcoming Bucks season. Maybe 2001? The difference between 2001 and now though is this year we just have a lot of skill players. We don't have three big names, and then a group put around them.

This 2010 team is a team's team. To win they will have to play together, and not rely on one person to carry them. Don't get me wrong - Jennings, Bogut, or Maggette on any given night could score 30 plus points and be the alpha dog. But for this team to truly be successful, they need to play tough defense, and work the ball around for the best shot.

As we go forward though, it sounds like a few guys will be missing training camp for the Bucks as Darington Hobson had surgery. Corey Maggette may also miss all of camp, but should be ready for the season. With those few bad notes it's nice to share along that Andrew Bogut will be ready for camp. So we really can't be upset with where this team stands now on the injury front. Nothing real major other than Hobson who miss a good amount of time, but I feel he is still too young to get quality minutes on this team.

There is a lot of change going on this year in the NBA, but for Bucks fans the change has been the fact that people can now be excited for this team. It's not often the case when people are looking forward to opening night for Bucks Basketball, but this year something just feels different. Maybe it's because we are coming off a playoff appearance, maybe it's the fact that sports reporters are talking about us having a shot at the Central, or maybe it is just because the Brewers failed us so bad this season. I can't tell you exactly what it is, but it just feels good right now to be a Bucks fan. Here is a list of the Bucks training camp roster, as they added a few guys right before the start of camp. Lets hope this truly is a good year for Bucks Basketball.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Am I the Only One Not Worried About this Loss?

Alright, Packers fans. This shit needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. So the Packers lost 20-17 to the Bears on Monday night. So the Bears are 3-0 atop the NFC North and we are now a game behind. So we lost a game that we were favored to win. Things like this happen. This is the NFL. I realize that expectations around the Packers are about as high as ever, and I am guilty of that too, but this whole mentality of how if we win a game we're destined for the Super Bowl and if we lose a game then our season is over needs to end. The Packers are a great team, and they lost a tough game. Things will be fine, we will be fine. It's one game. I know we made a shitload of mistakes, and I don't agree with the decision not to let the Bears score, and I know our penalties were embarrassing. But I still feel good about this team. I feel like we will work out our kinks and be fine. What I don't feel like right now is defending myself for that thought when every other blog I go on right now is crying Armageddon because we lost to a good team on the road by three points.

My question is, the same people that predicted that Packers to win the Super Bowl are also the same people that predicted them to go 11-5. Well, where do those five losses come from? We have to lose sometime, and this was one of those nights. Let's be upset about it, sleep it off, and move on.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Bucky Five: It's About Time We Put Up 70

1. 70 - I have to admit, I had some bad feelings about the Badgers when I woke up on Saturday morning. One of the dreams that I had during a drunk night of slumber was that the Badgers had dropped a non-conference game to UW-Parkside by a score of 44-41. Keep in mind that UW-Parkside doesn't even have a football team, and it's athletic department is actually most well known for race-walking. No joke. I guess realistically though I really didn't think that the Badgers would lose to Austin Peay, but I never would have envisioned a 70-point performance. Those kind of scores are usually reserved for SEC teams during their non-conference schedule, not for a run-first team like the Badgers. The seventy points the Badgers scored on Saturday not only meant a lot of push-ups for Bucky but it was also the most points that the Badgers have ever scored in the modern era, as they say. The previous record was the 69 points that Wisconsin put up against New Mexico State in 1961.

2. So, How'd They Do It? - The easiest way to get to 70 points is to score ten touchdowns, and that's how the Badgers did it on Saturday. You knew things were going to go well right from the start when fullback Bradie Ewing scored on his first carry of the game, and he actually ended up catching a touchdown from Scott Tolzien as well. Tolzein had two more touchdowns on the day, finishing with 217 yards before he was lifted for the reserves (one of whom was Mike Tice's son? Whaaaat?). The other six TD's came from the rushing game, one from John Clay, one from Montee Ball, and four from the man pictured above.

3. Speaking of the Man Pictured Above - That would be James White, the freshman running back that ran for 145 yards on 11 carries. Of those 11 carries, four of those happened to be touchdowns. John Clay put in his usual 118 yards and a touchdown keeping his potential Heisman candidacy in tact, but it was James White that stole the show in this game. I don't know how the Badgers do it, but the way they just bring quality running backs one after another is quite impressive.

4. Let's Not Forget the Defense - Granted, Austin Peay really didn't have anything to offer offensively, but let's give it up to the Badgers defense for holding their opponent to just three points. The field goal that the Governors were able to score was of 51 yards, so they definitely earned those three points. Other than that though, the team with the Associated Press style logo (here's Peay's for comparison) only gained 157 total yards and only converted two third downs. Interestingly enough, Austin Peay never actually turned the ball over, they just couldn't really muster anything up on offense.

5. Not Yet a Unanimous Top Ten Team - Despite the win, the Badgers did not move up in the Associated Press poll as they are still ranked at number 11. Both Stanford and Auburn leapfrogged the Badgers, with wins over Notre Dame and South Carolina respectively. The Auburn move makes sense, as they beat #12 South Carolina, but I don't think beating Notre Dame should have put Stanford over Bucky. The voters of the USA Today poll agree with that sentiment, as Wisconsin did move up one spot to number 9. The Badgers have a big matchup with Michigan State next weekend to open conference play, as the Spartans are ranked in the Top 25 in both polls.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finally Gave the Brewers (Some) Love Tonight

I really feel bad about this, because I'm definitely treating the Brewers right now with the tendencies of a bandwagon fan. I'm highly negative of them, and I haven't watched a full game since they were competitive. I don't want things to be this way, but it's hard to start to watch something that you know is going to be a trainwreck at the end (kind of like NBC's "The Event"). I remember two years ago at this time I had to be watching every second of every game, even blowing off a Packer game or two to watch the Brewers. I liked when things were like that, because I love watching the Brewers. But watching the Brewers when they are good and watching the Brewers when they are bad are two completely different scenarios.

The thing is, when you're a winning club the season doesn't seem so long. Every game is important, and it's a hell of a time to watch. But when you're losing, the season just drags and drags and just won't die, and that's how this season has been. Friday night though I finally decided to settle in and watch a Crew game, as there was some intrigue to an otherwise ho-hum game against the Marlins. Starting on the hill for Milwaukee was Mark Rogers, the Brewers first round pick (and fifth overall) in the 2004 amateur draft. It was kind of exciting to finally watch Rogers get his way up to the bigs, and even though he got himself into a jam in the first inning, his high heater to Chad Tracy to strike him out when the bases were loaded was the most compelling thing I've seen out of this team in a long time.

Rogers ended up pitching just three innings, and he left with zero runs crossing the plate. He also did pretty well with the stick, getting a big league hit and then the game's first run. Jeremy Jeffress is in there as of this writing, and I haven't seen him pitch yet even though this his is eighth appearance. It's not pennant baseball, but it's reason to get excited for the future of this club. When it's this late this season that's all you really can watch for when your team is struggling.

Of course, I'll turn the channel eventually because bad baseball isn't particularly fun to watch. Plus, think of all the other things on TV this Friday night. There is Ahman Green and Jeff Garcia playing for the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL. You need HDNet to watch the game, but would you believe that Omaha sold out their stadium for the contest? Even though it holds only about 23,000, that's insane. Also, NFL Network carries a Canadian Football League game every Friday, so that's riveting. Plus, there's the big Galaxy/Red Bulls MLS matchup at 10pm tonight on ESPN2.

So many second tier sports options to choose from tonight! Enjoy.

Twitter Sucks, But Here's Someone to Follow

Forgive me, but I'm seriously trying to pull this off. I've written only three posts this week, and one is about Twitter? How embarrassing. I'd say the biggest reason why I haven't been posting as much lately is that my job is actually forcing me to work 40 hours a week, something I did not sign up for. I can make excuses all I want, but the fact of the matter is I'm not posting much as all. Consider my weekly Twitter shoutout a way to make it look like I am.

This week's Follow Friday shoutout goes to our old friends at Stock Lemon, as they have had our back ever since we started this thing. You can check them on Twitter @stocklemon as well as on the Stock Lemon blog. They were a site that used to be devoted to following stocks, but thankfully they've taken a more sensible approach and now focus nearly exclusively on sports betting. They're having a pretty decent year too, and if you're going to throw some money down on the games you might as well see what Lemmy has to say before you do. If you win, you can donate some of your winnings to him. If you lose, you can mercifully hate the anonymous face that runs the website.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Adidas Has The New Look

Like NBA players are not fast enough already, Adidas has now come out with a brand new jersey for the 2010-11 season. They are lighter, faster, and cooler than the old ones. This also means people will be forced to buy new jerseys if they want the newest/greatest ones.

The greatest thing about the new jerseys I feel is this thing called CLIMACOOL. It is suppose to absorb your sweat. That is crazy if that works well, because NBA players sweat real bad. The Bucks are already getting a new scoreboard with crazy technology, but who would have thought that jerseys would be improving too. You can read more about the new jerseys here.

Also on Thursday it was Brandon Jennings 21st birthday. The Bucky Channel would like to wish him a Happy Birthday, because let's face it, we haven't been doing much else around here lately. Also camp starts Tuesday so don't party too hard Young Buck. The quest for making the playoffs again starts Tuesday. How good can this team be, well I found a cool article previewing the season, and you check it out for yourself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Bucky Five: Exactly As We Expected

1. No Surprise Here - Packers 34, Bills 7. Pretty much what we all expected, but it was beautiful in it's dominance. These kind of games where you know they are going to be blowouts and then they end up actually being blowouts are actually what the 1996 season was full off, and yes you're getting Super Bowl season comparisons in only week two. Actually, I've been making them since training camp so no surprise here. Sure, the Packers started a bit slow, but the second half was all Packers. Aaron Rodgers put up the kind of game that we've been expecting of him too, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 20 yards including gaining nine of those for a score (which sadly almost made him the leading rusher). There are still a few things to work on with this squad, but for not playing your best football in the first two weeks and still being 2-0, while the hated Vikings are 0-2, it's a good time to be a Packer fan right now.

2. Clay for MVP - Aaron Rodgers is the face of this franchise, but Clay Matthews is quickly narrowing that gap. Matthews is a flat out beast at this point, already earning six sacks on the season. He's also putting team's quarterback situations into flux, as in week one he knocked out Kevin Kolb only to create the controversy there between Kolb and Vick, and this week he helped make Trent Edwards look so bad that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting for Buffalo next week. I was lucky enough to make it to Lambeau on Sunday, and while it was a good crowd all game, the three biggest pops were for 3) anytime they showed Favre turning the ball over on the big screen, 2) Bart Starr being introduced at halftime and 1) every big Clay Matthews play. Right now, there's no one that's played better for the Packers this season, and he's going to earn a lot of awards at the end of the season if he can keep this up, as he is on pace for 48 sacks right now.

3. Inaction Jackson - Brandon Jackson's debut as the Packers starting running back didn't go as well as the hoards of people who picked him up in fantasy would have liked it to go, running for just 29 yards. He did only get eleven carries, but he only averaged 2.6 yards a carry and didn't really have a run that wowed us. He did earn the Packers first touchdown of the game, but John Kuhn looked a lot more like our starting running back than Jackson did. Dimitri Nance got a couple of carries too, but didn't do much with them.

The inconsistencies of the Packers running game lead to the rampant rumors that the Bills were going out of their way to showcase Marshawn Lynch. Their apparent starter, C.J. Spiller, didn't see the field until the second quarter because Lynch was carrying the bulk of the load. I don't know if that's exactly what they were doing, but Lynch sure did get a lot of touches and the Bills barely passed throughout the game. Would they really punt this game and come out with the sole purpose of spotlighting a guy for a trade? I'm not sure, but it definitely could have seemed that way. Lynch had 64 carries on 17 yards, and was chumming it up with the Packers defenders after nearly every run. I think it's almost too obvious of a deal to make at this point, and if the Bills really want "a starter and a draft pick" I don't see it happening. I wouldn't be surprised if he traded for him, but if I had to bet on it I'd say Lynch will not be wearing a Packer uniform this season or anytime soon.

4. The $7.5 Million Backup - That's the new pet name that Pro Football Talk has given to Chad Clifton, and I don't see anything indication as to why that name shouldn't apply. Clifton did get beat a few times and eventually was replaced by rookie Bryan Bulaga who looked very good in a reserve role. McCarthy admitted after the game that Clifton didn't look either good or healthy, but then also said that if healthy he's still our starter. We'll see how well he progresses during the week especially with the extra day of rest, but I don't think we start him unless he's 100 percent with the way Bulaga played.

5. Monday Night Showdown - Well Packers fans, we have quite a big game on our hands just a few days from now, as the Packers head to Soldier Field for a Monday Night battle between two undefeated teams. If you're Green Bay, while a loss doesn't devastate you this is still a game that you'd probably need to win if you're really going to be legit contenders this season. The Bears are surprising at 2-0, and you know they'll be giving the Packers nothing but their best especially in front of a jacked up home crowd. I'm going to say that the Packers will be able to pull this one out, but if this game wasn't decided until the games' final minutes that wouldn't surprise me at all. Should be a fun one.

Badgers Stay Even in Polls After Narrow Win

Oh boy. The Badgers game against Arizona State on Saturday wasn't a cupcake game by any means, as the Sun Devils play in a legit conference and are a legit foe. But we've come to except that any time the Badgers play a home game before the Big Ten schedule beings, it's going to be a victory. In fact, that Badgers have started 3-0 in every season that Bret Bielema has led this team. Yet, that was nearly not the case on Saturday as the Badgers needed a Cal Poly-like miracle to come out of this one victorious, using a blocked extra point to gain the 20-19 victory.

The victory stayed true to the formula we've already this season: Defense is solid, passing game is unremarkable yet efficient, and John Clay bruises his way towards the Heisman Watch (another 123 yards and a touchdown in this one). Give a huge nod though to special teams for this victory, as they essentially saved the game. The blocked extra point will make the headlines, but it was Shelton Johnson's tackle on a kickoff return at the one yard line to save a touchdown before halftime that may have been even more important. Either way, this game was a bit of a scare but the Badgers got the victory, and you hope that being forced to win close games early in the season will only help them later on.

With the win being as close as it was, the Badgers didn't do too much moving in the Top 25 polls. The only team that lost above them was Iowa, as they lost late Saturday night, actually early Sunday morning to Arizona.I don't remember too much about that game, but I do believe I went on a drunk mini-tirade about how bad Iowa's offensive line was on their final drive when they were looking for a comeback. Not a good showing for the Big Ten in that regard.

With the Hawkeyes losing though, the Badgers did move up one spot to number ten in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Alabama remains the top team in that ranking system with Ohio State, Boise State, Texas, and TCU right behind them. Other Big Ten schools include Iowa at 18, Penn State at 20, Michigan at 22, and Michigan State at 23. Nice win by the Spartans with the play of the year so far to beat Notre Dame when they faked a field goal to win the game in overtime. Future Big Ten school Nebraska is number 7 in the rankings, earning one first-place vote.

In the AP Poll, the Badgers stay stagnant at number 11, remaining outside of the top ten for another week. In front of this poll remains Alabama, with Ohio State, Boise State, TCU, and Oregon right behind them. Nebraska comes in at number six. Other Big Ten schools include Iowa at 18, Michigan at 21, Penn State at 23, and Michigan State at 25.

Next up for the Badgers is an 11am game this Saturday on the Big Ten Network, with the 2-1 Austin Peay Governors coming into Camp Randall. If the Badgers only win that game by one point, then I say we start to worry. But for now, let's keep riding the momentum and hopefully brace ourselves for a matchup of undefeated teams when Ohio State comes to Madison on October 16th (if we can beat Michigan State and Minnesota though first).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Randy Wolf, What the Fuck!

I could have gone all CBS and put Randy Wolf, What the $@!%, but I thought laying down an actual curse word would be more effective (Seriously though, William Shatner's new comedy will be on for six weeks, tops. It's never a good idea to base a show off of a website. Remember the Baby Bob show?) I know I've been non responsive lately when it comes to the Brewers, but when Randy Wolf pitches a complete game three hitter against a playoff contender something has to be said for that. Nine innings, three hits, no runs, six strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants in their ballpark. WHHHAAAATTT!

Wolf has actually been pitching very well as of late, coming back from a terrible first half of the season in which he drew plenty of Jeff Suppan comparisons. He hasn't pitched like a Cy Young winner or anything, but he now has five wins in his last eight starts, and he's dropped his ERA from 5.20 on July 27th to 4.32 as of today. His last start before his gem against the Giants was a loss, but it was an effort that saw him go eight innings, allowing just one run against the Cubs. I don't know why it took him so long to pitch like this, but if he can keep this up next year, then who knows what might happen. We might be a .500 team after all.

So congratulations Randy Wolf, not only for your accomplishments as of late, but for making me include a curse word in the title of a post since for the first time since Favre beat the Packers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Winks Thinks: The Ranking NFL Teams in Terms of Power Edition

What's better than a column about NFL Power Rankings? A column about NFL Power Rankings that is about two days too late and is about 5,000 words too long! In between a couple days of work and a trip to the doctor to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack (that's what you start to think after you pound two Qdoba burritos every Tuesday), I somehow squeezed out this garbage. With that ringing endorsement, make sure you check out this week's edition of Winks Thinks, which can now be found exclusively on PocketDoppler.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thompson Takes Chance on Dimitri Nance

When news quickly spread that Ryan Grant's season was officially over, the immediate question became just who exactly would replace him on the roster. It was a no-brainer that Brandon Jackson would take over the starting running back duties on this team for the time being, but Grant's roster spot needed to be filled. The answer to the question was a name not too many Packers fans may have even heard of in Dimitri Nance, who the Packers poached off of the Falcons practice squad on Tuesday afternoon.

Nance has a build slightly similar to that of Ryan Grant at 5'11'' and 211 pounds, but don't expect this kid to be a third round fantasy pick anytime soon. Still, I'm more than willing to give this kid a shot as he will likely settle into the emergency running back until he gets more assimilated into the system. Brandon Jackson will likely be given a long leash in these next couple of weeks to cement himself as the starter, and I really don't think Nance is anything more than a short-term fix.

For those of you that thought Teddy might have gone out and picked up a Willie Parker, or even traded for a Laurence Maroney (who was traded to Denver on Tuesday), you had to realize that Thompson is all about going for the hidden gem. Hell, that's exactly what Ryan Grant was - a running back that was pushed off the active roster because of the guys in front of him (Jacobs, Bradshaw, and Ward in New York). Nance was behind Turner, Norwood, and Snelling, but it's yet to be seen whether or he can get lightning to strike twice. I'd be more comfortable if we still had a guy like Kregg Lumpkin that is familiar with the territory, but I'm excited to learn more about what Nance has to offer.

Quick Peek at the Bucks TV Schedule

Fox Sports Wisconsin will be showing 70 of the 82 Bucks games this season, and that is the bad news. The good news is all 70 games that will be shown this year will be in HD. They will show 35 home games and 35 away games. JSOnline has the full schedule of games that will be shown on the regional cable sports outlet, and I'm glad that we're not getting saddled with a boatload of standard definition games as we were last season. It was always a disappointment to turn on the HD feed and realize that the game wasn't being shown in HD.

Some of the games that FSN won't pick up will be on ESPN, and some of the other contests could pop up on NBA TV if you have that. Although it does appear that the games on NBA TV are actually a dual broadcast. Lame. Bucks.com has a very nice look at the schedule and where you can find the games on TV, so make sure you bookmark that. It's hard to believe that we're just under a month and a half away from the first game of the season. Milwaukee will kick things off in New Orleans on October 27th, and that game definitely will be on FSN Wisconsin. Can't wait.

Grant's Injury Hurts Super Bowl Hopes

When I heard Mike McCarthy say that Ryan Grant had suffered a "significant" injury, I was immediately worried. McCarthy had said the same thing about Justin Harrell's injury one day before, and Harrell ended up being out for the season. It looks like Ryan Grant is going to suffer the same fate, as Jay Glazer has first reported that Grant's 2010 campaign is indeed over.

Since he was traded from the Giants to the Packers a few years ago for nothing more than a 6th round pick, Grant has become of the top backs in the league. He's not at the level of the premiere backs in the NFL ala Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, but he is a quality runner who only gets better as the season goes on. Late in December and during a playoff run, there is no one more reliable than the workhorse that is Ryan Grant. Unfortunately now for the Packers, they are going to have to fill the running back position another way.

With Grant about to be placed on the IR, Brandon Jackson takes over immediately as the starter as he's really the only other running back on the roster. John Kuhn, a fullback, will be the second string back for now, but other than that this team has nobody to rush the ball. The only other back on the practice squad is James Johnson, as the Packers no longer have Kregg Lumpkin after he was claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don't know how the hell Ted Thompson is going to fill this spot, as the best free agent back I can think of is Willie Parker. Who else is out there? I have no idea who is on the trading block as far as running backs are concerned, and it is going to be very interested to see how this roster spot is filled.

As for the Packers, Brandon Jackson has to step up and he has to do it now. McCarthy has the confidence that he can be an every down back, and to his credit Jackson looked very good in the second half of the opening week game against the Eagles. But what if he doesn't step up? What if he doesn't stay healthy either? The Packers are definitely going to be more reliant on Aaron Rodgers and the passing game this season than we thought they would be, and this was already a pass-first team. What does this do for our Super Bowl hopes? It certainly doesn't help, but suddenly Brandon Jackson is a lot more important to that happening than he was expected to be.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wynn Called Back to Fill Harrell's Spot

Oh man, how does your heart just not bleed for Justin Harrell at this point? He never asked to be drafted so absurdly high after a season where he was coming off of an injury, but that's what happened. Also what happened: a ton more injuries. After a preseason where he legitimately played his way onto the roster, Harrell is exiting the 2010 campaign after just one game. It's a sad story for the former first round pick, as he's just never been able to stay healthy. This latest injury, a torn ACL, is going to cost him his season, and possibly his career.

Taking his place on the 53 will be Jarious Wynn, a sixth-round pick from last season that was a casualty of the final cuts. When you get cut in the NFL, you're always still just an injury away from making it back on a roster and that is what happened in Wynn's case. Wynn should get some serious time this week against Buffalo, especially if Cullen Jenkins can't go. Hell, the Packers were so depleted at the end of last Sunday's game that Josh Sitton nearly came in for a goal-line stand. Wynn's services are needed, no doubt. Best of luck.

USA Takes Gold in FIBA Worlds

Since all Winks seems to be doing lately is writing columns in list form, let's steal a page out of his book and go with the top three things we learned from the United States basketball team this summer. The squad's run in the 2010 FIBA World Championship was a bit overshadowed here in the states because most of the games were hard to find on television in the middle of the day, and then when they were in the Finals the coverage was up against the opening weekend of the NFL. If you didn't catch much of this tournament you definitely missed a solid performance by the Americans, including their 81-64 victory over Turkey on Sunday. Here's what we learned:

1. Kevin Durant is Awesome

No question, he came to play. He carried USA during this Championship, and also never really took crazy shots. They had a few games where they may have tried to rely on Durant a little too much, but for the most part he just did what he needed to do. He scored 38 points in the semifinal game against Lithuania, which is a record for team USA. He also made seven three pointers in the championship game. Russell Westbrook also played well for team USA, which makes me think that the Thunder could be a real good team this year. Durant just moved up the list in my Fantasy charts, and might have earned himself the top spot with how he played in this Championship. Look out Western Conference, you have a new challenger for the top spot.

2. Derrick Rose Doesn't Scare Me

He had all kinds of talent around him in this Championship, and I still feel he was the weakest starter on this team. It seemed to me that every game stayed close till Westbrook subbed in for Rose. That is when team USA looked their best. Rose is a good player, but for some reason just doesn't seem to be a guy that can lead a team to the title. Everyone is talking about how the Bulls will be a force this year in the East, but I for some reason feel that Rose could hurt those chances. Also bringing in Boozer, a guy who seems to put up huge numbers but never really wins any big games doesn't seem to be a good combo for me. Will the Bucks beat the Bulls for the Central I don't know, but I do know that Milwaukee will put up a good fight. Maybe a better fight than people think.

3. Coach K is Golden

I love UNC and all, but you have to give credit were credit is due. Coach K took two solid NBA veterans mixed with eleven budding superstars and lead them to the championship. He did the same thing in the Olympics, but the coach doesn't get a medal. Sunday Coach K did get a medal, and he deserved it the most. The man just knows how to coach the game of basketball, and I really hope he never moves to the NBA. He proved that he can coach any group of men, but he is just such a great college coach I wouldn't want him to come to the NBA for some shit team and fail. That happens a lot with sports, and it just seems to take away from what they did in college. But I think Coach K will stick with Duke till the day he feels it is right to walk away. Just like what my boy Dean Smith did with UNC.

Overall the FIBA Championship was cool, but again it just sucked that he games were on during the day. Also having the Championship on opening Sunday of NFL was not a bright idea. I was able to check out the games a bit during my lunch throughout the last month, and you could see that this tournament featured good hard basketball. It seemed that almost every team had a NBA player or two, but it was also cool seeing some of the players that were trying to make a name for themselves. If the games could have been a little later this may have been talked about more. I'm always a fan of international competitions, and will have to wait till Ryder Cup time for another one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Bucky Five: Almost Took One For Granted

1. A Very Familiar Game, With an Unfamiliar Outcome - The Packers haven't won a game in Philadelphia since 1962, so it was fair to assume that if Green Bay were to lose a handful of games this season, this would be one of them. But then again a lot of things were going in the Packers favor. Kevin Kolb, the Eagles starting quarterback, is more talk than he is walk at this point, and the Packers have one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Green Bay's defense is improved from a year ago as well, so perhaps Green Bay could go into Philly and steal one from the Eagles. That's basically what happened, at least initially in the Packers week one game, as after a few quarters of play the Packers found themselves up 20-3 on the road.

But a funny thing happened towards the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. A game that seemed as if it were to become out of reach suddenly turned into a mash up of all the horrific losses we've experienced through the years. More specifically, this game seemed to be the child of the 4th and 26th game and the first playoff loss at Lambeau at the hands of Michael Vick and the Falcons. After Kolb left the game with an injury, not only did Vick enter the game but he took over the game. Vick looked like the Vick of old, the man that was unstoppable not just in the game of Madden but in real life. He was throwing lasers to receivers, scrambling to keep plays alive, and turning busted plays into twenty-yard scampers. The Eagles with Michael Vick are a scary team, but it wasn't the team that the Packers prepared all week to play. We prepared for Kevin Kolb, but instead we got a quarterback that ended up rushing for more than 100 yards.

It's funny too because Vick was involved in this game right from the start, as Andy Reid for some reason was running his offense like he was coaching in some small-time collegiate conference. Vick was used quite a few times initially, and then forced into full-time duties once Kolb did go down. Because of him, a game that looked to be a blowout turned into a scary situation for Packers fans, because we've seen this team go down plenty of times in the late afternoon during a Joe Buck led broadcast. Thankfully though, after Vick gained 103 yards on the ground he couldn't gain the one yard he needed, and the Packers stuffed the Eagles on a 4-and-1 to take over on downs and win the game. The Packers won a game they almost gave away, and while they do have quite a bit to work on, coming away with a victory in Philly to start the season is a good way to kick off this campaign.

2. The Strength Became the Weakness - There's no question that the Packers are going to be an offensive juggernaut this season, as the offense and specifically the passing game is this team's strength. And while Rodgers did throw for a pair of touchdowns and the running game proved to be very successful, the offense did have it's share of problems. Veterans Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton got schooled by the Eagles pass rush on more than one occasion, and Rodgers had a late interception that was very, shall we say, Favre-esque. If we can win games though when Aaron Rodgers isn't at his best, that actually makes me feel a lot more confident in this team's chances.

3. Everybody Hurts, Sometimes - Holy injuries, Batman. It seemed like every other play someone was going down in this game. Most of the major injuries seemed to go to Philly, as they had a couple of concussions and probably lost fullback Leonard Weaver for the season. But the Packers got banged up as well. Ryan Grant got roughed up and was in a walking boot at the end of the game, and may end up missing next week. Hopefully that's not the case, although props to Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn for filling in during his absence. Cullen Jenkins and Nick Collins both roughed themselves up as well, but should be fine. And talk about familiar, it looks like Justin Harrell may have torn his ACL as well and it probably done for the rest of 2010. Just a messy game all around, and it's unfortunate to see this many injuries.

4. Nelson Cruise - So much for all that Jason Chery talk. Who knows, maybe the Eagles just have a terrible special teams unit, but Jordy Nelson looked pretty dang good returning kickoffs. On a whole, the special teams unit played very well, especially Mason Crosby who seemed to return to form with a Packers record 56 yard field goal to end the first half. My favorite play from this game actually happened on special teams, when after Tramon Williams got crushed on a fair catch punt return, he laid on his back and pointed to the sky in celebration of the penalty he knew that the Eagles drew. Again, good stuff all around on special teams.

5. The Claymaker - The Packers had a lot of guys who made a lot of good plays in this one, but the MVP honors in this contest go to Clay Matthews. Remember when we drafted A.J. Hawk and thought he was going to be the next great lineback in this league? Matthews is pretty much everything we expected Hawk to be and even more so. Matthews had seven tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. He also took out Kolb, which maybe he should be downgraded for since that allowed Vick to run all over us, but let's ignore that fact right now. Great game by Matthews on Sunday, as he and Charles Woodson really set the tone early for this team in terms of making big plays on defense throughout the years.

Overall, things got dicey for a big, but I'm very pleased about the Packers effort against Philly and the fact they were able to pick up the 27-20 victory. Especially because they didn't play their best but still picked up a big road win. Hopefully we can carry that momentum in our home opener against the Bills next Sunday and avoid a letdown game.

Five Other Thoughts From Week One

1. Yeah, it's a dumb rule. It's the dumbest rule the league probably has right now. You're telling me when a quarterback dives into the end zone all he has to do is get a slight piece of the ball over the end line, but when a receiver catches the ball he has to complete the catch all the way to the ground? So that means that having possession as well as having your ass and your knee touch the ground aren't enough? This is a rule that needs to get changed immediately, because it definitely cost Calvin Johnson and the Lions a victory in Chicago on Sunday. I wasn't rooting for either team in this case, but the Lions deserved to win that game if not for that play alone. Sometimes I think in cases like this the NFL doesn't mind the controversy because hey, any press is good press right? Terrible play.

2. Learned a lot of things about a couple of teams today. The Patriots are not to be counted out. Houston looks like they are on a mission. And I don't think Seattle is that good, I think that game was more a case of how bad San Francisco really is. That Niners team isn't going anywhere until they get a capable quarterback.

3. Speaking of Houston, how many of you got Fostered on Sunday in your fantasy league? As in, Arian Foster? The Texans running back had three touchdowns on 231 yards rushing and if you had him on your team and still lost the week, then you probably suck at drafting. The problem that usually hurts the Texans when they are facing the Colts is the mistakes made on offense, especially from Matt Schaub. What better way to mask that problem then to have your running back go off for 231. A lot of people think that the Texans will finally make the playoffs this season, consider me one of those people.

4. Part of this is just me bragging that I have NFL Red Zone this season, but Holy Buckets were there a lot of penalties called in this week one. The first week is always a tough one, as teams are still not in full game shape and there is still a lot of rust on the players. The fact that there were so many injuries and penalties in the opening week are a good enough reminder to me that we don't need an extra two of these things. Sixteen games for a regular season is perfect, let's not change that Goodell.

5. All this players unifying before the game stuff as a sign of togetherness for the upcoming players strike needs to stop. It's cool that they are all on the same page with this, but their gesture is more of a painful reminder that there is a very real chance that we may not have football next season. Let's just enjoy this year, and then worry about 2011.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bucky Five: Not Overly Impressive, But Good Enough

1. Sloppy, But Victorious - The defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide opened their season with a 48-3 victory against San Jose State, so it would be a good measuring stick for the Badgers to see how they could face against the common opponent. Wisconsin didn't do quite as well as Alabama did, only managing to beat San Jose State 27-14. The Badgers could have easily ended up winning this game by 40 plus points as well, but turnovers got in the way on this Saturday. Scott Tolzien fumbled a couple of times, losing one, and he also threw an interception. Overall, Tolzien had a decent day, it's just that those turnovers stopped this game from being more of a blowout. If you're going to contend for a national title as we blindly think the Badgers can, you have to beat these kind of teams by more than thirteen points when you have them at home.

2. Another Big Day for John Clay - The announcers said during the game that the Badgers need to realize just what kind of team they are, and that is a team that is a John Clay first, John Clay second kind of squad. The offense clearly runs through this guy, and why not? Clay is a Heisman hopeful, and he delivered with another two touchdown performance. He chugged out 137 yards on the day, including a game long scamper for forty yards.

3. Defensive Struggles - When this Badgers team holds their opponent to fourteen points, they are likely going to win every time. But the fourteen points they did allow on Saturday weren't very deserving. Their first touchdown was a 37-yard reception by Jordan La Selca, although although the Spartan receiver really had to do was run in a straight line because there was no chance any Badger was going to tackle him on the play. Every Badger defender that went for him seemed to slide right off of him like one of those plays in Madden where the running back breaks through five tackles at the line of scrimmage before busting one for 80 plus yards. The other touchdown was more or less in garbage time, but the game was still close enough that San Jose State and their Nick Notle in Blue Chips lookalike coach thought they had a chance to win. Again, I'm pleased that the Badgers won, just would have liked to see them run up the score a little bit.

4. THE Lance Kendricks - Sadly, the reason I call him this stems from a wrestling reference (a guy named Brian Kendrick called himself THE Brian Kendrick, riveting, I know), but I still love the guy regardless. Plus, he's a stud. He caught a touchdown pass on Saturday and had 60 yards receiving, so this is my way of giving him props.

5. On the Horizon - Next up is a Saturday afternoon matinee against the Arizona State Sun Devils on ABC a week from now, a home game that should still be a bit challenging but ultimately there's no way the Badgers should lose this game. ASU started out hot in their first game beating Portland State 54-9, but as of this posting they are trailing Northern Arizona by eleven points in the second quarter. Hopefully the Badgers take care of business that day and then the week after against Austin Peay, and then head into Big Ten play undefeated when they take on Michigan State.

We Have Some Bucks News!

Look at that crazy deer up there, and we all know about his crazy stunts. Well for him doing all these crazy stunts, and as well as how he's constantly the man getting the fans pumped at games, he was awarded Mascot of the Year. I had no idea about this, but apparently the Mascots have a meeting every year in Miami, and Bango received the top honors for last season.

In terms of all-time greats, Bango has to be up there with the Gorilla mascot the Suns had years ago when Chuck Barkley played in Phoenix. He was the one mascot that everyone knew and loved , and I think Bango has earned that title in the past few years. So this is a well deserved award for him, and he should get more publicity after winning this. Also it sounds like he will be on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on September 21st, so make sure to check that out.

In other Bucks news they have signed another one of their draft picks in Keith "Tiny" Gallon. This is not a guaranteed deal for him, but he will be able to take part in training camp. Gallon will have to show some skills if he wants to be part of this team long term though. He played well in the Vegas league, averaging 6.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 19.4 minutes. You have to think Jennings will be a flame under his ass as the two played together in high school, so hopefully Gallon makes the most out of this opportunity.

I really feel that his solid numbers in that summer league are what has gotten him this far with the Bucks. If he would have played bad in summer league I don't think he would have been offered a contract. Personally I feel he has a lot of work to do to get a guaranteed deal with this team. I also feel with the help of Skiles and Jennings that he may have the heart to stay with this team. It will be interesting to see what happens, and I hope for the best for him. Never bad to have young talent laying in the weeds in case a guy goes down during the season.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Twitter it Up Bitches

Fridays have become a better popular day over in the Twitterverse, as it's become tradition to give a few shoutouts to some of your followers as part of "Follow Friday". Very clever with the term, I know. We're taking it one step further here at The Bucky Channel, spotlighting one of our followers right here on the blog. I initially pitched this as a weekly feature last week, so I suppose I should at least try to keep it going for another week.

While it's true that the Brewers are pretty much an afterthought this summer, twenty-eight years ago they were all the rage of Brew City. And if you weren't old enough, or even alive, to get caught up in the pennant race from 1982, now is the time to relive the magic. Follow every game, every news item, and every highlight from the 1982 Brewers season with @TweetsFrom1982.

And make sure you also follow us @thebuckychannel, as we continue to tweet unfounded Darelle Revis to Green Bay rumors!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How Bad is Your Team?

Yesterday, we looked at some of the guys you may have drafted in fantasy that will make your team a contender this season. Today, we're going to look at some of the guys who will make your team similar to Winks - and that is perennially out of the playoffs. Actually, I had written this all as one post, but Winks wanted to separate this into two different postings to make it look like we're posting more than we actually are. Good to see that he's finally using that communications degree of his. Douche. Anyway, on to some of the guys that will make your fantasy team a loser.

QB

Philip Rivers, Chargers. He is an awesome QB, but it just seems that he has lost a lot of his targets. I'm not sold 100% on Ryan Matthews, and Malcom Floyd as your top receiver seems a little odd to me. Gates will have to carry this team, although he seems to be able to handle that. I just don't know if these other guys will step up their game. It just seems like a real risky pick to me more than a bad pick.

Jay Cutler, Bears. Here's another guy that just scares me everytime I think about drafting him. Johnny Knox is his number one guy, and after that he's throwing to a kick returner. So who knows what this team will do. They just seem like a bad play at every position, so they were the number one team that I avoided drafting from. Any other team was open play, and no this has nothing to do with me being a Packer fan. I just think the Bears suck.

RB

C.J. Spiller, Bills. Loved him in college, loved him on draft day, and he looked awesome in pre-season. The only problem I have with him is he has two backs behind him if he makes one mistake. Being young you have to play every game perfect, or else you will lose your spot to someone else. That is my biggest fear with Spiller. As of now he is going into week one as the main back, but Fred Jackson seems to be healthy as of now. I'm not worried about Spiller himself just worried about him getting lost in the shuffle sometimes.

Beanie Wells, Cardinals. For the same reason as Spiller. Tim Hightower is still on this team, and they don't have a QB that scares anyone. So my guess is teams will stack the line against the Cardnials, which could also make it harder for Wells to do what he did last year. You put Kurt Warner in a 4 WR set with Wells in the backfield, and Wells runs all day. Derek Anderson in a 4 WR set with Wells in the backfield, and Wells gets shut down real fast.

WR

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. Nothing against him, but everything against the guy throwing him the ball. It could be a long year for Fitz and the Arizona offense. If you didn't reach to get Larry then I would say your alright, but if he was a guy you targeted early, and took a chance with him early that might come back to hurt you. It will be a challenge for him this season to put up numbers like he has in the past.

Anquan Boldin, Ravens. Well, first he is missing the guy above him right now in Fitzgerald, and second the Ravens seem to have a lot of weapons now with the signing of Housh. I still like Boldin, but his targets might be down with Mason, Heap, and Rice already in the picture and now with T.J. joining the team. It is almost like having a Packers WR this year. There just seems to be too many options to get them all the ball every game. He will have huge games, but don't be shocked to see some dull games from him.

TE

Greg Olsen, Bears. I really love the TE spot this year. I think you have a lot of guys that will put up big numbers for you. So my Olsen pick just goes back to staying away from Bears. He had a good season last year, but did have some games where he did nothing. He was not a threat all the time, which at this spot you have to be in order for your fantasy team to be good. You want guys that will at least catch a few balls every game. Olsen just seems like the guy that can go a game without catching a ball, which makes it hard for you to win when you are playing a man down.

K

The first kicker taken in the draft that isn't taken in the last round would be the pick here. This is a position that is impossible to pick a player you know will be good. So don't be upset with who your kicker is, it will be okay. As long as he kicks all season.

DEF

New England Patriots. This is a team you always hear about how they should be alright at D this season. However, I really feel that they will give up a lot of points this season. As bad as the Jets offense looked this preseason and as much as the Bills are a question mark on offense, I'm still not comfortable with New England facing these teams. Plus, the Fins always seem to score a lot against the Pats. It could be a long year for this defense, so I hope if you drafted them you have a back up plan.

Those are a few guys to watch/not watch. Either way if Jesus drafted your team it should be a good year for you, calling back to my picture from yesterday. Again, that makes more sense if douche Winks didn't split the posts. I guess it should be no surprise that he's starting drunk Cutler this weekend. Good luck to all team owners, and if you have a bunch of the guys I said weren't risks I'm sure you will bring home the trophy.

Just hours from kickoff, let the games begin.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Good is Your Team?

Some people may feel this way about their fantasy football team, but you really won't be able to tell until about mid-season whether you have a good team or whether you don't. But after the draft, you do know what team has a core of guys that should step it up, and you do know a team that has a group of guys that will have to play out of their mind to be worth the pick made. After doing four drafts I have a list of guys that I think will have big seasons this year, and I have a list of guys that may have been taken to early in your draft.

Here are some players you should be thankful you got in your draft in the later rounds.

QB

Joe Flacco, Ravens. He has all the weapons to put up crazy numbers this season for your team. He has three great WR's, a solid TE, and a top four running back in the league. After your top 4 QB's in the league I could see Flacco being number 5 after this season. So if you were able to hold off on QB to get him, that was a great move for your team.

Vince Young, Titans. I know you might be asking yourself, how can Gweeds explain this one?Well I'm a salesman, kind of, so I can talk myself out of any situation. He has the top back in the league that he can dump a pass off to for him to take to the house at anytime. He has his own two feet that can put up good yards on the ground at any point in time. He still has an arm, and yes it is not that great, but he just always seems to makes plays. In a league where it's tough for quarterbacks to score based on yardage and in leagues where you get only four points for a QB touchdown, waiting for Young will pay off for you. Write that down.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers. He will only miss four games this season, well unless he gets injured or another girl steps forward. He has always been a solid QB, and if you take a chance with a guy like Matt Ryan, Kevin Kolb, Or McNabb it would be nice to have Big Ben as a back up. I like all those guys I just brought up, but they are a little bit of a risk. Ben should be able to play solidly when he returns, and he'll make your team stronger for a late run at the title.

RB

Leon Washington, Seahawks. I see him getting the most touches for the Seahawks in week one, and then that happening for the rest of the season. The team overall is not good, but Washington always seems to get good stats. He also will be doing kick returns, so if those count in your league that is just a bonus. Some leagues he may still be out there to pick up, so if he is keep a close eye on him, he will be off the waiver wire soon.

Jerome Harrison, Brown. This one is a "no pressure, and no one to take touches from him" sort of selection. I'm not sure if this is the season, but this team will turn it around. Harrison is a big back that can run and catch balls. He may not put up MVP type numbers, but if you need a solid backup or maybe a guy to fill an injury spot he was a solid pick for you.

Clinton Portis, Redskins. He has QB now where they can't just stack the line against him. He should still have some gas left in the tank, and I hope he has a great season. I got him in two of my leagues late. If he can stay healthy your looking at 1,300 yard season maybe. As long as your not relying on him to win you your season this could be a great pick for you to fill in for bye weeks. Maybe in week 6 or 7 he will earn a starting spot on your team.

WR

Pierre Garcon, Colts. Reggie Wayne will do his thing, but Garcon is faster and younger so he might be in line for a huge season. Manning loves to work the ball around, but Wayne will get the number one corner back which leaves Garcon to just do work. Also he just seems like that awesome dome WR that gets faster when they play at home. I love this pick this season, and if you get some top RB's and waited to take Garcon as your wideout I say good work to you.

Roddy White, Falcons. Seems to me he feel in almost every league I was in, but he would get taken right before he got to me. I think Matt Ryan should have a better year this season, and he just loves to throw the ball to White. If you were the guy in all my leagues that took him right before me I congratulate you for you pick. I could see him being the third best WR this season in fantasy. Maybe even the second behind Andre Johnson.

Terrell Owens, Bengals. He just seems to run his mouth all the time, but in the end he always has a solid season, and least when he's not with Buffalo. I never really liked the guy, but everytime I seem to play him he has a huge game. With Ocho next to him he could be in for a big year. Maybe Palmer can play like he did pre-ACL injury, and this team could be a fantasy power house team again. T.O. in the 10th round or later was a steal for you either way.

TE

Zach Miller, Raiders. He some how caught 66 balls with a blind man at QB, so the sky is the limit for him now. So I know Campbell isn't a huge step up, but you have to figure 75-80 balls is not out of the question here. Will he find the endzone is the huge question, but he should get targeted a lot. He had three touchdowns last season, so you have to think he can double that number this season with a QB update.

Kellen Winslow, Bucs. He had 77 catches last season, and I see that happening again this season. He is a huge body that can beat most Linebackers over the middle. Also with Josh Freeman not having a strong deep ball arm he loves to target Winslow. Take out Gates, Finley, and Davis these would be my next two best TE's. If you were able to hold off till later to get one it should pay off well for you.

K

Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders. This is a crap shoot every year, so I don't know how I can say he is a value pick. The only thing I do like is Campbell being the man moving the ball, but failing to score touchdowns on drives. SeBass has a huge leg which always makes him a good pick, because odds are he will have the most 50 yard field goals. This isn't a real steal, but I just pray you didn't take your kicker before the last round. If you did you must know something I don't know about a team this season.

Def

San Francisco 49ers. This is another category that can be a crapshoot, but if you go by schedule you have to take these guys for sure. They play in the weak NFC West, so that is six good starts right there. Like I said this is not a for sure pick, but if you were able to get them after like six other teams were taken you will be happy with your pick.

Those are the picks that I like a lot. This doesn't mean you can start asking for the trophy from your league commish, but you should be able to have solid season if you were able to snag a few of these guys. Tomorrow, I'll go through some of the guys I think were taken a little too high. Here's a hint - I basically looked at the team Winks drafted and went from there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Suppose 600 Saves is a Big Deal

I think it's safe to say that this Milwaukee Brewers season hasn't really gone the way that a lot of us planned it to go. I'm sure many of us thought that now in the first week of September we'd be at least rooting for a Wild Card birth, but the truth of it is most of us stopped watching the Brewers about a month and a half ago. Even though this season was all but a waste, one positive did come out of the Brewers 2010 campaign - Trevor Hoffman got to celebrate his 600th save in front of the home crowd in Milwaukee. It's a milestone that really couldn't have happened to a better guy, and something I'm pretty sure we'll never see again in baseball.

The thing is though, this was supposed to happen about three or four months ago. Hoffman was supposed to be a lockdown closer all season. The Brewers were supposed to be in a pennant race, at least in the race longer than they ended up being this year. We were never supposed to hear about John Axford, much less race to get him for cheap saves in our fantasy league. But that's not how baseball works. In baseball, rarely do things happen they way that they are supposed to happen. It's part of what makes the game so great. In the case of Trevor Hoffman and his quest to 600, the fact that the Brewers are terrible this year only made the 600th save of his career look more important.

I guess what I'm saying is that the fact that Hoffman got number 600 in September for a disappointing club makes the 600th save a hell of a lot more of a big deal then if he would have done it back in May. I mean, yeah, it would have been a big deal back then as well, because 600 saves is probably something we'll never speak of again. I mean it took the guy 17 years to accomplish. But if he did it May, there would not have been the big post game ceremony, there would not have been shirts marking the occasion flying off of the racks after the game, and he may not even have accomplished the feat in Miller Park. It would have been a neat event, we would have felt good for him, and we would have moved on, focusing instead on where we were in the standings than the fact he just hit 600.

But, things went a bit different this season. The Brewers haven't done anything relevant since the beginning of summer, Hoffman struggled so bad that he was pushed to mop up duty normally reserved for the Jeff Suppans of the world, and Brewers fans were become extremely apathetic towards the club. All of those things happening are actually what made 600 that more of a big deal. With that struggle, we would have never seen Hoffman earn his way back to save situations. More importantly though, we as Brewers fans and the Brewers organization wouldn't have been as desperate to see him accomplish that feat, if only to give us something to cheer for. Hoffman getting 600 became our playoff chase, it was why we were watching the games and why we were checking the box scores. We didn't do that to see where we were in the Wild Card race. Instead, we were looking to see how much closer Hoffman got to that mark.

If you think about it, 600 really isn't that big of a deal at this point, besides the fact that it's a round number. Hoffman has been breaking the all-time save record with every save for the last two years now, so every game that he recorded another one could have been looked at as a big deal. But because 600 was something that seemed so unreachable, it became a benchmark we were all rooting for. A lot of the hype though was fabricated, because at this point, 600 is no different than 590 or 610, at least not in my opinion. Sure, I get the significance of it, but the celebration after the game seemed as if Trevor Hoffman just pitched a no-hitter to win the final game of the World Series three hours after he announced he'd be retiring. It was a big celebration, and while Hoffman definitely deserved it for his career, I'm not sure if he deserved it for the actual save. In this case, 600 is just a number, it was just another save.

What I'm not trying to do here is take away from his accomplishment. I realize that this save meant a lot to him, and I realize why it was a big deal to his family and to us as fans. What I'm saying is that this moment means a lot more to us in September than it would have meant in May, and if he did this at the beginning of the year it would not have received the celebration that it did Tuesday night. Brewers fans needed something to celebrate, they needed a reason to feel like this season was played for a reason. Hoffman provided that on Tuesday night, so we responded in kind. I'm insanely happy for the guy, he deserves all the praise that he receives, but this was the situation of a bad club reacting to the one positive thing that happened to them this year more than it was a good player receiving the attention he deserved.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm Happy Boise State Beat Virginia Tech

A bit off-topic here, but I just wanted to say how glad I am that Boise State beat Virginia Tech on Monday night in the already biggest game of the young college football season. Nothing against Virginia Tech here, but this is more of an all out of defense for Boise State. I know that the Broncos play in an inferior conference so to speak, but they have proven year after year that they can hang with the big boys every time they've been given the chance.

The rough part is, they are rarely given the chance. Last year Boise State made a BCS bowl but they were forced to play another mid-major team in TCU. People complain that they have a week non-conference schedule, but that's only because teams of major conferences don't want to play them, especially if the game was to be in Boise State. Monday's win over the Hokies proved just exactly why that is, especially because the victory was in a neutral setting, although it was a hell of a lot closer to Va. Tech than it was Idaho.

Still, Boise State started things off hot when they went up 17 points in the first quarter. At that point, this game looked like it was going to be a blowout. Virginia Tech would come back, but that only set up a fourth quarter comeback led by Kellen Moore and the Bronco offense. I just like that the Broncos won because if they hadn't, all of sports radio this week would have talked about how Boise State has been overrated this whole time. I am on the side where I don't think they are getting enough credit, so this win was a positive for me.

I do realize that this could set up disaster for the home team Wisconsin Badgers down the road, if the Badgers were to really go for it and actually go undefeated. At this point, we have to assume Boise State is going to go undefeated because of a weak conference schedule, and if they do that they're headed to the national championship game basically for sure. That leaves one other team. Alabama or Florida will go undefeated, depending who wins the SEC. Ohio State could go undefeated if they don't beat the Badgers. Texas or maybe Oklahoma could do it as well.

Either way, it's clear that this Boise State game already had huge implications on the national title race, and we're only in week one. I guess that's one argument for not having a playoff system, because it's as if every week can be viewed of as just another knockout round. Already, we see that Boise State is advancing and that Virginia Tech is done. But that's not what I want. I, like everyone else that loves sports, wants to see a playoff. And that's the reason I want Boise State to succeed. The more they succeed, the more the whole system becomes a mess. And if we can get a situation where Boise State is going to make a national title game against a team like Alabama, while an undefeated team like Ohio State/Wisconsin/Florida/Texas/Oklahoma is left on the outside looking in, you can beat we'll be getting our wisher sooner rather than later.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Bucky Five: Badgers (Mostly) Dominate in Win

1. Overcoming Adversity - Ever since the Badgers nearly lost to Cal-Poly in 2008, and hell, even before then, Badgers fans have always been a bit uneasy when facing nonconference teams that we should easily beat. We've won our last 25 regular season games against these opponents, but they don't come easy. This was was looking to be another one of those challenges as the Badgers only led UNLV by three at the half, thanks to a couple of key defensive plays by the Rebels, and despite the fact that UNLV had just twelve yards of total offense at that point. But despite the strong defensive effort from their opponent, the Badgers overcame what they called their first test of adversity of the season, and took down UNLV 41-21.

2. The Badger Way - Just how exactly did the Badgers pull away for the victory? They did exactly what the Badgers do best, and that is run the football. John Clay lead the way with 123 yards on 17 carries for two scores, and my boy Montee Ball backed him up nicely with 79 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Speaking of Badger running backs, did you know that Booker Stanley is currently playing college ball at Whitewater? And he's 27?

3. Defense Stepping Up - After heading into the locker room at halftime up just three points, the Badgers defense had a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They hadn't given up any touchdowns, but yet the scoreboard read 14 for UNLV. Their response? A touchdown of their own to open up the third quarter, as Aaron Henry picked up and returned a fumble 21 yards for the score.

4. Not Doing Themselves Any Favors - When you're watching a game late Saturday night and you decide to do shots for every Badgers touchdown, you're not going to remember a lot about the game the next day. But I could have drank every bottle in the bar and still remembered how dumb it was for them to once go for it on fourth down from inside their own 20. I know that they were big underdogs in this game, but the Rebels were playing close at that point. Why not save that risk stuff for when you need it? It's not like it was a fourth-and-2 either, I believe the distance was more than ten yards. Again, a bit drunk to remember the specifics, but stupid enough of a play to remember that hit happened. And does UNLV not have some of the ugliest jerseys in college football?

5. Turn it Down a Bit, Please? - I know that Fond du Lac isn't the best place on earth if you're looking for something to do, but I never knew until last night that if you want to watch a Badgers game on a Saturday night, you better be prepared to hear Lady Gaga while you watch. I don't think there was a single bar in town that played the audio of the game for more than the first half, and I'm surprised we even found one that did that. The favorite establishment we go to advertises themselves as a sports bar, yet they had a DJ on Saturday night that tried to start getting his show on the road in the middle of the first quarter. Thankfully, he waited until halftime, but he never quit and our soundtrack for the second half of the game was the latest dance jams of 2010. One of the other nearby bars did play the game audio for most of the night, but interjected with music at the commercials. The Badgers play this late on Saturday nights once every like four years, can't the bars give up blasting music for one night?

Bucks Sign Second Round Pick

I would be excited too if an NBA team signed me to a contract, and clearly Darington Hobson is pumped as he was signed by the Bucks Friday. You're just hearing about it now from us though because Winks was too lazy to post this sooner. No terms of the contract have been released yet, but he will be on this team. He is a 6-7 guard from New Mexico, and was selected by the Bucks with the 37th overall pick.

I like that the Bucks are going after these big guards. CDR is another guy we have that is big, and can play the PG/SG/SF positions. It just gives you something extra if you have a man go down. That was the story for the Bucks last season, as people would get hurt and it was hard to replace them. I really think they have solved that problem this year, unless the whole team somehow goes down.

Hobson should not see much time this season, but down the road who knows, he could be the next big thing in Milwaukee. He put up good numbers in college, but he does have some groin problems which is why he may have slipped in the draft. If he can stay healthy, and put up some numbers in the NBDL, the Bucks might have found that diamond in the rough.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Havner Released as Pack Trim to 53

While a lot of the names that you'll see on the list of players released by the Packers on Saturday shouldn't be any surprise, Spencer Havner actually comes as quite a shock. Not that he's a huge name or anything, but I don't think anyone had even considered him being one of the casualties when they were predicting their 53-man roster. Havner is a touchdown monger who ended up stealing a lot of should-have-been Ryan Grant touchdowns for me last year in fantasy, but I still loved him regardless. He's a fullback. He's a linebacker. He plays special teams. His versatility made him valuable to this squad and that's why it's surprising to see him released. They always say that "the more you can do, the less expendable you are", but in Havner's case that was not to be. The other cuts are as follows:

P Chris Bryan
OT Chris Campbell
WR/KR Jason Chery
CB D.J. Clark
OL Evan Dietrich-Smith
WR Charles Dillon
LB Robert Francois
OL Breno Giacomini
QB Graham Harrell
LB Alex Joseph
S Anthony Levine
RB Kregg Lumpkin
LB Cyril Obiozor
LB Maurice Simpkins
DE Ronald Talley
NT Anthony Toribio
WR Chastin West
WR Patrick Williams
DE Jarius Wynn

No real surprises there, and expect to see a lot of those names again on the practice squad. Some of the guys such as Havner and Dietrich-Smith the Packers tried to move in trades, but ultimately there were no takers. Allen Barbre and Will Blackmon are also off of the 53-man roster, but there were placed on injured reserve instead of being outright released.

Even though none of the cuts were too shocking, there were some surprises on the overall roster. Nick McDonald was an undrafted rookie that impressed the coaches enough in camp to stick around. Tom Crabtree is sticking aboard as the Packers are going with four tight ends for the time being. And despite the discussion of only keeping four wide receivers, Brett Swain delivered a strong performance in his final preseason opportunity against the Chiefs to make the team.

Of course, not all of this is final, as you never know if Teddy is going to like something that he sees on the waiver wire. And some of these guys may end up getting cut around the week seven mark, when players that are placed on the Psychically Unable to Perform list (like Al Harris) are eligible to return. Still, I think Ted put together a strong 53, and I'm ready to see how they start the season against Philly next Sunday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Twitter it Up Bitches

On Twitter there is this thing called Follow Fridays, which is where you basically devote your tweets for the day to either giving shoutouts to your friends or shoutouts to people that you wish would follow you that don't currently. I'm taking it one step further today by telling you someone you should follow on my blog! This has to be the ultimate #FF, right?

Actually, let's do a weekly column out of this. Each week I'll go to the Tweetosphere and tell you who I'm following this week and why. Yeah, that sounds original. Anyway, our first and probably only entry in this weekly series is @AnonymousEagle, the official Twitter page of the Anonymous Eagle blog. If you haven't been yet, it's a site devoted to Marquette athletics (read: basketball), and does a great job of keeping me interested even though I grew up Bucky.

They are mainly getting props through for including me in their Twitter Cool 100, which has to mean something right? Even though it was a list made as an "easy, cheap, half-assed way to get pageviews" I'm honored to be on it, mainly because I have low self-esteem and every mention of my blog makes gives me the attention I so desperately crave. So let's all give Anonymous Eagle a round of applause for making me feel better about myself, as they are your inaugural Twitter It Up Bitches Tweeters of the Week!

And hey, while youre at it, why not follow us @thebuckychannel. The Bucky Channel Twitter Page - even less updates than the actual blog!

The Bucky Five: A Case for a Shorter Preseason

1. Farewell, Jason Chery - Really, the only reason I was interested in the Packers final preseason game was to see if we did in fact have our new kick returner in Jason Chery, and it doesn't appear that we do. He does have a nice quickness and fluidness to him, but I just don't think he did enough to earn a spot on the 53. Of course, fumbling (twice!) on your first return opportunity doesn't help matters much either. I'm rooting for the kid, but I think that final spot is going to end up going to someone else.

2. Another Term for Bush - It looks like Jarrett Bush will be a member of your Green Bay Packers for another season, as he certainly didn't do anything to hurt his cause. And actually, with an interception and a couple of nice hits, he really didn't look too bad. Of course, we all know about his history of how he's not exactly the greatest cornerback in the league, but I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt here and hope that he can live up to the very little of expectations we have for him this season.

3. Flynn to Win - I still think that this team is toast if Rodgers misses a few games with an injury, but at least we know that Matt Flynn is capable of backing him up for a bit. Remember when we were starting Rodgers and then our backups were a rookie Matt Flynn and a rookie Brian Brohm? I feel a lot better about the backup situation now. In the Packers 17-13 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night, Flynn was 23 for 37 and threw for 304 yards in three quarters of action. He didn't find the end zone, but he didn't throw any picks either, and it was a good night for Flynn. I actually thought that Graham Harrell would get more time, but I think the Packers were playing him as little as possible so that no other scouts would get a decent look at him, because it appears he's destined for the practice squad.

4. House of Swain - Speaking of Flynn, how much did he get paid by Brett Swain to look at him during every drop back? Swain had a decent night, grabbing six catches for 130 yards, but I still think he missed a few that he should have reeled in. Ultimately, I think he roster spot is going to go to a tight end, but we'll have to see on that one. I think the Brett Swain decision will be one of the more interesting choices that we see Thompson and McCarthy make.

5. Hayden won HOH - Forgive me for checking out Big Brother while the Packers game was on, but this game was not a banner game for the NFL. I did see a lot of discussion on the Twitter machine about how the sloppiness of this game was a ploy by the NFL to get fans on board for an 18-game season, which I still think is a bad idea. Even though the NFL tries to pass off these preseason games as entertainment, we as fans have to realize that is not the case and we should not be shelling out money to watch this garbage. But these four games are important and they are needed, so that when the real 16 games do come around our team has the right squad ready for the season. I still think an 18 game season is a horrible idea, no matter how dull this preseason finale may have been.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quick Thoughts on the Big Ten Realignment

Even though this is technically more of an "alignment" than a "realignment", one thing is for sure - Jim Delaney and the other Big Ten officials didn't really set up these two new divisions with the Badgers in mind. Sure, we still will be playing for the Paul Bunyan Ax every season against the Golden Gophers, but other than that nothing about this restructuring plays into the Badgers favor. We lose our yearly rivalry against the Hawkeyes, we have to play Penn State and Ohio State every season no matter what, and most importantly we unfortunately don't get to beat up on Northwestern every year. L-ame.

Badgers fans are clearly unhappy about this restructuring, as 81 percent of us voted against it on the JSOnline poll. The realignment, which is only for football, has the Badgers playing Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue every season. The other division then has Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, and newcomer Nebraska. Geography didn't have anything to do with the new set up as Delaney said it was all about competitiveness, but it's clear to see that the whole two conferences were based around Ohio State and Michigan. Not only do they keep their rivalry in tact, but they are also eligible to play each other in the conference championship game each year. Good for them.

Personally, I would have liked to see more of an effort placed on keeping all of the Badgers rivalries in tact, specifically the one against Iowa. It's especially fun due to the fact that Bret Bielema has a Hawkeye tattoo on his ankle, but I guess it's not to be. I'm too upset with the realignment, although I do think we were placed in the tougher of the two divisions. With that said, here are the schedules for the 2011 and 2012 seasons:

SEPT. 3 UNLV
SEPT. 10 OREGON STATE
Sept. 17 vs. Northern Illinois (at Soldier Field - Chicago)
SEPT. 24 SOUTH DAKOTA
OCT. 1 NEBRASKA
Oct. 8 BYE WEEK
OCT. 15 INDIANA
Oct. 22 at Michigan State
Oct. 29 at Ohio State
NOV. 5 PURDUE
Nov. 12 at Minnesota
Nov. 19 at Illinois
NOV. 26 PENN STATE

The 2012 schedule does not include nonconference games but here is the partial schedule, which includes all eight league games.

SEPT. 1 HOME TBA
Sept. 8 at Oregon State
SEPT. 15 HOME TBA
SEPT. 22 HOME TBA
Sept. 29 at Nebraska
OCT. 6 ILLINOIS
Oct. 13 at Purdue
OCT. 20 MINNESOTA
OCT. 27 MICHIGAN STATE
Nov. 3 BYE WEEK
Nov. 10 at Indiana
NOV. 17 OHIO STATE
Nov. 24 at Penn State

As for this 2010 season, the Badgers open things up on Saturday night against UNLV. Mike Lucas of the Capital Times has an interesting article focusing on the history of the series between the Badgers and the Rebels which can be found here. The game itself is a late one, but you can find it on Versus at 10pm. Try and stay sober for at least a little bit if you can.

Total Pageviews