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


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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

U.S. Women Kick Off World Cup with Win

The United States Men's team may be struggling as of late, but the Women's side looks just fine especially after their 2-0 win against North Korea on Tuesday. The first half was scoreless, but then Lauren.... you know what, not even I can do this. I'm glad the women won, I had the game on but barely watched, but until they at least get out of the group stage I just can't get around to writing about them. Maybe I'll try to sit down and actually watch the game on Saturday (11am against Columbia) and then we'll go from there.

U.S. (Women's) Soccer on Soon!

Now, I know there is absolutely no chance that you've forgotten about this, but consider this your friendly reminder that there is United States World Cup soccer on today. Granted, it's women's, but hey they are people too. The United States are considered to be one of the favorites of this tournament, although from what I know it appears that the road goes through Germany. The Americans will start their quest today, at 11:15am as they take on North Korea. Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wilson Brings High Expectations to Wisconsin

And just like that, the Badgers are National title contenders. That seems to be the feeling out of Madison today as Russell Wilson has decided to transfer to Wisconsin where he will without question be the Badgers starting quarterback next season. Sure, technically he'll be enrolled in a grad school program (he finished at N.C. State in four years and has one year of eligibility left) but nobody really cares about academics here. Wilson is coming to Wisconsin to play football, and by all indications he's going to have quite an impact.

The story on the kid is this - he went to N.C. State for four years, and was a pretty damn good player. But he was then drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB draft with the 140th pick, and has been spending his time most recently with their single-A affiliate, where he had been hitting .228 with three home runs and 15 RBI this season. It was his desire to play both sports that actually lead him to leave N.C. State a bit early, but he wants back on the gridiron and Wisconsin will be happy to comply.

In what came down to a race between the Badgers and the Auburn Tigers, Wilson selected the Badgers for some reason, most likely because the quarterback depth at Camp Randall isn't very deep. After the spring game, Jon Budmayr, a redshirt sophomore, was atop the depth chart with the talent behind him weak after that (a problem that will be solved once my main man Bart Houston gets to Madison, but for now is of great concern). Thanks to the magic of Wikipedia, the print screen button, and Microsoft Paint, here's a sample of the kid we're going to see in white and red this fall, on paper:

The Badgers are already known as a running team, but now to have a quarterback that can run a little bit as well is going to do what they call "open up the offense". Schematically, he might not fit with what the Badgers are used to running offensively, but that's because they've never had a player with the talent that Wilson has. From Darrell Bevell to Jim Sorgi, John Stocco to Tyler Donovan, and most recently Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin's signal-callers are historically nothing more than the dreaded term of "game-managers". Wilson is athletic, mobile, efficient, and exciting, and he's going to change the face of the Wisconsin Badgers offense, at least for this season.

Even before this move, you would have had to say that the Badgers were at least in the mix of favorites to win the Big Ten Championship, and with this latest acquisition that is even more the case. I still think the Badgers toughest contest is going to be October 1st against Nebraska, for both the talent on the other side of the ball and for the hype that the game will incur. But the Badgers have to be thinking right now that the Big Ten is theirs to lose, and with a weaker schedule this year (thank you Ohio State violations), four games in primetime, and a quarterback who is already a potential Heisman candidate, the Badgers could be in for a very good year.

Get to know your new quarterback by checking out this video made by either a) a member of the N.C. State PR staff, b) a communications major as a homework assignment, or c) a person who is a little too obsessed with this Russell Wilson fellow:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bucky Channel Classics: June 12, 2008

Trying out something here, which may be short-lived, but we'll see. I'm really only doing this because of how busy I have personally been lately, and I want to still keep this site fresh. And what better way to keep things fresh than to re-post old Bucky Channel articles and label them as "Classics". Hey, we've written over 3,000 of these things, and the audience may have changed in the last three years (as in, less of you), but here's an article I wrote three years ago about the rivalry between the Brewers and the Twins entitled "Don't Call it a Rivalry". You can also probably find it on Bleacher Report because I told them to remove all my posts from their site but they have yet to do so.

There is nothing in sports quite like a rivalry. A history of battles between two teams that make every game between them seem that much more important. Pride, integrity, and bragging rights become so much more important in each victory than where it will put you in the standings. You'll witness a number of incredible games in any given season, but every game between rivals automatically becomes a classic.

In Wisconsin, we have our fair share of rivalries. Packers/Bears. Packers/Vikings. Brewers/Cubs. Wisconsin/Big Ten. What do all these rivalries have in common? It's a bitter history between the two sides, aided by their geographical proximity. It's a key component to nearly every good rivalry. Yet, as much as the MLB you like you believe it, the upcoming Brewers/Twins series is not a rivalry.

Let me just state, for the record, that I love interleague play. I also love the fact that the MLB makes sure to match up teams in similar areas on a year to year basis. No matter what the schedule says, you will always see White Sox/Cubs, Yankees/Mets, Orioles/Nationals, Angels/Dogders, Giants/A's and so on every given year. As a fan, it's a great opportunity to see your home team play without having to travel too far.

There are many feelings of hatred between teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota, but the Brewers/Twins have never been one of them. I've made the trip to the Metrodome for this series a few years ago, and besides the typical boneheaded fans of any team, the crowd was relatively friendly. I imagine a Miller Park crowd to be the same when the Twins come to town. Unlike the other rivalries I've mentioned, I feel the Brewers and the Twins have a greater respect for one another. We used to play in the same division, but that was a generation ago. In the time since, we've learned to appreciate the other for being a small-market team trying to compete, as our franchises aren't all that different (besides the Twins success in the World Series of course).

Think about it. We both hate a team from Chicago more than we can put into words. We've both been in the area for relatively the same amount of time (the Twins coming from the Washington Senators in the 60's, and the Brewers coming from the Seattle Pilots in 1970). The Twins lost Santana because they couldn't afford him, the Brewers are likely to do the same with Sheets (editor's update: now read "Fielder"). The Brewers were never close to contraction, but that's because Bud Selig was our owner. And we have both shared the wonder that is Paul Molitor.

As our teams embark on the first three of six games we'll play this year, you can bet there will be some tense times from the first pitch from the final out. But, win or lose, we'll still have respect for the fans sitting next to us. After a Brewers/Cubs game, I'm out in the parking lot looking for someone to punch in the face. After a Brewers/Twins game? You can bet we're looking for each other in the parking lot, but only to do some extra tailgating together, and perhaps share a beer.

That's why this isn't a rivarly.

Unless, of course, the Brewers lose.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Sadly, I'm thinking that the Gold Cup final between the United States and Mexico is going to be very pro-Mexican as the two sides meet up at the Rose Bowl tonight on the Fox Soccer Channel (8pm Central). The final is however seemingly drawing a bit of interest from even the most casual sports fans, as any game between these two nations should. Mexico hasn't had too tough of a road to get to the finals, even though they have been dealing with a rash of suspensions. The United States should consider themselves almost lucky to be here, losing to Panama in the group stages before eventually regrouping and playing some decent soccer in the last week.

The two sides will meet in the final for the fifth time in eleven Gold Cup tournaments, including for the third consecutive time that the Cup has been held. I'm still working on a way to be able to watch this thing live, maybe I'll have to sack up and order the sports pack on DirecTV. Hell, I get all the WWE pay-per-views that come my way, might as well get something that's actually a legit sport (to some people!).

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago yesterday was one of the greatest sporting moments I can remember.

"Distribution Brilliant."

"Goal, Goal. USA!"

I still remember where I was and how I felt. It is one of those moments I will remember forever. 90 minutes of agony, followed by pure jubilation, almost vindication for us soccer fans out there. I will remember it even more fondly than the Superbowl, because it was just one moment, one moment which was the culmination of years and years of work for US soccer, whereas a football game is a collection of moments and numerous important plays. Here is my day of reaction.

Check out the supplemental videos below. The fan reaction one still brings tears to my eyes. I love it. And one in Spanish just for the heck of it and it does sound better. Univision is an American channel after all.

This also serves as a get hype call for tomorrows game. We got this. Indivisible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Might Have Seen This, But it's Funny

Posting this because it's funny, and as much I want to hate the Manning brothers I just can't. I just can't do it. (h/t Awful Announcing).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

USA Advances to Gold Cup Final

This play is American soccer at it's finest. Some beautiful passes and a finish delivered by one of our greatest players, Clint Dempsey. The assist came from Landon Donovan, and the pass that set it all up came from... Freddy Adu? As in, the kid that whenever I tell someone that I like soccer they say, "Golly gee shucks, whatever happened to that Aye-doo kid?" What happened is that he entered the Gold Cup semifinal against Panama in the 64th minute and never looked back.

So after all the panic that went through my head and the rest of the U.S. Soccer community after the Americans loss to Panama in the group stage, the Americans are back to the Gold Cup final, taking on the winner of the Honduras/Mexico game. Well done, boys. Sorry for doubting you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bogut Trade Rumors Are False

Unless the Bucks think his career is over from the injury he suffered from the picture above, Andrew Bogut will remain a Buck, and probably for a long long time. This guy is worth way more than the second overall pick in this draft. It seems that rumors are going around about Bogut and the 10th pick to the T-Wolves for the 2nd pick in the draft. That just makes no sense unless the Bucks know something crazy about Bogut that we don't. The guy was a walking double-double before he went down with that injury. I hope this off-season he will get healed 100%, and be able to play more physical again this coming season. I guess I don't see why they would trade the only center they have to get someone like Derrick Williams. No seriously, ?????

So lets just put these rumors to bed right now, and maybe I shouldn't even be justifying them in the first place. iF somehow thist does go down you can bet I won't do many Bucks posts this season, as they would have just made the worst trade of all time. Unless the Bucks know for a fact Bogut will never be the same again I would just let these trade rumors pass for now. Now if the number two pick was a LeBron, Kobe, Rose, or Love type player then count me in. I don't think Williams will be that great, but don't get me wrong he will be good. Just seems like a risk the Bucks can't afford to take, because fans need to see wins, and they need to see them now.

Oh, and Winks wanted me to tell you that Andrew Bogut just won Bucks Survivor for the third time in four years. So that's nice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NBA Draft Preview

We all remember last time the Bucks had the 10th pick, the time when we drafting Brandon Jennings - who wasn't even in the green room for the draft. He was down the street watching it with his family at the hotel, and after he was drafted he showed up a few picks later to shake David Stern's hand. But who will the Bucks take Thursday with the 10th pick? Well this is a weak draft, and seems to be one that will only have a few stars in this league. The Bucks could really use a scorer, but a big guy down low to help take the pressure off Bogut would be nice too.

Kawhi Leonard and Tristan Thompson would be the big guys I think the Bucks hope to fall. If they don't another name I see is Marcus Morris. I kind of want to stay away from a guy like Morris, who just seems to be a little of a hot head. He seems to always be talking himself up, and that worries me at a young age when people do that. Also some guard names are being thrown around for the Bucks. Alec Burks from Colorado  has been mentioned as a home for the Bucks, Jazz, or Suns. Another guy that is shooting up the charts is Klay Thompson from Washington State, who could be one of the best shooters in the draft. Something the Bucks have been lacking is a guy that can shoot, so he seems to be the right pick for them. TBC Staff Member Bear has already stated that he would love to see the Bucks draft Thompson.

Will they maybe try to trade down, and hope a guy like Thompson is still there? A few other names that have come up that might be sleepers are Jimmy Butler from Marquette, and Marshon Brooks from Providence. We should all know about Butler, and he is being compared to a Raja Bell type player that can come off the bench and play good defense. Marshon Brooks is the guy who scored 52 points against Notre Dame. I'm not saying these are guys that would go ten, but would be guys the Bucks could maybe trade down for and acquire some picks in the process. It just seems like a weak draft, so trading down if you can find someone that wants to move up would make sense. Take a chance with a sleeper later in the first round. With the team we have now we should win more games regardless, as long as people don't get hurt every week.

The draft is set for Thursday night at 7 ET. It will air on ESPN, which sucks because I don't think NBA TV will have anything live, and I'd rather watch their coverage. I don't see the Bucks getting a franchise changing type player, but you just never know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Resilient Rory

It really should have never been in doubt, but after what happened at the Masters you had to think it wasn't over till his birdie on hole one Sunday. You have to give him a lot of credit, because we always talk about athletes getting in their own heads. This was not the case for McIlroy this weekend, as he put on a show that will never be forgot. He broke records, he was the leader wire to wire, and he earned his first major. I really think this guy will be the next big superstar in golf.

I know Tiger Woods was the only player to shoot under par in 2000, but what Rory did just seems so much better. Tiger had already won a major in his career when he won the Open in 2000. Rory was coming off of a huge collapse just two months ago at Augusta. I guess Tiger had already won two majors, but him being the only one to shoot par makes it hard not to say that was the best performance of all time. We always talk about Kobe, LeBron, Manning, Brady, Jeter, Halladay, and other superstars about how they are the best of their time. but Rory has to do everything himself. He can't have a bad hole, and have his teammate pick him up. That is what makes this weekend so amazing. It just seems that golfers are over looked for what they do, but no one should ever over look this weekend.

Since it was a one man race we have to talk about the other tournament at the U.S. Open, the tournament for second place. Jason Day, a 23 year old from Australia showed he is another up and coming guy. He took second place Sunday at the U.S. Open, and also tied for second at the Masters in April. Since Rory just had to play par golf he really didn't have any pressure putts. Jason Day made a huge putt on 18 to for Y.E. Yang to make birdie on 18 to tie him for second. Yang was unable to make birdie, and Day will take home the second prize all to himself. Jason seems to be close to maybe winning a major himself, and I really hope he does. The guy plays with no fear, and just makes crazy shots.

As far as Stricker he had a great first 10 holes Sunday as he got to -5. With 5 birdies through 10 holes Steve finished the last 8 holes with two doubles, a bogey, and a birdie. Overall not a bad weekend for Stricker, but he just made too many mistakes. He dug himself a hole Thursday by shooting 4 over par. He did finish Friday with a 69, Saturday 69, and Sunday 70. So as for the three guys I picked Stricker finished -1, McDowell -2, Kuchar -2. I have to say I did fairly well, but wish I would have went with my Master pick Rory. For the rest of the scores click the link here. With the British next up in July will an American finally win a Major, or are the days of USA winning golf events over? Only time will tell.

Americans on to the Gold Cup Semifinals

Excuse whatever the hell language is being spoken in this video, but here are highlights from the United States' 2-0 win against Jamaica in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals on Sunday. Jermaine Jones had the goal in the 49th minute of play, while Clint Dempsey added the dagger in minute 79, at which point the Jamaicans were playing a man down due to a red card given to Jermaine Taylor thirteen minutes prior. Dempsey did get the start today, which was in question after he and Landon Donovan both left the club for a few days to attend their respective sisters' weddings. Landon Donovan did not start in this one, instead coming off the bench with 25 minutes to play.

The highlights from the video are just of the second half, when all the scoring was done, but Jamaica nearly opened things up within the games' first five minutes, although Tim Howard made an incredible save with his feet to keep the game scoreless. The United States probably couldn't have played much better after their poor play so far this tournament, and they out shot the Jamaicans 18-4. Not so tough without John Candy around, are you Jamaica? The reggae boys have still never beaten the United States, but with the way the United States had been playing in this Gold Cup, Sunday was probably their best chance yet. Good to see the Americans rebound and dominate this one, although now we hold our breath and wait for word on the injury Jozy Altidore suffered in this game's 11th minute.

Next up, it's the U.S. vs. the winner of Panama/El Salvador on Wednesday night from Houston.

Friday, June 17, 2011

36 Holes To Go

We are 36 holes in to the U.S. Open, and Rory McIlroy is up by 6 strokes over Y.E. Yang. Rory shot a 65 on Thursday, and a 66 on Friday to reach 11 under. He set a record by being the first person to ever reach 13 under in the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods holds the record at 12 under for best finishing score in U.S. Open history. But I really think Rory will beat that record, and he I feel he will go on to win this weekend. I know he had the melt down at the Masters, but he would have to pull a LeBron James (huge James fan, but still pissed Deshawn Stevenson got a ring due to the LBJ choke job, as they say) to lose this one. He has learned from his mistakes, and he is just playing great golf right now. To go 35 holes before his first mistake in a tournament is crazy.

As for the guys I picked really I'm not doing to bad. Matt Kuchar is tied for third at -2, Graeme McDowell is tied for thirty-third at +2, and Steve Stricker is also tied for thirty-third at +2. Really, if it wasn't for McIlroy just being on fire these guys would still be in the hunt without a doubt. Matt Kuchar shot a -3 Friday, so if he can post another good round he could be in the hunt Sunday. The field will need Rory to come to them, but at this course anything can happen, so this is far from over. Still a lot of work to find a winner, but you have to think Rory should be able to shut this one down for his first major.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jamaicans Up Next For Americans

So it's been a busy week for me, and I'm trying to play a bit of catchup tonight. Instead of writing a recap about a U.S. Soccer game from two nights ago that you won't read, here's some video that you may watch. The United States won, and even though they didn't win their group for the first time in Gold Cup history, they are moving on to face Jamaica at 2pm on Sunday. That is all, please move on and enjoy the rest of your day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bucks Survivor: Season Finale

It's clear to see that the reason Bucks Survivor may have generated less interest than normal this season is that this game is nothing more than a two horse race. All season long, we knew it was going to come down to Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, and here we are. Technically, the voting for this recent round was to go until Friday but when I woke up this morning the votes were unanimous to kick out Ersan Illyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. However, just a few minutes ago I did see that a vote was given to vote out the Brandon Jennings, Ersan Illyasova combo, but I'm going to assume that was placed by the guy who has been trying to vote Brandon Jennings out since round one, for whatever reason. Anyway, executive decision here, and we're going to get right down to the final round of voting.

The question is simple: Who should the Bucks build their franchise around? Which of these Bucks players is the most important to the future of the franchise? Quite simply, who is the Bucks Survivor? Andrew Bogut won the contest in year one and year two, and then Brandon Jennings won the contest after his rookie campaign last season. But who will be the one to win it in year four? On the top right hand side of the page, you'll need to vote for who you want to win. Don't vote for the person you want to see eliminated, vote for the player that you think should win the ultimate crown of Bucks Survivor.

As always, thanks again for playing.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Honestly, these reminders are more for me so that I don't forget about the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team's upcoming game in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the next biggest tournament for the United States team behind the World Cup, as it's the tournament that includes every team in their region (CONCACAF). Since DirecTV hides the Fox Soccer Channel on their highest, most expensive package (which I do not have, as remember, I work in radio), I still may be unable to watch the games as much as I'd like. I guess going to my parents house tonight to check it out wouldn't be so bad. 

Tonight's game - USA vs. Guadeloupe - 7pm - Ford Field - Livestrong Sporting Park - Kansas City, Missouri

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bucks Survivor: This Thing is Still Going On?

Wisconsin's best kept secret continues in the form of Bucks Survivor, and the level of success that I am receiving from creating this competition is beyond my wildest dreams. Not only am I getting recognized on the street everywhere I go as the creator of this competition, but the Milwaukee Bucks have reached out to me about a potential job offer as well. In addition, CBS has offered to pay me a large sum of money for helping them promote the real Survivor show. Clearly, none of those wild assertions are true, but trust me when I tell you that Larry Sanders is the latest member of the Bucks to be removed from the competition.

That leaves Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Ersan Ilyasova as the final four in the contest. This is also a double elimination round, and as we've historically done we're going to give you the option to vote of two players with one vote. The voting as always can be done on the top of the page on the right hand side, and voting from this round will go on through Friday at noon.

Kelvin Sampson To Detroit???

Even Kelvin Sampson looks confused about all the talking going on about him going to Detroit. I guess Mike Woodson is the top runner for the head coaching job of the Pistons, but Sampson seems to be giving him a run for his money. I know it might be a homer pick, but I think Sampson will be one hell of a coach. He took a guy like Brandon Jennings under his wing, and while Jennings might not be the best player in the league, he is calm and cool for his age which you have to attribute a bit to Kelvin Sampson.

Sampson, I think, is the kind of guy that learned a lot from what went down at Indiana. He seems to be a coach that players would believe, and learn from. The Pistons had a lot of issues last season with players giving up, and not trusting the coach. I really think Sampson would be a guy that could fill this role very nicely. Do I want this move to happen? No not at all, because I want him to stay on our staff as long as possible. I know me and Winks have talked about this before, that he will be a head coach again some day. I would just like to see him work with Jennings another two years, and then we will really know what kind of player Jennings is. I guess till something happens Sampson will be our assistant coach, but remember his name will most likely be the first one thrown in the hat once a head coach job opens up until he gets a gig.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Honestly, these reminders are more for me so that I don't forget about the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team's upcoming game in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the next biggest tournament for the United States team behind the World Cup, as it's the tournament that includes every team in their region (CONCACAF). Since DirecTV hides the Fox Soccer Channel on their highest, most expensive package (which I do not have, as remember, I work in radio), I still may be unable to watch the games as much as I'd like. I guess going to my parents house tonight to check it out wouldn't be so bad. 

Tonight's game - USA vs. Panama - 7pm - Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

USA Bests Canada in Gold Cup Opener

When it comes to the Gold Cup, the United States has sort of a knack for winning. At least in the tournament's opening stages. In their last 26 games in opening group play during the CONCACAF tournament, the Americas are on a 24-0-2 unbeaten streak, a streak which continued Tuesday night against Canada at Ford Field in Detroit (Uncle Sam's Army has done alright in the full tournament as well, winning the thing three of the last five times, with Mexico winning the other two Cups). It was a good win for the United States, who had just come off of a 4-0 drubbing to the hands of world champion Spain in a friendly last weekend in Foxborough.

While the final in their match against Canada reads 2-0, make no mistake about it, the Americans were in control of this thing for nearly the entire time, so a 2-0 lead may not do the team justice for just how well they played (then again, they only did have two actual shots on goal, with both of them going in of course). Familar names were able to put the United States on top and keep them there - Jozy Altidore scored in the 15th minute and Clint Dempsey added a mark in the 62nd. Tim Howard was able to keep things clean throughout the game, although not really facing much of an attack from Canada until the games' waning moments. But the goalkeeper put forth a solid effort and kept our foes to the north off the scoresheet.

Now personally, I actually didn't get to watch much of this game as I do not have the Fox Soccer Channel as part of our DirecTV package (it's on their highest level of service, which frankly is an unnecessary package to have, and the channel is unavailable in their separate sports pack, a rare DirecTV downfall when it comes to sports). And even if I had access to that channel, or if you currently do, the Gold Cup isn't something you're going to be hearing much about. Don't get me wrong, it's a prestigious tournament, it's just that the masses in America don't seem to care about soccer unless it's the World Cup. It's a shame, too, as these are the same guys playing only a slightly lower level of competition. As always, Mexico will be the top obstacle between the United States and a championship, but the Caribbean nations have been improving and are never an easy out.

Elsewhere in the tournament so far Costa Rica has beat Cuba 5-0, Mexico topped El Salvador by the same result, Jamaica topped Grenada 4-0, Honduras and Guatemala played to a scoreless draw, and Panama edged Guadeloupe 3-2. To be honest, Wikipedia's page is the cleanest way to look at all the results and the upcoming schedule. For the Americans, their next match is against Panama this Saturday night.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steve Stricker Wins Memorial

With a three stroke lead, and only five holes left, Steve Stricker was forced to deal with a two hour weather delay. It has to be harder for the leader of a tournament to just be sitting around for 2 hours than it would for the other guys trying to catch him. It has to be hard to stay focused, and not worry about might go wrong with the final five holes. Not for Steve Stricker though, as the Wisconsin native finished at 16 under to take home the Memorial win.

He made clutch par putts on 15 and 16 to go on and win by one stroke. He held off Matt Kuchar and Brandt Jobe. Stricker won for the 10th time in his career, with seven of those wins coming within the past five years since he switched his swing. With this win he is now ranked number 4 in the world for golf, as in the highest American ranked player right now in golf. He also went over 30 million for career earnings, so he is really starting to make a name for himself.

With the U.S. Open coming right around the corner people are throwing Stricker's name out there as a front runner. As a golf fan I would love nothing more than Stricker winning the U.S. Open, but he just never seems to score in majors. Stricker always seems to make the cut, but never is in to make a run after Friday's round. He will be joined by Mark Wilson as the only two guys from Wisconsin in the Open. Jerry Kelly didn't qualify for it, so the odds for a Wisconsin boy to win the Open are even slimmer than usual.

Steve Stricker also got a hole in one this weekend, which capped off a good weekend for him. On Friday from 188 yards on hole 8 he was able to hit a two bouncer that rolled the final 4 feet right in the bottom of the cup. Click here to watch the video of the ace. I love golf, because after he hit the hole in one the guys he was playing with even gave him a high five. Good luck to Stricker as he goes for tour win number 11.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Honestly, these reminders are more for me so that I don't forget about the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team's upcoming game in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the next biggest tournament for the United States team behind the World Cup, as it's the tournament that includes every team in their region (CONCACAF). Since DirecTV hides the Fox Soccer Channel on their highest, most expensive package (which I do not have, as remember, I work in radio), I still may be unable to watch the games as much as I'd like. I guess going to my parents house tonight to check it out wouldn't be so bad. 

Tonight's game - USA vs. Canada - 7pm - Ford Field - Detroit, Michigan

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brewers Select a Couple of Pitchers

The last thing that I'm ever going to try to be is a cut and paste blog, but the first round of the Brewers draft is pretty important, and I know absolutely nothing about either of these kids that the Brewers just drafted. So here are a couple of captions for you to read with proper hat tips to their respective sites, and then a link to the live blog done by Bernie's Crew.

Pick 12 - Taylor Jungmann, RHP, University of Texas

Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - Milwaukee goes with the big 6-foot-6, 220-pound workhorse. A junior who was named the Big 12 pitcher of the year and also first team All-American this past season. He pitched today in the NCAA Regionals as well, going one inning and striking out one as Texas beat Kent State, 5-0, to advance to the Super Regionals. He was 13-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 16 starts this season (128.1 IP, 20 ER) and struck out 119 to go along with 29 walks. Had three shutouts and held opponents to a .168 batting average.

Finished the regular season with a 12-0 record, 0.95 ERA and 109 strikeouts. Ranked the eighth-best prospect in the 2011 draft by Baseball America and is one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player in the country. Throws 91-93 with a high of 95 with an improved slider and average changeup. Pounds the strike zone with a heavy sinker and has cleaned up his deliver. An advanced college pitcher. Jungmann was selected in the 24th round of the draft in 2008 by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but instead took the scholarship to Texas. - While there are a couple of college arms that have gotten a bit more buzz as being top-of-the-draft types, there may not be another pitcher in the country who's been more consistently effective than the Texas Longhorns ace. The big right-hander with a Mike Pelfrey-type frame has three plus pitches and shows the ability to maintain his stuff deep into every start.

His fastball has been around 91-97 mph, even touching 98 mph, and sits comfortably in the 93-95 mph. His fastball has plus movement as well. His curve, with a hard, tight 11-to-5 break, is also a plus pitch, as is his changeup. While his command is average -- he occasionally gets too much of the middle of the plate -- he's got outstanding control, throwing strikes and not hurting himself with walks. He'll have to learn to pitch off the plate more, but that shouldn't be an issue.

Jungmann did have elbow surgery in high school that might concern some teams, but that shouldn't be enough of a red flag to keep him from going off the board in the top half of the first round.

Pick 15 - Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - Another arm, and another big kid on the hill for the Brewers at 6-4 and 224 pounds. He just finished his junior season with the Yellow Jackets, having gone 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts (98.0 IP, 38 ER). He finished the year tied for the team lead with 106 strikeouts, and held opponents to a .239 batting average. He was named the 14th-best overall prospect by Baseball America.

Bradley was named all-Atlantic Coast Conference second team in 2010, and was named the No. 4 prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer. Bradley, who was not drafted out of high school, played his first two years of high-school baseball in Shelby Township, Mich. before lettering his senior season at Huntsville High School in Huntsville, Ala. - Bradley isn't the top college lefty on Draft boards this year -- that honor belongs to Virginia's Danny Hultzen -- but it's looking like he's the clear No. 2.

Georgia Tech's Saturday starter doesn't have any plus pitches -- no one offering that wows scouts -- but he does have a very solid four-pitch mix at his disposal. Bradley will throw his fastball 92-93 mph. He complements the fastball with a slider, curve and changeup. He can throw all four for strikes and mixes his pitches very well, with all of them at least Major League average.

Big and durable in an Andy Pettitte sort of way, he profiles as a future workhorse who can throw a lot of innings and get to the big leagues fairly quickly. That package has many teams at the top of the Draft taking a long look at him.

And Bernie's Crew did a real nice job during their live blog, check it out if you have the time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

As Hard as They Try, Milwaukee Just Can't Lose

Before the Brewers headed to Florida to take part in this four game series against the Marlins, my hope was that they would be able to win at least two games in Miami, and even that seemed like a reach. Milwaukee's problems on the road have been well documented, and I don't seem to recall them ever playing particularly well in Sun Life Stadium. But here we are, three games into that four game set, and the Brewers have won every single time that they've taken the field.

Now it hasn't been easy. On Friday, they needed a pinch hit home run from Ryan Braun to earn the victory. Then on Saturday, they went the comeback route again for the 3-2 victory. Finally, on Sunday, the Brewers blew a five run lead in the sixth inning only to see Josh Wilson of all people hit a game winning home run in the eleventh. This series hasn't been perfect by any means. The Brewers have been giving up leads. John Axford is working a little too hard for these saves. The offense still disappears at times. But the Brewers have been winning these games, and that's really the only stat that matters.

Saturday - Milwaukee 3, Florida 2

Gallardo stays hot
But help needed from offense
Prince, Yuni come through

POTG: Yovani Gallardo

Sunday - Milwaukee 6, Florida 5

Big day for Rickie
But when Narveson struggles
Wilson steals the show

POTG: Josh Wilson

Milwaukee will incredibly be going for the sweep on a rare Monday series capper at 6:05pm Bucky time.  At this point, however, the Brewers are 33-26, and two games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central. They'd be in first place by now but Albert Pujols finally started to play up to his capacity, something that I'm convinced is 100 percent caused by the fact that he wants to play for the Cubs next season and is trying to impress them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bucks Survivor: Week Seven

Last week I stated that the latest round of Bucks Survivor would be a double-elimination, and I did this for two reasons. One, I wanted to speed up the contest a little bit. Two, I figured that a double-elimination week would garner up some interest in the competition. Sadly, I am beginning to see that Bucks Survivor may be 2000 and late. The last thing that I wanted this week was a tie for the second elimination spot, but that is exactly what happened. Rather than trying to force a tie breaker, I'm going to cut my losses and make this a triple elimination. I'm also going to assume that the Bucks Survivor concept is one of the great things ever created on a sports blog, and that the discontent with the weekly feature is more of a reflection of the lack of interest in the Milwaukee Bucks. Anyway, the voting from last week:

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (6%)
Brandon Jennings (0%)
Carlos Delfino (12%)
Andrew Bogut (6%)
Drew Gooden (50%)
Ersan Ilyasova (6%)
Larry Sanders (6%)
John Salmons (12%)

Because I was the final vote on Salmons that tied him with Delfino, we'll say that Carlos Delfino is the sixth man and your starting lineup for next year would consist of Brandon Jennings at the point, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute would have to be the two-guard by default, Ersan Illyasova plays shooting forward, Larry Sanders would play the four, and then Andrew Bogut is slated in at center. Not the greatest lineup I've ever seen, but then again these are the Bucks we're talking about.

So anyway, back to single elimination for the final five, and voting can be done on the right hand side of the blog. Yeah!

Forget About LeBron, Just Enjoy These Finals

Giving it your all. Doing what ever is necessary, but while within the rules, to win. Sacrificing personal accomplishments for the accomplishments of a team. Those are some of the traits that are needed to make up a championship winner, and those are all treats of the Miami Heat. Yet, everyone hates them, even though all that they are doing is trying to win. Isn't that the point of sports? Isn't that why people compete?

The Miami Heat are unlike any other team, in fact, they may be better than some. You could name more than a handful of teams in the NBA that don't seem to try their hardest to win an NBA title each and every season, but the Miami Heat are a team that is doing their best for the gold. Yet, they are the most hated team in the league.

Clearly, most if not all of that hatred stems out of LeBron James and the way that he handled his decision to leave Cleveland and to go Miami. It was misguided, it was a slap in the face to Cleveland, and it was in some ways downright evil. For that reason, I think the fans of Cleveland have every right to hate LeBron and I see no problem with them rooting for the Mavericks, and basically rooting against the Heat at every turn. Kind of the same way that Packers fans (well, the smart ones anyway) rooted against Favre when he left Green Bay. But one of the key differences between the situations is that while Packers fans hated the Dongslinger, the rest of America was still on his side. With LeBron, absolutely no one outside of Miami seems to like him, in fact they despise him in a way that is usually reserved for mass murderers and the antagonists in Die Hard movies.

Personally, as I wrote about the other day, I don't mind the Heat. In fact, the universal hatred of them has made me start to like them. And yes, I am rooting for them to win the series. But I also want to see the Mavericks win a Finals, and this might be their last chance. They have been so good for so long, and it's not hard to get behind a guy like Dirk Nowitzki. Right now, and I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but the main reason that I'm rooting for the Heat is that I don't like that the main reason people like Dallas is because they don't like the heat. If you're going to root for Dallas, root of them because you like Dirk, you like Mark Cuban, you like Jason Terry, you like Jason Kidd, you're from the area, etc.... But not just in spite of a team that is doing their best to win a championship. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh coming together isn't taking the easy way out to win a championship, as there is no easy way to a championship.

I say, unless you're a true and true Mavericks fan, or a diehard Heat supporter, let's just sit back and relax and enjoy this series. I know people still find it trendy to rag on the NBA, but we've had two pretty quality games played so far, and this is the highest quality of basketball in the world. Let's just enjoy the hell out of this thing, and hope it goes seven.

At which point, we will go all out rooting for the Miami Heat.

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