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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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of

Last year around this time, the Packers were in the middle of a playoff run when ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio came across a video of Aaron Rodgers not signing an autograph for a fan. Florio then went full out character assassin on the matter, and while he eventually took back a lot of what he said about Aaron Rodgers "needing to learn where his money comes from", the backlash to Florio was still strong. I swore off reading PFT ever again at the time, but just like Florio I've come back on my claims and once again regularly read the site. I think a lot of people are always going to despise Florio not for who he is but what he is - a normal dude that became a star by blogging about football. It's a dream that all of us have had, but only he was lucky enough to get a meeting with the devil to exchange him his soul.

Nevertheless, at the time the article Florio wrote came out I was so outraged that I created a site, and the intention was to slam Florio once or twice a week until I got his attention. That never happened and I only wrote on the site twice, but I bring it up again because the domain registration is set to expire next month and I am not spending the $10 again to keep the name. So, I will post the article that I wrote as "ProFootballTrash" here on The Bucky Channel, as (despite popular opinion) I am going to re-up on the domain fee to keep TBC alive. Enjoy this article from January 17th, 2011...

With the Green Bay Packers going into Chicago this week as favorites in the NFC Championship Game, Packers fans are feeling pretty good about their first trip to the Super Bowl since 1966 (or maybe they've been there since, I'm not sure, I'm not that big into fact checking). Packers fans are worried however, because of the terrible news that came out regarding Aaron Rodgers this week. The rumor that Aaron Rodgers hates cancer patients has been around since he first entered the NFL. Hell, it's the reason San Francisco didn't draft him. But this notion that he hated cancer has never been confirmed. Finally though, WBAY-TV out of Green Bay caught Rodgers - ON TAPE!!! - walking past someone wearing all pink and refusing to stop to say hello, refusing to sign her hat, declining to take her out to see the new Vince Vaughn movie, and most regrettably of all, refusing to cure her cancer. Rodgers has been busted for the cancer patient hater that he is.

Since this horrible display, reports from all over Green Bay have Rodgers ignoring people with cancer. "I went to the grocery store the other day, and Rodgers neglected to say hi to me," confesses Bob Hermandale of Ashwaubenon. "I was at one end of the aisle, wearing a pink button in support of cancer, as I am a lung cancer survivor from a few years back. Rodgers was at the end of the aisle, and he refused to come and approach me. Once Jan's (Cavanaugh) story came out, I knew I wasn't alone."

Alone Bob wasn't.

Take the story of Kenechi Udeze, former first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings who retired from the Vikings in 2009 because of the aftereffects of his treatment for ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). "Even though I'm retired from the NFL, I still consider myself a Viking," Udeze may or may not have ever said in his life. "I met Rodgers a few times when the Vikings would play the Packers, and once he found out I had cancer, he never talked to me again. Then this year, he went out and beat my old teammates and friends not once, but twice! He knew I was rooting for Minnesota, and since I had cancer, he should have done anything in his power to make me happy."

Now, I know that I consider myself a journalist, but instead of just reporting on the facts I'm also going to inject some opinion into my story. Look, nobody likes cancer. It's terrible. It's probably the worst thing in the world. It tears families apart, and good people die way too young from it. That we all know. But that fact that a non-cancer victim is so blatantly ignoring a cancer victim that just wants to get her hat signed is the worst thing in the world, dare I say, even worse than cancer!

I also know that Rodgers has done some good in the community, and the mere fact that I mention this might contradict things I've previously said, but that's in the past. You want accolades for helping donate your time and money to people with cancer, especially children. What do you want to me say, "You want a cookie or something?"

Bottom line here? I saw how popular Aaron Rodgers became after his win against the Falcons, and I am deciding to tear him down a peg. That's what we do here in America. We get successful in life by tearing down others. Once people hate Rodgers again, then I will defend him. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Scrooge McDuck style vault in my backyard full of gold coins I need to swim in, and further distance myself from reality.

And thus the experiment comes to an end.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Greg Stiemsma Leads NBA in Blocks Per Game

Greg Stiemsma leads the NBA in blocks per game, checking in with 6 block per game.

No you did not read this incorrectly. And no, I did not write this incorrectly. I did not mean the NBDL or the pre-season or anything like that. I'm not talking about blocks per minute, but blocks per game, and actual NBA stat. First off, how astonished are you that Greg Stiemsma is in the NBA? Second, that he actually plays and makes contributions to the Boston Celtics? Ok, the sample size is pretty small. Stiemsma has only played in one game so far this season, but 20 minutes played and 6 blocks is pretty nice - 1 block every 3 1/3 minutes! There's really nothing I can do but shake my head and say Congratulations Greg and share this with the world.

I also just discovered that the Twin Towers were reunited this fall. Yes, Greg Stiemsma and Brian Butch were again teammates. This time it was for Team USA! You cannot make this stuff up. Stiemsma and Butch teamed up for the US in the Pan-Am Games. The team was only comprised of NBDLers, but still this is pretty cool, pretty cool or a sign that Armageddon is indeed coming in 2012. Either way, Go Badgers!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Come On Finley

Editor's Note: This article was intended to be published on December 16th, 2011. But since I am such a terrible waste of space I wasn't able to post it until December 31st. Also, I do plan on writing another column on here soon. How about an NFL playoff preview? Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it too. - Winks

Jermichael Finley isn't happy about all the Tebow talk. Who gives a crap Finley? This couldn't be any better for the Packers right now. Don't get me wrong the Packers are getting plenty of people talking about them, but still the focus seems to be Tim Tebow. I think 20% of the reason I cheer for Tebow is because it will just be another thing Sportscenter can drive into the ground.

Being out of work from an injury for the past few weeks it has just been funny watching Dan Patrick, Sportscenter, NFL Network, and ESPN First Take. As far as First Take goes I think I have watched about 20 minutes total of it, but Tebow has been the reason everytime I watch it. Skip Bayless is the worst person ever, but he has loved Tebow since day one so he is going to ride this out till the bitter end. What is wrong with the Packers just winning every week, and they are not getting as much media as Tebow. The media is what always seems to brings good things to an end.

Jermichael this team is doing great right now, and we don't need to be in the media for something as lame as this. Let Joe Flacco run his mouth about awful all the Tebow coverage is, because Joe Flacco is such a great QB. I don't know why I feel this way, but Finley seems to be making more noise off the field than on the field. Maybe Finley you should go have another three touchdown game, and Skip Bayless will talk about you. If that will make you shut up then go on the field and score three touchdowns, so Skip can start the Finley train.

Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks will start the 2011-12 season on December 26th, and right now seem to be one of the only teams in the NBA with a full roster. They have a few injuries that they are dealing with right now, but they are all day to day things. The Bucks will have two preseason games before they start the 66 game schedule. It is early to tell who the starting five will be, but lets take a shot at it.

If I had to guess this would be my starting five.

PG: Brandon Jennnings

SG: Stephen Jackson

SF: Carlos Delfino

PF: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

C: Andrew Bogut

It looks a little small, but that seems to be the new thing in the NBA. I guess you can switch Jackson and Delfino, but really they play either position. I just think with spending the money that they did on Mbah Moute he has to start. Drew Gooden is getting older and I think his minutes should be cut. Also he is the only option to really back up Bogut at center if he gets in foul trouble. The rest of the bench should pan out this way, as long as my starting five are right.

PG: Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston

SG: Tobias Harris, Darington Hobson

SF: Mike Dunleavy, Ersan Ilyasova

PF: Larry Sanders, Jon Brockman, Jon Leuer

C: Drew Gooden

I'm not really sure how Harris and Hobson will fit in, because they haven't played NBA ball yet. Everywhere else it seems like we have the depth again, but I hope the injury bug leaves this team alone this year. I just want to see what this team can do if they don't have guys hurt every other game. It would be nice to see the same starting five go out on the court every game, instead of waiting till game time to hear the new starting five.

Jennings needs to become more of a point guard on this team. I think with Jackson and Bogut they should be able to do most of the scoring. Also having a guy like Dunleavy come off the bench for like 12 points a game will be new for this team. Mbah a Moute is the defender that can guard almost anyone on the court, so he is the super star stopper. Delfino is the three point specialist for the starting five, and Dunleavy can shoot the tray ball off the bench.

Brockman is a great rebounder and hustle guy off the bench. Larry Sanders is also a defensive guy off the bench, but he needs to work on staying out of foul trouble. It will be interesting to see how he does in his second year. As far as Leuer, Ilyasova, and both back up point guards I really don't know how they will fit in. I hope Ersan gets some minutes, but he just seems to struggle on the defensive side of things.

The Bulls should have no problem winning the central division, but the Bucks should be able to pass the Pacers for second place this year. I think Bucks should make the playoffs this year after just barley missing last season. My guess is going to be the 6th seed this season. You have to put the Heat, Celtics, Bulls, Magic (If Howard stays), Knicks all in the playoffs, but after these five it is wide open. I think the Bucks could be the next best team of the wide open Eastern Conference. If the injury bug bites then they may be able to get the golf clubs out early again.

I guess I didn't realize it till now, but I kind of miss the Bucks being on TV. Right now the Packers are taking up my Sunday's, but the Bucks never play on Sunday's that much anyway. Don't get me wrong the Packers are still my number one team, but it will be nice to see the Bucks play a few nights a week. It will be even better if the Bucks are good. I guess we will have to wait till December 26th to see what kind of team we have.

Rodgers Sticks up for Braun

Okay everyone, Aaron Rodger spoke his mind. GET OVER IT. I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but people are questioning whether Rodgers really should have defended Braun or not. Well when he says he is one of his best friends I don't see why he wouldn't. Athletes are human and they should be able to live life like everyone else. If a friend of mine was in a bad spot I'm going to stick up for him until I know the truth.

I'm not saying Braun hasn't done anything right or wrong. The issue of him possibly taking a PED is still under investigation, and until this is figured out Ryan needs to be looked at like a human. Don't start talking about taking away his MVP award before he is accused 100%. Everyone is human and we all make choices in life. If Braun made a wrong choice it will affect him, but its a choice he made.

Also I can't believe people are saying if Ryan Braun was an African-American people would be more upset with him. If the is right and Braun gets 50 games he will have this hanging over his head the rest of is career. I don't think his numbers changed that much this past year, and I really think what he took wasn't going to make him some huge roided up athlete. Not to pick on Barry Bonds but take a look at a picture of his from when he played with the Pirates to one of his playing with the Giants, and he is a different person. He looks like a teenager for the Pirates and Hulk Hogan for the Giants.

If Braun is found guilty he should serve his 50 games, come back and play good baseball. He will have already used one of his strikes, so you know he won't risk doing anything else. As far as the MVP that is up to him. If he wants to give it up he can, but I don't think it is something you can just take away. Either way this news is just getting old, and I really wish people would move on from it. How about we let this play out, and it will be dealt with the way it should be. Until the final verdict is said lets not go overboard about what might happen. Rodgers was just saying his friend seems to be a hard worker, and this doesn't seem to be something he would do. Rodgers did what every person is the world does everyday, and that is sticking up for a friend. Lets move on to a different topic media.

Like if Ryan Braun has herpes or not.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

James Smizek: The Comeback

I kind of feel bad being the only guy that ever shows up in the "Bucky Channel Writers" Tweet box on the right of the page, yet also being the guy who probably contributes the least.  I don't mean to be the guy who just takes, but dog eat dog world, right?  No, not really.  So I figure a monthly submission here and there will keep the masses happy.  The masses, like they're all after me for not posting.

Since it's been a while, I haven't been able to throw popular opinion on anything.  I mean, it's been a real long time.  Here is a list of things that have happened since my last post (in no specific order):

  • The Brewers made the playoffs!  Then lost to the loathed Cardinals.
  • Those Cardinals went on to win the World Series and got rewarded by Pujols saying hey St. Louis blow me.
  • The NBA went away... Then came back.
  • NASA found possible water on Mars.
  • Hurricane Irene fucked some shit up.
  • People started "Occupying" places.
This list could go on forever.  I mean, religion, politics, natural disasters, Ryan Braun's possible Herpes?  I mean, have we discussed that?  This is far more important than anything else right now, how is Braun and Rodgers gonna get all the bitches if Braun has a cloud of Herpes hanging over his head?  No more wing-man for Aaron.

But on a serious note, can that please be true?  If you didn't know, google "Ryan Braun Herpes" or if you're lazy, I did it for you.  Apparently his high testosterone level may have in fact been due to his herpes treatment, which involves, yes, testosterone hikes.  Seems like another "I swear, I didn't take PED's" but for the first time ever, could it actually be true?  Trenni sure thinks so.  I'm not one to buy into rumors, alleged allegations, ect ect.  So I will leave my thoughts at that.

Staying on Brewers subject, I am actually a fan of the Aramis Rameriz signing.  Obviously losing Prince is a big deal, but if ARam can fill about 3/4th of his production we will be absolutely fine.  Plus, who do you want on the corner, ARam, or McGehee?  That question was answered quickly as they then shipped McGehee out to where any baseball player goes to die, Pittsburgh.  Man I am sure going to miss little Mack throwing out first pitches... And seeing Casey's wife every now and again, she was easy on the eyes. 

Switching gears to football, how about them Packers?  No really, how are they doing?  I haven't been paying attention.. Are we any good?   I really don't even want to talk about this subject, I mean, what if we lost next week, would I be the proverbial jinx?  I don't want to be that guy... No one wants to be that guy.  So lets just leave it as is, and we will come back to this subject in a bit.  The only thought I can leave you with is:  Please god Jordy Nelson have a beast week, my Fantasy Football playoff team would really really thank you.

Am I the only person excited for the NBA to be back?  It's not the biggest spectacle in the world, but I don't know how many more reruns of 30 Rock, South Park, Storage Wars, and/or any show on the History channel I can take.  Unless we're talking American Pickers of course, that show is bad ass.

Every year I say this, but on paper, the Bucks don't have a bad team.  A starting five of:  Bogut, Jennings, Jackson, Gooden, Mbah-Moute isn't the worst thing in the world, especially when your bench still consists of Delfino... Well, actually, I just realized our bench kind of sucks, disregard!  But really, if Sanders can develop into a mediocre player and Tobias Harris is the prospect he is meant to be at the mean age of 19, maybe we still have a shot at that six seed.. Maybe.

Since I missed so much time, I feel I could type about things that the other writers here at TBC have definitely already covered forever, so I will not drowned you down with duplicate content.  But I will leave you all with a few thoughts that I really wish I had time to indulge into deeper.

  • Why haven't people put Hazelnut creamer in Hot Chocolate since it's been invented?  If you've never done this before, you are welcome.
  • Is Tim Tebow really the second coming?
  • I am exactly $1 ahead on sports betting this year.
  • If you use the right keyboard app, The word "Golic" (as in Mike Golic) will autofinish to "Holocaust"
  • Skip Bayless really is the worst best thing to ever happen to ESPN.
  • Lee Corso is so much more of a badass after his stroke than before it.
And Winks, I still have your resume' tape, I found it on a whim yesterday, let's just say I've forgotten for the last year and a half, but it is now once again on my list of "things to do" right underneath Sara Jean Underwood and memorize every line to every episode of Community ever.  (#SaveCommunity)

I shall now go back to tweeting and I now no longer feel bad about clogging up the sites Twitter box.  Oh, and here is me trending with the trends and Tebowing like a boss, it's fantasy football karma, nothing more.  Until next time.

Questions, Comments, Concerns:  Twitter

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brewers Have Manic Monday

This in addition to all the Ryan Braun hoopla, of course...

Milwaukee kicked off the action on Monday by first signing Aramis Ramirez to a three year deal. This was a great signing by the Brewers, because other than Prince Fielder, he was the best power hitter left as a free agent. Also this will fill a hole at either first base or third base for the Crew, and it gives you a clean up hitter. Not knowing what will happen with Braun yet it is nice to have a a back up plan. The deal looks to be somewhere in the 34-37 million dollar range, so it comes to about 12 million a year for Ramirez. I just hope he can continue to put up numbers like he has through age 36.
After filling a hole at third or first base the Brewers were able to move Casey McGehee, as he was traded to the Pirates for reliever Jose Veras. Veras was the set up man for the Pirates last season, and with the Brewers losing both Hawkins and Saito this was a good move for the crew. He will not be the set up man if the Crew doesn't trade Rodriguez which could still happen. Either way Veras pitched 71 innings last year with 79 strikeouts, so he should be a good play for the Crew.
Last but not least the Brewers signed George Kottaras to a one year deal. He was a solid back up catcher for the Crew behind Lucroy. I like the signing because he knows the pitching staff, and you know what your going to get from him. For his price tag,  which should be around the 500,000 range, this is a solid re-sign by the Brewers. He can also fill in at first base if the Brewers test the water with a few guys, and it doesn't work out. Either way we are getting a solid player for a cheap price so you just have to agree with this move.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Packers Roll Raiders, Move To 13-0

On the Packers second play on offense Ryan Grant broke off a 47 yard touchdown run. This team isn't used to getting rushing touchdowns, so you had to figure it was going to be a good game. Then on the Raiders next  possession they had a big screen passed called back because of holding, got a false start on the next play, and then punted to the Packers. The Packers went 80 yards on 10 plays to make it 14-0, and it was in cruise control from here on out. Rodgers hit Ryan Taylor for a 4 yard touchdown, and both guys that scored the first two touchdowns were Packers that haven't scored yet this season. Erik Walden would later score and add his name to the list of new Packers to score their first touchdown of the year. The Pack would go to 13-0 as they beat the Raiders 46-16.
The defense also came out to play as they picked off Palmer four times, and also scored on the aforementioned fumble recovery. After last week and the giving up of all those big plays to the Giants, it was nice to see the defense limit those opportunities. Charles Woodson had a nice pick after getting his concussion last week. Also fill in linebackers D.J. Smith and Rob Francois had INT's. They still only had one sack, as Frank Zombo got that when the game was basically over. It would be nice to see them get a little more pressure on the QB. Clay almost got a sack early, but caused Palmer to rush the throw which was picked off by D.J. Smith.
On the injury front the Packers might have lost a key player for some time. Greg Jennings was carted off the field with an apparent knee injury. No word yet on what is wrong with him, but we just hope he will be able to play come the first playoff game. At this point the Packers essentially have home field for the playoffs. They beat the Saints, and the 49ers would have to win out with the Packers not winning one more game. Don't see that happenings. Even without Jennings the Packers are still a team that can win games. It would just be nice to have him for the big play threat, and the over the middle hands he has. I guess only time will tell how long he will be out.
Rodgers was pulled in the third quarter, so I started to pay more attention to Tebow and the Broncos (as did the entire Packers press box). I didn't watch Flynn play much, and it looks like he only threw a few times. He got sacked for a safety as the Raiders pinned the Packers at the 1 yard line on a punt. Also I saw him throw one deep ball that he lead the receiver out of bounds. When you get put into the game with a huge lead it is hard to maybe yourself look good. The goal is really to run the clock out, so you don't get much of a chance to throw it around the yard.
The talk of the undefeated season is now heating up, and I feel they should go for it. I get what people are saying about injuries, but I just don't get why you would risk taking away from this high the Packers are on. They have the feeling right now that they can win any game at any stadium. All it takes in one loss to mess up what they have worked on so hard this season. Injuries can happen at anytime, but you have to play the game. I don't think they should play every minute of every game if they get a lead, but it just makes them a better team if they are constantly trying to win every game.
Next up for the Packers are the Kansas City Chiefs on the road. This will be the last road game of the year, and this should be a win for the Packers. The Chiefs fired Todd Haley Monday after the Chiefs lost to the Jets 37-10 Sunday. It has been tough this year for the Chiefs after they lost Jamaal Charles, Matt Cassel, and Eric Berry to injuries. I just think Todd Haley is kind of a strange person and would never really coach this team to where they want to be. If the Packers can go in get a win Sunday they would clinch home field for the playoffs. This will be a noon start for the Packers, and we hope to have more information on Greg Jennings soon.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Really, David Stern?

After the NBA lockout David Stern wanted to make teams fair, and not stack up huge market teams. But on Thursday night a trade went down involving the Hornets, Lakers, and Rockets. This is how the trade was going to breakdown:

Hornets "would" have got - 

Lamar Odom
Luis Scola
Kevin Martin
Goran Gragic
2012 first round pick from the originally from New York

Rockets "would" have got -

Pau Gasol

Lakers "would" have got -

Chris Paul

Okay I'm not going to say that this wouldn't help the Lakers a lot, but this would also make the Hornets an actual NBA team instead of a squad with one superstar and a ton of roster holes. Let's review this trade. First off you are taking a post player and rebounder like Gasol off the Lakers. Also you are taking one of the best sixth men in the league Lamar Odom off the Lakers. The only player your adding is a guy that can put up 18 points a game, and 10 assists a game. The Hornets on the other hand are getting three solid players that could make them a decent team.

Second, word is going around that the Cavs owner is the first guy to say something in this case. Well last time I checked these are three Western Conference teams. So why would any of the Eastern Conference teams have a say in this?

Third, the Hornets are owned by the NBA right now. The only way someone would want to buy that team is if they have players there that want to play. I can't imagine that since Chris Paul was singled out he is going to play with much will. David West is out the door for the Hornets, and they are rebuilding. The only way you can rebuild is bringing in new players, and getting draft picks. That's what this trade would have done, but now it won't. Instead now you have a team that will lose Chris Paul at the end of the season, and get nothing for him. I don't know who in their right mind would buy this team now, so good luck with all that Stern.

And how do any of the players who were involved with this trade just go back to their team and act like nothing happened. Being traded is like being told your fired, but then getting a call Monday telling you to come back to work. How many people would go back to work, and work their ass off? It will be interesting to see if these players involved have a good year or not. I just don't think their hearts will be in it as much as they would have if this trade would have went down. We're seeing that now with Odom not wanting to go back to the Lakers and has since been traded to the Mavs.

Now don't get me wrong the Lakers would have been a heavy favorite to win the title, and I still think they are. I just feel it might have helped some other teams start the rebuilding process to give them a fighting chance also. Instead now you just have the Lakers still a championship team, and now the Hornets and Rockets will be playing for a Lottery pick. Also this means that the NBA will determine if trades can be done or not I guess. Just doesn't seem right for a league that is already cutting its season short.

Overall I can see what the NBA is doing, but it needs to realize that this trade was sending good players to other teams. I'm a huge CP3 fan and I have never really liked the Lakers, so I was worried how I would handle this trade. After I heard it was blocked by the NBA I was just in shock, and lost a lot of respect for  David Stern. If you want to make your team better you have to trade with the better teams. If it takes one guy to get four back well that's what you have to do to win. The teams are going to appeal the trade veto, but I just don't see this overturning, and now we know that it won't. The Lakers have pulled out of Paul talks completely. Overall I hope from now on these trades wont be released, before they are shut down.

Elsewhere, on Friday the NBA signing period began and the Bucks signed Mike Dunleavy to a two year deal. I know the Bucks have a lot of SG/SF, but Dunleavy is a sharp shooter. This team was awful on offense last year, so maybe he can be the spark off the bench they need.

Milwaukee also matched the tender for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, so he will remain a Buck on a 4 year deal worth 19 million. This a good move by the Bucks after getting Dunleavy to help the offense you need to keep your defensive players around. I think the Bucks have a team to make things interesting, but we will have to see if they play like they are actually capable of.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Badger End Two Game Slide

Wisconsin is coming off of two losses, but were able to take some frustration out on UW-Green Bay Wednesday night. The Badgers are coming off a tough loss to North Carolina, and a surprise home defeat from Marquette. As well as the Badgers played against UNC it was a little odd to see them get beat by Marquette at home. The Badgers faced UWGB looking to get some pieces of the puzzle back together, and that is what they did. Wisconsin took down UWGB Wednesday night 70-42.

This season the Badgers seem to be living and dying by the three, but the key for them still is . Wisconsin only allowed one person on Green Bay to score in double figures. Jordan Taylor on the other hand had a rough night shooting, but dished out 10 assists. Taylor also finished with 15 points, but was 1-4 from downtown. Green Bay was lead by Alec Brown with 10 points.

The big men for Wisconsin had good nights. Ryan Evans had 14 points, and 6 rebounds. Jared Berggren finished with 13 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Those are huge stat lines for the Wisconsin front court. I think for Wisconsin to be a threat this year they need to have a post up game. If they are making three pointers they will win games, but if they are off Wisconsin seems to have no second option. They need to drive to the hoop so they can get to the line more. It is still early in the season, so nothing to panic about right now. At the end of the year this will be a team that will win games. Next up is UNLV Saturday at home, but this will be no walk in the park. UNLV beat UNC earlier this year, so this will be a big game for the Badgers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marquette Stays Undefeated

Washington pushed Marquette to the limit, but in the end Jae Crowder (pictured above) kept Marquette perfect on the season. Everyone has heard the Jimmy V speech, and every time I hear it I get goose bumps. So it was fitting that one of the Jimmy V classic games came right down to the wire.  Both teams made big shot after big shot until Crowder hit a 3 with 6.3 seconds to go. Washington would go on to miss a 3 badly at the buzzer for a Marquette 79-77 win. I was trying to enjoy watching Home Alone 2 on ABC Family Tuesday night, but this thrilling game was just too hard to look away from.

Still, the Golden Eagles came out looking rusty after an impressive showing against the Badgers Saturday. Four minutes into the game Tuesday night Washington was out to an early 13-4 lead. After a TV timeout Marquette started getting things together, but never got up by a large amount. Marquette took its first lead of the game 27-26 with six minutes to go in the first half. Marquette's largest lead was 5 points, and lead by 4 at halftime.

Darius Johnson-Odom lead the way with 23 points. I talked about Crowder making the game winning shot, and he finished with 18 points. The thing about Crowder is he only had 2 points in the first half. So good to see he stayed confident and had a huge second half. Another player that has been playing well for the Golden Eagles is Todd Mayo. Mayo, who is the younger brother of O.J. Mayo, finished the game with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Marquette moves to 8-0 on the season, and are just out of the top ten, ranked number 11 in the nation. Next up for Marquette is UW-Green Bay  on Saturday. Marquette should be able to stay undefeated when UWGB comes to Milwaukee. Once Big East play starts I think we will really get a feel for how good Marquette is going to be. As it stands right now this could be a very dangerous team this year.

Checking in on the Winter Meetings

Jose Reyes was on the list of players the Brewers were looking at. They will have to start looking a different way. Reyes signed with the Marlins for 6 years, $106 million. I guess I was still a little shocked that everyone felt like he was the missing the piece here in Milwaukee. I guess making him the lead off hitter, and moving Braun to the four hole would be best. But either way this will not be happening, so lets move on to the next potential piece of the puzzle.

One piece that will be missing is Jerry Hairston Jr after he signed with the Dodgers. For what Hairston did for us at the end of last season this is a huge loss for the Crew. Without him the Brewers will be in need of a utility player. I think Melvin might be a little caught off guard by this move. The only thing I can think of as to why Hairston really wanted to leave is that Los Angeles is a tad more attractive climate-wise than Milwaukee.. He will be missed, but there is still a lot of talent out there for Melvin to sign.

There are whispers about the Brewers talking to Jimmy Rollins, but I would rather see them go after Rafeal Furcal. If they have no intention of bring Yuni B back I would think Furcal would be the next best fit. If you lose a guy like Hairston Jr you can't take risks with people that could get hurt. Rollins seems like more of a risk than Furcal.

Personally, I think the Brewers should offer Mark DeRosa a contract. He can fill in many positions, and could fill the hole that Hairston left. Melvin seems to always find good utility guys, so I have faith in him. Also DeRosa could fill the void left when Kotsay signed with the Padres. Either way the Brewers have a lot of work to do ahead of them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bucks 66 Game Schedule

The Milwaukee Bucks will have only one back to back to back game this year. They have four games on NBA TV and they have one game on ESPN. They finish the season with 10 of the last 15 games at home. Check out the schedule here, and check back later on a preview of the season.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Packers Stay Undefeated, Barely

The picture above doesn't look like a team that is celebrating after improving to 12-0 and hours away from clinching the NFC North. They look like a team that needed a huge win, but nevertheless that is what they got on Sunday. At this point in time I don't know what else the Packers can do to win a game. They've won every which way possible. In this one, with the game tied at 35 with 58 seconds to go the Packers started at their own 20. From there Rodgers did what he does best, and that was completing passes to four different people to set up the game winning field goal. The Packers won the game 38-35.

On the first pass of the drive Rodgers threw a bullet to Finley, and the defender took a chance but got burned. Finley ran for 14 yards after the catch for a 24 yard play. The next play was the key play. Rodgers hit Nelson with the perfect fade thrown for 27 yards. The Packers then tried to catch the Giants off guard with a screen to Saine, but lost a yard. Then "Da Greg Jennings" was found on the left side of the field for 18 yards. The three long passes were just darts thrown by Rodgers, and he again proved he is playing like no one else has ever played. Being able to run, and throw on the run is what is putting Rodgers above the rest.

12-0 is a perfect record, but this team is far from perfect. Things that really stood out Sunday were giving up the big plays on defense, and the dropped balls on the offense. The third play of the game went for 67 yards to former Badger Travis Beckum. Jacobs and Bradshaw had some big runs at times. Also Nicks and Cruz seemed to always be wide open. I understand when you lose Woodson and when you start backup  linebackers, things will be difficult. And on offense the dropping of passes is going to happen, but at the rate the Packers were doing it yesterday it almost cost them the game. Finley has had a case of the drops all season, but to many other people dropped balls.

I'm not going to write a huge negative post, because I just like where this team is at right now. You could tell by the reaction of this team after that win yesterday they know they can be better. The Packers were never really in control, but this game never looked for a minute like they would have got beat. I almost felt better when the Giants made the two point then I would have if they would have missed it. I just feel if we do get beat this year it will be because of a bad bounce by the ball. I didn't want to see an onside kick at all. I trusted Rodgers more than I trusted our hands team. There is no doubt that this is a skilled team, and none of these wins have been by luck.

Sitting at 12-0 the Packers will still talk about the one game at a time thing, but being this deep into something like this You know they are going to work their butts off to win every game this year. As far as the rest of the NFL goes we are still hearing about Tebow, the Cowboys, and the 0-12 Colts. I guess as far as a news stance this is the best way it could be for the Packers right now. Next up are the Raiders as they come to Green Bay. I guess this game will be a matter of what Raider team shows up. The one that runs all over teams, and plays defense? Or the Raiders team we saw Sunday get owned by the Dolphins? Sunday at 3:15 the Packers can say they will look to be 1-0 on the day, but as a fan we are all keeping our eye on 13-0.

Listen to Winks and Brian Carriveau Talk Pack on K107.1/Cheesehead TV.

Badgers Win The Big Ten

It started just like the first time the two teams met, but this time the ending was different. Wisconsin got out to an early lead, but then Michigan State starting playing like the better team. In the end this time though the Badgers were the ones who could smell the roses. Montee Ball played this game like there was no way he would let Michigan State walk out a champion. He finished the game with 4 touchdowns, and also scored the game winning score with 4:45 left in the game.

It looked real easy when the Badgers scored 21 points in the first quarter. The only problem was the Spartans made it look even easier scoring 22 points in the second quarter. I'm not sure why Michigan State decided to go for a two point conversion, but I have a feeling that might have come up in the halftime speech.

Going into half I really didn't feel like the Badgers had it in them. It seemed like they had been out played, and they were not going to recover from the 22 straight points. Yet in the third quarter the Badgers were the first to get on the score board. Wilson, who didn't play great but played well, hit Abberderis on a 42 yard touchdown. Michigan State would respond to make it an eight point game after three quarters.

The Badgers were going to need an awesome fourth quarter. Early in the quarter the Badgers cut the State lead to two points on a Ball touchdown. After that touchdown I was at a Christmas party for work, and I blew my knee out on the dance floor. I had to go to the ER, and would see the trophy presentation in room 15 at Fond du Lac's St. Agnes Hospital. So I had no clue the Badgers won till I got back to my room from X-rays to see the picture I found above on my crappy tube TV in my ER room. This might be a game I never forget for two reasons. The first one being the Badgers won the first ever Big Ten Title game. The second reason is I wrecked my knee doing a round house kick at my Christmas work party.

Next up should be the Rose Bowl, but according to the announcers Saturday night the Badgers won the Big 12 so who knows. The Badgers will play the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl, and this will be no walk in the park. Both teams have great offensive teams, but lack on the defensive side of the ball. I guess it will come down to which defense can step it up. I really think this is going to be one of the better bowl games, because of the high power offensive match up. The only negative I have with this game is it will be played on a Monday at like 4:30 in the afternoon. I know a lot of people have off of work that day, but I don't so I find this really lame. College Football needs to figure out this crap, and make these post season games more accessible. For now it's so long Badger football, we will see you in a month on January 2nd out in Pasadena.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lets Get It Started

The NBA will be coming out with the schedule on Tuesday for the shorten NBA season. There will be five games on Christmas day, but the Bucks won't start till Dec. 26th or 27th. With the Packers winning all the time I really haven't missed the NBA at all, but hearing some trade rumors, free agents picks, and people staying overseas to play as started to peak my interest. But I think what really got me excited was when I received an email about fantasy basketball. That's when I knew that it will soon be time to Get It Started, as they say.

Either way, on Tuesday we will learn when/who the Bucks will be playing in their 66 games this year. How many times they will play back to back to back games this season? Every time will have the three straight nights of games, and some teams may have to do it up to three times on the season. I have to say I'm glad the NBA is back, and lets hope some of these trades go down to make this stuff more interesting.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

North Carolina Bests Badgers

North Carolina defeated Wisconsin 60-57 last night delivering the Badgers their first loss of the season. There are far more positives than negatives to take from this game, though.

First and foremost, Wisconsin hung tough on the home floor of one of the best teams in the nation, a team many are (or were before this past weekend) calling the best team in the nation. North Carolina is very good, and their ridiculous amount of athleticism extremely contrasts Wisconsin's style of play.

The non-conference season in college basketball is much different than the non-conference season in college football. In basketball, it's about learning about your team and preparing your team for the conference season. This is especially true for Wisconsin, a team with three new starters. You want tough games that test your team, and in b-ball, a few losses really do not hurt you in the long run.

And it wasn't just that Wisconsin hung in with UNC, it is that they did on an off night. 36% from the field, 50% from the free throw line (only 6 free throws attempted, all by Taylor), and 28.6% from the 3-point line. Wisconsin did not run their offensive very well, but still controlled the tempo. That kept them in the game despite their poor shooting.

A few other positives - Jared Berggren seems to be molding into a very good player. He stepped up inside and outside on a night when Breueswitz was scoreless due in large part to foul trouble. He showed he is not just a big white guy that can shoot 3's. Ryan Evans was strong on defense and more importantly, on the glass. Ben Brust is an exciting young prospect, but still a work in progress as exhibited by a few very bad shots.

Things weren't all roses though. I already mentioned the lack of free throws. That's a byproduct of the larger problem, over-reliance on the 3-pointer. We see this pretty much any time that Wisconsin struggles. The swing offense is not providing any good looks, so we revert to the 3ball. And in pretty much every close game we have 4-8 minutes spans where there are just no good shots. It ends up going to Jordan Taylor in the last 10 seconds of the shot clock and comes down to him either forcing a shot on the drive or hoisting a three as the shot clock winds down.

This then points to the second problem. It looks like their won't be a true second scorer, which is fine. Someone different will step up every night. The problem is we need a second ball-handler, someone else that can pose a threat to take the ball to the hoop or at least get into the lane and dish it off to the open guys. If there is no penetration, our outside shooting is at a great detriment.

Now these aren't new problems for Wisconsin. They have always been there under Bo Ryan. Our best teams had guys who could make their own shot when the system wasn't working and the shot clock was running down - Devin Harris, Alando Tucker, and now Jordan Taylor. We need that second ball handler, though so entire load does not rest on Taylor.

All and all, this game bodes well for Wisconsin. We have a good team, a growing team, but not very deep. We have the correct pieces in place I believe to address some of the problems above. As I mentioned in the preview, I think a lot of success will be determined by if Gasser or Brust can step up.

And it's great to measure success for Wisconsin Basketball in terms of being in the Top 10. That is the benchmark, what we should aim for. This team might not be a top 10 team yet, but I do see them growing into one as the season moves forward.

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