Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Mark DeRosa has been traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitchers Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Gaub. DeRosa, 33, might slide into Cleveland's opening at third base.
With the Cubs close to finalizing another trade -- right-hander Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino -- the deals are seen as a precursor to the Cubs negotiating a deal with free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley.
The Cubs also signed Aaron Miles to a 2-year deal.
Reaction - WHAT ARE THEY DOING? I know that DeRosa isn't the best fielder around, but he's competent and he gives them a solid bat while playing everwhere in the field. Miles plays everywhere, but is, at best, a slap hitter with zero power. They are also trading away a solid #4-5 starter in Marquis for a crappy reliever in Vizcaino? Guys like Vizcaino can be found on the waiver wire. Finally, there's no way that signing Milton Bradley can be a good thing. It could get nuclear in that clubhouse with him and Zambrano. Thanks Jim Hendery, thank you very much.
I'm very interested to see how many people will be there since it's January 1st.
Thoughts from the peanut gallery?
(1) "It’s not my fucking fault that when a new stadium was finally approved, those fucking idiots didn’t want to put a fucking roof on it (at least no one ever suggested using the old Baggie out in right field as the roof)." (Note the excellent and repeated use of 'fucking' as an adjective. Rubie heartily fucking approves of this.)
(2) "It’s not my fault Minnesotans don’t know how to enjoy a baseball game like god almighty D3some does." (Say this about Sly: he's a man a few words, but when he hits, dude hits HARD.)
(3) "It's not my fault Favre wanted to play in Minnesota." (I included this one only because DJ had "Favre" spelled as "Farve" in his original post. But he fixed it. This level of devotion to craft is sorely lacking on this blog.)
(4) "The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is not my fault." (A very, very strong contender.)
(5) "It’s not my fault Paul’s plane crashed." (As someone who lived in Minneapolis for three years, and saw firsthand the bizarre worship of the late Paul Wellstone -- you can't drive a city block without seeing eight "WELLSTONE!" bumper stickers -- this one has special meaning for me.)
Your nominees. Discuss.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Now, to my main point, it’s not my goddamn fault. It’s not my fucking fault Carl Pohlad is too fucking cheap and that he offered the Twins up for contraction. It’s not my goddamn fault the taxpayers in Minnesota didn’t want to give a few extra cents to pay for a new stadium sooner. It’s not my fucking fault that when a new stadium was finally approved, those fucking idiots didn’t want to put a fucking roof on it (at least no one ever suggested using the old Baggie out in right field as the roof). It’s not my fault Minnesotans don’t know how to enjoy a baseball game like god almighty D3some does. It’s not my fault the Vikings have not sold out their playoff game yet. It’s not my fault they love to blow that horn after every play. It's not my fault Favre wanted to play in Minnesota. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is not my fault. It’s not my fault Norm Green fucking stole the team in 93. It’s not my fault that once we did get professional hockey back the state asked all of the 3rd graders who would be going to all of the games what to name the team.
It’s not my fault they elected a former pro wrestler as governor (two month too young to vote in that election) and are about to elect a comedian to the Senate. It’s not my fault Paul’s plane crashed. It’s not my fault that there are more than 10,000 lakes in the state and the state motto is “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. It’s not my fault that the sky is blue. I can go on and on with this.
So with all that said, I hope you all get impacted bowels sitting on your high and mighty sticks here in the land of beer, cheese and sausage.
Love - Kirby
Reports say there are still 14,000 tickets available for the Vikes/Eagles PLAYOFF...yes PLAYOFF, game this weekend. Are that many people still counting ballots in the Senate race or are your fans so pathetic they can't even sell out a playoff game? Why do you even have a professional football team? I hope the Eagles destroy them.
Most Inspiring Coaching Collapse by a Man Who Strikingly Resembles the Mascot of the University for Which He Coaches, or a Clueless Frat Boy Who Continues to Find New and Exciting Ways to Embarrass His School, a.k.a. The Best Fuck-Up by Bo or Bielema award:
(1) Bo's stink-bomb against Davidson: 2008 Sweet Sixteen. ("You mean that Curry kid can shoot? Hmm. Maybe we should put somebody on him.")
(2) Bo gets outcoached by Buzz: December 6, 2008. ("That looks like a zone. Is that a zone? That looks like a zone. Are they playing zone? God, that looks like a zone. Hold on, gimme 10 minutes, and we can figure out if they're playing a zone. Then we figure out how to attack it!")
(3) Bielema's boys shit the bed against Michigan. ... a team that lost to Toledo. At home.
(4) Bielema's potty mouth vs. Michigan State. (Good time to decide to give the zebra a piece of your mind, numbnuts.)
(5) The entire 2008 Badger football season. NOW FEATURING:
- A loss to the worst Michigan team in 90 years!
- Last-minute collapses vs. Ohio State and Michigan State!
- Drubbings by Iowa and Penn State!
- A last-minute escape ... against Cal Poly. At home. In the last week of the season.
- A disembowelment (is that a word? Does it work here? WHO CARES?!?) by Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl!
- And, not to be forgotten: a preseason, Top 15 ranking!
Gentlemen, your nominees. Discuss.
The "Are We Sure We're Not in Sarajevo?" award for Worst City Visited in 2008:
Goes to ... Detroit.
As if there was any doubt.
Between the barren skyscrapers (with 800-foot Verizon banners covering one side of the building), the bizarre Irish tavern / Soul Train dance party bars, the permeating sense of despair and hopelessness, and the fact that it was a minor miracle that our crew escaped from the Motor City without a death, mugging, or rape ... pretty nice town you've got there.
First off, Harangody turns it over 75% more in losses, costing his team two possessions, that's big. But not nearly as big as Kyle McAlarney's drop-off in losses. 25% fewer points. Shoots 15 points lower on a percentage basis. In real terms, this is missing 3.5 extra shots per game. Add in his higher turnover numbers and McAlarney costs his team FIVE possessions in each loss. Yikes.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Somewhere, John L. Smith, Dusty Baker and Tommy Bowden are proud. Our only concerns with your resume are the completely baseless firing of the Quinn Snyder Hair several years ago and your students' role in releasing the photos that brought down the HMS Eustachy in 2003.
Underreaction of the Year, a.k.a. the "Stand By Your Man" award, a.k.a. the Iraqi Minister of Information and Propaganda "We Have Skewered the American Soldiers Like the Pig-Dogs They Are!" Memorial award:
Goes to the Eternal Optimist Duo of Sheets' Va Jay Jay and SB's Tony Gwynn.
During the Near Collapse of '08, these two were like Frodo and Sam at the end of Return of the King, alone on an island of hope when the whole fucking world was exploding around them. (Goddammit if that's not another Lord of the Rings reference. I might need to seek help.) Especially memorable was SB's TG's short-lived countdown of the Brewers' magic number to clinch the wild card. That lasted all of ... two days.
Also memorable was this post, and the comments following, where the Va Jay Jay bathed in his comeuppance and (rightly) skewered me for jumping ship. Good stuff.
Ice Fishing with Kirby.
I literally have not been able to stop laughing since I read this. Holy shit. That is, by far, the best moniker we've seen yet.
Good work, Sly.
(Or, if you prefer: The first OCB (I like that one, m'self)) ...
Overreactions of the Year, a.k.a. 'Simmer the Fuck Down, Rub-a-Dub':
To Rubie and Devil's Threesome, for the following posts:
- Monday, September 9, 2008: Dr. Rubie Q Is Calling It.
- Wednesday, September 10, 2008: Cue Taps.
- Monday, September 15, 2008: Your Monday Morning Smart-Assery.
Good call, fuckos!
(N.B.: I'm going to split these up because it would be a mammoth post. And feel free to post your own award winners whenever the mood strikes you. Unlike Bring It On, this is a cheer-ocracy.)
Get on it, bitches. I know you're all working today ('cept for the Va Jay Jay, of course).
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wow, a lot going on in the NFL today. I was happy to see the Packers avoid going down in infamy as the only team to lose to the Lions. It was nice to be able to send Sly-dell a "congrats on winning the division" text... fucking Vikings. The Bears blew a 10-0 lead, lost horribly, and then had the extra kick in the junk of the needed but unlikley wild-card scenario play out (Tampa lost, Dallas lost)... nice work guys; a win would have been great after I froze my ass off watching you Monday night.
FPMKE's most extreme elimination of the day came when the Jets lost. I was just watching a little SportsCenter and enjoyed the Favre postgame flip flop. It came down to not wanting to make the hasty decision based on the disappointing results but also not wanting to take too long. Hmmmm... indecisiveness from Brett Favre at the end of a season? I've never seen this before. He always came off as a shoot-from-the-hip, tell-it-like-it-is, kind of guy. Anyway, I expect a decision to come sometime in 2009 so it can be referred to as "Favre flop '09".
On a side note, came across another blog while looking for a good Favre photo and trying to spot the blog E-money was referring to The Bucky Channel . Seems to be pretty interesting and,from what I can tell, actually gives honest info about MU.
Also, what's everyone's opinion on the Louisville game? I was looking for tix on ebay and actually found some quasi reasonable prices. It's 2 months away, but it will come quick so if we want to make it happen we should get the ball rolling.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
- I need to get over it, I really do. We won't have a game where all Three Amigos are "on." That's just too much to ask. But damn, it's really nice to have 4 scoring options. One of those guys will step up every night. The key is getting that second guy to step up...
- Which leads me to James. The dude frustrates me at times, but I've spent a ton of time and energy defending him. We don't "score the basketball" without him on the floor. He is our go-to guy in the clutch, hands down
- Hazel brought a lot of energy to the game, that's a great step. We don't expect much, but a couple of steals, a block and four points is a damn good night for Pat Hazel
- Our defense is an abomination. Every team lights us up. We needed 20 turnovers (many unforced) to win the game. NC State shot over 50% and "For the Love of the Game" Costner shot 9-10 from the field - yikes. We can't handle guys who are 6'8" and can move. Paging Lazar Hayward
- Play of the game was the double screen set by Burke on the last play. The shot was nice, but Burke adjusting to the attempted double team won us the game. That's senior leadership - 1) James recognized the double team and 2) Burke reacted and re-set the screen. Ball game, beautiful!
- I have no clue why ANYONE would follow our post players out on that screen play. We annihilated Aaron Gray with it a couple years ago as well. Memo - MU can't shoot and bringing your big guy that far out only clears a path for our guards to drive and score. Let's get that lardass Blair to do the same thing when we go to Pitt
- That would have been the ultimate roadie to attend - wowsers
- Judicious three point shooting last night - I can't think of a bad attempt - though Jerel had some dumb shots right inside the arc
Let us pause for a moment to consider how fortunate we are to have Dom James running point, and to ponder that Mike McCarthy, a year after taking a team to the NFC title game, might be coaching for his job next week:
(1) I'm ignoring the Tennessee game because it doesn't help my argument: Just another reason to cringe when considering that Mo Acker is going to be the dude running your Golden Eagle offense next year – check out Dom's stats in our most recent non-conference road games:
@ North Carolina State: 18 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 4-6 from three. Game-winning three with .4 left on the clock.
@ Wisconsin (2007): 20 points, 6 assists.
@ Valpo (2006): 22 points, 11-13 on free throws, game-winning three as time expires.
To sum up: little man gets up for the non-conference roadie. Are we sure he doesn't want to go to grad school and do the seven-year, David Diggs program?
'firemikemccarthy.com' is still available, but probably not for long: Hey, Coach, remember the Minnesota game? The one where you called three horseshit running plays after we got into field goal range, and took the ball out of Rodgers' hands, and made the field goal tougher than it needed to be? Yeah, you remember that. Glad to see that you learned from that mistake. You fucking cocksmack.
That said, there's a silver lining to the clusterfuck that is Mike McCarthy: for once, Sheets' Va Jay Jay and I agree about the merits (or lack thereof) of a coach.
(3) I hate the Bears as much as the next guy, but…: If someone has to win the NFC North, I'd rather it be the Bears than the fucking Vikings. At least the Bears play outside, don't have purple in their uniforms, and DON'T PLAY A FUCKING HORN AFTER EVERY THREE-YARD RUN. (Anybody hear Viking Sound Guy laying on the horn after Matt Ryan fumbled while diving for the end zone during Sunday's game? Yeah, Thor, you might want to wait to see who recovers the fumble before you start with the fucking horn. Asshat.)
(4) Maybe I can get a package deal on 'firemikemccarthy.com' and 'cutajhawk.net': A.J.'s career, summed up in one play – Bears have third-and-nine, call a swing pass to Forte (who didn't see that coming?) … and A.J. falls down. Just falls down. Forte gets the first down, field goal, ball game. And, no, Coach, A.J. didn't get picked on that play – unless, by 'picked,' you mean: 'was unable to walk upright.'
I remain amazed at how stiff this guy is. (That's what she said.) He's built like a He-Man action figure – I think he's physically incapable of bending his arms, legs, or waist.
Which isn't a big problem if you actually are a He-Man action figure, and you're being used by a four-year-old to battle Skeletor in Castle Grayskull. But if you're a linebacker in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE? Kind of a problem.
(5) Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night: Let's be smart on the roads, boys. It's nasty out there. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Monday Night Football on the Miller Lite Deck... awesome but extremely cold. At game time 7 degrees with a -12 wind chill. My issues with the cold temp started when I obtained my first beer and proceeded to make fun of the A-hole next to me who had given up on a half frozen beer and left it on a ledge... sad and pathetic. It was about two sips into my own beer that I realized ice crystals were forming on my Miller Lite. My new goal was to finish my beer prior to it reaching full freeze so I didn't get any lip. The Titanic beer was cold and the crystals burned my throat on the way down. Ultimately, I think I finished 10.5 of the 12 ounces before giving up on the frozen remains.
A very strong crowd given the temperature. A good number of Packer fans respresenting on the Miller Deck. It was classic to hear them harass the Bears fans at the half. It was also at this point that I realized wearing my tennis shoes rather than boots was a horrendous idea. I retired to the nearest bar for slightly warmer beers and frost-bite prevention (read: I'm a big cold pussy). It was at this bar that I learned that hispanics do not like Aaron Rodgers.
Did anyone see how big Alex Brown's hands are? It looked like an oversized tennis racket batting down that field goal attempt.
Personally, I wouldn't mind tanking and throwing our backup QB's out there to get some actual game experience. Here's to tanking like the Miami Heat of '07-'08.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
-I had to check the color settings on my tv because the sideline reporter was orange and looked like she needed to eat a sandwich... turns out the tv is fine but apparently the Metrodome is equipped with Tan Tommy brand tanning booths.
-Beer, it is really good when it is -5 outside and I'm sweating on my couch due to radiant heat making it 80 in my condo. Yeah, I could open a window but then I would have to get up.
-Internets... genius. See below video (not safe for work).
-Blogging... it's been a nice way to stay in touch with you all and keep up on Wisconsin sports. Even though I was too lazy to send out Holiday cards, I wanted to take this post as an opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays! Here's to hoping the Brewers don't give us the gift of another Jeff Suppan-esque signing this year.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
RB: Brian Westbrook (at Wash), Steven Jackson (vs SF), Marshawn Lynch (at Den), Steve Slaton (at Oak). I also have Lendale White but I'm not going to start him against Pittsburgh.
The espn experts have Steve Slaton ranked #2 overall this week behind Adrian Peterson. And they also have both Lynch and S.Jax ahead of Westbrook.
WR: TJ Houshmandzadeh (at Cle), Dwayne Bowe (vs Mia), Jericho Cotchery (at Sea), and Lance Moore (at Det).
I didn't even look at the expert rankings here considering they all pretty much suck.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I want to avoid any confusion at the start of this tome, because, in my blind rage last night, I may have given the impression that I thought the refs were the main reason we lost the game. I don't believe that. We should have won, regardless of how epically craptacular the officiating was. Burke, after a couple of decent games, reverted to his shrinking violet routine. McNeal, somewhat understandably, let the officials get into his head and couldn't recover. We got the typical pitiful production from the piss-ant triumvirate of Acker, Butler, and Cubillan. Dom played like the Dom of early '07, jacking up threes when he had a clear lane to the rim. We shot way too many threes and the defensive rotations on the 1-3-1 zone were awful. So, to be clear, I don't think we lost because of the officiating – at least not primarily. It was a contributing factor, yes. But we should have won anyway.
Anyway, getting to the point of the post:
As I said to everyone I could text message last night (and I apologize for the multiple messages that ended randomly in the middle of a sentence; my phone likes to send text messages before I'm done typing them. If anyone wants to get me an iPhone for Christmas, or to steal Moongoose's and give it to me, you will be dubbed Rubie's Best Friend for the Week), the quality of officiating in college basketball is deplorable. I used the word "crisis" more than once last night, and, while I was being melodramatic, I don't think it's entirely a stretch to say that the officiating is threatening the integrity of the sport.
Hear me out. To be an official, as best I can tell, you should be able to do three things competently:
First, be able to run up and down the floor for two hours without looking like you're completing the last quarter-mile of a marathon.
Second, put yourself in position to be able to actually see the lion's share of the action, and defer to your counterparts when they are in better position to make (or not make) a call.
Third – and this is the most important – BE CONSISTENT. Thus, if you see situation x during the game, and you make call z when confronted with situation x, you better make call z damn near every time situation x happens from there on out.
Last night, the officials – led, unsurprisingly, by the incomparably shitty Tim Higgins – failed miserably on all three counts. I won't spend much time on the first and second points; those are pretty self-explanatory. (Though I will say this: if you're an NCAA higher-up, and you watch Tim Higgins for any appreciable amount of time, and you see him struggling to pull his pants up over his fucking foop every time he waddles down the court … well, at some point, don't you say: "You know, it's entirely possible that this fucker is going to have a heart attack and die right there on the court. Maybe we should get him out of there and avoid the lawsuit"?)
I want to talk about the third point. The reason officials need to be consistent in their calls is because it allows the players to adapt their play to fit the contours of that specific game. Last night, the lack of consistency in the calls was a major contributing factor in three of Marquette's players fouling out, and two others being saddled with four fouls. There is no way for a player to modify his play when the rules of the game are being changed minute by minute, possession by possession. That's why I said it was somewhat understandable that Jerel got taken out of his game last night, and why I don't fault DJ for getting the T. These jackasses get treated with kid gloves despite the fact that most of them perform at so low a level that they would be fired from any other job. But the coaches aren't allowed to say anything about it, the NCAA higher-ups do nothing about it, and for that reason, we are treated to Tim Fucking Higgins and his band of fucktards in a game between two Top 25 teams. Running TIM FUCKING HIGGINS out there to officiate that game was like letting Dr. Jack Shephard's drunk father (Lost reference, Zone D!) perform delicate spinal surgery on the President. If that's the best you can come up with, you're in deep shit.
Back to this problem with consistent calls: the problem is most glaring when the official is called to decide between a charging foul and a blocking foul. To be quite honest, I have no earthly idea what constitutes a charge anymore. Pathetically, it's been reduced to the officiating equivalent of Potter Stewart's oft-repeated line about pornography: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." And it's ruining the sport. Think about how the game has changed because of these fucking charging calls: nobody tries to block shots anymore – you've got 6'11" guys sliding underneath a 6'1" guy trying to try to draw the charge. "Help defense" now means: "Come from the weak side and try to get your feet set a split second before the guy gets in the lane, and let him barrel into you." Remember how, in fifth grade, coach told you the key to defense was moving your feet? Well, guys are now rewarded for not moving their feet; if you're beat off the dribble, try to get near the guy, attempt to set your feet, and then go flailing away like you just got hit with a sniper's bullet when the contact comes. It's fucking disgusting. This is not good defense. This is not good basketball. But the officials continue to reward it, and, year after year, nobody says anything about the fact that college basketball is turning into European soccer.
I've gone all over the map here, and I'm not sure that I have any bulletproof solutions to fix this. Clearly, the NCAA is in dire need of some new blood in the officiating ranks. And somebody who's actually got some sway has to sit these fucking numbnuts down at some off-season officiating clinic and say: "Stop with the fucking charging calls. At best, it's a no-call, and, at worst, it's a block. Don't reward bad defense." Of course, it's never going to happen, and I'm going to have to write this same post next year and continue shouting myself hoarse.
To sum up, as I said last night: FUCK!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
You fucking fucktards saw fit to whistle FIFTY-FOUR FUCKING FOULS during the duration of tonight's game. Read that again: FIFTY-FOUR FUCKING FOULS! There aren't fifty-four fucking fouls committed during TWO games of competitive college basketball, you fucking queefnugget cockguzzlers.
Eight players saw the floor for Marquette tonight. Three fucking fouled out, and two fucking others had four fucking fouls. WHAT IN THE FUCKING NAME OF JESUS TITTIE FUCKING CHRIST WERE YOU FUCKERS DOING? Do you really think that it makes the game more enjoyable to whistle some kind of foul on EVERY FUCKING POSSESSION? Because, if you do, lemme let you in on a secret: it fucking doesn't make the game more enjoyable. In fact, it made me want to jab a fucking pencil into my ear just so I wouldn't have to hear the FUCKING WHISTLE ON EVERY FUCKING POSSESSION.
I will have more in the morn. Much, much, much more. But rest assured, Mssrs. Fuckstick 1, Fuckstick 2, and Fuckstick 3, before the day is over, I will have your resignations.
- Guard oriented line-up, but we can't shoot
- We have no depth
- We have no front line talent
- We can't defend w/o fouling
- Lazar, our best "post player" is a paper tiger
Saying "I like Rubie's point" doesn't put butts in the seats, people.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I think the injury issue is greatly significant for a team like Green Bay. Fact is, to make a run like we made last year, we need our guys healthy. We don't have the system -- or, to call a spade a spade, we don't have the coaching -- to be able to make up for injuries to the likes of Barnett and Cullen Jenkins and Bigby and Grant and Tauscher and Wells. To win 11-13 games, we need our best people on the field, and we need them playing well. We can't plug-n-play like the Patriots can; we're not a machine that can run on spare parts.
Now, when I say that injuries are a major factor in this debacle, I don't mean that this fact exonerates McCarthy and Thompson in any way, shape, or form. We need to have a system, top to bottom, where the loss of a guy or two doesn't condemn the season to failure. But, fact is, we don't have that kind of system. With this GM and this coaching staff, we have to cross our fingers that guys don't get hurt, and two or three of them have career years, or our ceiling is 7-9.
As for my second point -- catching every break last year -- let's review the season game by game:
- vs. Eagles: Pack wins on a last-second field goal following this sequence of events: Favre fumbles at midfield with four minutes left, but Eagles can't move the ball, and punt. Packers offense goes nowhere again, and GB punts -- but Eagles return man muffs it (that's what she said), and Pack gets the ball at the Eagles 30 with less than a minute left. Two runs, field goal, ball game.
- @ Giants: The week after giving up 45 points to Dallas, the Giants defense -- the one that will later dominate the Patriots in the Super Bowl -- cedes another 35 to the Pack. Elisha Manning plays despite a separated shoulder. Also, DeShawn Fucking Wynn (!) runs for two touchdowns.
- vs. Chargers: Trailing by four in the fourth quarter, the Packers are stopped on fourth-and-one at the San Diego one. The defense eventually forces a punt, and, on the very next play, the Chargers blow a coverage and Jennings turns a simple slant route into a 57-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Barnett picks off Phil Rivers on the next series to seal the deal.
- @ Minnesota: Thank God for Brad Childress. The only man on the field who could stop Adrian Peterson was the Chiller, and he did just that, giving Peterson a mere twelve carries (and even then, Peterson manages to rush for 112 yards, not to mention that he averaged 32 yards per kickoff return).
- vs. Bears: Loss.
- vs. Redskins: On a day where the offense could do nothing, the Packers get a 57-yard fumble return from Charles Woodson for the game-winning score.
- @ Broncos: After playing brilliantly for most of the game, the defense allows Denver to drive inside the Green Bay 10 with less than 30 seconds left. The Broncos call for a quick out to Brandon Marshall, but Jay Cutler fires a worm burner and one-hops his wide receiver, who had beaten Al Harris like a rented mule on the play. Overtime. Eighty-yard, game-winning touchdown to Jennings on one of the best balls Brett Favre has thrown in his life.
- @ Chiefs: After the Chiefs take a 22-16 lead with 5 minutes to go, Favre finds Jennings on -- what else? -- a busted coverage, as Donnie Edwards fails to get deep enough to prevent a throw down the seam. Woodson returns a pick for a garbage-time TD in the final minute of the game.
- vs. Vikings: A dominating 34-0 thrashing of the Mudducks. Not much else to say about this one.
- vs. Carolina: The Panthers, having lost Jake Delhomme for the season, are forced to summon Vinnie Testaverde out of his AARP meeting. And then Steve Smith doesn't play either -- not that it would matter with a geriatric throwing you the ball.
- @ Lions: Favre plays out of his mind, completing 20 passes in a row. The Lions continue to fall apart, dropping to 6-5 after starting the year 6-2.
- @ Cowboys: Loss.
- vs. Raiders: Bye week.
- @ Rams: The Rams, by this point, had packed up the family truckster and were on the road to Wally World. Reports indicate that there may have been 500 people inside the Edward Jones Dome. (Is it still called the Edward Jones Dome?) Anyway, the Rams continue to mail it in, and the Packers win by 19.
- @ Bears: Loss.
- vs. Lions: The Lions complete their collapse, and the Packers enjoy Bye Week #2.
So, no, I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb when I say that we got every bounce last year. A lot of things went right, a lot of Packers -- not just Favre -- made huge plays at critical moments, and a lot of players on the other teams had colossal brain farts at the worst possible moments.
This year, it's a different story. Again, I'm not saying this to exonerate McCarthy or Thompson. All I'm saying is that to go 13-3 in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE with a team that isn't extraordinarily well coached and isn't loaded with talent, you need guys to stay healthy, and you need the ball to bounce your way. If you don't get those things, you worry about losing to an 0-15 team in Week 17.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- The One With the Closed-Head Injury (Gary Ellerson)
- The One Who Insists on Being Called Sparky Despite the Fact That He's a 40-Year-Old Man (Sparky), and ...
- The Other One, who may or may not be named Josh.
- The Other One saying, more than once, that they'd be taking calls regarding "the CC Sabathia trade." BIFF!
- The One With the Closed-Head Injury being let out of the crawl space to talk about the Brewers starting rotation, and, at one point, mumbling: "Well, you've got Gallardo, Bush, and Suppan ... and ... um, who are the other two?" Followed by Sparky saying: "Gallardo and Parra." And The Oft-Concussed One responding: "Oh, right. Gallardo and Parra." BLUNDER! (Hey, we might've had a tough off-season, but at least we've managed to clone Gallardo!)
- The One Who Insists on Being Called Sparky ranting about how he was "lied to" and told by Brewers management that the team was going to be a perennial contender ala the Twins and A's ... but then explaining that he felt "lied to" because the Brewers weren't able to sign one of their own high-priced free agents, and thus weren't serious about being a perennial contender -- and all the while never realizing that the Twins and A's don't sign their free agent players to big contracts. WHIFF!
Some excerpts from Sr. Haudricourt's piece, with award-winning analysis by Rubie Q (brought to you by ... Chevy!) below:
But here’s the interesting part – the Yankees would like to expand the trade to include Brewers third baseman Bill Hall. The Brewers were giving serious consideration to expanding the deal if what they received in return for Hall made sense to them.
So, look for the Cameron for Cabrera deal to definitely come down but don't be stunned if the Yankees get the Brewers to include Hall as well in an expanded trade.
DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT.
The Brewers originally had hoped to get the Yankees to include a young pitching prospect such as Ian Kennedy in a Cameron-Cabrera swap but New York does not want to do that.
I don't fucking care if we get a dozen Krispie Kremes back for Bill Fucking Hall. DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT.
Here’s the primary reason the Brewers are trading Cameron and would consider moving Hall as well –
Cam is over the hill and rapidly losing his step in centerfield, and Bill Fucking Hall duped the brass into thinking that he was a legitimate talent when he hit 35 homers for a team that lost 100 games, but it turns out that he can't hit righties, is an adventure in the field, and ain't such a great clubhouse guy, either?
centerfield and third base are the only positions on the field where they could incorporate some desperately needed left-handed bats (Cabrera is a switch hitter).
Tell you what: here's a buck-oh-five from Rubie. Anyone else willing to throw in a buck-oh-five to get this shit done?
Also, what does everyone think about Melky Cabrera?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I also want to say that I'm somewhat glad that the Brewers didn't re-sign him. Sure it would have been great to have him at the top of our rotation, and it brings that much more excitement to the organization, but I think that our reach was farther than our grasp in this situation. I understand and applaude Attanasio for trying to compete with the big boys, but let's be realistic. If we give him 5 years and he goes Ben Sheets on our ass over the final 3, we are absolutely screwed. We can't afford to pay guys like that and not have them on the field all year. And I suspect that he will begin to have injury issues soon. Most pitchers do at some point......especially those that throw as hard as he does. We have too many holes to fill to go out and throw all of that cash at one guy. I would rather strengthen our bullpen and potentially go after some different starters at this point. It's a big year for free-agency in the MLB, so maybe Melvin has something else up his sleeve. If he was willing to go that far for CC, maybe he'll make some other big move. Hopefully it involves blocking the deal that sends Peavy to the Cubs. That makes me want to vomit!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday was an awesome night for every MU Basketball fan. We beat the fucking Badgers! There is little else in my sports fanhood that brings me more joy than Marquette beating Madison. But something was just a little bit off after that game. Rather than the icy, barely there handshake between the coaches that we've grown accustomed to seeing after such games, we saw a lengthy, warm embrace. And if I didn't know better, I'd think there were a couple cordial words spoken between the two coaches. Then, afterwards, our coach heaped respect upon their marmot-looking coach, calling him a hall of fame coach and saying that he could only hope to ever win as many games as that red devil. Then, when our coach was asked if this was a benchmark win he didn't respond "Hell yeah, we beat our biggest rivals," like I would have. Instead he went back to his standard response about being judged as a father and husband rather than by who he coaches and who his teams beat. I realized then.... That a little part of me misses Tom Crean.
Now we all know, that Tom Crean is kind of a hateable bastard. I don't think I'd find anyone around here that would argue that point. For all his merits as a basketball coach, he always came off as an arrogant, pompous asshole. And unless he's the coach of your team, you are going to HATE that guy. But for some reason, when he was our coach, I kinda liked the fact that other people couldn't stand him. I don't know what it is. Maybe I've been hanging out with Moongoose too long, listening to him root for Chris Jericho, and TO and shit. But I kind of enjoyed being the bad guy. There's just something that I liked about having opponents not just being upset that they lost, but being totally pissed that they lost to that guy. I dug the fact that well respected coaches like Rick Pitino would stoop to fabricating news articles just to beat that f'ing guy.
Now be clear, I do not mean this as a knock on Coach Buzz in any way. I think he could be a real good basketball coach. (I mean really, how long did it take you to pick your jaw up off the floor when you saw MU go into a 1-3-1 Saturday night? I know it took me a good 30 seconds.) And I hope that Buzz wins a whole ton of games for Marquette. And maybe it will just take me some time to get used to his style. But every time he puts on his "aw shucks" schtick after a game and heaps praise on the opposition, it just seems like something is missing. Maybe, I'm just a dick, and I want my coach to say what I'm thinking:
Q: Coach, is this a big win for you and your program?
A: You bet your ass it is! Fuck those guys!!
Yeah, I know that no coach would actually say that. But some coaches (one in particular) I know would say exactly that, only wrapped in a cloak of faux-respect. I guess what I'm saying is that everyone loves a good villain in sports (or loves to hate them anyways), and for a while we were that villain and it was fun. Having people think "Yeah, it sucks that they beat us, but Coach Buzz is such a tremendous human being I really can't be mad at 'em" just isn't quite the same. Though I hope people are saying exactly that a whole lot, for many years to come.
Alright, you may commence ripping me.
My goals for this team are as follows:
- Top 6 Big East finish
- Second round tourney game
- Win at least one game at the BET
- 7-2 home record in conference play
- Beat Wisconsin and Notre Dame
I would be ecstatic with a Sweet 16 appearance, but won't be disappointed if we only win one game. I still think we are a flawed team and really need the proper matchup to have a really successful season.
Monday, December 8, 2008
For those of you that may be interested, there's a pretty sweet ~3-4 min. video clip about Junior Cadougan on Cracked Sidewalks that was posted the other day. He looks really impressive and I guarantee he starts day 1! It's definitely worth checking out. They also cited a Houston area paper that discussed Erik Williams great start to the season. According to them, Williams has scored 30+ points in the last 6 games including a 40 point effort in one of those outings. He was a pretty high recruit when he first committed, but slipped down the rankings due to his injury that was sufferred in the beginning of last season that put him out for the year. I think that it's safe to say that he has healed properly and is back to form. It's nice to get some good news on the injury front for a change.
Speaking of injuries.......did everyone notice that Fulce and O'tule dressed for the game on Saturday night? Rosiak said that they practiced full-out during pre-game. Good to hear! Did any of you arrive early enough to see this? Hopefully they will be ready for the Tennessee game. That would at least give them ~3 games to get loose before conference play starts.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
-Burke-played nice game again vs Bucky...couple big boards, helpd shut down Landry, hit some big throws again
-Free Throws-We made more than they shot...repeat...we made more than they shot.
-Swing-Extending our defense (and not the soft press like we thought) really caused issues with theym running their offense. Bucky looked very timid with the ball and very timid about taking shots except for the first 7 minutes of the game.
-James-Kept us in the game in the first half
-McNeal-Absolute fucking stud in the second half. They kept running the double screen for him and they couldn't stop them.
-Krabbenhoft and Landry-Thanks for coming...combined 9 points. Way to be team leaders boys.
-JayBo-You really fucking suck but I love how you made another pointless shot at the buzzer to toally fuck over Reid and his wager with Curtin.
-Refs-Yeah the refs had some questionable calls but I think they went both ways. Atleast they were relatively consistent with the charge calls.
-Coach Buzz-Game started out rough but overall had a great game plan for today. Burke on Landry was huge, kept running double ball screen on Rel (if it aint broke don't fix it), kept switching defenses to keep Bucky off guard. Also think he's a class act...after the game instead of the obligatory fly by hand shake we've seen from our previous coach, Buzz stopped and talked to Bo for atleast 10-15 seconds and did the same to several players.
Overall a fantastic win for the pysche of our team and some of our players. Let's take care of the rest of the cupcakes and put up a good showing against NC State and Tennessee and get a win in one game and bring on the Beast where we can get off to a nice start in conference with the 2 home games against Nova and Cincy.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I will say that after watching the Central Michigan game on Tuesday night that 1) while Burke's stats weren't eye opening, he started showing signs of improvement, had some nice offensive moves and aggressiveness, but had some unfortunate calls against him because of it. But I liked his effort and 2) Jimmy Butler also looks like he is becoming more comfortable and therefore more aggressive on both ends of the floor. He was posting up and taking the ball to the hoop a lot. And made a nice read which lead to a steal on the defensive end.
I hope the rest of you are more confident than I. What are your thoughts?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Just a year ago things seemed to be going quite swimingly in the land of all things Packers. Our team was the youngest in the NFL, but they were playing great football on their way to a 13 - 3 record. Greg Jennings was becoming an even bigger stud and turning into what we see today. Mike McCarthy, while being a worthless piece of crap, didn't seem like such a worthless piece of crap. And, our veteran gunslinger quarterback was having a resurgence of sorts and would have been in the MVP if it wasn't for Tom Brady.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
1) The game is played at the Bradley Center this year, and after beating Madison in their house last year, I think that the three amigos will have confidence to have a repeat performance (something that they couldn't do their first 2 seasons).....especially in their own house. I think last years win takes a lot of pressure off of them for this year's game.....which helps.
2) I think that when it is MU's starting 5 vs. Madison's starting 5, Marquette has the overall advantage. Being that Nankivil is a first year starter and isn't overly productive, I'll call the Burke vs. Nankivil matchup a wash based on Burke being a senior. The only matchup that I would give Madison the edge to is Landry vs. Hayward (I'm basing this as the PF vs PF, not who guards Landry). It's very close, but overall Landry is more athletic, a better rebounder, can post up, and apparently can shoot the 3 consistently as last night he was 4-4 from 3 land. Aside from those 2 matchups, James, McNeal, and Matthews win so overall, it's advantage Marquette.
3) To further point #2, athletically I think that Marquette can impose their will a bit by pressing a lot on defense and playing up-tempo on Wisconsin misses. This is definitely to our advantage. UConn really set the blue print for success against Wisconsin by soft-pressing the Badgers all game long. This kills a good 8-10 seconds off of the shot clock and reduces the amount of time that Madison can get into their offense. This makes Wisconsin uncomfortable as they typically like to use a lot of the shot clock, setting screens, and running the motion offense in hopes of getting the very best possible shot. If they lose precious seconds, they force shots which is NOT their game. Furthermore, due to Wisconsin's lack of ballhandlers, an efficient press can force them to turn the ball over. Again, something that is NOT in Wisconsin's blue print to success. I think that this will be key to an MU victory.
1) Size - shocking right? Last year, MU at least had a competent Ousmane with Burke coming off the bench to fend off Madison's clash of 7'0 tall skinheads. Not this year! Burke is the "man".....even though he's not the man. Regardless, Wisconsin is very likely going to dominate us down low whether it be playing offense in the post and/or in the rebounding department. If Burke can show up like last year in madison, we increase our chances of victory exponentially.
2) Depth - Part of this can be related to the size disadvantage. Once Burke gets in foul trouble, and Hazel is in or Hayward slides over......we've got nothin' and are in trouble. Furthermore, the Acker/Cubillan/Butler rotation is inferior to Wisconsin's Taylor, Wilson, and Leuer rotation. I suspect that Bo is going to attack us down low early to try and get Lazar and Dwight in foul trouble early. Hopefully they let the guys play a little bit, otherwise we could be in trouble.
So when I look at the adv's/disadvad's, I think that Marquette has a slight edge going into the game. I foresee the James/McNeal/Matthews/Lazar combination playing a ton of minutes on Saturday provided that they don't get into foul trouble (ahem...Lazar). I think that in order for Marquette to win, they (like last year) need to force more turnovers than Wisconsin's avg (hopefully about 16), keep the rebounding close (if not win the battle), and shoot a good percentage. I suspect that the Badgers will tighten up the lanes to try and prevent penetration, which will give us more long jumpers. If we take the bait and start shooting a lot of 3's and shoot our standard 29%, we will be in trouble. So to sum up this paragraph, we cannot play Madison's game. We need to dictate tempo and make the Badgers uncomfortable on offense. If we can do that, we will win the game. I am interested to see how the team comes out tonight against Central Michigan after Saturday's loss (Buzz's first loss as MU's coach). I predict they will come out fired up!
Caveat: I watched Madison vs. Virginia Tech last night. Observations: Virginia Tech isn't very good, their best player played about 10 minutes and eventually fouled out due to chincy ass calls against him, Madison made like 12 of 18 3's or something (which was sick), and they still needed a Trevon Hughes jumper to win by 2! That being said, a mediocre Virginia Tech team played bad and still almost beat Madison. Hopefully we don't have a meltdown on Saturday.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Another fine upstanding citizen from UW-Moscow: http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/35320209.html
Yes the Dayton game blew. We lost by double digits to an A-10 team when we were 9 point favorites and our lack of an inside presence was completely exposed by them, BUT it is absolutely no time to even semi-jump ship! Every year good teams get upset in November and December. Hell, Louisville got beat down bad by Western Kentucky the other night and they're #3 in the nation. Sure W.Kentucky had a nice run in last year's tournament and Louisville should not have lost to them, but the season is still very early and teams are still working out the kinks at this point (especially when teams are being guided by what is essentially a rookie head coach....ie. Buzz Williams and Marquette). Also, while it isn't a very good excuse, playing on consecutive nights can sometimes bite teams in the ass (and it sounded like they gave 110% the night before so they may have burned up their fuel the night before). This may be why Jerel and Lazar had such a horrific shooting night......they simply may have not had their legs, and when essentially 2 of your 3 best players have awful shooting nights, your team likely will not perform well as a whole. And let's not forget that Dayton isn't a cupcake as I suspect they will have a very good year by the time March rolls around. So to sum up what I'm trying to say here......It's 1 loss. Sure we were the favorites but nobody here expected this team to go undefeated. After blowing 5 teams out by 20-30 points, I personally think that it was a good kick in the nuts before a difficult month of December. In years past we were hardly taking care of some of these cupcakes in the BC and as Wiemer pointed out lost to teams such as Winthrop and South Dakota St yet we still went on to have nice seasons. We return 4 of 5 starters this year (all of which have improved from last year) and only lost 2 hardly contributing players, so we are essentially the same team as last year with an extra year of experience. That being said, while we are still lacking that inside presence (what else is new?) and the Big East appears to be even deeper than years past, I still am confident that we will finish in the upper 1/3 of the Conference. It is because we lack size down low that we are not the class of the Big East Conference. I feel that we will still be very competitive like years past and likely finish anywhere from 4th to 7th in the Conference and have a 5-8 seed in the tourney again. We are what we are......which isn't a bad thing. Provided that we don't further the injury situation, there is still a lot of room for improvement with the addition of Fulce and O'Tule, and the potential improvement of Burke and Hazel throughout the year. So let's see what happens with our future tests of Wisconsin, Tennessee, and NC State. If we drop all 3, then it might be time to jump ship. If we come back and play well against Central Michigan and put a stomping on Wisconsin, I think that it's safe to say that we will be ok. I'm confident that Buzz and the players are pissed at their performance on Saturday night and will practice and perform well this week looking to take care of business on Saturday. When we beat Bo Ryan's Hoosiers....sorry, Badgers......I'm pretty much going to forget that Dayton game ever happened. I mean it worked in 2003 didn't it?
- Lazar had his worst game in 2 years with 5 points and 8 boards. We know that's an aberration
- Dom looked really good outside of the free throw shooting. Something like 19 with 8 assists and 5 boards
- This was Dayton's Super Bowl and they were pumped up to play their highest rated opponent all year
- Our bench will be bolstered with the return of Otule and Fulce
- Remember Winthrop and ND State? Those games were at home against much worse teams and we still had solid years
- Dayton looked solid and could have a big year in the A-10
- No post presence whatsoever - if we get beat on dribble penetration, it's clear sailing to the tin. Some have said that Dayton had a great night and were shooting the lights out. While they shot over 50%, you should when the vast majority of your shots are inside of 10 feet
- Poor perimeter defense - no way, no how should Dayton's A-10 guards beat the Big 3 repeatedly off the dribble. We spend too much damn time lunging and reaching for steals. This puts our guards back on their heels - you can't defend that way
- No reliable outside shooting - you have to be able to shoot when you have a guard oriented team. We can't shoot from the outside, yet we continue to launch 3's
- No bench help - Acker and David have been a disappointment to say the least. Fulce and Otule are hurt, but really, how much can we expect out of those two? The good news is that we don't play on consecutive days until the BET, so the fatigue shouldn't be a big factor. Even so, the lack of points off the bench in glaring. If we reach 80 points, we'll win 80% of the time. To reach 80, we need 20 from each of the Big 4. Where else will the points come from?
- Coaching - Dayton ran the same play - dribble penetration with their big sealing off one side of the court. We didn't adjust. No zone, no sagging on defense even though Dayton went 0-24 from 3 the night before. Buzz got worked. Now before you all say that I should give him a chance - I am giving him a chance you apologists - all I'm saying is that he got outcoached on Saturday and I worry that will happen again
Don't have more time for further "analysis" but Saturday's game showed several issues that concern me from a macro level. The games against UW, UT and NC State will show a lot. Hopefully we can take 2 of 3 and head into BE play with 2 L's and some lessons learned.
Until next time, FUCK THE BADGERS!!