Thursday, December 31, 2009

MU Decade in Review

Seeing as we're just a few short hours from poppin' the bubboli and venturing into a new decade, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the roller coster ride that has been the past 10 years of Marquette basketball. Afterall, we have certainly come a long way from the Mike Deane era and the dribble-handoff offense that Brian Barone and Brian Wardle executed to perfection. Since then, we have witnessed a renaissance of Marquette hoops success thanks to the efforts of Tom Crean (err Dwayne Wade), who reversed the downward trend of the program and was able to bring in higher profile recruits which eventually lead to a Final Four run in the '02-'03 season. As a result of the program's success under Crean, Marquette was also recruited to take part in the realignment of the Big East. This move has greatly increased the exposure of MU on a national level and thus has increased the attractiveness of the program to some of the nations better high school prospects. Now in their fifth season in what is typically the nations best conference for NCAA hoops, Marquette has enjoyed much success in the league in it's first four seasons. MU has finished in the upper third of the conference all four years and is one of only three teams to have 10+ wins in conference over that span. Pretty impressive considering many outsiders thought MU was digging their own grave by joining such a competetive league. Well, the likes of Tom Crean and Father Wild were feeling lucky and decided to roll the dice and here we sit. That being said, here's a list of personal favorites from this past decade......

1. Best Team: '02-'03; was there any doubt? Final Four run and 3 NBA players. It's too bad they seemed to hit a brick wall against a very good Kansas team. I would have liked to see a best of 3 series there.

Runner Up: '08-'09; The 3 amigos senior season. After a 9-0 start to the Big East season, we all had high expectations and were thinking a possible repeat of '02-'03. Unfortunately Dom goes down early against UConn in the crucial stretch to the season and we lose our General for the season. In spite of this IMMENSE loss, the team takes a good Missouri team down to the wire with a Sweet16 matchup against Memphis on the line, but eventually falls short. Mizzou reaches the Elite8 after handling Memphis. Who knows how it would have turned out if we had all of our weapons? Tear

2. Best Player: Again, do I even have to say it? D WADE. Likely the best player ever to wear a Marquette uni even though he played only 2 years! I wonder how good they would have been if he decided to stick around for 1 more year? Is now one of Da League's premiere players and has already won an NBA title along with NBA Finals MVP.

3. Best Game: Elite 8 versus #1 ranked Kentucky; While it was never a close game, it's hard to top Wade's tripledouble performance (first in NCAA tourney history) which put MU in the Final Four.

Runner Up: UConn vs Marquette, January '06; A top ranked UConn walked into the Bradley Center overconfident against a young and what everyone thought was a timed MU team. MU's first appearance in the Big East. Result, Steve Novak bombs 3's from all over the Bradley Center en route to a 40+pt 15+ rbd performance. MU ventures into the Big East with style!

4. Worst/Most Heartbreaking Loss: Soooo many to choose from here, but it's gotta be a season ending tourney game. I'm going with 2nd round matchup vs. Stanford. Pegged as the worst possible 3 seed matchup due to the twin towers of Brooke and Robin "Sideshow Bob" Lopez, MU managed to take them into OT only to watch Brooke make a fading and falling out of bounds circus shot from the baseline. Ouch!

Runner Up: Mizzou in 2nd round of NCAA in '09; Final game to enjoy the 3, well 2, seniors. It was a good four years regardless!

5. Most entertaining Player: Entertaining, not best, so I'm going with Dominic James. The man is a freak athlete and has one helluva killer instinct! He's also great at talkin' shit but will completely back it up. If not for an inconsistent jumper, he's no doubt an NBAer.

6. Best Shooter: Steve Novak; We may never see another play don the blue and gold that can shoot like this guy.

7. Best Defender: Dominic James; He went against some of the best pg's in the nation on a nightly basis during his senior campaign and he shut them DOWN!

8. Best Rebounder: Marcus Jackson; All he would have to do is look at somebody and they would run away from the rebound. I will also award him with the "best big man that can impersonate a pg" award due to the year Diener went down with the season ending injury. Which brings me to my next category......

9. Worst Team of the Decade: It's easy to choose the winner here considering the amount of success that this team has had over the years. I may be wrong with the year, but I believe it's the '03-'04 squad when Diener went down which left Joe Chapman as our go to guy. Joe Chapman, seriously? No offense Reid, I know he was your boy.

10. Best Dunker: Dominic James; There's just something about a 5'10 guy with a 40+ inch vertical that makes dunking look just nasty. Especially when it was over Brian Butch.

11. Best errr Worst Gambler: Ryan Amoroso; It's too bad he had that gambling problem which forced him out of the program because he had the looks of a pretty solid PF.

12. Most consumed beverage: Diet Pepsi

13. Best Tan: And the winner is.........Tom Crean!

14. Shortest Tenure: Niv Berkovitz; It's too bad 'cuz this guy is TEARIN' UP the Israeli league!

15. Worst Transfer (as in "that was stupid"): Dameon Mason; Apparently he needed to be coddled and couldn't handle the harshness and intensity of Tom Crean. Afterall, he was a highly touted recruit. Transferred to LSU where he played limited minutes on a mediocre team in a mediocre SEC. See also, Odartey Blankson and soon to be Jeronne Maymon (I'm curious to see how this one turns out).

16. Best Rival: Louisville; Rivalry carried over from CUSA and most games seem to go down to the wire (I think 4-5 games in past 7 years have been decided on final possession). Plus Slick Rick is a tool!

Runner Up: Since Big East inception, I'm going with Pitt (ND a close 3rd). They're notoriously a tough team which has resulted in a number of close and "chippy" games.

17. Biggest Shot: Tough Call here, but I'm going with Steve Novak's fade away dagger from the corner over Notre Dame in the Bradley Center. All 18,000+ bombarded Turners that Saturday night and drank every last ounce of booze within 4 city blocks.

18. Best Roadie Trash Talking Moment: Cincinnati, '08; Scott Christopherson reports to the scorers table late in the first half........

UC fan sittiing across from D3: "Scott Christopherson, typical Wisconsin farm Boy"

without hesitation,

D3: "Donald Little, typical Cincinnati thug"; (Donald Little beat up his on-campus roommate)

19: Best Roadie "moment": Hoffbrauhaus, Cincinnati, '08; As the MU clad road warriors entered the giant beer hall and made their way through the crowds, a large eruption of cheering and clapping towards us ensued followed by a "We are Marquette" chant. The commotion caused everyone in the bar to look our direction, which caused Reid to turn to me and say, "Dude, do they think we're the basketball team? You're Scott Christopherson tonight."

20. Best Roadie celebrity sighting: Pauly Shore, Louisville '09; Louisville is a good time to say the least! As per usual, the MU alums were enjoying a few beverages and talking a little smack with the locals. Shortly after the DJ singles us out for being MU fans, he announces the judge of the drinking contest about to ensue on the bar. We of course were standing at the bar, when the spotlight swung behind us illuminating the WEASEL! He proceeded to judge the dozen or so female contestants on their drinking abilities and awarded the winner with a "FUCKIN' SNUGGIE! PUT IT ON! YOU'VE GOTTA WEAR IT ALL NIGHT!"

There you have it. It's been pretty solid 10 years and lets hope that Buzz can maintain or exceed the most recent levels of success. Feel free to make contributions to the list in the comments. Happy New Year, and as always, Ring Out Ahoya!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

D-List List Day...

On occasion there are days at the office that I'll tune into 540 ESPN during the day and today (my last work day of the year ahead of a long weekend) is one of those days. On the D-List (easily the best sports talk show in town) today they had their D-List List Day and the topic was Top 5 Sporting Events You Attended This Decade. So it got me thinking about what my list would be:

1. 3/29/2003 - Marquette kills heavily favored #1 seed Kentucky 83-69 to advance to the Final Four. This game was the crown jewel of one hell of a month that included beating Thuggins and the Bearcats to capture the CUSA regular season championship, road trips to Louisville for the CUSA tourney, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and New Orleans. Dwyane Wade had 29 points, 11 boards, and 11 assists to score his first triple double.

2. 1/20/2008 - NFC Championship Game between the Packers and the Giants at Lambeau Field. Even though we ended up losing the game it was one of the coolest games I've ever been to. The whole day leading up to the game was so surreal. The Packers were one game away from heading to the Super Bowl and the game was going to be played at Lambeau. The Packers were outplayed the whole game and thanks to Lawrence Tynes' 2 missed field goals were given multiple 2nd chances, none of which they could cash in on. Favre had the inexcusable INT in overtime that set up the game winner and set off the great spectacle that has been the Brett Favre "retirement" over the last 2 years.

3. 10/5/2008 - Brewers vs Phillies, Game 3 of the National League Divisional Series. After a 26 year drought playoff baseball was back in Milwaukee and the Brewers beat the Phillies 4-1 to force a Game 4 (which Jeff Suppan forced to crap all over himself). Dave Bush pitched a solid game allowing 1 run over 5 and 1/3 innings and the offense struck first in the bottom of the first with back to back walks to leadoff the game by Cameron and Hall, followed by a Prince sac fly and a JJ Hardy RBI single. The pre- and post-game festivities were just as much fun.

4. 1/4/2006 - Marquette knocks off #2 Connecticut in its Big East debut 94-79. Steve Novak was huge hitting 3's from all over the Bradley Center and finished with 41 points and 16 rebounds. This was also the Big East debut of the Three Amigos (sans Wes Matthews). Jerel McNeal added 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Bradley Center was rocking.

5. 5/20/2001 - Bucks and their big 3 of Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, and Glenn Robinson beat the Charlotte Hornets in game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals to set up a Eastern Conference Final match-up with the Sixers. I attended quite a few Bucks games that year and all of the playoff games and the Bradley Center was rocking that day. A few days earlier the Bucks staved off elimination by coming from 15 points down to force game 7.

Honorable Mention:

1/20/06 - Steve Novak hits fall away 3 from the corner to beat Notre Dame 67-65 at the Bradley Center.
5/16/01 - Ben Sheets strikes out 18 Braves at Miller Park.
4/10/09 - Brewers beat Cubs on Opening Day in Milwaukee on walk off hit by Ryan Braun.
9/14/09 - Section 8 walk off hit by D3Some, after an intentional walk to VaJayJay, to cap of furious rally and win our Monday night softball game 9-8 after trailing 8-1.

I'm sure I could go on and on but that's a pretty good list IMHO.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's A Loss.

Don't much give a shit about what we did in the first 38 minutes, and I really don't want to hear Buzz's pat bullshit about how we have no margin for error and no height and no depth. (Earth to Buzz: we have no height and no depth because you haven't developed Fulce or Williams. STOP BITCHING ABOUT IT AND TURN THEM INTO SERVICEABLE PLAYERS.)

Anyway, it was your standard snatching defeat from the jaws of victory dog-dicking for Buzz & Sons. I don't know a lot about basketball, but I have learned that it's easier to dribble and shoot when you don't have both hands around your neck. Maybe something to work on for Saturday.


EDIT: From Rosiak's recap post:

"Did we look like the 12th-place team out there tonight?"

That was the rhetorical question lobbed in my direction as coach Buzz Williams made his way out to do his post-game radio show ...

Well, yeah, we did look like a 12th place team: we lost. You might want to, you know, WIN A FUCKING GAME before you start asking people to eat crow, Buzz.

Big East Slate

Whether you like it or not, it's officially GO TIME for the Marquette Golden Eagles as they open up Big East play in West Virginia this evening in a matchup with Huggy Bear's Mountaineers. This looks to be an excruciating matchup for our first Big East test. West Virginia is one of six teams in D1 that remain undefeated, are ranked somewhere near the top five in all polls, and have one of the most unusually talented and athletic starting 5 in all of D1 hoops in which ALL starters stand at 6'7" or taller. As we all know MU is still undersized (and lacking depth), so this game has the potential to get ugly. I'm not going to break down tonight's matchup here however(prediction = loss). Nope. Instead, I thought it would be a good time to get in our bold predictions for the '09-'10 season, since we have yet to do so (where u at Reid?). So, without further ado......

@ West Virginia - Loss
Villanova - Loss
Georgetown - Win
@ Villanova - Loss
Providence - Win
@ Depaul - Win
@ Syracuse - Loss
Rutgers - Win
@ Connecticut - Loss
Depaul - Win
@ Providence - Win
South Florida - Win
Pittsburgh - Win
@ Cincinnati - Loss
@ St. Johns - Win
@ Seton Hall - Loss
Louisville - Loss
Notre Dame - Win

Big East Record - 10-8! Really?

Note: Pomeroy predicts an 11-7 record to finish with 20 wins overall and likely NCAA tournament birth. (And believe it or not Pomeroy is actually pretty good at predicting these things)

Without looking at the schedule, and knowing what lack of heighth and depth we have, I would have blindly said that 0.500 is unrealistic and 6-7 wins is likely. However, after looking at the schedule, a 0.500 record or better actually seems doable (Stipulations - No more injuries, and continued improvement of DJO, Buycks, and EWill!). The first 4 games of conference play are just ridiculous.....we know that.....the whole nation knows that as all 3 opponents are currently sitting in the top 15. So going 0-4 or 1-3 is expected and allowed I would say. The question is can we bounce back and remain competetive for what really is a fair remaining schedule?

I set the over/under at 8. Place your bets!

The Dream Is Alive.

Thanks to the continuing 'Queens Swoon Fest '09 -- as well as the emergence of Devin Aroshmauadoau as a viable receiver and Jay Cutler's "fuck it, I'm not letting the kicker decide this game" heave in OT -- there remains an outside chance that the Packers could draw the Vikings in round one of the NFC playoffs.

If my math is right (and my math is rarely, if ever, right), here's what needs to happen in Week 17:

Philadelphia defeats Dallas
, which keeps the Eagles in the No. 2 slot and bumps the 'Boys to 6th (since the Packers beat the Cowboys head-to-head).

New York defeats Minnesota,

Arizona defeats Green Bay -- which knocks the Vikings down to the 4th seed (thanks to the Cardinals regular season win over the Vikings). And, again, the Packers are locked into the 5 seed, thanks to the tiebreaker over the Cowboys.

This doesn't seem all that far-fetched -- except for the part where the Giants looked like shit last week and don't have anything to play for this week, and the Vikings could still grab the 2 seed if Philly spits the bit against Dallas.

Pull it together, you Giant shitheads!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Your End Of The Year Llama-ing.

Your favorite sprite is doling out his end of the year and end of the decade awards, and, amidst the blather about Brett Favre and Brett Favre and Brett Favre and BreFarrrrrrrrrrve is this nugget:
Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers

With all due respect to Prince Fielder, he is not the starting quarterback of the team that this state worships. Rodgers has spent most of the season running for his life and yet he has led this team to the playoffs and thrown for 4,000 yards. He finally led the Packers to a comeback victory--over the Bear no less--and now the only monkey he has to get off his back is winning in the playoffs.
That's right: Aaron Rodgers, in just his second season as a starting NFL quarterback, needs to win a playoff game to get the monkey off his back.

Now, I'm no zoologist, but I believe the species of monkey to which Toddles is referring takes longer than two fucking years to grow to adult size and fully develop its back-clinging capabilities. For example, Tony Romo -- he of the two playoff appearances, one of which as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and zero playoff wins -- might have to be worried about a simian attached to his dorsum. Aaron Rodgers? Not quite yet, methinks.

And, finally, I realize that Welter is from Chicago and is a Bears fan, but I suspect -- and I fear -- that the Llama's sentiments on A-Rodg are shared by a fair number of mouth-breathing Packer fans. Thus, for the memory-impaired Packer faithful, I present the following as a refresher in Green Bay quarterbacking history:

Aaron Rodgers, in Year Two as a starting quarterback (through 15 games):

63.9% completion percentage, 4199 yards, 29 touchdowns, SEVEN INTERCEPTIONS (for a mind-boggling 1.4% interception percentage); and 314 rushing yards with 4 rushing touchdowns, to boot. Quarterback rating: 102.4.

BreFarrrrrrvre, in Year Two as a starting quarterback:

60.4% completion percentage, 3303 yards, 19 touchdowns, TWENTY-FOUR (24) INTERCEPTIONS; and 216 rushing yards, with 1 rushing touchdown. Quarterback rating: 72.2.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mel Kiper's Draft Grades in Review

It's kind of a slow day here at the Buffet. So many people are off work, and they're less willing to waste their own time on this blog than they would be if it were the company's time. I am no exception. But unlike most other people, I am working today. So in a shining example of the tremendous effort that we here at the QB are known for, here is something I read somewhere else and then copied and pasted.

Mel Kiper reviewed his draft day grades today. The Packers got an A on draft day, and after 8 months of reflection this is what Mel thinks now:

Green Bay Packers (Spring grade: A)

I said I loved what this team did with the first two picks, and I'll stand by that. They moved to a 3-4, grabbed two players in B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews that fit Dom Capers' system and have made huge gains. Matthews is a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Brad Jones is a steal in the seventh round. On the whole, four big-time contributors out of one draft on a playoff-caliber team is a lot. Current grade: A

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thanks for a fun week, guys

Hey, everyone.

I know I'm a little late on this, but I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for dramatically exceeding my expectations with Badger Appreciation Week after our friends in red vanquished the Gold last weekend. I will admit, I had my tongue firmly planted in-cheek when I called for the celebration, but you guys summoned the best attention span you could muster and kept it going for almost two full days.

First, you guys appreciated Bo Ryan. Thanks so much for sharing all of your half assed warm thoughts about one of college basketball's elite coaches. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to add my favorite things about Bo Ryan, so I'll chip them in now:

  • A 201-75 record at Wisconsin.
  • Four conference championships in eight seasons.
  • 5-4 against Marquette, including three wins where the Gold entered the game ranked.
  • Didn't give a scholarship to Jeronne Maymon.
Then, you re-enacted my life, as experienced by Brian Butch. I've really got to thank you for this one: Brian Butch is better looking and in better shape than I've been in years. If I was that attractive, tall, and had beaten Marquette twice in three years as a regular, then D3 wouldn't be the only guy around here with a name implying he's slept with more than one lady.

Finally, Rubie posted a photo essay demonstrating the emotions of Bo Ryan. This didn't do much for me, but it did cause Buzz Williams to build some extra barricades around his glass* house**.

* - Buzz is seen here during a rousing sideline karaoke rendition of "Stop, in the Name of Love."
** - And here, he's teaching the finer points of fake mustache wearing.

Sadly, you guys wandered off at this point to discuss the newest former Gold, and never returned to the topic. With that said, I wanted to make sure I stopped by to say thank you for several minutes of league-average-or-so entertainment value.

Now that I'm done, feel free to resume your Maymon-based wild speculation and whining.

Your Patience Has Been Rewarded.

I wrote this back in August, re: the Chill serving as the Hoke Colburn to Brett's Miss Daisy:
Having served as the Favres' personal chauffeur, how in the name of Jehovah is the bald, bespectacled one going to tell Favre which play to run, or which receiver to throw to, or to stop improvising and hand the goddamned ball to Adrian Peterson and getthefuckouttatheway?
At long last, we're seeing the fruits of those seeds. Last night, the cameras caught a heated exchange between Lord Favre and the Chill during the Vikes stinkbomb vs. the Panthers. The topic? Brett says Chill asked him to come out of the game in the third quarter. I'll go out on a limb and paraphrase the rest of the conversation:

CHILL: But, master, we're down by ...

FAVRE: Brett Favre said 'no.'

CHILL: But ...


CHILL: As you wish.
This is AWESOME. It took much, much longer than I expected, and I had to endure two Packers losses to get here, but I fucking knew that dipshit couldn't and wouldn't put the team ahead of his own selfish needs for the whole year.

Sweet Baby Jesus in Heaven, please give us the 'Queens one more time. Please please please.


This is from's story on the sideline dustup:
It was not the first time that Childress wanted to pull Favre from a game, but found the veteran quarterback not willing to step aside.

Sources tell ESPN that on Oct. 5, during a Monday night game against the Green Bay Packers that drew national attention for Favre's first game against his former team, Childress tried to pull Favre when he was unhappy about a decision the quarterback had made.

The Vikings had a 30-20 lead and were running their four-minute offense. The Packers were out of timeouts, and the Vikings called a run play on 3rd and 10 with 3:27 left. Favre changed the play at the line of scrimmage and took a shot downfield that fell incomplete, stopping the clock.

Childress was furious and told offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell that he was taking Favre out of the game, sources told ESPN. Bevell talked Childress out of it, but news got back to Favre that Childress was going to pull him.

That week, sources said, Favre went into Childress' office and confronted him and Childress backtracked, saying that it was the emotion of the game and the coach didn't want to get too far away from what they were doing offensively.

It's all happening! It's all happening!


The Packers lost yesterday! That means we can talk about them, right? I mean no one seemed very interested when they were winning 5 straight games, but they lost yesterday which means they suck! So let's get talking 'bout those Packers! You know who I blame for this game? Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre would've never let us lose that game. You know who else is clearly to blame here, Ted Thompson. If Thompson wasn't such a retard, he would have drafted players that were smart enough to not score touchdowns so quickly at the end of a game. Man this team is horrible, and this game shows it. This is the beginning of the long hoped for death spiral that will finally allow us to be rid of these jokeshops forever. Then we can bring in Mike Holmgren and Bill Cowher to build a real team in Green Bay!

Back on Earth, here's what I really think about yesterday's Packer game:

-The secondary got torched, obviously. But you have to admit that Roethlisberger is a tough guy for the Packers to match-up with. You can pressure him, but he'll elude you. You can get hands on him, but he's a bitch to bring down. It seemed like he made the biggest plays of the game right after almost being sacked. Guys were having to cover for 8 seconds, and when those guys include the likes of Jarret Bush and Josh Bell (who?) that's a bad thing.

-I'm inclined to give that Bell dude a break on that last TD. The coverage wasn't terrible, and the throw and catch were perfect. That's a damn near indefensible play.

-Mason Crosby: Fuck you. I don't think anymore needs be said.

-The go-ahead TD. It's debatable whether or not Jones should have taken that ball in for the score. SBTG texted me right after that and said "too much time left". While I agreed, I think that it would've been dumb to turn down a go-ahead touchdown with 2 minutes to play. Especially considering A) The Packers have not been good in short yardage, goal-to-go situations this year, and B) I don't think anyone (Mason Crosby included) wanted that game to come down to a field goal attempt, even a 24 yarder.

-Penalties, holy shit. I don't know if this was a by-product of the Packers reputation for being a team that clutches and grabs in the secondary, the officials' heightened awareness of possible PI/defensive holding calls, the officials' incompetence, some NBA-esque league conspiracy to get the Steelers back on their feet, or just shitty secondary play (I suspect a wicked combination of all of the above), but the amount of penalties in the Packers' secondary was fucking nauseating. It's easy to move the ball against the Packers, just throw it near a covered receiver and you'll probably get a call.

-It's not that big a deal. It's a loss to a desperate defending champion, in their building. I am not going to get my undies in a bundle after this one. Does it suck, yes. But a win next week against Seattle, at home, and the Packers are a 10 win team just like we all predicted at the outset of the season. It just may not have been the exact route we anticipated. If the Packers don't shit the bed next week, it will probably take a minor miracle for them to not make the playoffs. Personally, I'm OK with that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Crazy Town. Population: Tim Maymon.

I'm lifting the self-imposed moratorium on Jeronne Maymon discussion; I believe we're ethically bound to discuss the comments Tim Maymon made to Madison reporters. (Much love to Walsh for the link.)

Curiously, TimMay didn't get on the crazy train when he was talking about Buzz and the Marquette staff. He actually went out of his way to compliment them, saying: "Everything they did was wonderful. They did a great job with Jeronne, getting him eligible, keeping him eligible, keeping him motivated. I commend Buzz and Tony."

But, like I always say, you can only hold crazy in for so long. Asked where J-May might be headed, Pa Maymon went off the rails:
"We're looking at some decent programs, like Central Florida, where Michael Jordan's son (Marcus) plays," Tim Maymon said. "That would be a great school that he could go in and they could pretty much get to the Final Four and do some damage."
Stifle, if you can, your laughter about Central Florida being a potential Final Four contender. Focus, instead, on the comment about Michael Jordan's son playing there, and you'll find the key to this whole mess: TimMay wants to rub elbows with the Basketball Elite. As I feared (but probably always knew, deep down), this is about him, not his kid.

This really, really bums me out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Notes From the BC Last Night

Given the relative dearth of decent college basketball on TV this week, D3 and I took the opportunity to head over to the Bradley Center and watch the Bucks take on the defending NBA champs last night. What ensued was a pretty damn entertaining basketball game. Too bad Kobe Bryant had to go and do what he do, and hit a 16 foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer and sent the majority of the (allegedly) 16,000 fans home bummin'. Here is my take on some of what we saw:

-Being that the vast majority of my basketball viewing is of the collegiate variety, I sometimes forget how damn good the pros are. There were so many times that we saw a shot go up and and said "what the hell!" And when it went in we remembered that we we're dealing with professionals here, and the definition of "good shot" is a little more loosely defined on this level.

-A large percentage of our "what the hell" and "NO DON'T SHOOT THAT" comments were directed at Ersan Ilyasova. That crazy Turk loves his jumper, and he was not bashful about letting them fly. We were fairly sure that he needed to STOP SHOOTING!!! But he clearly didn't give a shit what we thought and kept right on shootin'. And to his credit he hit all 4 of his shots, some big shots, in the 4th quarter and overtime, en route to a career high 24 points.

-The only thing Ilyasova didn't hit in the game's final periods were his damn free throws. He missed two with under a minute to play in OT that would have put the Bucks up 108-102, and probably would've been enough to seal the deal. He wasn't alone in crucial FT missing, Bogut missed one that would have put the Bucks up 1 with 20 seconds to go in regulation.

-Making Ersan's FT misses even more critical was the fact that Kobe got the ball right after, went to the other end and did his superstar thing. Which, in the NBA, is code for got a foul call that no one in the building saw except the guys with the whistles. On a call that SBTG described in a text as "horseshit!!!", Kobe spun in the lane and barreled into Bogut while flipping up a shot. It looked like one of two things could've been called, either it was a charge on Kobe or a travel. Instead, the superstar (who had been quite irritated at a few no-calls on previous trips) got the call, count the bucket, and one. Fucking NBA man.

-Someone woke up Michael Redd for this one. He played 36 minutes off the bench and had a team high 25 points. But in typical Michael Redd fashion, he felt the need to go 1 on 5 when the Bucks really needed a bucket: including right after Kobe's 3-point play in OT. He pulled up from 3 and predictably missed, giving Kobe the ball with 5 seconds left, and a 1 point deficit. At which point, D3 said "Well, ready for the Kobe dagger?" I was. During the game's final minute it was Kobe Bryant - 7 Milwaukee Bucks - 0. There was no doubt he was hitting that shot.

-In other Redd news, all the recent leg injuries must've given him a lot of time to sculpt his guns. That dude's arms are looking buff. And it was funny that he seemed to be attempting to show them off in every big screen promo he was in. Weird.

-This marked my first opportunity to see Young Money, Brandon Jennnings in person and he wasn't really at his best. He had a quiet 11 point, 7 assist night. He only shot 4-11 and seemed to be a little to eager to shoot 3s for mine or Scott Skiles' taste. He was replaced by Ridnour, who had the hotter hand, for most of the 4th quarter and OT. Meh, rookies, it happens.

-There are still some things about the NBA game that just kind of irk me. I don't know if it's this way in all NBA cities, but I suspect it is. The pumped up music during play is one of the big ones for me. I don't get nearly as annoyed by all the little songs and clappers that are played during the game as D3 does, but playing blaring music while the home team has the ball in critical situations is where I draw the line. Twice the Bucks called timeouts late in the game to draw up plays in big situations. The sound man busts out Crazy Train, or something of the sort, to get the crowd fired up. Pretty standard really. But they don't cut it, or even turn it down, once play begins, so the home team is forced to run this play that they just used a TO to draw up, with Ozzy cranked to 11 in their ears. I hope that play runs exactly how they drew it up, because there is no possibility for verbal communication in the event it doesn't.

-I still like the Bucks. I know the majority of the patrons of the blog, and residents of this city for that matter, pretty much don't give two shits about the Bucks, but I still do. It's a fun time when they're decent. Seeing a semi-packed house, and a crowd that was pretty fired up last night, I remembered what it was like when they were actually good. I really hope they can find some success here in the next few years, because it would definitely suck to not have them around.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happier Times.

SI is doing an end of the decade retrospective, and today they're tackling the highlights and lowlights in college basketball for the past ten years. The Best Single Game Performance category should make you smile, especially with what's transpired in the last couple days:
MOST OUTSTANDING SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE: Dwyane Wade's triple-double vs. Kentucky; March 29, 2003

Few casual basketball fans had heard the name Dwyane Wade (much less learned how to spell it) before the 2003 Midwest regional final in Minneapolis, but the 6-5 junior guard from Marquette made quite a name for himself that day. Wade had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the Golden Eagles' 83-69 upset of top-seeded Kentucky. The runner-up in this category goes to Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony for his 20-point, 10-rebound, seven-assist performance in the Orange's victory over Kansas in that season's NCAA championship game.
Good times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Any Way You Spin It, Something's Rotten.

It's been less than 24 hours since the announcement that Jeronne Maymon was leaving Marquette, and, in that time, there's been nary a peep from J-May, from TimMay (which is downright baffling, in my mind, given how much that dude loves to talk), or from Buzz (other than the terse: "We wish him the best" statement that was put out last night). There's been plenty of speculatin', for sure, but nobody -- not Todd Rosiak, not any of the self-labeled "insiders" on the MU message boards, not even E$ -- seems to have any definitive information on what the fuck, exactly, blew up in the last couple days.

Never one to shy away from speculation (it's a Tuesday in December -- what the hell else are we going to talk about?), I thought I'd compile a list of possible situations that led to J-May's departure. Here are the possibilities (presented in no particular order); lemme know if you see others:

* TimMay (TIMMAY!) freaks out after the Madison game, questions why his son isn't starting/playing more, and threatens to take his toy home. And then one of two things happens:

(1) Buzz says, "I ain't changin'," and TimMay makes good on his threat; or
(2) Buzz says, "No one tells me how to run my program," calls TimMay's bluff, and puts out the "We wish him the best in the future" press release.

Why it doesn't make sense: If you believe the report that says that TimMay had no idea there was anything amiss at Marquette, this scenario doesn't work. That said, from what I've read about Tim Maymon, he seems to know what's going on with his kid at all times. He strikes me as the kind of dad who would text his son, then call three minutes later if he didn't get a reply. So: the whole "he loves it there, I didn't know anything was wrong" stuff doesn't make much sense.

Why it would be troubling: Because it took only 10 games for our worst fears about J-May and his fami-lay to come true. Also: because it would confirm all the things Rodent fans were saying about TimMay. And, finally (and probably most importantly): because that's a really shitty thing for a father to do to his 18-year-old son.

* Unbeknownst to TimMay, J-May has a meeting with Buzz, asking why he's not playing more. Buzz chews him out, tells him to work harder in practice and play better defense. J-May pouts and decides he's quitting. And Buzz issues the press release wishing J-May well.

Why it makes more sense than the last scenario: Again, if you believe TimMay, this would solve the problem of Papa Maymon not knowing that there was anything wrong. But, again, based on the family dynamic (at least as it's been presented thus far), it seems like J-May doesn't drop a deuce until he's gotten clearance from Pa.

Why it would be troubling: For many of the same reasons as the first scenario.

* J-May has a Jon Moxon "I DON'T WANT YUR LIIII-FE" moment, tells off his dad, and then tells Buzz: "I gotta be my own man, and I can't do that here."

Why it makes some sense: Because you'd figure something's gotta give eventually.

Why it would be troubling: Because we lost a good player. (But, in the end, I'm pulling for this one. Go spread your wings, little bird.)

* J-May didn't have the grades to qualify for second semester, and he knows that he won't be able to bring them up, now or ever.

Why it doesn't make sense: Because, as our Badger infiltrator pointed out in the last post, people who are (seemingly) a lot dumber than J-May have made it through college. (Christ, look at Moongoose.) And because you'd like to think the kid would at least take a semester to try and work his way through the academic problems.

* Because Bo cast a Voodoo Witch Doctor spell on J-May during the second half of the Madison game.

"I want to leave ... Marquette now. Satan is good. Satan is our pal." "Jeronne -- Jeronne. You're chanting!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Departed

In what has become an alarming trend, another player has decided to leave the MU program. Jeronne Maymon, one of the highly touted newcomers, is the latest victim to abruptly quit the team. Buzz Williams was quoted as saying that this is effective immediately and we thank Jeronne for his contributions to the team. I was the unfortunate news breaker to many of you just minutes ago after stumbling upon the mayhem on the MU message boards. Three letters....W T F. The official reason for his departure has yet to be disclosed, so we can only speculate at this point. Some think it's academics due to the timing of it all (end of exams, semester). Some don't think he knew what he was getting himself into with Big East D1 basketball. Others, this being myself, point directly to (drum roll please).......PLAYING TIME. Again, this is merely speculation but it makes absolute sense to me. The day of Jeronne's initial committment to MU, he was quoted as saying that playing time was a huge factor in his decision. Buzz essentially told him he was going to start and be a major factor from day 1. This was a HUGE selling point to Jeronne and more so his old man. The reason Baylor was so much in the picture was because they were guaranteeing a starting gig as well. Considering is accolades coming out of Madison Memorial, a starting spot on a major D1 team wasn't out of the question.

Fast forward to this season. Our beloved MU squad again is short handed and undersized. That being said, I along with many thought that our top 15 recruiting class was going to come in and have a major impact just as the class of '05 James, Matthews, McNeal did. Boy was I wrong! I don't completely understand the whole situations in practice, but for whatever reason Buzz was not using the likes of Jeronne Maymon and Erik Williams too often throughout the early portion of the nonconference season. Through Saturday's game, JMay only was averaging 16 min's per game (EWill far less, but we're talking Maymon here) along with 4 pts and 4 rbds. Really, not too shabby of production for short stints off the bench.

It was obvious that Jeronne wasn't too happy with what was going on. He likely was expecting to start, yet was being overlooked for Joe Fulce, a junior-college transfer and essentially a fill-in player. I think this was affecting his attitude in all facets of his game. While he was holding his own on the court, he never seemed to have an intensity or fire to his game like many were describing during his days at Madison Memorial. In a word, I would say he looked lackadaisical.

When asked about the playing time of Erik Williams (among others), he would constantly reference practice. These players had to perform/bring intensity to practice or they weren't going to see the floor on game day. They had to earn their keep. Unfortunately I don't think Maymon was bringing it. He was hyped all through high school, won awards and a state title, was probably told how good he was, and was even guaranteed a starting spot on Marquette's squad. So what did he have to work for?

I hope I'm wrong here. I hope it's a personal problem. I hope it's homesickness. I hope it's academics, so maybe he can get is shit straight and rejoin the team. Anything but playing time because that is absolutely the worst answer he can give. If he's not willing to work hard for his PT, regardless of how good he is, he will never be as good as he is touted and I frankly don't want that kind of player on our team representing our school anyways. These types of scenarios rarely if ever work out. See Dameon Mason. See Odarty Blankson. See Bell. These kids think the problem is with the coach, players, instituion, etc.........but not themselves. Unfortunately they likely will be the same person but in a different colored uniform.

Looking ahead:

1. Immediately, this only cripples our depth even further. Cue Erik Williams. 3 weeks ago I was discussing the possibility of EWill transferring due to lack of playing time/relationship with Buzz. Not once did I think Maymon was going to be on the outs. Now, Erik immediately needs to step in and contribute (it's too bad he hasn't played any meaningful minutes to this point). Any further injuries/departures and we might need go to the Rec center and pick up some playas.

2. We now have 2 available scholarships for next season. I have no freakin' clue what can happen. I'm sure another JuCo will sign. It's too bad Monterale Clark had to be involved in the gang rape of some sorority girl. Playing time still available, but please Buzz, don't guarantee a starting gig.

3. I officially am starting to wonder about Buzz. Too many comings and goings means instability. Never a good thing (I don't care what business you are in......I guess it could work in the porn industry). I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for now.

4. Honestly, Jeronne wasn't bringin' it. Not once did I see the intensity that the likes of Dom, Wes, and Jerel brought from day 1. This really has been the one defining characteristic of Marquette basketball on a national level in recent years and I'd like it to continue. That being said, in spite of Jeronne's talents (of which I really have yet to see in a game), if he's going to walk through this we don't want him.

I'm sure we'll find out what the scoop is in the near future. Until then, lets still try and enjoy the remaining talent left on the roster. I'm still optimistic about EWill. He's got freaky length and mad hops!

"Potrykus" Is Apparently German For "Cackling Douchefuck."

This guy really bills himself as some kind of objective reporter?
Although Wisconsin's 72-63 victory over Marquette gave the Badgers' bragging rights for a year and gave UW fans the opportunity to tweak their rivals from Milwaukee if they choose, poll voters weren't as impressed or enthused.
I'll give him this: it's damn impressive that he's able to see his laptop screen and hammer out this nonsense when his face is full of Bo's cocknballs.

Feelings 101...

Like most of the regular contributors to Q@B, I am a graduate of Marquette University. And even though our school is only slightly better than a technical or community college, it does offer a variety of classes that I can apply in my everyday life. One such class, "The Conscious Subjective Experience of Emotion" or "Feelings 101"* has provided me with the tools needed to decipher what any human being is feeling at any given time based on his facial expressions. Case in point: Bo Ryan:











*Ironically enough I didn't even have to study, attend class, or play defense to pass this class but it did cost me $8,450 per credit. And thanks to Daddy's trust fund there was no need to use state funding or take out huge student loans to pay for it.

The Life of KL Snow - A Brian Butch Photo Essay

KL Snow eating a Mega Sour Warhead******
******It's no Bold Party Chex Mix, but it will do

Angry KL Snow - last seen when Scott Tolzien/Chris Klein was picked off by Northwestern. Also exhibited when Bret Bielema turned down his autograph request for the 8th time.

KL's first colonoscopy.

Hip-hop KL.

KL after gruesomely dislocating his elbow during UW's first game as the #1 team in the nation since the Hoover administration. Oh wait, that was actually Brian Butch.
KL after Dick Bennett abandoned his team in mid-season.

KL's fist pump after completing last night's post. Also show after the Sun Bowl & Champs Sports Bowl invites were announced.

KL after Bo Ryan continued to run the swing when down 20+ points to Davidson (!) in the tournament.

KL's jealousy after realizing Davidson had a lamer looking honkey on their team.

KL's masturbatory fodder.

Badger Appreciation Week: Bo Ryan.

You know, when I first saw that KL had befouled the Buffet with a post requesting a Badger Appreciation Week, I almost hit the roof. On the heels of the Rodents home-cooked victory on Saturday*, this seemed to be an unnecessary introduction of salt to a very fresh wound.

* As best I can tell, the Badgers only run one play when the shot clock is about to expire: dribble aimlessly, wait for Ed Hightower to bail you out with a horseshit hand-check call, then take your throws, since you've been in the fucking bonus since the 13 minute mark of the second half.

But then I thought about it some more, and I finally realized: KL's right. We really do spend too much time mocking, insulting, and Purple Nurpling the Great Red Menace to the west. So, starting today, we're going to find something nice to say about the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Let's start at the top, with Badger head basketball coach/swinger Bo Ryan. Inspired by this effort from our friends at Michigan State (with love to Cracked Sidewalks for the link), everybody list your favorite thing about Bo.

I'll start:

I appreciate that Bo is so concerned about the spread of AIDS. Whenever he rapes a chimp, he makes sure to wear a condom.

Go nuts.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So, does this make it Badger Appreciation Week?

Well, Badger Hate Week was kind of a dud, finished off with a well-earned victory Saturday afternoon in Madison.

I've heard a lot of trash talking this week about the Badgers. I've heard them called Commie Rodents, and I've heard Bo Ryan, easily the state's most successful basketball coach, called a "fetus-faced douchelicker."* Today, he's the fetus-faced douchelicker who coached those Commie Rodents to a victory over the Gold**.

* - That comment is actually several weeks old. As I mentioned, Badger Hate Week was kind of a dud.
** - You can't just throw away a new name after one season. If you're short-sighted enough to rename your team "The Gold," then you are now and forever "The Gold."

But, there's no need to act like someone just urinated in your Bold Party Chex Mix***. Instead, I'll give you an opportunity to atone for all the Badger hatred you didn't spew forth this week. I'm declaring it Badger Appreciation Week - an opportunity for all of us to share our favorite things about the scrappy, well-coached team from Madison that never seems to pick up the five-star recruits but still somehow continually manages to outperform those gentlemen from Marquette.

*** - Might be the secret ingredient. You never know.

As always, enjoy responsibly.****

**** - I know you won't, but encouraging you in that direction gives me the moral high ground and the right to shake my head when you don't.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The battle against communism.

It's finally here. The one non-conference game that we look forward to every year. I had a couple opportunities to attend this game today, but due to a family Christmas party at girlfriend of VJJ's folk's house, I'm stuck in Racine. I'm sure I could have gone, but I enjoy my current situation.

I'm sure I'll hear from those attending today, but I'll be in a ground zero of my own. I'll be surrounded by Badger fans and how argumentative and vulgar I get will increase exponentially with each Old Fashion I have.
I'm going to try and report on the goings on at this party. I hope they'll be happy reports and less intelligible as the night goes on.

After the first time out and we are down 11 - 3. First old fashion in hand.
Second time out. It's not looking good. Mbao got in. A white guy got a rebound over him. Ugh. The Badgers fans love this.
My old fashion is empty and Marquette looks like crap still. Is it wrong to want to punch a 12 year old in the mouth?
Under 4 and now starting to make a run. DJO saving our asses.
Well that wasn't too bad. Could have been worse. This could be better if I had another drink. Thank goodness the grandma came down. She makes one hell of an old fashion.
*Hey look at that. Lazar decided to show up. Still not too good so far. This old fashion(ed) is.
*let's hope this keeps up. These Wisconsin fans (well one racist in particular) need a good punching.
*The foul situation seems a little out of whack. It's hard to tell with a room full of people complaining about ghetto ball and black people. On a side note, I really like Marquette's shoes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

MikeHunt Is The Tobias Funke Of Sports Journalism.

From the man who gave you:
A lot of managers and coaches privately applauded Samurai Mike for doing something they'd willingly take repeated prostate exams to do, but know they can't because of the nature of the game.
... comes this curious way of describing the signing of new Brewer (and future Rubie Punching Bag) Randy Wolf:
Just as Doug Melvin met up with Mark Attanasio in Los Angeles three years ago to sign Suppan, they just finished tag-teaming Randy Wolf in LA-LA Land, ever so gently twisting his left arm to put $29.75 million in his pocket.
Keeping with the title of this post, I'm going to paraphrase Michael Bluth's advice to Dr. Funke: after you write one of these columns, MikeHunt, you might want to set it aside for a while, then come back a few hours later and read it again. I think you might be surprised by what you wrote.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Badger Hate Week: History Primer.

There was talk last week of a series of Badger Hate Week posts leading up to the game against the Commie Rodents this Saturday. It looks that idea got off to a rousing start while I was incommunicado the last three days.

Fine, I'll start us off.

For those unfamiliar with the history of UW-Madison* basketball, allow me to summarize the Badgers NCAA tourney results, from the 1947-'48 season to the 1992-'93 season:

* Now, more than ever, the Badger basketball team must be referred to as "UW-Madison." After spitting the bit last night against the Green Bay Phoenix, I've decided that the Badgers have ceded the "UW" mantle to UWGB. Until the Badgers beat the Phoenix, then, I'm calling UWGB the "UW Phoenix." Hey, they earned it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Done Deal is reporting that the Brewers have gotten their man, inking Randy Wolf to a 3 year, $29.75M deal. It's definitely a gamble, but I guess it's one you have to take at this point. The Brewers have to add pitching, and everyone knows it. They came out firing at the top guy on their list (aside from John Lackey, who they clearly deemed out of their price range). Surely there will be more to come, but I doubt it will be anything until January when the prices might come down on the more middle tier guys who have yet to sign. I guess one thing is for sure, he can't be any worse than what we had this year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger-gate Update

A quick update to my speculation last week about Tiger Woods cheating on his wife...

  • -The number of alleged mistresses has now reached double-digits and is rapidly approaching a Barney Stinson-esque triple digits. That's a lot of poon.

  • -A witness reported that Woods may have been under the influence. Reports indicate that it also could have been a cocktail of Ambien and Vicodin (not good to do the Vic and drive). Also, a subpoena request for Woods' blood sample was denied for lack of evidence.

-Another report indicates that Elin may have moved out of the house.

-At 2:30am this morning a blonde female was rushed to the emergency room. Another blonde female followed the ambulance in a black Escalade.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brewers Want Decision From Counsell On Contract Proposal

Barry Meister replies,"Those are balls."

Kidding... but Doug Melvin would really like an answer. At a significant hometown discount, I am all for Craigers coming back. Sadly, I think he probably is going to command more money (and years) than we are willing to commit.

In the event that a Craigers deal can't be completed, the Crew picked up Pirates castoff Luis Cruz.

Keeping Reid up to date, rumors seem to indicate that a signing of Randy Wolf is imminent.

Note: I'm not sure why but, for some reason, I imagine Barry Meister to look like Barry Zuckerkorn. I did a 'Barry Meister' Google image search and came up empty-handed. SO congrats Barry Meister, you now will be honored in the blogosphere as an aging, incompetent, version of The Fonz.

Blurbs from the Winter Meetings

Well I've finally calmed down from the excitement of the Gregg Zaun signing. So I've been able to spend the day scouring the baseball blogs for any movement by the Brewers during Day 1 of Baseball's annual winter swap meet. In case you have to do actual work during the day, and weren't able to check into all this yourself, here's what I've come across:

-As previously expected, the Brewers have come up in discussions about pretty much every pitcher out there. They have been mentioned as possiblilities for Kevin Correia, Randy Wolf, Joel Piniero, and Doug Davis. People seem to think that Wolf is Option A.

-The Brewers apparently are not in on any deal for Edwin Jackson from the Tigers.

-The Rockies are rumored to have inquired about the availability of Corey Hart. Possibly in a trade for Ryan Spillborghs.

-Jeff Suppan for Juan Pierre? The Dodgers better be picking up a healthy chunk of the $8.5M that Pierre would be getting paid in 2011. If they are, I'm fine with that.

That's all the big stuff for now. You can bet that I'll be watching this shit like a hawk until I clock out and go home to my broken computer. Stay tuned, if something big breaks you can bet that I'll be the 13th or 14th person to blog about it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This. Right Here.

I'm borrowing this picture from Walsh's site, because it sums up, perfectly, why I can't fucking stand this fetus-faced douchelicker:

Fellas (and fella-ettes), when it comes to Bo Ryan, I have no rational thoughts to express anymore. I have been reduced to unhinged, aimless, and arbitrary cursing (as will become evident in just a second here).

I don't know if this picture was taken after Trevon Hughes fouled Jon Scheyer with about 30 seconds left last night (and with the Badgers up 4, I believe), but, even if it wasn't, Bo's reaction was the same as the one depicted above:

"Oh! WHAT?!?! A foul? I'm shocked! I'm affronted! I'm going to proceed to act like a fucking jackass!"

FUCK YOU, MAN. Your boy Trevon rode Jon Scheyer like he was the fucking sidecar on a goddamn motorcycle. He fucking hip-checked that dude all the way up the court. And, yet, you act like Trevon was in a different fucking ZIP code and couldn't possibly have committed a foul. "But I told them not to foul! And my team always listens to me, because I'm such a very good coach! And because I've never gotten a top-100 recruit before, I have to mold these hapless, talentless shits into a well-oiled basketball machine. I DO MORE WITH LESS! And I said no foul! How could there be a foul?"

STOP IT. FUCKING STOP IT. LEAVE THE JACKASSERY TO POOR-SPORT FANS LIKE ME. You, on the other hand, should just sit there with your fucking bald spot and your fucking rodent face and coach the goddamned fucking game.



What do you do when:

You beat a grossly-overrated Duke team, whose best win on the young year is a victory over an equally-overrated UCONN squad ...

The win comes on the second day of December ...

Your own program was ranked No. 1 in the nation just three years ago (I'll save you the trouble of Googling it: February '07) ...

Apparently, if you're in Madison, you rush the floor.

Way to act like you've been there before, dipshits.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Arbitration Day!!!

Well, another way-point in the Hot Stove League has come. Today was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents, and the market is beginning to take shape. In case you're new to the game, knowing who was and wasn't offered arbitration allows prospective suitors to know if they will be required to forfeit draft picks to acquire a player. There aren't a ton of real worthwhile Class A free agents out there this year. In fact more "name" free agents were not offered arbitration this year than were. So it's less significant than in past years, but it still gives us an idea.

Surprisingly, the Brewers offered arbitration to no one. I thought for sure they'd offer Felipe Lopez. The guy just had the best year of his career, I doubt he'd be to eager to sign a one year deal to be a utility man in Milwaukee. But, apparently the negative of him accepting, and having to give him the raise he'll be due, was deemed greater than the positive of the potential sandwich pick they would get if he signed elsewhere. I'm ok with that. The talk is that the Brewers are pinching their pennies to spend on pitching. Ya think?

The next stop on the Hot Stove Highway is the Winter Meetings, in the baseball hotbed of Indianapolis, IN. This is the real show. This is where shit gets done. So what do we expect out of our beloved Brewers at the Winter Meetings this year. They've already made a ripple by signing cagey veteran lefty John Halama. But something tells me they'll need more than that to improve the rotation. So one would hope that they have something on the agenda to get done down in Indy. What I expect:

-The long rumored Mark Mulder deal will get done (if it's not done before)

-The Brewers will flirt with John Lackey, but nothing will ultimately come of it.

-In fact the Brewers' dire need for pitching help will probably mean their name will come up in discussions for just about every pitcher on the market. But I think they'll probably get done at least one other deal for a pitcher. Whether it's Davis, Bedard, Pavano (who I suggested the Brewers take a look at back on July 27: see comment 3), Harden, Duscherer or someone out of left-field that I can't even think of. They don't have a choice, they have to sign someone.

-There will have to be something done to address the bench depth. I'm curious if Counsell will come back. Man, where would this team have been without Craig Counsell last year? *shudder*

-Maybe a trade. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Crew make a deal. I don't expect a blockbuster, but something on the mid-level wouldn't shock me at all. What's Corey Hart's value right now? (Ok, it's shitty, I know. But I'm just thinking out loud here.)

Whatever it is, it's obvious something has to happen. I don't know what the ideal move is, but I'm very interested to see what transpires.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Was there any doubt?

To no one's surprise, Derek Jeter was named SI Sportsman of the Year for finally leading the Yankees back to greatness and helping them earn their 27th World Series Championship. But in my book he should get the award just for landing Lyla Garrity (aka Minka Kelly) from the critically acclaimed tv show Friday Night Lights

Monday, November 30, 2009


Because we're not supposed to criticize college basketball players -- since they're young and not getting paid and are representing my alma mater, and all -- I have instead decided to say this about Maurice Acker and David Cubillan. It's the same thing your buddy might tell you if he's trying to set you up with a big girl:

Mo Acker and David Cubillan are very nice people. In fact, after the night they collectively had yesterday (53 minutes, 4 points, 0-6 on threes, 3 assists, 2 rebounds -- COMBINED), I think it's safe to say they're two of the nicest people who have ever played at Marquette. Sure, we got spoiled with four years of Dom James, but, still, you'd think that two very, very nice young men could muster a handful of points and assists in a game. Instead, they were invisible. And nice. Very, very, maddeningly nice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ok, I'm done with the NBA again.

After a long week of hunting and stuffing my face, I was ready for a full day of doing nothing but sitting on the couch watching sports. And since every day of sports is better when you have an increased rooting interest, I decided to stop by Centsports to place a few wagers on yesterday's events.

Now, I've had a rough run of luck lately (lost six straight parlays), so I was back down to a dime in my account. In an effort to climb out of that hole, I bet said dime on this four way parlay:

CBB: Marquette (+5) over Michigan
CFB: Illinois (+21) over Cincinnati
CFB: Over 40 combined for Colorado-Nebraska
NBA: Bucks (+5) over Oklahoma City

As I'm sure most of you know, Marquette cruised to a victory over Michigan. One down.

And Illinois? They were out of it for most of the game, but Cincinnati's defense kept them just close enough to only lose by 13. Two down.

I'm not going to lie - even with money riding on it, I couldn't pretend to give a shit about Colorado-Nebraska. But, I checked back sometime in the middle of the second half and it was already 28-14. Three down.

Then there was the turd in the punch bowl. It's been a long time since I've cared about the NBA, and I probably shouldn't have allowed myself to get suckered in. With that said, this Bucks team kind of looks like fun, from a distance. I'll admit, I watched Brandon Jennings score 55 against the Warriors and it was a good time. So, certainly they could keep it within 5 against a low-level Western Conference team, right?

Wrong. Last night's game reminded me of everything I hate about watching NBA basketball. The me-first-and-nothing-else-second mentality. Terrible shot decisions. Sloppy play. Players giving up on plays five seconds into the shot clock. All the fundamental skills of a bad high school girls team, demonstrated by players who are supposed to be professionals.

And where the hell was Brandon Jennings? The player I tuned in to watch, Milwaukee's supposed franchise savior, sat out a large chunk of the first quarter and nearly all of the third. While Jennings sat the bench and watched Ersan Ilyasova throw up airballs*, the Thunder went on a 25-4 run and never looked back.

* - Dude, seriously. How many times do you have to miss the same shot? You're on the court with some decent basketball players. Even Michael Redd was less worthless offensively than you last night. Pass the damn ball.

Actually, though, the moment that sticks out in my mind belongs to Hakim Warrick. With the Bucks snowballing downhill in the third quarter, Warrick got an uncontested dunk and hung on the rim for roughly 6 minutes, drawing a T. It's a stupid thing to do, but at least he should learn from it, right? Nope. Next time he scored was another dunk, and he did the same goddamn thing, causing me to yell loud enough to send the dog into hiding. Fortunately, the refs weren't paying attention this time.

It's moments like that that drove me away from the NBA in the first place. And after watching last night's mess, it'll be a while before I give it a chance again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rumormongering: 'Why doesn't anyone believe me about this Tiger Woods shit?' edition

Me: 'hey, did you hear that rumor about Tiger Woods?'

9 out of 10 people: 'Oh, that terrible accident?'

Me: 'No! Fucker cheated on his wife! Wonder if that 'accident' had anything to do with the wife finding out.'

9 out of 10 people: 'Tiger wouldn't do that.'


Wes Matthews, NBA starter?

Apparently I have been in some sort of cave for a couple of weeks. I was trying to watch the WGN news at 9 (that's channel 9 at 9... chicken fuckers) and it was interrupted midway by the start of the Bulls at Jazz game. Starting lineups were introduced and, low and behold, Wes Matthews was announced.

I knew he made the team out of necessity (Utah had a few injuries and decided to go into luxury tax territory to carry him for a few games) and then proved himself well enough for a full-time roster spot with good playing time but I was unaware of this starting business. I Googled it and it appears Wes has been starting for two weeks solid.

While his offensive numbers weren't impressive last night (6 pts in 22 minutes of play) he was all over the place and touched the ball quite a bit. I think the Jazz, as a relatively young team, are a good fit for Wes.

From undrafted to rookie starter, way to go Wes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Thanksgiving, embrace your inner Quevedotarian

Is there an American holiday* more dedicated to gluttony than Thanksgiving? I don't think there is. If ever there was an opportunity to become a Quevedotarian for a day, it's Thanksgiving.

* - Quevedo Day doesn't count. Yes, it's a holiday which originated in America, but it has yet to be accepted by most states.

And how does one become a Quevedotarian, you ask? Are you really that dumb**? One starts by gathering all the food one can find. This is hungry work, so feel free to grab a snack on the way. Then, in a display that would make the producers of Man vs Food shudder, you're going to eat it all. But this is Thanksgiving, so you have to kick it up a notch***, covering all of this food with one of the three major fat groups: gravy, butter, and whipped cream. If you'd like to add a touch of irony, wash it down with a diet soda or twelve.

** - It's a rhetorical question, dumbass.
*** - Bam!

Since you're sitting at home reading a blog at night on a holiday weekend, odds are you're already a prime candidate for Quevedotarianism****. But, on the off chance you're not already an expert glutton, here's a quick Quevedotarian-approved Thanksgiving menu:

**** - Did you see what I did there? I implied you might be fat and lazy*****.
***** - Really, I'm just using the asterisks at this point as a demonstration for Rubie, who could use them in his work, but instead abuses the hell out of parentheses. Seriously. Have you seen him use a set of parentheses inside another set of parentheses******?
****** - Yes, this has actually happened.

  • Turduckens are for pansies. A true Quevedotarian opts for the Oinking Turducken - a boneless duck, inside a boneless chicken, inside a turkey, wrapped in bacon. For added calories, serve with mashed potatoes and bacon grease gravy. Skip the cranberry sauce and any vegetables that may have snuck on the table*******.
  • At least three side dishes you developed a recipe for after seeing it on I'll recommend the Smortuary, the Toaster Orgy, and to add some extra bacon, The Irish Hog.
  • And finally, finish it off with Pumpkin Pie ala Bazookie. The whole thing. Maybe two.
******* - Seriously, we're working on a masterpiece here, and you were going to screw it up with something healthy? You really are an idiot.

This is actually a light Thanksgiving. You should be done with this by the time the Packers are done finding a way to lose to the Lions tomorrow. Thankfully, most pizza places are still open tomorrow, for when you're hungry again around 4:30. Until then, feel free to munch on some Bold Party Chex Mix********.

******** - Rubie, I still can't believe you called this your favorite junk food. Really? You couldn't do better than that?

Random Musings on Marquette Hoops

I wasn't able to watch last night's Marquette game in person, but I did get to watch it in the stunning clarity of Time Warner Sports, channel 32. It's the second full game I've had a chance to watch, so I feel that qualifies me to make some broad sweeping generalizations on what I think of things so far.

-Ok I know it's been 4 cream puffs to start the year, but I have been pretty impressed with how well Marquette has shot the ball so far. They've posted shooting percentages of 50% or higher in each of the first 4 games. The 3-point percentages have increased each game as well, culminating with a downright silly 60% from behind the arc last night. This is some fine work, even against cupcakes. You would've expected to see at least one night where we go out and shoot 38% and still win due to the inferior competition. I have been especially pleased with how well guys are shooting in the mid-range. Buycks and DJO seem to really have the pull-up, mid-range jumper as a part of their arsenal. Combining them with what Butler and Lazar can do in that area adds an interesting element to the offense. It creates a little different look than what we're used to seeing. James, Matthews and McNeal were all such great finishers that they usually eschewed the mid-range pull-ups for a chance at something around the rim.

-Which segues nicely into my next point. SBTG sent me a text last night about how much he likes the way MU is attacking the zone so far this year. I completely agree. Obviously, any time you shoot 60% from 3-land you're going to obliterate any attempts at playing zone. However, I think the aforementioned pull-up game can also be a very useful weapon against teams that intend to stop you with the zone. I'm not Jim Boeheim, but even I know that zones are vulnerable when you can get past the first level, and score without having to get all the way to the rack and challenge the second level. If Lazar, Butler, Buycks, Johnson-Odom are doing this consistently, and Cubillan and Acker can continue to show the 3-point competency they've demonstrated thus far, then Marquette will be a much tougher team to zone up against this year.

-To quote Rubie Q at Haunted Hoops, "DJO might be GOOD!" I really hope the flashes he showed last night are just the beginning of what we might see from Darius Johnson-Odom.

-Yes, I know that these games have come against the dregs of the the college hoops world, and it will invariably be tougher once we start playing teams with better athletes, etc. But given the fact that the expectations are pretty damn low, and we had no clue what we were going to get out of this crop of newcomers, I'd say the things I've seen thus far have been pretty positive. ("Positive" to be read with Mike McCarthy accent.) I'm pretty excited to see what happens agains Xavier tomorrow. Because if there's one thing that I know about Xavier it' that they're usuall pretty decent, and they play in the A-10. I thought I knew more, but I guess that's it. Damn.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where Did James Come From?

When It Rains It Pours

Unfortunately the MU program suffered another season ending injury last night when our lone semi-competent center Chris Otule fractured his right foot. WTF! No this isn't GroundHog Day because last year it was actually Chris' left foot that was fractured that forced him to miss most of the preseason practices and first 10 games of the season. I'm at a loss here. What is the deal with foot injuries in our program? Is this common elsewhere? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm guessing that we have lost 6-8 players in the last 5 years to foot injuries. And that doesn't even include losing Jerel (hand), Dominic (hand), and Junior Cadougan (ruptured achilles) due to other problems. Since Crean's departure, Buzz has just been getting shit on with transfers and much so that we rarely (if ever) have had a full complement of 13 available players. I'm not saying that losing Otule blows our shot at a title run, or even blows our shot at making the tourney, but from a depth standpoint, this makes Jimmy and Lazar that much more vulnerable to foul trouble every night.......the 2 guys that WILL influence how successful MU is this year. Sucks.

Report: Sam Winters Candidate for ND Coaching Position

Mixed reports coming out of South Bend reflect Jimmy Clausen as either the victim of a sucker punch thrown by a disappointed Irish fan or an out of control drunk with a long rap sheet that has been covered up by Charlie Weis and the ND program.

Sam Winters was unavailable for comment regarding his status as a potential coaching candidate or his opinion on the Jimmy Clausen situation. Winters is best known for leading the ESU Timberwolves to a Bowl game after losing his Heisman trophy candidate QB, Joe Kane, to an undisclosed injury for half of the season. Jimmy McGinty and Tony D'Amato are also reported to have interest in the position.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Am Idiot, Hear Me Whine.

Hello there, young'ins. My name is Bryan Burwell. I've lived in the great state of Mizzoura for the past 83 years, and, in that time, I've witnessed some mighty fine ball-playin'. I've seen Bobby Gibson, and I've seen the Wizard, and I've seen Big Mac, and I've seen Skip Schumaker and his magnificent mustache.

Because I've seen so much ball-playin', I'm, of course, infinitely more qualified than you Facebookin' little fuckwits to opine on the merits of the modern ballplayer. And today, you young folk have managed to righteously piss me off by votin' for some long-haired she-male -- I think his name is Lincecum -- in the Cy Young balloting. Somehow, you slapnuts didn't realize that there were two better candidates here in St. Lou.

I'm old, and I'm dyspeptic, and I'm really, really fuckin' confused. And now you're gonna hear about it:

Of all the many mysteries surrounding our national pastime, none is more baffling than the rather peculiar obsession by so many who profess a love of baseball who repeatedly try to turn this wonderfully simple game into a mind-numbing, highfalutin' brain twister.

You thought I was just kidding with the dropping of the "g"s on all of those words in the intro, didn't you? You thought I was playing on the tired "this sportswriter is a crotchety old man" meme, right? Ha! JOKE'S ON YOU, COCKSUCKERS! That's how this bastard actually writes!

When did pitching victories become passé?

About the same time saying "passé" did, Jacque.

Apparently I have been misled for all these years. Here I was thinking that guys who win 18, 19, 20 or 25 games were some kind of special. I always figured that a guy who was able to go out on the mound every five days and pretty much guarantee his team a victory was one of those Cy Young-type hurlers everyone dreams about.

Two things:

(1) Keep this "takes the ball every five days" criterion in your back pocket. It'll prove exceedingly useful when Mr. Burwell starts talking about Chris Carpenter in a few paragraphs -- the same Chris Carpenter who missed a month of the season due to injury and, therefore, wasn't able to take the ball every five days ...

(2) More important is this "guy who takes the ball every five days and guarantees his team a victory" shit. Now, of course, no pitcher can guarantee his team a victory every time out; really, what you're looking for is a guy who can consistently give you six, seven, or eight solid innings and only cough up a couple of runs.

In fact, I think some people measure that type of performance. They call it a quality start: six innings, three or less earned runs. It's not a foolproof stat, by any means, but, if you're talking "eats innings and keeps his team in the game," it ain't half bad.

Care to guess who led the National League in quality starts in 2009?

I'll give you a hint: he plays in San Francisco, he has long hair, and Bryan Burwell hates him because he only won 15 games this past season.

Now I find out that I am wrong. Baseball's new wave of deep thinkers and pseudo-intellectuals have told me so loud and clear with the voting in this year's Cy Young awards.

"Pseudo-intellectuals" is an interesting word choice, no? When I think of "pseudo-intellectuals," I typically don't think of people who have facts, data, and reason on their side. I tend to think of people who -- I don't know -- write a sour grapes column because their hometown pitcher didn't win an award, despite the fact that the pitcher led the league in an utterly irrelevant statistic. But maybe that's just me.

Particularly in the NL voting, I am taken aback, because two voters —'s Keith Law and Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus — did not include Chris Carpenter on their ballots. Law also had the NL's winningest pitcher, Adam Wainwright (19-8), in third place on his ballot behind Lincecum (15-7) and Javier Vazquez (15-10).

Yes, how dare they? It's not like anyone else voted for Lincecum first. And it's not like Vazquez had better numbers than Carpenter; I mean, he didn't strike out 100 more batters, or post a near-identical FIP or WHIP in 25 more innings, or put up a WAR that was a full win better than Carpenter. Ignoramuses. Bumpuses!

Armed with all their sabermetrics, Carroll and Law — and obviously a lot of other voters — were able to determine that winning the most games in the heat of a pennant push was not nearly as important as looking good while losing.

As fellow condescending smartass -- and BCB Weekend Daddy -- Fatter than Joey points out: picking on Law and Carroll, while acknowledging that "a lot of other voters" were of like mind, is akin to singling out Utah and Idaho for voting for Ronny Reagan in 1984 and saying: "What the fuck were you two thinking?"

Look, I think Lincecum is a heck of a pitcher, arguably the most gifted hurler in baseball. But I always thought the Cy Young was intended to honor the pitcher with the best season, not necessarily to reward the guy who has the best stuff.

Do you still have room in your back pocket? I know you've got the "takes the ball every five days" nugget in there, but I want you to make room for the "pitcher with the best season" piece, too, 'cuz that's going to come in handy when Old Man Burwell completely ignores Lincecum's preposterous June-to-July numbers (11 starts, 4 CG, 2 shut outs, 99 Ks in 83 IP, 1.73 ERA, opposing OPS of .534).

So here's what I still don't get. How can you look at what Wainwright did from a won-loss standpoint and essentially dismiss it in favor of Lincecum?

I can do so, and do so with little (if any) hesitation, because:
  • Lincecum had a better ERA, even though he had a worse defense behind him (witness: Lincecum's FIP was nearly eight-tenths (0.8) of a run better than Wainwright's);
  • Lincecum had four complete games and two shut outs, to Wainwright's one and zero (respectively);
  • Lincecum had a much better K/9 rate;
  • Lincecum had a much better WHIP (1.05 to 1.21);
  • Lincecum gave up 10 homers in 225 innings, while Wainwright gave up 17 in 233 innings;
  • Lincecum had an opposing batting average of .209, while Wainwright put up an opposing BA of .247.
See? It's called "thinking." You can do it, too, Bryan Burwell. It's fucking awesome.

As gifted a pitcher as Lincecum clearly is, he faltered down the stretch when his team was in the playoff hunt. In his last 10 starts, the San Francisco ace was only 3-4 with a 3.15 ERA.

He's right, Lincecum was only 3-4. Now, he lost three of those games by scores of 4-2, 2-1, and 3-0 (respectively), but that doesn't matter. In that last game, for example, Lincecum should've given up (-1) runs. Sure, that's impossible, but if he was really Cy Young material, he'd find a way to make it happen.

(Also: Lincecum faced the Dodgers twice, the Rockies three times, and the NL Champion Phillies once in those final ten starts. For comparison's sake, Wainwright matched up against the Dodgers once and the Rockies once in his final 10 starts. Just sayin' ...)

Oh, and also: PULL THE "BEST SEASON" PIECE OUT OF YOUR BACK POCKET! Smack him in the junk with it! VENGEANCE IS OURS.

I'm sorry, but that has to mean something, doesn't it? If won-loss records are suddenly obsolete, why do we bother to keep the stat?

Probably for the same reason we ask Lou Pinella to cram his gunt into a size 36 baseball pant: because baseball, for all of the great things about the sport, is the slowest-evolving institution this side of Holy Mother Church.

Over the final three months of the season, Wainwright had an 11-3 record with a stunning 1.90 ERA. In Wainwright's last 11 starts, the Cards lost one game. All of this was done in the heat of a push to the postseason.

Did you hang on to your "best season" card? Smack Mr. Burwell in the face with it again. There's no debate that Wainwright was awesome over the last three months of the season. Lincecum was equally transcendent from June to July, and he was fucking dynamite in the first part of August, too. (What's the point? I'm not sure; I'm not the one making the dunderheaded argument.)

What's more: regarding this "heat of a push to the postseason" nonsense? The Cardinals were never less than six games ahead of the Cubs during the final 40 games of the season. Quite the pressure cooker you've got there, Bryan.

So tell me again, why is winning not an important stat anymore?

Well, it's the most important stat, when you're talking about a team. In terms of measuring individual performance, it's downright stupid, since a pitcher doesn't go out there by himself -- though, in Lincecum's case, with that K/9 rate, he probably could -- and since a pitcher rarely contributes to the team's offense.

OK, I'm tired, and this post has now stretched on for two full days, and, honestly, at this point, I'm beyond caring. The only way this column could have been any worse is if Grandpappy started quoting Herm Edwards.



"This is what's great about sports. This is what the greatest thing about sports is. You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. You don't play it to just play it. That's the great thing about sports: You play to win, and I don't care if you don't have any wins. You go play to win. When you start tellin' me it doesn't matter, then retire. Get out! 'Cause it matters."

Fuck all.

(EDIT: Almost forgot -- much love to Walsh for the link.)