Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wisconsin players drafted

Brian Calhoun fell further than he'd planned, to #74 in the third round with the Detroit Lions.

What you have to consider, though, is that we was only the 7th back taken. The first five were household names of Reggie Bush, Deangelo Williams, LeDale White, Joseph Addai and Lawrence Maroney. So yeah, he fell to the 3rd round, but beyond Bush, it really wasn't a first day for backs.

Wisconsin WR Brandon Williams was also selected in the 3rd round, at #84 by the 49s. Williams was the 7th overall WR selected.


Lots of names at my two schools who I didn't think would make it out of the first day remain undrafted, most notably Skylar Green and Rudy Niswanger of LSU and Owen Daniels, Jonathan Orr and Matt Bernstein of Wisconsin.

Complete lists:


Brett Bell CB

Matt Bernstein FB

Owen Daniels TE

Matt Lawrence OT

Jonathan Orr WR

Jason Palermo OG

Jason Pociask TE

Donovan Raiola OC

Levon Rowen CB

Dontez Sanders OLB


Skyler Green WR

Kenneth Hollis OLB

David Jones TE

Nate Livings OG

Eric Newman WR

Rudy Niswanger OC

Melvin Oliver DE

Ronnie Prude CB

Kevin Steltz FB

Cameron Vaughn ILB

Kyle Williams DT

Poor Jets Fans..

My most recent Jets fan story happened at Mardi Gras, when some friends of friends were in town and one was wearing a Texans cap and the other was wearing a Jets hat. It was between parades and they were all talking football. With these two teams, I'm fairly certain the discussion was something like "which of our teams sucks the most?"

So I jumped in and said that at least Houston has a QB, concussed though he was. You know the Jets are in trouble when their starting QB is from Wisconsin, not exactly a passing powerhouse.

The drunker this kid got, the more often he kept screaming at the top of his lungs "I love Brooks Bollinger!"

I'm fairly certain he and I were the only ones in New Orleans at that time who had a clue who Brooks Bollinger is.

Anyway, that's a not so interesting lead in to this fabulous clip of Jets draft history, complete with fan reactions...


Can someone explain to me where the hell AJ Hawk was? Not in NY, not even available by satellite? You're drafted 5th overall as an OLB and you're nowhere to be found?

I feel like this may be a bad note and an inauspicous beginning.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Also from the Onion..

Bush Calls Cabinet Meeting To Get Story Straight

April 26, 2006 Issue 42•17
WASHINGTON, DC—With his administration dogged by criminal allegations, President Bush called a special Cabinet meeting Tuesday to ensure that his staff's complex web of alibis is consistent at every level, an anonymous source reported. "Okay, team, let's make sure we're all on the same completely fabricated page here," Bush reportedly said while aides distributed thick binders containing the administration's latest official side of things. "The e-mail server crashed during Katrina, the dog chewed up our files on the Plame leak, and no one ever told me that the illegal wiretapping was illegal. Right, boys?" Added Bush: "Remember, we're all really on a picnic at Camp David right now." Bush has held 17 Cabinet meetings to get the story straight since 2001, surpassing the previous record, held by the Reagan administration.

Other great things from Wisconsin...

besides me of course!

The Onion, straight out of Madison

This article made me choke on my lunch today!

Grease Fire Rages Through Midwest

April 25, 2006

MILWAUKEE—A raging grease fire has spread across the southern half of Wisconsin and into the neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, killing at least eight and leaving hundreds injured or missing after the intense heat and acrid odor of charred pork and cheese-filled breading overwhelmed the region.

Six of the dead reportedly tried to put out the grease flames with water, causing the fire to spread; two others perished after running back into their burning homes to save bacon still cooking on their stoves.

By Tuesday evening, more than 700,000 acres of Midwestern greaseland—including tens of thousands of patio grills, outdoor beer gardens, supper-club kitchens, and barbecue pits—had been destroyed in the blaze.

Beloit, WI Fire Chief Paul Tolley said the fire was spreading faster than crews could react.

"The main problem is it's being fed at every turn. The homes and businesses here are oversaturated with corn dogs, melted cheese, and any number of deep-fried items," Tolley said.

"Every time we think we have it under control, it hits a Hardee's and everything turns to chaos."

Officials said the grease blaze began after a Dodgeville, WI resident attempted to submerge an entire 21-pound turkey in a makeshift deep fryer Sunday. The fire then leapt rapidly from pancake house to pancake house, intensifying when flames reached a dense patch of diners at the peak of the brunch rush, which Dodgeville Fire Chief Ed Bouchard called "the worst possible timing."

"With the fact that the nearby park was still greasy from Saturday's brat fest, the situation quickly turned ugly," Bouchard said. "My crews simply did not have the baking-soda reserves to contain it."

The fire fanned out in all directions from the area, cutting a swath through truck stops, doughnut shops, and even mini-golf concession stands.

While most residents have fled to leaner ground, some have stayed behind to coat their homes in a flour, egg, and milk mixture in the hopes that it will protect the interior from the flames.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who recommended that citizens only deep-fry when absolutely necessary, said Tuesday that the fire could "cripple the economic and meal-time power of Illinois and the rest of America's Grease Belt for a generation."

Crews maneuver a giant pan lid in hopes of containing the fire in a kielbasa field outside Chicago.
Experts have warned for years that the region was overdue for a disaster of this kind, saying that decades of poor grease management and a culture of fried and heavily buttered food created a highly incendiary "grease core" spread across thousands of homes, restaurants, and offices. Landfills overflowing with greasy waxed paper and cardboard only added to the danger.

"It would have taken enormous discipline and fortitude on the part of Midwesterners to change their combustible eating habits," said Iowa State University Professor of animal-rendering sciences Anita Close. "Unfortunately, these are unrealistic expectations."

Officials say the lack of rain has helped contain the blaze, but are worried that even light showers passing over the area could be disastrous.

"This fire could very well spatter south into the heart of fried-chicken and waffle country, or up to the cheesesteak districts of the Northeast," Tolley said. "If that happens, God help us all."

A step in the right direction

Packers sign Charles Woodson

Of course, the only reason he came is because the coach told him he can play offense too.

This is only going to end badly, isn't it?

On the plus side, "The Woodson agreement has no options or voidable years, making it unlikely the former Raiders cornerback will only be around for just one season, [his agent] said. Though the total value of the deal is $52 million, a good portion of it probably consists of incentives, escalators and large base salaries in the latter years."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Badger update

Apparently Booker Stanley, #1 failure of the Wisconsin Badgers football team and accused (on 2 different counts) felon, has decided to try his luck elsewhere in the state. Stanley is supposedly in contact with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, last year's D3 runners-up.

According to the article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Antonio Freeman (no, not that one) who is currently suspended from the team for marijuana busts, spoke with the coach at Whitewater. There is no penalty for transferring from D1 to D3. The players do not have to sit out. According to the Whitewater coach, Stanley hasn't yet contacted him.

I sure hope the Whitewater coach tells Stanley, at least, to take a hike. You reached the national championship last year. You don't need him. Especially when he ends up in jail. Be a good role model for your athletes and the community.

Booker Stanley, #1 jackass.

Ricky Williams suspended for 2006 season

Apparently Ricky just can't lay off the wacky tabacky as he violated the leagues substance abuse policy for the 4th time, leading to his suspension for this season.

Never fear, though. Ricky says he'll play again.

ESPN story here.

Dem der Packers, ya der hey!

Ok, here's the thing. Favre being back means little until the hopelessly crappy and totally useless front office and coaching staff make some strides toward committing to making this a decent team.

The offensive line is a big question mark, since we lost most of last year's starters to free agency. Center Mike Flanagan is a big loss. As I said to Todd earlier, the scariest thing for a Packer fan is Brett Favre scrambling around behind the line of scrimmage, throwing whatever he can find. With the holes in the offensive line, I'm afraid this is an image we're going to see a lot of. Once upon a time, scrambling Favre was as good as it could get. But after last season, and with a bunch of no names on the field, I don't really have the faith that this is a good situation. Edgar Bennett, Javon Walker, et al were used to these crazy passes and could adjust.
Losing C Mike Flanagan to Houston was painful, though supposedly we have a groomed replacement in 3rd year Scott Wells. But according to the current roster, the 3 guys we have listed at center don't even comine for 10 years of experience.

Projections have shown us taking AJ Hawk, who along with recent signee Ben Taylor, could be a big boost as OLBs, but basically we're talking a young, young team.

The biggest disappointment throughout this who debacle hasn't been Brett Favre's wavering, it has been the lack of moves made by the Packers front office. Free agent after free agent left the team, while few were signed.
Rumor is that Favre literally begged LaVar Arrington to play here, and Green Bay offered him the most money, but the team was so unappealing that he inked a deal with the Giants instead.

He's Ba-ack

Favre to return for 2006 season.

More analysis on this when I'm not at work. Or at least on my lunch.

Not a bad 200 post!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Arsenal advances to first European League Championship

Holding Villarreal to a 0-0 tie tonight, Arsenal won the home and home aggregate 1-0 and advances to the finals of the ECL, which will be played May 17 in France.

Arsenal will face the winner of the AC Milan/Barcelona home and home match that concludes tomorrow.

I haven't yet seen the match, but I have it tivo-ed. Apparently Villarreal had a pk in the 89th minute that Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann made a spectacular save on.

All, apparently Arsenal has not lost in12 Champions League games this season and has not allowed a goal in its last 10 Champions League matches.

Zindedine Zidane announces retirement...

French National Team and Real Madrid player (and hero of the 1998 world cup) announced today that the World Cup final (assuming his team makes it) will be his last game as a professional soccer player.

The world's most expensive footballer had hinted at retirement as he ages and sustains more injuries and made it official today.

Reggie Bush: prime time idiot

The Bush family house debacle...

I mean really, how dumb can you be? The whole thing is shadier than Eminem and the stories the lawyers keep putting out to cover it up are so incredibly flimsy and useless. The latest says that Bush, like many other 20 year olds, had no idea what his parents household or financial situation was, so there's no way he could be aware of what was going on with the house.

How quickly we're gotten away from the denial and have moved into the justification. .

Of course, the Bush family stealthily moving out of the house quickly and mysteriously the day after someone started asking questions doesn't really help keep a squeaky clean image on this one.

On the flip side of the coin, it's awfully fishy that this story just happened to break in the week prior to the draft. No one noticed the Bush family's move from apartment to mansion? No one questioned or thought it was shady? The question I most want answered is why this story is just now breaking. I'm not saying the allegations aren't valid, I just think there are some alterior motives here.

But as MZone points out, the worst part is that Bush will still get drafted and be off making his millions in the NFL and those who'll suffere sanctions are the guys still playing at USC. Once again, the culprit gets off scott free.
Top 10 Running Back prospects:

No. 7, Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin

A strong, shifty runner, Calhoun is perfectly suited as a third-down back/situational runner, though some think he lacks the tools to be a big-time, feature back.


Monday, April 24, 2006

More pics...

The Cathedral at Dublin Castle

Cliffs of Moher

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Milwaukee Brewers, consistantly erratic since 1969.

Since April 7:

vs. Arizona - W 3-1, W 5-4, L0-7
vs. St. Louis - L 4-6, L 3-6, W 4-3
vs. Mets - L 3-4, W 8-2, L 3-9
vs. Houston - L 7-8, L 12-13 (were down 11-2), W 7-2
vs. Cincinnati - L 8-12, L 1-3, W 11-0 and are currently losing 8-0 in the 8th.

Had the most prolific one inning in the NL since the 60s, with four home runs in the 4th yesterday.

A sample

Thought I'd post a pic or two to prove I actually have reason to believe my photography's worth the effort...

So funny..

Just once, I want a man to say to me:

"When you wake up, I will make you French toast. If French toast is not what you desire, I will find another nationality of toast that suits you. I will not rest until I find this perfect nationality of toast, even if I have to swim all the way to Austria for it. After I find and make the toast, and you eat it, we will freak once more."

From a column in the Onion by Smoove B, the love man.

very cool


Dig into your toy chests and pull out your LEGO bricks to help children in New Orleans imagine and rebuild for the future! LEGO Systems has issued a nationwide call to children and parents in towns across America to share their LEGO bricks with the children of New Orleans. We will collect the bricks and make a brick-for-brick matching donation to New Orleans schools. Some of the bricks will be used to construct a model of New Orleans in the future, as envisioned by New Orleans children, that will be donated to the city as a public work of art.
Click here to

To donate your LEGO bricks to children in New Orleans and, in return, receive a LEGO Builders of Tomorrow wristband:
Mail one (1) or more LEGO bricks, along with a plain piece of 3" x 5" paper on which you have typed or hand printed your complete name, street address (no P.O. Boxes), city, state and zip code and your wristband size (Kid or Adult).

Please mail cardboard or padded envelopes to: LEGO Wristband Offer, PO Box 5735, Blair, NE 68009-5735.

Please mail boxes to: LEGO Brick Collection #5797, c/o DL BLAIR, 1548 Front Street,Blair, NE 68008
I also decided today to commit myself more to my photography.

That actually makes it sound like I've ever made any sort of commitment to photography, which I haven't. I just really enjoy it and I think I have a bit of a knack for it. So next semester I'm taking a photojournalism class, because it can do nothing but help my cause. I'm also going to get some top o the line equipment for my birthday in a few months and really spend some time going out and taking good photos. I have a fairly decent collection, even just from my trip to Ireland.

Plus, I really need a creative outlet that I can connect with. In the past few months I have done watercolors, oil paints, pastels, knitting and needlepoint and nothing stuck. These are all things I've done in the past and none of them were what I was looking for. But I really didn't try too hard and was able to take some interesting, unusual pictures in Ireland. I really didn't even think I did anything special until my mom kept showing off about our trip and I got tons of compliments on my work. If I can do that with my mom's digital point and shoot, than maybe I can really find something I'm good at here.
So I was talking to a friend the other night and we were discussing how other people view us. Well, we were talking about how people view him. And it got me to pondering about how people view me. And I guess I don't mean people in general, but more specifically my friends.

This led to me thinking about how I want people to view me and I'm not really sure what the answer to that is.

I feel like consciously thinking about something like that is pretty self-absorbed. I also know that the more I think about it, the more self-conscious I will be. I know that I let what others think play way too big a role in my decision making process already and I fight with myself, basically daily, to not let that happen so much. I mean, this has been going on long enough that I'm really only sure about one thing anymore:

The most important thing in life is for me to be happy with me.
And I'm definitely not there yet. But I'd rather spend my time working toward this goal than trying to make everyone else happy.

I can't please everyone. I can't even please a majority of the people. In my last relationship I spent a lot of time being told what was wrong with me. and thereby a lot of time trying to "fix me." My ex got mad at me for things I didn't even realize I was doing. It's entirely more difficult and exhausting than you'd think to change something you do subconsciously.

I don't want for this be a really long existential post. Mostly it's just pensive. I wonder how people view me. Actually, I think I'd be scared to hear how people view me. I'm fairly sure that with the exception of my close friends, I don't come off as I mean to. There's a lot of defense mechanisms and learned protection that you have to dig through before I'm really comfortable. Though not to the extent that I once did, I still do believe that people can only hurt you if you let them. If you don't open up, you don't open yourself up to being vulnerable. The worst part about that belief is that it's a learned one. No one's that wary without having been taught by their experiences to be that way.

Can you really change the way that people close to you view you?

And lastly, should I care? Should it matter how I come off to other people?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Best Draft Bargains of the Last 20 years.

This has got to be up for some good debate, but SI named 'em, I'm just posting 'em.
The article has some good details on the players, too. Like that TO didn't start playing football til senior year of high school, or that KGB was less than 200 pounds going into college.

Steve Smith, WR, third round, Carolina, 2001
Tom Brady, QB, sixth round, New England, 2000
Terrell Davis, RB, sixth round, Denver, 1995
Hines Ward, WR, third round, Pittsburgh, 1998
Shannon Sharpe,TE, seventh round, Denver, 1990
Curtis Martin,RB, third round, New England, 1995
Tedy Bruschi, LB, third round, New England, 1996
Terrell Owens, WR, third round, San Francisco, 1996
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, DE, fifth round, Green Bay, 2000
Jamal Anderson, RB, seventh round, Atlanta, 1994
Keenan McCardell, WR, 12th round, Washington, 1991 (12TH ROUND??!!?)
Leon Lett, DT, seventh round, Dallas, 1991
Matt Birk, C, sixth round, Minnesota, 1998
Clyde Simmons, DE, ninth round, Philadelphia, 1986
Zach Thomas, LB, fifth round, Miami, 1996
Tyrone Braxton, CB, 12th round, Denver, 1987
Rodney Harrison, S, fifth round, San Diego, 1994
Seth Joyner, LB, eighth round, Philadelphia, 1986
Thurman Thomas, RB, second round, Buffalo, 1988
Stephen Davis, RB, fourth round, Washington, 1996

Bucky's one of the Top 10 hottest mascots.

SIonCampus lists the 10 best and 10 worst mascots

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chelseas to play MLS All Stars in Chicago in August...

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) -- The champion of the English Premier League is coming to Major League Soccer.

For one day, at least.

Chelsea, which is a point away from winning its second straight Premier League title, will play in the MLS All-Star game on Aug. 5. Chelsea will be the third foreign team in four years to play in the midseason exhibition.

"This game will feature our best players against players from one of the best teams in the world," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "These are players that are celebrated not just when playing for England, but celebrated when they play for their club team. We're pleased to have a team of Chelsea's stature coming here to play."

The game will be played at Bridgeview Stadium, the Chicago Fire's soccer-specific stadium that is scheduled to open in June.

The match originally was scheduled for July 29, but it had to be pushed back a week to accommodate English player union rules requiring a 30-day break between the World Cup and the start of club training. The World Cup in Germany runs June 9-July 9.

Four MLS games originally scheduled for Aug. 5 will be moved to the weekend of July 29. The New England Revolution-Chivas USA game scheduled for Aug. 6 will remain as scheduled in Los Angeles so it can be part of a doubleheader involving Spanish league champion Barcelona.

MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said it was unclear how players from Chivas USA or the Revolution, if selected for the All-Star game, would be able to participate.

The MLS All-Stars beat Mexican league power Chivas in 2003 and England's Fulham last year. Though this match falls during Chelsea's preseason, it will be a competitive game, said Paul Smith, the team's director of business affairs.

"Chelsea doesn't play exhibition games," Smith said. "We will be playing our first match in (England) the weekend after we play here. So players who come for the preseason training, they will be ready to play."

This will be the third straight year Chelsea has played a preseason match in the United States. The club also has a cooperative agreement regarding players, coaching and programming with MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy.

"This club regards this as being a real honor to be invited" to play in the All-Star game, Smith said. "This helps us build our profile here in North America, which is our long-term ambition."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



DaMarcus Beasley charged with drunk driving in Netherlands...

from the AP

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- United States midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has been charged with drunken driving, prosecutors in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven said Thursday.

Beasley, a forward with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, will have his case heard Friday.
If convicted, Beasley will be asked to pay a $680 fine, said prosecution spokeswoman Astrid Buijs. She said there was a possibility Beasley could be banned from driving in the Netherlands.

The charge arose from an incident Jan. 17, local media reported.

PSV spokesman Pedro Salazar said he was unaware of the
charge but the club "fully supports" Beasley. Salazar added that Beasley unavailable for comment.

This isn't the first time the 23-year-old Beasley has had a run-in with Dutch authorities.
Last October, he reached an out-of-court settlement with the justice ministry after failing to declare several items at customs after returning from a trip to the United States.

Beasley, whose contract with PSV runs to 2008, has scored 10 goals in 56 games in the Dutch league, and four goals in 12 matches in the Champions League.


I personally enjoy that he either pays $700 or he loses his right to drive. Isn't that a bit ... one extreme to the other? Pay a small fine, never drive here again.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Crazy European Union ...

There once was a very small city

DUBLIN (Reuters) - An exodus of rugby fans from Limerick in Ireland threatens its status as a city, and the European funding that goes with it, when a population census is taken Sunday.
Diarmuid Scully, mayor of Limerick in western Ireland, told Reuters as many as 20,000 fans could follow the regional team Munster to Dublin Sunday for the Heineken Cup semi-final against Leinster.
Many could stay on to celebrate -- or to drown their sorrows -- knocking Limerick's population of 54,000 below a crucial threshold of 50,000, he added.
"At the time April 23 was picked, it probably seemed like a quiet night," he told Reuters. "Unfortunately for Limerick people, quite a lot of us won't be at home that night. Quite a number would stay on to celebrate if it's a Munster victory."
Scully called on Limerick rugby fans to return home after the match.
"Should the population drop below 50,000, then Limerick wouldn't be considered a city anymore by European standards, and we'd actually lose out in terms of European funding," he added.
Scully said census rules allowed forms to be completed on the following Monday morning, and he called on census officials to be lenient.
"I'm asking for a flexible interpretation of the morning -- let morning stretch throughout the day," he said. "Let it stretch until midnight."
© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Baseball's top commodities...

I'm not a huge baseball fan, but it sure does fill the months between hockey season and football season. Plus, the Brewers are finally rid of Bud Selig and his family and, here's a shocker, instantly they stop sucking.

An article today on named the top 50 commodities in baseball right now... Interesting understaking and worth a read. Between this article and SI's baseball preview issue, I've got enough tailgating conversation to last at least 3 games..

Some highlights...

48. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers (22)You can excuse Fielder if he looked a bit nervous during his first dozen at-bats this season -- much has been expected of the not-so-little Prince since he started swatting home runs into the Tiger Stadium overhang while taking batting practice with his daddy at the age of 12. Fielder combines as much raw power potential as any prospect in the game with a refined hitting approach, going the other way and using the count to his advantage. Given his bubbly build, he's likely to be a better player in his 20s than his 30s, but he could easily be at 200 home runs and counting before he deposits his first free agency paycheck.
(I saw this kid play for two years in the minors, as Nashville, the Brewers farm team, were in the same conference as the New Orleans Zephyrs , first Houston, now Washington's farm team. He was ridiculous at 19. At 22 he's finally managing his bulk --he's shaped exactly like Daddy Cecil --and they're working with him at 1st base. So far, so good, is all I have to say...)

44. Ben Sheets, P, Milwaukee Brewers (27)Speaking of injury problems, Sheets' recurring back issues following very heavy workloads in 2003 and 2004 were enough to have us demote him 10 slots from where he'd deserve to rank based on his statistical record alone. Good numbers for Brewers fans: 264, 32. Those were, respectively, the number of strikeouts and walks that Sheets had in 2004. Bad numbers for Brewers fans: 49, 13. Those were, respectively, the uniform numbers of Teddy Higuera and Jeff D'Amico.
(Ben Sheets has some great stats, but he's looking like Milwaukee's Mark Prior. Tons of potential and an inability to stay healthy. He's either going to become an idol or he's going to end up as one more crappy Milwaukee pitcher that flashes then thankfully fades into oblivion.)

38. Lance Berkman, 1B-OF, Houston Astros (30)Little-known fact: While Minute Maid Park is a fine home for right-handed hitters, it depresses the numbers of lefties to the tune of 10 to 15 percent, roughly comparable to RFK Stadium or PETCO Park. In other words, Berkman, who takes most of his at-bats (and does the vast majority of his damage) from the port side of home plate, is chronically underrated everywhere outside of the Houston Metroplex. Not that he needs much sympathy: Berkman's career OPS of .973 is the 17th highest in baseball history entering this season.
(I feel like this is a low rating for Berkman. He's got some serious bat power and seems to be the quiet leader of the Astros team. He's interesting to watch in person. He more swaggers than walks and I swear his whole head moves with whatever it is he's chewing in his mouth.)

24. Justin Upton, OF-SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (18)Only two recent high school products have been talked about with the same can't-miss praise as Justin Upton. Those players are Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. Could Upton turn out to be baseball's version of Kwame Brown or Ryan Leaf? Perhaps. But the Diamondbacks, a canny organization, were willing to stake big bucks on Upton's pedigree, agreeing to a record $6.1 million signing bonus. And Upton did nothing but impress during his first professional at-bats in spring training, hitting .500/.563/.857 over parts of eight games. This ranking might seem awfully high for a player with such a limited track record -- but we could find a dozen major league personnel men who would tell you that we've ranked Upton too low.

13. Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago Cubs (30)The Cubs' self-image always has depended greatly on the presence of a superstar hitter -- first Ernie Banks, then Ryne Sandberg, then Sammy Sosa. And so it was appropriate that the very year that Sosa was run out of town was the year that Derrek Lee emerged. Lee, in fact, turned out to be a better representative of the City of Big Shoulders than Sosa ever was: confident but not flamboyant, well-rounded, never misses a day of work. Those same characteristics ought to ensure that Lee provides plenty of value to the Cubs over the course of his new $70 million deal
(In my opinion, one of the most consistantly dominant hitters in the league over the past 3-5 seasons. Absolutely stellar to watch live.)

5. Johan Santana
4. Miguel Cabrera
3. A-Rod
2. David Wright
1. Albert Pujols

For the record, Jeter was at #21.

Sorry, here's the link

Monday, April 17, 2006

You know your life is sad when...

you're 24 and the highlight of your month is your mom going out of town for a week and you get the house to yourself.

I really need to get my own place!

Roe v. Wade

An interesting article, from USA Today of all places, about what would happen if Roe vs. Wade was to be overturned.

There was a map here, but it's screwing up my layout, so hit the link to check it out...


and some thoughts on politics, religion and other volatile issues....

I'm a big fan of discourse and discussion, especially with those who have opinions opposite yours. There's no better way to learn your best arguments than from your "enemy." (for lack of a better word)

I did years of debate, so personally, I think the easiest way to beat someone is to learn as much as you can about what they have to say so that you can pick it apart and break it down piece by piece.

Between the objectivity that comes with being a journalist and my years of Student Congress and debate, I find it hard to form hard and fast opinions on hot button issues. I'm used to having to argue both sides and most times I really do see valid points from opposing viewpoints.

Plus, no matter how hard you strive for objectivity, if you have hard and fast convictions, I think it's near impossible to keep those overtones out of your head and thereby out of your writing.

AND, while I absolutely feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, there's no faster way to piss me off than to try and force yours on me. I'm serious when I say that I love discussions and debates with people who have opposite beliefs, but I believe that they should stay that way - Stating your opinion and honestly listening to what I have to say. Not getting angry, defensive and not listening. Not telling me I'm wrong. They are opinions. You are entitled to yours and I'm entitled to mine. There is no right or wrong. You can learn so much that way and become so much more educated and intelligent. You can never really know a subject until your as much of an expert on the side you disagree with as you are on your own.

I got the jump on ESPN...

This is a link to an ESPN story about possible football road trips this season.

Number 5 looks mighty familiar....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Next season's outlook just got a little bleaker...


Earl Signs With Toronto Maple Leafs

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin men’s hockey junior forward Robbie Earl (Los Angeles) announced today at a news conference at the Kohl Center that he has signed a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and will depart school after three years at Wisconsin. Earl was selected in the sixth round, 187th overall, by Toronto in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

“Today I decided to leave school and join the Toronto Marlies in the playoffs and for the upcoming Sunday and sign a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs,” stated Earl “I am not coming back for my senior year.”

Earl is expected to report to the Toronto Marlies, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, on Saturday and possibly skate for the team in Sunday’s game against Syracuse. Earl’s former Badger teammate Andy Wozniewski already plays in the Toronto system, having split time this season with the Marlies and the Maple Leafs.

Named the most outstanding player of the 2006 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four this past Saturday, Earl helped pace the Badgers to their sixth NCAA title with a 2-1 victory over Boston College. In the Frozen Four, the winger scored three goals and one assist, including the game-winning, power-play goal against Maine and the game-tying goal against Boston College.

“It has been a tricky three days,” added Earl. “I didn’t expect it to happen this quick. It is kind of a double-edged sword – I am happy to be in this position to sign, but then again it is tough coming off the national championship, you’d like to be with your guys and celebrate a bit.”

Earl had steadily improved each season with the Badgers, collecting 14 goals and 27 points as a rookie, a team-leading 20 goals and 44 points as a sophomore and a team-leading 24 goals and 50 points this season.A 2005 Second-Team All-WCHA honoree and 2004 All-WCHA Rookie Team member, Earl finishes his UW hockey career with 121 career points (58 goals, 63 assists) to share 45th on the all-time UW scoring list.

“It was a very, very, very hard decision,” commented Earl. “I haven’t been able to sleep much and I’ve been getting all the information I can. It is scary being young and taking the next step. I am just glad that I made my decision and I can move forward.”

Prior to joining the Badgers, Earl skated two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program under current UW head coach Mike Eaves.

Eaves remarked, “I know I speak for the coaching staff and talking to some of his teammates and how excited they are for Robbie, the fact that he is going out as a national champion, the most outstanding player of the tournament, those are both tremendous spring boards to go to the next level and meet those challenge.”

Earl is the first Badger to leave school early since defenseman Ryan Suter left school following his freshman season of 2003–04. Suter signed with the Nashville Predators, but skated one year with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, before skating in the NHL with Nashville this season.

“It is very much a hole for us,” Eaves acknowledged. “A tough one to fill. Not only do you lose a 24-goal scorer and 50-point guy, a big-game player and young man that is coming into his own in terms of his maturity and his leadership. As coaches we are every bit as proud as his other accomplishments. What we’ll probably have to do is replace him by committee.”

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Too good to be true...

According to Todd, he resembles Paul Bunyan. It doesn't get any easier than this!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

This just in...

(well last weekend anyway)

My holy trinity weekend of football is coming together slowly, but surely. Just so happens that the Packers play at Detriot that Sunday. So one piece has fallen into place.

We're talking September 23 and 24, in and around Detroit. I have to drive through Chicago. Flights to Chicago are always cheap. You know you want to join me. Wisconsin at Michigan, Notre Dame at Michigan State. Packers - Lions the next day. At least a brief roadside stop and homage in South Bend ....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More interview goodness...

Sent out some resumes a few weeks ago and basically forgot about them. Got a phone call today (actually, somehow the guy said my # wasn't on my resume, so he tracked me through my mom's work fax, which is how I sent the resumes) and ended up having a half hour phone interview with a paper in Winterhaven Florida for a sports writer/copy editor position.

It would be great if this job worked out, but I'm most excited about even getting the phone call. Basically, it means that I'm actually a viable commodity on the journalism market.

I'm pretty sure I could categorically say that if I'm offered this job I'm off to it in an instant. This position is the absolute best I could hope for with my limited experience, especially since it's been at least a year off. It's a stellar opportunity.

The guy asked how quickly I could be down there, which was crazy to even think about. So I suppose technically in a month I could be relocated. But that's gettinw way ahead of the game.

And honestly, I'm really just buoyed by the interest. Maybe I'm not doomed to loser journalist hell forever.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hockey Madness

So all last week I was keeping an eye on craigslist and ebay for hockey tickets. Since Wisconsin was playing for the Championship here in Milwaukee, tickets were going fast and furious for well above the $50 face. I emailed everyone who posted on craigslist and offered them a little above face, hoping that someone would either take pity on me or would end up with extras on the day of the game and be willing to part with them cheaply rather than eat the ticket. So a Boston College fan from Chicago wasn't interested in the afternoon game and sold me two tickets for just above face.

The game was literally the most electric thing I've ever been too. I've been to the SuperBowl and I've been to a Final Four championship game, but for both, I wasn't attached to the teams playing. Sure, the feeling was crazy and tons of fun, but in the end, it loses something when you don't care who wins.

The Bradley Center holds about 18,000 people and literally 17,000+ of those fans were for Wisconsin. Wisconsin's hockey fans are rabid to begin with and they all just fed off of each other. Everyone was used to the cheers and so all the cheers were organized and louder than I've ever heard. Having all 18,000 people in unison on our patented Sieve! cheer was fabulous.

There's this great 70 some year old guy who is at every hockey game. His name is Phil. Apparently he's a factory line worker for Oscar Mayer. After every goal he holds up signs and the whole crowd knows what to do. They count 1, We want more. Or 1,2,3, we want more. You get the idea. He has a few other cheers that he initiates. He's my hero. He has some old lady groupies and they wear sweatshirts with the numbers on them and stand up for the 1,2, we want more...etc cheers.
I long to be in Phil's posse!

The one newspaper printed signs that said Sieve on one side and We Want More on the other. Phil is immortalized.

Phil is a highlight of my hockey going experience. I love when you can hear him on the TV broadcasts.
Yeah, I'm a nerd.

Ok, so we scored a fabulously amazing shorthand goal. This guy Carlson had the weekend of his lifetime. An article I read said something about how most of the country had heard of Brian Elliot, because he was in contention for the MVP and he's literally the best goalie we've seen in the past few years in all of college hockey. College hockey fans would know Robbie Earl and maybe one or two other names from Wisconsin. Hard core fans can name a few other guys. Literally no one could or would have been able to name Carlson. The kid came out of oblivion and played an amazing defensive game and scored this short handed goal, off balance with incredible puck control. It was stellar.

Robbie Earl added an open net goal. The whole game was fabulous.

Friday night was a skills challenge thing that we had purchased tickets to before we knew we were going to the game on Thursday. The idea was that we'd at least get to go to something. The Hobey Baker was presented and Wisconsin's Brian Elliot didn't win.

But the whole Wisconsin team was in suits in the section next to us and was just sitting there in between portions of the evening, so I went in the lobby, bought a program and the team passed it down the line and they all signed it. It was like me and a bunch of little kids getting autographs, but I have no shame, so it was ok.

They also gave out all the pucks used during the skills challenge, which by the way was lame as hell. I'm it transferred well to TV, but it was long and boring sitting there. Getting the program, however, made the night worthwhile. Plus, a kid from a local D3 school was part of the skills challenge and he won the hardest shot contest by a landslide, so that was cool.

Anyway, at least I walked away with some cool gear, but all in all Friday was rather disappointing.

We ended up just eating dinner and watching the game at my place, but in the end we wished we'd have gone somewhere else. After the edge of your seat drama of Wisconsin's 3 OT win to get to the Final Four, this game was so calm.

As mentioned earlier, Robbie Earl's goal was nothing short of spectacular. He got flattened, started for the bench, realized his team was on the offensive and scored. It was absolutely brilliant. Wisconsin then scored with 10 minutes left in the third period, which was the end of it. Pretty anti-climatic.

Boston College pinged one off the inside of the post with less than 3 seconds left, which we didn't even catch until after the game was over. Suddenly, as we're all celebrating, they show a replay and we're like HOLY CRAP. The game was almost in OT.

But yeah, it was a really cool weekend and I can't believe I was lucky enough to be made into a fan this season. We're good foils. He was a hockey fan, but never would have taken the initiative to go to all the games. I'm enthusiastic and made sure we saw about 6 games in Madison and Milwaukee this season. We make a good team!

Anyway, I'm sure none of that was exciting for anyone but me, but there you go...

Officially an employed journalist...

...Even if it is extremely part time and also for a man that has worse teeth than Austin Powers.

(word to the wise: DO NOT do a Google Image search for bad teeth. I just lost my dinner)

I'm totally aware that this writing job is as bottom of the barrel as it gets. Unfortunately, having experience in New Orleans isn't doing much for me, partly because my references in New Orleans are for all intents and purposes, gone. They evacuated and I don't have forwarding info for them. I have the things I wrote and you'd think those would hold some credence, but alas, not so much.

This guy doesn't even want me to go to the games I'm going to cover. This isn't real journalism, but having it on my resume will be a good thing and I just won't include any of my clips from here!

Sharing the puppy love..

If I post pics of one puppy, I have to post both...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Busy busy busy

Busy week. Job interview midday tomorrow. Working 12+ hour days this week. I really want to go on and on about hockey, but I want to give it its due and not be all slapdash. Don't know when I'm going to post, but hopefully soon.

We win! We win!

Wisconsin Badgers beat Boston College 2-1, win men's Hockey National Championship.

This was a crazy good game. Tied 1-1 for most of the game, Wisconsin finally scored on a power play goal with 10:00 left in the game. B.C. made a charge with a minute left and actually hit the inside of the post with about 2 seconds left, just barely missing sending the game into overtime.

The win mean's that Wisconsin is the first ever school to hold the title in both men's and women's hockey.

I'm sure no one's really holding their breath for my update on going to the semis on Thursday and the skills challenge, Hobey Baker presentation on Friday so I'm delaying it some more.

Read more on the game and see video





and here

Watch the video to see Wisconsin stand out Robbie Earl get whacked, start to skate for the bench in pain, realize the team is on the offensive and put in a goal, all in about 20 seconds.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

We got a new puppy!

Ok, we're just fostering her, but for now she's ours and she's adorable!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ok, so the hockey game last night was absolutely amazing and I have tons I want to write about it, but I only get 30 mins for lunch and I don't want to spend it on here.

Tonight I'm going to a Skills Challenge for the Frozen Four as well as the presentation of the Hobey Baker, college hockey's MVP. Wisconsin goalie Brian Elliot is one of 3 finalists for the award. (after how he played last night, he absolutely deserves it!)

Saturday night is the Championship game.

It's likely I won't be on the computer for any length on Sunday, so I'll try and do one giant update then.

Todd tells me only losers and hippies like Hockey, and I'm not sure which category I fall in, but this team has been great to watch this season and I'm excited that I've been able to go to so many games and I can't believe we got tickets for last night.

the moral of the story: I'll get back to you on this.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day of bazillion posts...

So because I know how much ya'll like to be entertained and because I have no shame I present for you a fabulous visual:

It's the nicest day in Milwaukee in a very long time. I'm off of work, it's not yet 5 and I get to cruise on home to start the grill for a very yummy dinner. The windows are down and I'm enjoying the tease that they call spring around here (you know, til it snows again) Anyway, I'm enjoying the fleetingly good weather and the sun, so it's definitely time to blare some tunage....

And boy do I get the weird looks. Apparently it's not normal for a white girl in Wisconsin driving a Focus to be rocking out to 1990s Colombian pop.... you know, in Spanish. The lady next to me at the stop light actually rolled up her windows and locked her doors. As if I could be induced to stop my rocking out! I was in the groove dammit. And despite how crappy her English language stuff can be, mid 90s spanish language Shakira is some good shit and ain't no one gonna be able to convince me otherwise.

Finally an exciting basketball game..

It was like the men's tourney used us all its craziness in the opening rounds, so that the Final Four was the least interesting I've watched in years.

So tonight I decide to turn on the Women's Final Four, which admittedly means I was hard up for something to watch. I was on the phone and looking for something that would work well on mute.

For the record, women's basketball, at any level, is the single most boring, painful sports experience known to man. Covering girls high school basketball was enough to make me rethink the whole sports writer thing. Honestly. The fact that 3 months of the year I had to suffer through that... well you get the idea. A combined 30 points in a game does not an entertaining time make.

That being said, the above excuse meant muted Championship action. I turned it on with about 2:00 left. Apparently Maryland had been down by at least 13. They came back and tied on an absolutely beautiful 3 to send it into overtime, where Maryland won. But really, who cares?

The point of all this story is that I may have found my newest sports hero: Maryland's Shay Doron. She was invovled in a tussle right as I turned on the game and we had a stoppage while they tended to her, since her elbow was bleeding.

Every time they cut to her, she was swearing. Because of the injury, she was on the sideline for a moment and a teammate missed some free throws. Close up of Doron yelling "Shit" Dr's wrapping up her elbow and we get an F bomb. She's trying to rile up her teammates, more swear words than I'm willing to put on this family friendly site.

Moral of the story? This is one foul mouthed biatch, but she's an NCAA foul mouthed biatch. I love it. (extra props to the cameraman who kept going back to her. broadcast gold as far as I'm concerned.)

Stealing stories from Fark...

Only conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor given full military burial.

What the US could have purchased with the money ($250 BILLION) we've spent on Iraq.

Actual headline much better than anything I could come up with:

For Wes

For winning my basketball pool, Wes gets a Wisconsin smorgasbord of Beer, Brats and Cheese!

Florida inbreeding

Ok, frankly I think Joakim Noah is the posterboy for the inbreeding everyone already thinks goes on in the South.

Over at TigerSmack, my source of all things LSU up here in 'sconsin, they took his creepiness one step further...

I believe their caption had something to do with celebrations going too far....

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dr. Pepper update

Sorry I didn't get back to you on this. Mostly, I think it tastes like Dr. Pepper. The first taste was very cream soda, but after that it tastes like Dr. P with a little cream soda after taste. I have no idea where the berries come in.

Mostly, it seems like it's not different enough from the real thing to actually justify its existence. Seems like its not worth all the marketing, creation, packaging, etc...

Got a journalism job response today...

It's not the ideal position, as its part time high school coverage, but it would be 3-6 stories per week, which translates to more steady coverage than I've done before and thus better resume cred. It's here in Milwaukee, well a suburb. The money is not enough to live on, I'm not even sure it would be enough if I picked up a daytime part time job. But I think I would have to make it work. I want to be writing and sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

Food craving for today...

I love the crawfishes because they're so delicious!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Todd's thoughts on being a stud...

"I can only handle three or four at a time. I mean, I can take on more, but I wouldn't be giving each my best effort and I like to send my bitches on their way with a smile and a quiver."

Possibly gross drink of the day...

So today in my local Jewel grocery store I purchased a 2 liter of Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper. As I basically have Dr. Pepper on an IV, I decided I will try this.

The thing is, it's either going to be absolutely fabulous, or it's going to make me retch. There will be no in between.

I'll let you know the outcome when I can bring myself to actually try it. I've been staring at the bottle for a few hours, but so far I haven't been able to overcome the mental block.

Homage to Joel..

So over at ESG, Joel has decided to undertake a project to see a game at every DI football stadium.

I applaud this project! I'm probably the only chick in the world that is jealous and damn willing to try and undertake a similar project.

I've never made it official, but over the past few years I've made sure that I can check some more stadiums on my list. I figure once a season I'll do an away game with Wisconsin football. Last year I went to Northwestern, but that's not saying much, as I was able to take the commuter train there in under an hour. This year I'm planning on meeting up with a sorority sister who's at grad school at Purdue.

I just stopped mid post and did some research and found the Wisconsin is playing at Michigan on September 23. The same day, Notre Dame is playing at Michigan State. This search started because I would have to drive through, or at least near, South Bend to get to Ann Arbor, which is basically a suburb of Detroit. So of course I checked the Notre Dame schedule.

East Lansing and Ann Arbor are a whole 60 miles apart. If one of these games is a day game and one's a night game, this is SOOOO my road trip for next season.

(My mom just added that I should see a Baseball or Football game that Sunday, to complete the trifecta, but the Tigers are at KC and that's Detriot's bye week. However, I will have to drive through Chicago on my way home, so it could be a stop at Soldier Field, even though I've been there before, to complete the weekend.)

My only problem now is finding someone actually willing to do this with me.

But back to my original idea for posting, trying to remember what stadiums I've actually been to.

College Football
Camp Randall - University of Wisconsin
Death Valley - LSU
Ryan Field - Northwestern University
Superdome - Tulane
Raymond James for the Outback Bowl

County Stadium - Old Brewers
Miller Park - Brewers
Wrigley Field
Minute Maid Park
Busch Stadium

Lambeau Field

I've been to all other Wisconsin stuff .... Bradley Center, Kohl Center .. anywhere Wisconsin and Marquette play...

I've also been to the United Center in Chicago for a Blackhawks game.

Ok, that list is less impressive than I'd like, but hey, I'm 24 and I'm a chick, I think I'm doing pretty well....