Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
But since he went to Marquette and no one had ever heard of him and now he's a top 5 player in the league, I still keep track of Dwyane Wade.
This is an interesting discussion on Wade, his ability, and his future as a "star" of the NBA.
(via this article on Deadspin)
Frankly, this new guy that comes on sounds like he's been plotting this for months. Phrases like "titanic blast" don't tend to come from nowhere, if you know what I mean!
Read a story from SI on this here.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I highly recommend this book. As the title implies, it covers a lot of ground. But it covers that massive amount of ground in an entertaining, well written and informative way.
Seriously, we're talking 400 pages to cover the beginning of the planet to current times, with trips into the earth's crust, outer space, the ocean bottom, etc...
I suppose that doesn't sound fantasti, but trust me, I am not scientifically minded or inclined and I've really enjoyed this book.
Plus, I feel smarter every time I read any part of it!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Sporting News Recognizes Badgers (from UWBadgers.com)
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas and punter Ken DeBauche have been named to The Sporting News 2006 preseason All-America team, the publication announced.
Thomas is a first-team selection, while DeBauche is a second-team choice.
TSN’s 2006 National College Football Yearbook, which will be available in June, also lists several Badgers on its preseason All-Big Ten teams, as well as its All-America checklist.
Thomas, DeBauche, linebacker Mark Zalewski and strong safety Joe Stellmacher all were named preseason first-team all-conference picks. Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, defensive tackle Nick Hayden and free safety Roderick Rogers were second-team selections.
Incoming freshman wide receiver Lance Kendricks was tabbed as the preseason Big Ten Newcomer of the Year on offense.
Among players listed on the publication’s All-America checklist for 2006 are: Thomas (No. 2 offensive tackle in the nation), DeBauche (No. 2 punter), Rogers (No. 6 free safety), Stellmacher (No. 10 strong safety), Zalewski (No. 11 inside linebacker), Hayden (No. 14 defensive tackle) and Shaughnessy (No. 17 defensive end).
Let me just tell you that hockey in May is really, really weird. Wearing shorts to an ice rink is even weirder.
On the plus side, the Admirals swept Grand Rapids and are now in the finals. They'll play a best of 7 series against the winner of the Hershey/Portland(Maine) series, which has game 7 on Tuesday. I don't know why they have to wait til Tuesday to play this game. This means that the Calder Cup series won't start til the following weekend, which means I won't get to see any of it.
Also, the Brewers won last night. We're big on 2 games of utter meltdown and winning the third, useless game.
The Twins lost to Cleveland 11-0. Does that mean that if we ever play Cleveland we'll lose by 15-20 runs? Scary.
Finally, to tell you how little I care about the NBA, last night was the first night I realized Wisconsin's Devin Harris plays for Dallas. Not only that, but he apparently doesn't suck, as he scored 30 points and had 5 steals last night. Way to go Devin!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Things are, and I would think, will continue to be, sparse from these parts for a bit.
Clearly, there's lots going on, but I'm certain no one needs to hear me whine, cry or otherwise freak out about this whole move thing on a daily basis. I suppose I could get away with a post or two of that sort, but at this point I'm like a pregnany lady with mood swings like there's no tomorrow. I alternately stress out, reminisce, get sad, get excited and lets through some freaking out in there. I feel like I just gave notice at work and now I only have 6 work days left.
Anyway, the point is, no one cares about my going a little bit nuts. And there's not much going on sportswise. Plus, even if there were, I wouldn't have time to write anything worth while about it. I'll link to some important things, but the Brewers are crap, currently and the only other thing going on that I care about is minor league hockey and I know no one else cares about that.
(the Milwaukee Admirals are one win away from a trip to the finals to vie for the Calder Cup, minor league hockey's championship)
Anyway, not that anyone really particularly cares about my blatherings, but there you go.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I'm officially leaving the land of cheese and beer the night of June 7. Due to construction and wanting to avoid as much topography as possible with my tiny car pulling a trailer, I'll be heading south through Illinois and crossing into Kentucky at Paducah. Then it's on to Nashville, down into Alabama, through B'ham and Montgomery, then some small road to meet up with I-10 into Tallahassee and on down into Orlando. Total (inexact) Mileage, 1380.
On the plus, there's company for the ride. Good thing neither of us will listen to the other's music. The breakup will probably be much easier at the end because I'm pretty sure we'll hate each other!
By Pete Fiutak
Can we finally all admit that Wisconsin football isn't that bad?
Almost 15 years since the Badger program started to become a player on the national scene, there's still a sense that this is nothing more than an overachiever that isn't nearly as good as its record. It's thought of as slow, pounding, and tough, but it's not considered flashy or all that talented. That might have been the case ten years ago, but now, nothing is further from the truth.
Which team has cranked out more NFL draft weekend picks over the last six years: USC, Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, Michigan, Auburn, or Wisconsin?
Yup, the Badgers lead the list with 31 players selected. That's one more than USC, two more than LSU, three more than Oklahoma, nine more than Texas, six more than Michigan, and 12 more than Auburn, who was supposed to be head-and-shoulders faster and more athletic than the Badgers in the Capital One Bowl.
Fine, so going by NFL draft picks is hardly the be-all-end-all-measure to judge how good a program is, but it does show that Wisconsin gets athletic players who can run, jump, hit, and do all the other things the players at other top programs do.
Instead of thinking of Wisconsin as a little engine that could, it's time to raise the expectations for a program with nine winning seasons in the last ten and 35 wins over the last four years. It's time to start demanding more big wins, BCS expectations, and more respect on a national scale even though the torch has been passed from Barry Alvarez to Bret Bielema.
Many will once again underestimate the Badgers with only three starters returning on an offense that loses the top seven pass catchers along with touchdown machine Brian Calhoun, but the team is at a point where it can reload. The new starting receivers could be among UW's fastest ever, there are more than enough huge, pounding running backs to carry the workload, and the line should be better with three legitimate All-Big Ten candidates returning.
The defense struggled last season finishing 92nd in the nation, but that was mostly because of a young line that never got healthy. Now there are eight fantastic prospects up front, speed at outside linebacker and corner, and steady All-Big Ten caliber players at safety and middle linebacker. So don't just look past Wisconsin in the Big Ten race and don't just assume it can't play among the big boys. It is one of the big boys.
The Schedule: If you want a schedule to make a sleeper run for the national title, this is it if you believe Michigan isn't all that great and if the Badgers can solve their recent problems against Iowa. There's no Ohio State and no Michigan State, which is a good thing this season. The non-conference schedule is a joke playing at Bowling Green and with home games against Western Illinois, San Diego State and Buffalo. Penn State and Minnesota have to come to Madison, and two of the four conference road games are at Indiana and Purdue. That means it might be a three-game schedule for a truly huge season: at Michigan on September 23rd, at home against Penn State on November 4th, and at Iowa on November 11th.
Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Joe Thomas. He likely would've been the second tackle taken in the 2006 NFL Draft behind Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson, but he suffered a torn ACL helping out on defense against Auburn in the Capital One Bowl. He's expected to be back and ready to roll later this summer and an All-America lock.
Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Mark Zalewski. Most Big Ten fans have no clue who he is, but they will. He's a tackling machine with phenomenal range, and now he should be an all-star with more help up front to take some of the pressure off.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB John Stocco. Back for his third season as the starter, he has to be razor-sharp from day one with a brand new receiving corps and backfield to work with. He was better than he got credit for last year, but he also have 2006 NFL draft picks Brian Calhoun, Brandon Williams, Jonathan Orr, Owen Daniels and Jason Pociask to throw to.
The season will be a success if ... Wisconsin wins at least a share of the Big Ten title. There are way too many question marks to ask for an unbeaten season, but the talent is there to go 10-2 and the schedule is nice enough to reasonably shoot for a Big Ten title and a BCS spot.
Key game: September 23rd at Michigan. The Badgers beat the Wolverines for the first time since 1994 in a classic 23-20 battle in Madison. Barring an upset, a win in Ann Arbor would likely mean a 9-0 start before facing Penn State at home.
2005 Fun Stats:
- Penalties: Opponents 95 for 833 yards - Wisconsin 71 for 613 yards
- Rushing touchdowns: Wisconsin 31 - Opponents 13
- Tackles for loss: Opponents 98 for 370 yards - Wisconsin 72 for 326 yards
The Last Time Wisconsin…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Capital One Bowl vs. Auburn)
…missed a bowl game…2001
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Temple)
…was shutout…1997 (Syracuse)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Temple)
…won a conference title…1999 (Big Ten)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Brian Calhoun)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Brandon Williams)
…had a first-round draft choice…2005 (DE Erasmus James)
So I went to this crazy baseball game on Saturday night. I got to tailgate, which was great. I can’t tell you when the last time was I tailgated. I mean the real, park in the parking lot, bring a mini grill, have some beers and brats type of tailgate.
It was great. So great, in fact, that we already decided to do it again in 2 weeks. Of course, the reason I have to go to that game is because they’re giving away a bobble head of the catcher, complete with removable mask. And we have to go get that because we already have a pitcher and a hitter, so if we have the catcher, then there’s a whole set! (can you tell this isn’t my idea?)
So we had this great tailgate that couldn’t have been easier and I was complimented on the spread, some guy said “Wow, I guess you’ve done this before.” And some lady stopped by our car not once, but twice to comment on my table. I was quite proud of our tailgate!
Anyway, we decided to keep score because he never has and I’ve only ever done it once. We seriously couldn’t have picked a worse game to pick score during.
Our first pitcher technically didn’t notch any innings. He gave up 5 runs and never got an out, so we pulled him. Four singles, a walk and a double. He was responsible for 6 runs in the first inning.
We went through 8 pitchers. We made 2 double switches. There were 26 total runs scored and 28 hits. I tried to find the official scorecard online, but I didn’t find it. I’m sure it was ugly, but not as horrific as ours.
The final score was Milwaukee 10, Minnesota 16, but trust me, that’s only because of the 3 home runs we hit. We’re lucky if we strung 2 or 3 hits together in an inning. It was not pretty.
At least they pulled it together with a win yesterday. Carlos Lee got out of his mini-slump with a 2 run double. We swept the Phillies, the hottest team in baseball then interleague came and we were done. Stupid stupid Minnesota. I knew I hated them for a reason.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
But seriously, I just had to say goodbye to literally the best person that I know or have ever known. Why did one of the hardest have to be the first?
Friday, May 19, 2006
This, however, deserves some notice, as UWM outfielder Mike Goetz is batting .510. (.510?!)
He's been the D1 batting average leader since stats were released on April 11.
The whole story from the local paper is here.
Seriously, a .510 batting average. I don't even know what to say about that. That's unfathomable. Good for him. Maybe I can do my little part in spreading some exposure for this kid.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I took out most of the explanations since most don't need it and I didn't want this to be the longest post ever. But some were worth keeping.
The ones I've done are bolded. Ten out of 30 ain't bad, right? (Edit)
30 Sports Things To Do Before You Turn 30
1. See the Kentucky Derby.
2. Catch a foul ball.
3. Hole a shot from the fairway.
4. Attend a NASCAR event - You just need to, trust me.
5. Attend a draft - Preferably the NBA or NFL (the other two major sports aren't nearly as entertaining, and if you attend the WNBA draft, don't tell anyone. Ever).
6. Hit the trifecta.
7. Win a title. In anything. It doesn't matter what.
8-10. Witness three championships in person. However you want to break that down.
this is an edit. I've been to the Super Bowl (and got paid) the Final Four and the Frozen Four.
11. Bowl above a 200 (in one game).
12. Compete in a triathlon. Marathons take way too much training, and 5K's are too easy. But entering one of the many mini-triathlons that take place over the course of a year is the perfect combination of achievement-without-having-to-completely-alter-your-lifestyle. A reasonably healthy person can, with some basic training, finish a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride, and 5k run without collapsing at the end like the guy in the Gatorade commercial.
13-15. Witness late game heroics. These are impossible to plan for, so you just have to see enough games to cover your bases here (no pun intended). Put a buzzer-beater in basketball, last-second FG or touchdown in football, and a walk-off home run at the top of your list. A sudden-death goal in hockey is also acceptable.
16. Other baseball abnormalities. Again, nothing you can prepare for, but catching a no-hitter, an unassisted triple play, or a player hitting for the cycle are all worthy feats to aspire to see with your own two eyes.
17. Beat Mike Tyson. Not literally, but in video game form.
18. Shoot par at Frisbee golf.
19. Win an NCAA Tournament pool.
20. Correctly predict the Final Four.
21. Win a fantasy league.
22. Win a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament.
23. Become the best of everyone you know at something.
24. Score a hat trick.
25. See one of the great rivalries in person. Eagles-Cowboys in the NFL, Montreal-Boston in the NHL, Cardinals-Cubs in baseball (trust me, it's more interesting than Yankees-Red Sox), or Duke-UNC in college hoops are some of your standard fare.
26. Gamble on sports in Vegas.
27. See a World Cup, or World Cup Qualifier.
28. Visit the various Halls of Fame. If you make it to the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown, NY, I recommend checking out the Broadcaster's Wing. Everyone inducted has a nice picture of themselves in coat and tie, looking professional, except for Harry Caray, who is pictured shirtless and in mid-yell. I kid you not.
29. Spend a weekend celebrating the holiday of college football.
30. See a fight. Take this to mean anything you want. Boxing is probably the easiest to plan for, but if your luck is good, try to catch a bench-clearing brawl in baseball or basketball. Hockey fights can be great too, but they happen too frequently to qualify here. Bonus points if the fight takes place in a rec league or (even better) charity softball game.
Sometimes, you write up your own funny little ditties and sometimes, whomever you're linking to has already written perfection:
Come Gather Round, Children
Well, this should be awfully entertaining: It’s the Terrell Owens Youth Football Camp!
Youth ages 7-17 will get to learn first hand from Terrell as well as active and retired players the fundamentals and special techniques of the sport. They will learn how to enhance their skills and make new friends.
Let’s set aside, for a moment, the rather brilliant tactical maneuver of repurposing T.O.’s famous mocking of the Cowboy star into an image that signifies triumph. We’re just trying to imagine some of the seminars the camp will offer:
• A Nickel For Two Dimes: The Art Of Contract Negotiation
• Troubles With Teammates? Fuck ‘Em!
• You Won’t Believe The Shit People Will Buy
• Don’t You Worry: Ain’t Nobody Gonna Understand You Anyway
• How To Properly Imply The Homosexuality Of Your Quarterback
All yours, kids, for only $195! Go bug your parents right now!
Terrell Owens Youth Football Camp [TerrellOwens.com]
Courtesy of Deadspin
Bill Hall hit a walk off homer with his pink bat on Mother's Day with his mother in attendance. The next day he made a killer defensive stop, then scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
According to the game recap on ESPN.com, "I actually promised Bush in the dugout that I was going to do something in the ninth inning, that we were going to have a walk-off win," Hall said.
Damian Miller bunted to the third-base side of the mound and the pitcher fired wildly to David third, allowing Hall, who led off the inning with a double, to coast home on the error.
Last night's game was a bit more dramatic, as closer Derrick Turnbow was brought in for the 9th with a 7-4 lead. He gave up one run before he was pulled in favor of left hand specialist Brian Shouse. Shouse then gave up two RBI singles to tie the game. Pulling Turnbow WAS NOT the smartest choice here.
So we blew a 3 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th. Pinch hitter Jeff Cirillo was walked and advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Brady Clark. Rickie Weeks struck out. They then pitched around Bill Hall, for obvious reasons. That brought up Geoff Jenkins with 2 outs. Jenkins hit an RBI single on 0-1 pitch all the way to the center filed wall to win the game. The ball was inches from going yard.
The Brewers had scored 5 runs in the 6th and added another in the 7th to bring the score to 7-4.
Some notes from ESPN's coverage of yesterday's game:
Brewers starter Dave Bush scattered seven hits in six innings as Milwaukee got its 13th come-from-behind victory in 15 wins at Miller Park this season.
The Brewers can sweep the series against Philadelphia on Thursday.
"They are definitely hot at home," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We need to get a win tomorrow and get out of Milwaukee."
Usually I'm not a huge baseball fan, but these guys have been fun to watch so far.
1. Florida State 46, Virginia Tech 29, Sugar Bowl, Jan. 4, 2000: While the Seminoles won the game, Michael Vick's epic performance was the single biggest impetus to the influx of athletic-style quarterbacks we see today. It's not that there weren't "mobile" quarterbacks before Vick, but coaches rarely gave them the freedom to improvise. Vick helped convince any remaining cynics of just how big an impact such a player could have on a game if properly unleashed, a la Vince Young in this year's Rose Bowl.
2. Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2 OT), Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 3, 2003: Besides being a classic game, it was the first time a Big Ten or Pac-10 team reached the BCS title game, a significant milestone considering it was these leagues' attachment to the Rose Bowl that had precluded a championship game for so long. More notably, the Buckeyes proved it possible to beat the 'Canes -- who had won 34 straight at the time -- simply by being the more physical team, something that hadn't happened to Miami in a long, long time.
3. Colorado 62, Nebraska 36, Nov. 23, 2001: For all the reasons mentioned above. (These were mentioned in the question: I still can't stop thinking about Colorado's 62-36 rout of Nebraska in 2001, signaling the beginning of Nebraska's demise, the end of the Huskers' marriage to the option-oriented offense and a general erosion of fear when facing that team. )
4. Louisville 26, Florida State 20, Sept. 26, 2002: It's amazing to me that more people don't remember this rainy, Thursday-night game as a defining moment. The 'Noles were less than two years removed from their streak of 14 straight top four rankings and three straight BCS title-game appearances. Louisville was then a member of Conference USA. The Cardinals won. If that doesn't say it all about the new era of parity in college football, I don't know what does.
5. Northwestern 54, Michigan 51, Nov. 4, 2000: In talking to coaches over the last several years, I've learned that this game is viewed as something of a landmark moment in the current craze of spread offenses. When people saw Northwestern, which had had one of the worst offenses in the country only a year earlier, use the spread to put up 654 yards on the Wolverines, it spawned a whole lot of copycats, most notably Urban Meyer when he took over at Bowling Green the following season.
It's too early to say at this point, but if Notre Dame does indeed "return to glory" under Charlie Weis, I'm sure last year's USC game will be viewed in much the same light as these.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I've got a ton going on and yet, I've got nothing going on. Most of what is occurring involves my mind going about 6,000 miles a minute. It's too early to be packing, so mostly I'm just making lists of things that I will need to do shortly.
Anyway, I'll try to be more exciting, but I wouldn't keep your hopes up. The best that's going on around these parts is that the Brewers are 3-4 from this weekend and today. I went to the game Saturday night and got a seriously creepy looking bobblehead of closer Derrick Turnbow. I'll take a pic and post it. It has "real" hair. Creepy. Anyway, that's the only game they lost this week. As an interesting sidenote, the team seems to do really well when I have the game on TV, but am otherwise occupied. Seriously. It's a pattern.
May 16, 2006 12:25 PM
Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters' phone records in leak investigations.
"It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.
The acknowledgement followed our blotter item that ABC News reporters had been warned by a federal source that the government knew who we were calling.
The official said our blotter item was wrong to suggest that ABC News phone calls were being "tracked."
"Think of it more as backtracking," said a senior federal official.
But FBI officials did not deny that phone records of ABC News, the New York Times and the Washington Post had been sought as part of a investigation of leaks at the CIA.
In a statement, the FBI press office said its leak investigations begin with the examination of government phone records.
"The FBI will take logical investigative steps to determine if a criminal act was committed by a government employee by the unauthorized release of classified information," the statement said.
Officials say that means that phone records of reporters will be sought if government records are not sufficient.
Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).
The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone company receiving a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divulge to the customer that the records have been given to the government.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I just gave notice at work. My last day of work here is Friday, June 2. My first day of work in Winter Haven will be on June 12. That's 10 days to move myself cross-country. Ay carumba!
T-Minus 28 days til I start the new job. T-minus 22 or so days before I start the drive.
Man, that is so NOT a lot of time.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
My entire life just changed because of one 47 second phone call. And while I could not be more excited about this opportunity, I am absolutely scared to death. And more than anything I'm really really really sad. After the initial 20 or so seconds in which I was totally stoked about the job offer, I started crying. Because holy crap (I'm trying not to swear here. Trust me, many many more f-bombs were dropped today) I have to leave my boyfriend and my friends and my mom (this makes me both ecstatically happy and depressingly sad) and everything that I just spent the last year becoming comfortable with again. And the thing is, I'm not complaining. I'm just plain sad. Mostly about my boyfriend, who I guess should be called my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, or maybe STBXB. Clearly, I have angered the relationship fairy. I don't know what I did to wrong him/her, but damn if it doesn't seem like I sure pissed It off.
Anyway, I don't want to whine too much. My mind is just going a bazillion thoughts a second as I try to process this and somehow find the balance between being excited and being really upset.
Because let's face it, this is basically my dream job right now. It's the best I could hope for with my experience and the fact that the last year of my last was an absolute waste as far as my career. But whereas most brand new reporters I've known had to move to podunk middle of nowhere, I get to go to Florida and be less than an hour from two major metropoli. I mean, let's think about this. Idaho, covering Nascar in one of the Carolinas, middle of nowhere Illinois ... or Florida, smack dab in between Tampa and Orlando. Yeah, I think I came out on top here.
Plus, my editor is from Louisiana and another guy on the staff is from Wisconsin. I'll have LSU and Wisconsin friends. Maybe I won't have to watch all the games alone :)
That's enough of my late night ramblings. I promise, back to sports tomorrow. I saw a great baseball game tonight, which I'll share about tomorrow.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Some interesting points here and it does leave me more optimistic than I was going on. I'm at work, so there will be a derth of analysis until I get home...
Spring Answers: The kid they call "Big Shifty" made an unexpected move up the depth chart at tailback. He probably won't start, but walk-on Dywon Rowan did push Jamil Walker out of the No. 2 spot. Listed at 5-9 and 243 pounds, Rowan loves contact and obviously runs with power, but he is also surprisingly elusive and quick. Big Ten defenders might not recognize him, but they better get ready to wrap him up. … The UW offensive line doesn't miss many meals. Among the starters, Outland contender Joe Thomas is the lightest at 306 and Marcus Coleman is the shortest at 6-5. These guys are massive. But much like Rowan, they are more mobile than you'd think. Thomas and freshman All-American Kraig Urbik are proven, and if there are any doubts about Eric VandenHeuvel, consult the Auburn D-line and check back with us. Depth is a legitimate concern with the loss of three starters, but the coaches don't seem all that worried about the big uglies. … The staff certainly isn't concerned with the linebacking corps. It's another spot where starters were lost, but optimism is high. In fact, many UW insiders think the starting three of Jonathan Casillas, Mark Zalewski and DeAndre Levy might be the most athletic trio the program has ever produced. With their speed, these guys can make plays from sideline-to-sideline as well in the backfield. Then there's MLB Elijah Hodge, who was a beast this spring and would probably start at most Big Ten schools. Not here. Zalewski is that good.
Fall Questions: How effectively can former TB Brian Calhoun be replaced? Remember, he was not only a great runner, but also one of the team's best receivers. With Booker Stanley booted off the team, the Badgers are left with a redshirt freshman (P.J. Hill) with no game experience and a junior (Walker) and a walk-on (Rowan) with little game experience. Expected starter Hill, forced to miss last season after breaking his leg in preseason practice, at least has history behind him. Since 1990, Wisconsin's first-year starters at this position have averaged 1,700 yards and 16 TDs. … QB John Stocco is back, but his receiving corps is as barren as a keg on a late Saturday night in Madison. The Badgers lost their top seven pass catchers from 2005, which leaves Marcus Randle El as the top statistical returner. That's no joke. Randle El played in five games, caught one pass for 29 yards and is the leading receiver. So it wasn't exactly surprising to see all the dropped balls and QB-WR miscommunication that marred spring practice. UW better hope the three freshmen can contribute immediately. … The situation at tight end isn't any clearer. After losing both tight ends to the NFL, the Badgers turn to a former linebacker (Andy Crooks), a former defensive end (Travis Beckum) and a former quarterback (Sean Lewis). So what happened to the offense formerly known as 34-points-per-game? Even the backup QB position hasn't been claimed. Wisconsin needs some answers by September. … It sounds strange to say after last year, but the D might actually carry the offense at times this season. The Badgers could stand to get better against the run, but cornerback is really the only possible worry spot on what should be a much-improved defense. Jack Ikegwuonu and Allen Langford have some starting experience at corner, but the depth consists of a pair of walk-ons.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I haven't not mentioned it because I didn't get it. This has actually been ongoing since then.
I got another call from the sports editor on Tuesday asking if I was still interested in the position. Of course the fact that I'd called him about once every 10 days since the original interview just to see what was going on clearly wasn't clue enough for him.
Supposedly I'll be getting a call tonight or tomorrow from the managing editor.
The first question the sports editor asked me was if I was still interested and the second was how quickly could I be there?
So yeah, just so you know, it's not that I suck and didn't get the job. It's that they haven't figured anything out yet.
(of course, it could still turn out that I suck and didn't get the job...)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Murder making a comeback in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS - Jane Anderson misses the old days - the days right after Hurricane Katrina when National Guardsmen with rifles roamed the street outside the New Orleans shop where she works. The days when there weren't many people around and crime was down sharply.
"I know it's still pretty safe," Anderson says. "But it doesn't feel that way. We're hearing about more things happening, more murders, more bad guys returning."
Murder is making a comeback in New Orleans.
The city had 30 murders this year through April. That is less than half of the 81 recorded during the first four months of 2005. But New Orleans' population these days is less than half of what it was before Katrina.
Also, while there were only 17 murders in January through March of this year, there were an alarming 13 slayings in April. That is the most for any month since the Aug. 29 storm, though still well below the monthly average of 22 in 2003 and 2004.
And May has gotten off to a violent start with three slayings, including a shooting that followed an argument in a Bourbon Street bar early Tuesday.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley insisted at a news conference last week that murders and other violent crimes per person - that is, crime figures that take the reduced population into account - are down from a year ago. But that was based on January-through-March figures that do not count April's bloodshed.
"We are not seeing a return to the old days," Riley said. "This city is still the safest it has ever been."
Law enforcement officers acknowledge rising numbers of murders and shootings, and attribute them largely to turf wars among criminals returning to the city.
"Since April began we've had the return of individuals who have a legacy of violent crimes," said Jim Bernazzani, the FBI agent in charge of New Orleans. "Prior to storm they were residing in areas that are now uninhabitable. So they are returning to the 20 percent of the city that did not flood and they are running into violent criminals whose turf it is."
The post-Katrina murder stories are haunting echoes of pre-Katrina New Orleans.
In February, Jermaine Wise was shot to death in a parked car on Mardi Gras. On March 19, a man got out of a car during a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral procession and opened fire, killing Christopher Smith. That same day, a shotgun-wielding robber killed Michael Frey as he handed over his wallet in the Fauborg Marigny, a neighborhood near the French Quarter.
"I don't think things have changed at all," said Dr. Micelle Haydel, an emergency room doctor at Charity Hospital, where most trauma victims in the city are taken. "We're still getting the shooting and stabbing victims. It's still happening, and it will get worse as people return."
In neighboring Jefferson Parish, the murder rate is way up. The population has fallen from about 450,000 before Katrina to around 370,000, according to the parish president's office. But there were 22 murders though April, compared with 28 during all of last year.
"Crime is down 23 percent overall," Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee said. "But we have almost as many murders now as we had all of last year and the year isn't even half over. I really believe it's drugs and turf from people moving in."
New Orleans had a fearsome pre-Katrina reputation for violence in the streets around its housing projects and in other poor sections of town. Drugs were said to be at the center of most of the killings.
In 2004, New Orleans had 264 murders, or 56 per 100,000 people, according to the FBI. That compares with seven per 100,000 in New York and a national average of 5.5 per 100,000.
In the weeks after Katrina, the military and various law agencies patrolled New Orleans and much of the city of nearly a half-million people was emptied out. Police reported just nine homicides in the fourth quarter last year - the three months after Katrina - compared with 64 for the last three months of 2004.
For many residents, the new, lower homicide toll and the reassurances from law enforcement provide little comfort.
Louis Gurvich, who owns a company that provides businesses and homeowners with security guards and private patrols, said business is thriving.
"There is no crime in parts of the city because there are no people there. And there is less crime everywhere. We used to have five or six murders a weekend," he said. "But if a crime happens near you or if you hear about crime, your perception is that it's getting bad quickly."
Men's Basketball to Tour Italy in August
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin men’s basketball team will travel to Italy and play five games against Italian professional teams from August 17-27. The trip, run through Sports Travel International/Globetrotter Travel, has the Badgers spending three nights each in Rome, Florence and Lake Como.
Fans are invited to join the Badgers on their excursion. The trip will begin on Aug. 17 as the team leaves Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on an overnight flight to Rome. UW will spend the nights of Aug. 18-20 at the Regina Baglioni Hotel-Via Veneto and will play two games in Rome (between sightseeing at the Vatican Museum and the Roman Forum).
The three nights in Florence will be spent at the Villa Medici Hotel and the sights include Michelangelo’s “David” and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Florence will also include two games.
The final leg of the trip will be spent at the Regina Olga in Cernobbio, on the shores of beautiful Lake Como. Included among the tours will be a visit to Lugano, Switzerland and a boat ride to Bellagio. The Badgers will also play the final game of their trip during this time. On Aug. 27, the Badgers will depart Malpensa Airport for the flight back to Chicago.
For more information on how to purchase a spot on this magnificent trip, either click the link below or look for the “Badgers in Italy” link in the right-hand column of the men’s basketball page. Fans can find prices and contact information as well as a tentative itinerary for the trip.
Monday, May 08, 2006
I never payed any attention to hockey before this season, but since Saturday I went to a playoff game for the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, the farm league for the Nashville Predators.
I went to Hockey. In MAY!
They won the Calder Cup, the Championship for AHL in 2004 and have made it to the second round of the playoffs so far. If the game I attended is any clue, things look good. The Admirals railed on Houston 7-0.
The shocker, and something I totally need explained to me, is that Nashville sent down 4 or 5 players. The goalkeeper as well as Jordin Tootoo (great name!) who scored a hattrick. And Scottie Upshall. I don't know if these names mean anything to anyone, but I guess because they started here in Milwaukee, we know these guys as those who made it big. And since Nashville isn't in the NHL playoffs, they sent down some guys.
I feel like there has to be some rules regulating this.
The Rooney move isn't much of a shock, but naming Theo Walcott to the World Cup squad has sent some big waves through the English soccer community.
Eriksson also forbid Micheal Owen from playing in a testimonial game Thursday. Owen, who required two surgeries to repair a broken metatarsal, had been hoping to use the friendly to log some on-field minutes but lord sven nixed the idea.
Finally, Sir Alex is saying that Eriksson is 'half baked' in his attempts to get Rooney on field and fit for the World Cup.
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's women will be barred from attending soccer games, a reversal by the president that comes a month before the national team plays in the World Cup.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ruled in April that he would allow women to go to soccer games and sit in a separate section of the stands. He wanted to "improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere."
But Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- who under the Islamic Republic's constitution has the final say -- opposed the move.
"The president has decided to revise his decision based on the supreme leader's opinion," Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said Monday.
Ahmadinejad's decision to allow women into stadiums had provoked outrage among hardline Shiite Muslim clerics, who supported his election last year and who have tightly controlled Iranian society since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran's Islamic law imposes stringent restrictions on women. They need a male guardian's permission to work or travel, and have rarely been allowed to attend public sports events.
In 2001, a group of Irish women was permitted to attend a World Cup qualifier between Iran and Ireland in Tehran.
The monthlong World Cup begins June 9 in Germany. Iran is grouped with Mexico, Angola and Portugal in the 32-team tournament.
Thomas, who injured his knee in last year's Capital One Bowl, appears to have recovered and be in great shape. It was speculated before the injury that he may have entered the draft early, so I guess in some ways that knee injury was the best thing that happened for Badger fans.
Thomas actually played both ways in the Capital One Bowl as the Badgers defense was beyond thin by that part of the season. I wrote about Thomas' turn as an Ironman here and here.
Looks like things are looking good for the upcoming Badger Football season.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I have no issues with Tuscaloosa!
I just like ribbing you all. I meant no offense (though I AM a bit offended by his referring to the Badgers as an upstart football team).
And I really love Madison. And he himself even said that he didn't have any idea how beautiful it is.
Madison's great because it's an Isthmus (a strip on land in between 2 bodies of water)
Lakes Monona and Mendota make for some pretty scenery. As you can see in the pic below, at some points there's only a few blocks between the lakes.
And I have no problem with Tuscaloosa and I'm sure you Alabamans get as much crap as I do, though at least Alabama isn't forever linked with, well anything, like we are to beer and cheese. And the beer part I can handle. But the people of America are literally retarded when it comes to Wisconsin.
"Do you eat cheese?" "Do you live on a farm?" "DID YOU RIDE A COW TO SCHOOL?!?"
Are you kidding me? Not only is my city bigger than yours, you ignorant fool, but really, even if I lived in the middle of nowhere, when was the last time you heard of someone saddling up old Bessie?
But since Nico is constantly posting pretty and scenic pictures, I'll give Tuscaloosa the benefit of the doubt and I'll make him rue the day he issued the invitation and offer of use of the season tickets!
Exhibits A and B, the University Terrace and snow on the Capitol Dome. (though little miss golden Foward does look untouched)
Anyway, the point is, I'm sure Druid City (best city nickname ever!) is loverly and I'll be sure to check it out soon and report back!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Top Ten Reasons To Date an Engineer
1. The world does revolve around us... We pick the coordinate system.
2. Find out what those other buttons on your calculator do.
3. We know how to handle stress and strain in our relationships.
4. Parents will approve.
5. Help with your math homework.
6. Can calculate head pressure.
7. Looks good on a resume.
8. Free body diagrams.
9. High starting salary.
10. Extremely good looking
Never underestimate the importance of #9. I have a communications degree. I'm destined for a life of ramen noodles and the Beast.
A comment from apostles03:
I saw video shot by a fan named Zapruder which conclusively proves that the ball was thrown by Bud Selig from behind a grassy knoll in Miller Park, and not a foul ball as reported by the press.
This was listed as one of the top "National and World News" stories listed on the front page of Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel online..
Nicole Richie trying to gain weight:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Nicole Richie, whose drastic weight loss spawned speculation that she has an eating disorder, acknowledges she is "too thin" and is getting treatment to add pounds, in an interview in Vanity Fair.
"I know I'm too thin right now, so I wouldn't want any young girl looking at me and saying, `That's what I want to look like,'" the 24-year-old "Simple Life" star tells the magazine in its June issue, on newsstands Tuesday.
"I do know that they will, which is another reason I really do need to do something about it," she says. "I'm not happy with the way I look right now."
The 5-foot-1-inch Richie was visibly heavier in 2003 when she began filming TV's "The Simple Life," which features Richie and ex-friend Paris Hilton thrown into normal jobs and responsibilities.
Richie, who has said she gained weight during a stint in rehab for heroin addiction, says she doesn't know how much she weighs today.
However, she says her eating habits are far from healthy: "I eat the worst foods - salty cheese-and-grease kind of stuff."
Stress causes her to lose her appetite, she says, and her split in December from ex-fiance Adam Goldstein, a professional club DJ who goes by the name DJ AM, didn't help matters. "I had a bad breakup, and it eats me up inside when I'm upset about something," says Richie, who is dating Goldstein again.
"I get really stressed out, and I do lose my appetite, but I do force myself to eat. I tried to put the weight on my way, eating burritos, but that wasn't working, so I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor," Richie tells the magazine.
Dr. Jeffery Wilkins, vice-chair of the department of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who treats Richie, says doctors are "working on a systematic plan to get more calories in, and we're going to watch and see if it succeeds."
"If it's not anorexia, she should be able to gain the weight," he says. "If it ends up being anorexia, we'll help her with that."
Look, I'm not an expert, but I bet that if reporters tried hard enough they could find something more newsworthy going on in the world right now. This isn't news. Period. Much less one of the top "National and World News" stories of the day.
This. This is why journalists, REAL journalists - Ones with honor and a desire to tell a good story, cannot and do not get any respect. This is the sort of crap that makes me wonder why this is what I want to do with my life.
Also, I'm getting really sick of "news" articles that do nothing but report what some other newspaper or magazine is printing. By that I mean that the sole point and source of this article is Vanity Fair's new issue. Basically, Vanity Fair leaks early copies or releases with tidbits of a new story and some jackass writes an article on said leak, thereby advertising the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. It's brilliant marketing on Vanity Fair's part, but what newspaper writes an article based solely on another, upcoming article? That's not reporting.
Last line of the story: "Roberts said students should check their immunization records and avoid swapping saliva with others."
Seriously, I don't know about you, but I had to prove all kinds of vaccinations and immunizations when I went to school and a whole lot more when I lived in the dorms. Who doesn't get the MMR shot these days?
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
There are 11 NCAA D1 teams whose nickname does not end with an S. Name them.
There are 4 NCAA D1 schools who do not have college or university in their name. Name them.
Monday, Nov. 27
Michigan at North Carolina State, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tuesday, Nov. 28
Maryland at Illinois, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida State at Wisconsin, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Penn State at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Indiana at Duke, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Miami at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Wednesday, Nov. 29
Michigan State at Boston College, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Virginia at Purdue, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Iowa at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Ohio State at North Carolina, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Clemson at Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The key matchup here being Indiana and Duke on Tuesday night.
Madison - Former University of Wisconsin linebacker Dontez Sanders agreed Monday to a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, agent Richard Katz said.
Sanders, a two-year starter, is from Bedford, Ohio, which is 12 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Also, former Badger Jason Palermo, a guard, signed with the Minnesota Vikings, agent Jonathan Hurst said.
- Mark Stewart
Arliss Beach, RB, Kentucky: 5-10½, 219, 22, from Ashland, Ky
Tra Boger, S, Tulane: 6-0, 210, 22, from Decatur, Ga
Shermar Bracey, RB, Arkansas State: 6-1½, 225, 23, from Pine Bluff, Ark
Josh Bourke, T, Grand Valley State: 6-6½, 320, 23, from Tecumseh, Ontario
A.J. Cooper, TE, North Dakota State: 6-1½, 240, 22, from Phoenix
Tim Goodwell, LB, Memphis: 6-0, 230, 22, from Lithonia, Ga
Montez Murphy, DE, Baylor: 6-5½, 260, 24, from East St. Louis, Ill
So Barry Bonds is in Milwaukee tonight to play the Brewers and is 2 HR away from Babe Ruth's total. But he almost got taken out of tonight's game.
WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2006, 5:59 p.m.By Don Walker
Bonds hit in the forehead by foul ball
San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds was hit in the forehead by a foul ball during batting practice this evening before the Giants' game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.Bonds was examined by Giants medical personnel and was expected to be in the starting lineup Wednesday.Bonds was waiting his turn to enter the batting cage as a batter swung and fouled the ball off the netting of the batting cage, driving the netting back and hitting Bonds in the face.Bonds immediately yelled out an expletive, put his hands to his face and leaned back to lie on the ground. Bonds was immediately surrounded by trainers for the Giants, who began to talk to him to find out the extent of his injury. About three or four minutes later, Bonds sat up and was talking to the trainers.He then got to his feet and was escorted to the clubhouse as video cameras recorded the scene.At 5:58 p.m., Bonds returned and took two minutes of batting practice.The Giants are scheduled to play the Brewers at 7 tonight, with Bonds needing three home runs to surpass Babe Ruth's career total.
I usually try to avoid speculating about the character of famous people, etc, but it seems to me that Tiger Woods should be the poster child of what to do right when parenting a phenom/genius/child actor, etc...
The kid seems to have his crap really together. He's driven and he's good and he knows it, but he's not cocky and overbearing and flashy. He just does his job. Very very well. And absolutely that should be attributed to having some absolutely stellar parents.
So I think the world lost an amazing man today.
Monday, May 01, 2006
This recipe is beyond easy and took no time at all. And it was fabulous. What a treat!
1 pound dried fettucine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
Cook the fettucine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the Parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
I used a stick of margarine and didn't use salt, instead of salting and using unsalted butter and the recipe tasted fine. I highly recommend.
I haven't had a chance to do a lot of research on this, but holy crap. C'mon Bush, if we can bail other goverments out, why can't we help our own territory?
I especially like the part where it says they've been operating on the 2004 budget, since no one could agree on the ones for 2005 and 2006.
Puerto Rican schools, government offices close
Governor, lawmakers fail to reach deal to avert financial crisis
Monday, May 1, 2006; Posted: 10:17 a.m. EDT (14:17 GMT)
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- The government of Puerto Rico ran out of money Monday, forcing the U.S. commonwealth to close public schools and shut down government offices, putting almost 100,000 people out of work.
The legislature and governor failed to reach a last-minute accord that would have averted the first-ever partial shutdown of the government in island history.
All 1,600 public schools on the island were closed two weeks before the end of the academic year, and 43 government agencies were shut down after negotiations between lawmakers and Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila failed.
Acevedo blamed "legislative inaction" for the shutdown.
"As of 8 a.m. this morning, I don't have in hand a single legislative proposal that resolves this crisis," he told reporters.
The closure gave an unplanned holiday to 500,000 students and threw almost 100,000 government employees -- including 40,000 teachers -- temporarily out of work. The governor has said essential services, such as police and hospitals, would continue during the shutdown.
Unions planned protests outside the capitol in San Juan and elsewhere to protest the shutdown. Municipal governments, which provide services such as garbage collection, kept functioning.
Outside an elementary school in the Rio Piedras area of the capital, a sign advised parents to monitor news reports to learn when classes would resume. Juan Marrero, a shop owner near the school, said the shutdown would curtail his business.
"They have to solve this quickly," Marrero said.
Puerto Rico has a $740 million budget shortfall because the legislature and the governor have been unable to agree on a spending plan since 2004.
Overnight, the Senate leader offered a compromise that would create a 5.9 percent sales tax, which he said would raise enough money to pay off an emergency $532 million line of credit the government needs to finish the fiscal year.
But that proposal failed to gain traction in the House of Representatives, where leaders said they opposed any sales tax above 5.5 percent -- with 1.5 percent earmarked for municipalities.
Both proposals fell short of the 7 percent that Acevedo said was necessary to pay for an additional $640 million loan and avoid a partial government shutdown. Anything less that 7 percent would only postpone the crisis until July 1, when the next fiscal year begins, the governor said.
The island currently has no sales tax.
Members of the New Progressive Party, which controls the legislature, have blamed the governor for the crisis. The two sides never agreed on the 2005 or 2006 budgets, and the government is using the 2004 budget to operate as debts pile up.
The government is Puerto Rico's largest employer, with some 200,000 workers. Salaries make up about 80 percent of the government's operational costs.
In recent days, Puerto Ricans held protest marches aimed at spurring the politicians to reach an agreement.
"I think it's sad that it came to this, but I think they'll come to their senses after a few days of playing this game," said Hector Aguilo, 24, who lives in Guaynabo, just outside San Juan.
"There are too many angry people who would be without their paychecks."