Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opening Day is great - right?

Despite my somewhat recent obsession with the Brewers (2005), I’ve never actually been to Opening Day. I know it’s a Milwaukee holiday to be celebrated on par with St. Patrick’s Day, but see, even with my Irish roots, I don’t head out on March 17.

The last time I could have been classified as drunk, it was off a bottle or two of wine. I can face it – I’m a light weight.

Besides, at $60 a ticket, I want to watch the game. I’m the girl at Miller Park telling you to sit down so I can see the game – I’m not there to get drunk, party, take pictures with my friends or fail to remember anything that actually happened.

I enjoy the game.

Add last year’s abundance of Cubs fans and there wasn’t much you could have done to talk me into going.

Yeah, yeah, call me a stick in the mud, but I was just as happy listening to Uecker on the radio and starting my season’s Miller Park watching at the next day’s game.

But Opening Day is a rite of passage for all Brewers fans and we decided that this year it was time to go. We aren’t able to buy season tickets because we’re both looking at out of state jobs and could be gone next month, so we couldn’t get tickets that way. We weren’t picked for the lottery, so it seemed like our Opening Day virginity was going to stay in tact for another year.

The miraculously two Fridays ago the Brewers sent out an unannounced email saying they had some seats left and those who’d signed up for the first drawing were now being given a second chance. Ten minutes, I had club level seats in my hot little mandibles. Sweet – not only do I get to go to the game, but I’m in area where d-bagness should be kept to a minimum.

So we hooked up with some friends who have done this before and the tailgating begins at 8 or 9 am. The mimosa fixin’s have been purchased, the menu is set and the countdown has begun.

And I’m a little afraid I’m going to hate it.

I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, but 30 year olds who know their alcohol limit and go barreling over that line anyway drive me nuts. I’m proprietarial about my Brewers. I’ve spent six months waiting for the season to begin again. I’m going to be really annoyed when I don’t get to see Prince’s first home run of the season because the guy next to me can’t hold his liquor.

Am I being a negative Nancy?

I’m telling myself that knowing all these things are possibilities is preparing me for the situation so that I don’t get AS upset, but maybe I’m ruining the fun before it ever begins.

There have to be Brewer fans out there who don’t go to Opening Day just to get wasted, right? Are any of you out there?

It can’t just be another excuse to get wasted that makes Opening Day such a huge day in Milwaukee, right?

The food has to be at least part of the equation, right?

Some people will be making elaborate spreads and crazy food, but we’re sticking to our tried and true tailgating grub. It’s been months since we’ve had it and it wouldn’t feel right to not include the taco dip and pasta salad in the festivities.

I’ve spent at least an hour on the phone this week trying to figure out how I can have fresh Miller’s Bakery Pretzel rolls on Monday morning. The answer is – I can’t. No one will be open on Sunday, so I’ll be buying my rolls on Saturday and hoping they still taste yummy on Monday.

We’re also rocking the Sendik’s Jim Beam bacon cheeseburger patties. Yes folks – all those things are mixed into the patty. If you haven’t discovered the greatness of these burgers, I urge you to check them out.

The weather is calling for 60 degrees – the whole thing couldn’t be any better, right?

I really am excited for this – I swear. It’s just a cautious optimism.

What to do with Suppan

Yesterday, Brewers manager Ken Macha was asked what Jeff Suppan would be doing today, as it was his scheduled day to pitch. Manny Parra and Chris Narveson are scheduled to pitch in the Brewers’ Spring Training game, but Suppan’s workload hadn’t been announced. Here’s what Macha had to say: “Hopefully I’ll be able to answer that tomorrow. That’s my best answer.”

As Haudricourt put it, since when do veteran pitchers not know what they’ll be doing the next day?

Over on this morning’s Mug at BCB, Kyle wondered if Suppan would be pitching in a minor league game or some other such under-the-radar outing. Fan opinion is not behind keeping Suppan in the rotation and another poor outing that is reported on would not go over well here in Milwaukee.

Suppan’s contract is for $12.5 million dollars this year, which I understand the Brewers have a hard time swallowing, but they need to take a cue from the Bill Hall trade and accept that it was a bad business decision. Forcing him into the lineup purely to justify the expenditure only complicates and multiplies the problem. Yes, Bill Hall is with another team while we overpay for much of his contract, but at least we aren’t being affected by his poor choices at the plate or negative presence in the clubhouse, nor is the club dealing with the fan’s negativity. Other than the negativity, it’s the same situation with Suppan.

One week ago, ESPN’s MLB rumor page reported that scouts who watched Suppan pitch in AZ this spring have said that he is completely cooked and is no longer able to get major league hitters out.

As I’ve mentioned before, Suppan’s last outing was questionable when he needed to be told to use his off-speed pitches.

And now scouts are pointing out how crappy he is – meaning teams around the league must be rubbing their hands together at the thought of facing him every fifth day.

Watch BrewCrewBall.com for more on this tonight.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Behold the Power of the Mustache

These kids' parents deserve Badger Fan of the Year Awards. They were at Saturday night's win and made some great camera time. Of course they look a little like Mario and Luigi, but seriously, when I called for fans to sport mustaches I never imagined they'd drag their kids into it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Suppan's even worst than we thought

Per John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus on ESPN Rumor Central via UeckerPowell ‘s Twitter feed:

Scouts who have watching (Jeff) Suppan pitch in Arizona this spring say he is completely cooked and no longer able to get major league hitters out.

Who knows what to make of this bit of information. Suppan’s been as horrible as we feared all Spring Training long, but this bit of information surprised me. Sure, he’s been giving up Braden Looper – like numbers of homers and the rest of his outs have been long fly balls, but I never imagined he’d just totally lose what little talent he had.

In today’s Mug over at BCB, Kyle provided a few quotes from both Suppan and Macha. According to Suppan it was his first chance to use all his pitches and he was “amped-up” and Macha said he had to send Peterson to the mound to remind Suppan to throw off-speed stuff.

The Macha quote is pretty disturbing – did Suppan think he was going to use his blazing fast ball to strike out the side? I mean, I never worried about Suppan’s smarts on the mound before that, but now I’m concerned he’s losing his mind as well as his ability.

Macha also said the problem was one that’s been gone over before. The Macha quotes came off sounding tired and resigned.

Badger fans and Mustaches Unite!

The Badger men’s hockey team went with the unconventional playoff mustaches in lieu of playoff beards this year.

This article from Madison.com talks about how the guys know they’re “cheesy” and compares notes on who’s got the best stache growing so far. The reasoning behind the ‘staches instead of beards? The beards haven’t worked over the past few seasons, so they changed it up.

If you’re not following Blake Geoffrion’s twitter account, you should be. Not only has he taken time to answer fans’ questions, but he’s provided some spectacular pictures of his teammates’ post-season looks.

Cody Goloubef Aaron Bendickson JohnMitchell and Michael Davies
The pics inspired me, as they should all Badger fans. What better way to support the hockey team then to sport some ‘staches of our own?

Heading to the Regionals in St Paul? Sport a ‘stache.

Watching the game at home? Sport a ‘stache.

I’ll be heading to a costume shop after work to pick up some mustaches. If you do the same, please post links to the pictures in the comments.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NCAA Men's Hockey Championship Field Set

The Badgers are a #1 seed and will be playing in the west regional in St. Paul , MN. Wisconsin draws Vermont.

Vermont finished eighth in Hockey East during the regular season and were helped in getting an at-large bid when Boston College beat Maine for the Hockey East tournament championship and Cornell defeated Union for the ECAC title.

Vermont's pairwise ranking was no doubt helped by their 6-1 record against out-of-conference teams.

Tickets for the regional go on sale tomorrow at 10am here.

Badgers will play at 8PM vs Vermont, St. Cloud and Northern Michigan will play at 4:30. Winners play at 8PM Saturday.

Here's the rest of the pack:

East Regional, March 26-27
Times Union Center, Albany, New York

Friday, March 26, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 1 Denver (27-9-4) vs. No. 4 Rochester Institute of Technology (26-11-1)

Friday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 2 Cornell (21-8-4) vs. No. 3 New Hampshire (17-13-7)

Saturday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
East Regional Championship

West Regional, March 26-27
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Friday, March 26, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication HD/ESPN360.com (ESPNU tape delay – Friday, March 26, 11:30 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 2 St. Cloud State (23-13-5) vs. No. 3 Northern Michigan (20-12-8)

Friday, March 26, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 1 Wisconsin (25-10-4) vs. No. 4 Vermont (17-14-7)

Saturday, March 27, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
West Regional Championship

Northeast Regional, March 27-28
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

Saturday, March 27, 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication/ESPN360.com (ESPNU tape delay – Sunday, March 28, 9:30 a.m. Eastern time)
No. 1 Boston College (25-10-3) vs. No. 4 Alaska Fairbanks (18-11-9)

Saturday, March 27, 5 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication/ESPN360.com (ESPNU tape delay – Sunday, March 28, noon Eastern time)
No. 2 North Dakota (25-12-5) vs. No. 3 Yale (20-9-3)

Sunday, March 28, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Northeast Regional Championship

Midwest Regional, March 27-28
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Saturday, March 27, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
No. 1 Miami (Ohio) (27-7-7) vs. No. 4 Alabama-Huntsville (12-17-3)

Saturday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication/ESPN360.com (ESPNU tape delay – Saturday, March 27, 11:30 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 2 Bemidji State (23-9-4) vs. No. 3 Michigan (25-17-1)

Sunday, March 28, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Midwest Regional Championship

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Arizona Cardinals and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson have agreed to a two-year contract worth $7.25 million, a source told ESPN.com Wednesday.

The source said the deal includes $3.25 million guaranteed, and with incentives would max out at $18.25 million

Whisenhunt said he got a text from Leinart on Wednesday saying he "knew there was going to be competition, but he was going to show he was ready to play. "

"So that indicated to me that Matt was in a good place," the coach said. ".... I don't know necessarily that it was a function of any announcements about us reaching an agreement with Derek as much as it was just Matt staying in communication. That is what we want from our players and I was excited to see that."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Marquette unis featured on Uni Watch

Sunday’s Uni Watch blog installment was all about Marquette’s uniform history. It’s a great read with a ton of pictures. Make sure you go check it out.

How Wisconsin hockey could be #1 overall seed

From USCHO.com:

For Wisconsin to be the Overall Number One Seed, here it is per our PairWise Predictor and our Chief Editor Todd Milewski.

CCHA Semifinal #2: Ferris State defeats Northern Michigan
CCHA Semifinal #1: Michigan defeats Miami
CCHA Championship game: Michigan defeats Ferris State
CCHA Consolation game: Northern Michigan defeats Miami
ECAC Semifinal #2: Union defeats St. Lawrence
ECAC Semifinal #1: Brown defeats Cornell
ECAC Championship game: Brown defeats Union
ECAC Consolation game: St. Lawrence defeats Cornell
Hockey East Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University
Hockey East Semifinal #1: Vermont defeats Boston College
Hockey East Championship game: Maine defeats Vermont
WCHA Play-in #1: Minnesota-Duluth defeats North Dakota
WCHA Semifinal #2: Wisconsin defeats St. Cloud State
WCHA Semifinal #1: Minnesota-Duluth defeats Denver
WCHA Championship game: Wisconsin defeats Minnesota-Duluth
WCHA Consolation game: St. Cloud State defeats Denver
Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: Sacred Heart defeats Air Force
Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #1: RIT defeats Canisius
Atlantic Hockey Championship game: RIT defeats Sacred Heart

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tom Crean latching on to Marquette success

Former Marquette coach Tom Crean tweeted this today:

Congratulations to everyone at Marquette. 5 straight NCAA tournaments and some people thought the Big East was a reach when we entered.

Using "we" might be a bit of a stretch considering he bailed on the team two seasons ago. He's had a rough time getting Indiana started so maybe he's looking to up his credibility by taking retroactive credit for some of Marquette's success. Or maybe we're reading too much in to it. Either way, it rings a little false, doesn't it?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Packers jersey revealed

Here's what the jersey it's based on looked like.

And here's the new jersey that will be worn this year.

Thanks to Packers Lounge for the picture.

I love the jersey it's based on, but it doesn't translate well the current uniform fabric and layout.

Sportswriter LOVES Brewers

Keith Law is at the Brewers Spring Training game today and has been looking forward to the opportunity since last night and today has apparently not disappointed. Let’s take a look at his tweets from the past day and a half.

“Sometimes in Spring Training, I look at the next day’s probably pitchers and I want to light myself on fire.”

“I mean, tomorrow, I might go see…Doug Davis. Really? I’m “scouting” Doug Davis? Where the heck did I put those matches?”

“I need a new pitcher. Or a beer.”

“’Carlos Gomez’ is a Spanish phrase meaning ‘Willie Mays Hayes.’”

“Claudio Vargas? Seriously, I should’ve just asked for the beer.”

Clearly Keith is really high on the Brewers. Not sure what they did to piss him off so much, but I haven’t seen anywhere near this kind of vitriol for anyone else this Spring Training. Apparently he is not impressed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Marquette FINALLY beats Villanova

After losing four games in a row to Villanova by a total of four points, Marquette had their revenge today in the Big East tournament.

The Golden Eagles were a preseason pick to finish 12th in the Big East. Now they're heading into the semi-finals of the Big East tournament. They've far surpassed expectations, beaten great teams and basically played out of their heads for months. Finally, people are starting to notice.

This is a great article about Marquette's incredible season, Coach Buzz Williams and the team's philosophy.

An excerpt:

Of the Golden Eagles’ 32 games, 15 have been decided by four or fewer points, 13 by a single possession.

Marquette’s worst loss? By nine to Wisconsin.

“Their poise in the last eight to 10 minutes of a game is great because they know the deal,’’ Williams said. “We’re not going to blow anybody out. We have to keep it tight and hope it turns into a fight.’’

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Packers to wear throwback jersey

JSOnline.com reported yesterday that the Packers will be wearing a third, alternate jersey during the upcoming season. The report says it’s guaranteed for one game, but may make another appearance.

The blurb doesn’t offer any information but does point out that Uni Watch was the first to break the info.

Today, Clay Matthews tweeted asking if anyone knew anything about the jerseys, and dropped the hint that they’re from the 1920s era.

According to JS, the uniforms will be unveiled on Friday at 4 pm at Packers Fan Fest.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Some Badger Hockey stats

Despite their absolutely abysmal showing in Minnesota this weekend, the Badgers are the #3 team in the nation. One of the ways they've gotten to that point is their prolific scoring, both from offense and defenders.

As a team, the Badgers are:

Averaging 4.06 goals per game - 2nd in the nation

134 goals scored - 1st in the nation

104 points from defensemen - 1st in the nation

Averaging 3.15 points per game from defensemen - 1st in the nation

+1.53 scoring margin - 1st in the nation

Badger men's basketball honors

After impressive performances against Iowa and Illinois, Jon Leuer was named Big Ten Player of the Week. He averaged 19.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 73.0 percent from the field over those two games.

Additionally, Trevon Hughes was named to the second-team all conference team, Jason Bohannon was named to the third team and Leuer was given honorable mention despite missing nine games this season.

Congrats, Badgers!

Badger men's basketball vs Iowa

Back in January the University of Wisconsin sponsored a Twitter weekend during which I won tickets to last Wednesday's game. The seats were awesome.

The Badgers railed upon Iowa and it was the Jon Leuer show. With just over seven minutes left in the game, Leuer's 18 points were double that any other player on either team.

It was Senior Night and after the game they honored the two seniors, Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes. This included a video on the video board for everyone to see, which I thought was a really cool touch. You can watch that video here.

Olympic Badgers!

At Wednesday's Badger Men's Basketball game they honored the four Badger women who were on the US Women's Olympic hockey team that won the silver medal.

Badger men's hockey at the Olympics

Saw this this weekend and thought it was worth passing along. There’s a constant debate about which path players should take to the pros and these stats give good credence to taking the college path. They’re also Wisconsin heavy, which I think is just as telling. All three of UW’s representatives on Team USA are mentioned.

From USCHO.com via College Hockey, Inc.

College players in the Olympics

All three of the Directorate Awards chosen by the IIHF went to former college players – Michigan State’s Ryan Miller at goalie, Wisconsin’s Brian Rafalski at defenseman and Jonathan Toews at forward.

Wisconsin’s Ryan Suter led the tournament in plus/minus at -9.

Ohio State’s Ryan Kesler and Wisconsin’s Joe Pavelski ranked second and third, respectively, in faceoff wins.

Not a bad advertisement for college players, it would seem. It’s not a clear victory, but it’s a decent step in building the case.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Badgers for the Hobey?

USCHO broke down the Hobey Baker race today as we head into the final weekend of the regular season. The list of 10 will be released in two weeks and Elliot Olshansky handicapped the biggest names in the running for the award.

Multiple Badgers made the list.

There are four guys listed as Moral Locks and Brendan Smith is one of them. Here’s the paragraph on Brendan.

Brendan Smith, Wisconsin – He’s the top-scoring defenseman in the country, the No. 16 scorer overall, and he has more goals than six of the forwards who are ahead of him. He’s also improved his defensive play for a team that is a favorite to advance to the Frozen Four.The other three locks are Denver’s Mark Cheverie, UNH’s Bobby Butler and Maine’s Gustav Nyquist.

There are three guys listed as on Solid Gournd followed by Blake Geoffrion and seven other players listed as Question Marks. Here’s Geoffrion’s breakdown:
Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin – Our friends at INCH think that Geoffrion is the Badgers’ top Hobey contender, and while I think that distinction belongs to Brendan Smith, Geoffrion certainly has a strong case. He’s a senior leader on one of the nation’s top teams, the No. 5 goal-scorer in the country, and a name player and NHL draft pick who stuck it out for all four years of college. The main thing that could derail Geoffrion’s candidacy is a case of “too many cooks spoil the sauce.” Wisconsin has four players who could make a case as a Hobey candidate, and while Smith’s scoring numbers as a defenseman separate him from the pack, the three forwards – Geoffrion, Michael Davies, and Derek Stepan – could wind up taking votes from one another. Also, he’s missed time recently due to injury, which could play a role. I think Geoffrion’s the best of the bunch among the Wisconsin forwards, but I’m not on the committee.
Lastly, there are the Outside Shots. Michael Davies and Derek Stepan are listed with 5 other players. Michael Davies, Wisconsin – Davies has had a very nice senior year for the Badgers, but takes, to my thinking, a clear backseat to teammates Brendan Smith and Blake Geoffrion when it comes to the Hobey race. He is a senior, and he has a higher point total than Geoffrion, but I think that Geoffrion’s goals give him the preferred spot behind Brendan Smith.
Derek Stepan, Wisconsin – See above, although Stepan is, to my thinking, a less likely pick than Davies. He’s a sophomore as opposed to a senior, and his numbers are skewed more heavily towards assists than Davies’ are. One thing Stepan may have going for him is his performance at the World Juniors, although that’s not really a matter for consideration where the Hobey is concerned.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


100 days until the beginning of the FIFA World Cup

To celebrate, here’s ESPN Soccernet’s list of the top 50 players of the 2010 World Cup

Top 10:

1. Argentina’s Lionel Messi
2. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo
3. England’s Wayne Rooney
4. Brazil’s Kaka
5. Spain’s Xavi
6. Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba
7. Spain’s Andres Iniesta
8. Spain’s Fernando Torres
9. England’s Steven Gerrard
10. Ghana’s Michael Essien

Spain has 6 players in the top 16 and 9 total players on the list

The only American is Landon Donovan at #50