Monday, February 28, 2005

Coin flip

I flipped a coin, heads I'll become a great writer: Write in depth novels of critical acclaim, New York times best-selling books, have my writings be shown on the big screen and win Oscars. Tails I'll write some stupid WI sports blog. Guess which won?

Bucky Badger
Well, just a few days after I rip them for not winning on the road, they win impressively at Ohio State. Not only was this a big road conference win, more importantly, it gives me bragging rights with a co-worker. Their FT shooting (especially Mike Wilkinson's) is still horrible and it will cost them a game come the Big Dance.

Da Bucks
With Sunday's win against the Sonics, the Bucks are 1-1 since the big trades. As I said, Mo Williams is doing quite well. 14.5 pts & 8.5 assists/game, boy did I hit that one on the head (time for a good back pat for me, ahhhhh). Tonight's game brought back home one of the best, Ray Allen. I just about cried when he was traded to Seattle. There is a sliver of hope that in the offseason, he could come back to Milwaukee. He definately will if Redd leaves for Cleveland as the Bucks will pay him. (Cue the lights, start the smooth jazz music) However, if he could come back and Redd stays, that would be a dream come true. The sun would be a little warmer, food would taste better and smiles would be brighter. Ok, stop the music, it's getting a bit to estrogeny in here.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I've Been Plugged!

Welcome new readers and curiosity seekers! Why such a warm greeting some may ask? Well, I was the special guest for Pepper! on Stick and Ball Guy's site. It truly was an honor to be asked to play by the great SBG.

For those of you that are new, I started this blog as a way to write about WI sports. There seems to be a decided lack of blogs on the subject (really, you can pick up your jaws now). This also allows me to become more informed on my beloved teams. So sit back and enjoy today's post and peruse the previous ones at your leisure. If you know of any cheeseheads out there, feel free to direct them my way, the more the merrier. Now, on to today's sports topics!

Wisconsin Badgers
Well, the Badgers once again lose on the frickin' road, this time to Michigan State 77-64. The Badgers were never in this game and apparently were like most people visiting the state of MI in that they couldn't wait to get out. Their vaunted defense vanished this game by allowing State to shoot 56%! For the love of cheese, Paris Hilton doesn't score that often! Plus, they got creamed on the boards. This team does not deserve higher than a 6 or 7 seed in the tourney. "But Craig, isn't State ranked #10? Aren't you being a bit harsh on the Badgers?" Hell no! They have been awful on the road this year, 4-6 to be exact, have lost their last 3 in a row, and have been outscored by an avg of 11.6pts/game in those 6 loses. That is not even being competitive. Bo needs to change something in how he preps guys for the road games. I'm done with this topic. I need some Ritz crackers with some port wine cheese spread on top to get me back in a good mood. MMMMM spreadaliciously good....

Milwaukee Bucks
In 2 big trades yesterday, the Bucks traded Keith Van Horn, Mike James and Zendon Hamilton (forgot he was even on the team) for Reece Gaines, Alan Henderson, Calvin Booth and Dallas' 2006 and 2007 2nd round picks. I'm so happy that Van Horn is gone, I danced around like the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz singing "Ding dong, Van Horn is gone". I was not wearing the silly outfits they did though. He would cost the Bucks $11M next year, which works out to about $500k/game that he would be healthy enough to play in. Moving James creates a clear cut, full time, PG in Mo Williams, which is good. With the increased minutes, Mo could see his assists go up to approx 8.5/game, pts to 13/game, and butt pats to 3/game, not too shabby. This also creates better chemistry with the team as he'll be out there now for 35-38 minutes consistently.

This was clearly a salary dump by the Bucks as James and Van Horn erased over $14M in salary for next season, whereas they only picked up $8M in Gaines and Booth (Henderson is a FA after the season, and he's not even a consideration to keep). They also gain another $5M as Anthony Mason's dead $ contract comes off the books as well. The Bucks need the $ to make a serious run after Redd and pray he wants to stay instead of going home to Cleveland (damn you LeBron!). It will take more than just giving him $ though for him to stay. The Bucks will need to also sign a good FA to show Mike that they are serious about building a winner. The Bucks need a physical forward to bang for rebounds and interior points (sorry Joe Smith, you don't fit that bill). I would be very happy if they signed Sharif Abdur-Rahim or Stromile Swift, as not only are they proven, good big men, they each have cool names that I would love to see on the roster.

Check back in after the Atlanta game and we'll compare how the new players did versus the old ones. That will be 7 games and plenty of ammo to determine how this has worked out.

Thanks for stopping by new readers and tolerating my ramblings. I appreciate that for all the productive things you could have been doing, you decided to read some guys blog you never heard of before. Come back soon now, ya hear?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bye Bye Moss

In a stunning news announcement, Randy Moss is traded to the Raiders. Now, before we get all giddy like schoolgirls around Ryan Atwood (lead character on the O.C., keep up here people), let's actually look at the deal.

The Vikings lose the best WR in the NFL for the Raiders' first round pick this upcoming draft (#7 overall), Napoleon Harris and a lower level draft pick. Now, who is Napoleon Harris you may ask? (I did, as I have never heard of him) He's a MLB, coming into his 4th year, not known to be a playmaker, and very similar to Viking MLB bust, E.J. Henderson. Brilliant!

Who can the Vikings take at the #7 pick (assuming that they don't take too much time and end up making the 8th pick)? Given how the Vikes think, it will probably be Braylon Edwards (WR, MI). After all, they just lost a WR, so they have to get a new one. Brilliant! They could take Dan Cody (DE, OK), but that would make too much sense given that they need defense. Either way, they'll take a player that will take years to develop, if at all.

So the Vikes lose a future HOF WR for a probable 1st rd bust in Edwards (after all, MI WR's have such a great history of being impact players in the NFL), a mediocre at best MLB and a lower draft choice that will be lucky to make the team. Brilliant!

I love this trade. Yes, I'm tired of Moss torching the Packers' defense twice a year. This trade makes the Vikings' vaunted offense fall several notches. I dare say they can no longer be considered an elite offense. Moss opened up so many options for the offense that cannot be replaced. Let's see, a big drop in offensive effectiveness, virtually nothing gained on defense. Brilliant! Anyway, celebrate Packer fans! The great Packer killer has been banished to the West Coast! True, the Vikings could actually draft well, pay $ for quality defensive players, but they haven't in the last couple of years, so why would they start now?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Mr. Crankbutt

Once again the sultan of smack, the captain of complainers, the leader of the angry mob, Mr. Crankbutt graces my blog. He actually has a contest that he is going to do, but I don’t want to give away too much. Without further ado, the cranky stylings of Mr. Crankbutt.

I have a question, what do you call a person who gets paid an obscene amount of money, gets to be on TV, gives you their best guess on what is going to happen, and bases this guess on info the computer spits out and then just reads it, then has no accountability if they are wrong? The answer is the TV weatherman! Come on, anyone can do this job. You don’t need a silly college degree to have some techies run a computer simulation on the most likely scenario and you just read it. Oh, I forgot, they want to be called meteorologists. Like that gives them more credibility. The word was made up by weathermen to make themselves sound smart. The Greek word for weather is "kaipos", not “meteOron” so they should be called kaipologists. But hey meteor is much sexier and truth be dammed right, but this is from a group that hasn’t been known to be that accurate anyway.

So let’s have some fun shall we? That moron, Cheesehead Craig is "generously" letting me use some of his web space to have a contest for the next 3 weeks. Let’s see what TV station in the Twin Cities has the most accurate weatherman. Here’s the rules:

1 – Entries used will be the predictions on the channel’s official website as of 10pm and/or the latest news for that station.

2 – The weatherman have a margin of error of 2 degrees on either side of the high and low. The official high/low temperature will come from the website. (1 pt for each)

3 – Precipitation. No wussing out here. Under 50% chance for wet stuff, and nothing happens 1 pt, something does come down (any amount) 0pts. Just the opposite for over 50%. If the prediction is 50%, automatically 0 pts. That’s a gutless prediction “maybe it will or maybe it won’t, duh, I don’t know”. Again, this info will come from the site.

The stations involved will be 4, 5, 9, 11 and 29.

Come on kiddies, impress me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Franks and Beans

In a rather surprising move, IMO, the Packers slapped the "transition" tag on Bubba Franks, not a literal slap of course, the man is 6-6 265 lbs and would return the favor with some serious slapping of his own. Basically, this means that the Packers have to pay Franks $2.095M for next season. This also means that should a team try and sign Franks, the Packers have the option of matching the offer, or letting him go. The Packers are wanting to do a long-term deal and are using this tag as a way to buy some time to accomplish this. Now, I know that he's a great fit for the offense, but given the Packers' defensive issues, is this really the right move? I don't like this move, but at least they did not throw the franchise tag on him. I would have driven to Green Bay and done some slapping of my own if they had.

Looks like the Packers are going to go bargain shopping on defense and get the role players a la NE. This also means that the draft is going to filled with defensive players by the Packers. One has to figure that Thompson had a real long talk with both Sherman and Bates prior to making this decision. I believe that Thompson has to have a lot of faith that Bates' defensive scheme will solve a good portion of the team's defensive issues. That or Sherman has naked pictures of Thompson and is using them to make sure he keeps his offensive talent.

ESPN recently released their
rankings of all professional teams as voted on by the fans. In short, the Packers were #8 overall (#5 in the NFL), the Brewers were #45 overall (#13 in the MLB) and the Bucks were #51 overall (#17 in the NBA). Good numbers by all.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Another Cup O' Brew

That's right, it's time for another Cup O' Brew. I give you the latest Brewer news and my opinion on it, as unintelligent and uninformed as it is. Long time readers may have noticed the updated logos on the top right of the phenomenal sports teams in WI. They are just some of the insanely exciting changes/additions to the site.

Some of the latest news involves how the Brewers are approaching spring training. The Crew is going to take a very extended look at their top prospects this spring in the famed Cactus League. They plan on playing the projected starters for 5 innings, then the prospects for the rest of the game. This is great for a couple of reasons: 1- reduces the risk of injury to the starters. 2- gives the farm kids great exposure to the bigs and gives them every chance to step up their game. 3- will keep the viewing audience involved as they evaluate the talent also. The Brewers have one of the best farm systems in the league, and it's time they see what they actually have, talent-wise.

There was a recent story
in the NY Post about Ben Sheets wanting a long term contract by Opening Day, or will just play out the season and be a FA (thanks Al for the story). Now, in my opinion, the Brewers need to lock him up for 4-5 years and will prior to the season. There are some who feel that giving him a big time deal coming off of minor back surgery is bad business and that the Crew should wait until he shows no ill effects. With his back issues at the end of last season, he had a 1.80 ERA an 8 to 1 K/BB ratio, and avg 7.3 innings a start. I don't believe that his back is a further problem. Attanasio would not have spent the $ he did and made the moves he did and then not lock up the cornerstone of the staff. I believe that after seeing Sheets pitch about 3 games in spring training, and seeing no ill effects from the surgery, they will lock him up.

Speaking of pitching, the phenom Jose Capellan is showing some awesome stuff. Apparently he is pitching with command and his fastball is around the 100 mph barrier. OOOOOO he is gonna be some fun to watch. Under the watchful eye of pitching coach Maddox, he has a chance to be every bit as good as Sheets.

Finally, a great
Q & A by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with Brewers GM, Doug Melvin on the current philosophy behind the Brewers.

It appears that this cup is now empty. Don't worry though, there's always another Cup O' Brew when it comes to Milwaukee.

Friday, February 18, 2005

All Hail Pinocchio!

Well, well, well. Reggie "Pinocchio" Fowler has apparently put some untruths about himself on his fact sheet that he released to the media and public as to his qualifications to buy the Vikings. I guess he thinks that if he wishes really hard, he can be turned into a real NFL owner. Enjoy your "savior" from Red, Queenies.

There have been corrected versions of the fact sheet out there now, but where has the original fact sheet gone? Lucky for you, my readers, I happen to have a copy. Here is the original.

Reggie Fowler Fact Sheet
Reggie Fowler, Prospective new owner of the Minnesota Vikings.

Personal information
Real name: Koffi Annan
46 years old or so
Raised in Tucson, Arizona
Two children that can be proven

ITT Tech
-- Refrigerator repair degree
University of Wyoming
-- BS degree (BS, get it?)
-- Graduated first in class (first one announced at the ceremony)
Arizona State University
-- Completed MBA program in 6 months
-- Specialized in making bogus NFL team purchasing offers

Mobil Oil Corporation's "Whiz Kids program"
-- Named Mobile Chemical's "Rookie of the Year" and “Best Dressed”
Founded Spiral, Inc., Chandler Arizona
-- Beats me what it does.
-- Business is currently the 11th largest in the 3 mile radius of the building.

-- Starting pitcher for National Little League Champions 1975
-- Originated song “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”
-- Four year starter at outside linebacker, defensive tackle, quarterback,
center and kicker. Also was offensive coordinator, head recruiter,
head coach and radio play-by-play announcer at the University of
Wyoming for all 4 years in attendance there.
-- 1982, made Cincinnati Bengals roster of the National Football
League (NFL), sacked John Elway 7 times in one game.
-- 1983, employed by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football
League (CFL) as rodeo clown at halftime show
-- 1984, played on the Arizona Wranglers of the United States Football
League (USFL). Nobody remembers this league, so prove me wrong!
-- 1988, 1992, 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, ping pong

-- 1999-2002, 8 time WWF (now WWE) heavyweight champion
-- 2004, starting pitcher for Boston Red Sox
Pitched deciding games of ALCS and World Series

Invented Velcro
Won 1999 Nobel Prize for Science with volcano model
Co-author of all of Tom Clancy’s novels
High score on Space Invaders at Gametime at Highland Mall in Tucson, AZ
Real Reggie of the Reggie candy bar

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Cup O' Brew

Time to talk about America's favorite baseball team, the Brewers! WI sports are in a bit of a lull right now, but with spring training starting only 2 days away for the Brewers, it seems proper to talk about them. That, and I got nothing else right now.

I just have to say, I love the new owner, Mark Attanasio, not in a SF Bay area kinda man love, but you get my meaning. Not only has he increased the payroll by 50%, but he has washed away that icky, Selig feeling from the team. Ticket sales are up and he has already increased the ticket revenue this year. He is doing all he can to bring the Brewers' revenue up. He is even thinking "outside the box" (anybody else sick of this phrase?) by considering tearing down several of the unsold suites for a standing area with a martini bar. A martini bar, in Miller Park? Wow! I mean, who did he consult on this, Thurston Howell III? I just recently had my first martinis this past weekend, and I am all for this now. I felt like James Bond, I felt smooth, I went home with the girl, she even moaned "Oh, James". Hmm, not so sure on that last part. Anyway, Mark had a great quote in a recent meeting with the Milwaukee business leaders. "We are not looking to be in the middle of the pack in anything, we're really trying to be the best in everything." I frickin' love this! He's not giving the whole "we're gonna be competitive" crap lines you hear. Hell no! He knows he's in a small market area, but doesn't care. He's reaching for that brass ring, that supermodel, that Mercedes Benz S600 sedan... Ok, he's probably got that last one, the lucky bastard. I wonder if my wife will let me rename my son after him?

With Mark leading the charge, I am expecting great things from the Brewers. Baby steps first, a record over .500 this next season would be great. Haven't had one of those since Bush Sr was president. Sorry, didn't mean to bring him up, won't happen again. But needless to say a division crown and a World Series championship cannot be far off! As the motto of the great state of WI says: "Forward"! I know, many of you thought it was "It's $3 a cup and the keg is over by the credenza", but you're wrong. I was too, I had to look it up. Amazing what one finds out on the web.

Tune in for more Brewer news in future segments of Cup O' Brew.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Grog Blog

I have a new look to the blog. I decided to take the recommendation by The Asshat Blogs and see how I like it. I think it looks allright.

My son has a "digging place" on the side of our house that used to be a garden. He loves digging in there with construction equipment and has spent many hours enjoying his favorite activity. Well, a surprise was discovered there this past fall. Adam had dug down far enough that he found a frozen caveman. We brought him inside, thawed him out and gave him a quick introduction to the modern era. He is facinated with today's world and now blogging in general, so today is his first entry into the Oracle Of Cheese. Other than his complete fascination with my wife, he's seems pretty harmless. Please welcome, Grog.

Grog happy here today. Craig family help Grog. Grog like Rachel. Rachel pretty. Grog will take her as own someday. Grog like bed better than rock floor. Lumbar never better. Many good foods. Taco Bell burritos yummy. Annoying dog gone from TV. You're Welcome. Grog like chocolate very much. Fight with Adam for chocolate often. Grog wins as is bigger and stronger. Not like oven. Fire food better. Cats next door look good to eat. Pretty fur make nice scarf. Grog will give scarf to Rachel. Rachel then love Grog. Craig show Grog many good things. Show him Packers and Brewers and Badgers and Bucks. Grog like all. Like team named after good animal like deer and badger. Brewers good as named for good drink. Grog like dark drink better than light. All still good. Packers favorite team. Same colors as old cave home. Many good memories there. Grog like little girl Leah. Leah make Grog laugh. Easy to take chocolate from her. Grog like drums. Grog play drums with Adam. Make loud noise. Rachel yells at us to stop. Rachel pretty when mad. Grog go now. Bye.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Fab Five

Before I get into today's fab five, I should point out that my own blog, has been reviewed by The Asshat Blogs. He's a bit crass, to say the least in his reviews, but it's always interesting to hear a complete stranger's opinion of your blog. He had 2 main complaints, 1- he hates the colors of my blog and 2- he thinks I should be funnier. I told him that the colors are those of the Brewers and at least I'm not just taking the boring, standard design and just typing. My blog has some semblance of personality and I'm proud of how it looks. As for point #2, I'll try and be funnier and have some ideas on that.

Anyway, the review prompted me to create another edition of the Fab Five. Nothing like feeling better about yourself by ripping on other people's hard work.

Well, this guy is in his first year of law school. One would think that he would have some interesting things to write about. Instead, he has an entry of "i hate bush" about 500 times. Either he has sworn off women, or he has some issues with the president.

This site is sad. A teenage girl, works at McDonalds, and virtually all of her entries are of getting high on weed or taking lots of pills. What a great future this country has.

A blog about the wonders of different kinds of furniture. Now I know what to read when I need to sleep. No pictures, no analysis, no intelligence, no relevance, no thank you.

Para a Sara
One of the wonderful Spanish sites on blogspot. A 15 yr old girl who writes about how she likes to create miniture homes out of her fingernail clippings. OK, gross.

Free Computer Horse Handicapping
Exactly like the title says. However, this site has links to how to handicap everything from horses to the Oscars. Also, handicapping the handicapping books, handicapping the handicapping websites, handicapping the handicapping software, handicapping the... oh just stop it already!!! Gaaaaaahhhh!

Monday, February 14, 2005


Sorry, no Valentine's Day stuff today. It's a Hallmark holiday. I just believe that one should treat their significant other right for 365 days/year (366 in leap years), that's all. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife tremendously and she knows it.

I ended up missing most of Exteme Makeover: Home Edition last night as I had a fun night out with the kids. I love this show, and it's arguably the best show on TV. The stories of the families are incredible and last night's just about took the cake. They built 2 homeless families a duplex home. Now, this is only a temporary home for them as once they are back on their feet, they will leave and another homeless family will move in. Not only did the team build the duplex, but they made a park for the community and rehabbed the community center. To top it off, they found a job for the dad of one of the families and a job for one of his friends that was homeless that helped build the duplex. I've never seen a more appreciative family in all the episodes I've seen. This show makes me realize how blessed my life has been. Hope it's on for a long time.

Sports Notes
The new coaches keep coming in for the Packers. Last week, 2 more of the coaches from Miami's defense joined the Packers, Bob Sanders and Robert Nunn. Sanders coached the LB and Nunn as an assistant, with experience coaching the DL. Both of them have a great deal of experience in Bates' scheme, so the transistion from the Slowik disaster will be smoother. I have a great deal of excitement for next season as the defense seems to be on the right track with the coaching staff. The other addition is Turner Gill, taking over for Edgar Bennett as the director of player development. The fact that both he and Sherman came to the same realization that he would be a great fit for this job is a great sign. Hopefully he can continue the great job Edgar did.

Well, the Badgers lose to Illinois again. A team just needs to play a perfect game against Illinois to beat them, and the Badgers could not. Their FT shooting was once again horrible, just like the first game. That is the biggest weakness with this team as they shoot .667 from the line. This is going to be the reason why they exit the tourney in March.

I go and complain about the Bucks, and they go and win 5 of 6. Toni Kukoc is the key for this team. They simply win when he plays more than 10 minutes/game. Their record is 12-4 when this happens. The last win comes against Atlanta, without Michael Redd, by 20. Go figure. Now the latest rumor is that Van Horn could be traded to Philly for Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson. Glenn is in the last year of his contract and after the season the Bucks would be able to lift $14M in salary off the books. This would be a great move if it happens. Yes, Robinson is hurt and may not play the rest of the season, but given how this season has gone, this would be the best move as it would enable the Bucks to spend on FA and work on Redd's extention that he wants in the offseason. I like Van Horn as a person, he has done a lot of good things for the city off the court. But on the court, he is not even close to being worth the money. And hey, it'd be nice to have the Big Dog back, if only for a little while.

Ben Sheets signs a 1 year $6M deal and the Crew once again avoids arbitration. This was a great move once again by Melvin and Attanasio to get this roster set. This makes the future negotiations with Sheets that much easier to get a multi-year deal done as no "disrespect" was done. I'm getting so excited for the season. Barring injuries, this team is going to be over .500.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Creative New Words

First off, I need to let people know that I have a new link on the side bar to Mr. Cheer or Die. Now you all should know that he is a Viking fan, and he will be one of the very few that will make a link on here. He is the inaugural Viking fan into the NFL Fan Hall of Fame. He's been writing for years and I enjoy his site and views on things (I was originally directed to it by my neighbor, Shane who designed it). Anyway, thought I would point him out. There is also one other site Stick and Ball Guy, SBG for short. He is also in the Twin Cities and writes on the Twins mainly (and occasionally the T-Wolves, although it breaks his heart to do so). He is a very knowledgeable source for baseball in general. Since I live in the Twin Cities, I hear a lot of info on the Twins and have no problem rooting for them. They are a very likable team. Don't get me wrong, it's still the Brewers 24-7, and I look forward to them sweeping the Twinks during their 2 series this year. Again, he's another great writer and I enjoy reading his daily musings. I can only hope that someday I can become half the writers both of these guys are.

On to the title of today's post! I recently got forwarded this email and thought I should share it.

Washington Post's Style Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supplying a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: "It's like, when everyon is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's, like, a serious bummer".

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in fruit you're eating.

18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Mr. Crankbutt

Yesterday was a day like any other, I was at work, listening to 93X and the lunchtime trivia question popped up. “Who is the career leading scorer in the Pro Bowl?” A quick internet search gave me the answer: Morten Andersen. Now, the question is asked around 11:50 and you can call in answers starting at 12:25. Usually, I get too busy to call in, but I had a few minutes, so I gave it a try. My first attempt to get through resulted in a busy signal, the second call got through. I was starting to get more and more nervous with each ring. Finally, the DJ, Patrick, answered and he did not have a winner yet. I suddenly realized I won, so I confidently said “Morten Andersen”. Bingo! Patrick then went over that he had 46 points total in the Pro Bowl. I had won a 6 foot sub from Subway. “Boo Yah!” I yelled over the radio. Needless to say, that made my day.

Now…what’s this? What’s going on? Well, he just barged in, face all red and steam coming from his ears. I felt it wise to leave his path to the computer unimpeded seeing the mood he was in. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Crankbutt.

I am absolutely shocked as to what passes as celebrities and actors in today’s world. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest offenders whose 15 minutes of fame should have been up 20 minutes ago:

Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. What in the blue hell happened here? How rich, trailer trash has become this popular is beyond me. They not only got on TV, but for the 3rd season of their show that should be called “The Skank Life”. Not only do I find them not attractive to start with, but there is absolutely no “reality” to this show at all, they play everything up for the cameras. It also is embarrassing as an American that we are giving more $ to these multi-millionaire, no-talent bimbos just to see them parade around and mock regular people. I guess all you need in this country to succeed is to have a famous last name, and the willingness to make an ass out of yourself in public.

Ashlee Simpson. Her lip synching on SNL clearly was a publicity stunt to get her attention. Only problem is that it backfired, big time. People were now focusing on her actual “singing” ability. Problem is, she is an incredibly bad singer and performer. She got booed mercilessly at the Orange Bowl, and justifiably so. If it wasn’t for her sister having good looks and singing ability, we would NEVER have heard of her. Ashlee could not even make the first round cut on American Idol. This is a case of record companies shoving some crap product down the public’s throats.

David Caruso. If there is a worse actor out there, I’d love to hear about him/her. This guy should not even be on local cable access TV, let alone on a primetime show. He has one expression for delivering all his lines. It’s as if he seems to be trying to divide 754,398 by 47.89 in his head. Angela Lansbury in “Murder, She Hopes” was a more believable actor than he is. Avoid him at all costs and do not make eye contact.

Vincent D’Onofrio. Oh, how he has deteriorated. He was very good in “Full Metal Jacket”, but his portrayal of a NY cop in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” is just seizure-inducing bad. Trying… to type… fingers… flailing… when brain… thinks… of… him…

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Gotta love Mardi Gras

If for nothing else, you have to like it for this, or this, or this, and this. I have never been to New Orleans, let alone Brazil for the festival. My wife has been to the Big Easy (easy on the comments on that) for theirs and someday we will go together. We both love the music, the food and much about New Orleans so it would be a great vacation. Besides, the city is going to be underwater within the next 20 years from some hurricane, so it would be good to go sooner rather than later.

Last night we went to Copeland's downtown with the kids and had a great time and outstanding food (I got leftovers for lunch today, take that all of you with PBJs!!!). The kids did a great job and had lots of fun also, especially when the Bananas Foster came out. To top the evening off, a live band was playing, a nice 8 man band of 20-something year olds playing "It's All Over Now" as we left. My son was clapping along and dancing with the band, he got in the spirit right away.

Well, baby used to stay out all night long
She made me cry, she done me wrong
She hurt my eyes open, that's no lie
Tables turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it's all over now
Because I used to love her, but it's all over now

Sports notes
What would this blog be without some "boring sports stuff" as my wife would say. The Bucks went off on Boston last night 121-97. The Bucks actually outscored the Celtics 42-15 in the 2Q. This is one of those wins that I just shake my head at. They are good enough to do this, but then they will stink it up tonight against Toronto. If this team could get more consistant, they still could make the playoffs. The East is again sad after the top 4 teams, as right now 2 teams with sub .500 records would make the playoffs. The Bucks at 18-28 are only 4 games back from the final playoff spot, sad indeed.

This just in... Steve Nash is the MVP this year, hands down. Phoenix is 39-11 this year with him as the major offseason acquition. Last year the Suns were 29-53. In last night's action, Nash dropped 33 pts and 17 assists against the Kings. Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire were good before Nash arrived, now the 3 of them are virtually unstoppable. Making this much difference on a team is the definition of MVP, and he's doing this in the West, the "superior" conference. Sorry LeBron, KG, O'Neal and Duncan. This year should not even be close in the voting.

Oh, and the T-Wolves lost again, falling to under .500 for the season. Right now, this team is terrible and I say this now and mean it: the Bucks are a better team. Not only have the Bucks beaten the T-Wolves already this year, but the Bucks have more heart and fight in them and play better as a team. There are no malcontents whining about $. Yes, the T-Wolves have more and better talent, but what good has it done them? KG is beyond awesome, but other than him, there is no substance to that team. Put KG alone on the Bucks with Redd, Smith, Mason and James, and the Bucks would easily be a 30 win team, as not only would they feed off of KG's intensity, but KG would feed off of a young team's hustle, desire and energy.

Oh, and I would be remiss in my duties as a male if I did not provide a link to the full 2 minute ad for from the SuperBowl. Whoo Hooo!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Conundrum of the Week

I got a hard one, err I mean a difficult conundrum this week for you to wrap your brain around. I will even post a hint to accompany it. Good luck!

The paragraph below is most unusual. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary you'd think nothing was wrong with it - and in fact, nothing is wrong with it. It is unusual though. Why?

"Gatsby was walking back from a visit down in Branton Hill's manufacturing district on a Saturday night. A busy day's traffic had had its noisy run; and with not many folks in sight, His Honor got along without having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk; for a mayor out of City Hall is a shining mark for any politician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broadway's night shopping crowds. Gadsby, walking towards that group, saw a youg girl, back toward him, just finishing a long, soulful oration ... "

Hint: Look closely at the words, what do they all have in common?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Letters from readers

Thought I would get into some letters that were sent in to me by readers and respond to them. First however, several sports notes:

#1 Patriots = Dynasty. There is not one better coached/owned team out there. In this day and age of big time free agent $, many of the Patriots stars have stated they will take less $ to stay with NE than they could get with other teams. That says a lot. All they do is win, Kudos to Robert Kraft . Also, as big of a jerk as T.O. is, the man can flat out play football. Very few players could have come back and played, let alone at the level Owens did. McNabb is Captain Choker now, terrible game and apparently has never run a 2 minute offense. Paul McCartney is a phenominal performer. That was the best halftime performances I have ever seen, hands down. One forgets how good he is, then you see this and suddenly you remember that you are watching a living legend.

#2 Badgers lose to the frickin' Goophs in B-Ball. Definately a game the Badgers should be winning. But their defense disappeared in the 2nd half and they shot horribly. This team is still young, so I have to expect these lapses, but I don't have to like it.

#3 Brewers sign Spivey and also Jeff Cirillo (Former ROY) to a minor league deal. Cirillo is interesting as he is willing to play minor league ball to get back into the majors. A completely no-risk/high reward potential for the Brewers. If he can get back to close to his former self, this gives the Brewers an excellent backup at 3B/2B, for virtually nothing. Great move.

On to the letters!

Dear Oracle,
I was disappointed that finding your website, there was absolutely no mention of cheese at all. While I enjoy reading your site, could you please at least discuss cheese at some point?

Many thanks,
Leanne from Lincoln, NE

Well Leanne, I'd be happy to oblige in your request. Let's start with a nice WI cheese: Colby.
Colby cheese was created in 1885 by Joseph F. Steinwand. He named it for the township that his father had built northern Clark County's first cheese factory. Colby is often compared to cheddar cheese. The difference is that Colby is produced through a washed rind process, which gives Colby cheese a soft and creamy pleasant flavor without the bite often associated with Cheddars. Colby is indeed a wonderful cheese from America's Dairyland, and is often served at my house.

Dear Oracle of Cheese,
Why do you spout so much love for "America's Dairyland" when my own great state of CA produces more cheese than WI? Answer that oh great Oracle!

Terry from San Francisco, CA

First off Terry, I cannot believe you have swallowed this PR BS from your "great" state. CA has gone from being the ideal that most people have to a joke of smog filled cities, overhyped wine and people with manners that make New Yorkers look like Martha Stewart. Your state knows that it's glow is fading faster than the Giants in the MLB Playoffs, so they have to make up anything they can to make their residents feel better about living in a state where a 800 sq ft home costs $500,000. Whatever helps you sleep at night Terry, hope those dreams help you out when your state falls into the Pacific Ocean after the Big One!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Cheesehead Craig - Salary Cap Guru

Well, here it is, at least what I can figure out on this. I’ll put in what I figure the Pack will do and other comments. This is all based on an expected cap of $85.5M. Currently, the Packers have 61 players under contract for 2005 for total expenditures of $92.3M, so they are $6.8 over (simple math here people).

So, how do the brains of the organization handle this? Why cutting players with unfriendly cap numbers of course! Now, this is not a great scenario to be at in the first place, but it is what it is, so let’s deal with it.

Now, the obvious choice is to cut Mike Wahle, starting OG. He is slated to make 11.3M next year. By cutting him, the Packers only take a 750k cap hit for pro-rated signing bonus remaining. That move alone gets the Pack under the cap.

However, to help them get even further under the cap, Darren Sharper needs to be dealt with. He is set to make 8.6M against the cap. Now, I like Sharper, but he’s not really receptive to reworking his contract, so he’ll need to go too. The Packers would get hit with 3.4M to the cap. These two moves would get the Packers 9.1M under the cap, with 59 players signed. Not too shabby.

However, the Packers will be losing Franks and Najeh to FA, no doubt about it. The Packers cannot afford to sign them and address other areas as they will command too much $. Najeh wants to start somewhere and he will get lots of interest. Franks will probably get 3-4M/yr from some team, and it won’t be the Pack. The Pack will have to sign/draft a TE and a backup RB, although I believe they can get a good backup through a lower draft choice in that area. With Fisher still around, the need here is not as great as it could have been.

The other issue is that both their starting OG will be gone. Now, Wahle can be brought back for about 3M/yr, but Rivera will get 4-5M/yr given he has the multiple Pro-Bowls to his credit. Wahle might be brought back, but I can see the Packers letting both go and draft an OG and signing a cheaper FA one. Another option is to sign Kevin Barry to 1m/yr and move Tauscher from RT to RG. Barry’s been banged up some, but it’s not too risky of a move. This scenario would bring the remaining cap to 8.1M.

Also, the Pack will need to sign Nall and O’Sullivan as the backup QBs and get them both for 900k, as there is really no competition for their services. Cap left 7.2M.

Now, should Favre retire (horrible as that may seem), it would actually be a cap savings of 6.1M. This would certainly free up $ if the Packers really want Hasselbeck or Brees, however, I think that the Packers will not be able to get either one. SD has over 20M in cap space and can actually franchise Brees, pay him 10M and be in good shape. Plus, if anyone signs him, SD gets another 1st rd draft choice to go with the 2 they already have. Hasselbeck will be able to get more $ than the Packers are willing to pay. Given this, I still believe that the Packers will go with Nall should this situation come up and sign a veteran backup. This situation would allow the Packers to be in great cap shape. Just in case anyone was wondering, should Favre play this season and next season, then retire he would count 0 against the cap as he is only base salary after the 2006 season.

Given I believe Favre will be back, I’ll assume that the Packers now have 7.2M in cap to get FA and sign draft picks. I originally thought that Hunt was going to be cut, as was Roman. However, Hunt would actually be a hit of 1.25M should he be cut, and Roman costs only 725k, so they are fairly cheap and with Sharper gone, Roman needs to stay. Hunt will be a cap casualty next season unless he suddenly steps it up to near Pro-Bowl level, and I think he will respond to Bates system and personality.

I honestly believe that the Packers are going to do something with 1 of their 2 2nd rd picks, probably the one from NO (it’s the 8th pick in rd 2) they have this draft, be it in trading up in the 1st round to get say, Spears or Shawn Cody who would fit nicely in Bates new scheme, or for a trade for a Safety.

Well, that’s my thinking on this situation at least. Have a good weekend all!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Fab Five

Yep, they're back by popular demand. Also, I had originally told Mr. Cheer or Die that I would be posting the Packers cap situation and such, but it was a bit bigger task than I originally thought, so that is postponed until I can make some more sense out of it. In the meantime enjoy the 5 random blogs:
Male author, not sure on the age, I'm guessing teen or college. There is both Chinese (or Japanese or Korean or something like that) and English on the site. His first entry is today, and he is going through the post-breakup trauma. Apparently his girl left him as he doesn't bathe much.
Spanish site. The gist is that a young male adult, who likes the Godfather movie, went into McDonalds and now is infatuated with the girl behind the counter.
Site by working girl. Meets friends. Has lunch. Tea break. Tired. Not like some people. Talks in 3rd person lots. Entry like this often. Grog kill dinosaur now.
Quite possibly the quintessential teen girl site. There are more hearts, cutsie kissy things and general fluffy foo foo pictures and flashing items then I have ever seen. I just about vomited from the sweetness. Sadly, it's better than my site.
I may actually continue reading this site. An extremely humorous take on American politics. Among my favorites are Kerry conceding defeat in the Iraqi elections and "Former Secretary of State Powell was reportedly asked to prepare a demonstration of the "real and imminent" dangers of failing to preemptively privatize Social Security, using props and illustrations to help make the consequences clear to our nation's seniors." Great stuff here, as the author doesn't care if the person is Republican or Democrat. It's open season on all.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Driver's Seat

Well, Donald Driver sure created a stir with his comments on Favre retiring. Here's a part of the story:

“I said that I think Brett is going to retire,” Driver said. “It’s my opinion that he will. If he doesn’t, I want him back as soon as possible. But just knowing Brett, when it’s all said and done, he will retire.”

After arriving back from Jacksonville last night, Driver stated the following:

“Your heart says, he’ll come back and play until my career is done,” Driver said. “But sooner or later, he has to retire, and that’s what’s on my mind right now that he will retire. I don’t know what he’s going to do, but I’m still sticking with my mind, and my mind says he will retire.”

Driver said he didn’t intend to create a stir by making the comments, but later realized that anytime someone suggests that one of the best players in franchise history is going to retire, it’s going to get a lot of attention.

“I started getting calls where people were asking me if I said that Brett was going to retire,” Driver said. “I knew it was going to get out of hand then.”

While Driver said he thinks Favre will retire, he made it very clear that he hopes that’s not the case.

“Brett knows I love him to death,” Driver said. “I just said that from friend to friend that I think he will retire.”

He also went on to say that it was his opinion, and just like everybody else, he's entitled to it. Let's look at the facts: Brett had a hell of a painful and emotional family year in the last 12 months. His dad dies, his wife is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her brother dies on his ranch in an ATV accident. Combine all this with his playoff meltdown against the Vikes and it sure is not a stretch that he will retire. It's been 14 yrs in the NFL, 13 as the resident diety in GB.

Granted, Sherman telling him he has until March 2 to let them know is not the best scenario, but Mike has to look out for the team, so I don't have much problem with that.

Personally, I think Favre will be back, assuming nothing further happens to his wife or God forbid, something with his children. Just like everybody else, I'm just guessing. There actually was a rumor about Hasselbeck coming back to GB if Favre leaves. The Pack sure could do worse than that. Although if Favre does retire and the Packers do not get a FA signing, I have a great deal of confidence in Craig Nall. We have a month from today to know what's up for sure. I'm hoping for at least 1 more season by the man, the myth, the legend.

The Bucks beat the Wolves last night at the Bradley Center. The Bucks have beaten better teams like this during the season at times. The Wolves cannot seem to beat anyone from the Eastern Conference this year, and have problems putting together more than 3 good games in a row. I'm sure SBG will agree with me on this and also the title of this story. I am very happy that the Bucks won, plus who would have thought that Joe Smith would have almost outplayed KG. But I've seen this trend this season where they beat a good team, then lose to 3 crappy ones.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Thanks, I'll be here all week

A routine police patrol parked outside a local neighborhood bar. Late in the evening the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated he could barely walk. The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes with the officer quietly observing.

After what seemed an eternity and trying his keys on five different vehicles he managed to find his own car, which he fell into. He was there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off. Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a dry night), flicked the hazard flasher, tooted the horn and then switched on the lights.

He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and remained stationary for a few more minutes as more patrons left in their vehicles. At last he pulled out of the parking lot and started driving slowly down the street. The police officer, having patiently waited all this time now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and carried out a Breathalyzer test.

To his amazement, the Breathalyzer indicated no evidence of the man having consumed alcohol at all. Dumbfounded, the officer said, "I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station, apparently this equipment is broken.

"I doubt it," said the man, "Tonight I'm the designated decoy."