Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Behold the Power of Cheese

Click here for a great story and video about the cheese chasers. Now these people are serious cheeseheads and the Oracle salutes you O noble souls!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Cup O' Brew

The Brewers are doing ok on the road trip at this point with a 3-2 record after tonight's win over Cincy 9-6 to put them at a record of 25-22 overall with their 3rd straight win. I recall speaking with a co-worker when asked about how the Crew will do this year and I told him that I believe this entire lineup could hit over .270 (yes I know that OBP is what's important, but stay with me here). He scoffed at me thinking I was out of my head with this prediction. Starting tonight's game though, every hitter (not including the pitcher) was over .270. This offense is fun and vastly improved over what it was 2 years ago. Enjoy this time fans, as the Brewers have one of the best offenses in the league. That's a phrase I never thought I would even joke about just 4-5 years ago.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Long weekend

Well, it was a great time watching the Crew take on the Twins both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's 16-10 loss was an entertaining one though. Not too often one gets to see 26 runs scored in a game. There were 2 main highlights from the game: 1 - When the Kiss Cam fell on TC (the Twins mascot) and Bernie Brewer, they waved it off. Then, it came right back to them and TC acted like he was going to kiss Bernie. Bernie decked him and proceeded to kick the snot out of him. It was hysterical and the crowd loved it. 2 - The sign that was up on the scoreboard for about 7-10 seconds of "Muck Finnesota" in the 7th inning. That got about as big of an ovation as Bernie laying a whooping on TC.

Sunday's game was of course the better game (plus given I had better seats) and Weeks' triple was a thing of beauty. The sausage race was great as it was a relay. The adults had to tag off to kids who were in well, the kid-sized sausage racers suits. Complete pandemonium ensued at the tag with the Hot Dog family winning the race as that was the only kid to actually run to the finish line.

Congrats to the Twins for getting past the biggest hurdle in getting a new outdoor stadium built!

Packers Minicamp II
By all reports, Colledge looked every bit the starter and is thriving in the blocking scheme so far. Rodgers is looking better and better and is making the move from rookie with potential to player with starter capabilities. With all the talk of Favre skipping this camp, the main person benefitting is Rodgers. He doesn't have to share any of the duties with the #1 offense and simply can practice as if he is the starter. It only is helping his growth and progress at the #1 QB. Otherwise, it was a minicamp and that's about it. Have to wait until training camp for much more evaluation.

Posts will be limited this week, if there are any more. My grandma died at the age of 93 and I need to make the drive back down to Milwaukee for the funeral this week. So have a good week all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

There's always mocking!

It’s been a little slow for Packer news lately, so I figured that it would be a great way to end the week by looking at what the rest of the division is doing. Let’s take a stroll down NFC North Way shall we? La la la

Chicago Bears
Their offense was downright poor last year so one would think that they would do something to help that side of the ball out. So they went out and got… Brian Griese? Wait, I thought that Rex Grossman was the answer at QB? Don’t look now, but there is a bona-fide QB controversy in Chi-town. These never end well and I’m looking forward to the constant QB yanking and frustration that will inevitably be caused. Given the Bears did nothing in the draft to help the offense, that unit is only going to get worse. Defense can only carry this team so far.

Detroit Lions
Well, they didn’t draft a WR in the 1st round for the first time this decade it seems. Much-maligned QB Joey Harrington, the man GM Matt Millen took in the 1st round 4 years ago and swore was the man for the job was traded for a *giggle* 6th round pick. There is still nothing to fear from this team. What about new OC Mike Martz? His ego is far too big to be kept in check by this organization. He’ll be rubbing people the wrong way before too long and causing problems. Also, the Lions violated practice rules and thus lost a mini-camp session because of it. They narrowly beat out the next team on the list for the worst management in the division.

Minnesota Vikings
Where oh where to begin here? We could start with new owner coming out after the draft saying that no team had a better offseason than the Vikes. This was following what has been seen as one of the worst drafts of any team by virtually all football people. Dude, put down the bong and take a step back. Then, the guy in charge of that draft, Fran Foley (if that’s his real name) gets canned because he lied about as bad as Reggie Fowler (remember him?) on his resume. This “greatest offseason” also included trading Pro-Bowl QB Culpepper for a wasted draft pick that was part of that horrendous draft, to Miami. Sure they signed Hutchinson, but who is he blocking for? Brad “noodle arm” Johnson and RB Chester Taylor. Those two names don’t strike fear in anyone’s hearts kids, sorry to say.

So you see fellow Packer fans, we don't have too much to worry about with this division. The management is by far inferior to that which resides at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

Ok, I’m off to watch the Brewers/Twins series at Miller Park this weekend. I’ll be catching Saturday’s and Sunday’s games with my good buddy Gabe. Brewers have won 5 of their 6 games this homestand and look to make it 8 of 9 after this weekend. Whoo Hoo!!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cup 'O Brew

Been a while since I talked about the Brewers, so figured I'd go over their last week.
They went 3-3 against SD and the Mets. The offense was there with the Brewers scoring 33 runs (5.5/gm), but the pitching was not so good (35 runs 5.8/gm). Turnbow blew one game with a 9th inning meltdown against the Mets on Saturday, then yesterday did it again, but
Billy Hall saved him with a walk-off HR you gotta see. Brewers used the pink bats to highlight Mother's Day and breast cancer awareness.

Here's some of the Brewers numbers from the week that was:
OBP .305
SLG .441 (12 HRs)

ERA 5.17
WHIP 1.55

Overall, the Brewers are one of the highest scoring teams in the NL. Unfortunately, they also give up some of the most runs in the NL. Sheets being on the DL certainly is not helping things. Maddox needs to help turn that staff around and get this back on track. Currently the team is 19-19, but in my opinion, better than that.

Friday, May 12, 2006

DD gets BB from TT

Man I love acronyms. Donald Driver signed a 2 year extention to his contract to make the final 4 years worth $17M. A certainly well earned payday for Donald and he showed the right way to get the big bucks. No threats of holdouts, no trade demands, no hollow retirement threats, he didn't get his daddy involved. Not that I'm going to mention any Javon Walker names at all, no no. Driver just went out and proved his worth over several years by performing on the field and being respectful off of it. He is certainly a team leader and is a wonderful teammate. Not too shabby for a former 7th round longshot.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Well, that's over with

The first Packers minicamp is over (yeah I know I'm late on it, but hey, I was hurt dammit) and things looked pretty good so far. Amongst those that did well were:

Aaron Rodgers as he handled most of the QB duties. McCarthy was quoted in the
Journal Sentinel: "I think Aaron Rodgers is having an excellent minicamp," McCarthy said late Saturday. "Statistically, big-play opportunities, controlling the huddle, managing the offense."

Greg Jennings was also shining at camp. Per the
Packers web site: "Jennings excelled, making catches on deep balls and cutting his routes with a precision that had McCarthy thinking he was Donald Driver at one point." A rookie who is making people think he is DD? Me likey.

Samkon Gado was a pleasant surprise to the new coach as he was able to see first hand what most of us witnessed last season.
Packers.com: This year he started the season by taking a handoff from Favre on the first snap of mini-camp and hitting the whole hard for a 20-yard burst. "Sam has done a great job with the off-season training program," McCarthy said. "He's a powerful young man, he has a very bright future ahead of him, he's very explosive and he has a complete understanding of what's asked of him. He's a good example of a guy that's benefited from being here since March 20. He knows the assignments ... I'm excited to see him when we get into pads." As we all are MM.

Now, certainly this is simply the first minicamp of the season and by no means is this any indication of how things are going to be. Overall the camp went very well, no major injuries occured and no fights. I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid yet, but no reason to get all negative at this point.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Don't try this at home

Well, on Saturday afternoon, 4:30pm to be precise, I decided to do something that I will regret for a long time. I moved an average size photo album from a table. Doesn't sound like much does it, but wait, it gets better. Upon reaching to grab the album, my back locked up and I was in such a huge amount of pain that I almost dropped to the floor right then and there. After crawling up the stairs (I was in the basement) and collapsing on the couch, I waited for about an hour until my wife got home so that she could take me to the doctor. Luckily she had a Percocet and I took that, otherwise I never would have made it to the car and the doctor's office without a whole lot of explatives and help. I have to give a huge "Thank you" to my wife for taking care of me and dealing with a lot. Marrying a nurse definately has it's perks. Also want to thank my neighbors Shane and Molly for watching my kids while I was at the doctors.

Turns out I slipped a disc in my back and now I get the fun of Percocet of my very own and a lot of laying around for the next week or so. No surgery needed or anything, but a whole lot of pain nonetheless, even with the drugs. First major injury in my life like this, so it's a bit wierd. Speaking of painkillers, let's see how Favre and the boys are doing (ok, low blow but still).

The Packers started minicamp and Favre actually showed up! Good to see. Gets to play some football, meet the staff and new players, maybe actually speak with Rodgers. Can only be a good thing. Plus, Favre has come out and said that he will not be discussing the retirement talk any longer this season. About damn time he comes out with a statement like that. Long overdue IMO, but at least it's been said.

Bubba Franks gave some insight into new Coach Mike McCarthy: "He's a no-nonsense type of guy, a little different from Mike (Sherman). He's stressing X's and O's. I kind of like it that way." I like that too, like that a lot. Goes with other reports that MM wants things done right, plain and simple. He's not going to worry if he offends someone or be their friend. Quite different from Sherman.

Mark Roman has become the latest whiner on the Packers. He has asked for his release since he doesn't want to try and compete with Manuel for the starting safety job. He claims he feels "disrespected" and other stupid crap. Gee Mark, think maybe your shitty performance the last 2 seasons may have been the factor here for the upgrade? Buh-Bye. The Packers have a very promising young crop of DBs on the team and they really don't need Roman. If they can get some Berry-flavored Gatorade Rain for him, I'd consider that a steal.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Get the Buck out!

The Bucks ended up losing their playoff series against the Pistons 4-1 in what can be described as expected. The games the Bucks lost were blowouts and this team has some serious issues to attend to in the off season, namely, what to do with Magloire. His offense is atrocious and his defense is poor. Plus, what the hell happened to Simmons? He completely disappeared this season and the playoffs. All I can say is thank goodness this season is finally over. It was simply draining to follow them.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Trip time

I'll be off to Nashville for the next couple of days, so nothing at least until I get back.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Grading the 2006 Packers Draft

After all, grading drafts are so much fun. You heard my running commentary (however ill-informed it was), so let's see what some people who get paid to follow football think about the Packers draft (and the division rivals as well). We came out great.

John Czarnecki, Fox Sports
Green Bay: The Packers went for intelligent, all-around football players starting with all-everything linebacker A.J. Hawk, who can play the middle and also be a nickel linebacker. Boise State offensive tackle Daryn Colledge could end up being a starting guard this season while Jason Spitz of Louisville was another critical need at center. Green Bay lost its three best interior linemen from the 2004 season. Cory Rodgers of TCU and Will Blackmon of Boston College will be shooting to break the lineup as a receiver. The only knock on the Packers was giving up on Javon Walker, a former first-round pick and a Pro Bowl player, for a second-round choice. They could end up regretting that trade. Grade: B+. 5th best overall draft.

Rest of the division: Detroit Grade: C (14th best overall); Chicago Grade: D (3rd worst); Minnesota Grade: D (2nd worst).

Mel Kiper, ESPN
The Packers had a lot of picks (12) and definitely some reaches. Linebacker A.J. Hawk will give the Packers a much-needed face on defense. Offensive tackle Daryn Colledge needs to get stronger and become a better run blocker. I really like wide receiver Greg Jennings, linebacker Abdul Hodge and and Jason Spitz. I gave Green Bay an A after the first day. Will Blackmon was both a wide receiver and cornerback at Boston Collge, but reportedly will get a chance to play corner initially. Grade: B

Rest of the division: Detroit Grade: C+; Chicago Grade: B; Minnesota Grade: C+

Dan Pompei, Sporting News
With linebackers A.J Hawk and Abdul Hodge, the Packers have the beginnings of a defense that could dominate the NFC North for years. Grade: A+, best overall draft.

Rest of the division: Detroit Grade: B (15th overall); Chicago Grade: B- (21st overall); Minnesota Grade: C (4th worst)

Rob Rang, AOL sports
Maybe Brett Favre had a deep look at the Green Bay draft board before agreeing to come back. With as solid a first day as any team in the league, the Packers utilized their five first day picks to fulfill needs while still maintaining value. Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk is certainly the big name. However, the selection of two durable, consistent offensive linemen in Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz likely made Favre even happier. Western Michigan's Greg Jennings was one of the better fits for the West Coast Offense and was highly valued by several other teams using this scheme. Certainly he was a need pick with the team unloading the disgruntled Javon Walker to the Broncos. Finally, inside linebacker Abdul Hodge, could prove to be a third-round steal. His presence, along with Hawk and young star Nick Barnett might strengthen a linebacker corps considered a team weakness. Expect to see fourth round picks Cory Rodgers and Will Blackmon have plenty of opportunities to impress. Each has shown the ability to in the open field to make an immediate impact on special teams and both have receiving skills, though Blackmon's ultimate NFL position could be cornerback. Grade: A-

Rest of the division: Detroit Grade: B; Chicago Grade: B; Minnesota Grade: B-

This is what I can find for now, I'll post more when they come out. But it's pretty clear that the Packers did an outstanding job on draft day. They made some big strides in improving their team. The rest of the division did not do so good. Detroit had a decent draft after years of bungling them. Chicago didn't do so well, but they really don't have many holes to fill. Minnesota, well, they screwed the pooch. Outside of Greenway, their draft pretty much stunk. At the end of the weekend, we got improved more than the rest of the division did. Whether this translates to a better product on the field is debatable, but we certainly have a better start than they do.

Take that you Cub lovers!

Great series against the Cubbies for the Crew, who are now 14-11. Taking 2 of 3 was great, especially the way they took the two wins, by beating the snot out of the Cubs
16-2 and 9-0. The offense that we hoped would come has seemingly arrived. Here's how it looks so far, about 15% of the way into the season:

  • .354 OBP (4th in the NL, 8th overall)
  • 133 runs scored (3rd in the NL, 9th overall)
  • 38 HRs (1st in the NL, 2nd overall)
  • .475 SLG (2nd in the NL, 5th overall)

Everyone is contributing and is making this lineup one of the more dangerous ones. Solid numbers abound. The pitching is also doing well:

  • 4.30 ERA (5th in the NL, 9th overall; even though that's a bit high)
  • 1.28 WHIP (3rd in the NL, 6th overall)

So, this season is looking good so far, and I see a nice May in store for the Brewers, barring any major injuries. I'm going with an 17-11 prediction for May, which would put them at 31-22. I think any Brewer fan would be happy with that result.