Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This just makes me laugh

Given how bad the Packers looked on Monday night and the current 47 game losing streak by the Brewers, it's time for a laugh, and this picture does it for me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

If you ignore...

Ever hear that joke when a guy is going to buy a car and the dealer says that it's a great car
... if you ignore the oil leak
... if you ignore the 2 flat tires
... if you ignore that you need a screwdriver to start the car
... if you ignore the huge rust holes in both driver's side doors
... if you ignore that it gets 4 mpg
... if you ignore the skunks nest in the back seat
but other than that, it's a great car!

Same can be said of the Packers after last night's game. They are a great team
... if you ignore that the OL is a major work in progess
... if you ignore that Favre is still throwing stupid passes for INTs
... if you ignore that they still don't have a pass rush
... if you ignore that they got shredded by Palmer through the air
... if you ignore that they still turn the ball over with alarming frequency
... if you ignore that they cannot run the ball with any consistency
but other than that, they are a great team!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Six Pack

No, not talking about my abs here, although they are similar to a six-pack, albeit in a cooler. Talking about the six things we need to see from the Pack in tonight's game. I think this is something I'll do prior to the games this season and thought I would give it a test run here.

Beer #1 - Ahman Green is back tonight. The question is: will he be the 2003 model or the 2005 one? Obviously there will be some rust, but for a successful 2006 season, we will go how he goes. Need to see at least 15 carries for about 65 yds from him. Would be great to see him catch a couple passes.

Beer #2 - The offensive line. Almost goes hand in hand (not in a gay way mind you, not that there is anything wrong with that) with Green. If the unit that has been decided on can show some more improvement from last week, it's encouraging. They need to make this zone blocking scheme go and keep Favre clean.

Beer #3 - Charles Woodson and Al Harris. Those 2 will each get to go against Chad Johnson and will be a true test as to their cover skills. Each needs to show we have the 2 quality corners we hope they are.

Beer #4 - Someone say #4? Brett Favre needs another game like last week, mistake-free. No stupid INT's against a ball-hawking secondary.

Beer #5 - The kicking game. I've never seen such press about our kicker before. We've been spoiled by having Longwell for so long. Raynor needs a solid game and stop hooking kicks left.

Beer #6 - Nobody gets hurt. That's the biggest goal of the preseason games, IMO. We make it through this game in good shape, that's a big plus going into the season. To lose a starter at this point with the season just around the corner, could be disastrous.

Enjoy the game everyone! I have a softball game at 6:10 tonight, but hopefully should be done with this quickly and get home in time to see most of the game. Not taping the game, Prison Break is on at the same time and I'm taping that kick-ass show.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Just a couple notes

BJ Sander gets cut. Possibly the most controversial and worst draft pick ever by the Packers. He just couldn't get it done and that Ryan kid has a leg like a howitzer. I praised Sander last season when warranted, but after 3 years and no real improvement, time to cut him loose.

Spitz and Moll are named the starting Guards. We knew it was going to likely be 2 rookie guards starting, but Moll ended up being the surprise one. I like this move by MM to commit to getting this line together and a chance for them to gel for the next 3 weeks prior to season. None of this "we'll see at game time" crap we got from Sherman last year.

Bryant Gumbel continues to prove he's a moron. Gumble has been the butt of so many jokes over the last decade that he decided to lash out at someone. He wants the NFL to give guaranteed contracts how basketball has. This contract system has ruined the NBA, as when a player stinks, the team has absolutely no out and must suffer for years with a poor player.

Gumbel continues his intelligent rant by calling Upshaw "Tagliabue's pet". There's over 20 years of Gumbel's professional journalism coming out there. Apparently it's wrong for the union head and the owner's head to have a good working relationship and no labor problems for the past 20+ years. Gumbel would like football to be more like hockey, baseball and basketball where there are labor stoppages every time the contract expires due to the complete inability of the different heads to get along and agree on anything. Obviously Gumbel is against freedom and hates America with his thinking.

He should also consider who his is attacking. Upshaw was a former Oakland Raider back in the day when rule compliance was voluntary and winning was who made the most opposing players leave on a stretcher. Upshaw will bitch-slap him into next week. I'd love to see that on NFL Network.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Since the trade

I was sitting here thinking "It's been about 3 weeks since the big Carlos Lee trade, I wonder how this all worked out?". So let's see how the particulars have done since the big deal. (Hey, I can show my complete ignorance about baseball as well as football here)

Texas 14-9 since the trade
Lee: .380 OBP (38-100) 2 HR 9 RBI
Cruz: .218 OBP (7-32) 2 HR 7 RBI

Milwaukee 11-11 since the trade
Mench: .281 OBP (20-71) 1 HR 12 RBI
Cordero: 1-0 9 saves 0.00 ERA 1.33 WHIP
Nix: Just called up, no real data yet.

So, the Crew lost a little offense in giving up Lee, that much we were all expecting, but Mench has driven in more runs in almost 30% fewer at-bats. Pretty interesting to say the least. Add in that Cordero has been lights out in closing, I would say that the Brewers got the better end of this deal at this time.

Also add in to this that there was no way we were going to keep Lee and to have Cordero anchoring the bullpen for the next 2 seasons and the production of Mench, I think Melvin did a nice job. Not to mention that the Brewers are, if nothing else, playing .500 ball, which is the elusive benchmark for this team.

See, it's not that bad

The Packers looked great in this past Saturday's preseason game against Atlanta. Favre had plenty of time to throw, the running game looked a little better and the D played better as well. So now the Negative Nellies have to nitpick to find something wrong for a week until the next game.

However, let's not get too full of ourselves. So far this team has shown it can play terrible and very good in 2 weeks. Which is the real team? Obviously somewhere in the middle, but closer to which end of the spectrum? Without Ahman Green in the lineup it's hard to gauge what the running game is truly going to look like. By all accounts he hits the hole how one is supposed to and looks like the back from 2003 that we all miss. The starting OL still needs to be named, although it's reported that that could happen this week.

It's preseason ball and all that matter are injuries and players getting better in their roles. The injury bug has now hit Henderson, who is out for 3-5 weeks with a knee injury. Vonta Leech steps in now at FB. He's reportedly a better blocker, but with bad hands for catching the ball. So it's a little give/take on this one. Henderson is not out for the season and will be back in his usual role leaping over defenders before we know it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just a little Friday fun

With Preseason game #2 tomorrow and with me not really feeling like speculating every little detail on the game, figured a joke would be better:

A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your I.Q.?"

The man replies, "150", and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, biomimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory,nano-technology and sexual proclivities.

The man is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again the robot serves him a perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your I.Q.?"

"About 100," the man responds. Immediately, the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, NASCAR, fishing, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, and women's breasts.

Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out and returns, the robot serves him and says, "What's your I.Q.?"

"Err ... 50, I think," the man replies. And the robot says... real slowly... "So ..... ya gonna follow the Vikings again this year?"

Thank you all very much, next show's at 7pm, tip your waitresses and try the veal.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Captain Obvious

Ron Wolf visited the Packers camp yesterday and declared the following:

This is not a Super Bowl team."

The former Packer GM then delcared the sky blue, cheese curds (both regular and deep-fried) delicious and that beer is best served cold. He stated that he was going to go home, declare his leather recliner comfortable and say that HDTV is the best way to watch sports.

Stay tuned to the Oracle for more groundbreaking reporting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Badgers get a QB... for next year

KSU transfer Allan Evridge choose to come to Wisconsin yesterday. While nobody is going to confuse him with any Heisman trophy candidate, this is fairly big news for the Badgers. Given transfer rules, he's not eligible to play in any reindeer games this year. Allan could likely be the best true QB the Badgers have had in quite some time. It seems that the Badgers produce good RB's year in and out and frankly have had some pretty good WR as well. But QB has been a weakspot of the team. If he is indeed an good improvement over the past QB's, then this offense gains that pass aspect that would create the balance and unpredictability on offense that has eluded the Badgers for many years.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Days of our Packers

Well, the first preseason game is done and unfortunately, Underwood got hurt. He was by all accounts having a great camp and was set to likely be the #3 safety. Not the worst possible thing that could have happened in the game, but still not all that good. Things seemed to be clicking for him.

Of course given the Packers lost, there's a bunch of whining of "I told you this team stunk" and even some "McCarthy needs to be gone" (which is silly) talk. Look, IT'S THE FIRST PRESEASON GAME! Did a young defense with 5 new starters look poor? At times, yes. Did an OL with 2 rookie guards look like they were running a completely new offensive scheme for the first time against real competition? Hell yes. Just need some fans out there to gain some perspective here.

I need to comment on the Barnett situation as I've seen a bunch on it. Everyone seems to be anointing an unproven 3rd round rookie who yes, is having a good camp, as the MLB for the Packers for the next 10 years. Barnett is a solid MLB, not spectacular mind you, but solid. At this point, there is not a logical reason to move him. Not until Hodge shows a lot at MLB against real competition in preseason, not just against the Packers poor OL in camp.

Barnett has done nothing to lose his job and has every right to be pissed at the suggestion that a rookie could do better. He has been in 3 different defensive schemes in 3 years and has gotten better every year with frankly, poor talent around him for the most part on D. Yes, he has some issues with his game, however he is our 2nd best D player (I'd rank Kampman superior to him) but some fans are writing him off alltogether and are dreaming of the Poppinga, Hodge and Hawk LB corps. This the the most absurd thing I have heard. The guy has busted his ass for this team and the fans (and the police dept) of GB seem to have this belief that since he's not a world beater (which he was never billed as such) that he doesn't belong here. I hope Barnett is a Packer for life and becomes a great player, just to stick it to the blindly vengeful detractors.

Let's hope that Underwood's injury is not that serious and that the OL learns from their mistakes and make the necessary adjustments throughout the preseason. How the OL goes, this team will go, of that, I believe we can all agree on.

UPDATE: Underwood is gone for the season with multiple ligament tears in his knee, bummer.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Larry Harris goes out for a Ruben

The Bucks went out and traded Joe Smith to Denver for SF Ruben Patterson. This trade is not unexepected all that much. With the recent acquiring of Villanueva and Skinner at PF, Smith was the odd man out. The Bucks really did not have anyone to back up Simmons at the SF spot and also, should Simmons decide again this year that playing well is simply a nuisance to collecting that fat paycheck, the Bucks have a guy who won't be shy about taking his minutes. Only downside is that Ruben cannot hit a FT to save his ass. The deal is a good one with Harris now having a good starter and backup and every position. Some worry about his past with the law, but I don't have any issues with this. Think of it this way, since Barkley retired, no NBA player has made the police report in Milwaukee off the court and Ruben is the most likely candidate in quite some time. Kinda miss that.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Physician, Heal Thyself

Well, Dr. Z has gone and made an idiot out of himself again. In his latest installment of a blatant attempt to gain readership for the floundering CNNSI, he actually questions whether Brett Favre is first ballot HOF-worthy.

Chris Havel over at does a nice rebuttal. He brings up how the "Dr." (who is as much of a real doctor as Frazier Crane, and about as snooty too) thinks Favre stinks now, but then goes on to say how Emmit Smith and Deion Sanders are locks (conveniently forgetting that they stunk in their last few seasons.). Plus, you add in his comment of "maybe he never was that good to begin with". Guess 3 straight MVP years were just a fluke. I got no problem if people don't like Favre or criticize his play, but let's not re-write history here.

Yep, Favre had his worst season last year, but had over a 90 QB rating for the previous 2 seasons. So he certainly has not "tanked it big-time" as Mr. Z has said he has. Simply put, this is just a way for CNNSI and the good "Dr." to get more readership by waiving the "Favre stinks" flag in hopes to get Packer readers to read and send in nasty emails and for all the other team's fans to join in with the "see we told you so" with reports of his demise (which have been called out for several years now). Nothing brings in readership like Favre, whether you rip him or praise him.

Plus, anyone who's ever read Dr. Quack (wait, that's redundant right?) knows that all he cares about are DL or OL. Other than that, he's lost. This is also the same guy who thinks that Art Monk does not deserve to be in the HOF as he does not rank up with today's WR. Even though when Art retired, he was the #2 WR in catches in league history. What a frickin' crock.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Grab Bag, Hodge Podge, whatever...

Couple of things I need to go over with the WI teams so figured I'd do it in one post.

Da Bucks
Finally got rid of Magloire for 3 players from the Blazers: PG Steve Blake, PF Brian Skinner and C Ha Seung-Jin. Blake is a nice outside shooter and Ty over at Bucks Diary puts it best in saying he's a "Steve Kerr"-type player who will fill in some minutes off the bench and hit a couple 3's and not embarrass himself too much on the defensive end. Skinner had his best season while with the Bucks back in '04 so it's obvious the Bucks are hoping he can recreate that season, although it's a bit croweded at that 4 spot. Jin, well, let's just say I'd be shocked if he even gets a jersey made with his name on it. No chance he'll be around. A so-so deal for Magloire, but I can live with it as he was fairly useless anyway.

Da Brewers
Similar feeling on the Lee trade. We get Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix and Francisco Cordero. We had to also give up Nelson Cruz, but we do seem to have a lot of options for the OF now. Cordero can make the bullpen better if he can regain his form from 2 years ago. Besides, Turnblow needs a break to get his head together. Some are upset at the deal, but Lee was not coming back, he wouldn't even really negotiate so it was get something or nothing for him. Not a deal that blew me away, but it wasn't awful either. It's all going to boil down to how Cordero does, IMO. If he can become a reliable closer, then Turnblow can come in as a set-up man. This suddenly makes the bullpen look extremely good. Would remind me of the Hawkins/Guardardo tandem in MN a couple of years back.

Da Packers
Training camp is here! Which means that
Favre does his yearly schtick on how good the team is, does he believe it? To some extent, but it's mostly to build up the young team he's on and make the media think he's completely happy he came back. People get all riled up over individual practices and such. One day, Woodson gets burned a bunch, everyone panics and rips on him. Next day he gets 3 picks and he's suddenly a shut-down corner. It's training camp people. Guys are learning their responsibilities and getting comfortable with their teammates and systems. Coaches will gush over some players and how great they are doing and that they have a real good shot at making an impact. The usual stuff. I look at camp in several lights:
  • Are there any major holdouts? No. Score one for the good guys.
  • Are there any major injuries? Not yet. Score another one.
  • Are there any projected starters that are missing multiple practices? Again, not yet. Score another one.

These are the items that matter to me. I don't worry myself too much about 1 bad practice, when the guy has about 3 or 4 in a row, then one can worry, but the coaches pull him and someone else gets a shot. So there you have it. I'm just enjoying that there's football again and that the Packers season is only a few short weeks away.

Some may say that I'm burying my head in the sand about the shortcomings on this team. What about the OL? How is Green going to do? Who's our #2 WR? These will work themselves out. I'm not saying there are issues with this team, there are. But to put a microscope on practices at the beginning of August and label them as the truth? That is simply silly.