Sunday, October 29, 2006

And now, we dance

The Packers looked like a professional football team for the 2nd straight week with a 31-14 win over the Cardinals. They had a running attack, a pass offense and even some defense today. The special teams, well, not so special.

The Packers did one of those rare feats where they have 2 100 yard rushers in the same game (Green 106 yds and Morency 101 yds). That OL sure looked good out there. The holes were huge and both the backs took full advantage of them. This zone blocking thing really is starting to work ain't it? Favre had a good day and didn't throw anything close to an INT that I saw. I must say that the only thing uglier than Favre running is the "Lambeau Leap" Favre. Now we know why he's never done it before. Favre has been the biggest benefactor of the recently improved running game. Favre no longer feels he has to force the issue to make a big play. He justs stay within the offense, and it is working out.

The defense was good today. Kampman had a very good 2 sack day, Hawk was solid against the run. Heck, even Barnett had a solid outing. Anyone notice that Woodson had nothing completed on him? He had a shut down day and came up with a INT even. He is certainly having a season of redemption so far this year. He's been everything the Packers could have hoped for when signing him. Plus, his punt returns have been very good, you just get that feeling that he is going to bust one all the way sometime this year.

Some may scoff at 2 wins in a row, but I shall not! Besides, this gives me a chance to put Carmen Miranda up on the Oracle. A winning streak is worth dancing about. Let the dancing begin!

Close one for the Badgers

Bucky dodged a bullet on Saturday with a 30-24 win over Illinois. The first half was just atrocious as Dave Heller at the Journal Sentinal pointed out during the game: "One press box member responded that the Badgers are playing more like the No. 17 team in the Big Ten". That was a fairly accurate description. Then the second half happened.

The Badgers dominated the second half by scoring 20 points getting almost 200 yards of offense, getting 2 turnover (on on downs), having over a 5 minute TOP advantage and limiting Illinois to just over 80 yards of offense. Illinois was only in the game due to an INT for a TD and a fumble inside the Badger 30. They didn't earn much of their scoring by any real offensive prowess. Great comeback by the Badgers.

The Badgers were almost caught looking past a much lesser team, but they survived and got the W. Now, onto hosting Penn State (6-3) in a huge game. Bucky cannot come out with the effort they had in the first half against Illinois in the game against PSU. Look for a much sharper, more focused team this coming Saturday.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Well I'll be

I just noticed that on ESPN they released the pre-season college basketball rankings and the Badgers are ranked #9! Hell, the Badgers are ranked higher than Duke. Let me say that again, THEY ARE RANKED HIGHER THAN DUKE! To accomplish this task over the most evil college basketball program ever is quite the day-brightener.

That's what happens when you keep over 90% of your scoring and rebounding and you get your #6 & 7 players back from suspension. I haven't been this excited about Badger basketball in quite some time. They went over to Italy and played a 5 game exhibition schedule against some pro and semi-pro teams and went undefeated. This was well noticed by the writers and I'm looking forward to yet another great Big Ten season and March tourney.

Just a break from the football season with this news.

Ok, break over. The Badgers should stomp the living hell out of the damn FIBs and the Packers should do the same to Arizona. Badgers by at least 24 and the Packers by 10.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mailbag... MAAAAILBAAAG!!!

Today the Oracle shall answer a question from a loyal reader:

"O Great Oracle: Let me begin this humble request for information by noting that it was my pleasure to see Mrs. Oracle for a brief time when I was visiting the home of your esteemed neighbor last week. Unfortunately, you were not at home. Let me also apologize for defeating you in Fantasy Football, although please note that I really needed a win!

My question regards Brett Favre and the near-constant speculation regarding his future. I note that he needs only 16 touchdowns to pass Dan Marino on the all-time list. Do you think this record means anything to him? If so, do you think he would come back next year to break the record, assuming that he does not do so this year? Perhaps you feel that the record has no impact on his decision whether or not to play after this year. I would be most interested in hearing of your views in regards to these questions.

Thanks much and take care.

Curt in Grand Forks"

Well Curt in Grand Forks, you do raise some interesting points.

First, let me say that my wife was pleased to see you as well. I am saddened to have missed being in your prescence, but it could not be avoided as the great Seer of Bratwurst was in need of assistance.

Second, you are welcome with the fantasy football win. I saw that that would be a good time for you to enjoy some modicum of football success and granted it to you.

Third, on to Brett Farve. This year there is definately a different Brett Favre than we have seen in years past. For the last 4-5 years, he has been a far more stoic Brett, content to keep what he feels on the inside. He was simply existing on the football field and going through the motions of playing it seemed. This year, he is noticably more excited and frankly looks as if he's having fun. I know this is a cliche in regards to him however, hear me out. He is showing far more on-field leadership and encouragement to his teammates than he has in years past as well. His running up to Driver and carrying him around last week was testiment to that. He has particularly been very encouraging to the rookie OL in front of him during games. He knows how far his encouragement can take a player and has dished it out quite effectively this season as the OL has responded with better and better play as the season has gone along.

Perhaps he feels that this is his final goodbye and is wanting to do the most with it, or maybe he has rediscovered an old fire. I believe it is the first part, and he wants to go out fighting. He has always said that the TD record is not what he is going for, but I think he really wants it, but is giving it this year as his last chance. I did say after last season that he would not come back and I was wrong. However, not even the great Oracle can see into the havoc that Phil Simms can bring, as nobody can understand his logic.

So gentle Curt, regardless if Favre breaks the TD record or not, I do not see him returning. I appreciate your inquiry and may you have safe journeys in life.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The jinx is broken!

Finally the Packers and Badgers win on the same weekend. Sorry for the delay in my postings as my folks were visiting for the weekend, so blogging had to wait.

The Badgers started off with yet another extremely good defensive effort in demolishing Purdon't
24-3. The defense held the #11 offense in the country to under 300 total yards and 3 measly points. PJ Hill had yet another awesome game of over 160 yds and likely will be a Heisman frontrunner next season.

The Badgers are getting some great national love as they are now #17 in the AP Poll, #18 in the coaches and #18 in the BCS. As I said at the beginning of the season, it looks to be another Capitol One Bowl for the Badgers this year.

The Packers showed some great signs of life in their 34-24 beatdown of the Dolphins. Green's hamstrings proved durable when he broke off a 70 yd TD run early in the 4th. The pass defense was still spotty at best, even with the 3 INTs they got. WR were still running free and Harris was clearly beaten for a TD had Harrington not been the QB for Miami. Given that Miami had to throw over 60 times in the game the pass numbers are a bit inflated so I shouldn't be too hard on the unit.

Was there any better sight in sports than Favre picking up Driver and carrying him around after his spectacular TD catch? It's moments like that which can spark the morale of a team for the rest of the season. Yeah, I'm drinking the Green and Gold Kool-Aid big time today, and I don't care how it looks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

B-Bye Koren!

Koren Robinson has been suspended for 1 yr by the NFL effective immediately stemming back to his "incident" in MN while speeding drunk from the po-lice. His time here went by fast, faster than a speeding cop car (almost). So, what does this mean for the Packers? Several things:

1 - We now need yet another #3 WR and KO returner
2 - No hit at all on the salary cap
3 - Guess no Super Bowl trip this year

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't forget the Bucks!

I have been so wrapped up in the Packers and Badgers that I forgot about our Milwaukee Bucks. Shame on me. The Bucks have had some injuries already, but this is a deep team and luckily the injuries happened early enough in the pre-season that Bogut and Simmons won't miss much playing time.

The injury to Bogut is unfortunate, but given that just means that Gadz gets more time, it's not so bad. Gadz is one of the fan favorites and deservedly so as he simply hustles his tail off. Which is a good thing as a tail could be a detriment on the floor. Certainly I'd rather have Bogut on the floor, but Gadz is not a bad fallback position as the team can function just fine while giving Bogut plenty of time to heal.

Anywho, for the naysayers who jeered when Patterson was brought in, the injury to Simmons shows why he was signed. Not only will Patterson fill in nicely while Simmons is out, but he could push Simmons for the starting spot. We saw last year how Simmons seemed to be mailing it in and just didn't live up to the hype and contract. Patterson should help Simmons realize that he needs to step his game up.

Looks to be a great season brewing up for the Bucks. Playoffs seem a certainty as does a winning record. I'm going with a 46-36 record for them this year.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

That was an Axe whipping!

In front of 82,010 fans, the Badgers absolutely bitch-slapped the Goophs 48-12 to keep Paul Bunyan's Axe and win Homecoming. Redshirt Freshman phenom PJ Hill gets 164 yds and 2 TD, while getting the 4th Q off. John Stocco has yet another fantastic game going 12-19 193 yds and 4 TDs.

The Goophs (they are still a D-I team right?) were pathetic in every aspect of this game, even the radio announcers were terrible. I live in MN, and had to listen to the game on the radio here. The announcers actually said just after the Badgers scored to make it 35-3, "The Gophers need to do something before this game gets out of hand." What? I started laughing my ass off at this comment. The game was already out of hand at that time, hell, it was out of hand for the Goophs when they arrived at the stadium.

I stated 3 weeks ago that this stretch of games against Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota were easy wins for the Badgers and they were as they outscored their opponents 141-38. Next game is at Purdue, which is going to be a tough one as they can score. I originally had that as one that could go either way, but man the Badgers have been impressive.

Very impressive win today as the Badgers flat out dominated yet again. I'm going to play my WI marching band CD tonight and have a couple in celebration.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I could just watch this all day long

To continue our YouTube Badger week, I give you the greatest finish to a game ever. This is better than the "Hail Mary" by BC over Miami, which was simply total luck. The Cal punt return? Please, play never should have counted as there were band members on the field. Nope, the 2005 Badger/Goopher game at the Metrodump is unequivicably the greatest finish ever. If you look closely, you can actually see the Goophs punter sh!t his pants when the Badgers come at him. So sit back and enjoy!
Oh and...


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jump Around

"I came to get down, I came to get down
So get out your seats and jump around
Jump around
Jump around
Jump around
Jump up Jump up and get down.
Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump

Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump Jump"

It's Homecoming Week! This week's victim will be the Minnesota Goophs. Those poor Goophs, they simply just aren't ready for the insanity that awaits them. I almost feel sorry for the poor bastards... almost.

Tune in tomorrow when we will have a WI/MN special video.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When you say Wisconsin...

You've said it all!
This week I've decided to put some some great You Tube videos of the Badgers in honor of it being Homecoming week. And yes, I do have THE video which will be up in a couple of days, just be patient. For now, just enjoy the greatest college band in the USA, the UW band!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Where's the Pass Rush?

The Packers lose a heartbreaker to the Rams 23-20 falling just short on the comeback attempt. This would be game #2 that the Packers had a legit chance of winning this year, but just didn't do enough to get the job done.

Some may point here or there for the reasons: not enough experience on the team (but the rookie OG sure did a nice job opening gaping holes for Noah Herron didn't they?) or that Favre got cold in the 2nd half (he did have the big TD to the Rookie Of the Year Greg Jennings and had a great 4th Q). True, the fumble killed them, but how about some pass blocking there? Still others will comment on the 3 dropped INT's by the D (how could you drop that one in your chest Al Harris?). But for me, I'm going with the non-existant pass rush.

Sure, point out that they had 2 sacks, but other than those, there was virtually no pass rush. On many of Bulger's pass attempts there was nobody in his face or even making him move around. Our secondary and overall pass defense is poor enough without the opposing QB getting so much time to choose that he can play some Jacks, a game of Euchre and then throw the ball.

Can we bring back Ezra Johnson and Sean Jones please?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bring forth the sacrificial cat!

Tomorrow the Badgers get game #2 of their 3 game streach of games they should win, this week's victims are the Northwestern Wildcats. This season the Wildcats are anything but fierce, in fact they are a bunch of pussies, pussy cats I mean. They have lost to the powerhouses that are New Hampshire and Nevada and they barely beat Eastern MI. Last week they were trounced by Penn St 33-7.

NW is poor against the run and gee, that would be the Badgers modus operandi. Look for PJ Hill to once again have a huge game. I would expect about 150 yards and 3 TD from him. The NW team is young and they are starting a freshman QB for the first time this week. The Badgers D, while not playing consistently themselves, should be able to eat him up.

This won't be as bad as the Badgers whipped Indiana last week, but a 3 TD win is certainly not out of the question and frankly quite likely. Look for Hill and Stocco to once again get the 4th Q off.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free at last... Free at last...

In a move that was a long time coming, the Packers finally released Ahmad Carroll after another hugely disappointing game. He's been nothing but consistently bad for the last 3 years and as much as I have defended him last season, I'm glad he's gone. Some other team will pick him up and he may have a good career there, but he's worn out his tired act here. He has talent, but his resistence to coaching and poor mechanics were his downfall.

Now if Thompson will have the balls to throw DB coach Shitenheimer to the curb, our secondary will have a chance to get better. Let's see: In 2004, the secondary was horrible and he was fired. In 2005, the secondary was remarkably improved with the same players. In 2006, he's brought back in and now they suck again. How in the world can Thompson or McCarthy not see this man is a horrible DB coach? Everywhere he has gone, players perform poorly and they say that he simply seems as though he doesn't care, he's too laid back, too hands off. When the DB's have to wear wristbands to simplify the defense so that they are in the right coverage, then that's a sign of a poor coach who's too f'ing lazy to teach. The guy essentially has a famous brother who is a darn good coach and has been living off his accomplishments and name.

When the fans and other players can see how bad he is, the biggest question is, why can't the Packers?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Half and Half

Last night was a tale of 2 halfs, the first half was full of optimism and hope. The second half was, well the opposite of that. Due to how the Packers played, there are some out there trying to be optimists by pointing to the first half (the glass is half full), while others point to the second half (the glass is half empty) as the more correct gauge of the team. Let's hear the arguments:

Glass is half full: The Pack were leading at half 9-7 over the highly favored Eagles and had all the momentum going their way

Glass is half empty: The only reason the Pack were in this game was for 2 blunders by Philly fumbling inside the 5 yard line when they were going to score a TD. This game should have been 21-9 at the half.

Glass is half full: The Packers defense caused one of those fumbles and they did a good job harassing McNabb and sacked him 4 times and caused several hurries.

Glass is half empty: Oh please! Ahmad Carroll got absolutely torched repeatedly and Al "I want more money" Harris played pitifully. The secondary is awful and McNabb ate them up in the second half.

Glass is half full:Morency ran for almost 100 yards in place of Green and the run blocking looked very good.

Glass is half empty: Big deal, his inability to catch a ball caused a huge momentum changing INT and his fumble gave the Eagles another TD. He was responsible for giving Philly 14 pts.

Glass is half full: Greg Jennings is becoming a star. The WR were getting open.

Glass is half empty: Driver dropped a sure TD pass, wasn't aware of the back of the end zone on the other one, dropped a huge 3rd down pass that would have kept an early 3rd Q drive going. Franks dropped yet another big pass.

Glass is half full: Ryan and Raynor were fantastic on special teams.

Glass is half empty: If you gotta go with your punter and kicker being good, you are indeed reaching for positives.

Here's my take, after that game, just finish your damn beer and get another one and stop arguing if it's half full or half empty before it gets warm, it's going to be a long season.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Packers Magic 8 Ball

There was a comment posted by the one known as Murph (who apparently had his birthday this weekend) that bears repeating:

"Oh great and mighty Oracle, what do you see in your tea leaves for the Pack breaking free of their inverse relationship with the Badgers.

e.g. Badgers win - Pack loses - and vice versa.

Will this be the week? "

I had commented about this odd relationship
last year as it happened for 8 straight weeks I believe. This year, it is back in effect as the lone Badger loss occured the same weekend as the lone Packer win. This Murph brings up a valid concern, however I do not use something as crude as tea leaves to decipher the future. I am the great Oracle and have far greater powers than that.

Let's see, where's that Magic 8 Ball? (rustle rustle) ...Hustler magazine... complete collection of 1985 NFL season cards... dress shirt I never wear... Aha! found it.

Oh great Magic 8 Ball... Tell us if this curse between the Badgers and Packers shall be broken tonight... (shake shake shake)
Not a chance. You do realize the Pack are playing the Eagles @ Philly right? Come on, Westbrook and McNabb are going to destroy them.

Will Brett Favre have a good game? (shake shake shake)
Outlook hazy. Given the Packers cannot run the ball with any consisitency, and the Packers D is about as stout as a wet paper bag, Favre is going to have to throw a lot. Expect about 40-45 attempts tonight. He'll put up yardage, but there is a good chance he could force the issue and revert to the 4 INT night.

Will Cheesehead Craig have a better time at his friend's house where he will see the game on a 52" HDTV with beer and tons of snacks with 8 other Packers fans than anyone else reading this blog? (shake shake shake)
Oh hell yes!

In case you are wondering, my Magic 8 Ball gives me much more complete answers than the cheap ones you get at the store. I am after all, the great Oracle! Oh, and Happy Birthday Murph!