Saturday, January 27, 2007

Miss me? Didn't think so

Well, I'm finally back from my fabulous cruise. I'll do another post later on when I get pictures and such sorted out. Needless to say, I'm rested, relaxed and not quite as tan as I would have liked to be. The wifey insisted that I put on SPF 900 so I actually got whiter the longer I was out in the sun. It was like being covered with White-Out. Anyway, let's see what went on with the Bucks (I'll get to the Badgers another day).

The Bucks were on a tear in December and got over .500 they were the darlings of the NBA for a while. Teams got destroyed by overplaying Redd and Williams as Bogut and Patterson were playing at an otherworldly level. Some even suggested that Stotts was to be credited for this, he shouldn't be. It was the team chemistry that was getting into full swing, players were getting comfortable in their roles. This is a young team and they needed time to gel. Then their #1 and #2 threats went down.

Now the Bucks are predictably atrocious. I wrote back on the 9th of this month that after Redd's injury, this season was over. The Bucks losing 9 of their last 10 since then and neither Redd or Mo due back for another couple of weeks. But, I believe that I spoke too soon and was too pessimistic. "He got too much sun on his trip" you may say, but that's not it. Why the turnaround you may ask? I'll give you 5 reasons:

1 - Earl Boykins. This little fireball is a nightmare for opposing teams. Who the hell can guard him? Nobody. He's too fast. He's also a scoring machine since the trade. He's dropping almost 20/game since the trade. 20! Holy crap did we get a steal on this from Denver. What are teams going to do when Redd, Mo and Earl are on the floor? You cannot guard that much offense, especially when Earl and Mo attack the hoop as they do. Plus, he can come in for Williams and the Bucks lose nothing on offense.

2 - Charlie Bell. He's been put into more minutes with Redd gone and he's been hot and cold. He seems to be forcing his shot too much, but I believe that when his role is reduced, he'll slip into more of a comfort zone as he won't feel as much pressure. He's learning the limits of his game now and that is going to help him immensely. He's still a solid sub and good defender.

3 - Charlie Villanueva. He drops a double double in his first game back from injury in 30 minutes of action. With Skinner getting so much time while Charlie was out, they form a very solid #4 duo. Charlie has more ability to get that tough inside prescence to aid Bogut.

4 - These 3 players help make a much deeper quality bench for the Bucks. The Bucks can now go 3-4 players deep on the bench and still have a good unit out there at all times.

5 - The Bucks are still in the East. At a sad 17-26 record and losing 10 of their last 12, they are only 3 games out of the #8 playoff spot. If they can hold on and win a few until Redd and Mo come back, this team could explode through the Conference. Nobody will have as much offensive firepower as they will. The Bucks have only scored over 100 1 time in the last 9 games since the dynamic duo went down. The Bucks will assuredly score over 100 on an almost nightly basis when they come back. Their record when they score over 100 pts? 14-8, that's a 63.6 winning percentage. With Boykins and Bell coming off the bench, I would say that we could raise this % up to 67% over the final 30 games that Redd and Mo likely will be back for, the Bucks could very well get into the playoffs and be peaking at the right time.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I needed this

The first picture is how I'm getting to the second picture. Mrs. Cheesehead and myself (along with my parents and sister and her husband) are going on a cruise from Saturday until next Thursday. My parents retired recently and this is their way of celebrating. First time for all of us to be on a cruise, so it should be interesting and I'm quite looking forward to it. Given there's about 4 inches of snow on the ground and with temps in the teens here, I think it's the right time to leave. Big thanks to my mother-in-law for watching our kids and getting them to school while we're gone.

Oh, and it will be upper 70's to low 80's while we are there. And sun, lots and lots of warm sun. Yes, I may be rubbing this in, but so would any of you reading this if you were going.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We're #2, or is it #3?

The Badgers B-Ball team is at it's highest ranking, well, ever. The latest polls have them at #2 in the AP and #3 in the coaches poll. Either way, it's a view Bucky rarely looks from.

Tonight, the Badgers get a home win... err game against the Purdue Boilermakers. The Badgers are 40-2 in Big Ten regular season play at home. Somehow I think that Purdue is not going to be the team to add that 3rd loss.

Can't Purdue update their name? I mean it's so 19th century and they need to get with the times. I've got a great one for them. The Purdue Opossums. They share all the same qualities: roll over and play dead when danger comes, they stink and generally get run over a lot. See, it's perfect.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's great to be a Badger fan.

The Badgers B-Ball team beat the Buckeyes 72-69 last night to make it 2 big losses in a row for the vaunted OSU sports programs. While this loss was not as embarassing as the major egg the football team laid playing for the national championship, it wasn't as good of a performance as the score suggests either. The Buckeyes were down by double digits in the 2nd half and had a big rally helped by some poor FT shooting from the Badgers near the end to make the score look closer than it really should have been.

This win undoubtedly cements the Badgers as one of the teams to beat come March/April as this is their 3rd win over a top 15 team. Barring a major tanking or an inexplicable early exit from the Big 10 tourney, they will be a #1 seed in the Midwest Region.

Even though this is THE best Badgers team I have ever seen, or anyone else has for that matter, the Big Ten schedule is not going to be all that easy. Currently there is only 1 team with a losing record (Minnesota, who the Badgers manhandled already this year) while the rest of the Big Ten has a winning % of .725. Wow! Even if the schools are playing cupcakes, that is still a very impressive stat. The rest of the Big Ten is not getting a lot of love given how dominant WI and OSU have been, but this conference could have four 20 game winners easily (WI, OSU, MI and Purdue) and possibly 5 (Indiana). So it's not going to be easy and likely the Badgers will lose 2-3 conference games (on the road, as they simply don't lose at home). It's going to be a fun ride and the Badger faithful should have plenty to be happy about.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It was fun while it lasted

Last night it was determined that the Bucks will be without Michael Redd for 4-6 weeks. The Bucks had started to get things together and were playing quite well after a poor start. This injury totally ruins it. Yes, Redd is this valuable to the team and no, I'm not making too much of this.

As proof, the team knew Redd would be out when playing Denver and they lost by 12. To Denver. Losers of their last 5. Crud.

If it weren't for the fact that the Bucks are in the pathetic Eastern Conference, the season would officially be over. The Bucks are at the #8 playoff spot right now and will in most certainty fall out of that. Redd is going to miss 16-24 games due to this injury and likely will need another week to get his groove back. That's about 1/2 of the remaining games. This was the season that they could have made some serious damage in the playoffs, I was confident of that. Now, it's just another disappointing season.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Bet is paid - An Analysis

Ahh, there is nothing better in the whole world than starting off a New Year right, isn't there? I know I certainly did. How you may ask? Well my good reader I shall tell you. One may recall several weeks ago, my neighbor Shane made an ill-advised bet with me. To recap, the wager was for the loser to buy the winner a Triple Cheeseburger, fries and a Coke from Fuddruckers and to shovel the winner's driveway. Well, wouldn't you know it, but Shane lost yet again to me as the Packers easily dispatched of the frauds that are the MN Vikings. For those of you keeping track at home, that would be Craig 5, Shane 0 in the bet department.

Ever since the bet was made, there have been literally hundreds of requests to see the pictures from the payout. Well, I am happy to provide these for you.

The first picture would be that of Shane buying me the 1/2 lb, triplecheese cheeseburger, fries and Coke. The second picture would be that myself eating said cheeseburger. MMM MMM good!

Fairly self explanitory here, this would be Shane shovelling my driveway. True, it is not much snow, but I didn't want to put too much stress on the guy, he's kinda fragile.

I got to thinking, why is it that Shane keeps losing bets to me? Simple bad luck? My obvious superior intellect and skill? While the latter is clearly evident, I believe there is more to it. So I did some research and found the following:

NAACP has come out with a study that WI drivers are actually better than MN drivers.

National Endowment of the Arts reported that WI men are better lovers than MN men. Well, that's definately true.

Rotary Club has found that WI is actually safer from terrorist attacks. Good to see that my parents and siblings are safe.

Humane Society has definatively proven that WI sports are far superior and better attended than MN sports. They also found that MN fans are severely lacking in overall knowledge in regards to their teams and sports in general.

Consumer Reports reported that WI men are heartier, healthier and better suited against the elements than their MN counterparts.

Greenpeace has stated that people from WI are on average 78% smarter than their MN neighbors.

Simply fascinating. Good to see what has been known for decades to come to light by independent organizations that Cheeseheads are simply superior to the lutefisk-eating Minnesotans. Now, Shane may say that he was born in WI (which he was) and therefore has all of these positive attributes. Sorry Shane, but you renounced your Cheesehead lineage when you decided to foolishly praise all sports that is MN; and therefore all rights, powers and privileges associated with the gloriousness that is reserved for the children of WI.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, Same Results

Once again, the Badgers go to the Capitol One Bowl and beat the overhyped-overrated-"superior" SEC Conference by taking out the high-powered Arkansas Razorbacks 17-14.

Last year, the critics thought that Auburn was going to rout the Badgers, instead, it was the other way around. This year, the Badgers were underdogs and again, they won. Time and time again, the Badgers are discounted as a poor team, beneficiaries of playing a soft schedule. Come on, it's not like they're playing the Minnesota Vikings every week. Good teams make bad teams look bad, that's a fact.

Other than 2 big, lucky runs by Arkansas, their offense was bad. Those 2 runs accounted for 1/3 of their total offense for the day. The Badger defense did a great job overall of shutting down the gimmicky offense they run. That junk may have worked in the SEC, but against a disciplined, smart, physical unit like the Badgers, it was as doomed as your average brother/sister wedding that is commonplace in Arkansas.

So, anyone still thinking that Bielema was a bad choice by Alvarez?

See you here next year when the Badgers are once again underdogs in a January Bowl game and once again prove everyone wrong.


Is Sunday night's 26-7 ass-whipping of the Bears the last time we'll see Brett on the football field? I don't know.

What I do know is that this team is better than the media and others give them credit for. They went from 4-12 and left for dead last season to 8-8 with young players producing and a bright future ahead, regardless if Favre retires.

With a projected cap space of about 28M and a decent draft position, the Packers could very well get another 3-4 impact players this offseason and improve on this season's finish, especially in the weak NFC North. The Bears are not as good as their record indicates, everyone knows that. The Vikings have a horrible coach who is alienating his players left and right and is an offensive moron. The Lions, well, they're the Lions. It's not like there is a whole lot to be worried about here.

Favre says that he will make a decision soon, and when he does, I'll comment on it then. I will however leave you with this post-game interview he gave on Sunday night and let you make your own conclusions.