"Wherever your outdoor enthusiasm takes you, whatever your choice of adventure, alone or with your fellow comrades, the journey is yours. Live the life - Pass The Buck.- Buck Range Light"
So Doug what's in the cup?
A Warm Rooftop welcome to the Crew
The Milwaukee Brewers (and Racing Sausages) pack up and head for spring training 2013 in Arizona
Brewers fans flock to Milwaukee's Delta Airlines center on 1/27/13 to meet and greet their favorite players before spring training starts for the 2013 season
There may be only 22 days left until Christmas, but there's also only 29 days left until the Mother of all college football bowl days, January 1, 2014. With Auburn's latest last second miracle against Alabama registering 7.5 on the BCS Richter Scale, who will play who on New Year's Day is as hot a topic as it's ever been.</p>
<p style="text-align: left;">Water coolers everywhere are overflowing right now due to the discussions lingering there on just who should play in the so-called national championship game. We'll all have to wait at least one more week , however, as the money making conference championship games must be played out before any fan can faithfully log onto Travelocity for a package to a major bowl destination.</p>
Here in Wisconsin, fans were literally in a fog all day today, and will be until the outcome of the Michigan State-Ohio State game this Saturday night in Indianapolis. For the first time since its inception two years ago, Badger fans will watch the contest at home rather than travel to Indiana to witness Bucky in the Big Ten Championship game.
Due to a mystifying performance last weekend against Penn State, Gary Anderson's BCS hopefuls must now face the fact they are 21st in most people's eyes, and as a result will have to wait for their fate in either the Outback Bowl in Tampa or the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on January 1st. Although conveniently situated close to the southern home of Mickey Mouse, most Wisconsinites regard the Capital One Bowl as anything remotely resembling that comparison. Frankly, any trip to a warmer climate can be considered a moral victory this time of year for those of us still inexplicably residing in this climate.
However, after having dreamed of an Orange Bowl earlier in the Thanksgiving week, all hopes were dashed as quickly as Joel Stave could overthrow Jared Abrederris on Saturday at Camp Randall. Before a Senior Day sendoff,the "pound-the-football-until-your-opponents-drop" offensive formula for success was abandoned against the Nittany Lions, and Dave Aranda's previously stifling defense couldn't get it's player personnel math right for most of the game and were ultimately torn apart by a true freshman quarterback wearing a white, perfectly clean helmet all day.
So now the 9-3 Badgers (or 9-2-1 to over-served patrons here) await their New Year's Day opponent. Most bowl prediction machines are spitting out likely candidates such as Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A & M, and yes, Auburn.
Far be it from the Wurst Brewer Fan In The World to make any bold predictions here, but what I will say is the that the Missouri matchup is the most intriguing, and perhaps, best chance Wisky has to end it's streak of post season bowl losses. After three consecutive embarrassing defeats at the hands of TCU, Oregon and Stanford in the Rose Bowl, all games in which the Badgers had a legitimate shot at winning, perhaps the palm trees in Florida will present a better backdrop for a win than the ones in Southern California. When Badger football fans stare in the bowl picture and see Missouri, they see a very similar team to the one that makes Madison its home.
One thing is certain, the man at the helm now will put his players in a better position to walk away with a victory than the previous regime. No offense Barry Alvarez, but having Gary Anderson on the sidelines this year instead of our exalted athletic director filling in for the departed Bret Bielema, is definitely a step in the right direction. It is in fact, if I must say, a very capital idea indeed.
And For What
Everybody knows one of the most enjoyable features of the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner is the stack of leftovers that resides in your fridge the next few days, or weeks, in some cases. Whether it’s a simple turkey sandwich , with a little salt an pepper, mayo, lettuce and tomato on your favorite slices of bread, or the customary microwaved plate of meat, sweet potatoes, and stuffing all lathered with gravy, it all provides comfort as another long winter looms in front of us.
The leftovers are the consolation prize awarded after the main event has passed. What once was a beautiful, shimmering display of culinary extravagance, festooned with china, crystal and silverware littered with seasonal table arrangements, is quickly reduced to a Tupperware convention in your fridge. It may still revive and satisfy the cravings you had leading up to the big day, but when you sit down in front of the flat screen with all of it plastered onto a paper plate, it just doesn’t carry the same cache.
Such is the current state of the 2013 Green Bay Packers, the official leftovers of every Cheesehead’s NFL season. What was once a promising three course meal of offense, defense and special teams at the outset of the season has been reduced to an artificial dish of soon to be discarded entrees, served with a plastic knife and fork.
Gone is the centerpiece of the big meal, the big bird, Aaron Rodgers, his collarbone cracking under the weight of none other than a despicable Chicago Bear. The nice juicy wing that held so much promise, Jermichael Finley, was dropped and fed to the family dog just when it started to look good. The special sauce, Randall Cobb, the all-everything condiment that completed this delicious meal, was taken away too and may never return.
The drumstick of defense, usually the anchor to this wonderful dinner, wasn’t even served. Just when it was really needed to offset the loss on the offensive side of the football, it disappeared form the entire meal altogether. Large chunks of yardage fell off the plate at key points during key drives by the opposition. Littered with injuries, the large majority being pulled hamstrings in the upper thigh area, this so called 3-4 defense never materialized. When it’s all said and done and it’s time to clear the plates, it’s chef, Dom Capers, may lose his apron and hat.
How about the dessert? The special teams? Good luck there, all season long there hasn’t been any field position generated from that aspect of the team worth mentioning. Thus no pumpkin pie, no cherry pie ala mode, not even a spoonful of rice pudding. Of course, absolutely no turnovers from the afore mentioned defense either.
What’s left is a pathetic array of scraps that would normally be toiling on the practice squad to satisfy the appetite of the diehard Packer fan. Instead of a Cobb, you get a Boykin. Substituting for Finley you have a choice of Quarless or Bostick. And filling in for the big bird of Rodgers is the Discount Double Check antacid of Tolzein and Flynn.
Lost in all of this re-heated mess is the one and only nugget worth his weight, Eddie Lacy. If not for his bulldozing rookie efforts into a line that never blocks for him, there would be absolutely no need to waste your time on this team going forward.
As it is, this leftover group of bedraggled professional football players will themselves be fed to the Lions on Thursday, for all the nation to witness. Take my advice, Packer fans, and postpone your Thanksgiving Day dinner until much later in the day, when the stomach ache left by another dismal Green Bay performance has subsided. Take solace in the fact you’ve been eating these substitutes for the real thing for most of the season anyway, and that only four weeks are leftover in what was once a promising year.
And For What
If you live in Wisconsin, the football gods are treating you in very strange
ways these days. To the north the Green Bay Packers are suffering like they
haven't suffered in quite some time, but to the south, in Madison, the Badgers
are surging toward a possible BCS bowl game berth. As a football fan in
Wisconsin, your weekends have become football purgatory, stuck somewhere in
between the very good and the very bad.
When Shea McClellin introduced Aaron Rodger's left collarbone to the unfrozen
Lambeau Field turf that fateful Monday night, little did Packer fans know that
at that moment their hopes of another playoff season had ended. When Seneca
Wallace, of all people, appeared under center, the 2013 season was officially
over in Ashwaubenon. Three games later the Green and Injured have fallen into
the muck known as the rest of the NFL, with a 5-5 record, sporting a three game
losing streak, featuring back-to-back losses at hallowed Lambeau for the first
time since who knows when. Their new starting third string quarterback is none
other than Illinois native and Wisconsin Badger alum, Scott Tolzein.
Tolzein, like his boyhood idol, Brett Favre, the NFL's all-time interception
leader, likes to put up nice statistics among 2-3 interceptions per
contest. He's racked up more yardage in his first two games than any quarterback
in Packer history, but his lack of experience and penchant for throwing untimely
picks should be noted as nothing unusual for a guy added to the practice squad
just three weeks ago. Problem is, he's winless.
But give him a break, because Tolzein is the least of the Slackers problems.
Besides a litany of injuries to the likes of Rodgers, Cobb, Finley and Matthews,
just to name a few of the very many, it has been the incredulous performance of
the marshmallow D under the direction of one Dom Capers that has fueled their
demise. The Vikings come calling this Sunday, and now even the likes of
Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel or a one-legged Adrian Peterson strike fear in the
hearts of the Cheese Head faithful, especially those who still believe Rodgers,
with one arm, can admit them into a first round Wild Card defeat in the
Further to the south in the Dairyland state, in Madison, another football
program is headed in the opposite direction. Under the direction of first year
head coach Gary Andersen, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and offensive
coordinator Andy Ludwig, the Wisconsin Badger football team has put together an
8-2 record as it heads into the Twin Cities for the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe
with another 8-2 team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It's been an intriguing
year in the capitol city for the Badgers, suffering only the disputed "defeat"
in the desert to ASU and bumbling an opportunity to knock Ohio State in
Columbus, these being the only blemishes on an otherwise impressive season in
the post Bret Bielema era.
The vaunted Wisconsin running game has been elevated to new levels behind the
powerful trio of James White, Melvin Gordon and true freshman Corey Clement, and
the defense has started to execute Aranda's schemes to almost flawless
perfection. If not for an erratic, but mostly efficient quarterback in Joel
Stave, and a suspect kicking game, this team could have easily been a shoe-in
for a top 10 bowl game date. As it stands, with victories over Minnesota and
Penn State pending, Bucky will probably wind up in the Cap One Bowl or even the
Orange Bowl on January 1st. Wisconsin-South Carolina? How about Wisky versus
Johnny Manzeil and Texas A &M? Either matchup would be a nice reward for a
team that has garnered zero national respect, mostly due to the reputation of
the Big Ten as a weak conference.
So there you have it football fans, if you are stuck in Wisconsin for the
remainder of this football season, Saturdays have been Heaven and Sundays mostly
Hell, at least lately. In the meantime you're stuck in football purgatory. A
word to the wise, save your prayers for the Green and Gold, their season is
over. Put your faith in Wisky, they deserve a better fate.
And For What