Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Somewhere, in Heaven, the angels are singing the praises of throwing off your back foot. (Brett Favre Legacy Update!)

From Slate:

OK, so I finally watched Redskins-Cowboys, which wasn't a professional football game so much as three hours of grown men writing Tony Romo's name all over their Trapper Keepers. Is Romo now on that Favre-ish plane of existence where everything he does gets accompanied by cherubim and harp music and Ed Werder?
When we last saw Brett's reputation, people were speculating that he might end up doing time in Miami, and he was, in terms of importance, caught between a serial killer and sludge.

But now, in the same span of time that saw Tony Romo go from being "the guy who can't handle a snap in a playoff game" to the "gutsy" "warrior" who inspires other players to get into the game, we've seen Favre elevated beyond the scandals of Croc-Gate to a heavenly plane of existence.

What a difference a little retirement makes. Last year, Romo would likely have snapped your head off if you said his play was Favre-like. (It was, in almost every sense of that word.) This year, saying the same thing makes Romo at the least a virtue to Favre's seraphim.

Also, I didn't know who Ed Werder was until I googled him. Turns out he has very little to do with Heaven at all, but did once get caught in the middle of a "controversy" that shows how little ESPN/sports reporting has to do with "journalism," and also demonstrates how difficult it is for reporters to have to kowtow to the people they report on, lest they be excluded from getting information to report.

(For the record, I didn't create the shirt shown on this post. But I would have.)

Musical celebrations of mediocrity and Ivy Leaguers! (So They Made A [Couple of ] Song[s] About Sports)

The Buffalo Bills, just in time for their planned move to Toronto, have released and are eagerly tweeting about a new song celebrating their heritage:

Called "Red, White, and Blue," the song, written by Tom Sartori, celebrates everything good about the Buffalo Bills, while ignoring O.J. Simpson, Rob "Mr Glass" Johnson, and glossing over the four Super Bowl losses.

Sartori won the "Buffalo Solo Artist of the Year" award for 2010, and finances his music career with his prowess at Texas Hold 'Em poker, according to his website.

In case you're wondering, the actual sports-announcer clips in the video are (so far as I can tell?) Joe Ferguson throwing a touchdown to beat the Dolphins 17-7 in the season opener in 1980 -- the fans tore down the goal posts because the Bills hadn't beaten the team in 10 years, apparently (according to these guys, who seem to know.)

The other clip is the week 2 win this year, over the Raiders, which, yeah, nice game and nice to start 2-0, but, really, in all these years, you couldn't find two clips of games that meant something? Nothing from the Greatest Comeback in Playoff History? Not Don Beebe knocking that ball out of Leon Lett's hands? Two touchdown passes in two regular season games are the highlights for all time of Buffalo?

(What's sad is, yeah, they mostly are?)

And, yeah, I know they lost four Super Bowls in a row, but Jim Kelly deserves more than a sentence fragment. And no Flutie at all? I understand leaving out Alex Van Pelt, but no Flutie? He only got you to the playoffs, twice, and might be remembered better had Thrice-Failed Wade Philips not then handed the game over to Mr Glass to lose.

That's not the only Bills song out there. There's also "The Amish Rifle" by The Jambrones:

I like it: "We're believin' in his beard." To which you gave credit for ending the lockout? Okay. I also liked the ranking of Fitzy's beard versus famous Bibilical beards. Those old-time Bible guys knew how to beard it out.

While we're on the subject, he's lost the beard, hasn't he? I think he has. Or at least trimmed it down, based on his profile picture here. Too bad; you didn't see Obi Wan shaving his beard.

Also, want to hear the absolute worst rap ever?

All you drunk guys who try rapping? That is what you sound like. Not Eminem. That. Stop it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aaron Rodgers Doesn't Like Mark Sanchez (but lots of sports people like my blog.)

The list of people Packers QB A-Rodg doesn't like continues to grow. Rodgers, who doesn't like almost anything, now doesn't like Jets QB Mark Sanchez:

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was shown a copy of the [Issue of GQ where Mark Sanchez posed in a fashion spread] during an interview with ESPN Milwaukee, and he didn’t try to conceal his contempt.

“Look at this,” Rodgers said. “That’s embarrassing. Page 94 of the GQ thing here. That’s terrible.”

This is the picture Rodgers was commenting on:

What's interesting to note, actually, is that Rodgers is just the latest of people to jump on my bandwagon and pile on Sanchez: After I rated Sanchez as the second-worst starter in the NFL and pointed out that while both he and Tebow are equally likely to miss passes, ESPN never ripped on Sanchez because the Jets are good for business and Christian third-stringers are not, it's now become fashionable to take down Sanchez.

Is he? Or is everyone just jumping on my bandwagon?

Let's look at the evidence:

First, Christopher Harris, the ESPN writer who thought, on August 20, that Sanchez was "bad for his receivers." Turns out Harris likes Sanchez -- On September 11 he wrote:

I've been making a case for Mark Sanchez as at least having the opportunity for a breakout season, though whether he makes good on his promise comes down to improving his accuracy substantially. He'll get a nice first matchup.
Now, granted, Harris is a fantasy football writer, which is one step removed, accountability/intelligence-wise from real sports writer, in terms of impact on the world and need to be correct or consistent, but to say that he's been touting Sanchez's prospects goes completely against what Harris wrote just two weeks earlier in his preview:

It would be foolish for me to dismiss the possibility Sanchez could turn a corner this year. It sometimes happens, though historically the odds are somewhat against him....

So yes, while I do think the Jets will throw it enough for Holmes, Burress and Mason to theoretically have good fantasy seasons, and while I rate Holmes as a top-20 fantasy option, I do think these receivers are at least in part held hostage by Sanchez.
So to be clear: Harris, at ESPN, thought in August that Sanchez was going to be bad, but thought in Week 1 that he'd have a good game against the Cowboys -- and Harris (in a post you can't find anymore) once touted Sanchez as an immediate starter.

How about The Daily News' announcement that after two weeks Sanchez was statistically worse than last year -- which is the storyline that sports "writers" have decided to go with: "Sanchez was terrible his rookie year, but he was a rookie. Last year he improved, and we loved him, but this year we no longer like him because he's taking a step back."

(That's how they try to believe they're not taking their leads from a midwestern lawyer who only blogs about sports in between attempting to eat Immortal Twinkies.)

In 2009, Sanchez ranked 29th by quarterback rating (63.0), 29th by passes attempted per game (24.3), 28th in yards per game (162.9), and 29th in completion percentage (53.8).

In 2010, he was 27th in quarterback rating (75.3), 17th in attempts per game (31.7), 25th in yards per game (205.7), and 29th in completion percentage (54.8). It's important to include the actual stats, to see if a change in rankings is because other quarterbacks got better or worse, affecting his ranking -- and in completion percentage he's almost exactly the same, with only a marginal improvement in efficiency, as measured by rating, even though his coaches trusted him to throw the ball nearly 20% more in 2010.

Now, in 2011, two games in, Sanchez is 17th in quarterback rating -- 87.7 -- and 19th in attempts per game (34), 15th in yards per game (258), and 15th in completion percentage at 63.2% -- which disproves the Daily News' "sports" "writer's" claim that Sanchez is worse. Statistically, he's better than he was last season, and his coaches are trusting him more.

Sanchez still ranks at about the middle, or below, for all quarterbacks -- below Matt Cassel, who's 0-2 in two bad losses, and rookie Andy Dalton at the Bengals, to name two, though -- which means he's still bad.

But if Sanchez has improved every single year and statistically is better this year than the last two years, when he made the playoffs, what can explain why sports casters and writers are turning on him?

You're reading it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autism Works: A (Phone) Call To Action

Autism Works is a post I put on all my blogs, updating you on the latest information affecting people who are autistic or who know someone who is.

I would like you to make a phone call, and to keep making that phone call until you get through. But the phone call is not for me, it's for Mr F and Mr Bunches.

If you follow me on Twitter, you've already heard the gist of this, but it bears examination and repeating. At the bottom of this post, you'll find contact information to email Eric Cantor or call him, so if you know you already want to do this, go there and get that info. If you don't know why you should want to make a simple phone call, read on:

Here is my son, Mr. F. He was four years old when this video was shot:

Mr. F currently gets therapy 20-25 hours a week, in our house. So does his brother, Mr Bunches. They each have teachers and therapists come in every morning at 8:00, and stay until 11:20, when the boys each get on separate busses to go to their 4K classes for three hours. Two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, the therapists come back from 3:00-5:30 p.m. There are two to four extra people in our house for 25 hours a week. At school, each of the boys has an aide that helps him in school. Mr Bunches' is part-time. Mr F's is full-time, by his side every second he's at school. They also have speech and occupational therapy, and used to get out-of-home occupational therapy until our insurance benefits ran out for the year.

The cost of just the in-home therapy per year is $50,000 per child. That doesn't count the school support services or the busses that take the boys to school or the ankle bracelet Mr F wears in case he wanders away or the sheriff's deputy who comes to our house once a month to check that the bracelet works.

All that effort is helping the boys learn to do things like talk. Many autistic people are nonverbal.

Mr F, for example, will say maybe 10 or 15 words. He understands what you say, but has trouble talking. When he wants something, he will use sign language and gestures, tapping his chest to say "I want" and taking your hand and pointing it to where he wants things. He, this summer, began being able to say I want but he can't pronounce the words yet. He says "Bo bo," which we know means I want.

He said a sentence the other day: He said "Bo bo GO." Which meant he wanted to go for a ride. It was the first sentence he'd ever said to me... after nearly 2,000 hours of intensive therapy and work. (It's not just teachers. We do it all the time, too. As I was typing this, Mr F wanted his breakfast, which is usually cheese puffs. Autistic kids are even pickier than other kids, in part because they are so sensitive to sensory issues we barely register, so they have to work at expanding their food groups. Before Mr F was allowed his cheese puffs, as part of his education, I had to make him choose between two alternatives [forcing him to communicate], then make him get the bowl out, and then tell me "I want cheese puffs," which he said as "bo bo" and pointing. To ensure that Mr F can someday take part in society, I have to make him work for his cheese puffs.)

Now on to what you can do:

Back in 2006, Congress passed the "Combating Autism Act." That bill -- passed by a pre-Tea Party Republican Congress and signed into law by the Republican Worst President ever -- set aside $924 million over 5 years to develop a strategic plan to expand and better coordinate the nation’s support for persons with autism and their families. It led to important research being started and promising new interventions.

Autism, as you may know, affects 1 in 70 boys, and the costs of supporting autistic individuals in society are $35,000,000,000 ($35 BILLION) per year. Interventions and cures allow autistic individuals to live fuller lives, with less costly supports (if any at all.)

The Combating Autism Act was the most comprehensive health measure ever passed. And it will now expire at the end of September, 2011, unless reauthorized.

That reauthorization is pending in the "Combating Autism Reauthorization Act," or CARA. CARA is almost halfway to becoming law: The Senate committee considering it just passed it unanimously and sent it to the full Senate.

But it has not yet been put up for a House vote, because of Eric Cantor.

Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, co-sponsored the bill in 2006. He is one of 113 House members of the Coalition for Autism Research and Education. He has taken part in "Walk Now for Autism Speaks" events.

But he won't even let this bill go to the floor for a vote.

Eric Cantor won't let America decide if autistic children should have a shot at a fuller life.

You can email Eric Cantor very easily by going to this site and filling out the form. It's a pre-written email that takes about a minute to fill out and send, and you won't get junked or spammed.

Or you can call Eric Cantor at 202-225-4000. I've got that number programmed into my cell phone, and called it 20+ times yesterday. It was busy during working hours, and after hours I was told I could not leave a message.

But I'm going to keep trying. Because if Mr F can work his way through counting to ten, I can certainly make a phone call, and so can you.

Call or email Eric Cantor and tell him to let the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act go to the House Floor for a vote!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

At least he didn't say God made him turn the ball over 5 times... (Quotent Quotables)

"It hurts so much to lose, it's hard not to chuckle."

-- Ben Roethlisberger, in a press conference on Sunday.

Remember how "controversial" it was that Derek Anderson was laughing on the sidelines while getting paid $3.25 million to suck it up at Arizona? (Yes, people who think Arizona made a great move paying God's favorite/terrible wideout Larry Fitzgerald big bucks: that same crew paid Anderson $3.25 million to laugh at you).

Well, this year's "laughing in the face of losing" comes from Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked four times, threw three interceptions, fumbled twice, and completed just about 50% of his passes against the Ravens in the opening game; that's the game, remember, that the players have all summer to get ready for.

Roethlisberger's rating was 2nd lowest in the league as of today -- ahead of only Donovan McNabb, who isn't playing for a team that won the AFC last year.

So you can see why he's laughing?

Oh, you can't?

Me, neither. Except that Roethlisberger is paid like Peyton Manning, and obviously no longer has to play like anyone to keep that money. After throwing away the Super Bowl last year by partying the week before, he's come into this season more determined than ever to prove that having as many Super Bowl rings as rape accusations is simply a statistical fluke.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update On God: He coaches the Green Bay Packers! (God Sporting News)

It's increasingly easy to keep track of the Almighty and what He likes and doesn't like -- and you don't need to be Michele "Mad Eye" Bachmann to figure things out.  All you have to to is ask an athlete.  Sometimes, after all, God speaks indirectly through athletes, like when He bestows His glory on Larry Fitzgerald by giving him $120,000,000 unearned dollars.  Other times, God acts more directly -- like when He knocks passes out of Bills' receiver's hands.

And sometimes God coaches special teams, like he did on the inaugural NFL game last night.  While any deity might have been thrilled with what turned out to be a barnburner of a game (one that was made more barnburner-y by Aaron Rodgers' continued inability to play well in the second half of big games), the God I'm Talking About wasn't content to just let things, you know, happen.  He had to intervene -- and went against America's Team and in favor of The Team That Forgot Favre.

What am I talking about?  The big touchdown return by Packers' rookie Randall Cobb; on that play, Cobb caught the ball in the back of the endzone, and Packers Coach "Mike" McCarthy had given strict orders to down the ball in that situation.

But Cobb was listening to a higher power.  No, not The Anointed One; The Supreme Being.  Asked why he defied his coach's directives and ran the ball out, Cobb said:

"I just trusted in God."

Well, sure, you say, but that's not God intervening, that's just a young man having faith that he's doing the right thing.

Except that Cobb went on:

"He told me to bring it out."
 Which, really, how can "Mike" McCarthy be upset about that?  I mean, not only did he run it back for a touchdown, but it was divinely ordered.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Introducing the inaugural Peter King Super Bowl Prediction List! (Thursday's Sporting List)

So I didn't finish my NFL preview by the first day of games (I never do) but since the games don't actually start to matter until week 4, and since the NFL, unlike college football, lets you lose as many as nine games and still have a shot at the title, I'm free to continue to do my preview until about week five of the NFL season, which is nice because I'll be walking out on Week 3, and so should you unless you're heartless.

But I'm still aware that the season starts today -- mostly because The Boy is coming over to watch Green Bay play the Saints on our TV, because he says it's better, and making us buy pizza for him, because apparently pizza is better if someone else pays for it.  So to honor the season starting today, I'm going to give you:

The PETER KING List Of People Who Have So Far Dared To Make A Super Bowl Prediction, and What They Picked.

This list is named for Peter King because King's been getting mentioned this year for his "spot-on" pick of the Steelers and Packers last year as the Super Bowl teams.

That "spot on" pick, of course, was for the Steelers to win the Super Bowl. So it's not clear what the spot was on, exactly.  (He also picked Carolina to make the post-season. They ended up getting Useless Cam Newton in the draft at #1).  King also changed his pick during the season, and then changed it back later on.  So the moral of the story is that if you pick as many different combinations as possible, you've got to hit on one sooner or later.

Hence the name, hence the list.  Here's people's picks, with the odds of that team winning as currently measured in Vegas.

1.   Peter King:  Detroit Lions.  (34-1)

2.  Dan Patrick: Steelers-Falcons, Falcons win. (16-1)

3.  Yahoo! Ask! (Best answer chosen by voters): Saints 38, Ravens 26.  (13-1)

4.  Peter King: Green Bay.  (6.2-1)

5.  Mark Clayton, ESPN: Patriots and Packers.  (I didn't hear the winner). (5.35-1, 6.2-1)

6.  The Other Guy on ESPN Radio Sunday afternoons. Saints-Colts (I didn't hear who he picked to win, either.)(I had things to do):  (13-1, 30-1)

7.  Me -- Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! -- Kansas City over Green Bay, 21-17 (Made back on July 2, 2011). (45-1)

8.    Peter King, Atlanta-San Diego (16-1).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aaron Rodgers doesn't like lots of people, but does like photobombs.

Remember how The Green Bay Packers' Anointed One loves photobombing team captain photos?

He also likes dropping in on bachelorette parties:

And he GOT photobombed:

That's all. No insight. Just A-Rodg photobombing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Want to know what it's like to attend 1/2 a UW Badgers football game with me?

Although I stayed for the whole game, you only get the experience of attending a half-game with me because

(a) my phone died at halftime, so no more pictures, videos, or texting my kids to ask them if the person I thought was Erin Andrews really was Erin Andrews, only to be shocked by Oldest Daughter's revelation that Oldest viscerally hates Erin Andrews. (I kind of do, too), and

(b) Wisconsin's continued pursuit of the Rose Bowl rather than a national championship means that Wisconsin continues to schedule nonconference games against opponents like UNLV, guaranteeing them 4 preseason wins and thus 6 wins overall and a bowl game someplace warm.

I'll explain throughout the post. Enjoy the pictures -- and videos!

To get to a Wisconsin game, you need to park somewhere in the general vicinity of Madison, Wisconsin. I began the night at my office, which is on Capitol Square, which is only about a mile from Camp Randall. I was going with my boss/partner (he owns more of the business than I do), and he suggested we drive down and park nearer the stadium rather than walk from our offices.

I agreed, 'cause he's my boss, and we went and parked here:

... which is approximately as far from Camp Randall stadium in the other direction as our office was to begin with. But we'd have the fun of battling traffic to look forward to after the game!

Note the Badger fans thronging in the distance of that picture. That's a residential neighborhood, nearly a mile from the game itself... 1 hour before game time.

It's also a very expensive residential neighborhood. If I paid $6,000+ a year in property taxes alone, I'd be dismayed to see that in my yard every weekend.

About Wisconsin's complacency:

Wisconsin's a good program -- probably the best in the Big 10 right now-- but they're complacent the way Green Bay was back in the 1970s and 1980s; having fans who will root with you through Forrest Gregg's coaching (Packers) and the veer offense (Badgers) makes you tend to run in place as an organization, which is what Wisconsin's doing; they were within shouting distance of a national championship twice in the past two years -- but for Wisconsin to get a #1 and hoist the BCS trophy, they need someone else to screw up; last year, they had no chance, really, because the NCAA was determined to let Cam Newton win the Heisman and the BCS, ethics and rules be damned.

(Do you think it's a coincidence that the most crooked player in recent history won all of the NCAA's top honors last year and they started cracking down now on programs? I don't.)("Cracking down" by NCAA terms, which means "punishing players and fans who had nothing to do with the infraction while letting the infractors off")

Nearer the game, the crowds get worse. After 20 minutes of walking (and three Recall Walker signs!) we could see Camp Randall -- named for the civil war camp that was located in Wisconsin back then, because even in the 1860s they had earmarks and so it made sense to put a military base about 17,000 miles from the fighting.

We stopped off for a bite to eat, our choices being (at this location) bratwurst, hamburgers, middle-eastern something-or-other, and "stuff fried in hot oil."

We went with bratwursts, extra onions and relish. Hey, it's your fault if you have to sit next to me for three hours but you offer to buy me a brat.

On the subject of NCAA infractions, I wholly support what the NFL is trying to do with Terrell Pryor - -suspend him from the NFL for NCAA violations. While I think college players should be paid whatever the market should bear (keep in mind I also think that nobody should make more than $200,000 per year, so the market should be ordered not to bear more than that), right now the rules are that they can't be paid, but rule breakers get to screw things up for those who come after them.

So punish away, NFL! Do the NCAA's dirty work for it! While owners and colleges continue to get rich off young men's work, and people who make $25,000 a year will voluntarily give thousands to people who make $27,000,000 per year!

America! F*** Yeah!

Sorry. Got overwhelmed there.

Here is the World's Worst Sculpture:

It is supposed to be a pile of footballs. It looks like a giant poop.

We're still not in the game yet, mind you. We have to get through a crowd of people wearing red. I was wearing red, too, but as I only own one Badger shirt, and as that's a sweatshirt that says "Bucky" which I got for $5 on sale, and as it was 100 degrees (with the heat index, which I don't understand), I had on my "Flash" t-shirt, which is red, too.

Then there's this guy:

Right after I snapped that picture, "The King's" wife gave me a dirty look and moved in front of him to block me from more pictures of him. I'm a paparazzi!

Also, did she not expect people to look at him? Don't let him out of the house like that, Old Lady. If you're going to dress weird, I'm going to stare and take pictures. It's my God-given right. (Same goes for girls in skimpy tops and short skirts.)

Here's the set of Van Wilder:

Just kidding! Those are the people who will be hired to be your boss in three years. Be nice to them now, and secretly download the pictures of them barfing on some girl for use during your next annual review.

Those people live across the street from the stadium, so they're partying no matter what on Saturdays.

We're still not in the stadium: We were in Gate 4, where the media enter. I saw a local big shot who I recognized as "some guy I've seen on TV." (I'm not good with names.)

More about Wisconsin's national ambitions: College programs exist to make money. Wisconsin fans guarantee that the program will make money so long as it wins about 98% of its games. The stands were packed for this game, with Wisconsin favored to win by 37 1/2 before kickoff, a point spread that had gone up from 25 earlier in the week. If you know about point spreads (as I do) that means that too many people figured Wisconsin would easily win by 25 -- and it wasn't until Wisconsin had to give up 37 1/2 points that half the bettors took UNLV. (Point spreads stabilize when 1/2 the people, more or less, take each side. A spread that's moving shows too many people taking the side it's moving towards.)

So what's in it for Wisconsin The Money-Making Football Program scheduling competitive games against national powers -- the thing they need to do to have a legitimate, nobody-else-needs-to-lose shot at #1?

Nothing. Some teams, like Boise State, genuinely want a shot at number one but nobody will play them (because it's a trap game for them), while other schools, like Wisconsin, could really care less about being Number One -- but may just stumble backasswards into it out of luck some year.

That is the only problem with the current college football structure. Forget playoffs; playoffs aren't inherently better or more fair than the BCS poll -- just ask Saints fans from last year. (Enjoy losing to a 7-9 program run by a complete jerkoff/souless hideous monster, New Orleans?) The BCS makes every game count for almost every school -- one loss, you're done -- which is great.

But the other bowl games wreck it for fans who want their team to really compete. Wisconsin will never bother really trying for a national championship so long as the fans are content to go to Pasadena and pretend the Rose Bowl means anything more than a vacation for them.

Now we're inside the stadium:

And we were quickly prevented from finding our seats because the Band had to enter, which was fine by me because, sure, college football, yeah, okay, but the UW Marching Band is one of my favorite things in the entire world.

I love these guys/girls. Especially the tubas. I want to play the tuba:

With the band out, we could have stayed to watch the players enter, too, but, eh, what's the point? They're not the Band. We went and found our seats:

And the crowd began going crazy and the Band came out again:

(That's the student section, which we were right next to. They're golf clapping, I think.)

This guy:

Sat near us on the benches in Camp Randall, where each butt is allotted (no lie!) 6" of space, which is hilarious when you consider that this is a Wisconsin game, and there was a stand selling things fried in hot oil right outside the game.

I couldn't decide, all game long, if the Red Hat "lady" next to the guy was a guy or a girl. Either way, (s)he wasn't passing.

This is the National Anthem. If you want the jets, fast-forward to about 1:40.

It was actually more cool watching them role up the flag -- but don't tell everybody else in America that I said that. I love the flag! Don't send the NSA!

The players came in to Where The Streets Have No Name:

which I assume was chosen for the stirring guitar intro, and not for the lyrics, which start out stirring but eventually move into the apocalyptic, with poison rain, and suddenly

the city's aflood
and our love turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
And trampled in dust

Not the kind of thing you want your team to be thinking about. I assume. I'm not a college football coach, like Bret Bielema, who shows off his smarts all the time, in ways you wouldn't imagine, like "wearing a windbreaker zipped up to the chin even though game time kickoff temperatures were 90 degrees and he was obviously close to falling over due to heat."

Bret Bielema always wears a windbreaker zipped tightly up. My guesses at the game for what was underneath that jacket that he wants hidden were:

1. UNLV Runnin' Rebels t-shirt.
2. Portrait of UW athletic director Barry Alvarez shaved into his chest hair.

That's an image you won't be able to shake.

Here's the players, warming up, and possibly burnin' down love... it's all [they] can do.

I was trying for a shot of hot new quarterback Russell Wilson, but I got this lady, instead:

Note that that is not a fake mohawk. You've got to really commit to that hairstyle.

I did get Wilson, who may disprove my theory that Badger fans always like the next quarterback. Going back to Darrell Bevell (who now appears to want to go to Hell because he's working for the Seahawks), Badger fans never like the guy that's actually named the starter -- they always like the next guy.

I thought Scott Tolzien blew that theory up last year, what with his great play and beating Ohio State and all that... but that was only temporary because all the talk this summer was about how the Badgers finally had a quarterback.

Sorry, Scott Tolzien! You didn't know it, but there already was a Next Guy! And with him:

The sky is the limit. Why, UW might even make it to the Rose Bowl!

Then it was game time, and for about 00:08, the game was in doubt. Then the Badgers caught the opening kick.

And I began to focus on things like who is in this mysterious skybox?

It appeared to be more fancily-decorated than the others, and was occupied, but minimally-- from time to time, a shadowy figure would appear at the window and watch:

I was at a loss for who it could be most of the game, but eventually I figured it out: The Band, at halftime did a tribute to Elvis Presley, which I thought was odd given that Elvis is linked, a bit, with Vegas, and UNLV is linked, a bit, with Vegas (they did not do "Viva Las Vegas") but I finally realized:

It was Elvis in that sky box! ELVIS!

What finally made me realize I was right was that the PA guy, after halftime, said that for UW fans, "Elvis has never left the building." So they're keeping him hostage there!

(I blame the BCS.)

The rest of the game was anticlimactic: the Badgers rolled up an impressive score, their second string couldn't hold my attention, about 60% of the action took place on the other end of the field, which, combined with the fact that I can't tell what I'm supposed to be watching without the camera pointing me at it, was a strong argument for television-over-live.

And I got to spend my time wondering this. If I have a fully-functioning video camera in my phone, why does it take TWO GUYS to carry around TV equipment:

This was one of the few student moments that wasn't obscene. The second part, the a capella version, is better:

And there was cheerleading...

And tubas:

And Nick Toon, son of NFL legend (?) Al Toon. Nick went to Middleton High School and was teammates with The Boy for a while. Here he is at the end of a long reception.

And touchdowns were scored:

And photographers lined up in the end zone in case more touchdowns were scored:

And people milled around the sidelines:

And these people were, I think, the fans of the game, or something. I forget why I took their picture:

And then Maybe Erin Andrews walked by and I texted the kids but only Oldest Daughter responded, by saying that she hates Erin Andrews.

(I don't hate her, but I don't like her, either.)

And Wisconsin continued to score touchdowns. Here's (I think) the kick for extra point:

Here's your halftime score:

Here's a guy who won $1,000 by punting, passing, and kicking the ball down the field and then through the goal post:

And the Band!

And then my camera died. So you missed out on what I saw in the second half. But it wasn't much; we didn't even watch the game in the fourth quarter (although we stayed). Which raises two questions:

1. Do Wisconsin fans really like it when they pay full price for a game which is completely devoid of any suspense, and which in any event will be a win but will prevent them from really competing for the national championship, and

2. What does Elvis do when there's no game being played?

My guess is Sudoku.


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