Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Walker Wrong On Holdout...Right on Favre

In Wednesday's edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Javon Walker's stepfather Charles Goldsmith explained why Walker's dislike for the organization has grown so sour that he will never play for them again. Now, I'm all for honoring contracts, and Walker did show up last year to play even though he was unhappy. But Goldsmith's statements about Brett Favre, and his stepson's dislike for the 3-time MVP are not unique...and it's not just Walker. There have been rumblings in the Packer locker room for quite a while that #4 is not the most popular guy on the team. Many players were upset at Favre's statements about Walker and felt if he would throw him under the bus, they could be next.

Here's a good example from my business, radio. What if I had a contract with my company, that was pretty good, then the ratings came out and I was #1 and helped make the company lots and lots of money. So i go to managment, and ask for a new deal, since I did so well. Then the other DJ at the company who, had been there for a long time and was already making 10 times as much as me came out and said. "Wade shouldn't be getting a raise, he's under contract." Regardless if he was right or wrong...I would be pissed at that guy, for basically trying to take money out of my pocket and take food off of my families plate. So Walkers and other players dislike for Favre I guess is understood.

Goldsmith's statement about the Packers stingyness to pay players on the roster and letting players go such as the guards last year, and the slow process to sign Bubba Franks and other players is something that players have griped about as well.

Again, I don't think Walkers feelings about Green Bay are isolated. There are many in the current locker room that feel the same way, and this organization could be ready to or already has imploded.

There's a reason many players are leaving Titletown and not giving the Packers a chance to keep them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nothing like NASCAR at Bristol

I made my 2nd trip ever to Bristol for the Nextel Cup race this past weekend and there is no sporting event I have ever attended than the race at Bristol Motor Speedway...aka Thunder Valley! Whether you're a fan or not of NASCAR, every sports fan should make at least one trip to the historic track, just for the atmosphere. No sports fans are as loyal to their sport as racing fans. They live and die with their driver, be it, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr. or Matt Kenseth.

At Bristol, it's amazing. If the race starts at show up at 6am..if the race starts at 8pm you show up at 6am...and it's an all-day party.

I used to be one of those people that never understood why people watched racing, but it's grown on me over the last few years. The feuds and rivalries are second to none, Kurt Busch vs. Jimmy Spencer or Kevin Harvick, or anyone else for that matter is great! Now Gordon vs. Kenseth looks like to could be a great rivalry after the incident on Sunday.

Other observatons on my drive down South...

There is a Waffle House and Cracker Barrell at every exit off the interstate south of Indianapolis to Knoxville.

Every female that speaks to you ends their statement with "Sweetie" or "Honey"

People in the south drive really, really slow with a dusting of snow.

I always heard Knoxville was a great college town. I spent a night out in the city and wasn't very impressed. Give me Madison anyday! I still want to go there on a football Saturday.

Watch out for the speed traps just north of Indianapolis! I had the cruise control on 73, yet the officers rader claimed I was going 85mph! Luckily, my dashingly good looks and charm got me off with just a warning...or I would have made another trip south to fight the law! ha!

If you have thoughts on Bristol or NASCAR in them here in the comments section. I'd like to know what other tracks you enjoy!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Two More Packers Leave....No Big Deal....

Two more Packer veterans chose to work elsewhere as center Mike Flannigan will join Mike Sherman with the Houston Texans and Tony Fisher heads to St. Louis with a one year deal. As the die-hard Packer fans continue to cry that GM Ted Thompson is sitting back and letting the team wither away, I'm not worried. Flanningan's better days are behind him and Fisher will never be more than a 3rd down back. Packer fans have been very lucky to have over a decade of good football in Green Bay. If Packer fans really want to see a winner again, and in a winner, I mean a Super Bowl contender, you have to suck it up and gut out a few bad seasons to let some younger guys develop, get some high draft picks, and then fill out the core of your team with some key free agents. If the Packers would over-spend and bring in vets to stay somewhat competative, they could fall into the Milwaukee Bucks syndrom of the late 80s and early 90s. Be good enough to make the players or contend for a playoff spot, but never good enough to really compete for a championship.

If you want a championship back in Green Bay, be patient, let Ted Thompson do his job, and in 2008, check back and we'll see where the GBP are at.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Has the Brewer curse hit Sheets?

I'm worried that Ben Sheets is going to go down as another victim of the dreaded "Brewer Curse" that seems to have hit many of their top pitchers. Going back to Rollie Fingers geting hurt in 1982, it seems a ton of Brewer pitchers end up on the sidelines. We all remember Teddy Higuera getting his big contract and then blowing out his about Jeff D'Amico or Nick Nuegebaur. You can throw in Juan Nieves as well. Don't forget about Luis Martinez as well. He was the Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2003 and then promptly got involved in an alleged in the Dominican. Mike Jones...Manny Parra, the list goes on and on. Let's hope Sheets recovers and returns to his All-Star form...Yes, lets hope!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm glad the Pack didn't sign Vinatieri

It was a relief to me that the Packers didn't break the bank to sign kicker Adam Vinatieri. To me paying $3-million-dollars a year for a kicker on a what will most likley be a very bad football team is stupid. That's like paying big money for closer on a team that will lose 100 baseball games. If you were going pay that cash for a kicker, you should have just kept Longwell and all of his excuses. With Vinatieri in the fold, Green Bay could have lost games 24-3 instead of 24-0.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bye-Bye Big Ten

I'm a little embarrased to be a fan of the Big Ten this morning. As one of the "power" conferences in college basketball, how can they have ZERO teams left in the NCAA Tournament heading into the Sweet 16. Yet, the Missouri Valley has two teams, left in Wichita State and Bradley. The freaking Colonial Athletic Assocation even has one team left in George Mason....UGH!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

There is a happy ending...

It was supposed to end this way, last year....but it finally happened in 2006. Oshkosh West brought home the Gold Ball after defeating Madison Memorial in the WIAA Boys Division One title game on Saturday night. I'm sure Steve Randall was looking down on the Kohl Center tonight and watching as his son coached his team to their first ever boys basketball title. It was great to see the emotion in the building from the West team, coaches, and fans. It was great.

Other thoughts from the Kohl on Championship Saturday....

Andy Polka vs. Keaton Nankivil was great. Two big time centers, going head to head. Polka got the best of Keaton, but don't be surprised inf you see Madison Memorial back at State in 2006.

Racine St. Cats had no problem in the D3 final, blowing out Westby and winning by 40. St. Cats could have won the D1 title this season. They have that much talent, it adds fuel to the fire somehow moving private schools up a division for the tournament. Great chant by the Westby students of "Public School Champions" and "Home Grown Talent!!!"

In D2 it ws nice to see John Murphy and his Seymour Thunder finally bring another Gold Ball back to their school. They've had to settle for the Silver Ball the last four seasons. They lost to private schools all four years I believe.

D4...goes to another private school, Burlington Catholic Central....another lower division title by a private school...enough said.

The Oshkosh West student section was again, 2nd to none over the last three days. I wish other schools kids and administration would show that kind of interest and enthusiasm at their team's games as well.

That's it from the Kohl always...I want to hear from please reply...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Championship Saturday is here...

...well sort of as I type past the midnight are some quick thoughts as we head towoard the State Title Games at the Kohl Center.

1. Congrats to Oshkosh West. Going for the gold ball tonight against Madison Memorial, the defending champ. Steve Randall would be proud. As the Arrowhead coach called West center Andy Polka Polka couldn't be stopped on the block with 28 points and 16 boards.

2. The Madison Memorial vs. Milwaukee King game shows once again how far high school hoops has come in the last 15 years. There were more D1 players on the floor in that game at one time than would have been in the whole state in the early 1990s.

3. Corey Lucouis is good. Yes, we know he's considered one of the top 10 sophs in the USA, but his quickness and ability to get to the rack is awesome.

4. I was excited to see UW recruit Travon Hughes play for St. John's Military. He struggled shooting, just 3-17 from the floor. There was reason for him to be pressing a bit His mom flew in from NY to see him play for the first time ever in Wisconsin. Hughes found this out right before the game. I would press too if I had that dumped in my lap close to tip. They should have told him before the day began. Also St. John's had no student section. They were all marching in a parade in Chicago, so St. John's alums tried to fill in as best they could.

D4: Catholic Central 59 Abby 53
D3: St. Cats 65 Westby 50
D2: Seymour 50 Monona Grove 49
D1: Madison Memorial 54 Oshkosh West 51

As always...i want to know what your thoughts them here!


Friday, March 17, 2006

Day two at State....

Oshkosh West jumped out to an 11-0 lead and Verona never got closer than 6 points in a 52-42 WIAA D1 Quarterfinal win tonight. Junior Tim Jarmuz was impressive was impressive with a 22 point and 10 board night. Jarmuz already had D1 offers from some mid-majors, but there are rumbligs that some major conference teams may be lurking in the weeds scouting the 6'6 gaurd. Kinda reminds you of a poor-mans Drake Diener. Andy Polke struggled for West last night, but played within himself in the 2nd half to finish with 15 point and 9 boards.

D4 semi's today...all i have to say is ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....what me up for the D2 semis, with St. John's Military and UW recruit Trevon Hughes.

D1 matchups should be decent. King vs. Memorial at 6:30pm and O-West should be the favorite over Arrowhead.

West will play Arrowhead on tonight in a D1 semi. Arrowhead has two really good guards so watchout. They are small, but quick. That's it from the Kohl Center today....You'll hear from me later....what is your take on the state tourney so far? Leave a comment.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

State Tournament Under Way!!!

Reporting here from Madison, where we've seen some good basketball on day one of the WIAA Tournament. Here are some thoughts....

The Division Three games were excellent this morning as Westby held on to beat Glenwood City 62-60 and Racine St. Cats edged Manty Roncolli 60-55. Westby held a big lead in the tournament opener after their 1-3-1 defense forced 16 first half turnovers by GC. Westby is long and big on top of that zone and GC had their troubles. Westby's point guard is Tyler Aspenson, a 6'4, 220 pound senior who is big and strong and tough to defend. He had 32 in the game as Westby looked to run-away with it, but in the final three minutes, GC put on a late charge as Rick Ohman hit 5 three-pointers in the final 2:52, but he missed an open look wiht about :15 left that would have given GC the lead. They also had another good look at the horn to tie. A great game. It takes a lot to get the general population watching the game at the Kohl Center to react...and they earned a standing ovation with this one.

As for the 2nd D-3 Semi, Roncolli gave it everything they had and ran out of gas against St. Cats, who could probably compete at the D1 level. You could tell that the crowd was behind the Roncolli Jets in this one. It was a battle of two private school teams, but had a public-private feel, where the crowd gets behind the underdog, for various reasons that basketball fans out there know about. Roncolli coach Joe Rux, a 2000 UW-Oshkosh grad, is one of the best young coaches in the state and it's fun to watch his team play. They are so fundamentally sound.

As for the D1, quarters.....King blew away Ashwaubenon this afteroon. King is darn good and I think Oshkosh West can give them a run if they meet in the title game, but beat them...I don't know about that....let's hope our boys from the Fox Valley can do us proud. It was my first chance to see King's Cory Lucious in person, and you can see why he's one of the best Sophs in the country. Very quick on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. Mitchel Carter, the South Carolina recruit also is long and solid. I was excited to see Norther Iowa recruit Adam Koch of Ashwaubenon play. He struggled today. The comments on press row, were it was a day much like Steve Novak had for Brown Deer a few years back at state. He couldn't get it going and King, beat him up and were very physcial.

It looks like Madison Memorial is going to take care of a gritty Brookfield Central team as well. My main focus in this one was Keaton Nankivil, the 6'7, junior from Madison Memorial, a real big body, and lets hope that either Wisconsin or Marquette keeps this kid in state. He's very wide and strong.

Tonight.....we see Oshkosh West against Verona at 8:15pm. Both teams should bring huge crowds and it should be a great atmosphere. Also Arrowhead takes on Menomonie.

Later from the Kohl Center.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's State Tourney Time!

As the WIAA Boys State Basketball Tournament approaches this weekend, it's no surprise that Mother Nature has put snow in the forecast. As we head to the Kohl Center this weekend, a few things that I'll be watching.

#1 Oshkosh West. As much as I wanted Fondy to shock the world and pull the upset in last Saturday's Sectional Final, you can't help but to root for the Wildcats at state. The path is there for West to get back to the state final as they did in 2001 with Verona in the quarters and then either Arrowhead or Menomonie in the Semis. With King most likely getting to the Final on the other end of the bracket. The West fans have always been, great but the student section has taken it to another level and added a ton to the games that West plays in. I would also love to see the Gold Ball come back to the FVA and have Lance Randall get the job done. I don't personally know the Randall family, but everyone talks so highly of Lance and his family, I can only wish them well. Seeing the emotion on his face, when the final seconds ran off at Kolf Saturday night could have choked anyone up.

#2 The Stars: I always like to take a look at the marquee players at state, and their are a few there this year as well. In D1, you have King's Mitchell Carter, Leneal Harris and Korie Lucious, Ashwaubenon's Adam Koch, Madison Memorial's Keaton Nankivil, and of course Oshkosh West's Andy Polka and Tim Jarmuz just to name a few. In D2, I can't wait to get a look at St. John's Trevon Hughes as I haven't had a chance to see him in person yet. St. Cats and Burlington Catholic Central are also loaded with stars.

#3 The Privates; It'll be interesting to see how the private schools do at this year's tourney. There is a chance private schools could win Division's 2, 3 & 4. If that happens, I'm sure the uproar for them to be playing up a division will increase. I have a take on this, but it will have to wait for another day.

#4 Badgers & NCAA Tourney: It's always a challenge to keep up to date on the NCAA Tournament while sitting at the Kohl Center for the high school games. With Marquette, UWM and UW all playing during the day there will be many eyes on monitors on press row, and in the luxury suites. Thankfully, UWM and UW's games are somewhat sandwhiched between sessions so there may be many people sneaking out of the first sesson on Thursday and Friday a bit early to get to Brats or Wandos to watch the game.

#5 Randolph: It's weird not to see Randolph in the D4 field this year. But Seymour is back, so fo for those of you who need consistency in life, there is nothing better than the Thunder. Seven straight trips to state is unbelievable. Credit the kids and the program for getting it done year after year in the playoffs.

Those are just some quick thought's from me on the state tournament. If you have some as well, please feel free to post them here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Let's head to the Kolf!

If you're a fan of high school basketball in the Fox Valley, this weekend, may be the most exciting of the season, even more exciting than the actual state tournament. It's the Division One Sectional at UW-Oshkosh's Kolf Sports Center. I've been to many Sectionals in all divisions over the years in Wisconsin, and nothing compares to a jam-packed Kolf! As Fondy coach Dick Diener calls it...."A mini-state tournament" It helps that many times you get heated FVA rivals squaring off for a third time in a season so the rivalries are there. Tonight, Oshkosh North will try and pull the upset on unbeaten rival Oshkosh North and Fondy returns after a year away taking on West Bend East. The experts would say that West is the prohibitive favorite to win this weekend and advance to the state, but you just never know. I've seen Fond du Lac teams come in there and upset a favorite or get upset by another team. I can still remember Neenah's Aaron Shaw and Sam Oatman shooting the lights out in the Sectional Final and denying Travis and Drake Diener a trip to state their junior season, or Fondy denying heavy favority Oshkosh West a trip to state a few years later. It's the 2nd Friday Night in March, and there is no other place I would rather be than the Kolf Sports Center.

My Picks: Oshkosh West 54 Oshkosh North 49 & Fondy 48 West Bend East 43.
Sectional Final: West 63 Fondy 51. The Wildcats return to state.