Category: Badgers

Thanksgiving: Wisconsin Sports Edition

The sports world can be hectic with non stop news and hot takes from talking heads. Sometimes we forget what we like about sports in the first place. In the spirit of Thanksgiving let’s look at some things Wisconsin sports fans can be grateful for.

hall of fame quarterbacks

An obvious place to start and one we should always be grateful for. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have given the Packers hall of fame quarterback play for 25 seasons. If you found yourself taking a player like Rodgers for granted then watching Brett Hundley should change that. The Packers have been in the playoffs for the vast majority of those 25 seasons and have two championships. Look at how other teams have struggled to replace hall of fame QB’s. The 49ers experienced similar good fortune with Joe Montana and Steve Young but that’s about it. Once Rodgers returns to the field be sure to enjoy it.

Giannis and the new bucks

Between the time Ray Allen was traded and Giannis Antetokuonmpo was drafted the Bucks were the definition of mediocrity. Never a threat to advance in the playoffs but never truly bottoming out. The Bucks were not even an NBA laughingstock, they were simply forgotten. The franchise became so bland that even much of Wisconsin stopped paying attention.

Nobody was really expecting much from a 15th overall pick with an impossible to pronounce name, but slowly the Bucks fortunes have turned. The Bucks selected star Forward Jabari Parker in the 2014 draft. Herb Kohl sold the team to new ownership who quickly rebranded and began securing a new arena. NBA hall of famer Jason Kidd came to town as coach and in 2015 the Bucks landed Greg Monroe in free agency. The latest sign that the Bucks are no longer NBA outcasts came earlier this fall when Eric Bledsoe named Milwaukee as a place he would like to play.

Antetokuonmpo has become an All-Star, potential MVP type player and the Bucks are an exciting club with a bright future. The on court product may still be rough at times but no one can deny that the Bucks are back on the NBA landscape. A welcome change from the apathy of the 2000’s.

David Stearns

Stearns has been with the Brewers for a short time but has already experienced success. It became obvious in 2015 that the Brewers had peaked with that group of players and a rebuild was necessary. Stearns immediately began restocking the farm system which was regarded as one of the worst in baseball at that time. Fast forward to 2017 and the Brewers are regarded as a top 10 farm across all publications.

Stearns crowning moment thus far was sending Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to Texas for Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Cordell. Neither Lucroy or Jeffress are with the Rangers anymore, Brinson and Ortiz are nearly ready for the majors and Cordell was used to acquire reliever Anthony Swarzak last season. Oh and as for rebuilding, the Brewers won 86 games in 2017 and now face an important offseason which Stearns will oversee.


Paul Chryst is from Madison, WI. He went to school in Wisconsin, coached in Wisconsin and even just sounds like Wisconsin. Chryst is about as Wisconsin as it gets and under him the Badgers are in great shape as a program. Hopefully Chryst remains in Madison for a long time.

Wisconsin sports overview

Bad things are always going to happen in sports whether it be an injury to a key player or a tough loss. However we as Wisconsin sports fans do have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. The Packers with Rodgers are always in the hunt. The Bucks are as exciting as they have been since 2001. The Brewers rebuild is roaring along and the Wisconsin Badgers have a shot at the College Football Playoffs.  Here’s to our teams, may they continue to give us fans reasons to cheer.



Historic Night For Patriots Running Back James White As He Sets Multiple Records in Super Bowl LI

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By: Bill Tewes

Patriots running back James White posted a MVP-like game, as the Patriots topped the Falcons in an unlikely comeback to win Super Bowl LI 34-28. His impact was largely felt through the air, as White hauled in a Super Bowl record 14 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. White also rushed for two touchdowns, taylling 29 rushing yards and also took an impressively called half back keeper for New England’s first 2 point conversion. White posted an additional Super Bowl record for points scored by an individual player with 20 points. He scored the game winning touchdown, completing the nearly impossible comeback for the Patriots.

Tom Brady deservedly took home the MVP for his role in orchestrating their comeback, but White’s impact was felt throughout the entire game. He was responsible for three of New England’s touchdowns and when it looked as if New England could not comeback after being down 28-3, he was there to pick up the slack and provide New England a sliver of hope.

Even the MVP of the game believed that White should have been the actual MVP. In a post game interview, Brady said, “I think James White deserves it,” Brady said of the Patriots running back. “It’d be nice for him. It took a real team effort. (Fox Sports).” According to Yahoo Sports, Brady may even give away the truck he won as part of his MVP award to White.

White’s swiss-army-knife-like level of play propelled the Patriots into ever having a chance at making last night’s game interesting. White has had some nice games for the Patriots since his rookie season in 2014, but has often been third on the depth chart behind teammates LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis. White was inactive for the Patriots Super Bowl XLIX victory against the Seahawks that season and it would be hard to believe that not playing in that Super Bowl did not gave him extra drive and motivation to get him to where he is today; a Super Bowl record setting running back.

For many Wisconsin Badger fans, James White has always been a household name at Camp Randall stadium. Even though he was second fiddle to record setting running backs such as Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon for much of his collegiate career, White’s work ethic was already evident in his freshman season, where h won Big 10 freshman of the year, after totaling 1,052 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns (Sports-Reference).

He finally got his chance to truly shine in his senior season as the Badgers primary starter, where he totaled 1,444 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, while also amassing an additional 300 yards receiving as well as catching three touchdowns (Sports-Reference). It was not until his senior season that it became evident that White could be a dynamic threat catching the ball. White entered the 2014 NFL draft with a profile of barely getting draft, which was surprising, seeing as how he had an excellent career with the Badgers in a limited role for much of his collegiate career.

It was somewhat of surprise when Bill Belicheck drafted White at the end of the 4th round. White dropped in the draft largely due to size and speed, but many teams failed to recognize the tangible things he brought to the table. Perhaps if White was the starter for all four years he spent at Wisconsin, he would have been a much higher pick, regardless of the concerns with his size and speed.

In looking at the 2014 Running Back Draft Class, it is hard to believe that players such as Bishop Sankey, Tre Mason, Charles Sims, Jerick McKinnon, Dri Archer, Andre Williams, Ka’Deem Carey and De’Anthony Thomas all were drafted ahead of White. Most of these running backs have little to no role with their current teams and it is even more unbelievable now that White has proven his worth on the NFL’s biggest stage. He is developing well with the Patriots and may be the only running back from this class aside from Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill, that will earn a second contract in the NFL. His Super Bowl LI performance will certainly help that cause.



Wisconsin Badgers shock the nation again with Top 10 AP Poll Rank

By: Bill Tewes

Even with this ranking, Bucky fans should temper their expectations.

After the Wisconsin Badgers put on a dazzling defensive display that upset the heavily favored LSU Tigers this past Saturday at the vaunted Lambeau Field. Many college football experts thought the Badgers would crack the top 25 after this upset win. The Badgers not only cracked the top 25, but launched all the way to the 10th spot in the AP Poll, and 16th in the coach’s poll.

It was somewhat of a surprise that the Badgers came into this season unranked, as they finished 10-3 last year under the guidance of first year Head Coach Paul Chryst. Wisconsin lost their defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, ironically to LSU, and also had major quarterback concerns with unproven Senior Bart Houston as their starter. No one can fault Aranda for taking the LSU job, but he was clearly out-coached Saturday by his successor Justin Wilcox. Wilcox was nabbed after being fired from USC and faced a daunting challenge of taking over a program Aranda turned into the top scoring defense in the league last season.

It is clear as day that the MVP of this game was none other than kicker Rafael Gaglianone. Gaglianone made all of his kicks including the game winner late in the fourth quarter. Gaglianone was playing with a heavy heart as his long time friend Nebraska Punter Sam Foltz was killed in a car accident last month. Gaglianone changed his number to 27 to honor his fallen friend, and it was an incredible sight to see Gaglianone play with so much emotion with so much on the line for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s victory is still somewhat of a shock, as their offense handed the game to LSU on a silver platter. Houston not only threw an interception on LSU’s 10-yardline, costing Wisconsin points. In the second half, Houston made a deplorable throw that resulted in an easy pick six for the Tigers which also swung the momentum in their favor, eventually giving them the lead.

This is the main reason Badger fans should temper their expectations with this squad is solely based on quarterback play. I am not sold on Houston as someone who can go into the Big House and stun Michigan by using excellent game management skills. Wilcox’s defense bailed Houston out multiple times. Perhaps the only thing Houston did extremely well was that he did not put the Badgers in a position late where LSU could put in the nail in the coffin. Which is exactly what their quarterback Brandon Harris did for us with a game ending interception.

Wisconsin has a murderer’s row of opponents coming up after they play two soft games in Akron and Georgia State. The Badgers get two dates in the Wolverine State to play Michigan and Michigan State. While they could make it an extremely interesting game against the Spartans in East Lansing, it is hard for me to believe that they can be real contenders against better programs in both Michigan State and Michigan. No one will pick Wisconsin to beat Michigan, even if they have proved capable of beating a top five team.

Wisconsin then invites the Buckeyes up to Camp Randall, followed by a date in Iowa and then finishes up their difficult schedule with Northwestern, a team that is always a solid challenge for the Badgers.

What we can ultimately take from this huge upset of LSU is that the Wisconsin Badgers are taking a step in the right direction as far as the program is concerned. While the elites such as the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines have a death grip on the Big 10 at the moment, it would not be too surprising to see the Badgers creep up into contention in the next 2-3 years. Badger fans can only hope the next couple of recruiting classes yield sound quarterback play and some more offensive talent to go along with what looks like a stout defense for years to come.