Friday, November 16, 2007

Wisconsin vs. Savannah State: Why Do I Even Bother?

Well, they all can’t be thrillers. It took roughly three minutes for me to realize that Wisconsin was going to pound Savannah State into the ground last night. But I did so nonetheless, since that’s just who I am. But before I get to that, a note on the prior evening’s UWM game, which I was lucky enough to catch the end of:

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I think UWM is the greatest team on the planet. Of course, I’ve only seen roughly the last 7 minutes of their last game.

On Wednesday night, I got my first look at UWM on TV against Ball State. Because of the modern state of TV, it wasn’t an easy look. While there’s been much jealousy among friends of mine over the fact that my random choice to try out satellite television last year has resulted in me having the Big Ten Network (meaning unprecedented Wisconsin Badger access), I’m left without the Time Warner Sports Channel. Because Time Warner Sports is handling a bunch of Marquette and UWM games this year, my access for those teams is limited (UWM in particular, since virtually none of my friends cares enough to invite people over for a Panther game). But Wednesday night I unwittingly realized that my gym has Time Warner, and in a ridiculous stroke of luck, began my workout with about 2 minutes left in regulation (just after UNC had finished holding off Davidson).

While the Panthers’ play from that point on was perfect (including two somewhat ridiculous three-pointers by Paige Paulson and Ricky Franklin to send things to overtime, and Torre Johnson doing everything I expected), the setup wasn’t perfect. I didn’t have any sound, the woman on the treadmill next to me smelled distinctly of frosting (not the odor I was expecting, given the locale), and it occurred to me that I’m never going to be in a situation where I can watch an entire game, since I refuse to do anything physical for two straight hours. But it’s a way to watch the Panthers (or Golden Eagles), so I know where I’ll be watching second halves this year. Hopefully a deal gets worked out by next year so that I can just go back to my couch, and avoid the persistent smell of frosting.

More UWM thoughts when I actually have the chance to watch a full game. But from what I saw (and keep in mind I missed out on their 17-point second half deficit), things look like they’re finally coming together for Rob Jeter.

On to the Badgers:

1) The night began for me heading to my local tavern to catch the Wisconsin vs. Savannah State game with some friends who were taking in the Oregon-Arizona football game (which will be a great basketball matchup later this year, as well). I was denied in my attempt to catch the game there, though, since said tavern apparently only has access to the Big Ten Network for Wisconsin football games. I don’t know how that deal works, and frankly, I don’t want to know how that deal works, because it sounds sort of shady. I left shortly thereafter to watch the game at home.

2) The lack of availability of Wisconsin games at my favorite bar probably means I’m going to be spending a lot more time watching games at home. This will probably significantly decrease my bacon cheeseburger intake for the year. So to recap, I can’t eat greasy bar food during Wisconsin games since my favorite bar isn’t showing the games, and my best bet for watching UWM and Marquette games on TV is watching them at the gym. Though I’m not particularly fond of either entity, it’s quite possible that Time Warner and the Big Ten Network are conspiring to make me healthier.

3) On possession #1 of the evening the color commentator shot his credibility when he noted about a Brian Butch drive “That’s some of that versatility that I was talking about. Not very many big men that size can take the ball and go to the basket from that distance.” Seems like a decent point to read today. Seemed a lot more idiotic immediately following an awkward, horrific attempt at a drive by Butch, which promptly ended in a turnover.

4) At about 8-0, when nothing had gone the way of Savannah State, is when I realized that this game wasn’t going to be all that entertaining to watch. I then went to grab my Blue Ribbon Yearbook to check to see just how bad Savannah State is supposed to be this year. A review of said Blue Ribbon Yearbook revealed two notable things to me. One, the first opponent listed on their schedule was “Carver.” After the 17 points that the Tigers spotted the Badgers to start the game, I was left wondering just how many points Coolidge and Salami dropped on them. Two, coach Horace Broadnax is quoted as saying “The Marylands and Marquettes, that’s what we train for.” I’m left wondering if Wisconsin saw this quote and felt slighted, leading to them jumping all over Savannah State to start the game. I’m also left salivating over an easy win for Marquette in late December.

5) I’m hoping that the color guy was wrong about his assertion that Trevon Hughes’ wide-open three-pointer at about the 8 minute mark came about because Hughes had just re-entered the game and no one knew who was guarding him. Because if that was true and Savannah State failed in the type of communication that I regularly completed in 2nd grade YMCA league games, then I’m forced to lose all respect for the Tigers.

6) It’s official–Tim Jarmusz isn’t redshirting.

7) As the game came to a close, I reflected on whether or not Savannah State was officially the worst team that I’d ever seen Wisconsin play. They’re close, but I still say that honor goes to the Chicago State team that visited the Kohl Center back in my student days. In addition to a team that was untalented, Chicago State was undisciplined enough that the players (and a team manager who claimed he was on the non-existent Chicago State football team) spent a good amount of their time yelling back and forth with the Wisconsin student section, and laughing about their misfortune. Because Savannah State was merely inept, and still seemed to care, I’m only ranking them as the second-worst team to enter the Kohl Center.

And since the second half was basically leading me there already, I headed off to bed. Hopefully I’ll get some hoops watching in this weekend amid my trip to Minnesota to make sure that football season is over.


At 8:39 AM, Anonymous The Establishment said...

Hey that bartender had to lay down the law with you. It starts off with you come in wanting to watch UW-Savannah State on Big 10 next thing you know you're bugging him on random nights to turn on the Minnesota vs Portland State women's volleyball game.


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