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  • Seven Packers earn Pro Bowl selections
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  • Why Iowa Shouldn't Vote First Anymore
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  • Handicapping the 2011 NFL MVP Race, 2.0


  • January 31, 2011

    Your Super Bowl Wisconsin Mix

    [Posted by kris]

    Prepare yourself for Super Bowl overload! From game analysis to party recipes, it's pretty much going to be all Super Bowl, all of the time this week.

    Since making playlists is my thing, I have a few Wisconsin suggestions (in addition to the obvious ones like "Go You Packers Go Go" and the Bud Song). And no, don't worry, I'm not going to put Bon Iver's "Wisconsin" or "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on the list. Some things are just not meant for football.

    So anyway, here's some songs about Wisconsin or at least songs that mention Wisconsin for your Super Bowl week listening pleasure.

    1. I'm A Cheesehead Baby, by C.W.A. (Cheeseheads With Attitude). It takes a lot of self confidence to write a song about yourself to the tune of Beck's Loser. Also, gotta love the early 90s fashion.

    2. Where The Hell Is Neenah, by C.W.A.. Yeah, I could pretty much put everything by C.W.A. on the list, but I stick to this for my Neenah buddies.

    3. Hodag, by Meat Raffle Road. I think this band is from Minneapolis, but they somehow managed to write the perfect song about Rhinelander's mythical beast.

    4. I'm Living In Wisconsin, by The Dead Milkmen. How perfect are these lyrics for this week?

    Oh, I'm living in Wisconsin

    Although I'm in PA

    I'd be in Wisconsin

    If I only knew the way

    5. Cadillac Ranch, by Bruce Springsteen - driving alone through the dark Wisconsin night.

    6. I've Been Everywhere, by Johnny Cash. I catch Fond du Lac, Baraboo and Devil's Lake.

    7. The Cheesehead Song, by Loose Bruce Kerr. Polka!

    8. Roll Out The Barrel. No, it doesn't specifically mention Wisconsin. It's implied.

    9. Too Fat Polka. Again, the Wisconsin connected is implied.

    10. Feelin' So Fly Like A Cheesehead. The newest entry on the list. It's almost too hip for Wisconsin, but we'll take it.

    Posted by kris at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)     
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    January 30, 2011

    Go Pack Go - Lady Gaga Style

    [Posted by kris]

    Okay, this is just awesome because of the clearly-written-by-an-adult lyrics and for the kid in white dancing. He is amazing in every meaning of the word.

    Posted by kris at 02:26 PM | Comments (4)     
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    January 26, 2011

    Are Packers fans racist?

    [Posted by kris]

    I've recently read a couple of articles that imply that Green Bay Packer fans are a bunch of racists. Why, you ask? It's because we like John Kuhn.

    No really:

    Yesterday, it finally happened. I was listening to 1250-AM WSSP’s “The Big Show” when the topic of Packers running back John Kuhn and his sudden popularity came up. Callers gave the usual reasons for why Kuhn has rapidly become a favorite among the Packers faithful: his recent productiveness, his bruising running style, his easy-to-chant name. But the focal point of the discussion was an attribute that’s been glaringly omitted from Kuhn’s quick ascent to media darling status.

    He’s a white guy.

    And also, we're racist because we like to cheer "KUUUUUHHHHHHNNNNN!!".

    No really:

    All this and still, I suspect some of these Packers fans enjoy shouting Kuuuhn in public, in part, because of the other meaning the sound of the word carries. They enjoy breaking a taboo, even if that taboo is broken under the guise of team spirit. Noticeably silent on this issue are the moron broadcasters, who've labeled Kuhn a 'folk hero.' Okay – folk hero – like Davy Crocket or the Chilean miners? This seems to be some attempt to discredit Kuhn's athletic ability while offering a backdoor justification to the fans' cheering, 'folk' here being codified to mean 'red-state' or 'backwoods,' something like that.

    To address the first point. Sure, I think some people probably like John Kuhn because he's white and not super athletic and there's the perception that he's overcome a lot to be successful. It's kinda similar to why athletes like Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters are admired. Or why the media made a big hullabaloo a few years ago about having both Super Bowl teams coached by black men.

    Here's a totally serious question: is it racist to like someone because of their race? Is it wrong for me to, for example, like Yovani Gallardo in part because he's Mexican and there haven't been that many Mexican pitchers in baseball? Or is it only racist if I like a white player who plays a sport or position that not a lot of white people do?

    However, I think the article skips over the idea that Kuhn is popular and gets cheers because he gets into the game at critical situations. We cheer for him and love him because when he succeeds on the field it typically results in a big first down or a touchdown for the Packers. It's not about Kuhn, it's about the only colors that matter: green and gold.

    Plus, people like big, fat guys. Witness the explosion of love for B.J. Raji.

    That second notion of racism absolutely stuns me. The claim is that Packer fans are somehow delighted that Kuhn is white so we can "get away" with chanting "KUUUUHHHNNN!" because it sounds just like "coon" and we're all so excited to subversively chant a vaguely racist term. Instead of you know, chanting the guy's last name.

    So if John Kuhn were black we couldn't chant his name? What about George Koonce? Or is "KOOOOOONNNCE!" somehow magically not-close-enough to "Kuhn" to be racist?

    This is just political correctness at its most absurd and insulting. It's like claiming that lots of racist Wisconsin kids probably do school reports on the country of Niger, because, well, you know.

    There's also a certain delicious irony in a writer claiming Packer fans are closet racists while at the same time labeling them with loaded words like "red state" and "backwoods".

    Some Packer might be racist. A lot of people are. Sometimes, however, a cheer is a just a cheer.

    Posted by kris at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)     
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    January 25, 2011

    State of the Union Bingo

    [Posted by kris]

    The Huffington Post has a State of the Union bingo game up. Here's the card I made:

    You can get your own blank card here.

    Posted by kris at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)     
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    January 24, 2011

    This Super Bowl goes to XI

    [Posted by kris]

    Posted by kris at 06:55 PM | Comments (2)     
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    January 16, 2011

    Packers vs Bears III

    [Posted by kris]

    This time's for all the cheese

    Posted by kris at 03:30 PM | Comments (3)     
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    January 09, 2011

    Three grand essentials to happiness (and football)

    [Posted by kris]

    I really like this quote from Joseph Addison that was used on the season premiere of Greek:

    Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

    In a weird way, I think sports help us find that something to hope for. Think about all of us Wisconsin fans. Sure, we were disappointed on New Year's Day, but we had the Packers to root for the next day. And, even if the Packers had lost today, well, spring training is just around the corner...

    But one thing to note is that that kind of attitude means that you won't take any game too seriously, simply because there's also a new game or new season on the horizon. Or, as Cubs fans say, "There's always next year."

    I actually really like that. I have a brother who is a big sports fans, but he takes the games so seriously that he literally cannot watch Badger or Packer football games. He'll tape it and watch it later (presumably only if they win). He can't stand the possibility that they might lose. So instead, he denies himself the thrill of watching them win. Or hell, even the fun of a good game.

    I found this video of three guys watching Zenyatta in this year's Breeders Cup Classic.

    After the race, the guy on the left is talking about what he just say. The guy on the right is a little delighted about seeing a great race. The guy in the middle, however, is just devastated. I can't pretend I didn't feel the same way and I think that's how my brother must feel after a big loss.

    But I think the thing is to find happiness in the anticipation. According to the quote above, we don't find happiness in the result, we find it in the process of living, loving and hoping. So it's not the Packers winning the Super Bowl that should make us happy so much as the daily act of being a Packer fan. If you don't buy that, talk to a Vikings fan. :)

    Posted by kris at 09:06 PM | Comments (3)     
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    January 07, 2011

    Jealous, jealous again

    [Posted by kris]

    I was reading a WSJ article about luxury real estate spec homes. While it might be pretty crazy to speculate now that someone is going to snap up that $60 million dollar home, the homes themselves are stunning.

    What I find interesting is the predictable reaction to these homes in the comments (As an aside, it seems like the comments are almost always the best part of an article these days. sometimes I read an article just to read the comments.):

    100k operating costs per month. To heat a pool they never use. Glad to see their tax break went towards something productive. And when the budget crisis arrives, I'll foot the bill. Sacrifice is for the little people.
    The rich always seem to have money. Brother can you spare a dime? Let them eat cake. You have nothing to lose but your chains. Goldman Sachs is doing God's work.
    Reading this article made me feel icky, like seeing pictures of a 800 lb woman or a 150 lb two year old. Sometimes, poor taste and over consumption is simply revolting.
    Now I know why we need a tax cut for the wealthy - the new feudalism - the new lords and ladies of the manor

    With big houses like this, why is our reaction always jealousy mixed with righteous indignation? We don't react that way to expensive pieces of art or even jewelry, do we? I guess my question is why aren't we able to appreciate homes like this on an aesthetic level when we're able to do so with some many other expensive things?

    So what if no one is living in these homes now or permanently or whatever. Maybe there's just some value in building something beautiful and spectacular. Think of all of the incredible places that wouldn't have existed if people only strove for the modest and practical. Like the kings, queens & mughals before them, I'm frankly glad there are enough super rich people out there to inspire and fund the spectacular.

    Posted by kris at 01:24 PM | Comments (1)     
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    January 03, 2011

    Why it's probably a good thing that Wisconsin lost the Rose Bowl

    [Posted by kris]

    First, let me get two things out of the way:

    1. I really do wish Wisconsin would have won. I'm still upset to the point that I haven't read or listened to anything about the game.


    Whew. Okay, now I'm ready.

    Right after the Rose Bowl matchup was announced the Wisconsin State Journal ran an article about how TCU was about the same size as UW-Whitewater. Oh ha ha. That set the tone . In the weeks to follow Wisconsin fans were saying crap like "TC WHO??" and basically acting like there was no way we could lose.

    To be fair, I didn't think we could lose either. I thought we'd beat anyone. I think that's a fairly healthy attitude. However, acting like TCU was some chump school isn't, and that's what I think a lot of Wisconsin fans did.

    As fans, we acted like bullies. We had too much hubris. The football gods were not pleased with our attitudes and predictably knocked us down a few pegs.

    The Wisconsin fan base shouldn't be about making fun of other teams or schools. Remember when we were called "the worst team to ever play in the Rose Bowl?" Remember how that felt and remember how the Badgers responded to it? It's stupid to give your opponent that kind of motivation.

    But it's more than being stupid. It's classless. We're Wisconsin. We know we're awesome. We don't need to put down other schools to prove we're better. We prove we're better by being better - on the field, around town, after the game, in the parking lot and on the anchor man drinking teams.

    When we found out we were playing TCU, we should have been excited to not only go back to the Rose Bowl, but to do so against an undefeated team ranked above us. This was an amazing opportunity to prove that our team and our fans still had it. Rather than embrace that, we suddenly acted like we were the Ohio State University or USC or something - like we were so above all of this.

    No, we're not. We're Wisconsin. Our image isn't just about winning football games. We're the good time school. We're fun. Bullies and dbags aren't fun (they're Cubs fans - oh yeah, I said it).

    Wisconsin lost the Rose Bowl and that's terrible, but I also hope we lost the attitude. It simply doesn't become us.

    Posted by kris at 08:21 AM | Comments (11)     
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