Like it or not, summer is winding down. The Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward are over with, the hours of daylight are shrinking and football is in the air. With the Milwaukee Brewers being a colossal disappointment this season, Wisconsin sports fans have turned their attention to football.
Practice gets underway this week for Wisconsin high school programs, and the Badgers and Packers have training camps going full tilt already. In fact, this Thursday, Aug. 8, the Packers will play their first preseason exhibition game against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field.
Most years preseason football is a waste of time — games featuring a lot of guys you’ve never heard of before and likely never will again. For Green Bay Packer fans the interest level is heightened this season with the arrival of new head coach Matt LaFluer. Fans will be interested to see how he meshes with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and what the new offense is going to look like.
Early indications are that Rodgers’ arm strength and accuracy are going to play well in LaFluer’s version of the West Coast offense. Rodgers himself says it’s a work in progress and is going to take some time. As per usual, the Packers have been bitten by the injury bug, as the top two running backs, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, are both out with hamstring injuries.
Nonetheless, football is back on all fronts and summer is hanging on by its fingernails. Anybody notice any trees starting to change color yet? Summer seems to get shorter every year.
Chin music . . .
The Wisconsin Badgers continue to beef up the non-conference schedule with the announcement of a home and home agreement with powerhouse Alabama. The two schools will meet in Madison in 2024 and in Alabama the following year. Alabama actually initiated the contact and it took a full year to put the agreement together.
As long as we’re on the subject of Badger football, “Bucky” is ranked 17th in the nation in the USA Today coaches preseason poll. Coming off of a disappointing season a year ago that ranking seems a bit high.
Minnesota Twins fans have been getting a bit nervous as the teams once double digit lead in the American League central division shrunk to as small as three games over the Cleveland Indians. Not to worry. The schedule is in the Twins’ favor, as 26 of their remaining games are against the bottom feeders Detroit, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City. Ultimately, the division will be decided by the remaining 10 games the Twins have left with Cleveland, seven of them at home, including four this coming weekend at Target Field.
Last week there were two shark attacks reported in Florida waters. I’m wondering, how did they know it was shark week?
Seven Big Ten football teams are listed among the top 25 in the USA Today’s preseason poll. In addition to Wisconsin at No. 1,7 Ohio State is No. 5, Michigan No. 7, Penn State No. 14, Iowa No. 19, Michigan State No. 20 and Nebraska at No. 25.
The Hayward Hawks open play in the WBA state tournament in semifinal round action this Friday night, Aug. 9, when they take on the Rib Lake Osprey in Rib Lake at 7:30 p.m. If the Hawks win they would play again Sunday, Aug. 11, at noon against the winner of a game between Everest and La Crosse. It will be like old home week for the Hawks, as this marks the fourth time the team has played in the Rib Lake regionals and the third time since 2014.
Capitol One announced last week that some 100 million accounts had been compromised. Apparently the crooks no longer need to wonder, “What’s in your wallet.”
Major League baseball announcers are usually either hired by the team or the team at least as right of approval. That’s why you hear constant praise for teams and players, even when hometown fans know better. A case in point is the Milwaukee Brewers’ TV crew. Don’t get me wrong, they are all good announcers, but their constant drum beating for a team that has failed miserably becomes a bit annoying. Remember, though, part of the announcer’s job is to help sell tickets.
Looks like Jack Coan will open the season as the Wisconsin Badgers’ quarterback, but he’s likely to be on a short leash. If he struggles at all don’t be surprised to see true freshman Graham Mertz get an early call.
Funny thing about fan sites on the Internet. Brewers’ fans have been dumping on the team all season, while on Packer fan sites it’s been all sunshine and lollipops so far. Wait until the Packers lose their first game, which could be the season opener, and the mood will change. Fans are fickle.
And finally this from Facebook: “I recently bought a toilet brush. Long story short: I’m switching back to toilet paper.”
And there you have it!