Where Have I Been And Why Haven’t You Missed Me?

Wow. That was a long layoff between posts.

Not to bore you, my faithful reader, with the details too much, but apart from my role as sports blogger here on Channel 3000, I have many other duties at Television Wisconsin, Inc. Because of the startup of the new programming season, the late summer/early fall tends to be a busy time for me, and this year, with the switchover from UPN14 to My Madison TV14, it was/is busier than usual. Hence this blog, one of my favorite things to do here, tended to get pushed back as I tended to other matters. I apologize to you, my faithful reader, and I won’t let it happen again! You mean too much to me for me to disappoint.

But of course the real reason I came back stronger than ever is I wanted to give myself props for my excellent pick for the winner of Big Brother All-Stars, which recently closed house. Sure, the very annoying, sexist, and all-around descipable Mike “Boogie” Malin actually won, but readers of this blog will note that I picked the darkhorse Erika to win the day after the premiere and she ended up doing me proud by coming in second place. In my mind, she should have beaten Boogie because she played more or less on her own and Boogie mainly rode Will Kirby’s coattails. But I digress . . . But man, Big Brother is so good. CBS should do it year-round on Saturday nights. Saturday nights is such a wasteland for non-sports TV.

Wait, did someone mention sports? That’s what I’m supposed to be writing about, isn’t it? With that in mind, here’s five things to watch for this weekend in the featuring the Packers and the other NFC north teams:

1. Facing the Packers in week two, Reggie Bush’s productivity will be off from his week one NFL debut due to the distractions of reports that he and his family accepted gifts and money totaling over $100,000 from two marketing agents while Bush was still playing at USC. Bush is obviously a young — though amazingly talented — player, and he can help but be bothered by these accusations — especially since they involve his family. Personally, I don’t care if Bush took the swag or not: We are living in times when college punters are stabbing each other and youth football coaches are assaulting opposing players and t-ball coaches are paying 8-year-olds to injure autistic and mildly retarded teammates so that they can’t play and supposedly dilute what would otherwise be the t-ball equivalent of the ’69 Mets. College football is a business, folks, and if Bush accepted airfare or lodging, big deal. Especially since he Bush is responsible for bringing some much-needed positivity, excitement and pride back to The Big Easy.

2. Partially due to #1, look for the Packers to bounce back from an embarrassing week one and beat the Saints, thereby evening their season at 1-1. The Packers are bad, folks, but they do seem to have the Saints’ number: It was just last year when Green Bay torched New Orleans 52-3. I don’t look for a rout like that in this or any other game this year, but the Packers will do enough to win a close game.

3. Carolina will defeat Minnesota in another close game: Sports writers everywhere want to write off the Panthers after a surprising home loss in week one, but they will improve against a Viking team that they typically dominate. The Vikings’ week one victory wasn’t so much about them being impressive as it was about the Redskins underachieving. But it was fun to see Daniel Snyder and Tom Cruise pout on Monday night over the defeat. And I like Tony Kornhiser. Just don’t like Joe Theismann.

4. Detroit at Chicago: Chicago will be tested more against the improved Lions, but they will continue to impress as the class of the NFC North and take a 2-0 record into week 3’s game against Minnesota. Roy Williams’s career as a sports prognosticator will prove to be as short-lived as CBS’s Jericho.

5. Not that it has anything to do specifically with the NFC North, but the wretched Joe Buck will continue to drive down Fox’s NFL pregame ratings. Here’s hoping he’ll be announcing WNBA games next year.

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