Packers Give Us A Rest, But UW Picks Up Slack

Shame on me. Here I was going to sit down and write a blog about the Packers and their bye week and what they need to improve upon and how things aren’t as bad for them as people think and how they have three very winnable games coming up after the bye week and how the combination of Green and Herron is an exciting possibility and should lighten the load on Favre and how Greg Jennings is the best thing to happen to the offense in a long time and how yes the defense stinks but they did hold St. Louis to mainly field goals and gave the offense a chance to win last week and how Koren Robinson showed up at my house and drank all of my Zima. Wait, OK, that last one isn’t true. Well, not entirely.

I know. Boring, right? Especially when there is so much going on with local teams that are — you know — actually playing this weekend?

It has to start with the Badgers/Gophers game on Saturday. After a shaky game against San Diego State, the Badgers have been impressive. They held off a superior Michigan team until the second half before crushing — yes, I said crushing — Indiana and Northwestern. The pundits seem to think that Saturday’s game will be a more competitive affair than the last two, but I ain’t buying it. Yes, the Gophers may be playing with a chip on their shoulder after last week’s crushing — yes, I said crushing — defeat to Penn State. But you can play with Chip Caray on your shoulder and it still won’t make you good when you’re not. Last I checked, the Gophers were at the bottom of the Big Ten rankings. Look for this game to get out of hand by the third quarter and for most fans to start watching the UW Band in hopes of seeing some of their nationally recognized crude, lewd, and semi-nude behavior. I guess the Alyson Hannigan stories about Band Camp weren’t such a stretch . . .

Indoors, the national champion Wisconsin men’s hockey team opens its home season Friday and Saturday against North Dakota. And while it’s going to be tough to repeat as champs — the team’s 1-0-1 start against lowly Northern Michigan has already raised some eyebrows, including Mike Eaves’s, as he’s changed all the lines from last weekend — Friday’s game will be special indeed as the NCAA championship banner is unveiled before the opening face-off. North Dakota will be a tough test, but the Kohl Center atmosphere as the Badgers return home will be intense. OK, maybe not as intense as the political arguments between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View, but still pretty wild. And don’t forget about those other national champions, the UW women’s hockey team, as they look for their 17th straight win at Ohio State.

All of this, plus a lot of interesting matchups in the NFL and both League Championship Series continuing in baseball. You’re not going to miss the Packers this week, are you? You are? Well, I hear lots of Packer players are going to be in town this week enjoying their bye. Maybe you could invite Koren Robinson over to your house to watch the NC State/Wake Forest football game on Saturday. I hear he’s quite the raconteur, and, by keeping him off the streets, you’ll be doing us all a favor.

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