Look Who’s 3

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my TiVo. Just this past Thanksgiving, my son was given the homework assignment — he’s in kindergarten, by the way; the only homework assigned to me when I was in kindergarten had to do with bladder control — to have his family trace their hands to make turkeys and then have them write on each traced finger what they were thankful for. I chose “family, home, health, work, and TiVo.” And I wasn’t kidding about that last one.

Anyway, one of my oft-TiVo’ed shows is WISC-TV’s very own News 3 This Morning. And one of my favorite segments is the daily “Look Who’s 3” (which will have to be re-christened “Look Who’s 3.1” once stations go all-digital, which was supposed to happen next month, but now who knows. I thought Obama was going to have bigger things to worry about then the DTV conversion and college football playoff, but perhaps not). The “Look Who’s 3” segment features pictures of viewers’ kids, grandkids, or, if you’re Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, adopted kids who are turning three years old.

So, in that spirit, and knowing that no one else is likely to, I’d like to give myself a “Look Who’s 3” shout-out to my sports blog, which officially turned three years old on Saturday, January 10.

And as a thank you to you fine readers who make this sports blog possible, I thought it appropriate to turn today’s entry over to answering some of my e-mails. So here goes:

Jeff, what do you think of P.J. Hill entering the draft? What does his future hold and what does this mean for the Badgers? — Alison from DeForest

Given the beatings and the injuries Hill has suffered throughout his three years with the Badgers, I’m not surprised that he would elect to forgo his final year of eligibility and turn pro. However, unfortunately for Hill, he is picking a lousy year to turn pro, as he will enter the draft as the third or maybe fourth-ranked running back — and that’s just of running backs coming out of the Big Ten. Look for Hill to go after Ohio State’s Beanie Wells, Michigan State’s Javon Ringer, and possibly Iowa’s Shonn Greene and probably be the 10th-15th running back overall.

As for his NFL career prospects, that’s difficult to spectulate, but with the two-and-three headed monster running back system so common in the league today, I think Hill has a bright outlook as a team’s power runner.

More importantly for Wisconsin fans, though, is the fact that the Badgers, with John Clay and Zack Brown in the mix, should be able to absorb the loss of Hill more easily than perhaps other Big Ten teams losing their star runners. Put it this way: Running back is not the position to be worried about going into the 2009 season.

Jeff, was signing closer Trevor Hoffman a good move for the Brewers? — Frankie from Rio

Well, I won’t lie to you, I have a soft spot for any professional athlete older than I am (which explains my bizarre affection for kickers, punters, and Phillies starter Jamie Moyer), so I like the signing. But Hoffman is coming off an unspectacular year in which he had a 3.77 ERA and a win-loss record of 3-6. But he did convert 30 of 34 saves and should at the very least be a lateral move from the retired Salomon Torres.

Of course the questions with the Brewers have more to do with their starting pitching than with their bullpen.  If, after losing Sabathia and Sheets, the Brewers don’t have many leads for Hoffman to save, then the signing will be about as relevant to the Brewers as a Dick Vitale book signing. But Hoffman will be a better signing than Eric Gagne was. He simply has to be.

Jeff, with the Badgers playing so well, do you regret picking them to finish third in the Big Ten? — Bobby Jean from Waunakee

Geez, Bobby Jean. As of this writing, we’re only three games into the conference season. But yes, the Badgers have played very well in getting off to a 3-0 start in Big Ten play, particularly on defense, which was a bit of a concern of mine. So far Wisconsin looks to be the best challenger to Big Ten-leader Michigan State, the only other undefeated team against conference foes.

The biggest disappointments in the conference have to be Purdue and Northwestern, but Purdue should be able to right themselves once they get healthy. Certainly a win Sunday at home against the Badgers — who they have beaten at Purdue 31 out of the last 32 games — will get them on the right track. But so far any concerns I had about the Badgers — and I did only pick them to finish third in a solid conference, not eighth or ninth, have been largely unfounded.

Jeff, will you ever apologize for your lousy 2008 NFL predictions? — Bruce from Mount Horeb 

Will NBC ever apologize for cancelling SCTV for Friday Night Videos? Kate Hudson ever apologize for her lousy movies? Will Bret Michaels ever apologize for causing me to waste more time than I thought possible on Rock of Love? Will Ryan Grant apologize for almost single-handedly ruining my fantasy football season?

Surely there are bigger injustices in the world than my lousy 2008 NFL predictions, but for the record, do I regret saying the Ravens will be “awful,” that the Chargers would win the AFC West “by a mile,” that the Rams would win the NFC West, and that New England would beat Dallas in the Super Bowl? Yes. But not as much as I regret eating a pound of Twizzlers in a single sitting last night. Ooof.



One Response

  1. Hey Otis,

    Happy 3rd Birthday!

    Fessor Leonard

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