Random thoughts on a rare rainy summer day
A few quick bursts, short takes and other thoughts as the seasons transition from ungodly hot to merely hot and from horsehide to pigskin:
The tongue-in-cheek piece cites our passion for the game as demonstrated by the consistently off-the-chart TV ratings as well as our physical assets (Lake Michigan, Lambeau Field among them) in making their case, but I don't think they were serious. Others, in the wake of the article, are, though. Let's bring it back to earth, folks: you need a ton of assets to pull off an Olympic games, chief among them hotel space and transit. Milwaukee doesn't have enough rooms to pull off a decent-sized convention, much less something as huge as the Olympics. And people-moving isn't a strong suit either. Chicago couldn't pull it off with an elevated train system plus regional rail. Thinking big is one thing, but being realistic is another. Go back to dreaming about Green Bay hosting a Super Bowl and save yourself a whole bunch of trouble.
--Saw Miller Park through visiting eyes this week as I took my nieces to Wednesday afternoon's win over the Reds. They loved our seats behind the plate in the club section, enjoyed a girthy serving of chicken tenders and a went the distance as the Crew finished off the Reds 3-2. The girls (college sophomore and high school freshman) loved the sausage race and Bernie's slide, but were in the souvenir shop when the roof closed amid a pending post-game shower.
And, they loved the fact the stadium is where it is instead of downtown, the way Comerica Park is in their native Detroit. Most people I hear from would disagree, but I'm fine with where it ended up. It's still downtown-close while providing tailgate fans with ample room to ply their trade. It's freeway friendly for those who don't know the city. And the location doesn't seem to be a negative at the gate. 41,000 came out to see a game devoid of playoff consequences for the Brewers Tuesday night and 30,000 plus joined us Wednesday afternoon under the same circumstances. Just think what it would be like if the games meant something.
--Packer preseason football looms, with game one happening in just a few hours in San Diego. I'm not usually a big fan of meaningless scrums, but I'm tempted to dip in this time around as Green Bay tries honing it's defense and deciding which of its passel of 74 wide receivers will make the cut. A great offense made up for a porous, sloppy defense in 2011. As much as the Pack needs a pass rush and some play-making linebackers, I'll be satisfied if I see guys in the secondary finishing tackles and taking smart angles at anyone carrying a football. It's the simple things that bring championships or, in the case of last year's 15-1 campaign, end seasons abruptly
--Waiting to see what/if Wisconsin football Coach Bret Bielema does when Madison police finally finish their investigation into the attack on running back Montee Ball. Authorities initially called it unprovoked but now there's word football players might've gotten into it with some locals prior to the assault which left the Heisman Trophy candidate unable to practice. Bielema will be expected to come down hard if any of his players were legally out of line, and will need to bring this ugly affair to a halt pronto, ending any talk of retaliation and such. A Top 20 team doesn't need this kind of distraction and needs to maintain standards. It's been a rough off-season for college football. Isn't about time we just start playing some games again?