It’s the dog days of winter here in Wisconsin. Grey, grey, grey, punctuated by sleet.
So, I thought it’d be fun to ask the YSDA Sports Department, located here on the 48th floor of YSDA Tower, to analyze the prospects for Wisconsin’s six major sports teams. And, no, I don’t care about hockey or volley ball. And, no, soccer is not a major sport in the United States, nor will it ever be.
Here’s what our sprawling team of highly paid analysts delivered, from worst to first.
The Packers. Matt LaFleur’s team finished with a losing record and out of the playoffs when they were supposed to compete for a Super Bowl. And yet, he’s good with that. He plans no major changes in his coaching staff despite being the worst team in the league in the red zone and having a defense that could stop nobody when they needed to be stopped. To make matters even more concerning, his team committed three acts of thuggery on one play against the Lions. Welcome back to the Forrest Gregg era?
The Brewers. Principle owner Mark Anastasio has made it clear that his goal is to stay just above mediocre so that gullible fans like me show up to spend eight bucks on a bratwurst. He gave up any pretense of caring about being competitive when he traded away Josh Hader and his impending big salary jump for nothing in return. For the Los Angeles hedge fund manager and his absentee group of landlords the Crew is just another investment.
Badger Buckets. Greg Gard can take any group of players and mold them into an eighth seed kind of team. The Badger brand — defense and taking care of the ball — is very Midwest and I admit to loving it. But it’s never going to win a national title. If reaching the very pinnacle of mediocrity is what we want, we’ll get it for as long as Gard is running the program. We’ll always go to the dance and we’ll always be home before ten.
Marquette. Shaka Smart is, well, really smart. I like his brand of basketball and, unlike the Badgers, it is the kind of play (i.e., scoring points) that could compete for a national championship. It’s just a question of being able to recruit players and how long he’ll stick around.
Badger Football. My gosh, this Luke Fickell guy is tearing it up. He understands the new era of the portal and he’s using it for all it’s worth. A Badger team with a half dozen quarterbacks who can do more than turn around and give the ball to a big running back? And receivers who can catch those balls? This is sooo UnWisconsin. With an expanded playoff coming Fickell, who got there with Cincinnati, could find himself back in that mix real soon.
The Bucks. I wish I liked professional basketball because the Bucks are good and could compete for a championship as long as they have the big Greek guy. They should do well in the 82 game series of exhibition games the NBA calls a season and then who knows how far they’ll go when the real season winds up way too late around the Fourth of July when all right-thinking people should be watching baseball.
So, there you have it. The hard, unvarnished truth from our corps of renowned sports analysts. Feel free to disagree in the comments section below, although of course you’ll be wrong.
And on another matter… We’ve been complaining for some time in these parts about the stone walling tactics of the Madison School District. Superintendent Carlton Jenkins says virtually nothing about anything and the District is notorious for not providing public records to the public. It’s not just our perception. This is from a story in today’s Wisconsin State Journal:
The Madison School District “might be the state’s worst offender when it comes to extreme delays in responding to record requests,” said Tom Kamenick, president and founder of the Wisconsin Transparency Project. “Several requests to the district have remained unfulfilled for more than a year, and they have a long history of problems.”
In May 2022, WILL sued the district over not releasing records about staff training on LGBTQ+ issues just days after the Madison teachers’ union filed its own lawsuit over unfulfilled public records requests.
Two parents filed a lawsuit against the district in October 2021 over the district’s refusal to release records about the discovery of hidden cameras near an East High School locker room. And a Fitchburg man sued the district in September 2022 for not releasing records about high school football.
The State Journal has at least eight outstanding public records requests with the district, some that are about a year old. And as of last fall, the Capital Times reported it also had multiple requests still unfilled dating back to that spring.