Category “Sports”

This is Why I Love Baseball

On my score­card, I’d post this as FO2 — 6 — 1.

That’s a Foul Out to the catcher, than to the short­stop, and back to the pitcher.

 

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Kohler Co. Confirms Plan to Build 5th Golf Course

Fore!

(…the very rich guys who can afford greens fees at these sim­ply amaz­ing golf courses.)

Kohler Co. offi­cials have con­firmed plans for a fifth golf course in She­boy­gan County, but oth­er­wise remain tight-lipped on the details.

Speak­ing Mon­day night to the Wil­son Town Board and a crowd of close to 100 peo­ple at the board’s meet­ing, com­pany offi­cials said they’re plan­ning an 18-hole golf course on a 247-acre prop­erty Kohler owns along Lake Michi­gan, just north of Kohler Andrae State Park.

That’s the same site where Kohler had been look­ing to build a lux­ury wilder­ness retreat called the Tented For­est, which they recently scrapped.

Michael Belot, gen­eral man­ager of Kohler’s hos­pi­tal­ity divi­sion, spoke briefly to the board and said the com­pany is plan­ning a golf course with a club­house, main­te­nance facil­ity and golf cart barn. Golfers would access the devel­op­ment from South 12th Street.

Belot declined to pro­vide addi­tional details after the meet­ing, but said the com­pany will pro­vide more infor­ma­tion once the pro­posal goes before the town’s Plan Commission.

The Town Board will be asked to issue a conditional-use per­mit for the project. That will allow the com­pany to respond to any con­cerns raised by the community.

Town Attor­ney John St. Peter said a golf course fits the exist­ing zon­ing for the prop­erty and no other local approval will be needed.

The meet­ing marked the first time Kohler pub­licly acknowl­edged its plans for a new golf course since word got out in late Feb­ru­ary that the com­pany was look­ing to expand its golf empire in She­boy­gan County.

The fact that they will have golf carts is a sign they want to make this course closer to what Black­wolf Run has at its 36-holes and what the Irish Course is at Whistling Straits — a much more com­par­a­tive, but upper ech­e­lon, golf course the rest of She­boy­gan Co. is used to.

If I were to take a guess, I’d say Kohler Co. would want these up and run­ning by 2020.  That’s when Whistling Straits is sched­uled to host the Ryder Cup and what­ever this golf course is even­tu­ally named would be a wel­come attrac­tion to an area that con­tin­ues to prove to be Wisconsin’s Golf Mecca.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Video of the Day

This is why you don’t bang on the glass at an NHL game unless you’re absolutely sure play is sta­tion­ary in front of you.

A young kid dur­ing a Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets and Mon­treal Cana­di­ens game learned that the hard way.

(H/T Rare)

 

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Cartoon of the Day

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Image of March Madness

Every­thing about Wichita State’s sea­son so far, but their con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship t-shirts.

BiX8soOCMAAIQtc.png large(Photo via ESPN’s Twit­ter feed.)

Most col­lege bas­ket­ball ana­lysts have the Shock­ers of Wichita State as hav­ing one of the four “1-Seeds” in the NCAA Tour­na­ment, slated to start next week.

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Brett Bielema Couldn’t Recruit

One of my biggest pet peeves dur­ing the “Brett Bielema Era” of Wis­con­sin Bad­gers foot­ball was that the man couldn’t recruit to save his soul.  While Ohio State and Michi­gan were con­stantly reload­ing (until “Big Blue” was derailed by the Rich Rodriguez exper­i­ment) with studs from across the coun­try, Wis­con­sin couldn’t find any­one beyond a bat­ter­ing ram run­ning back to fill the Bad­gers’ needs.

And let’s not for­get other over­sights — some of them due to the way the Bad­gers played, some due to his own deci­sions — of how top Wis­con­sin high school tal­ent was overlooked.

(Did you know that Pewaukee’s J.J. Watt — a top NFL Draft pick in 2011 — trans­ferred as a walk-on after spend­ing some years play­ing at Cen­tral Michigan?)

Sports Illus­trated has a piece online right now high­light­ing the per­ils Bielema now faces as the head coach of Arkansas.  Mostly, it’s about how his move from the Big Ten to the SEC has brought to light a lot of his faults as a coach.  Chief among them, his arro­gance, his swag­ger that he can’t back up (Cur­rent life­time record in the SEC: 0–8), and at the end  he can’t recruit with the big boys.

So says SI.

The bad news, though, is that even with the three league titles that Bielema won with the Bad­gers, his Wis­con­sin teams rarely beat oppo­nents with more touted high school tal­ent. Under Bielema, the Bad­gers went 1–5 against Ohio State, 2–3 against Penn State and 2–4 in bowl games. In a study that strongly cor­re­lates recruit­ing rank­ings with vic­to­ries, SB Nation’s Matt Hin­ton divided the major-conference FBS pro­grams into five tiers (five-stars, four-stars, etc.) based on their recruit­ing rank­ings from 2010 to ’13. Wis­con­sin fell into the two-star group, along­side the likes of USF and Pur­due, yet did not over­achieve to the extent that one might assume. “They were actu­ally very ordi­nary in that span against blue-chip com­pe­ti­tion, putting up los­ing records against five-star (2–3), four-star (3–6) and even three-star (5–6) oppo­nents,” wrote Hin­ton. “Much of Wisconsin’s suc­cess is based on thor­ough, con­sis­tent dom­i­nance of its two-star peers in the Big Ten — Illi­nois, Indi­ana, Min­nesota, North­west­ern, Pur­due — against whom the Bad­gers have won 17 in a row.”

That trend does not bode well for Arkansas, con­sid­er­ing five of its six SEC West oppo­nents (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M) fell into Hinton’s four– or five-star tiers. Yet, so, too, did the Razor­backs, so the­o­ret­i­cally they’re not that far behind their com­pe­ti­tion. But there aren’t many Indi­anas on the sched­ule to help boost their record.

Any Bad­gers foot­ball fan already knows all these stats, I just don’t believe many wanted to believe them while “the Car­di­nal and Cream” were going to back-to-back-to-back Rose Bowls (los­ing all of them by the way…) and the Big Ten title plaques kept going up at Camp Ran­dall.  The truth of the mat­ter is, Wis­con­sin under Bielema wasn’t much of a national pow­er­house.  It was a just the big kid on the block beat­ing up on all the smaller chil­dren in the neighborhood.

Per­haps that will change in the new “East / West” divi­sional for­mat start­ing next year in Big Ten foot­ball (now encom­pass­ing 14 teams) and with a Bad­gers team that will now be much more the prod­uct of Gary Andersen’s than it was Brett Bielema’s.  Oh, I still have my issues with Wis­con­sin play­ing noth­ing but cup­cakes for its non-conference games, but that too appears to be changing.

Bucky will be tak­ing on a num­ber of SEC teams in the com­ing years, many of them at NFL sta­di­ums to ful­fill the demands of the public’s interest.

There are many things to dis­like about Brett Bielema post-Wisconsin — such as the com­par­i­son to Ander­sen per­son­ally call­ing all of his play­ers to inform them he was leav­ing Utah for Wis­con­sin, while most in Wis­con­sin found out about Bielema as he was clean­ing out his desk at Camp Ran­dall — but for me, it was always his recruit­ing and the inabil­ity to make Wis­con­sin Bad­gers foot­ball some­thing more.

Good luck with that atti­tude in the SEC, coach.  You clearly look like you’re going to need it if you’re going to make it past this sea­son still employed.

Until then, #KARMA.

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Image of the Day

The two-headed co-leaders of Rus­sia, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin in the imme­di­ate moments after the Russ­ian national team lost 3–1 to Fin­land in the Olympic Men’s Hockey quarterfinal.

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The vic­tory for Fin­land puts them up against the Swedes in one of the two Olympic hockey semi-finals.  With vic­to­ries later this after­noon, the other semi-final could be a match-up between Team Canada and Team USA; a rematch of the 2010 Gold Medal game from Vancouver.

Both games start at 11:00 Wis­con­sin time.  The Cana­di­ans take on Team Latvia, while the US faces the Czech Republic.

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UNC Rivalry Game">Weather Postpones Duke / UNC Rivalry Game

Yeah, the snow and win­tery weather is that bad in North Carolina.

The game between No. 8 Duke and rival North Car­olina Wednes­day night has been post­poned to due to inclement weather.

A make-up date was not announced, but North Car­olina con­firmed the game would not be played Thurs­day because of the weather situation.

Duke’s bus is not able to get to their cam­pus to pick up the team in time to be able to make the trip to Chapel Hill so we can’t play this evening,” UNC ath­letic direc­tor Bubba Cun­ning­ham said in a state­ment. “The safety of the teams and offi­cials is the num­ber one pri­or­ity and this was the best deci­sion to make at this time. Coach (Roy) Williams, coach (Mike) Krzyzewski, (Duke AD) Kevin White and I will be on the phone with the ACC and make a deci­sion as to when to play the game as soon as possible.”

Duke’s next game is set for Sat­ur­day against Mary­land and will be played at home.  North Carolina’s next game is a home game ver­sus Pitts­burgh, also on Sat­ur­day.  The two teams are next set to meet on March 8, at Duke, in the reg­u­lar sea­son finale.

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NHL Will Let Players in 2018 Olympics">Still No Agreement if NHL Will Let Players in 2018 Olympics

It’s early, but this could take a while to get resolved.

NHL deputy com­mis­sioner Bill Daly said the league could decide on poten­tial par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2018 Win­ter Olympics very soon.

Daly said Tues­day that meet­ings will be held after the Sochi Games are over as part of a deter­mi­na­tion of pros and cons.

I do not antic­i­pate it will take that long and we will have a broader dis­cus­sion with the play­ers’ asso­ci­a­tion on inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and what we are doing inter­na­tion­ally,” Daly said at Bol­shoy Ice Dome. “That dis­cus­sion is under­way so I would antic­i­pate a quick res­o­lu­tion in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months.”

Daly said there are “a lot of neg­a­tives” that go along with send­ing NHL play­ers to the Olympics, includ­ing not hav­ing league con­trol over the tour­na­ment. He praised the nature of it being a “best-on-best” competition.

Inter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion Rene Fasel said he’s going to do what he can to ensure NHL play­ers are at the next Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

I’m going to work hard and do the best I can to get the NHL and NHL play­ers in Pyeongchang,” Fasel said Tues­day in a tele­phone inter­view with The Asso­ci­ated Press. “I will do every­thing I can — seven days a week — until a deci­sion is made.

But ulti­mately, that deci­sion will be made by (the NHL and its owners).”

Buzz has been build­ing about the return of a World Cup of hockey, which would be a major money-maker for the league and pro­vide more inter­na­tional hockey of this calibre.

But play­ers have made it clear since arriv­ing in Sochi that they want to con­tinue par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Olympics, and that goes for Pyeongchang four years from now.

I would love another chance, I’ll tell you that,” Team Canada for­ward John Tavares said. “The Olympic Games is obvi­ously a pin­na­cle of sports and it rep­re­sents a lot. Cer­tainly there are some tough chal­lenges with it, being involved with the PA as much as I have I know this wasn’t an easy process. But we feel as play­ers it’s impor­tant and we love to play, we love to rep­re­sent our countries.”

The NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and IOC only reached an agree­ment for Sochi par­tic­i­pa­tion this past summer.

While the head­line cur­rently says “NHL,” this could very well be the NBA in the next cou­ple of Olympiads.  Own­ers are not happy that play­ers — who they are pay­ing mil­lions in salary — are going over­seas to a essen­tially play a tour­na­ment they had no part of.

That means play­ers could get injured (and they have).  If that hap­pens, it’s down­time that effects his fran­chise, his bot­tom line.  Leagues are get­ting more and more con­cerned about it.

Lead­ing the charge in the NBA is, not sur­pris­ing, Dal­las Mav­er­icks’ owner Mark Cuban.  In 2012, Cuban lit up the entire process of the Olympics focus­ing on how it messes up player con­di­tion­ing, and how the IOC or mem­ber nation’s Olympic com­mit­tee use player images to make a quick.  It was inter­est­ing reading.

I think it’s the biggest mis­take the NBA makes,” Cuban said of allow­ing NBA stars to com­pete in inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. “If you look up stu­pid in the dic­tio­nary you see a pic­ture of the USA Dream Team play­ing for free for cor­po­rate Amer­ica so the U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee can make bil­lions of dol­lars. So if you come up with some­thing that you own that you can give to me for free so I can make bil­lions of dol­lars, I want it.

And it has noth­ing to do with patri­o­tism and it’s all about money. You don’t see the (Inter­na­tional) Olympic Com­mit­tee in Switzer­land say­ing, ‘Oh, we made so much money, let’s give it to peo­ple.’ How many jets do they have?”

Many NHL own­ers also are NBA own­ers.  It’s unknown how many of them share Cuban’s sen­ti­ments on inter­na­tional competition.

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