March 19, 2008

"The most painful Big Ten team to endure is the Badgers, a team that combines brutishness and blandness into an unwatchable goulash."

Says Robert Weintraub in Slate. I have no idea who Weintraub is, and I don't follow basketball, but I feel I must highlight this egregious badmouthing of Wisconsin.
I blame Bo Ryan, the coach who has created a top program in Madison by installing all manner of defensive tactics while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment. To use a soccer analogy, the Badgers always appear to be playing for a draw but manage to get enough muscled-in offensive rebounds from the likes of Brian Butch to get past the league's weak competition. Wisconsin will muck along in the tournament until it runs into a team that knows how to execute a crossover dribble. Until then, I'll be singing my own version of the Badgers' fight song every time they clog up my TV: "Off, Wisconsin!"

"Off" to you too, Weintraub!

33 comments:

Tim said...

"...but I feel I must highlight this egregious badmouthing of Wisconsin."

Sure, but is is egregious badmouthing if it's true?

Which it is, of course. They're just brutal to watch.

Lawgiver said...

I blame Bo Ryan, the coach who has created a top program in Madison by installing all manner of defensive tactics while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment.

Sort of like what coach Popovich has done with the San Antonio Spurs, all defense, no entertaining high-flying dunks. But 4 NBA championships.

Entertainment versus championships, which would you rather have as a fan for a particular team or a player? What an idiot. Only the non-champions complain.

TMink said...

Savy basketball fans LOVE good defense.

Trey

gophermomeh said...

and these are the same folks who love home run derbys. Now THAT'S boring...

D is half the game - get over it. It's an art, it takes a whole lot more discipline and they win...a lot.

George said...

Badgers' Report Card in this 'New Yorker' cartoon.

rhhardin said...

``Swine-snouted brutishness shielded him with protective wing and cast on him its loving look.''

-- Lautreamont

Smilin' Jack said...

To use a soccer analogy...

He's using a soccer analogy to explain basketball?! Check this clown's immigration status!

Middle Class Guy said...

...while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment.

Entertainment? Pro Wrestling is entertainment. American Idol is entertainment. Dancing With The Stars is entertainment. Except for the Harlem Globetrotters, Basketball is a sport. In sports, you play to win, not to entertain.

What does he want, stand up comedy while they are going for a lay up? Maybe a recitation of Shakespeare from the bench? Sports is entertaining, it is not entertainment.

MadisonMan said...

They're just brutal to watch.

Yes, it's hard to watch a team win.

You must be a FIB.

Trooper York said...

This was the beef with the old Pistons teams and my Knick teams with Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason and Charles Oakley where they beat you into submission. The problem of course is that you still need to score enough to win the game and if you have not been executing during the regular season it gets even harder to score during the playoffs or the NCAA. You need a go-to guy who is money in the bank like Duncan on the Spurs or Dantley on the Pistons. The Knicks never really had that scorer so they could never get over the hump. So let’s concentrate on all the other many reasons to make fun of Wisconsin and leave the basketball team alone.

Tibore said...

"I blame Bo Ryan, the coach who has created a top program in Madison by installing all manner of defensive tactics while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment."

Wrong. The game is about winning.

Someone needs to tell this idiot that he's an idiot. I'm not in danger of rooting for Wisconsin myself - they beat my Hoosier's team too many times this year - but it's utterly brain dead to not find any sort of basketball talent or asthetics in defense. Only a grievance-searching, chowderhead flea-wit would write something as numbskulled as what he did.

Pogo said...

I quit watching pro basketball when it turned into the half-court shot show. No defense at all.

But my tastes for a good game ain't his, it's clear.

MadisonMan said...

..and what do you want to bet that Robert Weintraub pronounces it Wesconsin.

Pogo said...

Which is right next to East Consin, the badgered state.

BJK said...

I just love how he blames Bo Ryan for bringing defense to Madison.

...as any college basketball analyist who doesn't realize that Dick Bennett's defense and slow-paced-offense took the Badgers to the Final Four in 2000....probably isn't the guy I'm turning to for hoops knowledge.

Go Badgers!

Ed said...

The typical kind of "sportswriter" that doesn't pay attention to a sport until its championship, then feel entitled to make sweeping pronouncements based on 2-3 games they have watched over the last 8-10 years. The same kind of cretins crawl out of their holes during the BCS or the Super Bowl to make controversial pronouncements on various things.

Hope Bucky goes all the way and tortures this punk.

AJ Lynch said...

Bo Ryan is from Philly area so I will defend him. Ryan knows more about the game than Weintraub could ever hope to know about every subject.

The announcers last weekend paid tribute to Ryan for establishing a template for Wisconsin teams which forces the rest of the Big Ten to try to overcome.

I like defensive battles and that Bush (I think it is Bush not Butch) can shoot the three too.

Ann Althouse said...

The pronunciation issue is about which syllable gets the "s." Outsiders say Wis-con-sin. Insiders say Wi-scon-sin.

Middle Class Guy said...

I thought outsiders pronounced it chesse heads.

rhhardin said...

The pronunciation issue is about which syllable gets the "s." Outsiders say Wis-con-sin. Insiders say Wi-scon-sin.

There's the same trouble with pre-gnant (before birth), helico-pter (spiral wing), and a-mnesia(without memory).

hawkeyedjb said...

And insiders say M'waukee; outsiders don't realize the i and the l are silent...

rossi said...

This mild-to-fair weather fan will be rooting for his alma mater: Properly pronounced (by insiders and others who have paid for many a speech therapist's homes):

Wis-CAHHHHHN-sin

Anthony said...

That sounds rather like the old Badger football teams of the Alvarez (i.e., pre-spread offense) era: He produced teams with strong defenses and fairly plain vanilla offenses that were not flashy but disciplined and mostly got the job done. Result: 3 Rose Bowl wins. Two of those were against flashy UCLA teams that all the "experts" figured would blow Wisconsin away.

Defense wins championships.

Original Mike said...

I'm with Pogo. Can't stand pro basketball. It's too "entertaining", I guess. What a dickweed (Weintraub, that is, not you Pogo).

I particularily enjoyed 2000, when the announcers bad-mouthed Wisconsin all the way to the Final Four. I hope this year is equally distressing for dickweed.

Trooper York said...

Now dickweed is an interesting word. Does it refer to something you smoke that makes you act like a dick? Or is it the vegetation surrounding the dick itself? Or is there some other origin?

Original Mike said...

I'm not sure, Trooper. It's just something I grew up with. Didn't know what it was, but I knew you didn't want to be one.

Trooper York said...

Me either. But imagine if it was a medical condition? "I am sorry Mr. Johnson but you seem to suffering from a dickweed infestation. I am afraid we will have to shave your pubes or you will be spouting off ludicrous bullshit non stop.... there is only one way to cure it for once and for all...amputation."

Now dickhead is easier to figure out. It must be that your cranium is shaped like a little German Helmet. So you can’t store facts and knowledge in it and thus are a moron.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper York said...
Now dickhead is easier to figure out. It must be that your cranium is shaped like a little German Helmet. So you can’t store facts and knowledge in it and thus are a moron.

Of course there is dick breath, for which there is no known cure. Then there is dick wad.

Then there is the all time favorite, chicks with dicks.

Pogo said...

In high school, "Dick Munch" was the name we routinely submitted to the poor woman doing overhead pages at the local mall. Even used it once at a track meet.

Hearing Diiick Muuhnch. Paging Mr. Dick Munch. Please call the operator was quite the entertainment.

But then at the time I ate and enjoyed frozen pizzas. The bad kind.

titusgrandjetewithalaybackintothesplits said...

My father loves Bo Ryan. He thought he should of got the coaching job before, Bill Schofield back in the 80's.

But their scores are fucking low. My parents sad the the game of the big ten title was like 50 something to 30 something.

I need more action.

Wisconsin has quite a few crackers on their basketball team also. My mother always likes to point that out to me although she doesn't use the word crackers.

Tim said...

Guard play in March Madness is usually the undoing of slow, defense oriented basketball teams.

Whiskahnsohn won't be winnin' no champyonships this year.

John Lynch said...

Entertainment? I thought it was winning. You can be entertaining, but no one will notice if you're not playing in March.

Kev said...

Speaking of Wisconsin, I'm making my first trip to the state this weekend, to see a jazz concert at the Pabst Theatre in MIlwaukee on Saturday night. Is there anything cool to do in town beforehand, or a really good place to eat near the Pabst? I'll be coming up from Chicago sometime that afternoon.