Friday, June 13, 2014

Badgers New Uniform Designs | Bucky Gets A Makeover

Adidas Version of Bucky's Uniform

Big news in the Wisconsin Badgers fashion department this week. The football team revealed that designers were working on over 20 possible alternate uniform combinations this off-season, even releasing pictures from a recent photo-shoot highlighting some of the options. The pictures showed linebacker Sherard Cadougan donning a red jersey-red pants combination that had never been seen before, topped-off with one of two alternate helmets the team released last year. Another picture from the photo-shoot featured sophomore corner Sojourn Shelton in a rare appearance of the white jersey-red pants combination that has been used before.

The Badgers history over the past few years with alternate jersey designs has been ill-received. For a game against Nebraska in 2013, Adidas designed a special-addition alternate uniform that was mocked by fans and critics, despite paying homage to the team's jerseys of the late 1960s.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jared Abbrederis Now A Green Bay Packers Wideout | Badgers Players Taken In 2014 NFL Draft

Jared Abbrederis Packers Wide Receiver
The wait was longer than expected, but by the end of the 2014 NFL draft, five former Wisconsin Badgers had been selected by five different professional teams. Dezmen Southward, Chris Borland, James White, Jared Abbrederis, and Beau Allen were all called-up over the weekend. Five more alumni who went undrafted were offered contracts in free agency soon after the event, including quarterback Danny O'Brien, who will go to Atlanta along with Southward.

Tightends Brian Wozniak and Jacob Peterson, also undrafted, will join O'Brien and Southward at the Falcons spring camp.

Despite speculation that headline makers Borland or Abbrederis would be the first former Badger to be taken, Southward was the first to go, at 68 overall. The third-round selection is the lowest debut pick in decades for Wisconsin graduates, who have represented at least one opening-round choice every year since 1978. The safety was not disappointed with the unusual timing, however, already thanking the team in interviews on various Atlanta radio and television stations.

Borland, a candidate for an early-round selection this year, instead followed Southward nine picks later at 77 overall. The linebacker finished his storied collegiate career with 15 forced fumbles, the most in Wisconsin history and second most all-time in the FBS, as well as top-10 program numbers in four other categories.
The San Francisco 49ers will host Borland at their camp starting this month.

Running back White was the third Badger to be called this weekend. New England used their fourth-round pick to attain the 130 overall selection, the thirteenth running-back to be chosen at that point in the draft. White could usually be found playing a support role to a host of top-prospect backs including Montee Ball and John Clay, though he was especially keen at finding holes once in the redzone. White fumbled just twice on 754 carries over his four seasons in Wisconsin.

Perhaps White's most memorable rush came in 2010 against then number one ranked Ohio State. Up three points with just minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, White came out for a first-down run from the Buckeyes ten-yard line. A few quick side-steps and he was in the endzone, putting the final dagger in what remains one of the Badgers biggest upsets in history.

Rounding-out the later rounds of the 2014 draft was wide receiver Abbrederis and nose tackle Allen. The pair were selected by the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, at 176 and 224 overall. Abbrederis, a Wisconsin native, was expected to fetch hefty interest at the end of the 2013 season, though a disappointing showing at the combine lowered his prospects. 

Badgers 2014 Draft Selections

Round 3:

-        Dezmen Southward; Safety, Atlanta

-        Chris Borland; Linebacker, San Francisco

Round 4:

-        James White; Running-back, New England

Round 5:

-        Jared Abbrederis; Wide receiver, Green Bay

Round 7:

-        Beau Allen; Nose tackle, Philadelphia

Undrafted; Signed in Free Agency:

-        Jacob Pederson; Tight end, Atlanta

-        Brian Wozniak; Tight end, Atlanta

-        Ethan Hemer, Tackle, Pittsburgh

-        Ryan Groy; Linebacker, Chicago

-        Danny O'Brien; Quarterback, Atlanta 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Badgers Basketball Team Heads To Miller Park

Badgers Basketball Team at Miller Park
The Wisconsin Badgers Men's basketball team is coming back to Milwaukee. Just a month after the team kicked-off the NCAA Tournament against American University at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Brewers are going to welcome Bo Ryan and the 2013 class to Miller Park on May 9th. General Manager Doug Melvin released a statement last week announcing the ceremony, which he says will recognize the team for their outstanding trip to the Final Four and the positive representation they held of Wisconsin throughout the season.

A former shortstop in his younger days, Ryan responded with excitement and gratitude to the Melvin's invitation. The veteran head coach thanked the Brewers for their hospitality, and even hinted that he would be the one to toss out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Brewers also welcome the New York Yankees to Miller Park on May 9th, with the game scheduled to start at 7:10PM. It will be the pair's first series of the season. As of the end of April, both teams hold the top position in their respective divisions; the Brewers with the best record in baseball. The pregame ceremony will begin at 6:50PM, as the UW Marching Band plays the National Anthem. The band will also be playing outside of the Home Plate Gate before the ceremony begins.

In the week leading up to the May 9th - 11th series, Milwaukee takes on the Reds in Cincinnati then Arizona back at home starting next Monday. The team will get a one day break, on Thursday, before hosting New York. 

Hopefully, welcoming the Badgers into Miller Park will only aid the Brewers continued success. Wisconsin's trip to the 2014 Final Four was the program's first in 14 years, and a regular season record of 30-8 was the best since 2007.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Badgers Push Through Barrier And Make It To The Final Four In 2014

Badgers Final Four
Ever since Bo Ryan became the head coach at Wisconsin back in 2001, the same things have been said about his Badgers teams on a yearly basis. “Oh they are a solid team, but their style will never translate well come tournament time”. “Will this be the year they finally make a deep run in the NCAA tournament?” “Bo Ryan’s system will not allow them to ever get very far in the tournament until his staff starts recruiting better athletes”. These are just some examples of the various statements made about Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers teams. I’ll bet he is as tired of listening to them as we all are of saying them. Well Bo, if you are tired of listening to them, then do something about it. It took over a decade, but for the first time ever, he finally did something about it.

The Wisconsin Badgers will be making their first ever trip to the Final Four this weekend under Bo Ryan when they travel to Dallas along with Connecticut, Kentucky, and Florida. I for one had Connecticut losing in the first round. Oops.

I could sit here for the 48th time and tell you the strengths and weaknesses of this team- strength: best starting five in America, weakness: Absolutely no bench to speak of. But that would be a waste of time as you know that already. I will say this. Yes Wisconsin does deserve credit for making this run, but they also got very, very lucky. They were placed as a two seed in what was by far the weakest of the four regions. The number one in that region, Arizona, was going in reverse towards the end of the season. Yet again on Saturday, they will get lucky. They will get an inconsistent Kentucky team instead of say Wichita State, Louisville, Duke, or Michigan.

Let’s not dwell on that though. Right now, Bo Ryan should enjoy this moment. This moment is pure vindication for a man who has done something he has been told for over a decade he could not do, and for that, I say congratulations, you proved me and everyone else who said that to be wrong. Well done.