Mike's Mouth

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ughhh Finals

Finals Week. The libraries are so crowded that it is impossible to find a seat to study unless you call a friend in advance to save a seat for you. Obviously there is no chance of this changing, but it really is depressing that the last week of the semester, and the last week that you will see your friends, for a long time, specifically for study abroad juniors being away 8 months, is spent holed up unhappy in a library studying things that you wont remember in two weeks.

Two more days left and it will all be over, a great feeling, but also one with sadness as yet another semester has come to a close. Only two more left in Madison. Finals have some importance though, I am not disregarding that. Off to my next final I go where I always will continue to try my hardest and get the best grade again, and then its right back to studying for yet another exam on Thursday that will challenge my patience, determination and will yet again.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mitchell Report

A couple days ago the results of an 18 month investigation was released to the public after much speculation regarding the state of steroids in baseball and the players who had been taking them. George Mitchell, a former United States Senator was appointed by Commissioner Bud Selig to lead an investigation to dig up everything that he could about the history of steroids, its infiltration into baseball, and recommendations for the future. After the report was released, it was discovered that All Star and future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens had ties to steroids through the admissions of his former personal trainer.
The problem with that the Mitchell Report is that it does not include any hard evidence such as drug tests that unequivocally tie the players mentioned in the report to the steroids that they are accused of using. Furthermore, the people that Mitchell relied on for the bulk of the rep form the government to tell them what they wanted to know or else they were under severe pressure to go to jail. Relying on evidence from these type of people does not warrant the scrutiny that will follow these players for the rest of their careers and ultimately prohibit them from entering the hall of fame such as in the case of Roger Clemens, the greatest pitcher of this era.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Let It Snow....NOT!

Well its winter again. It seems like for 6 months of the year I completely block the cold, windy, snowy, ice, terrible winter out of my mind and focus on the good weather around me. However, every year after Thanksgiving all the memories of the previous winters come rushing back as I cover my body in layers of clothing and just try to get form Point A to B in the fastest time.
Madison is such a different place in the winter than every other season it is crazy. When it's warm out people are generally happy, playing or drinking outside and smiles on people's faces are very noticeable. However, when the snow is falling you can see the same look on everyone's face who is just walking as past as they can without being humiliated and slipping on the ice, falling on their faces.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Somebody's O Has Got To Go

Last night was one of the most anticipated boxing fights of the last five years, pitting two undefeated, highly regarded champions together in what promised to be an epic battle for the Welterweight championship of the world. Pretty Boy Floyd AKA Money Mayweather, hailing from none other than Las Vegas Nevada, sight of the fight itself, vs undefeated Ricky The Hitman Hatton from Manchester, England. Although the fight was in Nevada, nearly 20,000 Brits stormed Las Vegas and turned the crowd into a completely one sided affair.
There is nothing like a big prize fight. For the last four weeks, HBO has been promoting the fight through a miniseries entitled "24/7" where cameras follow the fighters in their every move while training for the biggest fight of their lives. This documentary style show allowed the viewers to get a rare glimpse into the personal lives of their favorite fighters. The promotion worked. Personally, I couldnt wait for this fight to happen, even though prior the this show I knew very little about Ricky Hatton. However, through watching the show, I became a huge admirer of his style both in and out of the ring.
When fight night arrived, it turned out to be a huge party because the fight was only being broadcast on Pay Per View. Although paying 55 dollars for a sporting event could seem absurd to a casual viewer, there is nothing like the anticipation and excitement in the time leading up to the fight. However, the fight rarely lives up to the promise. Splitting the cost of the fight between a group of friends makes watching the fight turn into a night's event. This fight proved to be very entertaining because of the constant singing of the British crowd, as well as the constant pressuring of Hatton. However, the champion, Money Mayweather, proved too quick, smart, and powerful as he knocked Hatton out in the 10th round, cementing a legacy as one of the greatest pound for pound champions of all time. Although I honestly was very disapointed in the outcome of the fight, it was still a great night and makes me cannot wait until the next big prize fight.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sean Taylor: A victim of the NFL lifestyle

Ever since his days at THE U, Sean Taylor has been known for his trouble with the law and utter disregard for societal norms. On the field, he was known as one of the best safetys ever to grace the secondary of the Hurricanes. As a top 5 pick for the Washington Redskins he became known as one of the, if not the hardest hitter in all the NFL.
After multiple gun charges, and the rule that no NFL players are allowed to carry guns with them outside of their home, Sean Taylor was not allowed to have a gun in safety of his home. Although, personally I am completely against guns and everything that they have to do with, the fact remains that if Sean Taylor had a gun in his house, rather than a long knife that had no realistic chance of protecting him and his family, he might still be alive today. A man like Taylor that is constantly targeted for robberies and burglaries needed to have a way to protect himself and ultimately was a main cause in his death.
Now the Redskins are left without the heart and soul of their team, the strength of their defense and the cornerstone of their future secondary. Not that that matters. But now the Redskins must try and find a way to play 2 games in a span of 10 days after hearing the most shocking news these players have ever heard. The NFL needs to step in and provide safety for all of their players and put into place help for the Redskins to cope with their tragedy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Big Ten Network

A few months ago, a new channel known as the Big Ten Network debuted after months of advertising and the promise of more televised Big Ten Sports than ever. However, what it actually accomplished for most fans, is less sports being available to watch. Because of contractual disputes regarding whether or not Charter could include the Big Ten network on basic expanded cable on have it relegated to the sports tier, allowed for the Big Ten network to only be available on satellite such as Dish Network or DirecTV. It is unbelievable that in cities like Madison that revolve around its college sports, that the fans cannot watch the games in the comfort of their own home.

It is humorous however, and somewhat alarming that the Wisconsin state legislature set their budget for their next year several months late, however when it was announced that the Wisconsin Ohio State football game would not be shown on Charter cable, a bipartisan emergency bill was passed forcing Charter and the Big Ten Network to negotiate.

Last night was the first Wisconsin basketball game of the year and was unable to be watched on cable tv. Many future basketball games are going to be televised on Big Ten Network and fans are definitely going to become more upset as the season goes along. Furthermore, next week's Badger football game vs Minnesota will be televised on BTN forcing fans wanting to watch the game to go to a restaurant or bar. This needs to end.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ultimate Sports Weekend in Madison

This past weekend in Madison was one of the best weekends for sports in recent memory. Starting on friday with the hockey series against # 3 North Dakota was great as the badgers skated to a 4-0 shutout over the Fighting Sioux. Shane Connolly made over 40 saves to preserve the shutout and give the Badgers a great win.
Saturday morning was a real early start, as parents weekend tailgates combined with the 11 am starting time of the football game made it a tough start to the day after Friday night. However, it was easy to get up for the game as the Michigan fans were trash talking a lot in the bars the previous night and everyone wanted to really kick their asses. Anyways, the game was great as the badgers played possibly their best game of the year and extended their home win streak to 14 games.
Although the hockey team lost saturday night, the bars were all packed with lots of great trash talking to the wolverine fans. Sunday, the Badger basketball team got off to a good start with a 30 point victory to kick off the season. All in all , a great badger sports weekend

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


For a few brief minutes, last Saturday, Madison, Wisconsin was the center of the sports universe. Halfway into the third quarter, the lowly Badgers, already coming into Columbus, Ohio with two unexpected losses, were leading the number one ranked Buckeyes, in their home stadium known as the Horseshoe. It was a surreal scene in Madison that Saturday morning. The game was televised on the Big Ten Network, a station that is not carried by the Charter cable company, allowing only those viewers who had subscribed to DirecTV to be allowed to watch the game in the comfort of their own home.
In response to this change, thousands of people flocked to sports bars at 11 in the morning in order to watch the game. Never have I seen State Street Brats so crowded. It was impossible to find a seat upstairs in order to watch the game on the two big screens, so I headed outside, although it was a little cold at first. Nonetheless, the patio outside was still crowded and whenever the Badgers were driving and in scoring position, an even larger crowd would begin to gather outside the gates of Brats in order to look in on the TVs.
However, the glory of beating the top ranked team faded fast, as the Buckeyes finally found their groove and scored 28 straight points on their way to what ended up being a convincing victory. The Badgers are now left with three conference losses, an extreme disapointment, and yet another tough matchup this weekend with the Wolverines of Ann Arbor coming into Camp Randall. Hopefully, the Red Sea will be enough to help the badgers beat Michigan at home, just like it did in an upset two years ago.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween In Madison

This past weekend was the once legendary Halloween weekend in Madison, or as it is now called, "Freakfest, presented by Mountain Dew". It is so disappointing that a city such as Madison that prides itself on being underground, vibrant, and progressive is now under the corporate control of major companies as well as the Madison Police Department. Halloween used to be a time for everyone to come onto State Street and let loose and have fun with their friends. Now it is just a big hassle to go onto State and deal with the heavy police presence that are just waiting to take down the person person who gets in their way.

However, not all of Halloween was a disappointment. For my costume, myself as well as about 60 of my frat brothers became Spartans for the weekend. Running down State Street Friday night with shield and sears chanting lines from 300 was a great time. People wherever we went chanted out "Spartan" towards us and told us to fight for our glory. We defended State Street well and defeated the Persians once again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This past monday, a friend of mine and I took a little roadie down to Chitown to see the legend, the boss, the king of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Growing up in New Jersey makes loving Bruce Springsteen easy, and his energy at the age of 58 still does not disappoint. After the three hour drive, we got there at around 4 o clock, roughly four hours before the show was scheduled to start. The reason we got there that early is because we had general admission tickets for the floor, and by entering a lottery, had a chance to be one of the 500 people who would be allowed to enter the pit right in front of the stage. We got our wristbands, numbers 752 and 753 and waited for the number to be called. Sure enough, 652 was chosen and WE WERE IN!... Not only were we gonna be in the pit, but we were one of the first 100 people allowed to go in. After about two hours of waiting outside in the cold, without a jacket because there would be no place to put one on the floor, we were let in. Running towards the stage we realized just how close we were going to be. We were about three people deep right in front of the stage in between Bruce and Clarence Clemons.
After two more hours of waiting, the anticipation was mounting. Finally at around 8:20 the band came on stage and rocked with its new hit single Radio Nowhere. They kept the energy going all night with such legendary hits as Prove It All Night, Candy's Room and She's The One. Then, in the middle of the set, they brought out two tour premieres back to back; Tunnel of Love and Spirit In The Night. When the band came back for their encore, Bruce was preparing to play a new song, Girls In Their Summer Clothes,until he saw a ten year old boy in the front row who was holding up a sign for Thunder Road all night. Bruce responded by making an audible and playing Thunder Road for the first time in five years. It was, needless to say, incredible. He ended the set with Born to Run, Dancing In the Dark, and This American Land. It was an incredible show and still has me feeling the adrenaline of that night, two days later.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New York, New York

I thought New York was supposed to be the center of the universe in all aspects of life. One thing that it most definitely is not right now, is the center of the sports universe. For a metropolitan area that prides itself on having great fans and overwhelming support for its sports franchises, the teams are not living up to their fans' expectations.
The king of all New York teams are the Yankees. For the third straight year, they have now exited in the first round of the playoffs. Sure, any other team would love to simply be in the playoffs for 13 straight years. Not the yanks. Championships are expected, not weeks sitting a home in October watching the hated Red Sox cruise to a championship. Major changes are sure to be underway in the next few months in the Bronx, with the same expectations of every year still being in the minds of the Bleacher Creatures next April.
The Jets lost again today. No surprise. The Giants are very mediocre and have relatively no chance of going far in the playoffs. Even when these two teams played each other last weak, it was a dreadful event to watch.
What has happened to this city. Are we really going to rely on Isaiah Thomas and the Knicks to bring this city back to life...?
I dont think so.
Go Devils.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Champaign is No Madison

This past weekend I traveled four hours to the south in hope of a great weekend of partying, friends, and most importantly beating the Illini in football. The Badgers were undefeated, ranked 5 in the nation and hadn't lost in fourteen games, yet for some reason, were underdogs to Illinois, a team that had won a total of 4 games in the past two seasons. It was a perfect morning for football, sunny, maybe a little hot, but everyone was ready for the first big game in Champaign in a long time. Before the game about 20 of us were grilling, drinking and mostly yelling at everyone dressed in orange that would pass by.
Eventually, it was time to go into the game, and as we settled into our seats next to the Wisconsin section of the upper deck, we realized something was missing: no one was talking shit to us. We were dressed in red from head to toe, and yelling at the Badgers' every movement, yet none of the Illinois fans around us were saying anything. However, as the game went on, we were not as happy as we were when we walking in the stadium. The Illini knocked off the Badgers, who played a game full of terrible mistakes.
The rest of the day was not as fun as it should be, however we made up for it by rallying with a great night out in Champaign. The one problem though that still occured that night was that we still didn't hear anything at the bars that night wearing our Wisconsin gear. Not even a couple drinks could bring out some taunting out of the Illini fans. In Madison, if the tables were turned, the Illini fans would be yelled at with chants of asshole the entire night. This is why Madison is Madison and Champaign never will be.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Mets...Ohhhh The Mets

The Mets Blow A 7 Game Lead In 17 Days.

If I were a Mets fan, today would be a no good very bad horrible day. Alas, as a resident of the metropolitan area of New York/New Jersey, I have the option of rooting for another baseball team...The legendary New York Yankees. What the Mets accomplished over the last couple weeks can only be expressed as a choke of epic Latrell Sprewell-P.J. Carlisimo proportions. Although the Phillies happened to play great baseball over the stretch, there is no way the Mets could've imagined playing this poorly in September, creating the biggest fall from grace in the history of Major League Baseball. The only question now is: What Comes Next?

Option 1:Stay The Course:
This team obviously has enough talent to make it to a World Series and possibly even win one. They were far and away the best team in the National League for 4 months of the season and have built themselves around the most dynamic player in baseball in Jose Reyes. They have a young nucleus of exciting players that has awoken he rabid fan base of Metropolitans that will stick by their team. However, the problem with this option is their extreme lack of pitching, including old man Tom Glavine (who is obviously done), and 65 year old senior citizen El Duque Hernandez (who probably can pitch another 20 years)... Nevertheless, the Mets need to make some changes.

Option 2: Fire Manager Willie Randolph
Willie Randolph is a sitting duck.. Until he wins a World Series, he will be remembered for this historic collapse. The Mets need to make a change now. Randolph needed to do something to ignite a fire under the players some time over the stretch to try and at least change something about their mind sets before each game. Most of the blame should be placed on the players, however, now that the season is over, a change needs to be made and someone needs to take the fall. Fire Randolph and head over to Japan, drink some Bobby Valentine beer and while their at it, take the inspiration behind that beer back to Flushing and give him the job he never should have lost back.