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Posts from February 2013

Wickett's World - WIAA Sectionals!

Wanna check out a good local high school sectional playoff game tonight? Here's the top 5...
1- 1) Milwaukee Vincent vs 2) Milwaukee King - 805 - Milwaukee South
Vincent features future Marquette Golden Eagle Deonte Burton.
2- 1) Milwaukee Hamilton vs 2) Racine Case - 7pm - Racine Case 
Despite being a junior, Hamilton's Kevon Looney may be the best in the state. Case has a HUGE advantage, playing at home. 
3- 1) Germanton vs 2) Arrowhead - 7pm - Waukesha West
Wanna see a team that's won 52 in a row? Check out #1 Germantown.
4- 1) Whitefish Bay Dominican vs 2) Kenosha St. Joseph - 605 - Milwaukee South
See future Marquette PG Duane Wilson. He's good. TRUST ME.
5- 1) East Troy vs 2) Brown Deer - 7pm - Marquette Unv HS 
East Troy features TWIN 6'9" future UWM Panthers: Alex and Brett Prahl.
there are more GREAT GAMES in the area, i just didn't have time to make a list of 10.

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Wickett's World - I don't know who Brandon Jennings is.

I don't know who Brandon Jennings is. 
This has been bothering me for quite a while. I usually can figure out a local player especially after covering him for several years. But Milwaukee Bucks PG Brandon Jennings? I'm not sure...i THINK i'm know which way I'm leaning, but i'm not totally sure yet. 
On one hand, he's said he wants to be the face of the franchise. In the past, he's said (paraphrasing) "who wouldn't want to be the face of one the NBA's 32 franchises". Ok..i'll buy that. Not exactly the most pursuadeing statement i've ever heard but whatever. "I want to win games and go to the playoffs" Again, ok...but that attitude's not getting 18,000 to the BC each night.
And then there's the other side of Brandon. The one who uses phrases like "we'll just have to deal with it" when his playing time is reduced after the trade. (try using that one on your wife after ANY dispute) Or when he says "now i see why guys like a big market" after playing in New York. 
I don't blame the guy for wanting playing time. I don't blame him for wanting to be the face of the team. I don't blame him for wanting to get paid like a top level PG (even if he's not). I don't blame him for his comments in the Dallas morning news "The Mavs are about winning". WE want a winner in Milwaukee too. WE want him to be great. WE want him to be a franchise player. 
I get the feeling that Brandon doesn't want to be here in Milwaukee. This is a far cry from his "it's like living in Europe. I like it because it's small" mantra we heard when he was drafted. Milwaukee is a proud city. Milwaukee is very protective of it's own. Turn on this city, and it's residents will quickly turn on you. Brandon's not bashing the brew city, but he's sure not showing it a lot of love. 
His attitude + what he says + what he DOESN'T say + with his his turnover prone play in the late stages of games = not helping his "q rating" in this town. I don't know what the plan is in the off season. Will the Bucks match an offer from another team? Not sure. General Manager John Hammond seems like he wants to. Would you? What's his ceiling? Can he get better? WILL he be happy in Milwaukee? Will he want to improve? What will his attitude be if he's resigned? Tough, tough offseason for the Bucks...again.
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Locations : MilwaukeeNew York
People : Brandon JenningsJohn Hammond


Observations from the NFL Combine

Tavon Austin, Stedman Baily from West  Virgina was by far the best in Group 1, Justin Hunter from Tennessee caught the ball very well with his hands.  QB Landry Jones of Oklahoma didn't perform well, over threw and behind receivers all day, Mike Glennon from North Carolina St threw it well. Collin Klein from Kansas State and MarQueis Gray from Minnesota look like they need more time to develop or change positions.  

 Group 2 - Kenny Stills ran a 4.38, dropped a couple balls early, but settled down and made a nice one handed catch on an out route that looked very similar to Greg Jennnings but not quite as polished of a route runner yet. Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee the class of this group can do everything, Ace Sanders from South Carolina was super quick caught and everything, Denard Robinson try's hard but clearly isn't ready but could develop into a poor man's version of Randall Cobb. Marquess Wilson of Washinton St caught the ball very well.  EJ Manual of Florida St was better than Geno Smith of West Virgina. I thought Tyler Wilson of Arkansas surprised a lot of people here, threw a nice tight ball and very accurate.

 Just a few other observations: Ted Thompson sat with McCarthy and Brian Gutekunst Director of College Scouting. I notice that most head coaches and GMs were sitting in luxury boxes to view the workouts not Ted and his group they were all seated below across from the finish line of the 40yd dash. Ted was the only GM I saw timing all the players himself. 
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NFL should learn from the NBA

  The NFL Combine experience has really changed over the course of the years. My first time coming here about four years ago at the RCA Dome, I was able to broadcast Sparky’s Midday Madness in a hallway along with another radio station from Texas. Back then coaches, players, scouts, and general managers would leave the field through one door that led down a hallway to a bunch of fans waiting for them to get autographs and pictures. I remember Bears HC Lovie Smith showing up that year after having been to the Super Bowl against the Colts and you would’ve thought Michael Jackson was in the building the way he was swarmed by fans and media. That same week I was joined by many people that would sit down and do the show including Packers GM Ted Thompson who sat down for 30 minutes with me.

  Fast forward to these last couple of years, where over 800 media credentials were handed out and there is now a radio row at Lucas Oil Field featuring local, national, and satellite stations. The league blocks off areas where NFL personnel can go without bother from fans or media members. It’s become a league event more than an event that even the average fan can enjoy.  Like many sports leagues now a day, the fan is left behind.

  While everybody realizes that I’m an NBA guy, the best experience for a fan wanting to get close to their favorite coach, general manager or upcoming star in the league is the NBA Summer League. Two gyms connected by a concourse filled with concession stands and people mulling about between fans and NBA personnel. You sit in the stands for the games and you might find yourself sitting next to Denver HC George Karl or Spurs HC Gregg Popovich. Last year Karl sat in the stands and signed autographs while watching the games being played. If you want to meet one of the new draft picks, you will have that chance as well, as many of the players will sit in the stands while not playing for their team.

  So while the NBA might not have the popularity of the NFL, they definitely have the best off-season fan experience. Oh did I mention that the Summer League is in Las Vegas in July NOT Indy in February? See you in Vegas!
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Las VegasTexas
People : George KarlGregg PopovichLovie SmithMichael JacksonTed Thompson


Gambling 'IS' Legal In Baseball

The usual benchmark to get into the Hall of Fame is 3000 hits, but don't tell Pete rose that. He eclipsed the 4000 hit mark, and still is not in. We all know why...he gambled, denied it, then admitted it yet still is not in. One must ask why he is banished from the game, when dozens of players are essentially doing the same thing...GAMBLING.

When a player takes PEDs he is taking them for a reason. Some may say many reasons, yet it comes down to one, and that's the almighty dollar. Yes, fame and popularity play a role in it, but it always comes down to money. MLB needs to do what Woodward and Bernstien did, "follow the money." Take PEDs, bulk up your numbers, maybe get caught, serve your suspension, and make more money. In fact, more money than you would have made prior to the cream, injection, or whatever you ingested to perform at a higher level. Makes you wonder if the gamble paid off? It does.

Imagine your career on the downhill side, and you take PEDs. You have that breakout season and get paid more in your final few years of your career. Maybe you get caught. Oh well, serve up 50 games, and some team, somewhere will look at your numbers and take a chance on you. Coversly, if you're a younger player, and want the fastrack to fame and money, take your PEDs, again, bulk up your numbers, and hit the pot of gold.

Well, not so fast. You might get caught. If so, serve up your suspension, and some team, somewhere, will sign you based on those numbers. Despite the fact that the numbers are indeed tainted, a team WILL think you can do it without the PEDs.

I think you get the drift, the plan, THE GAMBLE! Does the punishment fit the crime in todays era of PED using baseball players? In this broadcasters mind, it certainly does NOT. There is simply too much money to ignore the temptation.

So lets fix it. Lets hit the player where it hurts the most...his wallet. 

I truly believe that a lifetime banishment from the game is extreme. Our society is built, in some regard, on second chances. We make mistakes in life. We're young, immmature and tend to be different as we get older, so that banishment is too much. However, can we fine these cheaters?

Let's face it, we're not creating a deterant that is strong enough. Let's go back to that younger player for a second. What if, MLB dictates that if you are caught, red handed, hand in the cookie jar, failed drug test, through the apeals process, corked bat, sandpaper in glove, etc., that you, the cheater, now forfits 40 percent of your contract for the rest of your career. Yes, the rest of your career.

MLB is not going to banish you for life, no restraint of trade here, just a forfiture of almost half of your earnings. It still allows you to play the game, make a living, and get yourself on the highlite shows. 60 percent of a $10 million contract is still $6 million. Where does then, the money go? It goes to a charity of that players choice, in fact giving them a tax deductable donation...that's fun. But, it HITS the player HARD. That young player will think MUCH more about GAMBLING 40 percent of their career earnings for some PEDs.

Will a team sign a free agent that must forfit a large portion to drug prevention? The answer is simple: YES. They sign player now who has been suspended for PED usage, yet pay a big contract at times. It doesn't matter to the team, either way, they have to pay the cash. Does the agent want to retain a player that is in this particular situation? Yes.

MLB, in my plan, would make the donation (on the players behalf) AFTER agent commissions are paid. You see it's all about the money, it's all about the GAMBLE. Stop allowing gambling in baseball. Now, will the Players Association go for this? How in the world could they argue against it? It would be like them stating that they WANT the opportunity to enhance the numbers, thus enhancing their wallets. They would look somewhat ridiculous fighting against this plan.

Imagine your boss, coming to you Monday morning, and stating that if your partake in a certain activity, that you would jepordize about half of your salary. Not only in his office, but within your industry. I'll promise you, you would think long and hard about taking part in that actvity. Cheaters are not going to be allowed under this plan, however, there will ALWAYS be someone, somewhere who thinks they can beat the system.

All right, GO FOR IT! It's okay, but if your actions are dicovered, it costs you dearly. Go ahead, BET ON IT!
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People : Pete rose


Same old Charles...Packer for life

I don’t know if Packer fans realize this, but Ted Thompson stepped out of his bounds on April 26, 2006. We know Ted well, right? The guy doesn’t make a myriad of free agent signings, let alone top tier free agents. After one year in the books, though, as general manager, Thompson made one of the biggest free agent signings of his tenure. Inking him to a seven year, 52.7 million dollar deal, the Packers took a small gamble on a player that some believe may have already been washed up with the Oakland Raiders. His name was Charles Woodson.
The Green and Gold were the only franchise in the NFL to offer him a contract. Woodson made it clear that he did not want to play for Green Bay, but in the end, he chose not to turn the contract down. The decision was a life changer…
His accolades speak for themselves…
-          8 Pro Bowls
-          7 All-Pros
-          AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2009)
-          NFC Defense Player of the Year (2009)
-          AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1998)
-          Heisman Trophy Recipient (1997)
Just to name a few…
Woodson worked his magic game in and game out. From what I’ve seen out of #21, he was by far one of the best secondary players out there. The guy was a hawk on the football field, ready to strike for an incoming pass or to nail a quarterback to the ground.
Although he broke his collar bone in Super Bowl XLV, Woodson prevented Steelers WR Mike Wallace from catching a deep pass that could have changed the course of the game. His halftime speech to his teammates thereafter resonated well. The Packers would go on to win a thrilling Super Bowl, after a magic carpet ride nobody saw coming. He’s the definition of an elite player…and a standup guy both on and off the field. (Not to mention, the guy always dressed nice before putting on the pads).
A couple of C-Wood’s famous quotes…
“If the President don’t want to come to see us at the Super Bowl, we’re going to see him!”
“Same old Jay”
“I’ve been blessed with talent and wanting to be great. If you have those things, the sky is the limit.”
He was a leader among men. He’s definitely in the Packer Hall of Fame, and I expect him to retire as a Green Bay Packer. I also hope he makes the NFL Hall of Fame…
I wish him well…
Twitter: @RadioJoeZenzola
Until next time, Milwaukee…
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People : Charles WoodsonMike WallaceTed Thompson


Wickett's World - I was living with Ferrets.

I was living with ferrets
Talking to former Marquette PG Travis Diener today, i wondered what was going on in 2003 when MU made their run to the final four...I had a roommate named Matt. Matt had 2 ferrets. Let me say...FERRETS ARE AWFUL...but more happened that spring...so...
Back in the Spring of 2003...
Aaron Rodgers was getting ready to start his first game..AT CAL.
Gas was on average $1.73/gallon.
Chuck Freimund was still in his mid 30's.
Justin Bieber was in the 3rd grade.
Mike McCarthy was in New Orleans.
50 Cent's "In Da Club" was #1.
Bo Ryan won his 1st Big Ten Title (in his 2nd season at Wisconsin).
"Chicago" won best picture.
WSSP was still 2 years away from going "all sports".
Bret Bielema was still at Kansas State.
Norah Jones was CRUSHING IT at the Grammy's.
Lebron James was finishing High School.
I was producing an afternoon show on WTKA, in Ann Arbor.
Lance Armstrong wins his fifth Tour De France...well, sort of.
Brandon Jennings was finishing MIDDLE SCHOOL.
And D Wade, Travis, Rob Jackson and Tom Crean were raising the bar at Marquette. 
Cheers to a great celebration on Saturday at the BC!!!
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Wickett's World - I don't want to be right...and I hope I'm not.

I don't want to be right...and I hope I'm not. 
When Arod was linked to the PED clinic in Miami last week, Chuck & I had a huge debate on whether or not Ryan Braun's name should even be brought up in the discussion. I was told i was nuts linking the University of Miami to Braun, just because he went there and worked with the strength & conditioning coach who was mentioned in the initial article. I was told "wait til he's on a list"...well...now he's on a list. What do you want next? 

In one of the documents sited in Jeff Passan's article, Braun's name IS LISTED NEXT TO "RB 20-30K". I'm no codebreaker, but RB? Ryan Braun. 20-30K? $20-$30,00. And don't forget Tony Boshch listed the amount of money owed by other players in SIMILAR notation. 

Now, according to his statement, Braun & his attorny used Tony Bosch's services to help sort out the T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples. Does that cost $20K- $30K??? Right now, I have no idea...but it may. 
also...There was a note FROM BOSCH congratulating a runner named Juan Nunez that represents melky cabrera, that mentioned the "braun advantage" after Cabrera won the All Star Game MVP...later in the season, you may remember Melky came clean about using PED's. 
As i scramble to write down all of  my thoughts, NOTHING is concrete...and i hope the truth comes out and that Braun is found innocent. I WANT Ryan Braun to be clean but I think i speak for many when i say this is getting tough.
cheers to finding the truth...
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Locations : Miami
People : Juan NunezRyan BraunTony Boshch


The Bowling Game IS BACK!

And yours truly is on the telecast THIS MONTH on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 32.

On top of the Spare/Time Bowling Show (SUN | 9am), you can find me playing the hits on our sister-station 99.1 The Mix (M-F | Noon-4pm), you may also know me as the Public Address voice of the Milwaukee Wave Professional Indoor Soccer Team and UWM Panthers Basketball.
I grew up right next to a bowling alley, where my mother, father and I bowled league. Later, it would be the place that gave me my first job as a teenager. I would, "work" and do ALOT of bowling when it wasn't busy. At one time I thought I was gonna take that step into the professional realm and become a Tour Player on TV but instead I chose radio.

So, when the chance to bowl on TV came about, I HAD to be a part of it!

So remember, as you surf the channels THIS MONTH, watch for yours truly on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 32 as part of the 2013 Bowling Game to see how I do.

Enjoy the preview of me in action and GO BOWLING!
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High School Bowling Coaches Poll 2-1-13

Interesting fact from this poll - The bowling proprietors allocate State tournament births by district. One in three teams advance from each district. regardless of averages or number of teams - goes strictly by win/loss within district.

With the rule, if the season ended today in District 3a, #4 Indian Trails, #8 Kenosha Bradford and Racine Park (all averaging over 180) would all be left home, even though those three teams out-average the #1 girls team in 10 of the other 12 districts. Two districts up north are sending girls teams to State that finished third in their respective districts averaging less than 155!

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