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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Aaron Rodgers' health is a concern this season. (PHOTO: Chad Davis)

Seasons of change: Fall brings new sports musings


As we prepare to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall and the Green Bay Packers back into our lives, there are a few things on my mind, some that have already happened and some yet to come.

Holding My Breath – Every time Aaron Rodgers drops back or runs with the ball, I'm holding my breath. In over six decades of watching professional football, I have rarely seen an offense that is so designed around one player. Having watched Graham Harrell a little bit, you can begin to describe the depth of the fall if Rodgers were to go down with an injury. Over the past several years his agility has kept him free from injury. He is truly a marvel with his feet. But he is only one late hit or big hit or freak fall from an injury and if he goes down we can kiss the Packers season goodbye.

Is Zack Coming Back? – There is a part of me that thinks the Milwaukee Brewers will find a way to sign free agent to be Zack Greinke. Despite the problems this season I don't think the Brewers are that far from contending again. And I think Greinke, after being exposed to the rabid pack of media and the stress of living and playing in Los Angeles, may be persuaded to moving back to Milwaukee. He obviously liked it here and if the Brewers are at least in the ballpark of offers I wouldn't be shocked if he came back next year.

The Silence Is Deafening – In the world of political maneuvering silence is most often a precursor to action. The way it works is that first you have discussion, then nobody talks, and then some announcement is made. I have a feeling that's what's going on with the new arena for downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Bucks. A couple of months ago the talk was almost at a fever pitch. So much so that Herb Kohl was actually moved to have a news conference to talk about the arena and to announce he would be contributing. Then came the silence. Nobody is talking. That's a signal that there are things going on behind the scenes and that agreement on a plan is close to being announced.

Are Irish Eyes Smiling? – I must have been sleeping when this new thing happened. But the Wisconsin Badgers football team has been finding quarterbacks at other colleges who have eligibility remaining and the talent to offer a new dimension to the high-powered Badgers offense. Last year it was Russell Wilson. This year it's Danny O'Brien. If he turns out to be as good as Wilson the Badgers could win their third straight Big Ten title. It will be interesting.

The Kids Are All Right – I say this every year and I'm back to suggest it again. There is not much that is as fun as going to a high school football game. Watching the way these kids jump around with enthusiasm (both the kids on the field and the kids in the stands) helps to restore your faith in the future of sports in this country. Occasionally you'll see a real stud who stands out from the rest of the players, but the real thrill comes from the kids who are never going to play after high school and watching them compete their little hearts out. Hard to match the fun during the fall.

Lance's Pile Of Junk – Under normal circumstances I would forever marvel at the record that Lance Armstrong compiled as a bicycle rider. But not anymore. I have, as have most people, assigned him to the junk pile of cheating athletes. Marion Jones. Sammy Sosa. Ben Johnson. And I'm sad about. Armstrong has done so much good in this world that it's a shame he's turned out to be such a disappointment.

The End To T. O. – Usually I wish athletes success. Theirs is a difficult job, requiring great personal sacrifice and tremendous dedication. But the end of the career for Terrell Owens doesn't bother me a bit. At one point he was a great receiver. But somehow the concept of being a caricature overtook him and he ended up being nothing more than obnoxious. So long T. O. Nobody's going to miss you.

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