By Bob Brainerd Special to Published Feb 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM

Some semi-meaningless sports info I learned over the weekend: 

How many of you missed the NFL Pro Bowl? Not that it was anything too engaging to miss, but some pigskin aficionados like to sit through perhaps the worst all-star contest on the planet because it is the final fix of football until preseason games kickoff. It seems like it's always been on a Sunday, one week after the Super Bowl. Saturday night, there I was, reading about it and thinking I had 24 hours to catch the action from Hawaii. The next day, a guy at my health club asks me what time the game starts. I was not alone.

I guess we must know EVERYTHING when prepping for a fantasy baseball draft. On my league site over the weekend, it was noted that Braves pitcher John Smoltz is getting divorced from his wife Dyan after 16 years of marriage. OK, so on April 1st, when I'm trying to chose a starting pitcher, will Smoltz be a good pickup because he is single again (turning 40 in May, no less) or will his mind be elsewhere? Does visitation of his four kids and alimony spike a guys ERA?

Former UW-Stevens Point basketball standout Nick Bennett is currently soaking up what he can at Marquette. Bennett is on Tom Crean's staff as a student assistant. Meanwhile back in Point, his fiancée is Becky Pepper, a senior on the Pointers women's squad. On Saturday, Becky's future father-in-law, former Stevens Point men's coach Jack Bennett, called her final home game along with yours truly for rebroadcast on FSN North. The wedding is set for 7/7/07, and both Jack and I snickered when Pepper took a shot to the face. "There goes the wedding picture!" exclaimed Jack. My thoughts exactly.

The Texas Rangers will give their starting right field slot to former Brewers outfield prospect Nelson Cruz. it's his job to lose heading into spring training. So let's sort this out one more time: Texas lost Carlos Lee, who was a rental, but got a young outfielder in the deal with Milwaukee. The Rangers unloaded a relief pitcher that was not closing any more (Francisco Cordero) and two outfielders they had no use for (Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix). Cordero plugged the Brewers bullpen hole that Derrick Turnbow created, but plan on platooning Mench, who was awful after the trade. Nix will be in the minors, on the bench or gone.

So, why did the Brewers include Cruz in the deal again? Wouldn't an outfield of Cruz, Bill Hall and Corey Hart excite fans more about the future? Here's why they did what they did: to make it appear that the team wasn't giving Lee away, which would have been a straight up deal for Cordero. Keep an eye on Cruz. We already know that Mench was a mistake.

I've got to give it up to our college basketball radio guys who call the games for the Badgers, Golden Eagles and Panthers. Matt Lepay, Steve True and Bill Johnson are all conscious of repeating the time remaining and the score. It seems like that is becoming a lost art over the airwaves, but all three guys keep you posted when you don't have the pictures in front of you. Keep it up, gentlemen!

It's a minor glitch, but I found out through a friend at Spaulding that the old NBA basketballs, which were the new basketballs for two months (until the old leather basketballs made a comeback), yellowed the nets. Some of the substance rubbed off the synthetic balls and colored up the twine in NBA arenas, including the Bradley Center.

Bob Brainerd Special to
Born and raised in Milwaukee, what better outlet for Bob to unleash his rambling bits of trivial information than right here with

Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.

During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."

And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.

His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.

You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.

A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.