Here are some sports morsels that may have flown under the radar last week. The big-ticket events get all the props and love. But let us dig deeper to unearth some tasty tidbits that might make you say, "really?"
They might also make you ask, "who cares?"
But here goes ...
Wasn't it ironic that pitcher Ben Sheets, in his Oakland spring training debut against his former team, gave up a first-inning RBI single to the Brewers veteran Jim Edmonds, who just happens to be wearing Sheets' old number, 15?
I realize 20 victories in college hoops isn't what it used to be, but how about all four Division 1 college basketball teams in the state chalking up 20-plus? Wisconsin and Marquette were joined by both Horizon League entries UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay. The Phoenix (21-12) finished third in the league, while the Panthers (20-14) were fourth and pushed No. 11 Butler deep into the second half of their tournament semifinal at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
In Kevin Bacon-esque fashion, a couple moves made by the Miami Dolphins come back with ties to the Packers. The Fish signed free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, who had the fumble recovery and touchdown in overtime in Arizona's 51-45 wild card playoff game victory over Green Bay. Miami also resigned quarterback Chad Pennington to a one-year deal. The former Jets signal caller took his tools to South Florida two years ago when Brett Favre arrived in New York from Green Bay. Pennington will now back up starter Chad Henne, who was drafted by Miami in the second round in 2008, one selection after the Packers took quarterback Brian Brohm.
There were some "ginormous" numbers last week on the local prep basketball courts. Germantown scored 122 in an opening-round rout over Milwaukee Madison. Whitefish Bay Dominican posted 106 in a win over Milwaukee Career Academy. Cedarburg senior Chip Rank, who is a Northern Iowa recruit, notched a school-record 47 in a playoff triumph over Homestead. And in a game that clinched the Girls City Conference crown, Oklahoma-bound Nicole Griffin had 34 for Milwaukee Vincent.
Catcher Gregg Zaun becomes just the third Brewer players whose last name begins with the letter "Z." Pete Zoccoillo and Eddie Zosky are the other two. Low on the all-time list (if we don't count "X," because that column is empty) is "U" where only Tim Unroe resides.
A shout out to women's hoops in Green Bay and Madison. The Phoenix (26-3) won its 12th consecutive regular season Horizon League title. And Wisconsin (21-9) was third in the Big Ten. Perfect timing for Badgers coach Lisa Stone, who was feeling the heat from athletic director Barry Alvarez and alums to get the program back on track.
Coming off franchise record attendance at the turnstiles in 2009, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers enjoyed brisk sales Saturday, the first day fans could purchase individual game tickets for the Brewers Class A farm team. Not sure what kind of gauge this is, but word is the team gave away 500 hot dogs on Saturday as fans bought tickets and sifted through merchandise at the a rummage sale.
The Milwaukee Iron not only got new financing, it new life in a better league. When arena football returned to the Bradley Center last season, it was under the af2 league, a notch below that of the Arena Football League. But when the big boys folded up, along came another version dubbed Arena Football One, which was home, for a few moments, to the Iron. But shuffle the deck one more time, and the AFL is back, and the Iron, just like their predecessors the Mustangs, have a home in the top league once again.
It's quick, but did you notice the Brewers Ryan Braun with the cameo in the new Dick's Sporting Goods commercial? While Torii Hunter and Ken Griffey Jr. race through the store playing sandlot baseball, Braun, Carl Crawford and Orlando Hudson watch from a bench near "home plate" where the Milwaukee outfielder declares "Torii was out."
One more piece of video for your dining and dancing pleasure. Marquette coach Buzz Williams is making the YouTube rounds with his sashay along the sidelines during a win over Louisville. Sporting the powder blue sport coat helped made his gyrations even better!
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.