Welcome to Saturday Scorecard. In honor of hunting season, the author is wearing a blaze orange sweatshirt and is planning to hit a gentleman's club some time after sundown.
On to the notes...
In memoriam: Emotions will run high when UW-Milwaukee faces off against Marquette tonight at the Bradley Center. The cross-town element will be in play. Bragging rights are at stake. Fans from both sides will be into it early.
However, this night will be different from last year.
For starters, Marquette coach Tom Crean is gone. Former Golden Eagles athletic director Bill Cords has retired. Much of the acrimony that existed between the two sides has dissipated, which is positive.
But there will be an extra layer at the Bradley Center tonight Panthers coach Rob Jeter will work the sideline just days after the death of his father, Packers Hall of Fame defensive back Bob Jeter, who suffered a heart attack this week in Chicago.
Bob Jeter's death, shortly after he had undergone prostate cancer surgery, rocked the Panthers program and made some of the acrimony between diehard fans of both teams seem petty and irrelevant.
Many of the UWM players knew Bob Jeter and developed affection for him. Many Marquette fans remember his work with the Lombardi-era Packers.
Look for Jeter to get a hearty ovation from Golden Eagles fans during introductions tonight. You can bet that his players will play with extra emotion for their coach. Jeter and the Panthers endured a lot of hardships last season, losing players to disciplinary issues and the like. This is a different kind of test -- more personal and tragic -- but one you can expect Jeter to handle with his usual level of dignity and determination.
Bob Jeter was a fixture at UWM events in recent years and he will be missed.
Flying Highlanders: Homestead's thrilling 13-11 victory over Arrowhead in the WIAA Division 1 championship game highlighted several elements that make prep sports worthwhile. Some in the state may resent the notion that two large schools from affluent suburbs dominate the sport (the teams have met in the title game three years in a row), but the standard of excellence established by the coaches and players from both programs deserves praise, not condemnation.
No joke: Raise your hand if you chuckled when Wisconsin announced Cal Poly as the opponent for its final home game of the season....
We did, too.
In light of what happened this season, the game now looms as a "must win" for the Badgers, who are trying to salvage a decent bowl berth from a disappointing season. Maybe a trip to the Insight Bowl in Tempe will placate some fans in the "fire Brett Bielema" camp. The sunshine might remind people that the program experienced some down years under Bielema's predecessor, Barry Alvarez.
Under the weather: Forget everything you read about Stephon Marbury refusing to play for the undermanned Knicks last night at the Bradley Center. He wasn't goldbricking. He was just trying to be a pioneer in Milwaukee's new mandatory sick leave ordinance.
Third place, not third-rate: You already know this, but it bears repeating: Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun finished third in the National League MVP voting. Take a moment to process that:
A Brewer ... finished ... third.
Things really have changed for the Brewers. Braun was voted into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. The team made the playoffs. Before you know it, a Milwaukee player will win a Gold Glove to snap the longest drought in the sport.
Slowdown game: If you're on pins and needles waiting to see where CC Sabathia will pitch next season, you better make a sandwich and be ready to wait. Sabathia is still weighing offers and since he's going to be the guy to set the market it's doubtful that any other pitchers will sign before he does. It seems as though the deal will be made just before -- or during -- the winter meetings next month in Las Vegas.
If (when?) the Brewers miss out on Sabathia, they'll set their sights on other pitchers. One name mentioned is Oliver Perez, a free agent lefty who is represented by Scott Boras.
Sun stroke: The Badgers basketball team went to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam and nearly lost to Iona in the opener. That wouldn't exactly have been Virginia vs. Chaminade, but it would have been embarrassing for the Badgers, who shot about 30 percent from the field. The fact that the daily paper used a wire story on the game is another sign of the tough economy.
On deck: The Brewers unveiled revised plans for their annual "On Deck" event. Rather than having it at Miller Park just before the opener, the club will convent for a day of activity Jan. 24 at the Midwest Airlines Center. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, fans can gather for autograph sessions (some free and some paid), clinics and other events.
Advance tickets cost $15 for adults and $9 for children. Some proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Brewers Charities.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.