The Rose Bowl is almost here. If you're staying here in Wisconsin and holding down the fort with a case of Milwaukee's finest, we here at Scorecard salute you. If you were lucky enough to get the one flight that didn't require a second mortgage ... well, why not take a trip across the border for a cool glass of water...
Let's get on to the notes.
He does it again: Throughout his 20-year NFL career, Brett Favre has made a habit out of stealing victories in the final moments of a game
Now, he's managed to sneak one out against Commissioner's office.
On Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slapped Favre with a $50,000 fine as punishment for his role in the Jenn Sterger fiasco in which he allegedly (and Scorecard uses that term in the loosest way possible) sent Sterger, then a Jets Game Day Hostess, lewd photographs.
Goodell claimed that the league "could not conclude" any violations of the NFL personal conduct policy and that forensic analysis failed to indict Favre.
How hard would it have been to make the guy take another picture of his junk and compare? Does Goodell really believe that somebody sounding like Favre is going around, asking members of the Jets' communications staff to facilitate a love connection?
What a joke.
The NFL's process in this investigation is absolutely laughable. This is the same league that employs former players to work the sidelines of each stadium to warn players about uniform violations -- and fines players for wearing their socks improperly a day after the game.
The same league that will levy a fine on a player for an aggressive hit, under the guise of protecting players from injury, but is also kicking around the idea of an 18-game schedule.
Favre gets a $50,000 fine. His streak ended on his own terms. He will (supposedly) ride off into the sunset after this season. The Packers will some day cave in and retire his number, fans will forgive and all will be forgotten.
A lesser player would have been suspended pending the results of an investigation. In any other workplace, the accused would be out of a job before the ink was dry on the report.
But Brett Favre, the golden boy of the NFL? A slap on the wrist; his "legacy" remains in tact.
Must be nice to be the king.
You're kidding, right? While we're talking about people escaping the rap, let's take a moment to examine what's going on over in Columbus, Ohio, where several members of the Ohio State football team were busted for hawking various items and awards or trading them for free tattoos.
Starting quarterback Tyrelle Prior is among the group.
The players have been suspended for five games, beginning with the 2012 season opener Sept. 1 against Miami (OH). They will, however, be eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl next week against Arkansas.
You have to hand it to the NCAA, the same organization that let Cam Newton keep playing even though the evidence surrounding him was growing by the hour; when it comes to money, they know how to manipulate the situation.
We're told that Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel asked the players to commit to returning next season, skipping the NFL Draft which would have allowed them to avoid punishment.
We're told that the players, Pryor included, "gave their word."
These same players gave their word when signing a letter of intent that they would uphold the rules of the NCAA and represent Ohio State University well.
Does anybody really believe any of them will actually spend any time on the sidelines next year?
Yes, student-athletes, as the NCAA mandates universities call their players, create a lot of revenue for the school and maybe there's a case that they should receive some sort of stipend -- never mind the free room, board, tutoring, health care, etc they currently recieve -- but as it stands, rules are rules and the Buckeyes broke them.
Any university with self-respect would sit those players down, even on the biggest stage possible.
Of course, the main attraction comes at 3:30 p.m., when Wisconsin and TCU get underway out in Pasadena but the schedule continues well after the Fifth Quarter comes to an end as the Bucks play host to Dallas at the Bradley Center.
For those revelers lucky enough to make it through the entire day (and kudos to you for that), the Bucks have some special offers in place, beginning with early entry.
Suite-holders and those holding tickets for club seats can get into the Bradley Center beginning at 4 p.m. The Palermo's Courtside Club, Club Cambria and the Miller Lite Home Court Club will all be open to those with appropriate passes.
Fans with regular tickets (you know, the "little people"), can get into the building beginning at 6:30 p.m.
There will also be some concession specials, like buy one-get one deals on hot dogs, soda and popcorn until halftime.
Finally, if Wisconsin wins, the Bradley Center will sell the official Adidas Rose Bowl Champions t-shirt.
Fans attending the game are encouraged to wear red in support of the Badgers – no word yet on whether or not the Bucks will be sporting their red alternate unis, though Scorecard is hoping so.
Odd postgame: Buzz Williams, from Day 1 on the job at Marquette, has been a classy guy. That was evident Wednesday, after his team lost, 77-76, at Vanderbilt. Commodores coach Kevin Stallings sat in on Williams' post-game media session, during which both coaches exchanged admiration for each others' teams' play. That doesn't happen often, but it shouldn't be much of a surprise when Williams is involved. He's one of the most-respected guys in the business -- and rightfully so.
Start your engines: The Milwaukee 225 IndyCar race is several months away, but the race promoters are kicking off the countdown Tuesday with a special event at Mo's Irish Pub in Wauwatosa. From 8-10 p.m., race fans can enter a drawing to win two grandstand tickets with paddock and garage passes to the June 19 race at the Milwaukee Mile.
Memorable Brewers: I had to submit my ballot for the Brewers Walk of Fame today and after some lengthy debate and deep thought, I settled on the following players:
- George Bamberger, Manager, 1978-'80, '85-'86
- Ted Simmons, Infielder/Catcher, 1981-'85
There were a number of other worthy candidates among the 32 names on the ballot and I gave serious consideration to a few others, especially Dan Plesac and B.J. Surhoff. Ultimately, though, the Brewers' rise to an American League power wouldn't have taken place without Bamberger's arrival in '78 and Simmons was an instrumental part of the Brewers' postseason teams in '81 and '82.
There were many other players who I gave consideration, but a lot of them were above-average players on awful teams while others had one really good year or played on the '82 team.
Feel free to offer your thoughts.
Larry King Lounge: How many people will be in their seats when the Golden Eagles and Mountaineers tip off Saturday morning ... For the record, Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan openly admitted to lobbying the NCAA to allow the busted Buckeyes to participate ... Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel has a very interesting blog post about Marquette's Chris Otule, who has one eye ... Should the get in the playoffs, are the Packers the most dangerous wild card team in recent memory? ... It was probably inevitable, but Scorecard is sad to see Chris Capuano and the Brewers part ways. Few players have been as pleasant and approachable as Capuano. He worked hard to get back to the bigs and here's to hoping things work out for him down the road ... Former Admirals captain Nolan Yonkman returns to Milwaukee Sunday when San Antonio comes to the Bradley Center.
Final thought: The "Scorecard" title has run its course and I'm retiring it with this final edition of 2011. Still trying to come up with a new name, so your suggestions are welcome. In fact, I'll add a wrinkle: if your suggestion is the winner, you'll get a little prize: an authentic, Richard Jefferson Bucks bobblehead doll.