By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Oct 03, 2008 at 4:12 PM

The top sports story of September is a no-brainer.

The Brewers' roller coaster ride to the post-season as the National League Wild Card is an easy choice. After blowing a 5 ½-game lead, the Brewers went down to the last game on Sunday, won by a great pitching performance by CC Sabathia and a clutch home run by Ryan Braun.

"It's been emotional, but this is wonderful. I'm happy for the guys, for the fans, for the City of Milwaukee," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said on Sunday.

Brewers fans have plenty to be happy about. If the club can overcome a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series, they likely will be the top story in October, too.

The rest of the list:

Packers start fast and slip: The Packers started making fans ask, "Brett who?" when they won their first two games, but losses to the Cowboys and Buccaneers, and a shoulder injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers brought them back down to earth, or maybe beneath it.

If Rodgers has to miss extended time, it could get ugly and you can bet Favre's name will come up repeatedly. To avoid that, the Packers will have to get back to winning ways ASAP.

"We're making the same mistakes, that's what really bothers me," coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday. "Mistakes are going to happen, I'm not naive to that, but fundamentals of football, the things you practice every single day, and when they don't show up on Sunday, I have a problem with that.

"That's starts with me. I need to get it out of them, that's exactly what I told the football team. It's unacceptable for us to do the fundamental things wrong week after week. We need to get fixed."

Badgers Blow One: The University of Wisconsin got off to a 3-0 start to climb to No. 9 in the nation, but then lost to Michigan last Saturday after blowing a 19-point lead.

"It's a situation that you don't like to deal with as a coach," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. "You have to understand that our kids put a lot of time and effort into coming out here and have the opportunity to beat Michigan at Michigan.

"Any time that is denied and then to have it go down the way it did is very disheartening. But we have to take the opportunities that we had, examine why we didn't convert on them, and move forward."

Warhawks are perfect: The UW-Whitewater Warhawks started 3-0 and rank No. 2 in NCAA Division III. The Warhawks beat the University of Puget Sound, 60-7, last Saturday.

Whitewater finished with 278 yards rushing and 251 passing. Whitewater quarterback Jeff Donovan completed 14 of 20 for 212 yards with one interception. Donovan also added a 12-yard touchdown run.

The Warhawks won the Division 3 championship last season after finishing second in 2005 and ‘06.

Brewers move Class A team to Appleton: The Brewers announced they have agreed on a four-year player development partnership with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The agreement will make the Timber Rattlers the Low Class-A affiliate of the Brewers through the 2012 season.

"We are eager and looking for this to be a long term relationship with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and are excited to have a minor league affiliate closer to home," Melvin said.

"The premier facilities and Brewers fan base in Appleton combined with the proximity to Milwaukee provides a great opportunity for us and it gives our players an excellent and competitive environment to further their development."

It also was great news for the Rattlers. "The Timber Rattlers are very excited to sign this four-year player development agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers," said Rob Zerjav, Timber Rattlers President and General Manager. "We look forward to building a long term partnership and providing the great baseball fans of Wisconsin a first class venue to watch the Brewers stars of tomorrow."

The Timber Rattlers replace the West Virginia Power as the low-Class A affiliate. Most recently, the Timber Rattlers served as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners for the past 16 seasons.

Milwaukee has not had a minor league affiliation in the state since it moved from Beloit, where the Minnesota Twins now have an affiliate.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.