Issue #195 Jan. 26, 2012

Articles

The Year in Sconnie Sports

a near historic year for Wisconsin sports quickly fell flat, but at least we got a sweet logo

by Luc Anthony

If you’re a Wisconsin sports fan, that day may well have been the pinnacle of your recent sporting life. To wit: the previous weekend, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers dropped 49 points on the pre-Tebow-as-starter Denver Broncos with Aaron Rodgers rolling up over 400 yards of passing; on the college side of the gridiron, the No. 7-ranked Wisconsin Badgers had, um, “welcomed” the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Big Ten by nearly matching the Packers’ point total. Meanwhile, the Brewers had just accomplished a heart-pumping National League Division Series win over Arizona, putting themselves in prime position to carry their home field advantage to a first-ever Brew Crew World Series championship.

The Badger State sports scene was so blissful that a few days earlier, some inventive computer denizen slapped together the Badgers, Brewers, and Packers logos into a trio of Wisconsin athletic pride, a W-B-G symbol that quickly adorned many a Facebook profile pic. The Badgers seemed to finally have enough firepower to slide into the BCS National Championship, the Brewers were a favorite to win the World Series, and the Packers? An undefeated season looked realistic, even likely. Heady times, weren’t they?

About four months later, the W-B-G sits at home, having flamed out in a series of disappointments, giving the Wisconsin sports fan a triple shot of “Wait ‘til next year.”
So, wha’ happened?

There are in-depth reasons that have to do with each team: the questionable time-out usage of Badgers coach Bret Bielema, the pitching order of the Brewers trying to match against a magical St. Louis Cardinals squad, the Packers simply peaking before the playoffs. However, the biggest lesson we can glean from the zenith of last October and the accompanying fall is that sports will always surprise you.

Players and coaches are human, subject to over- and under-thinking their strategy and injuring parts of their bodies that keep them from playing the games. This sounds obvious, but we get so caught-up in a run of athletic excellence that we forget the need for full schedules to be played, that an off-game can happen at an inopportune time, that success does not last forever.