Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wisconsin - You Said it All.

The fine state of Wisconsin is about to explode.

How? The current, never-before-seen level of success among the state's athletic teams.

Wisconsin boasts the defending Super Bowl Champion, and 13-time World Champion, Green Bay Packers. The team appears stronger thus far in 2011 than they were at any point in the 2010 regular season. Through four games, QB Aaron Rodgers hasn't missed a step following his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLV. Rodgers has thrown 12 TD passes compared to just 2 INT, putting him on pace for 48 TD and only 8 INT in a full season. This team has leadership all over the field. Rodgers, Jennings, Woodson, Driver, and others act as a set of on-field eyes for Coach McCarthy. One of just two remaining undefeated teams in the league, the Pack is back and looking towards a repeat run to the Super Bowl.

At the college football level, the Wisconsin Badgers are being mentioned as a dark-horse National Championship contender. What more can you say about QB Russell Wilson? The guy has played 2 games as a Badger, and already has 2 athletic apparel companies named after him. Bucky had a high profile matchup on Saturday at Camp Randall against Nebraska; a 48-17 thrashing of the Huskers leaves little doubt as to who the better team is. UW has a better QB than they've ever had before, and perhaps a more confident team than they've had during their recent Rose Bowl runs... Anything short of a Rose Bowl would be a disappointment, and a potential National Championship appearance is a legitimate possibility.

And last, but certainly not least, the Milwaukee Brewers. Fear. The. Beer. The Brew Crew have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in their NLDS matchup against the Diamondbacks, and they look to complete the series sweep tonight in Arizona. Is there a more likable team in baseball than Milwaukee? The Brewers feature several big name players, but it's the under-the-radar acquisitions of Doug Melvin that may lead this team back to the World Series. Not many people across the baseball world had much to say about Milwaukee's mid-season acquisitions of Jerry Hairston Jr. and Nyjer Morgan. Hairston has been a huge improvement over Casey McGehee in the field, while Nyjer "Tony Plush" Morgan instantly became a fan favorite in Milwaukee. While there are several deserving candidates for NL MVP, all voters should quit their job if they choose anyone other than Milwaukee LF Ryan Braun. Braun and Prince Fielder are the engine that keeps the Brewers' offense going, while the pitching rotation has been consistenly good throughout the year. In my (somewhat biased) opinion, Milwaukee has enough balance between pitching and hitting to be the National League's representative in the World Series. This team is special.

It's a great time to be a supporter of Wisconsin sports. Across the world of professional sports, you'll see several cities that consistently see their teams win Championships. In the last 10 years, the city of Boston has seen 3 Super Bowls (Patriots), 2 World Series Championships (Red Sox), a Stanley Cup (Bruins), and an NBA Championship (Celtics.) That's seven championships in four major sports in the past decade. While I'm not complaining that the Big Bad Boston market has an unfair advantage over the smaller-market teams from Wisconsin, it's certainly fun to see such a high level of success among teams representing Sconnie. Nowhere else in the country is there a more unique sports story than there is currently in early October in Wisconsin. So... On Wisconsin, Feer the Beer, and Go Pack Go - Wisconsin is the Sports Capital of America.

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