Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Will have should update

The Journal-Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus checks in with an injury update replete with commentary from Coach Bielema. Bottom line: every injured player is expected to be available to start practicing: Shaughnessy, Thomas, Monty, and Cooper are all ready to go. Excellent.

The article does include two quotes from the coach that may not actually mean much, but I'll read into in the way that only a blogger-outsider can really do. One is bad, one is good.

Let's start with the bad: apparently, the disciplinary action that will be taken with regard to Joe Monty's driving (or scooting, as it were) while intoxicated is probably going to "involve [his] place on the depth chart to open the season."

OK. The kid had a huge medical situation because of his actions, including a stitch count that made the triple digits, and all of that physical pain probably taught him a valuable lesson -- not to mention the court dates, the hundreds of dollars of fines, and the notoriety in the local media. So, this is a case that could go either way. However, my heart leapt when Bielema took over the position of head coach and almost immediately kicked Booker Stanley to the curb. "Finally," thought I, "we may be shedding the image of Camp Randall as a minimum-security prison where football is occasionally played! Lo, Coach Bielema is a real disciplinarian!"

Keeping Monty out of the lineup during the Bowling Green game would do much to solidify this image, and it's the approach I favor. Indeed, the fact that this was yet another booze-drenched episode on a campus where alcohol problems are already beyond epidemic levels only serves to strengthen the cry that an example be made. (And yes, I realize that every D-IA campus that isn't named for a guy who had four dozen wives has similar issues, but if you don't recognize that Wisconsin is particularly egregious in this regard, then you should consider have a high-speed internet connection piped under the rock under which you've been living). However, this situation was full of life lessons for Mr. Monty, and it may be that no further punishment is necessary. At least he got a sweet "ME POUND LITTLE MAN" feature photo of himself out of the whole ordeal, complete with Incoherent Refrigerator Magnet Poetry subheader:


Speaking of Mr. Potrykus, he has started a thread worth monitoring over at the BadgerNation/BadgerManiac forum. He'll be reporting from Badgers camp in this space starting August 7. He's also doing informal Q+A in that thread, giving an especially intriguing answer to the question "Does this team remind you of the 2004 team, and if so, why?" Click over to read more!

Let's finish strong with some bullets:

  • Some UW football players took time out of their weekend to visit with Children's Hospital patients and their families. Very nice, guys!

  • The Racine Journal-Times's sports section is basking in their newfound relevance, for they are the paper physically closest to star running back John Clay's house. And damned if they're not going out of their way to remind us of that. "It's been something being Johnny Clay these past eight months," they gush. Well, it's been something to be a Racine-based high school football beat writer, too!