Over the past few years, we've seen a strange trend developing in the NHL playoffs, and I've never been quite sure how to explain it, but I'm going to take a stab. Every single year in the NFL playoffs, you can count on some of the teams that had the best record in the regular season to drop out of the playoffs way too early. Based on the regular season standings, the best teamsnever seem to take it deep into the playoffs, and each year it seems to get stranger.
Like most basketball fans, I've been watching plenty of the NBA playoffs the last couple weeks. We've been treated to some good games and some interesting series, but every year, especially around the first round, I begin to voice to same complaints over and over again: there are too many teams, too many games, the postseason goes too long and the way the games are called becomes frustrating. I still enjoy the playoffs, but there is so much wrong with the current system. The structure needs an overhaul, with several major changes needing to be implemented.
While most outgoing Badgers have played in their final competitive football game, at least three members of the 2009 Wisconsin football team have the chance to play professional football in the National Football League, as tight end Garrett Graham, defensive lineman/linebacker O'Brien Schofield and safety Chris Maragos have hooked up with NFL teams.
Ever since Roger Goodell took over as NFL commissioner in 2006, he's been a no-nonsense guy. He decided he was going to put his stamp on the league by being a disciplinarian, making it seem more and more likely that Goodell's lasting image in this league will be the commissioner who wasn't afraid to impose harsh penalties on any player—even if you're a superstar in the NFL.
There's a reason no one on campus goes to the spring game. It's boring. It's just a practice. The starters on offense go out and run over the second-team defense, then the defensive starters go out and shut down the second-team offense. Guys like Scott Tolzien, John Clay and Nick Toon will go out there and have huge days against inferior competition.
When I became a columnist last fall, I swore I would avoid blabbering about my hometown teams back in New York at all costs, knowing no one out here really cares about them. But with what the New York Jets have been doing this spring, ignoring them is becoming impossible. With the moves the Jets have made since losing to Indianapolis in the AFC title game last January paired with what they did before the season, it becomes apparent that this team could be changing the landscape of the NFL offseason.
Now that Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils have cut down the nets, the 2009-'10 NCAA men's basketball season has finally come to an end. As a Badger fan already looking ahead to the 2010-'11 campaign, one of my favorite parts of discussing Wisconsin basketball in the off-season is speculating next year's starting lineup; who will replace the seniors from this season and how players may fare facing the potential of an expanded role. So here's an early look at the potential starting lineup for UW for next season.
After watching my final Wisconsin basketball game as a student Sunday, I cannot help but feel a sour taste in my mouth. This bitter flavor is not just a product of Cornell blowing by the Badgers in the NCAA Tournament; it stems from season after season of Wisconsin coming up short in the postseason far more often than it should.