The Packers’ Schedule: Nine Weeks’ Rest before REALLY Playing Football

I was just looking at the 2012 schedules for my favorite teams:  I couldn’t help but notice that Green Bay was apparently scheduled to play Canadian League teams for the first half of the season.

For a 15-1 team, the Packers pulled a remarkably weak field, with their biggest challenges being the opener against the 49ers (really just an average team in a weak division), the Bears the week after (an exciting early test for both teams) and Houston week 6 (provided Matt Schaub doesn’t get a hang nail or stub a toe, or get the sniffles or whatever by then.)

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The Packers and the NFL: Our Manly Soap Opera?

Is the NFL turning into a slightly less-scripted version of the World Wrestling Entertainment?

The NFL seems to be targeting its soap opera for women, but in the clumsy way men always target women (“chicks dig stories that make them cry or go ‘aaaaawwwwwww’. And babies.”)

WWE is sport turned into soap opera (mostly for men.)  The NFL is attempting to wrap a sport up in a thick blanket of soap opera schlock, from long stories about players’ humble origins (and their moms!), to a dramatic benching of a popular coach, to PSAs about head injuries from guys who are paid to run into each other at 40 miles per hour.

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Madison’s Workaday Performer, pt. 1: French Linguistics & Frozen Lakes


Lyle Anderson (left) pictured here with the late Jim Packard (right). Photo: Jacob Bielanski, Feb 5, 2011.

In February of 2011, I interviewed Michael Feldman for what I thought would be a great insight into a Madison icon. To get closer to the iconic host of Public Radio International’s “Whad’ya Know?”, I interviewed one of his longest-standing co-workers, Lyle Anderson. And it goes from there.

Stacked with browning books and oddly arranged papers, the State Climatology office remains mostly dark during the day, the workers illuminated only by personal lamps. From a computer at least 10 years old, the volunteer director, a former UW professor in Climatology, prints PowerPoint slide after PowerPoint slide. The slides use circles and bullet points to outline what the office could, should, would be. A quick glance shows the office is not any of these things.

The office has no supplies budget. When the printer runs out of paper, it is quietly, dutifully refilled by the office’s only paid employee, a white-haired man named Lyle Anderson.

This is only one of Lyle’s five offices.

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Mother in a Bar: a search for Wisconsin-style civility in New Orleans

Editor’s note: This is the first of the “Baby in a Bar”-categorized posts–foreign dispatches that compare and contrast Wisconsin’s culture to others.

Hangover food at the Clover Grill on Bourbon Street. Photo: Jamie Peacock, Jan 8, 2010

As we walked the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter in the sweltering June heat, we knew we were in for a battle. We were hungry. We were thirsty. We were hot. But, we also had two dogs and a baby in tow. We wanted indoor, air-conditioned seating that would serve us food.

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Somewhere from Nowhere, pt. 1: Mindoro’s Bell Coulee Rock Shelter

Where's the entry in the journalism ethics guidebook on "posting pictures of yourself about to trespass?" Feb 3, 2009

Not every place on the National Register of Historic Places gets a fancy bronze plaque. And really, some of them should not.

Following a path to GPS coordinate [REDACTED], I’m now standing on a place earmarked by the National Register of Historic Places, staring across a shining, snow crusted valley. The process of getting here has been half the enjoyment.  As I take a moment to ponder my stance on this rocky escarpment. There is no one here, no signs denoting its importance, and no clear direction to this place. I scramble down quickly because, in addition to taking in a beautiful view, I’m also trespassing.

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A Photographic Eulogy to the Anti-Walker Movement

It was all pretty interesting. Sometimes fun. Sometimes serious. Sometimes, a complete spectacle. In Madison, particularly, it was always a little theatrical. A portly man going on a hunger strike. Decrepit, carbon-spewing automobiles, re-purposed to carry the banner of “Recall Walker.” A weekly outdoor play, showing an angry “badger” going after a “weasel,” (note: the “badger” in the play makes an appearance in a picture of the June 5 recall rally. My daughter was a little terrified of getting any closer). On the evening of the election, a tandem bike rode by our outdoor table, adorned with “Barrett/Mitchell” signs.

Both riders were dressed as Spider-Man. For some reason.

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In defense of: State Senator Glenn Grothman

“We’re out here protesting Obama’s health care mandate,” said Jolene. She was clearing a table at a rapidly dispersing protest outside the Federal Courthouse in Madison.

Curiously stacked among the bumper stickers and anti-abortion material was a flyer from Wisconsin’s favorite extreme conservative, Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend).

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For the Wisconsin Recall election, BIAB Endorses…

Do blogs run political endorsements? And at 8:30 a.m. on election day, does it matter?

This blog’s team (including legal council Caillou, a goldfish) has long held an editorial policy to not stand behind any candidate. But really, from the perspective of a blog dealing with the culture of Wisconsin, a stance must be taken.

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Four Hours: Learning to Carry Concealed in Wisconsin

Training Requirements for WI Concealed Carry Derided by instructors, law enforcement, and gun rights advocates

Auto Mechanic Kerry Kimball considers his gun collection small—a couple of shotguns, a .22-caliber rifle each for his son and himself, and three handguns of varying calibers. When asked about his upcoming pistol course, he produces packet full of NRA literature, to be handed out at his first, eight-hour session October 15. Kimball emphasizes that this is not a concealed carry class, that he and his partner intend to put together a better, longer curriculum which addresses additional knowledge they believe people should have when carrying a concealed firearm. But that does not matter—according to the new law, Kimball, operating out of his home near New Glarus—will already provide his students the minimum training required to carry a concealed firearm in Wisconsin.

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Westby, Wis.: A Living Stereotype of Norwegians

A picture of the cold

Their parks are radiant in the soul-crushing depths of winter

Westby has a scant amount of bars. This may seem like a strange assessment, but a place like Melrose—at a population just over 500—has 3 bars in the village (probably a handful more in a 5-mile radius). Burr Oak is unincorporated and still manages to support two drinking establishments. Westby, with a population of over 2,000 has two, maybe. The one on main street was simply labeled “Food and Drink”, with only a cartoon martini glass to indicate the potential for alcohol within.

What Westby lacks in bars, however, it makes up for in Lutheran churches.

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