By Josh Kramer
The past 48 hours have been an absolute world wind in the sporting stratosphere. Things like the Gold Cup Finals, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Dodgers fiasco have been at the forefront of the discussion. Here is what has caught my attention.
Badger time in the Big Ten?
There has been zero dull moments in the Big Ten this off-season. A split into two separate divisions. The addition of Nebraska. Mayhem in Columbus. And now the addition of Russell Wilson to the Wisconsin Badgers. I feel like all the puzzle pieces are falling into place for Badger Nation. This was going to be a very good Wisconsin team to begin with. A great offensive line. Solid defensive unit. But the one thing they appeared to be lacking was a quarterback that could perform on the big stage. Well it appears they have found their man.
So what if this was a lucky chain of events. It is completely a fair acquisition and something that will help Wisconsin take that next step towards a Big Ten title. Now I realize it is still early. We have not even seen any of these teams take the field outside of their respective Spring games. But all directions appear to be pointing in the Badgers favor.
-First, of all they return a great offensive line to go with a stud running back in James White. This will really ease the transition for the new quarterback in Camp Randall.
-Second, the Badgers marquee non-conference game is against a “Rodgersless” Oregon State team that traditionally struggles on the road. Plus Camp Randall is always one of the most hostile environments in the country for visitors.
-Third, they get Nebraska at home. Nebraska is one of the big mysteries in the Big Ten next year. How will their style of play match up with the traditional, smash mouth, Big Ten style? Well at least the Badgers will get to find out in front of a home crowd.
-Fourth, Ohio State appears to be in shambles. Sure the Badgers have to head to the Horseshoe, but all directions point towards Ohio State not being the Buckeyes we are accustomed to seeing.
-Last, Wisconsin now will have an aerial threat via their new quarterback candidate Russell Wilson. Wilson’s passing numbers are light years better than those of former Badger QB Scott Tolzien in all of the major categories. As long as the former professional baseball player cuts down on the interceptions, Wisconsin will be very tough to stop.
Look out Big Ten, because Russell Wilson may be the final piece of the puzzle for Badger nation.
FIFA World Cup is underway
The FIFA World Cup opened up in Berlin over the weekend. It was an extremely low-key opening, at least in the United States. If you are unaware of this huge soccer event going on, well now you are in the known. I do not see the public really getting into the World Cup fever until this afternoon, when the US Women open up play against North Korea. The favorites are the two-time defending champion Germans, Brazil, the United States, and Canada.
Well the host team, Germany, made a mockery of the Canadians in their opener on Sunday. Sure the Canadians picked up a goal in garbage time, but the Germans looked absolutely dominant. I am pulling for Abby Wambach and the US women to bring it home, but I am not sure they can get through the German Wall. The real question is will the American public really get into this? Or will this be similar to this past weekend’s Gold Cup Final, where Mexican fans made up 80% of the Rose Bowl Stadium as they dismantled the American men in the finals? How is it possible that in a supposed home game, our fans were outnumbered four to one?
Can’t say that I am surprised
The All England Club lost a whole lot of star power on the women’s side of the draw today. Both of the Williams’ sisters and world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, both hit the showers early. Now the tournament appears to be in Maria Sharapova’s court. But honestly, is there any interest left in watching the women’s side of the tournament now?
Most people were solely watching to see if either of the Williams’ sisters could pull off the unthinkable, and bring a Grand Slam title back to America. It didn’t happen, and I cannot say that I am surprised. Neither sister looked nearly like a shell of their former selves at any point during the tournament. The reign is over.
At least the “Fantastic Four” plus Mardy Fish all remain alive on the men’s side of the draw.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.