Born out of a series of Tweets by commenter @RandBallsStu, an idea by your humble proprietor and a sick thirst to rile up Packers fans for no good reason, we present, "The Increasingly Lost Season." In this series, now entering its second year, Stu chronicles the Packers' misfortunes as they tumble back toward Randy Wright-esque putridity. This week he turns his attention, deservedly so, to the college ranks. Stu?
Although it would be easy and convenient for this writer to pretend otherwise, there are other football teams in the upper Midwest in the midst of their own increasingly lost seasons besides the Green Bay Packers. For example, there’s another team with myriad flaws on defense, dicey quarterback play, and an almost supernatural ability to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.
I speak, of course, of the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers.
Now, the politically correct mob might say I’m discussing the Badgers because the Packers won in a mild upset at Daunte’s House over Washington. This is far from the truth. Indeed: Green Bay has proven they can compete with any team so long as the starting quarterback is hobbled or Joe Webb. Anything beyond that, well, the end result of such a lopsided race as that is too obvious to require elaboration. I understand that their long-suffering fan base is thrilled to be .500, but such is the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Back to the Badgers. On Saturday night/early Sunday morning, the second-most-disappointing football team in Wisconsin had Arizona State on the ropes in Tempe. Trailing 32-30, they had the ball well within field goal range with 18 seconds left and the clock stopped. Then, this happened.
Go ahead, watch the clip a few more times. I’ll wait here.
Done? Okay. Now, it goes without saying that the officials messed up, but let’s be frank: the Badgers were going to find a way to lose. Their quarterback, Joel Stave, who somehow gets two syllables out of “Stave” but can’t kneel down in a clear manner, would have found a different, more creative way to blow it. The field goal attempt would have been shanked. Arizona State would have scored a 15-lateral touchdown on the ensuing kickoff. These are the things that happen to teams like the Badgers.
Does Wisconsin deserve to have its two most high-profile teams mired in the midst of concurrent increasingly lost seasons? That’s open to debate. But no one can argue that it’s happening.
This week, the Badgers open their Big Ten schedule with a home game against Purdue. Their professional counterparts travel to Cincinnati to take on the surging Bengals. Can either team win? In these two increasingly lost seasons, “maybe” is as good as it’s going to get.