Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Groin Shots: WI Sports Most Painful Moments

A Chuckie Hacks Exclusive! Whatever that's supposed to mean.

Not a ton to talk about here at Hacks, so our esteemed panel of experts (Me, Goldy, and Matt) collaborated to create a list called, "Groin Shots: Wisconsin sports most painful moments." You know, the ones that felt like a kick in the nuts and hurt for days. We voted on a 10, 9, 8... basis. The most brutal is first. Note: We were only 6 years old during the 1982 World Series, so its not on the list....didn't make much of an impact at that age.

1) 4th and 26.
Ouch. The unanimous #1 pick. You can live with a 4th and 5. Maybe 4th and 8. But 4th and 26?? Much of the blame was on rookie LB Nick Barnett who was nowhere to be found in pass coverage, but the onus should have been on Darrin Sharper. 26 yards to the first down marker, where’s Sharper? 30 yards deep. Ironically, the player closest to getting a hand on the ball was the forgettable Bhawoh Jue. People forget how good this team was. Yeah, they were only 10-6 in the regular season, but came into Philly on a roll, winning 7 of their last 8. The O-Line (Clifton, Tauscher, Whale, Rivera, Flanigan) was dominate as Ahman, Poopenport, and Fisher all averaged over 5.0 yards a carry. Philly then got rolled by Carolina in the next round, so who knows what would have happened. The one thing we do know….this loss still stings 4 years later.

2) Bucks Lose Eastern Conference Finals, 2001
Two games made this loss tough. Of course, Game 7 hurt. But it was Game 5 that made it a groin-kicker. JSOnline explains:

Glenn Robinson loved the look. And why not? Wide open on the baseline, maybe 10 feet from the basket, the shooter was gunning for the series lead in the Eastern Conference finals with the game melting away. "I'll take that look for the rest of my career," Robinson said.

Honestly, Big Dog makes that shot 97 out of 100 times. If he makes that shot, the Bucks are up 3-2, going back to Milwaukee for Game 6 and the Scott Williams affair is never an issue. The Bucks would get pasted by a driven Lakers team in the Finals, but Big Dog’s legacy in Milwaukee would have been completely different. I loved the guy, but if that shot goes in, who knows how the Bucks future changes. Maybe Anthony Mason is never signed. I (Goldy) was living in St. Louis that summer and every day after work for about two weeks, I would go out and shoot about 100 baseline jumpers.

Really, for me, Game 7 was anti-climatic as you knew they were going to lose. Ray was right, it was a conspiracy.

3) Jerry Rice/Terrell Owens game
This was a great back and forth game. It is unfortunate that it was decided by a terrible no-call.
Rice’s fumble on the Niners’ final drive was so blatant, I don’t know how the officials could have missed this. The thing is, even with that blown call, the Packers should have won this game. On the last play, Young slipped when setting up in the pocket, the Packers were in dime coverage, so not much of a rush. Sharper drifts too far to the outside, Owens runs up the middle and Pat Terrell can’t get over quick enough to save Sharper’s ass. Up to this pointing his career, Terrell Owens is only known for dropping passes. He holds on to this one and TO is born. Thanks Darren Sharper.

But it did, and that's why defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur, 66, called it the toughest loss of his career. With 8 seconds left, the 49ers sent two receivers wide left and two receivers wide right. Against this array, Shurmur kept his dime defense on the field. The three linemen rushed. The two linebackers, Brian Williams and Bernardo Harris, took deep drops after the snap into the middle of the field. LeRoy Butler and Scott McGarrahan, who were lined up opposite the slot receivers, carried their men about 10 to 15 yards downfield and then had to widen in case the 49ers threw to the outside. The other four players, cornerbacks Tyrone Williams and Craig Newsome to the outside and safeties Pat Terrell and Sharper in the middle, positioned themselves across the field in a zone coverage known as "quarters." In other words, each of them had responsibility for his deep quarter of the field. The 49ers ran a route known as "four verticals" in which their four split receivers each ran down the field as fast as they could. Earlier in the game they had run the same pattern, but Young had thrown to J.J. Stokes on the left outside and Sharper had come over to make his first interception in 17 games on a deflection. "He (Sharper) had a great game . . . but this is tough," Butler said. "We intercepted the first one, so we thought he was just going to throw it down the middle. That's why we went to the coverage we did." Owens started from the slot right. Butler carried him to a point inside the 15 and then let him pass into Sharper's area. However, Sharper had strayed too far outside and when Owens looked for the ball inside, Sharper was too far away from the receiver to knock it away. "We've been playing this defense forever," Shurmur said. Young's pass was crisp and on the mark. With Sharper out of position, it was impossible for Terrell to come over quickly enough from his sector to make the play. Owens caught the ball at the goal line, absorbed contact from Terrell and Sharper and scored one of the most important touchdowns in the 49ers' 53-year history. "When you look at the film and see guys going down, the safety (Sharper) has to be inside of him," Butler said. "Young slipped and he just stood up and threw it." Sharper, who had to play some cornerback when Newsome was in and out with knee trouble, knew he was at fault, according to Shurmur. "We should have went for the ball," Shurmur said. "That's what it basically boils down to. He went for the ball and we didn't."

This really was the end of the run for that Packer squad that should have won more than one Super Bowl. This was White’s last game and Holmgren’s last game as a Packer coach. This led to the Ray Rhodes era (year) which amazingly does not have a display in the Packers Hall of Fame. This game also kills me because it is constantly shown on ESPN and now the NFL Network in the “Greatest Games” series. It still makes me ill and pisses me off to watch this game. The final kick in the nuts is that I was watching this game in San Diego following the 99 Rose Bowl with G, Dudy, Chris and Brad. We were driving up to Vegas after the game and this made that drive take forever.

4) Broncos beat Packers in Super Bowl
Despite being 14 point favorites, I still had people tell me the Packers would cover (not naming names, T_ny M_te_a). That’s how confident Packer fans were. Besides, Elway was 0-28 in Super Bowls at this point, they had to win...right? Wrong. Terrell Davis gashed the Pack, and the Green and Gold offense couldn’t get going. You would think losing the SB should be #1 on the list, but they just won it the year before, softening the blow.

5) Badger FB loses to Cincinnati
Fresh off a Rose Bowl victory, the Badgers go into Cincinnati and lay a turd. I (Goldy) would like to blame this loss on having Scott Kavanagh at QB. He started the next game at Michigan and then never saw the field again as Bollinger led the team to a great comeback at the Horseshoe (“They built it, we own it.” – Brooks Bollinger urban legend) As I recall, there was some real horsecrap officiating that day. From the JS recount of the game:

“Two were particularly costly. Sophomore Michael Bennett was called for an illegal block in the back in the opening half, wiping out an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown by Nick Davis. Bennett denied making contact and TV replays seemed to support his contention, but the penalty was called. On the Badgers' final drive of the game, tight end John Sigmund was penalized for illegal motion, wiping out a 14-yard touchdown pass from Scott Kavanagh to Lee Evans with 11 seconds remaining.”

I think it became nationally known that this was a screw job by CUSA officials. Alvarez said, “"I didn't see a lot of the things that were called," "There were a lot of strange things called." This game caused me to take a 2 hour walk around campus because I was so pissed off

6) Wisconsin Hoops Lose to UNLV, 2007.
The stars were aligned for a Wisconsin Final Four run. They were a 2 seed, were ranked #1 in the nation for parts of the year, had the runner-up National Player of the year and an experienced senior PG, had bigs to spare, went about 9 deep, played in a familiar arena (Chicago), and basically had a “home court” crowd. What happened? They lost to an unheralded UNLV squad who didn’t even win the Mountain West.

7) Dayne’s fumble vs. Northwestern
34-30 loss. Once again, I’ll let the JS provide the recap:

“With 1 minute 33 seconds left, Northwestern kicker Brian Gowins missed what would have been a tying 55-yard field goal. The ball went over to the Badgers at their own 38-yard line; the Wildcats had but one timeout with which to battle the clock. Alvarez, who said he did not consider allowing quarterback Mike Samuel to kneel three times in an effort to run out the clock, entrusted the lead to 18-year-old freshman Ron Dayne. On his first play, the 260-pound tailback gained 7 yards. On his next, he fumbled without being touched, later saying he didn't even know the play was intended for him.”

NW then scored the go ahead TD in 2 plays that took 12 seconds. Yep, I am pretty sure I made the comment at one point in the 4th that, “Hey, Dayne hasn’t fumbled all year.” The Camp was completely silent as we walked out. Well we did walk by the NW bench and they were not silent. One of the only other times a loss at the Camp hurt so bad was the loss to Iowa in 2003 where Stocco almost saved the day. I am pretty sure I drank a lot more than usual that weekend.

8) UW 2001 NCAA tournament loss to Georgia State.
Fresh off the Final Four, the Badgers receive their highest NCAA seed, a 6, and play Georgia State. The Badgers lead by 16 in the first half and by 5 in the final minute. With 50 seconds to go Roy Boone fouls a guy as he makes a 3 pointer. Down to a 1 point game. Crappy Travon Davis (Note: His senior year he will be called Surprisingly Decent Travon Davis) turns the ball over and Georgia State scored to go up by 1. Mark “Only Married Big Ten Player” Vershaw is fouled with 3 seconds left. The 73% FT shooter misses both, cementing his legacy as one of my most loathed Badgers of all time. Plus his wife was a fat cow. On the plus side, this helped Richter decide to not permanently hire Soderberg which has led to the successful Bo Ryan era. Good call Pat!

9) Packers missing the playoffs in '89
Packers fans have been spoiled over the past 12 years or so. Super Bowls, division titles, regular playoff appearances, Brett Favre. But in the 70's and 80's, Green Bay was one of the most brutal franchises in all of pro sports, much less the NFL. 4-12 seasons (like the one we had 2 years ago) were the norm. 8-8 was a celebration. 10-6? A miracle. Amidst that gloom and doom, Green Bay had such a miracle 10-6 season in 1989. From the emergence of Don Majikowski, to four 1-point victories, to the famous instant replay game (you remember, "after further review, the Bears still suck"), the perennial doormats were on the verge of a playoff berth if only the Bengals could beat the Vikings in the last game of the regular season, thereby clinching the NFC Central for the Pack. Sadly, Minnesota beat Cincinnati 29-21 on Monday Night Football to lock up the division title and the playoff berth, because of a tiebreaker, (they had a better divisional record than GB). GB hadn't been to the playoffs in a non-strike year since 1972 (or 5 years before I was born). To make matters worst, Chris Doleman got like 3 sacks to win the sack title from Tim “Six shooter” Harris (Harris had 19.5, the next closest Packer had 3). All in all, an awful ending to an otherwise magical year. The next year, the Packers would come back to earth, finish 6-10, and we would wait until 1993 to finally make the playoffs under Holmgren.

10) Brewers sign Jeffrey Hammonds
Terrible on all fronts. Not only was this waaaaaaay too much money for the injury prone Hammonds, everyone saw it coming. His only good (and healthy) season was in a contract year playing in Colorado’s launching pad known as Coors Field. This move not only cost Dean Taylor his job but set the already cash strapped franchise into even more financial peril. Other terrible signings here.

Others receiving votes:
- Marquette getting housed by Kansas in the 2003 Final Four.
- Mike Vick and Atlanta gives the Packer their first ever home playoff loss.
- Sherman trades 3rd and 4th rounder to draft BJ Sander
- MSU goal line stand in 2004...wiping out the Badgers 9-0 start.


Anonymous said...

More Packer Draft Blunders:
Mandarich over Sanders,Sanders, and Thomas.
Carroll over Gamble.

-Not so anonymous Jake

woziszeus said...

Ahmad Carroll over Chris Gamble was one of the most ridiculous picks I can recall.

Dead on about 4th & 26 (I was in shock for weeks about that), & the Badgers loss this year (no mention of the Brian Butch injury though, which was 90% of the reason of their total collapse).

And yeah, 10 years from now, #1 might be: This Packers off-season. Includes not trading Aaron Rodgers and a draft pick for Randy Moss and PASSING on Brady Quinn to take some D-lineman from Tenessee.

BC said...

Butch, "90% of the reason." Come on Woz. No way.

As for the bad draft picks, you weren't really stunned by these. Madarich over Barry was clearly the wrong move. But at the time, I dont remember anybody being pissed off about it. Tony the Turnstyle was like the "best O-Line prospect ever"...

AP said...

The 4th & 26 is really a cumulative thing because you have a lot of other factors at play:

1) The miracle season-with the Oakland/Favre's dad game and the miraculous 4th & 24 for Arizona (I was at Lambeau for that, but anyway...) made people start thinking it was like a season of destiny.

2) Harris' pick in OT VS. Seattle kept the destiny train rolling, and it was looking like the Pack HAD to go to the Bowl that year.

3) Sherman's useless decision to punt the ball 4th & short when we had the one of the best (if not the best) O-line/RB combos in Packer history. Seriously, like Ahman doesn't get 2 yards MINIMUM on any running play in that situation with Rivera & Wahle.

4) OOOPS....shit! Punt goes into the endzone for a net of like 12 yards and Bwohe (sp?) Jue & the rest of the sieve-like defense is on the field.

5) 4th & 26- WTF!?!?!?

All that combined makes that easily #1. It was like 5 horrible things wrapped into one....

Anonymous said...

How about getting steamrolled by the Buffs in primetime fresh off a Rose Bowl winning season.

That sucked.

Htiek said...

dead on. However, the Packers superbowl loss to Elway was the most brutal for me besides 4th and 26. We were so confident and until the final whistle blew you had to beleive Favre was a god and he was still going to pull it out.

After the final whistle blew I was still waiting for some type of flag to be thrown to give Brett another chance...no luck. This meant Favre was human and the Pack were done. I cried shamelessly and then watched several of my friends get into a fight with the lone Bears fan in the room taunting us.

Also, I have to put Mike Vick's "Here I am" game at Lambeau as a huge kick in the nuts as it wiped away the whole Lambeau mystic. I still cant beleive his 86 yard run....again I cried all by lonesome.

And you cant forget Lindsay Hunters ginormous Goose Egg in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals!!! Damn Him!!!!!!!

Goldy said...

While the 96 loss to Northwestern stands out in my mind, I would add that every Badger footbal loss to NW over the past 15 years has been painful. They always seem to give the Badgers a fight no matter how bad they are (excluding last season) and the losses always hurt.

I think Big Blue making the first base side of Miller Park look like Lego Land was also a significant kick to the nuts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about worst, but in 5-10 years we may be talking about Mark Attansio/Doug Melvin in the same breath as Ron Wolf. Kind of a (big) stretch for now though.

Anonymous said...

BTW the final vote is in and the name of the group will be "James Jerry's Junkies"

Anonymous said...

I would put the loss to the Broncos far and away the biggest kick to the jimmies. Second, and I realize that baseball doesn't hold much water when it comes to Wisconsin sports, getting beat by St. Louis in '82, especially after the 0-2 comeback against the Angels. If you want a single game, Pete Ladd walking in the winning run in, if I recall correctly, Game 2. I was only 13 at the time, but I still remember wanting to put my foot thru the TV screen.

Anonymous said...

Brent Fullwood's fumble going into the end zone against the Rams in 1990. A TD would have tied the game at 38 after the Pack trailed at halftime 38-7. They lost 41-38.