WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Favre says he ready to rejoin Packer family again
GREEN BAY - "It's a dream come true ... It's time to come back." That's what Brett Favre said on the phone this afternoon, when the Green Bay Packers' Hall of Fame announced it would induct the three-time MVP quarterback next summer.
Team president Mark Murphy said Favre's Number-Four would be retired at the Hall of Fame banquet next July 18th -- and a ceremony will later be held at a home game in 2015 where his name appear on the north facade at Lambeau. Favre played 16 of his 20 NFL seasons with the green-and-gold, winning a Super Bowl in the 1996 season. Former team president Bob Harlan said that when GM Ron Wolf, coach Mike Holmgren, and Favre came to town, "Packer pride was restored" after three decades of mostly losing seasons following the departure of Vince Lombardi. Hall of Fame president Perry Kidder said the vote to elect Favre was unanimous.
Amid all the hub-bub over Brett Favre, today's Green Bay Packers are getting ready to return to the practice field this evening. They've been off since Saturday's Family Night, when rookie tight end Colt Lyerla was carted off the field with what appeared to be a major knee injury. However, his agent Vinnie Porter tells the Green Bay Press-Gazette that it might be only a sprain. They'll know for sure once an MRI is completed. Lyerla was injured while trying to hurdle over defender Jumal Rolle. Lyerla went undrafted in May, after some off-field incidents scared many teams away. The Packers are also getting ready for their exhibition opener this coming Saturday night at Tennessee. Meanwhile, the Packers' Hall-of-Fame will hold a news conference this afternoon to confirm that Favre will be inducted next year, and have his Number-Four retired in the 2015 season. Favre confirmed the announcement himself on his Web site.
A freshman kicker raised some eyebrows this morning as the University of Wisconsin football team opened its pre-season camp in Madison. Brazilian native Rafael Gaglianone went 5-for-5 in field goal attempts, with his longest being 49 yards. Badgers' assistant Jeff Genyk said Gaglianone has about the strongest leg he's seen on field goal kicks. He signed with the UW in February, and he's expected to compete for the kicker's post with Jack Russell and Andrew Endicott.
The Milwaukee Brewers are off today, after losing two-of-three at Saint Louis. Manager Ron Roenicke says he's particularly concerned about the leg injuries to his middle infield combination of shortstop Jean Segura and second baseman Scooter Gennett. Both sat out yesterday's loss to the Redbirds -- Segura with an injured left quad muscle, and Gennett with a sore right quad. They're both thought to be minor, but Roenicke says they've been lingering for a while. Both injuries were aggravated during Milwaukee's victory over the Cards on Saturday. The skipper says it's getting to the point in which doesn't like Gennett playing, knowing he cannot go 100-percent all the time. He originally hurt his quad on July 19th, and Segura has had a similar problem since June 28th. Roenicke says today's off-day should be a help -- and he cannot afford to lose either player for an extended period of time. The Brewers still lead the National League Central Division by a game over the Cardinals, and one-and-a-half over Pittsburgh. The Crew will open a home series tomorrow night against the San Francisco Giants.
Brewers' left-hander Wei-Chung Wang is now a starter for Milwaukee's rookie league team in Arizona. The 22-year-old Wang began a 30-day rehab assignment yesterday, when he gave up one hit and struck out a batter in one-and-a-third scoreless innings. He's been on the disabled list since July 11th with tightness in his throwing shoulder. Wang was Milwaukee's Rule-Five Draft pick last winter -- and they had to keep him on the team's Major League roster until early July when he first became eligible for the DL. The Brewers are really high on Wang's potential -- even though we didn't see much of it from his bullpen appearances earlier in the year. He had an 11.12 ERA in 13 relief outings for Milwaukee. Eleven of his 21 earned runs came in two games against Pittsburgh and Atlanta. The current Brewers, meanwhile, are off today. They'll host San Francisco tomorrow night.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers begin a road trip tonight at Cedar Rapids. The Rattlers and Peoria played to a 1-1 tie at home yesterday, when a big downpour came as the tenth inning was about to begin. They'll finish that contest in Peoria on Thursday evening. The Beloit Snappers will open a series at Clinton tonight. The Snappers are coming off a 6-4 win over Cedar Rapids. Wisconsin is currently third in the Western Division, a game-and-a-half behind both Cedar Rapids and Kane County at 23-18 for the second half. Beloit is last in the division, 10-and-a-half behind the leaders at 14-27.
The final full week of the Northwoods League regular season begins tonight, and the playoff races could come down to the wire. The Lakeshore Chinooks appear to have the South Division crown in hand, with a two-and-a-half game lead. The Chinooks also won the first-half title, which means the top remaining team will face Lakeshore in the league semi-finals next week. The Wisconsin Woodchucks of Wausau have a one-game edge over Madison for that slot. In the North, first-half champion Willmar also leads in the second half -- but only by a half-game over Waterloo. Eau Claire is third, a game-and-a-half off the pace. Lakeshore hosts Wisconsin tonight in Mequon. Madison entertains Alexandria. Green Bay is at Kenosha. Eau Claire is home against Duluth. Wisconsin Rapids hosts Battle Creek. And La Crosse entertains Kalamazoo.
Steve Stricker of Madison dropped three more places to 23rd in the new World Golf Rankings today. His limited schedule of the past two seasons -- putting more emphasis on important matters with his friends and family -- has been an up-and-down proposition for Stricker on the course. He has played very well at times -- but not this past weekend, which he tied for 63rd at the Bridgestone Invitational in northern Ohio. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson dropped eleven places down the World Rankings, to No. 387. That's after he tied for 45th at the PGA's Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada.
The new men's hockey coach at Northland College in Ashland will have seven players from the school he just left. Seamus Gregory led Williston State of North Dakota to back-to-back national junior college championships, before he decided in June to move up to the NCAA's Division-III level. Now, the Williston Herald says seven of Gregory's former players are following him to Northland -- goaltender Tyler Ampe -- defensemen Kyle Kuntz and Karson Kuntz -- and forwards Parker Tomczyk, Logan Millican, Michael Berens, and Darius Cole. Three other Williston players have transferred Division III Southern Maine -- defenseman Cole Sonstebo and forwards Trevor Hunt and Dario Torres.