WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Favre says he's staying retired
Brett Favre said it was flattering that the Saint Louis Rams apparently wanted him to be their quarterback but he has no plays of returning to the game.
But the 44-year-old Packers' legend told WSPZ Radio in Washington he does not believe he can physically compete. Favre also said he was starting to worry about the effects of the concussions he received during his 20-year NFL career -- 16 of those years in Green Bay where he won a Super Bowl title and three league MVP awards. He said he does not remember one of his daughters playing youth soccer -- and even if it was just a game or two, Favre calls that "a little bit scary." In Favre's words, "After 20 years, God only knows the toll" he placed on himself. ESPN reported yesterday that the Rams called Favre's agent after quarterback Sam Bradford went out for the year with a knee injury. Maybe it didn't happen -- NFL,.com quoted a Rams source as saying that somebody in the organization brought up Favre as a joke, and it was nothing more. Rams' coach Jeff Fisher wouldn't say what it was. He refused comment on the reports.
Green Bay Packers’ receiver James Jones is listed as doubtful for Sunday night’s game at Minnesota. He’s still getting over a knee injury suffered two weeks ago at Baltimore. Meanwhile, there’s a 50-50 chance that outside linebacker Nick Perry will return from a broken foot suffered in the Packers’ victory over the Ravens. He’s listed as questionable after he practiced on a very limited basis today. Also, it’s possible that corner Casey Hayward will see his first action of the regular season. He’s probable, meaning there’s a 75-percent chance he’ll appear on the field at the Metrodome. Coach Mike McCarthy says the Packer secondary needs a spark – and more interceptions. Hayward led Green Bay with a half-dozen picks a year ago. Inside linebacker Brad Jones is questionable for Sunday. Jarrett Bush and James Starks are both probable. Jermichael Finley appeared at Lambeau today, a day after leaving the hospital with the bruised spinal cord suffered last Sunday against Cleveland. McCarthy said it was uplifting to see Finley today – and everybody at the complex needed to see him. His playing prospects remain uncertain. Safety Jerron McMillan missed today’s workout for personal reasons. He’s listed as probable for the Viking game.
The Green Bay Packers will play their 31st-and-final regular season game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis on Sunday night. The white bubble that cost $55-million dollars to build in the early 1980's will be torn down and replaced by a state-of-the-art complex that costs almost 18 times more, at close to a billion-dollars. It's due to open in 2016. The Packers have gone 14-16 at the Humphrey-Dome. Minnesota has won three-of-the-previous five games there -- but the Packers have still done pretty well at the Dome in recent years, after former coach Mike Holmgren couldn't seem to buy a victory there in the 1990's. Packer fans once called it the "House or Horrors." In 1995, Holmgren cut third-string quarterback T.J. Rubley after he threw a pass instead of making a handoff late -- and the interception costs the Packers a win. Ex-Green Bay legend Brett Favre burned the Pack at the Dome in his first year at Minnesota in 2009 -- but the following year, Green Bay had the last laugh in a 31-3 romp.
Running back Adrian Peterson is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury – but he vows to go full speed on Sunday night, when his Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers. Peterson admits that he hesitated to go full-tilt in Monday night’s loss to the Giants at New York. He only had 28 yards on 13 carries in that game – compared to about 500 yards in three games against the Packers last year, including the post-season. Peterson said his hamstring problem grew from a small bruise a few weeks ago that got bigger and bigger. He insists he does not need to miss a game to heal – and he took part in light agility drills at his team’s practice today.
Two national Top-10 football teams will square off tomorrow, when UW-Whitewater travels to Oshkosh. The Warhawks are ranked seventh by D3football.com, and Oshkosh is ninth. Both teams are 3-0 in conference play, along with eighth-ranked UW-Platteville. The Pioneers host Stout tomorrow. Stevens Point is fourth in the standings at 2-1. The Pointers are at La Crosse. Eau Claire hosts River Falls. In the Midwest Conference, first-place Saint Norbert is off tomorrow. That will give an Illinois College a chance to take a share of the conference lead if they can beat Knox College at home. Saint Norbert is 6-0. Illinois College is 5-0. Also, Beloit plays at Ripon. Lawrence is at Monmouth. Carroll travels to Grinnell. In the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, there’s a battle for sole possession of first-place tomorrow when Concordia-Wisconsin hosts Lakeland. Both teams are at the top of the standings at 2-0. Wisconsin Lutheran plays at Benedictine. Maranatha Baptist hosts Rockford in Watertown. In the CCIW, Carthage plays at fourth-ranked North Central.
Over 200 Wisconsin high school football teams will begin their quests for a state championship tonight, when the WIAA playoffs begin. Fourteen others will have their post-season openers tomorrow. As usual, there are 32 teams in each of seven divisions. This weekend's winners will advance to the Level-Two games next Friday and Saturday. The two survivors in each division will square off at the state finals November 21st and 22nd at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. All seven defending champions from a year ago are returning in the same divisions. That's not always the case, since all 224 teams are placed top-to-bottom each year in accordance with their enrollments. The list is then sliced into seven equal groupings, and the pairings go from there. Hartland Arrowhead is the returning champ in Division-One. The other titlists are Mequon Homestead in D-2, Waukesha Catholic Memorial in Three, Somerset in Four, Amherst in Five, Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs in Six, and Glenwood City in Division 7. Throughout the season, the AP ranked teams in three enrollment groups, not knowing which divisions they would end up in. Mequon Homestead was Number-One among the large schools. Waupaca was tops in the medium group, and Fond du Lac Springs led the small schools.
The Milwaukee Bucks will try to end their pre-season at 2-5, when they host the Toronto Raptors tonight at the Bradley Center. It’s annual “MACC (mack) Fund Game” which benefits the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer. The charity began when former Bucks’ star Jon McGlocklin teamed up with radio announcer Eddie Doucette to help Doucette’s young son who had just been diagnosed with leukemia. Brett Doucette won that battle – and the MACC Fund has gone on to raise about $48-million in Wisconsin for fighting numerous childhood cancers. The Bucks’ charity exhibition has been played since 1976. It has raised one-point-four million dollars for the MACC Fund over that time.
NBA Commissioner David Stern says the effort to pursue a new arena for Milwaukee is quote, "relatively upbeat." Bucks owner Herb Kohl and vice-president Ron Walter presented an update yesterday to the league's Board of Governors. Afterward, Stern said team owners were brief on quote, "various architects, financial planners, committees, taxing authority, and a variety of things that have to be considered." In April, Bucks' officials told Stern that the team would have a plan which includes a new arena by 2017 -- when its lease expires at the Bradley Center. Tomorrow, the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce will unveil the members of a new task to study a new-or-improved multi-purpose arena plus other entertainment facilities in the area.
The Milwaukee Admirals will host the Texas Stars in a two-game series tomorrow and Wednesday nights. Milwaukee is tied for fourth place in the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division with six points and a record of 2-0-2-0. The Admirals have played the fewest games among their division rivals so far – only half of the eight contests Rockford has under its belt. Texas comes in at 5-1-1-0 with 11 points – four more than Abbotsford and Oklahoma City, which are tied for second in the Western Division. Milwaukee will break in a new goal-tender this weekend. Scott Darling has been called up from Cincinnati of the ECHL. He’ll replace Magnus Hellberg, who’s been called up to the N-H-L’s Nashville Predators for the first time. Hellberg will fill in for ex-Admiral Pekka Rinne, who’s out for at least four weeks with a hip infection that needs surgery.
Milwaukee Brewers' center-fielder Carlos Gomez was named this morning as one of three finalists for a National League Gold Glove Award. The honors go to the top fielders in both leagues at their respective divisions. The other National League center-field nominees are Denard Span of Washington and Andrew McCutcheon of Pittsburgh. It's been 31 years since the Brewers won a Gold Glove Award. Hall-of-Famer Robin Yount took the honor at shortstop in 1982. The Brewers have not had an outfielder win a Gold Glove since 1979, when Sixto Lezcano was recognized. Gomez made five catches that saved home runs -- one which gave the Brewers a victory -- and had a career-high 12 assists, two fewer than Mets' center-fielder Juan Lagares.
Wisconsin NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth will try to move back into first place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this weekend. Qualifying takes place this afternoon for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot-500. The race is set for Sunday in Martinsville, Virginia. With four races left, Kenseth trails first-place Jimmie Johnson by four points. Kenseth lost his series lead a week ago. He remains second, 22 points ahead of third-place Kyle Busch. Beloit-born Danica Patrick is also entered in Sunday's event, along with Paul Menard of Eau Claire and Travis Kvapil of Janesville. In the Camping World Truck Series, Johnny Sauter of Necedah is coming off a victory last week -- his third of the season. He'll compete in the Kroger-200 tomorrow at Martinsville. Sauter placed fourth in his initial practice run. He's currently sixth in the Truck Series' season point standings. The Nationwide Series is taking the weekend off.
The University of Wisconsin women's hockey team will host Lindenwood of Saint Charles, Missouri in a two-game series tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Lindenwood is in its second year in the NCAA's Division I. The Lady Lions are 0-7-1 this fall, with a six-game losing streak. Mark Johnson's Badgers are 4-2, ranked second in the country. Lindenwood is the first opponent this season outside of the WCHA. Wisconsin is 4-0 lifetime against Lindenwood with a 40-3 scoring edge. However, Johnson says his team cannot afford to treat the weekend like a cakewalk -- and he wants his Badgers to play like it's the final game of the season. Wisconsin is second in the nation in scoring defense, giving up exactly one goal per game. The Badgers ranked eighth in offense, with three-point-one-seven goals per contest. The fourth-ranked Badger men's hockey team is off this weekend, after losing a pair of games in Boston last weekend.
The NCAA says college athletes are graduating at their highest percentages ever. An annual report released yesterday shows that 82-percent of all athletes who entered college in the fall of 2006 earned their diplomas within six years. That's one-point higher than a year ago, and it matches the record graduation rate. In Wisconsin, the UW-Green Bay men's basketball team had 100-percent of its athletes graduate within the six years ending last fall. Marquette had a rate of 77-percent, UW-Milwaukee 67, and University of Wisconsin at Madison 44. The Green Bay women's basketball team also had a 100-percent graduation rate. Marquette was at 92-percent, the Badgers 83, and Milwaukee 80. The only Division I football team in the state, UW-Madison had a graduation success rate of 72-percent, one above the national average.
UW-Eau Claire is picked to be men’s hockey champions of the WIAC. That’s according to a pre-season poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors. This is the first year that teams will compete solely under the banner of the WIAC, after playing in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in past seasons. Eau Claire won the NCAA Division III championship a year ago, with a team-record 24 victories. The Blugolds went 10-2 against WIAC opponents last season. UW-Stevens Point is projected to take second and River Falls third.
Wisconsin Lutheran is the pre-season favorite to win its fourth straight women's basketball title in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The Warriors from Milwaukee received 18-of-24 first-place votes from the league's coaches and sports information directors. Wisconsin Lutheran went undefeated in league play last year, with a 25-3 overall record. It won its division in each of the five years the NACC has had divisional play. This year, the league is going back to non-divisional standings for both men's and women's basketball. Concordia-Wisconsin is picked to finish second, Benedictine third, and Lakeland fourth.
Defending champion Saint Norbert is the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the Midwest Conference men's basketball crown. The Green Knights have won three-of-the-last-four league titles. All-conference guard Brandon Gries is among the Saint Norbert players who will return. Carroll of Waukesha is picked to take second, Beloit third, and Grinnell fourth. Black River Falls native Jack Taylor is back for Grinnell, after he scored 138 points in a game last November. On the women's side, Cornell College of Iowa has been named the coaches' favorite to repeat as the Midwest Conference champions. Monmouth was picked second, and Saint Norbert third. Beloit guard Lauren McNanna is among just three returning all-conference first-teamers from a year ago.
UW-Stevens Point has clinched at least a share of its third straight WIAC volleyball title. The Pointers improved to 6-1 in conference play, with a shutout at Eau Claire last night. Stevens Point can the crown outright with a victory over Superior tomorrow. Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Whitewater still have a shot at grabbing at least a piece of the league title.
UW-Whitewater will win a least a share of the WIAC women's soccer championship. The Warhawks defeated Platteville 2-1 at home yesterday, to improve to 7-0 in league play. Whitewater has won its fourth consecutive league title. Oshkosh can still get a share of first with a win over Platteville on Saturday, and a Whitewater loss to Stevens Point November second.