WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Packers to play in regular season opener at Seattle
For the second time in four years, the Green Bay Packers will play in the N-F-L's Thursday night regular season kickoff event. The Super Bowl champions normally host the league opener. And when the schedule was announced last night, the Seattle Seahawks were at the top, as they'll host the Pack on September fourth. The last time the Packers played there, the replacement referees awarded a touchdown to Seattle receiver Golden Tate on the game's final play -- although replays showed that Packers' defender M-D Jennings came down with the ball. Green Bay lost the so-called "Fail Mary" game 14-to-12. Coach Mike McCarthy knows that loss will be examined heavily between now and the September fourth renewal -- and he's quick to point out that it won't be about the past, but rather about the 2014 Packers. Both Jennings and Tate have moved onto other teams.
For now, at least, Green Bay has five night games -- two on Thursdays. The other one is a home contest with Minnesota October second. They also have two tentative Sunday Night games at New Orleans on October 26th and Chicago at home November 9th. Those games could be moved if the league and N-B-C find more compelling match-ups, which is what happened to Green Bay twice in 2013 when Aaron Rodgers was hurt. The "flexible scheduling" for Sunday Night Football now begins at Week-Five instead of Week-11 as in the past. The Pack's other national night game is a Monday nighter on December 8th at home against Atlanta. Overall, Green Bay has the N-F-L's 13th toughest schedule, with an opponents' record of .504 from a year ago.
Jean Segura hit a three-run homer in the first inning last night, and the Milwaukee Brewers hung on to beat San Diego 5-to-2 at Miller Park. Khris Davis belted a solo shot, and Ryan Braun added an R-B-I double for the Brewers. They won their fifth game in their last six, and improved to 13-and-0 when scoring four or more runs. Kyle Lohse won his fourth straight start -- the first time he's done that since April of 2011. He gave up two runs -- one earned -- on five hits in seven innings with five strikeouts. Lohse improved to 4-and-1. Francisco Rodriguez struck out a pair in the ninth for his ninth save. Padres' starter Tyson Ross was shelled for five runs in six innings, and he gave up more than one homer for only the second time in his career. Ross dropped to 2-and-3. Nick Hundley and Seth Smith drove in San Diego's two runs, as the Padres have now lost three-of-four. Milwaukee again becomes the only Major League team to be ten games above .500, with the best record in the bigs at 16-and-6. The Crew took 2-of-3 from the Padres to win their second straight series. Milwaukee is off today, and will host the Chicago Cubs tomorrow night.
Brandon Kintzler will return to the Milwaukee bullpen tomorrow night. He threw a simulated inning of 40 pitches yesterday, and said everything felt fine. Kintzler is coming off a strained right rotator cuff which landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke said he'll try to ease Kintzler back into the bullpen schedule, if possible. He was solid as a set-up man last year, with a two-point-six-nine E-R-A in 71 appearances. Nobody has scored against Kintzler in five relief outings so far this season.
The U-W Milwaukee baseball team lost at Northern Illinois yesterday, 3-to-2. Joe Battaglia drove home the winning run with a suicide squeeze bunt. Milwaukee left 12 runners on base, as it dropped to 14-and-17 overall. Mike Porcaro and Ryan McShane each went 2-for-4 for Milwaukee, and each had a pair of stolen bases. Northern Illinois improved to 11-28-and-1.
U-W River Falls was put on one year of probation by the N-C-A-A yesterday. The Division-Three Infractions Committee found that the school improperly used athletic ability as a criteria for scholarships from the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2012. It allowed five present and former athletes to get more than four-thousand dollars in financial aid that was not allowed. The N-C-A-A said River Falls also violated another rule when former football coach John O'Grady arranged financial aid packages for four years. River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Guden said the school reported the violations itself, as soon as it found out about them. O'Grady retired in 2010, and an N-C-A-A spokesman says the current football coaching staff at River Falls had no connection to what happened. Athletic director Roger Ternes said the school has adopted new measures over the last three years to improve compliance with the N-C-A-A's rules.
Former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson of Seattle is getting a divorce. He issued a statement yesterday, announcing that he and Ashton -- his wife of more than two years -- are breaking up. The 25-year-old Wilson called it a difficult decision. He asked for prayers, understanding, and privacy. The two had known each other since high school in Richmond Virginia. They began dating while he played football and baseball at North Carolina State. They stayed together during his senior year at Wisconsin, and were married in January of 2012 in Richmond. A few months later, Seattle drafted Wilson in the third round -- and he beat out the Packers' Matt Flynn to win the starting quarterback job as a rookie.
===Stations: Here is the Green Bay Packers' 2014 schedule.===
*Start time may change due to the NFL's Flexible Scheduling
Saturday, Aug. 9, at Tennessee, 7 p.m., state network
Saturday, Aug. 16, at St. Louis, 3 p.m., state network
Friday, Aug. 22, Oakland, 7 p.m., CBS (Milwaukee ticket holders)
Thursday, Aug. 28, Kansas City, 6 p.m., state network
Thursday, September 4, at Seattle, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, September 14, New York Jets, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Sunday, September 21, at Detroit, Noon, Fox
Sunday, September 28, at Chicago, Noon Fox
Thursday, October 2, Minnesota, 7:25 p.m. CBS-NFL Network (Milwaukee)
*Sunday, October 12, at Miami, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, October 19, Carolina, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, October 26, at New Orleans, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, November 2 - Bye
*Sunday, November 9, Chicago, 7:30 p.m., NBC
*Sunday, November 16, Philadelphia, Noon, Fox (Milwaukee)
*Sunday, November 23, at Minnesota, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, November 30, New England, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Monday, December 8, Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday, December 14, at Buffalo, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, December 21, at Tampa Bay, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, December 28, Detroit, Noon, Fox