Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Poll says Packers the nation's favorite teamWisconsin Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers are the nation’s favorite pro sports team. That’s according to the ninth annual “Ultimate Standings” put out by ESPN-The Magazine.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers are the nation’s favorite pro sports team. That’s according to the ninth annual “Ultimate Standings” put out by ESPN-The Magazine.
The Pack moved up from the ninth spot a year ago – and it was partially because Aaron Rodgers finally turned the page on the Brett Favre era, and led Green Bay to a Super Bowl victory. The rankings are based on a national survey involving 70-thousand fans – and it rates all 122 pro football, baseball, basketball and hockey teams. They’re judged on eight things which are most important to fans like winning, team leadership, and ticket prices. The Packers ranked Number-one in their stadium experience, and the desire to win championships. The Milwaukee Brewers rose one spot in this year’s “Ultimate Standings” to No.30. The Milwaukee Bucks dropped from 69th to 95th – perhaps because of a drop-off in performance after the Bucks made the playoffs a year ago. The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning is second behind the Packers in this year’s standings. The New Orleans Saints are third, followed by Angels of Anaheim and the San Antonio Spurs. The Cincinnati Bengals were last.
Tom O’Malley, who threw six interceptions in his only game with the Green Bay Packers, has died in York, Pennsylvania at age 85. O’Malley was one of two quarterbacks on the Green Bay roster back in 1950 – and he was pressed into service when Tobin Rote got hurt. O’Malley went into a game against Detroit in the second quarter and threw six picks – still a Packers’ team record. He was not sacked in that contest. But he did injure his back in the fourth quarter, and he finished the game by throwing an interception on the final play. The Packers lost 45-7, and O’Malley never again played in the NFL. He did lead Ottawa to a Canadian Football League title the following year, in 1951.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have a double-header scheduled at Peoria tonight. The Rattlers crushed Peoria 12-5 last evening. The Beloit Snappers will host Cedar Rapids again, after splitting a double-header the night before. Beloit lost the opener 3-1 but took the nightcap 4-0. Burlington clinched the first half title last night in the Western Division. The Rattlers are seven-and-a-half games back, and Beloit is eight off the pace. Burlington hosts Kane County tonight. Clinton entertains Quad Cities. East leader Lansing is at home against South Bend. West Michigan is at Bowling Green. Lake County hosts Great Lakes. And Dayton plays at Fort Wayne.
In the Northwoods League, the Madison Mallards will try to win their second straight home game over Eau Claire tonight. The Mallards won 8-4 last evening. Green Bay hosts Wisconsin Rapids again, on the heels of a 7-3 Green Bay victory. The Wisconsin Woodchucks will host Waterloo in Wausau, where the ‘Chucks fell 5-4 last night. La Crosse hosts division-leading Battle Creek again, after La Crosse was trounced by the Bombers 14-4. Battle Creek leads the South Division by a game-and-a-half over Madison. In the North tonight, a pair of suspended games will be finished, followed by scheduled contests. Duluth had a 3-2 lead at Alexandria when the rains came last night. Rochester was tied 1-1 with Thunder Bay at home when rain suspended that contest in the third inning. Also, North Division leader Mankato plays at Willmar. And Saint Cloud is at Brainerd. Both are single games which follow rainouts from Tuesday.
Brett Favre says his playing days are definitely over – but he’s not sure what to do with his life now. The former Green Bay quarterback spoke to reporters yesterday at his “Seven-on-Seven” football camp at his alma mater, Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg. The 41-year-old Favre says he likes dealing with young players, but he didn’t want to be tied down with a full-time coaching job. He says he enjoys being around Hattiesburg, and he has no plans to do anything at the moment. Favre says it’s been a long time since he’s watched a high school or a college football game in person – and he looks forward to it. Favre finished a 20-year NFL career with Minnesota last fall. He played 16 seasons in Green Bay, where he won a Super Bowl for the Packers in the 1996 campaign and was named the league’s MVP three times.
Two University of Wisconsin Badger swimmers will compete in this summer’s World University Games. Senior Ashley Wanland will swim for the U.S. in the 200 breast-stroke. Junior Daniel Lester will compete for his native Australia, after breaking school records in the 100-and-200-butterfly events. Wanland is the first Badger woman to take part in the World University Games since Gina Panighetti in 1999. And Lester is the first Wisconsin male to compete since Tim Liebhold in 2007. The swimming competition at the World University Games will take place August 14th-through-19th in Shenzhen China.