Good bye, August. Hello, September.
Ah, September. Dry air, colorful leaves, pencils, books and teacher’s dirty looks. September is our month. We are hitting our stride here in Badger State. And when we are in full stride, there is but one thing on our collective minds: Football.
Not to be outdone by SI, here is the first annual ITB Football Roundup. In no particular order, here is a look at the football teams that matter.
Milwaukee Brewers: You are right - not technically a football team. However, in most years, the Brewers are kicked off the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Sports Page in June by a Packer Assistant Equipment Manager unveiling his tape supply. This year, our beloved Boys of Summer will be relevant right through October. Prince, listen to the Jersey Boys: Stay, just a little bit longer. Team-wise you will never again find what you have here. This isn’t Heaven, this is not Iowa nor is it 30 million a year. It is better.
Green Bay Packers: The City of Green Bay is opening up the start of the NFL regular season with a three day party. There will be lots of eating of sausage, drinking of beer and public displays of both affection and urinating. In other words, life pretty much as usual in Titletown USA. Last year the Pack won the Super Bowl without Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley. Now both are back. Bear’s quarterback Jay Cutler has already left the field.
: Not since Martin Luther himself posted his ‘95 Theses’ on that door in Germany have Lutherans made so much noise. South 76th Street is definitely Spartan Country, as The Little School that Could has chugged its way to a 2-0 start in 2011 play. Martin Luther High, unique in that – due to its relatively small enrollment every student is required to play at least 4 downs - has taken down St John’s Military Academy and Milwaukee Madison. The Spartans are where they belong – poised on top of the Midwest Classic South Conference.
Greendale High School Marching Band: What are the Marching Panthers doing on this list? 6 Consecutive State Titles, baby! That entitles you to inclusion on every list ever listed. Hey, Reif’s Warriors: Seven is Heaven. It's no sin being the best.
Great things come out of Oshkosh - huge trucks and durable overalls, for example. UW-Oshkosh has given us one grad who Culverizes (Craig Culver) and another who Pulverizes – our very own Rob Stoltz. Not only do the green, white and black kick tail, they have fun doing it. Hard work, innovative coaching, and sheer athleticism have, under the watchful and certainly enthusiastic eye of Coach Stoltz, become the Panther Way. Poor Greenfield.
Wisconsin Badgers: Bucky as National Champion? As one of the few Big National Programs not under NCAA investigation, sanction or outright probation – why not the Badgers? They already won the Russell Wilson Quarterback Derby. Now if they could only get a little crowd support; just a little enthusiasm at their home games…
UW- Whitewater: Just 45 miles from your driveway, this is your Division 3 School. Embrace the Warhawks like you do the Golden Eagles and Badgers – actual enrollment is not mandatory to call then “your team”. Here are three reasons: National Champions in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Hey Mount Union, if you are looking for Whitewater, look up. What the Warhawks do on any given Saturday in majestic Perkins Field makes Amos Alonzo Stagg swell with pride. This is real. This is football.
Whitnall Park Deer Academy: Described as “fast, but undisciplined” by Head Coach and popular mascot Bango Buck, the Rattling Antlers have started the season with two DNFs – ‘did not finish.’ “As a group, we are easily distracted” said Coach Bango. Bango, while doing backflips off a mini tramp, explained. “Apples, a sudden noise, rutting – all can kill an offensive drive. Also, we freeze every time a car goes by.” The Rattling Antlers lead their conference in Equipment Malfunctions as it seems the players have a great deal of difficulty keeping their knee pads from sliding down their very skinny legs.
So are you ready for some football? Rhetorical question, because here in Wisconsin, we are born ready. Enjoy the game, and remember what they call a Bear fan with half a brain. Gifted.