PantherU Mascot Rankings

In case you missed it, Valparaiso University has unveiled new logos both academic and athletic to their lineup.  I’d give you a link to the new marks, but I trust in your abilities to Google it yourself.

What I don’t trust you to do is decide who the best mascot in the Horizon League is.  Therefore, in honor of Valparaiso unveiling their new mascot on September 18th, will be ranking the worst to the best in the conference (sans Valpo) starting with the #9 mascot and working our way to #1.  The next mascot will come out every two days, so be sure to come back and see where your mascot ranks.

This was a very scientific study that I’ve been putting together for years.  In no way did I spend just one hour on a Monday night in August building my rankings.  Mascots are rated in five sections, and in each of those sections they can score anywhere from 1 to 10.  The points, added up in the end, set their ranking.  I was helped by high ranking members from each Horizon League university in this highly scientific process.  These should not be viewed as my own ideas but those of a collective group of non-biased, PhD-holding scholars.

The categories are: Name, In a Fight, Relevance, Love-ability and Style.  The name is self-explanatory, In a Fight is how they would fare in combat, Relevance is how they fit their institution, Love-ability is the capacity for love kids and fans have for their mascot, and Style is all about trying to dress the best (which would be Villanova’s mascot, Jay Wright).

Number 9: Green Bay’s Phlash the Phoenix

Sucks almost as bad as the last phoenix.

Name (5): Phlash is a more fiery name than Sparky, but alludes to Phlegm. I suppose that’s relevant, because that’s what I feel coming up every time I see this thing (or is that vomit?)

In a fight (3): Phlash has hollow bones, which allows her (yeah, it’s a she, look it up) to fly over the competition.  The problem is that, along with her tiny chicken legs, makes for a really rough landing once she attacks.  Seriously, one bite from Pounce and this burning chicken is grounded.
Relevance (10): Phlash is the perfect mascot for Green Bay.  For one, she’s a Phoenix and the team is called the Phoenix. Second, she totally sucks.
Love-ability (6): While kids may not be too comfortable cozying up to something with a foot-long beak (which is why birds suck as pets), the real problem here is that there’s nothing to love about this chick.
Style (0): Seriously?  This jack-ass is wearing a shirt with her own picture on it?  How much of a douchebag do you have to be to do something like that? What makes it worse is the green and red feather boa used to replace her wings.  She needs wings to fly!
In case you needed any more evidence as to why this thing sucks:

Clay Tucker commercial

Ever wonder how Clay Tucker is doing?  He’s a star overseas!

Rumor is this commercial was directed by Martin Scorcese.


That guy, ready to tear a new butthole in the competition? My ancestor!

My granddad was always a great storyteller.  Having been a firefighter in Madison for 40 years and spending World War II instructing marine pilots, Keith Lawler faced his stiffest tests raising 10 children and drawing the occasional wrath of my Grandma Muggs.  He was never at a loss of words, even at 88 years old after he suffered a stroke and his wife passed.  By the time she was slipping into Alzheimer’s, I was 18 years old and carrying a voice recorder around with me.  One of my greatest regrets is that I never got stories from her, mostly because she was a remarkable woman but also in small part because I would really appreciate knowing all the bad things my mom had done when she was my age.  As for my Granddad, however, I have more than a fair share of stories, yet I don’t have a recording of the story of my great great grandfather’s brother, a runner named Archie Hahn.

The story goes, according to my Granddad, that Archie was billed the fastest man in the country.  At the state fair, he took on a race horse and won.  When you’re young, as I was nearly every time I heard the story, that’s the part that sticks with you.  I mean, he beat a horse.  I’m sure few people could be that fast back then.

At 23, my knowledge of sports and the appreciation for that feat has grown.  I take pride in knowing that, while I couldn’t beat a blind man at a staring contest, in my veins I hold the genes of one of the fastest runners of his time.

If you took away the chub, my body would look exactly like that.

Following the tie (ugh) Friday against New Mexico and the Bradley Tech football game, a couple friends and I hit up Major Goolsby’s for a late dinner.  On the way to my car, I decided to finally take a stroll through the Sports Walk of Fame located on 4th street against the U.S. Cellular Arena.  It’s a collection of plaques with faces on them and short biographies of all the inductees.  We were walking towards their car when the name caught my eye: “Archie Hahn.”

I took a hard left and found myself staring at a man who died 31 years before I was born, yet had a very familiar-looking face.  It was the short bio, however, that surprised me the most: gold medal, 100m dash in 1904 and 1906, as well as gold medal in 60m and 200m dash in 1904.  He also won Big Ten championships.

Yeah, that’s right, this guy has the blood of the Fastest Man in the World running through his veins.

Who cares if Archie Hahn ever beat a horse?  I mean, I’m psyched and everything, but the biggest event in the summer Olympics every four years is the 100m dash.  Usain Bolt is a household name because he is the Fastest Man in the World.  How cool is it that Bolt is the successor to my great-great-great uncle’s trophy?

Upon some research, I found that Archie ran for the Michigan Wolverines when he won those Big Ten titles.  Two things: I’m happy that all my Bucky-loving family can now be bitter because their ancestor wasn’t a Badger but a Michigan man, and I guess I give a damn for at least some part of the state of Michigan.

Hahn had the nickname “The Milwaukee Meteor,” which I’m now considering adopting because what doesn’t say speed about this guy?

Does it have anything to do with the Milwaukee Panthers?  Nope.  But I thought it was a cool story to share, the Milwaukee Meteor who went on to coach Virginia to 12 championships in 13 years and write the definitive book on sprinting, “How to sprint.”  No seriously, that’s the name of it.  Anyways, go family!

Women’s soccer has rough weekend

If it weren’t bad enough that the Milwaukee Panthers found themselves playing “home” games at Valley Fields (UWM students had to pay $2 to get into the game? Whatever, Marquette), the team escaped the MKE Cup with a 0-1-1 record.

Were it not for a surprise goal by Laurel Ragalie late in the game on Friday, we might have been looking at an 0-2 weekend.  Thus is the life of a program playing a ridiculously difficult non-conference schedule.  New Mexico, they of the receiving-votes category, were the only “mid-major” opponent on the Panthers non-conference schedule.  The season-opening victory over Ohio State, though uplifting, seems far in the rear view mirror despite being just a week ago.  Milwaukee stands 1-2-1 overall with just six non-conference games remaining: Marquette, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas are on the docket, but all coach Moynihan is concerned with today is Michigan State, who will be visiting (near) campus on Sunday; the game will be at Shorewood High School.

What’s worse for Milwaukee is that they once again are playing well for long stretches and still couldn’t come up with the victory.

“One of the good things about playing a tough schedule is you have a shot at redemption right around the corner,”  coach Moynihan said following the match-up.  In fact, he said a lot of things.  And it’s better to get them from him:

College move in, Milwaukee style

Welcome back to school, kiddies.  This picture was taken from a house on campus:

Fixing the Leaning Tower

Panther Basketball picked up some contracting work in Italy.

I thought that the Panther fans would like this picture, easily my favorite from the team’s trip to Italia.

The Name Issue

The "UW-" is invisible, but according to the MJS, it's there.

Clicking on JSOnline’s blog post about Wisconsin’s basketball schedule.  Scanning for our game, I was met with the name I always expected from the media: UW-Milwaukee.

Going down to the comments section to vent, I found that my brethren had already jumped on the MJS for this indignity they repeat over and over.  Of course, everyone is doing it, right?  Wisconsin put us as UW-Milwaukee, right?

If you really want to know who put UW-Milwaukee on the schedule, just take a look at  On their schedule, it reads Milwaukee.

The university’s athletic department prefers Milwaukee.  Marquette, Wisconsin, and other athletic departments refer to them as Milwaukee.  ESPN and most national media outlets refer to the program as Milwaukee.  The days where this team was unknown as Wisconsin-Milwaukee are in the past.

The fact of the matter is, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and local television stations call them UW-Milwaukee because the MJS chooses to and local TV follows their lead.

Of course, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel knows a lot about branding.  I once was told by a JS editor that I was wrong in referring to the paper as the Journal.  Well, I grew up with the Journal delivered to my house; what’s the difference?  Name branding is a real issue that companies all over the world deal with.  Milwaukee Panthers athletics is just trying to make that work with a name that is indicative of the program and the university: Milwaukee.

KJ and Tim weren't with the program long, but this Journal Sentinel picture missed the "UW-" on the uniforms.

What is the Journal Sentinel excuse?  That the school is UW-Milwaukee?  Call the Badgers UW-Madison.  Call them UNC-Chapel Hill, UT-Austin, and UA-Tuscaloosa.  If you call them Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, and Alabama, you MUST call the Panthers ‘Milwaukee.’

If the excuse is that they call them UW-Milwaukee to avoid confusion, who would be confused?  Does someone really think the Badgers would be playing the Bucks?  Or when they play Green Bay, they’ll be playing the Packers?  Get real.

It’s high time the Journal Sentinel got with the times and started referring to Milwaukee by the name that they chose to put on the court of the U.S. Cellular Arena and across their uniforms.

Edit: Pasted twice.  Thanks to Korry Bertram for pointing it out!