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Marques Pfaff
Marques Pfaff
News and thoughts about sports from Marques himself.
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Badgers' Joel Stave deserves praise for early performances

Wednesday, Sep, 16 2015

Joel Stave's been a lightning rod for criticism in the state of Wisconsin over the last year -- some of it warranted and some it way over the line. That being said, it should be noted Stave has performed admirably in Wisconsin's first two games of the season and deserves a hefty dose of praise for doing so -- especially given the Badgers best running back, Corey Clement, has been sidelined for most of the year with injury. Through two games, Stave is completing better than 65% of his passes (45 of 69) for 464 yards and five touchdowns. That's a pretty good showing for a quarterback in any college system, let alone the Badgers typically run-happy offense. It should be pointed out that Stave has also throw two interceptions so no one is suggesting he's perfect, but the improvement from one year to the next has been fantastic and Paul Chryst deserves a great deal of credit for that. Stave will never be an NFL quarterback but that's not the point -- the Badgers, for as long as this program has been successful under Barry Alvarez -- have simply needed someone to supplement the offense. Manage the game and make plays when necessary. For Stave this year, so far, so good.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Please media members ... don't say it!

Friday, Sep, 11 2015

Stop. Don't do it. Don't say the word "headsetgate." It's unbelievable to me that once again we're talking about the Patriots for all the wrong reasons. Make no mistake about it, I don't believe the Patriots had anything to do with New England's latest soap opera. Don’t get me wrong, the Patriots are not innocent of all wrongdoing over the years – they’ve certainly done their fair share of ridiculous things including Spygate, but I’m not going to condemn the organization over happenstance. Maybe that’s naïve of me, but to think they’d be that nefarious – and in many ways, that stupid – to cheat shortly after this whole Tom Brady fiasco is absurd. In many ways, this reflects more poorly  upon the league. They're the one that supply teams with headsets and communication equipment prior to each game. We know this because the league itself issued a statement which noted the interference in the headsets on Thursday was "caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather." OK ... consider that along with multiple reports (including Mike Tomlin's post-game testimony) that this type of thing happens all the time in Foxborough -- including to the Green Bay Packers this preseason -- and it would seem it's the league's issue for failing to correct this problem time and time again. And if you really want to play the role of conspiracy theorist, couldn’t you make the case that the league – still burning from the Brady decision – wanted to make the Patriots look like the bad guys again? For the record, I DON'T believe that to be the case, but it's no different than some of the other crazy reports put out suggesting the Pats are "at it it again." This post will inevitably come across as a defense of the Patriots, but that's not necessarily the case. I just think it's ridiculous for us to latch onto every tiny of bit of information that comes out of New England for the sake of drama ... and that's all it seems to be.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Bret Bielema making silly remarks again

Friday, Sep, 11 2015

Well, he's done it again. Bret Bielema has said something to upset the masses, and per usual, it didn't have to happen. Bielema was recently asked about the SEC having 10 teams in this week's top 25; a rather mundane question that would typically generate a cliche response -- but not from Bielema. The former Wisconsin coach took the opportunity to blast Ohio State's schedule for not having enough top 25 teams on it. In reality, his assessment is not untrue, but there was simply no reason to even bring it up. It's things like this that made Bielema a difficult-to-embrace figure for Badger fans, even when he was still in Madison. For as many good things as Bielema did on the field, he'd often go and sour things by making a silly remark in the media. Couple that with his game management skills (i.e. gaffes) and it made him difficult for even the most hardcore Badger fan to completely defend. Again, in this case, Bielema isn't necessarly wrong, but let's also consider the number of Top 25 teams on OSU's schedule will undoubtedly change by the end of the season and they've done more than enough, dating back to last season, to prove they're worthy of the No. 1 ranking.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Don't Sleep on Bears in Week One

Wednesday, Sep, 9 2015

While virtually no one in the state of Wisconsin is a fan of Jay Cutler and despite the fact that recent matchups have been rather one-sided, I'm still apprehensive about Sunday's week one matchup with Chicago. There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this Bears team, mostly because of a new coaching staff and the "unscouted looks" they're bound to show this weekend. To be honest, I'm always a bit tense during week one because there are inevitably still a number of questions we haven't received answers for -- but this matchup is especially difficult given the nature of the rivalry and what's at stake. The Bears aren't expected to be good, let alone challenge Green Bay for the division. That leaves them with little to lose and everything to gain in week one. A victory over the Packers could catapult them in the first half. Meanwhile, for the Packers, the expectations are real and the calls for Aaron Rodgers to win a second Super Bowl aren't getting any softer. No, the window is far from closed we all know the nature of the NFL and how difficult it can be to assemble the supporting cast necessary to win a Super Bowl. And given how important these opening week matchups can ultimately prove to be (just look back to last year versus Seattle), we know it's of the utmost importance that Green Bay get out of the chute fast. I should qualify this by saying that I believe Green Bay is by far the better team and will win on Sunday -- but don't be so quick to dismiss the Bears from being competitive this week.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Badgers deserve credit for scheduling Alabama

Thursday, Sep, 3 2015

Even the most casual Badger fan is aware of the tall order facing Wisconsin's football program this Saturday night. Paul Chryst's squad travels to Arlington, Texas for a date with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide -- winners of three national championships since 2009 and the unquestioned best FBS program over the last six years. While this game has the makings of a 'Bama beat-down for a variety of reasons, including Wisconsin's difficulty with injury this off-season, we should note that Barry Alvarez and the department deserve praise for having the guts to schedule such a game. When this contract was struck over two years ago, the Badgers were hopeful they'd be in a better place at this point in time. Gary Andersen was a fresh new face and fans were hopeful he might be able to achieve what Bret Bielema could not -- mainly get to and WIN a big game. Unfortunately, things didn't pan out the way they had hoped and while Wisconsin is by no means "down," they likely aren't in position to take down a perennial giant like Alabama. That said, Wisconsin is taking the correct approach in viewing this as an opportunity, and who knows ... maybe Paul Chryst has a little of that magic that made fans fall in love with him as offensive coordinator just three years ago. On Wisconsin!

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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