‘There is nothing you can do about it’

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)http://http://vimeo.com/11370119http://http://vimeo.com/11369166Joey Labuz wins the game for The Badger HeraldVILAS PARK — The situation was perfect. It was a familiar scenario; one that sets men up to become legends. And with 2009’s hero watching from the dugout, it was Editorial Board Chairman Joe Labuz who ensured The Badger Herald would come off the diamond victorious for the second year in a row.Down 10-9 with two runners on and two outs, Labuz crushed a long home run over the heads of a deep Daily Cardinal outfield that was already backed up to the city limits of Middleton. The blast gave the Gentle Clowns of the Badger Herald a 12-10 walk-off win in the annual softball game, a year after former sports editor Ben Voelkel provided a theatrical ending to the 2009 game.“There is nothing you can do about it,” Labuz said repeatedly, as he rounded the bases — each utterance of the phrase sapping the already-low self-esteem of the Dirty Bird infielders.But as in any storybook ending, the result would not have been possible without some drama.Up 9-3 in the top of the seventh inning, the Herald looked to be comfortably in control despite muddy, wet conditions due to the kind of weather that scares off those pansies in Major League Baseball. Needing only three outs to avenge an October loss in the flag football game, BH pitcher Michael Bleach and his defense ran into some trouble.“Yeah, we wanted to give the Dirty Bird a chance to save face,” Bleach said. “You might say I was just clowning around out there.”With a defense consisting of late-season call-ups, the Dirty Bird started chipping away at the deficit, eventually going ahead on a home run over the heads of an over-confident Herald outfield. Defensive substitutions helped Bleach — who had a part in all three putouts in the inning — get the Gentle Clowns off the field down just one run.“You can’t have a walk-off win unless you’re losing, that’s totes obvi,” Bleach said. “The plan was to let the Cardinal have some fun before letting Joey just shatter their souls with one swing of the bat.”That game plan, referred to by ArtsEtc. content editor Tony Lewis as “The worst idea I’ve ever heard,” turned out to be just crazy enough to work.In the bottom of the seventh, Publisher Nick Penzenstadler and sports writer Cassie Paulsen reached base, and both advanced into scoring position by the time Labuz — who already had a home run in the game — came up to the plate.Dirty Bird manager Nico Savidge already knew the game was over as soon as Labuz entered the batter’s box.“I considered stacking the outfield, but what’s the point?” Savidge said.Asked to elaborate on the term “stacking the outfield,” Savidge admitted he planned on sending the entire Cardinal staff into the field, but realized he didn’t want to add a 300-foot walk to what he knew was already going to be an embarrassing, shameful end to the game for the Dirty Bird.Aside from the carefully planned seven runs the BH allowed in the top of the seventh inning, it was a game dominated by the Herald from the first drink of beer.BH designated drinker Adam Holt won a controversial chug-off against future DC editor in chief Emma Roller that required an overtime period. Roller was visibly nervous during the bout, trembling with obvious premonitions of the softball beat-down that would follow.“I had a bad feeling about the whole thing,” Roller said. “I’m going to have nightmares of that plastic cup hitting the ground for the rest of my life.”Observers from both teams called Holt’s chugging everything from “magnificent,” to “terrifying and unnatural.” BH Sports editor and manager Jordan Schelling agreed Holt’s drinking made up for the two times he struck out looking during the game, adding he thought keeping Holt from swinging might work in the Gentle Clowns’ favor. He finished 1-3 with an RBI single and a walk in the game.The Herald managed to score in the first inning after a scoreless top half, but found itself down 3-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning. Big hits off the bats of Labuz and Editorial Page editor Sean Kittridge — blasts most easily likened to those caused by Sidewinder missiles — helped produce a six-run inning for the Gentle Clowns.Labuz and Kittridge, who declined to create a catchy moniker like “The Bash Brothers,” or “Duran, Duran,” would strike again in the fifth inning to give the Herald a 9-3 cushion. As Kittridge put it, “the bats were pretty bangin’ today, huh?”Frustration was clearly mounting for the Cardinal, as BH News editor Alex Brousseau was beaned in the inning, one of three Gentle Clowns to be hit by a pitch in the game. There was a tense moment when Associate Photo Editor Bobby Breitenbach, replete in short-shorts, flung his bat into the air after being hit.But instead of rushing the mound, the Herald retaliated the only way it knew how: Hitting the cover off the ball and drinking Genny like it’s going out of style.In the end, there was truly nothing the Cardinal could do about it.“The bottom line is, the Dirty Birds’ bats were small and inadequate tonight,” BH editor in chief Jason Smathers said. “Small and inadequate is all too often the theme with the Cardinal.”last_img read more

Saints’ Sean Payton rips trend of hiring young head coaches

first_imgSaints coach Sean Payton believes NFL teams that target young, offensive-minded coaches are making a mistake by ruling out other qualified candidates without giving them a chance to prove themselves.During an interview with NFL Network, Payton explained this year’s hiring process left out worthy candidates simply because teams were searching for the “next Sean McVay.” Based on the eight teams that hired new head coaches this season, there’s a notable trend as six of those coaches led the offense. I asked @Saints Coach Sean Payton about the trend of teams hiring young, offensive-minded head coaches. He delivered a strong, honest response, capped by him saying some teams are making mistakes and the Saints can’t wait to play them. This is damn good. 🔥🔥🔥@nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/AOiAsLCXeO— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) March 28, 2019Payton pointed to Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy as examples that came from the defensive side before seeing success as head coach. NFL Network notes only two of those six hires (Buccaneers’ Bruce Arians and Jets’ Adam Gase) have had previous head coaching experience. Denver’s Vic Fangio and Miami’s Brian Flores were the only two hired during the latest coaching cycle from the defensive side, with Flores being the only non-white male.”I think we’ve got a diversity problem, like this season, what took place, that’s hitting us square in the face. I think that not a lot was written or discussed about it,” Payton explained. “There are a handful of coaches that I know that if I was a GM who I would be interested in hiring.” Related News Greg Schiano abruptly steps down as Patriots defensive coordinator “The thing that can be disappointing though is when you talk to someone and they give you the profile (of their desired new coach) and then I’ll say ‘well you’re not interested in a young Bill Belichick or a young Tony Dungy?'” Payton said.”They get so pigeonholed into — cause this is cyclical, right, this goes — and ultimately you would say if we did a little history, successful head coaches probably come from the east and the west and north and south. They probably come of both color and they probably come on defense and on offense. And they’re good leaders. They’re great leaders. And, so, if you say ‘well I just want the one that coaches quarterbacks and they’re on offense,’ well, then, you’re going to end up with a smaller pool and you’ll probably have less of a chance to be right, because already of eight hired there’s going to be three that survive three years.”Payton, 55, added he’s excited to play those teams that hired a new head coach because he “see(s) a lot of mistakes made in that process.”last_img read more