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Weekend warmup / waiting game


Points to ponder as we head into our first weekend without a faint whiff of National Football League action:

WAITING GAME: Brewers fans have been anxiously awaiting word on the fate of leftfielder Ryan Braun, whose case is in the hands of a three-person arbitration panel headed by Shyam Das.

I figured we’d have a decision this week. Now, I’m not so sure.

Apparently, the 25-day window for deliberation is more of a suggestion than an air-tight rule. With the Brewers’ spring training roster set, there really doesn’t seem to be that much urgency for Das to issue a decision until camp opens in about 10 days.

In other words, don’t hold your breath.

Plenty of folks have asked if the long deliberation is a good sign for Braun. If you believe that, I think you’ve been watching too much TV. I know they wrap cases up in an hour on “Law and Order,” and “48 Hours,” but things like this take considerably longer in the “real world.”

How is it going to end?

Nobody knows, but I stand by what I’ve thought from the beginning, which is that Braun is going to be handed a “split decision.” In some way, the report will reveal that he wasn’t trying to gain an advantage or “cheat” the game, but he’ll still end up serving a 50-game suspension for tripping the test in the first place.

STAR GAZING: Brandon Jennings did not make the Eastern Conference All-Star team. After posting this hopeful Tweet on Wednesday:

Watever (sic) happens tomorrow I'm just blessed to be in the conversation as all star..... Never thought I would ever be in the conversation!

Jennings followed with this:

Just gotta work even harder now.......

Jennings didn’t crack the list of reserves that features Deron Williams, Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson.

If you look at it objectively, those seven guys all have a strong case for inclusion ahead of Jennings.

One rumor floating around town is that Jennings found out the disappointing news before the game against the Suns, when he turned in a lackluster effort that coach Scott Skiles characterized as “disconnected.” Let’s hope that isn’t true.

PATRIOT GAMES: If you feel like ripping Rob (or Ron, as Aaron Rodgers called him) Gronkowski for dancing shirtless after the Super Bowl, take your shirt off and read Bill Johnson’s blog on the subject. I think the Prime Minister nails this one. So does my pal, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, who expresses what I've felt for years: Fans care more about games than the players.

INFLATION: When the Packers announced what they were raising ticket prices virtually across the board, I had a couple thoughts:

Didn’t they sell enough stock?

Is the South End renovation over budget already?

And, more seriously, Packers’ tickets -- in the grand scheme -- are among the best bargains in sport. If you think about the intense demand, they could get away with charging New York prices in tiny Green Bay.

It’s not great. But, it could be worse.

VELVET ROPE: No matter what I say or how I come off on the radio every morning, I know that I’m not cool. There may have been about a 15-minute window in the late 1990s when I thought I was cool but it didn’t last long.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been invited to a party where the invitation promised “Ballers, Bottles and Models.”

EMPTY-HANDED: Saturday is “National Marquette Day.” I’m going to watch the Golden Eagles play Cincinnati and will host a post-game show with the incomparable Steve Haywood. But, I didn’t get Marquette a gift.

TOM TERRIFIC: Packers tight end Tom Crabtree joins Jason Wilde and Zach Heilprin on “Green and Gold Today” at 9:30 a.m. Friday. I don’t know him, but I like the way he mixes with fans on Twitter. He’s one of the guys who seems to get it.

HAPPY TRAILS: I hope you enjoy your weekend. We'll be starting ours on "The D-List" with pizza from Rocky Rococco for "Free Food Friday" and a visit from some Energee! dancers. Life is good.


BUCKS -- at Cleveland, 6 tonight

BADGERS -- at Michigan State, 6 p.m. 

GOLDEN EAGLES -- vs. Cincinnati, 2 p.m.

PANTHERS -- at Detroit, 6 tonight


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ESPNDeportes 1510
Broadcasting in Spanish

1908 - Tommy Burns KOs Jack Palmer in 4 for Heavyweight boxing title
1920 - Baseball outlaws all pitches involving tampering with ball
1924 - Bucky Harris, 27, becomes youngest baseball manager (Wash Senators)
1925 - AL decides to alternate leagues for game 1 of World Series each year
1946 - 1st black pro-baseball player Jackie Robinson marries Rachel Isum
1961 - AFL's LA Chargers move to San Diego
1963 - Mickey Wright wins LPGA St Petersburg Women's Golf Open
1968 - Peggy Fleming wins Olympic Figure Skating gold medal, Grenoble, France
1969 - LSU Pete Maravich scores 66, despite losing to Tulane 101-94
1971 - Bill White becomes 1st black baseball announcer (NY Yankees)
1974 - Gail Denenber wins LPGA Sears Women's Golf Classic
1974 - Judy Ikenberry wins 1st Us women's marathon (2:55:17)
1975 - William "Judy" Johnson selected to Baseball Hall of Fame
1981 - 33rd NHL All-Star Game: Campbell beat Wales 4-1 at LA
1985 - 35th NBA All-Star Game: West beats East 140-129 at Indiana
1985 - Patty Sheehan wins LPGA Sarasota Golf Classic
1989 - Celtic KC Jones & Cavalier Lenny Wilkens elected to NBA Hall of Fame
1989 - To gain deregulation WWF admits pro wrestling is an exhibition & not a sport, in a NJ court
1990 - Buster Douglas KOs Mike Tyson in 10 for Heavyweight boxing title
1991 - 41st NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 116-114 at Charlotte
1991 - Beth Daniel wins LPGA Phar-Mor at Inverrary Golf Tournament
1991 - NBA All Star Game at Charlotte NC
1992 - Bonnie Blair wins 1992 Olympics 1st gold medal for USA
1992 - Mike Tyson convicted of raping Desiree Washington in Indiana
1998 - Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming undergoes breast cancer surgery

1893 - William [Bill] T Tilden II, tennis player (US Open 1920-25, 29)
1905 - Walter Brown, sports organizer (NBA)
1906 - John "Cat" Thompson, basketball hall of famer (elected 1962)
1924 - Bud (Norman) Poile, NHLer
1955 - Greg Norman, Queensland, Australia, PGA golfer (1984 Kemper)
1962 - Bobby Czyz, American boxer
1963 - Lenny Dykstra, centerfielder (NY Met, Philadelphia Phillies)
1969 - Jayhawk Owens, Cincinnati Ohio, catcher (Colorado Rockies)
1970 - Alberto Castillo, Dominican/US baseball catcher (NY Mets)
1970 - Bobby Jones, Fresno CA, pitcher (NY Mets)
1971 - Kevin Sefcik, Oaklawn IL, infielder (Philadelphia Phillies)
1975 - Tina Thompson, WNBA forward (Houston Comets)
1975 - Hiroki Kuroda, Japanese born baseball player
1976 - Lance Berkman, American baseball player
1980 - César Izturis, Venezuelan baseball player
1984 - Alex Gordon, American baseball player