Jan 18, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bo Ryan responds to a question during a post-game media conference after the game with the Michigan Wolverines at the Kohl Center. Michigan defeated Wisconsin 77-70. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Forced 80s Nostalgia: Two game Wisconsin skid means Less Than Zero

The Wisconsin Badgers started their season off with about as much success as a team is allowed. I mean, you know, starting the year 16-0 is about as good as it gets without adding some form of coed type experience for the players. However, Wisconsin is not exactly setting the world on fire at the moment. With two straight losses, to Michigan and Indiana, the Badgers find themselves with a 3-2 record in the Big Ten.

With two consecutive losses some people want to know what is going wrong with Bo Ryan’s team. If the losses could be highlighting some form of underlying issues for the team or something. Well, um, I say no.

I’m not saying that Wisconsin shouldn’t treat the losses as learning lessons or that losing a game is not a big deal, but losing a game in January is not that big of a deal. Losing two of them, well, still not that impactful.

Sure, it would be nice for the Badgers to have a better start to their Big Ten schedule, but losses in January very rarely indicate what kind of team a group of players will be in March. It’s also not an indicator to that team’s strengths or weaknesses. It is just two losses, in January, during the NFL Playoff stretch, where very few outside of the college basketball community are paying attention.

Somehow, though, “experts” and some fans want to know why Wisconsin have lost their last two. As if teams are not allowed to lose a game here and there or that back-to-back losses automatically mean that something is wrong.

Here is my opinion on the matter — and yes, I am probably in the minority on this — but a team, any team (even if coached by Ryan), will have a stretch or two during the season that they will look like they aren’t that good. Whether that is losing two in a row in the middle of a ho-hum month or certain players looking like iffy-at-best college athletes, every team goes through this.

It is weird, though. Much in the same way we praise teams for having solid stretches, even if that team has already had their not so great one, we forget all of that in favor of trashing another.

Yeah, man. Let’s trash Wisconsin for losing two straight despite the fact they already won 16 games. You know, all while we praise an Iowa team who already lost to the Badgers.

Really, it’s all stuff we (all, including me) do to help fill time until more relevant things happen. We fall for this same trap every year because, apparently, we like to beat up on good teams instead of praising them.

The best way I could put all of the Wisconsin talk is by comparing them to Robert Downey Jr. Yeah, Iron Man, but pre-Iron Man. More of Downey during his 80s, drug induced heyday. That’s right, Jr. in Less Than Zero — which also starred that guy, that hot girl and James Spader pre being creepy (also, middle of being pushed as a good actor all before being relegated to being creepy today).

Downey was a pretty hot name in the 80s. I was barely alive at the time, but he was a teen heart-throb or something. From what my older sister tells me, Downey was the apple of many a teenager girl’s eye. But because Hollywood eats people as if it can only function off the souls of the living, Downey did enough drugs to make Lindsay Lohan shake her damn head — and then, well, do some drugs.

Again, only apparently because I can only Google it (YOUTH! kinda?), many critics counted Downey out. That his drug addiction was so bad that his talents couldn’t keep up.

But you know what? Despite the drugs, even though he was a member of the worst Saturday Night Live cast in the history of history and no matter mentioning the fact that he wasn’t even the coolest 80s chick magnet (we see you Christian Slater), Downey bounced back and is once again of those fancy-smancy A-list actors in Hollywood.

Here is what I am trying to say. While everyone is trying to make Wisconsin feel like Christian Slater, despite the fact they looked like James Spader during the beginning of the year, they are probably Roberty Downey Jr.


You’re welcome, the dozen readers who enjoy forced 80s nostalgia.

BTW, my favorite Spader is a creepy Spader or this one…


Oh, semi creepy James Spader.

Tags: Big Ten Bo Ryan Christian Slater James Spader Less Than Zero Robert Downey Jr. Wisconsin Badgers

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