Inception, the most wonderful movie in all of 2010, came out onDVD Tuesday, which can mean only one thing…
It is gimmick column time.
For those of you who have not seen it yet – and my heart breaks for you – Inception is based on the idea that Leonardo DiCaprio can infiltrate someone’s mind and plant an idea that the victim will believe to be his or her own. This leads to lovely second-guessing in all aspects of life, but lends itself to some enjoyable sports hindsight in particular.
If I were as commanding as Leo, as wry as Eames or cute as a button like Ellen Page, these are the top five inceptions I would have made on the Wisconsin sports landscape since the turn of the century.
1. Jeff Suppan – The most obvious idea will also go first on the list. The Brewers gave Suppan four years and $42 million during the 2006 offseason with the hope that a seasoned innings eater would lead the Crew to the playoffs. From that extremely narrow point of view, the move kind of worked. The Brewers did reach the playoffs. Of course, CC Sabathia started every three days and closed out on the other two to push the Brewers in, while the offense did the rest.
And seeing as Suppan threw up a 4.96ERA(85ERA+), 1.542WHIPand just 177 2/3 innings in 2008, he probably doesn’t deserve much credit.
With a -0.4WAR(Baseball Reference style) I’m thinking Doug Melvin could have probably found the same production out of the average triple-A hopeful for $10 million less a year.
For the four years of the contract, Suppan compiled a 4.95ERA(85ERA+), a 1.36 SO/BB ratio and a 1.585WHIP. One of his top comparisons on Baseball Reference is Kyle Lohse. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.
Yeah, if I could have hired Leo to fix this problem, I would have said yes faster than Jayson Werth.
2. Mike Sherman as Packers General Manager – Even as a wee 13-year old, I questioned the logic of making Sherman the coachANDgeneral manager of the Packers. I believe the conversation went something like this:
13-year-old-Me: “Wait…So the Packers are letting Sherman beG.M.and coach?
13-year-old-Me: “But…Didn’t Mike Holmgren want the same thing?
13-year-old-Me: “Holmgren won a Super Bowl…and Sherman was a tight-ends coach with Green Bay, who’s greatest previous accomplishment was coachingUCLAwith Jonathan Ogden?”
Dad: “Yup. With a questioning analytical nature like that, you are going to co-author one hell of a blog some day.”
Dad is a wise man.
Also, unless you are Bill Belichick, no one should ever run both the general manager and coaching positions. If Leo could have helped Wisconsin out, the names Ahmad Carroll, Joey Thomas and BJ Sander wouldn’t cause involuntary shudders.
3. Brewers Logo – From 1978-1993 the Brewers put together 10 winning seasons and boasted one of the most clever logos in baseball. Then they got rid of it for reasons that remain unclear. Since 1993, the Brewers have made the playoffs once. If that isn’t a damning correlation, I don’t know what is.
It is a baseball glove and ball – wait for it – annnnndddd an ‘M’ and ‘B’. Boom. Mind blown. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen first “get that” and giggle with delight.
Instead we now have an M with a wheat stalk for a tip. How hick are we?
As usual, Bud Selig deserves some blame for this. Just because he is Bud freaking Selig. And the amount of good Inception could do in that mind is incalculable.
Also, if we could bring the logo of a barrel man back for some retro jerseys that would be pretty sweet too.
4. Wisconsin Hoops Dreams – Not many people know this, but both Evan Turner and Manny Harris heavily considered going to Wisconsin back in 2006 before choosing Ohio State and Michigan, respectively (though Turner was probably closer than Harris). Both were heavily recruited by the Badgers – Turner still maintains ties with former assistant coach Howard Moore – with UW ending up as the probable second choice for both.
The thought of that class on the floor together is mind-boggling. In this dream within a dream, the Badgers could currently throw out a starting five of Jordan Taylor, Harris, Turner, Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil.
National Championships. Undefeated season. Beating the Bucks in an exhibition game. Anything could have been possible with that lineup.
Wisconsin Hoops Dreams Part Deux: On the other end of the spectrum, players who came to Wisconsin/Marquette but left a year too soon, the Dwayne Wade/Devin Harris fantasy is just as titillating.
If Wade or Harris had stayed just one more year for the Warriors (Yes, the Warriors) and Badgers the respective lineups would have looked like this:
Warriors – Travis Diener, Wade, Joe Chapman, Steve Novak and Scott Merritt (who was absolutely born to be the fourth scorer on a great college team by the way. I have never been more certain of anything.) That is three futureNBAballers, a strong Euro baller and some other guys. Back to back Final Fours, easy.
Badgers – Harris, Kamron Taylor, Clayton Hanson/Sharif Chambliss, Alando Tucker and Mike Wilkinson. The two top Badger players of the decade together. Shooting everywhere. Brian Butch and Michael Flowers on the bench. Even a little Zach Morley action coming at ya. And you can never get enough Zach Morley action.
Alas, like Leo, the dream world can be more appealing then reality.
Some dreams – such as any about Natalie Portman – are just too good to be true.
Michael is a senior majoring in journalism. He is the co-author of Paulbunyansaxe.com, can be reached at bleach.michael@gmail or follow him on Twitter @michaelbleach.