Category Archives: Packers

The Best (Fantasy) Team Money Can Buy

It’s late August, which means there’s literally more fantasy football content out there than any person could ever actually consume. We at Bucky’s Beer Cheese Co. seek to always give the people what they want, and since I can definitely tell that you crave more fantasy football advice, I’m here to give it to you. What I have for you today is the absolute best fantasy football team that money can buy. The rules: we’re in a 10-team league with standard scoring and rules, and we have $200 in our auction budget. We’re going to put together a team that goes 13-0 and carries you to an easy championship. Drafting any other players would be at your own risk and is not recommended.

Please note: If you are in a fantasy league with me this year, please stop reading and go away at this time.

All stats from ESPN.com, and all fantasy point scoring information is according to ESPN standard scoring. All dollar values are according the ESPN’s Average Auction Value (AAV) as of August 17.

THE STARTERS:

QB: Tom Brady (NE), $6

Early in the 2007 season, Eric Mangini accused the Patriots of videotaping opponents’ practices in order to gain a competitive advantage, and essentially said that New England had cheated it’s way into three Super Bowl victories. The Patriots were vilified by the media and NFL fans for weeks. How did Brady and the Patriots respond? The Patriots shat all over the league going 16-0, led by an MVP season from Brady during which he threw 50 TDs to 8 INTs, with the team often maniacally continuing to run up the score and throw the ball deep late in games that they had well in hand. Well, we have a similar situation this year, with the Patriots again having been accused to cheating to give themselves a leg up in the playoffs in this whole Deflategate nonsense. For now, it looks like Brady will miss the first four games of the regular season – though a lawsuit remains pending – so you’ll need a capable backup to get you through the first five weeks of the season (New England has a bye in week five). But once Brady returns, don’t be surprised to see him post some of the biggest numbers of his career.

RB: Jeremy Hill (CIN), $36

Having spent a couple dozen extra dollars on another position (more on that later), we’re saving a bit of money on our pick for RB1 and leaving the $50+ guys for fantasy teams that don’t have a party-monster on their team. After a hip injury sidelined Gio Bernard in week 8, Hill Wally Pipped him, taking the Bengals’ running back job and never looking back. While Bernard was able to carve out some fantasy relevance of his own down the stretch last year, Bernard received 20+ carries in five of the Bengals final nine games, including a three-game run to end the regular season in which he averaged 24.3 touches and 136.7 yards per game while scoring three touchdowns. Bernard is the third down back here and will be the one seeing a majority of the RB targets in the passing game, which limits Hill’s upside somewhat in PPR, but his workload and talent should easily place him among the top 10 running backs in all formats.

RB: Lamar Miller (MIA), $25

Miller is a fine RB2, and though he isn’t likely to win you any weeks on his own, he has a steady workload and was a fairly reliable contributor to fantasy teams last season, scoring at least eight points in all but four games last year, with his worst games coming against formidable run defenses (Buffalo, Detroit) or against good teams who forced Miami to throw to keep up the scoring pace (Denver, New England). He failed to reach double digit carries or gain at least 50 yards just once each, both in a week 10 dud against Detroit. If you hate winning, you could also ignore the fact that basically every recent Wisconsin running back star has failed spectacularly at the NFL level (Ron Dayne, Michael Bennett, Anthony Davis, Brian Calhoun, Montee Ball and James White have one Pro Bowl appearance between the lot of them), and draft Melvin Gordon III.  You will be happy that you did it on draft day and then the rest of the year you will be very sad, and your league-mates will take all of your dollars. Alternative: Alfred Morris (WAS), $26

WR: Jordy Nelson (GB), $39

Despite finishing third among wide receivers last year and remaining the focal point of the passing offense led by the NFL’s best player, Nelson is currently just the seventh most expensive WR. I have no idea what the reason for that is, but if you can grab him at a $10 discount from the rest of the top tier of WRs, do so with glee. Note that this will probably not be possible in league filled with Green Bay fans, of course. Alternative: A.J. Green (CIN), $36

WR: Andre Johnson (IND), $11

Johnson will fill the Reggie Wayne role in Andrew Luck’s offense, but with a bit more big play ability and at a slightly younger age (Andre is 34, Wayne 36). Johnson’s numbers have steadily declined over recent years, a trend that could just as easily be attributed to poor quarterback play in Houston as it could to his advancing age. I’m expecting somewhat of a renaissance season for Johnson, though his upside is somewhat capped. We’ve got a higher upside pick later on for you, though. Alternative: DeSean Jackson (WAS), $11

TE: Rob Gronkowski (NE), $43

It’s not only what Gronk can do in his own right – although that certainly a big part of the equation – but also just how bad the tight end situation has become around the league. However you feel about Russell Wilson as a quarterback, he is definitely a step down from Drew Brees in his ability to throw the ball downfield, so with Jimmy Graham now in Seattle, Gronkowski’s hold on the position is even more vice-like. Behind those two, you’re looking at a cast of superstars that included Greg Olsen, Martellus Bennett, and Zach Ertz. While it’ll hurt to spend almost a quarter of your budget on a position the rest of your league is filling for under $5, you’ll be glad you did when Gronk is allowing you to basically play with an extra guy all year.

FLEX: Joseph Randle (DAL), $12

Taking nothing away from DeMarco Murray himself for the great numbers he put up last year, there’s no question that a large part of his success was running behind an offensive line that some believed was the greatest run-blocking unit in NFL history. That line gets even better this year with the addition of La’el Collins, a first-round talent that was signed by Dallas as an undrafted free agent because of some legal issues that were totally outside of his control (it will forever irk me that the Packers refused to take a late-round flier on this guy). The current scuttlebutt out of Cowboys camp is that they’ll handle the running back position by committee, but that committee includes oft-injured Darren McFadden and marginal talent Lance Dunbar, so I would expect to see Randle see a majority of the carries behind that great O-line. As a FLEX/RB3, I love the upside of Randle, and his AAV of $12 is way too low. Alternative: Latavius Murray (OAK), $13

K: Mason Crosby (GB), $1

Whatever get a kicker, who cares. Take the kicker from your favorite team if he is available. If not take a different one from a team that scores points. Do not think about which kicker to take for more than 12 seconds. If you pay more than a dollar for a kicker you are a bad person and you are the reason that some people go hungry. Alternative: Literally who cares

D/ST: New York Jets, $1

Defense is only marginally more important than your kicker. You can usually fill it in on a week to week basis with whatever team is playing Jacksonville or Cleveland. The Jets are a consensus top-10 defense among people who care enough about defenses to rank them, and they get the Browns at home in week one. Good enough for me. Drop them after week one, when they go on the road to Indianapolis for a Monday night date with Andrew Luck.

 

THE BENCH:

QB2: Eli Manning (NYG), $2

A lot of folks are talking about how Eli had a resurgence that has been largely attributed to the emergence of O’Dell Beckham. This is a very nice way to quickly explain why one might want to look at Eli as a QB2 this year, but it’s simply not true. In his first four games last season, Eli averaged 17.5 fantasy points per game, and in 12 games after Beckham’s debut, his average dropped to 16.1. Am I saying that Eli and the Giants offense were worse with Beckham in the fold? No I’m not, no one should say that. I’m just saying, take your fantasy analysis with a grain of salt, because numbers can say anything. So why am I recommending Eli? Because he’s a cheap and reliable option that probably won’t win you any weeks, but he won’t sink you, either. He plays three of his first five games at home, and has a couple of potentially nice matchups with games against Atlanta, San Francisco (who knows what that team will look like) and Washington, the latter of which was dead last in passing defense in 2014. As a short-term fill in for Brady, you likely won’t be able to do better for the price. Alternative: Carson Palmer (ARI), $2

RB4: Isiah Crowell (CLE), $5

There is a greater-than-not chance that Crowell is the top dog in the Browns backfield this season, and for that reason alone he’s worth a $5 flier. Crowell offers very little to the passing game, and West could very well eat up some goal-line carries, so the upside is limited, but you could do worse for a cheap RB4, especially if you ignore facts and draft Darren McFadden anyway. Alternative: Doug Martin (TB), $4

RB5: Ameer Abdullah (DET), $4

Following his explosive performance last Thursday, the secret is out about the Lions’ rookie running back, and you may not be able to get him at this price today. However if you can, make sure you gobble him up, because he has the potential to unseat injured incumbent starter Joique Bell in much the same way Hill did Bernard last year. Now that the training camp hero has shown that his talents translate to “real” games, Abdullah will be rising up draft boards.

RB6: Alfred Blue (HOU), $3

Speaking of guys who may not be available at this price much longer, Blue looks like he’ll be the feature back for the Titans for the first half of the season, for whatever that’s worth. The Texans quarterback situation is a mess, so the offense isn’t likely to produce much, but a starting running back for $3 is too good a deal to pass up, even if you’ll have to wait until the guy who drafted Arian Foster goes to the bathroom to get him.

WR3: Brandon Marshall (NYJ): $8

All jokes about Smokin’ Jay aside, Marshall’s quarterback situation has gotten demonstrably worse with the move to New York, a fact only exacerbated by the loss of Geno Smith to a sucker-punch in the god dang face. However, his talent and the fact that he’s far and away the best option for former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick makes him a capable WR3 and bye week replacement. Alternative: Vincent Jackson( TB), $8

WR4: Larry Fitzgerald (ARI), $2

The book on Larry Fitzgerald is that he’s lost more than a couple of steps, he’s no longer the go-to guy on the Arizona roster and at 31-years-old, his best days are very much behind him. And that may very well all be true: Fitzgerald’s 84 points last year ranked him behind such titans as Kenny Britt, Andrew Hawkins and Andre Holmes. But he was also stuck in one of the worst quarterback situations in the league in 2014: Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley combined to start 10 games, and posted QB ratings of 78.7 and 56.8, respectively. In the six games that Carson Palmer started last year(Week 1, Weeks 6-10), here’s what Fitzgerald’s numbers looked like:  5.3 rec/gm, 80.5 yards/gm, 2 TDs and 9.8 fantasy points per game. That YPG number would have ranked him 12th among receivers last year extrapolated over a full season – just ahead of Randall Cobb – and the 9.8 fantasy points would have ranked him 19th among wide receivers, making him a low-end WR2. Is it fair to expect the injury prone Carson Palmer to remain healthy and start 16 games in 2015? No, probably not. But as a $2 flier, Fitzgerald is certainly someone you can plug into your lineup in a pinch as long as Palmer is on the field.

WR5: Davante Adams (GB), $2

The Packers’ second year wide-out has shown flashes of being a big play guy in his limited opportunities to date, and all he needs is an opportunity to find himself with double-digit targets from the best quarterback in the league. Lest ye forget, in 2012 the Packers featured an three WR attack that saw Nelson, Cobb and James Jones all finish among the top 30 WRs in scoring in a year that also saw JerMichael Finley eat up 87 targets. So we know that Rodgers can support the fantasy relevance of more than two pass catchers, and the Packers don’t currently have a tight end that will threaten to take up 100 targets. With both Nelson and Cobb having missed significant time due to injury over the past couple of seasons, we’ll take the $2 lottery ticket for a chance at a big slice of that Green Bay offensive pie.

NostraTravis’s Pretty Good NFL Draft Blog

Who is that?

Woah, who the heck is that?

It’s me, NostraTravis. Here to tell you about which players are going to go where in the NFL draft today, tomorrow, this weekend, and throughout the seven-week long odyssey that is the National Football League’s Fourth Annual Acquisition of Additional Human Sacrifice Volunteers (“It’s a BloodBath!”TM).

Nah, not really. I’m not going to do that. There’s a million folks who are doing that already. I mean that literally — there are 1.27 million different mock drafts available on websites such as: google.com, sports.com, nfldraft.com, whotheheckisgonnagetdrafted.com, pornhub.com, football.com, footballers.com, pigskinsRus.com, and many others. So we’re not going to do that, because even I, the great NostraTravis, don’t really know, and who the heck even cares anyway. I wasn’t going to do anything at all for the draft because I try to avoid the waves of NFL coverage after the Super Bowl until at least August if I can, but there was some popular demand, and dang it friends I am a man of the people.

Instead, we’re going to talk about a couple of the guys that I sure hope the Packers can draft tonight, and maybe a few later this weekend that might be neat. But first! A list of players the Packers will definitely not draft tonight:

  • Jameis Winston – Winston will be drafted before it is the Packers turn, and anyway they already have a quarterback who’s pretty good, maybe you’ve heard of him, his name is Aaron. Idiot. Surprised you didn’t know that.
  • Cleatus – Cleatus is the football robot that began it’s rise to power in 2005 and now runs all of Fox Sports programming with an iron (literally) fist. It is widely rumored that Terry Bradshaw talks like that now because Cleatus punched him in the head, causing severe brain damange. Cleatus is not eligible for the NFL Draft, because he is not a human being.
  • Melvin Gordon III – Stop being silly.
  • Shane “Footsteps” Falco – Footsteps is a great young quarterback who had an incredible performance in the Sugar Bowl. However, he is also a fictional character, and as such is not eligible for this year’s draft.
  • Jake Kumerow – The former UW-Whitewater standout wide receiver is a pretty good football player, but he is not a first round talent. It would be quite a stretch if Ted Thompson were to select him with the 30th overall pick.

FINE we’ll do some real actual #analysis, you big babies. Fine, are you happy? The Packers most glaring needs are on the defensive side of the ball, as they had an exodus of sorts on that side of the ball. At inside linebacker, the Packers lost A.J. Hawk, Jamari Lattimore and Brad Jones (the latter is addition by subtraction, of course), and at cornerback, the Packers will move on without Tramon Williams and Davon House; all five of those players left through free agency/were cut. That leaves them perilously thin at both positions, especially ILB, where their best player is 2013 fourth-round pick Sam Barrington (assuming Clay Matthews shifts back to the outside).

While ILB is Green Bay’s primary position of need, that’s a position where talent can generally still be found on days two and three. By contrast, the elite secondary players are going to fly off the shelves early; last year’s first round saw nine defensive backs selected, including our very own Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Assuming Thompson doesn’t just decide to trade out of the first round altogether (a rather hefty assumption),  here’s a couple of guys he might target tonight:

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

There’s little doubt about Collins talent: he’s rated at the 5th cornerback in the draft by ESPN. However, it was revealed just a few days ago that Collins had failed “multiple” drug tests at LSU (not that the NCAA would give a rip about that as long as he didn’t sign his name on the joints before he inhaled them). Or course, Thompson has a history of not worrying too much about off-the-field issues; he brought Johnny Jolly back after his stint in jail, resigned Letroy Guion after his arrest this off-season, and drafted Colt Lyerla last year (the latter may have given him some pause, however).

Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

You may remember Jones as the fellow who broke not only the combine record, but the world record as well, in the broad jump back in February. If broad jumping were worth any points in the NFL, Jones would probably be one of the first players drafted tonight, but it’s not. It does speak to his athleticism however. Considered more of a third day prior to the combine, Jones rocketed up to possible first round territory with his performance there.

Eric Rowe, CB, Utah

Rather than pretending I know much of anything about Rowe, I’ll just point you to Acme Packing Co., where Evan Western (@TexWestern) posted a piece about him yesterday morning.

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

A little bit outside the box here, as Williams fits neither position of greatest need and the Packers just spent a third round pick on Richard Rodgers last year, who showed flashes of ability. But Williams is the best tight end in this class by a significant margin, and Rodgers (Aaron, that is) an the Packers offense struggled mightily at the beginning of last season as the Packers desperately sought a tight end who could make some plays offensively.

Anyway, I want to just quick close by saying that if you spend this evening watching the draft instead of Bucks-Bulls game six, what in the entire world is wrong with you? Get your head on straight. The best way to follow the draft is to check the internet when it is over because there is zero benefit to watching Kiper and McShay drone on about who cares what, and don’t even get me started on Chris Berman. Go Bucks. Fear The Dear.

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Merry Christmas, Packers fans.

2015 hasn’t exactly been the greatest year for Packers fans so far, but strap on your party hats (don’t wear cheeseheads. don’t ever wear a cheesehead), Packers fans:

Our six year long statewide nightmare is finally over as Jones joins the two other NFC Championship Game special teams goats, Brandon Bostick and Shaun Slocum, with a pink slip of his own. 15 minutes after the news was announced, “LB Brad Jones” was the 4th highest treding topic on Twitter dot com in the entire dang United States. Let the fire takes parade commence:

Top 5 best and worst Wisconsin sports moments of the last 25 years

de8a9-download5Following the US Men’s National Team’s thrilling victory over Ghana on Monday, I’m in the mood to rank the five best and worst sports moments I’ve experienced in my life. These are all going to be single moments, rather than entire games or seasons that were amazing, which is why you won’t find the either of the Packers’ Super Bowl wins, the Badgers’ Final Four runs/Rose Bowl championships, etc. here. Also, this suffers from an inevitable recency effect, as the memory of huge moments fades over time. Deal with it. We’ll start with the bad, to send you out on a high note.

Top Five Sports Heart-breakers

Shameful mention: Shaun Marcum announced as Game 6 starter in 2011 NLCS, Kirk Cousin’s hail mary beats No. 6 Wisconsin, Ray Allen misses the tip-in to win in Philly in the game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals

5) 4th and 26

Date: January 11, 2004

Location: My parent’s living room

This play was so painful it has its own Wikipedia page. After their thrilling overtime victory over Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks a week earlier, the Packers were one play away from a berth in the NFC Championship. Two incompletions, a penalty and a sack left the Eagles facing, well, you know what, with 1:18 left and no timeouts remaining on their own 25 yard line, trailing 17-14. The probability of a loss for the Packers was just slightly higher than the likelihood of Lance Armstrong winning another Sportsman of the Year award. Instead, Nick Barnett blew his coverage, Darren Sharper blew his coverage, Bhawoh Jue blew his coverage, and the Eagles were able to tie. Moments later, a Brett Favre overtime interception (stay tuned for more!) set up David Akers for the game winner.

4) The Catch II

Date: January 3, 1999

Location: Hannah Spear’s birthday party

This would have been heartbreaking in it’s own right: On 3rd and 3 from the Packers’ 25 with eight seconds left and the Packers leading 27-23, Steve Young fired a strike to Terrell Owens to give the 49ers a miracle win after Favre had lead the team on what seemed to be the game-winning drive moments earlier as the Packers sought their third straight Super Bowl appearance (*huff huff huff* how about THAT sentence?). What made it even more painful was that replays clearly showed that Jerry Rice had fumbled four plays earlier in a play that the referees missed (replay review would come to the NFL the following season). Adding to the heartache, this would be Reggie White’s final game as a Packer, as he retired following the season (and then came back to play for the Panthers). I cried in my parents’ room for an hour after this game.

041cc-aaron-harrison-3-against-wisconsin

Can you not

3) Aaron Harrison’s trey ends the Badgers’ title hopes

Date: April 5, 2014

Location: Replay Sports Bar

I’m still not over this. The building was absolutely rocking with about 300 of my closest friends living and dying on every shot. The collective “oof” when Harrison’s shot went in with 5.7 seconds to give Kentucky an improbable victory was palpable and awful. Even with all that time left on the clock, it just felt like the Badgers’ luck had finally run out, and indeed it had as Traevon Jackson’s prayer clanged off the rim as time expired. This game felt like a battle for the NCAA’s soul, with Bo Ryan and his scrappy team of four-year, team-oriented grinders fighting on the side of good against Calipari’s definitely-not-paid-yet, five-star McDonald’s All-American one-and-dones. As with Butler facing Duke in the championship game just a couple years earlier, it seemed like everyone in the country outside of Lexington was a Badger fan that day. And once again, the evil empire won the day.

2) Favre’s final pass as a Packer intercepted in the NFC Championship

Date: January 20, 2008

Location: E. Harmony Apartment in Whitewater

Playing in their first NFC championship game since 1998, the Packers seemed to be charmed and destined for a Super Bowl appearance in what was widely speculated to be Brett Favre’s last year (lol), After a wild, see-saw game, the teams headed to overtime after Lawrence Tynes missed the potential game winner from 36 yards out with four seconds to play, his second miss of the game. At this point, I’m already an absolute train wreck. When Favre threw the second pass of the overtime period right into Corey Webster’s chest near the home team’s sideline, I had to leave the living room and could only listen, lying face down on my extra-long twin size bed furnished by DLK Enterprises (UW-Whitewater s/o), as the game once again hung on the wildly inaccurate leg of Tynes. Shortly after he connected from 47 yards to put the Giants in the Super Bowl, my roommate and best friend Derek watched me pour the first alcoholic beverage I ever imbibed, the first of three I took before 21st birthday. It was a shot of UV Pink, and it tasted like heartbreak.

644e9-hailmar21) The Fail Mary

Date: September 24, 2012

Location: Mad Dog’s Sports Bar and Grill

Bugger that and bugger you, Seattle.

Top Five Best Sports Moments:

Honorable Mention: Ben Brust’s miracle trey sends the Badgers to OT vs. Michigan (right), Desmond Howard’s kickoff return in Super Bowl XXXI, Ron Dayne breaks the NCAA career rushing record

5) Ryan Braun’s extra innings grand slam beats the Pirates

Date: September 25, 2008

Location: Miller Park Terrace Level

Locked in a tie with the Mets for the Wild Card lead with three games to play, the Brewers were tied at one with the Pirates, a team they’d beaten 12 out of 13 times in 2008, heading into extra frames. Tensions in the stands were high with the left field scoreboard already flashing the NYM 7, CHC 6 final. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the tenth, Ryan Braun drilled the 2-2 pitch into the Brewers bullpen, keeping the Brewers abreast of New York and sending 43,000 fans into delirium. This of course came two days after Prince Fielder’s own walk-off two-run shot against Pittsburgh, and three days before, well, stay tuned.

4 Graham Zusi and John Brooks shock Ghana

Date: June 16, 2014

Location: Jack’s American Pub

You’ve just seen it, so I won’t bore you with a recap. If you’re not aware, you don’t care anyway. The beautiful corner from one substitute to the second-touch header of the other to finally exorcise the Ghana demons just minutes after Ghana had equalized was one of the greatest moments in recent USMNT history. The bar was jam packed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, and the the jubilation that occurred after the goal was amazing to be a part of. How much it will mean in the grand scheme of the tournament remains to be seen, but Brooks’ reaction says it all: “OH MY GOD!!!!! Oh my God….oh…my god…I need to lie down.”

3) Rodgers to Cobb puts the Packers in the playoffs

Date: December 29, 2013

Location: Shorewood Apartment

After suffering though two months of bad quarterbacks for the first time in my life, Aaron Rodgers made his triumphant return against the team that knocked him out in a winner-take-all NFC North championship game against the Bears. The lead changed hands four times, and with the Packers trailing by one with 6:24 remaining, the quarterback led the Packers on a game-winning drive that included two fourth down conversions, none bigger than the 48-yard strike to Randall Cobb, who himself had missed the previous 11 games, on 4th and 8 with 38 seconds to play. I watched this at home with some of my best friends, which is really how I should watch all important sporting events, because I don’t do losing in public all that well.

2) Wes Helms and Ryan Braun put the Brewers in the playoffs for the first time in 26 years

Date: September 28, 2008

Location: My cousin Jessica’s birthday party in Racine

The Brewers’ first potential playoff appearance since losing the 1982 World Series to the hateful Cardinals hung in the balance on the season’s final day, with the Brewers, hosting the Cubs, tied for the wild card lead with the Mets, hosting the Marlins. Both games started at approximately the same due to an hour long rain delay at Shea (lol rain delays), and both entered the eighth inning tied. Completely isolated in the corner watching this game on the tiny TV I was allowed to use while the rest of the family watched the Packers lose to Tampa Bay (probably Aaron Rodgers worst game of his career, incidentally), I was an absolute nervous wreck. In the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Braun drilled the first pitch he saw into the left field bleachers, giving the Brewers a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish. Moments later, FSN North cut away to Shea as former Brewer and confirmed terrible third baseman Wes Helms became a Milwaukee hero when he ripped a pinch hit home run, the first of a back-to-back pair with Dan Uggla, to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead in the eighth that also became the final. The Brewers ended their regular season with a nifty double play, the Mets completed their second consecutive September collapse, and playoff baseball returned to Milwaukee for the first time since the Reagan administration.

1) Tony Plush’s extra innings walk-off sends the Brewers to the NLCS

Date: (2011)

Location: Miller Park Terrace Level

After both teams held serve at home, the Brewers and Diamondbacks returned to The Keg for a decisive game five. The D-Backs struck first, scoring in the third, but the Brewers tallied in the 4th and 6th to carry a 1-run lead into the ninth, when John Axford served up three straight hits, including a Willie Bloomquist bunt single that tied the game. With the jam-packed stadium holding it’s breath on every pitch, Carlos Gomez laced a one out single to left, stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Nyjer Morgan, who then just tickled it into the outfield, scoring Gomez and sending 44,000 screaming fans into a sustained fit of delirium that lasted for well over a half-hour before we started to clear the seating bowl. In season full of Plushdamental moments, this one topped them all.