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Bret Bielema to sing at Wrigley on Monday 7/30





Mike Lucas: Bielema will get his Wrigley moment


Mike Lucas ? 7/23/2007 7:59 am


Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) has done it. So has Jay Leno, Mel Gibson, Eddie Veder, Karch Kiraly, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vince Vaughn, Barbara Eden, Jeff Foxworth, Barney the Dinosaur, Vanna White, Jimmy Buffett, Cyndi Lauper, Bozo the Clown, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Cuban, Jesse Ventura, Nancy Kerrigan, George Foreman, Rick Majerus, Chuck Berry, Tom Crean, Joe Frazier, Mike Krzyzewski, Tony Orlando, Pat Sajak, Donald Trump, Bernie Mac and Barry Alvarez.


Mike Ditka's first rendition was bad beyond belief. But he got a second chance. Steve "Mongo" McMichael didn't. In fact, McMichael was "ejected'' by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez after the thuggish Mongo promised to have a talk with Hernandez after the game because of a questionable call at the plate. There were many more questions after a comatose Ozzy Osbourne, accompanied by wife Sharon, attempted to do it. The burned out rocker did have the number sequence in order: one, two, three. That was the only thing he got right, while barely managing to stand upright.


"Let's go out to the ball game. Let's go out to the bluhhhhh. Take me a ee-yan eey a (humming) the field. I don't care if I aah-uhn ack. Da da da da duh da da da eam. Duh ee, da da da da dahhh. For a fee, two, three strikes you're out at the old ballgame.''




Tough hack to follow.


But they continue to try. NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon invited everybody to join him at Wrigley Stadium. Chicago Bears kick return specialist Devin Hester's rendition was Ditka bad. Illinois football coach Ron Zook read from note cards presumably bearing the lyrics (if not the mantra "I am a good coach, not just a good recruiter; I am a good coach, not just a good recruiter&quothttp://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif . Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis had no trouble remembering the words, particularly since they so closely resemble the ones that he sings after every Irish game ("Let me root, root, root for the home team; if WE don't win, it's a shame&quothttp://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif .


A week from today, University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema will honor the Harry Caray tradition by singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game'' during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will be opening a seven-game homestand against the Philadelphia Philles (6:05 p.m., ESPN), while Bielema will be in Chicago for the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon and media days, which get under way Tuesday, July 31. Bielema has no known musical skills beyond having an ear for reggae and playing the tuba in his high school band. But like his fellow head coaches -- in particular, Michigan's Lloyd Carr and Ohio State's Jim Tressel -- Bielema will be expected to "sing'' the blues when it's announced that the Badgers are picked to finish among the top three in the conference along with the Wolverines (most likely the consensus pick to win the Big Ten title in 2007) and the Buckeyes (who might be bumped by Penn State on the preseason ballot).


The media event will feature three new coaches: Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Minnesota's Tim Brewster and Indiana's Bill Lynch, serving on an interim basis in the wake of Terry Hoeppner's death; one of the many storylines that will punctuate the conversation in Chicago next week. You can already feel a sense of compassion for the three players representing the Hoosiers -- James Hardy, Tracy Porter and Marcus Thigpen -- because they will be asked to document their emotions. A year ago, Northwestern's Nick Roach, Shaun Herbert and Bryan Heinz went through the ordeal after losing their coach, Randy Walker.


The Badgers will send tailback P.J. Hill, linebacker Jonathan Casillas and wide receiver Luke Swan to Chicago. Although Hill won the Big Ten rushing crown last season, nipping Michigan's Mike Hart, there's little doubt that Hart is being cast as the conference's leading Heisman Trophy candidate. Hart, quarterback Chad Henne and offensive tackle Jake Long (this year's version of former UW tackle Joe Thomas) will be among the most interviewed players next week. Only two other quarterbacks -- Penn State's Anthony Morelli and Purdue's Curtis Painter -- will be attending the Kickoff Luncheon, speaking to the inexperience at that position.


At about the same time that Bielema is warming up his vocal chords at Wrigley Field, the conference will be pitching its Big Ten Network at a media reception designed to show off its fall line-up and new studios and win over critics. Based on the early returns and rejections of the BTN from cable players like Comcast, Time Warner, and Charter, among others, Bielema will not be making an editorial comment by singing "For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out.'' Consider it a coincidence, for now.


As a Wisconsin alum, I can't say I'm too happy to see this. I understand that Bielema is an ambassador of our state's biggest university, but it seems like an indirect slap in the face to Brewers fans, especially with the "root, root, root for the CUBBIES lyrics. PR trumps state loyalty in this case. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/frown.gif

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Yeah, I know lots of UW students from Chicagoland and I'm not really going to get my "panties in a twist" over this, plus Bielema was born in Illinois and was an Iowa guy for a while. It just doesn't seem right to me (and probably a lot of other Wisconsinites).
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