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Radio Joe Zenzola

 
Posts from October 2012


Which athletes would you like in your group during a zombie apocalypse?
Of all the shows I’ve grown up watching, The Walking Dead might be the most addicting show I’ve ever seen. In honor of The Walking Dead returning to TV this fall, I thought it would be fun to mix zombies with sports. Which three athletes would you want in your group during a zombie apocalypse? To make it interesting, I chose one from football, one from basketball, and one from baseball.
 
Yes, I really thought this through…
 
Clay Matthews
 
If you know anything about the Packers, you know what kind of person Clay Matthews is. He’s mean, aggressive, explosive, and out of control on the football field. Now, put that man in a zombie apocalypse setting. Clay has the strength to rip off a decrepit zombie’s head with his bare hands (just don’t get bit). Throwing his weight around, Clay can pack a serious death blow to any zombie that wants to test him for his flesh. We all know his agility and speed is impressive to say the least; he can get himself out of trouble and/or save others before an area gets overrun.
 
Now, strap some knives, axes, hammers, and GUNS to this guy. Clay would make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a string bean. He is your ultimate weapon. If he gets swarmed by a zombie herd, Clay will not fall to his death without pulling the pin on a hand grenade and taking the herd with him. Believe me, he’s not going to want zombies eating that prized muscle mass he’s worked so hard for.   
 
The one concern that could put the group in danger is the hair. If a zombie pulls at his hair, Clay could be out of commission. I would recommend that he cuts his hair ASAP. However, I compare him to the great biblical judge Samson in the Old Testament. When Delilah cut his hair, Samson lost his strength. I hope that’s not the case, though, with Mr. Clay.
 
Shane Battier
 
Why the hell him?
 
Well, I did some research, and sources say that Shane Battier is one of the smartest players in the NBA. The man is a strong defender and a proven leader in the locker-room. He knows the game of basketball very well. If the zombie apocalypse became the real deal, Shane could lead our group in the right direction. He’d probably be the guy to come up with some strategic ideas to stay away from zombies, or take refuge in a place where he knows we’re going to be safe. When our group has to make tough decisions in order to survive, Shane will always have the final call. He also has a ton of class towards others. I think his heart will come into play for every decision he has to make.
 
Look, we know he’s not a scorer in the NBA; however, he’s an expert on defense. With that being said, if Shane defends well on the basketball court, who says he can’t defend us in a zombie apocalypse? From a physical and mental standpoint, I already feel safer with this guy around.
 
You’re probably asking yourself, ‘It’s your group, Radio Joe. Shouldn’t you be the leader?’ Would a group of badass athletes want to take orders from a 22 year old kid? I didn’t think so.
 
Mike Trout
 
Trout led the Majors this season in stolen bases (one short of 50). Obviously, I would like Trout in this group particularly because of his speed and his young, ripe age of 21. Of the three players I chose, I’d trust Trout to be the guy to get whatever supplies we need in an area overrun by zombies. Armed with a Louisville Slugger, Trout could easily maneuver his way in and out of an area without drawing attention from the zombie herd. We could also use him as a scout. Trout would be able to supply us a visual map of uncharted areas. If we’re being attacked, Trout would be a valuable weapon to take down zombies.
 
No insult to Clay Matthews. Clay is a speedster like Trout. I’m afraid Clay would go out if his way, though, to kill a couple of zombies just for pleasure, when that’s not the clear objective. A little taller and about 50 pounds heavier than Trout, Clay is clearly the bigger badass of the two. Trout, however, strikes me as someone that can constantly keep his cool (especially for a 21 year old), even if the group is in trouble. In his early baseball career, Trout has acted pretty humble towards the media. Unlike some other youngsters in professional sports, Trout knows his talents, but he still has a lot to learn. The tasks would surely challenge his abilities, but he also knows that if he can accomplish those challenging tasks, it will benefit the rest of the group. We need a team player, and Mike Trout is just that. Trout’s counterpart, Bryce Harper, would be too cocky and arrogant to handle in our group. He’d probably disagree with everything Shane Battier has to say. Harper would want to be the leader, and then get us all killed…That’s a clown decision, bro.
 
Follow me on Twitter @RadioJoeZenzola
 
Until next time, Milwaukee…
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You stink, you suck, and you're the worst! Issue #2
You stink…Houston Texans
 
It blows my mind how well the Packers did last night. This was by far their best performance of the season from both an offensive and defensive perspective. The old Aaron Rodgers returns, throwing six TD passes; Jordy Nelson gets three of those. The receivers were on top of their game (Is Donald Driver still a member of this team? I could have sworn Jarrett Boykin got more playing time than DD did last night!) You got a solid run game from Alex Green against one of the highly touted defenses in the league. Amid the fear that the offense was taking a nose-dive, Rodgers and company literally ‘Shhhhhhushed’ critics and fans.
 
The Packers’ defense flourished throughout the game, getting to Matt Schaub early. Jerel Worthy and Casey Hayward shined as rookies. A.J. Hawk continues to be defensively sound, as he led the team in tackles and made another big sack. Considering the fact that Matt Schaub threw the ball to a myriad of wide receivers, the Packers’ secondary did a solid job preventing Schaub’s most popular targets – Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels – from big scores.
 
I think we can all agree that this game should have been much closer. The Texans did not show up to play football last night. As for the Texans’ run game, that might have been one of their most pathetic performances. Although he was coming off a small knee injury, Arian Foster was due for a bad game. Give a lot of credit to the Packers’ front seven stopping the run…
 
You suck…Washington Nationals AND St. Louis Cardinals
 
Watching the game from a local bar in K-town, I knew the Cards were going to rally once Carlos Beltran led off with that double in the ninth. Sure enough, four runs later, the Cardinals had the lead and an NLCS bid in their grasp.
 
The Nationals obviously suck for several reasons. First, you guys blew a six run lead early in the game. Secondly, had Stephen Strasburg pitched this series, you guys should have been guaranteed a trip to the NLCS. Third, your bullpen decides to blow it up in Game 5 (can someone tell me why Edwin Jackson pitched the 7th?). I understand why Tyler Clippard wasn’t the closer – his month of September was God-awful. Drew Storen’s numbers have been outstanding as a reliever this season, but his implosion in the 9th had to have taught him a valuable postseason lesson.
 
Perhaps they will rethink shutting down players in the future…
 
If you’re a true Brewers fan, then you should loathe the St. Louis Cardinals. As much as the Cardinals won Game 5 fair and square, they will always suck in my book. This is strictly bias as you know. Can someone knock them out already? C’mon, San Fran! I don’t want to see these guys win back-to-back World Series. The Cardinals continue to be a winning cancer in baseball. You can’t get rid of them!
 
You’re the worst!...Big Ten Football!
 
Seriously?
 
There’s not one Big Ten team in the latest top 25 BCS Rankings? What an embarrassment…
 
In a conversation with Matt Regashus the other day, we both agreed that this is the worst we’ve ever seen from the Big Ten. You have two teams suspended from the Big Ten Championship and bowl games. Teams like Michigan, Michigan State, and yes, Wisconsin, were suppose to be the front runners in this conference. Instead, there’s a Legends Division practically up for grabs at this point. Meanwhile, the Leaders Division ought to be called the Leftovers Division with Ohio State and Penn State already exiled from contention.
 
Fortunate to be in the Leftovers Division, Wisconsin has stepped things up as of late, but looking at their remaining schedule, there’s only one ranked team (Ohio State) that they face. Good luck cracking the Top 25 even if the Badgers were to win the rest of their games. Let’s say for the sake of argument the Badgers actually do make it to Indy and win the Big Ten Championship. Is it a fair statement that the Badgers were the best of the worst in the Big Ten?
 
Big Ten Football has always been a Midwest tradition of excellence. While they may never get to SEC status, this is where football lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps. Some of the most passionate and obsessive football fans come from the Midwest. The performance of these 12 teams is a sure slap in the face to everybody who bleeds for college football every Saturday. I’m ashamed the Big Ten has reached an all-time low. Its repercussions could echo for seasons to come. While this conference lies in shambles, the SEC, Big 12, ACC, and Pac 12 all continue to get stronger.
 
There’s no question Big Ten Football is clearly the worst and most disappointing conference in college football.
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You stink, you suck, and you're the worst! Issue #1
Every Monday will mark a new installment called “You stink, you suck, and you’re the worst.” Choosing teams, players, coaches, fans, mascots, etc., I will pull the best three that caused controversy from the previous week in sports, and throw them under one of these three categories. With that being said, enjoy the list. (And no, this is nothing like Keith Olbermann’s ‘Worst Persons in the World.’ There will never be political figures on this list. Quite frankly, I loathe Keith Olbermann.)
 
You stink…Green Bay Packers
 
It’s no surprise the Packers stink. Blowing a 21-3 lead to a rookie team is unacceptable. I thought the slap in the face in Seattle was going to be a game changer moving forward. It was disgusting to see Reggie Wayne snag over 200 receiving yards against a so-called improving Packers’ defense. Shame on Dom Capers for this one. You knew Wayne was going to be Luck’s number one target out there, so where was the coverage? Where was the preparation? The secondary remains a mystery to me at this point. It’s also a slap in the face for your defense to surrender 464 total yards. By the way, the Colts are now 6th in the NFL in passing. I do like Morgan Burnett’s play as of late, though. He’s been more involved on the field than I’ve ever seen.
 
In the same respect, blame Aaron Rodgers. I’ve seen too many overthrown passes the last couple of weeks. Considering another poor performance by the offensive lineman, Rodgers needs to do a better job getting out of the pocket sooner or dumping it off to a receiver immediately. His overall numbers this season are actually pretty solid; he’s on pace to throw over 4,000 yards this year. Despite the numbers, Rodgers had a lousy second half. To muster only six points is a real head-scratcher.
 
Now the Packers travel to Houston to what should be an automatic defeat. Seriously, how optimistic are you? Then again, knowing the Packers, they’ll probably play their best football of the year…Please prove me wrong, GB. In meantime, you guys stink.
 
You suck…John Daly
 
Being a lover of redemption stories, I’m actually a big fan of John Daly. Whenever he’s in the field list for any tournament, I always take some time to see what he’s up to on the leaderboards. Winning a tournament may actually remove many of the demons that have haunted his life and golf game for the last decade. From the interviews and the T.V. show he did (“Being John Daly”), I believe he’s committed himself to be a better person…and golfer.
 
However…John Daly sucks. (At least for this week).
 
Playing in Justin Timberlake’s tournament over the weekend, Daly was right in the mix after the second round. Shooting 69-63, he had a ton of momentum going into the weekend. Perhaps Daly’s biggest issue as a golfer is playing consistent golf through a four day period. Typically, his third and fourth rounds are plagued with some horrific scores. After firing the 63 in round two, Daly shot 23 strokes worse with an 86 on Saturday! 86?! Then on Sunday, shot a dreadful 77. He finished dead last in the cut-field.
 
He’s made perfectly clear that he’s trying hard to save his PGA Tour card on Twitter. I believe it, but something’s got to give, John. As of right now, you suck.
 
You’re the worst!...Matthew Hinson
 
How would you like to book a trip to see your favorite football team playing down south, but before going to the game, you get your throat slashed by a member of the Jacksonville community?
 
My heart goes out to 42-year-old Bears’ fan William C. Pettry and his grieving family. Pettry’s throat was slashed inside a Jacksonville bar early Sunday morning, and was presumed dead by police.
 
The suspect, 27-year-old Matthew Hinson, is being held without bond. Witnesses saw him slash Pettry’s throat, took the bloody knife and put it in his pocket, and then walked out of the bar as if nothing happened. While there’s no explanation for Hinson’s motive, this is somebody that serves no purpose to society. Nonetheless, I don’t care what happened; nobody should have to lose their life over something so stupid. I can’t sit here and speculate what happened that night, but I can guarantee a situation like this was no accident.
 
Hinson could be spending the rest of his life behind bars. There’s no question that he’s the worst. 

Twitter: @RadioJoeZenzola

Stay tuned for another exciting list next week, as well as other future blogs from me. 

Until next time, Milwaukee...
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My best and worst baseball interviews of 2012
Let’s be honest. The Milwaukee Brewers have a ton of classy players. Off all the one-on-ones I did this season, not one of them was a bad interview. On the other hand, I had my fair share of outstanding, to sub-par, to dreadful interviews with players from all around the league. Here are my top 3 best and top 3 worst player interviews in the visiting clubhouse.
 
The Worst…
 
1.      Stephen Strasburg SP Washington Nationals
 
I did my homework, or at least I thought I did, when preparing for a one-on-one with Stephen Strasburg. In an interview while he was with San Diego State, he seemed like a down-to-earth kind of dude. His answers had good content; he did not appear to come of cocky or arrogant. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into…I was wrong.
 
Walking into the Nationals clubhouse at 9:45am on a Sunday, I see Strasburg along with several teammates having breakfast by the leather couches. Sunday pregames are always difficult because players are currently rolling into the clubhouse at different times; they’re still trying to wake up from a late night game; they also have a tight schedule before first pitch.
 
Waiting patiently for him to finish his breakfast, I stood not far from the couches as the clock continued to tick. Then, without hesitation, I approached Strasburg with all of his teammates around him. After extending my hand and introducing myself, Strasburg, with a smirk on his face, looked at me with the expression of “Who the hell is this kid?” Strasburg accepted the interview, but didn’t seem thrilled about it. Then, looking disoriented, while his buddies chuckled in the background, I walked back to his locker with him.
 
Strasburg didn’t have the time for me, and he was only a couple years older than me. His answers were fine, until I mentioned the whole innings limit situation. Strasburg refused to answer the question (which I guess I don’t blame him), but his tone was rather smug and rude. The more arrogant he got in his answers, the more uncomfortable I was feeling. After thanking him for his time, he bolted.
 
He didn’t come off as a nice guy. Based off that interview from San Diego State, he definitely changed. I guess that superstardom must have gone to his head.
 
2.      Josh Johnson SP Miami Marlins
 
It felt like a rapid-fire interview. Typically, the goal is to have about a 4-6 minute one-on-one interview when doing pregame coverage for the Ziebart On-Deck Show. This interview lasted two and a half minutes! When preparing to interview a Marlin, Josh Johnson wasn’t on the list. However, after not finding who I wanted and running on a deadline, there was Josh Johnson chilaxing in front of his locker.
 
Not every player is going to be a good interviewee. Johnson was clearly that. His answers lasted only seconds long. I remember firing close to 10 questions at him in that two and a half minute span. For me, it was great practice to have another question ready in the back of my mind before his short response came to an end. The guy had no content, and I don’t think really cared either. Then again, maybe he’s a little shy to do interviews. When talking to him though, I didn’t detect shyness. At least I had something to provide for the show, but I’ll remember to keep my distance from Johnson in the future.
 
3.      Brain Bogusevic OF Houston Astros
 
I’m to blame for this barn-burner of an interview. Like Strasburg, in past interviews, Bogusevic seemed like a decent guy to talk to. However, in one of my first questions to him, I said, “Does it bother you that fans and other teams call you guys the Triple-A Astros?” I regret asking that question; in fact, I apologize for it. Bogusevic responded, “Um…I’ve never heard anybody say that…uh that wouldn’t be nice to hear.” From there, the interview went downhill. It’s difficult interviewing a player from one of the worst of teams in baseball. I know better than that, and I’ve improved on focusing on more of the positives rather than negatives with the some of the weaker teams in the MLB. It’s bad enough when you know suck, and then have some young idiot broadcasters (that’s me) call you the “Triple-A Astros.”
 
Bogusevic should have punched me in the face for that.
 
Up to that point, that was the last poor interview I did.
 
The Best…
 
1.      Huston Street/Joe Thatcher CP/RP San Diego Padres
 
It’s funny that the Padres visited Miller Park for two series this season, and I was fortunate to get two awesome interviews out of it. In the first trip to Miller Park, I was looking desperately to find a player from the Padres. Whenever you’re preparing to interview a player, always have a list of 3-7 players you would like to go after, and then do your homework/research accordingly. My first two options – Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin – turned down my interview because they were going to the batting cages. Next on my list was Huston Street. Unlike Stephen Strasburg, I saw a couple of YouTube videos of Street being interviewed, and the answers he gave were outstanding. Sure enough, when I got him for the one-on-one, I got just that. The interview lasted close to six minutes. He was a nice guy, and had no problem taking time out to talk about baseball. His content was so good; I remember asking only six questions during the entire interview. They guy had a lot on his mind, and didn’t sugarcoat anything.
 
I tried getting Street again during this final series with the Brewers, but he looked like he was in a bad mood. Awkwardly standing by his locker, I should have walked away. Instead, Street yelled at me “I don’t have time for an interview right now!” I apologized and left. Unless I reintroduced myself, I doubt Street remembered me from the last time.
 
On the following day, I landed a one-on-one with lefty Joe Thatcher. For those of you baseball nuts out there, you may remember this guy. Thatcher was once a part of the Brewers minor league system. In fact, he came up around the same time as Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks. Along with two other pitchers, Thatcher was dealt to San Diego for veteran relief pitcher Scott Linebrink in 2007. Since the trade, Thatcher was the only player that panned out for the Padres, and he’s had quite a career there. Thatcher told me in the interview that had it not been for the Brewers, he may not be where is today. Originally, Thatcher was undrafted and took his chances in the independent league. The Brewers actually signed Thatcher out of independent ball.
 
This could have made for a great feature story on Fox 6. Thatcher is a good guy, very down-to-earth, and had enjoyed talking with me. Of all the players I’ve interviewed so far, his story stuck with me the most.  
 
2.      Tim Hudson SP Atlanta Braves
 
It’s always hard finding a specific player in any clubhouse. Players are constantly moving in and out, getting food, having treatment, going to the cages, etc. Sometimes it’s better to target a pitcher over a hitter, just for the simple reason that hitters are more active than pitchers. This is not to say that pitchers are lazy by any means. From my observations though, they have more time on their hands than the rest of their teammates. More specifically, starting pitchers who don’t pitch on their specific dates are the ones to really target.
 
With that being said, Tim Hudson was minding his own business. After talking to someone on the phone, I approached Hudson and introduced myself. Once again, he was very down-to-earth and had no problem speaking his mind. When asking him how he felt about shutting down pitchers, I was afraid he was going to give me a really bad Stephen Strasburg-like response. Instead, he was very honest with me. Hudson understands where the organization is coming from by looking out for the pitcher’s future. However, Hudson said, “Barring injury, you should go out there and perform…What happens if next spring he blows his elbow out? You never know what’s going to happen.” To conclude on the shutdown debate, Hudson would go on to say that “it seems a bit silly to me.”
 
We would go on to talk about his great career. He mentioned how lucky he was to play for two great organizations (A’s and Braves, of course) and never coped with a ton of injuries. It would not surprise me if Hudson was a Hall-of-Famer down the road. I was glad and fortunate to do that interview. Veterans have been around the block, and they can definitely have more class to members of the media, than some of these youngsters (Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, I’m taking to you).
 
3.      Buster Posey C San Francisco Giants
 
While I could have improved on some of the questions I asked him, there was one key reason why I enjoyed Buster Posey’s interview. Don’t get me wrong, his answers and content were great. But there was something else that stood out from one of the best catchers in the game…He actually cares.
 
Struggling to find a player to talk to you, I saw Posey looking over some film. Up to that point, Posey would be the biggest name I got to interview. Approaching Posey, I introduced myself and right away said, “I know you’re busy right now, but if you a have a couple of minutes, could we do a little one-on-one.” He said he would try, but usually that answer means “No.” Keeping my distance from Posey, I stayed on the opposite corner of the clubhouse as the clock continued to tick. The last thing I wanted was to walk out of that clubhouse with nothing. Sparky and Josh would have killed me!
 
After a couple of minutes, Posey stood up from his computer, walked across the clubhouse, and approached me. He said something along the lines of, “All right. Let’s do this.”  
 
When a player takes their time out do that, it goes to show what kind of person they are.
 
So there you have it!
 
Follow me on Twitter @RadioJoeZenzola
 
Until next time, Milwaukee…
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