We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Wisconsin sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
Today is Wednesday, Oct. 5, and this is your Wisconsin Wake-Up Call.
Injury scare for Tindal
Wisconsin fans got an injury scare on Tuesday when cornerback Derrick Tindal sent out a Snapchat that indicated he was having surgery on his right hand.
— Lorin Cox (@CoxSports1) October 4, 2016
Luckily for Tindal and the Badgers, it turns out the surgery was not a big deal.
#Badgers officials note that CB Derrick Tindal had minor surgery on right hand this week. No missed time anticipated.
— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) October 4, 2016
Injuries have laid siege to Wisconsin’s roster in the last two seasons. A year ago, the ailments limited the Badgers at running back, offensive line, tight end and linebacker. This year, it’s been at running back, offensive line, linebacker and in the secondary.
That Tindal’s injury is not severe is a tremendous win. Already without nickel back Natrell Jamerson for the last three games, losing a guy like Tindal, who is playing as well as any of Wisconsin’s defenders, would have been a near disaster with No. 2 Ohio State on the schedule next.
Heck, it would be hard enough for the Badgers at full strength to beat Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer and the all the weapons he can throw on the field. Trying to do it without two of the top three cornerbacks on the team would be too much to ask. For now, it appears Wisconsin won’t have to worry about it.
Prior to last Saturday’s game, Wisconsin and Michigan hadn’t played since 2010. But coming out of the game, it looks like the 60 minutes generated some bad blood between the two programs.
A day after Badgers wide receiver George Rushing created a stir on Twitter claiming he was interfered with on Michigan’s game-winning interception by Jourdan Lewis, one of the Wolverines’ linemen told reporters that the knee injury sustained by left tackle David Newsome, which happened when Tindal went low to take out the blocker, wasn’t on the up-and-up.
Kalis says he felt the hit on Newsome was a cheap shot. Defender went right at his knee.
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) October 4, 2016
The injury was unfortunate, and it will cost Newsome the rest of the season. But to think Tindal did anything that any other player that was outweighed by more than 140 pounds would do is ridiculous.
@grant_newsome praying for you bro never out there to hurt someone get well soon
— Derrick D.T Tindal (@TindalIsland) October 3, 2016
When a 317-pound lineman is chugging towards a 175-pound cornerback aiming to knock him out, the latter has just one option: Go low.
The good, the bad and the ugly
The NFL season has hit the quarter poll, and former Badgers have made their mark — both good and bad — through the first four games.
The good: Melvin Gordon
A year after not scoring a single touchdown as a rookie and being called a bust by some, San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is off to a tremendous start, especially around the goal line. Though averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, the 2014 Heisman Trophy runner-up has scored six touchdowns.
Count it: ? TDs
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 2, 2016
The bad: Joe Thomas
Through no fault of his own, the Cleveland Browns left tackle for nearly a decade continues to be mired in pathetic football. Joe Thomas is part of a Browns squad that is the lone winless team in the NFL, and there appears to be very little hope on the horizon.
A Pro Bowler every year he’s been in the league, someone needs to rescue Thomas and put him on a team that has a chance to win a title.
The ugly: J.J. Watt
A three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt had high expectations coming into this season even after undergoing back surgery late in the summer. He managed to get back in time for the start of the year, but wasn’t himself and ended up having another back surgery that ended his season.
Your attitude towards it doesn't have to.
I will be back. pic.twitter.com/56lhtHYs7r
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 28, 2016
Though some national experts have already said the era of Watt’s dominance is over, his life story suggests that those doubting him will be proven wrong.
Gard backs Hayes and Koenig
On the same day Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard talked about the school’s effort to raise awareness of brain cancer through its exhibition game with UW-Platteville, the long-time assistant under Bo Ryan also was asked about the political and social stands a pair of his players — seniors Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig — have taken in recent weeks.
In Hayes’ case, a series of Twitter posts about the Black Live Matter movement and racism in America went viral, earning him praise from some of the bigger names in college basketball.
UW's Nigel Hayes continues to be an intelligent and dauntless advocate for equality, justice, positive change: https://t.co/AQXnHN57B6
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) September 27, 2016
Koenig, meanwhile, traveled to North Dakota to join other Native Americans in protest over an oil pipeline that would impact sacred burial grounds. He held a free basketball camp and gave a speech in an appearance that also drew nationwide attention.
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) September 13, 2016
For Gard’s part, it was special to see that the most well-known players on his roster were using that platform in an effort to impact their communities.
“They are using college for what it should be used for,” Gard said Monday. “You try to better yourself, you try to educate yourself and you expand your horizons.
“They understand and really grasp the whole idea of student-athlete. We’ve always known it, but they are way more than just a basketball player.”
They are and the issues the pair is involved in aren’t going away any time soon, nor should they. It’s likely the protests seen across the sports world will continue to increase, and it’s almost certain that at least some members of the Wisconsin basketball team, which is on the floor for the national anthem, will support their cause in that forum.
The intrigue with this team doesn’t stop when they leave the court. And as big of an impact that Hayes and Koenig have had during their hugely successful careers, it’s possible nothing they’ve done before will top the importance of the stances they’ve taken for those without a voice.