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Reaction Formation: Arandaconda

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Greg, I get it. Arandaconda is a really good nickname. Now please stop placing "ARANDACONDA" sticky notes all over my office.

Alex Goodlett

Author's Note: When it's time to sit down with the sports therapist, it's time to sit down and chat the latest in Badgers sports. Lately, the therapist's office has been a happy place, and today is no different. All aboard they hype train! Anything I said is denoted with a [G]. Anything my sports therapist said is denoted with a [D] ... as in "Doctor."

[G] Hey, Doc. Knock knock.

[D] Who's there?

[G] Aranda.

[D] Aranda who?

[G] ARANDACONDA! That's who! Boom baby. No. 1 defense in the world! Can you believe it? I thought this defense would never be good after losing the likes of Chris Borland and J.J. Watt, but boy was I wrong. I now truly understand that it's not players who win football games, but the coaches.

[D] Well now, that might be a bit of an overstatement, Greg, but I certainly understand the excitement. Two complete defensive shutdowns in a row to teams averaging 30.3 and 24.2 points per game.

[G] I feel as if the defense has heard everyone grumbling about this team. The Arandaconda, as he shall henceforth be known, is absolutely the type of coach who starts his defensive team meetings by yelling and throwing newspaper clippings at his players. Did you know he was "irritated" with the team for not shutting out Maryland? Just look at his face. That is the face of a man I would follow into battle. It's like Mel Gibson in the movie The Patriot. You're following him into whatever battle he points you to, no questions asked. This defense is clicking, it's in sync and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if Purdue can't even score.

[D] While very enticing to think, Greg, you're succumbing to your expectations once again.

[G] Oh fooey! This is the Arandaconda we're talking about! Do you know how an anaconda kills you, doc? You're paralyzed. By the time you realize you need to get the hell away from that snake, it's already wrapped around you, squeezing, forcing the air from your lungs. It's almost effortless.

[D] Well all that is well and good, Greg, but there's a whole other side to this football game called the offense...

I feel my elation fade as I begin to think about the passing game. I'm not angry, just painfully aware. Why is he always such a buzzkill?

[G] The two-quarterback system is a trainwreck. It really is. Tanner comes into run, but he throws interceptions. Joel comes in and he runs, or throws it into the dirt. All we need for this team is an Alex Smith, a Trent Dilfer, if you will. Trent Dilfer has a segment about dropping beautiful passes, and he never even was known for dropping beautiful passes! Tanner should never, ever throw. If he has to throw, he should throw it as high and as far out of bounds as he can. If he does that, he should be able to make it look realistic enough. I get wanting to put Tanner into the game to hold the defense accountable or whatever, but jeez.

[D] Would you say the quarterback position is this team's Achilles heel?

[G] Of course it is. But Achilles was still a pretty badass warrior for a long, long time. Plus, we have the benefit of knowing where our heel is located, so we can like, armor it and stuff.

https://kapost-files-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/direct/1394722417-24-1422/tumblr_lgyzabSxxN1qackjfo1_500.gif

[D] Right....

[G] OH! And another thing. Why are we not running some sort of read-punt pass shenanigans every time Bart Houston rugby punts the ball? He already takes about six steps in a direction. Why not just have him look to see if someone is wide open?

[D] Well, Greg, it's important to weigh the risks versus the rewards in that situation, especially given field position.

[G] Yea, yea. It's just such a waste of Bart's arm. Have you ever noticed that Melvin Gordon pretty much walks into the end zone, no matter how many people are around him? I don't think I've seen him fall into the end zone more than once, maybe twice this year. Total Achilles move.

[D] We've talked at length about how great Melvin is, although I never tire of hearing it. I'm curious at your thoughts about the Badgers moving back into the top 25. Do you see a conference championship game appearance in their future?

[G] Yes. I am so on the hype train again. I can't believe the chips are falling for us right now. Obviously, a lot of hypothetical things need to fall our way (and a lot of wood-knocking), but I can't wait to leave Bo Pelini looking like this after we stomp Nebraska:

http://image.cdnllnwnl.xosnetwork.com/pics6/200/ZD/ZDZSIOVXFUEOJQO.20080123201417.jpg

It's the toughest stretch of our season, and playing at Iowa will be no joke, but this team is in the right place, at the right time.

[D] Indeed. Speaking of expectations, ESPN named Frank Kaminsky the No. 1 player in the country. How does that make you feel?

[G] Bold and liberated. Frank Kaminsky squats 300 pounds. He plays FIFA so hard that pillows fly into blinds at his command. I love him. He's a man of the people. I've fallen so hard. Detective Frank Kaminsky is on the case, and he's about to wreck this league. But I've gotta run here, these Arandaconda memes won't start themselves.