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Tom Miller: Star power missing from some events this week

By Tom Miller
September 4, 2015

More rambling from someone who is contemplating suing the Packers for charging $80 a ticket when 17 regulars did not even put on pads for Thursday's exhibition game …

—I was looking forward to writing about Verona/Mount Horeb senior swimmer Beata Nelson participating in tonight's Big Eight Conference dual meet at Janesville Craig.

There wouldn't have been a more noted athlete to compete in Janesville this year, or for years to come.

Nelson broke the national high school record in the 100 butterfly at last year's WIAA state meet with a time of 51.70 seconds. A week later, she finished in 51.08 in a national meet.

Just as a comparison, the winning 100 fly time in last week's Craig-Parker/Evansville meet was 1:03.86. There's nothing wrong with that, but that shows how dominant Nelson is.

You can find her state-meet swim on YouTube. With 1,500 cheering her on, it is an amazing race to watch.

Nelson then anchored the Verona/Mount Horeb 200 freestyle relay in a record-breaking victory in 1:33.51. Nelson swam the anchor leg in 21.83—a time that matches 50 freestyle splits in the boys Division 1 meet.

She then broke her own 100 backstroke record for the third time in as many years with a time of 53.15.

 On Wednesday, however, Verona/Mount Horeb coach Bill Wuerger got back to me with this: “She will not be swimming in the meet this Friday. She has a recruiting trip scheduled for this weekend.”

First no Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews on Thursday night, and now no Beata Nelson tonight.

Janesville Parker swims at Verona next Friday night in a Big Eight dual. There is no word if Nelson will compete in that dual.

—Now about those Packers…

No. 1, the coaching staff will put more game-planning time in the next two days for the regular-season opener at Chicago than it did for the entire exhibition season.

Fans should be concerned that the young players in the secondary did not play well last night, but that should be the extent of concern. Well, put punter Tim Masthay in that column, as well.

Brett Hundley looks like another Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselback. He'll be on the team for three or four years and then the Packers will trade him for a high draft choice. As long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, the rookie from UCLA won't get a start.

When Christmas rolls around, no one will remember a thing about the past four weeks—except that Jordy Nelson got hurt.

—Zach Greinke is a free agent after this season. The Dodgers' payroll is $300 million. They probably have the money to re-sign him. He is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young with a 1.61 ERA, WHIP of 0.85 and holding opponents to a .189 average.

I will take one of his game checks and be very, very happy.

—Why do all the players on my fantasy baseball team perform twice as good as soon as I am eliminated from the playoffs? How do they know?

—I don't know what to think about Wisconsin's opening college football game Saturday night against Alabama. There are no exhibition games to gauge how any team is going to play.

On paper, the Crimson Tide offensive and defensive lines are better than their Badgers counterparts.

The Badgers did beat SEC power Auburn in the bowl game last season.

The only thing I know for sure is the game will approach four hours in length—because it's Saturday night and deadlines loom. It never fails.

•  Elkhorn High graduate Jordan Kayser scored a goal in UW-Whitewater's 5-0 nonconference men's soccer victory over Wisconsin Lutheran on Tuesday. It was the Warhawks' first match of the season.

Milton High graduate Sam Novak is a senior midfielder on the Warhawks.

Tom Miller is a sports writer/page designer for The Gazette.