Remember a few weeks ago, when it was actually nice outside, we thought spring was finally here and everyone was happy? Yeah, that was pretty fun, up until everyone was blindsided by a cold swing, conveniently timed for “spring” break. Everyone took the opportunity to come out of hibernation and enjoy the weather.At this time of year, there really is nothing more relaxing than doing something — anything — outside.Now it looks like this nice weather is finally going to stick around, and as much as it may hurt the studies, that means more time spent in leisure outside and less time pent up in a stuffy library. With all the possible outdoor distractions, it can be tough to choose how best to lower your GPA.With that quandary in mind, let’s take a look at some of the outdoor standbys that will surely consume much of the campus’ collective free time.Grill outLet’s start out with what is arguably the trademark of all outdoor activities. In Wisconsin, any discussion of summer fun begins and ends with tailgating. Whether in the Miller Park parking lots before a big (or really any) game or an early fall morning along Lathrop Street before a Badger football game, nothing beats kicking back and relaxing with friends while the grill sizzles and the music plays.But it is important to note that tailgating is not necessarily limited to major sporting events. No less fun is kicking it outside, listening to a baseball game on the radio while throwing out as many Major League references and ripping on your one out-of-town roommate’s favorite team.Wiffle BallLiving in a city such as Madison, space can be at a premium, making playing games that ordinarily take up a lot of room, such as baseball, difficult. Thankfully, city dwellers have Wiffle Ball to pick up the slack.It’s tough to beat banging Wiffle Balls off apartment complexes for doubles, strategically aiming base hits toward pizza boxes that double as bases and maneuvering among parked cars while chasing down fly balls. Music and food are two other musts. Bonus enjoyment points if the game ends with cheeseburgers taking the place of Wiffle Balls, being thrown and hit around the parking lot that conveniently doubled as a field.GolfFor those with a little more expendable income, hitting the links at one of the area’s many golf courses is a great option. A relaxing round spent swinging from your heels and wagering indiscriminately on the course is the best way to bond with some good friends while still getting your competitive juices flowing.Or, if Titlists and Taylor-Mades aren’t your thing and you would rather not shoot a birdie, you could even throw on your tie-dye, tune your iPod to some Phish, grab a few discs and hit the woods for a round of disc golf.BagsProbably the least stressful of any of the above leisure activities, bags’ fun is derived from its simplicity. Virtually no athletic ability is required to play and just about everyone can get involved in some way, either by playing, watching or heckling. And because the game only requires the use of only one hand, which leaves the second hand open for the holding of either one’s favorite food or beverage.FrisbeeA classic way to enjoy the summer weather is to grab a Frisbee and head out for any number of activities. There’s the standard game of catch, which is good for picnic-type relaxation. You could always gather up a few people for a game of ultimate in front of the Kohl Center (which has the possibility to escalate from casual fun to an intense battle that could draw blood).Beer pongFor those of legal age, drag the table outside and set up the most collegiate of all outdoor activities. Competition is intense, players can rotate in and out throughout the day and everyone has a good time. An extra level of difficulty is added to the game when the outdoor elements such as wind, glare and temperature are introduced.It is nearly impossible to go wrong with any of the above. Each has its own positives and drawbacks, and different situations can call for a different choice. Any way you cut it though, spring is a time best spent enjoying the weather while relieving the stress of the end of school.Ben is a sophomore majoring in political science. He spent last weekend lounging around golfing, grilling out and playing Wiffle Ball. He can be reached at [email protected]
Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season NEW YORK – Chase Utley did not play in Friday’s game at Citi Field. But for a brief moment, Mets fans got what they wanted – a chance to boo the most hated man in all of Queens.“I mean, I was on deck for, like, 30 seconds — if that,” Utley said Saturday of emerging from the dugout as a potential pinch-hitter in the ninth inning only to have the inning end before he could bat.But all it took was Utley poking his head out of the Dodgers dugout for some observant fans to cut loose. Utley said it didn’t register with him but when he was told the quick trigger made it seem like some fans had come to the game merely to collect the night’s free promotional T-shirt and to boo him, his reaction was just what you would expect from an evil super villain.“Perfect,” he said. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “I think it adds some adrenaline to the situation which can be beneficial at times,” Utley said.But for the most part, he said, there is no sting of Queens.“You get pretty accustomed to it, playing here so much over the years,” Utley said. “At this point, I’m pretty numb to it. I mean, we had a pretty good rivalry over the years when I was with Philadelphia.“It’s just kind of become – what happens.”Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.NOT READYThe bullpen session rookie right-hander Walker Buehler was expected to throw Saturday has been put on hold. Buehler is still experiencing pain his right side when he throws. The Dodgers want him to be pain-free before he throws off a mound, Manager Dave Roberts said.“Walker is still a little sore with the ribs when he plays catch,” Roberts said. “We’re not putting tomorrow off the table (to throw a bullpen session). Obviously it didn’t happen today. Walker, it’s more day to day and figuring out when we can get him off a mound. Once we check that box, we’ll try to ramp him up.”Buehler suffered the injury over a month ago when he was struck in the side by a line drive off the bat of Trevor Story. Buehler made three more starts before a microfracture was found in one of his ribs. He hasn’t pitched since the last of those starts on June 8.TAYLOR OUTShortstop Chris Taylor said his injured left hamstring was feeling “a lot better today” and he went through some “movement stuff” with trainers to test it before Saturday’s game. Still, he was not in the starting lineup and hasn’t played the field since leaving Wednesday’s game in Chicago with the injury. Roberts said he doesn’t expect Taylor to be in the lineup Saturday either.“It’s a day-to-day thing,” Roberts said. “He tested it a little bit today so I think today he’ll be available the same as last night. Tomorrow, I would expect to not have him in the lineup but to use him in the same capacity (as a potential pinch-hitter). As far as DL right now, we’re OK with not having to make that decision.”In his first at-bat since Wednesday, Taylor came on as a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning Saturday and drove in two runs with a double, running cautiously when the drive split the gap in right-center field.ALSOLeft-hander Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday in order to clear a roster spot for Clayton Kershaw to be activated from the DL.Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is limited to flat-ground throwing for the time being after experiencing discomfort in his injured groin muscle when he tried throwing off a mound last week.UP NEXTDodgers LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99 ERA) at Mets TBA, Sunday, 10:10 a.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Utley was in the lineup Saturday night, his 55th start at Citi Field, giving ample opportunity for Mets fans to voice their displeasure. Add in his 39 starts at old Shea Stadium and he has played in this corner of Queens more often than anywhere but his two baseball homes (Philadelphia and Los Angeles).Mets fans, accustomed to being made miserable by their own players, have been made even more miserable by Utley during his visits. He has 14 home runs and .292 average at Citi Field. In 190 career games against the Mets (home or road), he has hit .281 with 39 home runs, a .527 slugging percentage and 116 RBI.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies He really earned their contempt in the 2015 National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers. During Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, Utley’s takeout slide at second base left Ruben Tejada with a broken leg – and eventually resulted in a rules change governing plays at second base. When that series moved to New York, Utley’s family was provided with security and there were reports of death threats.“Yeah, it’s gotten a little bit worse,” Utley said of his standing in New York, post-slide. “It was pretty good before. But they’ve been a little more vocal the last few years when I’ve been here.”So what does it feel like to evoke such a visceral reaction in thousands of people?
Thursday, May 7, is a glimpse into the future.No need to call Doc Brown or get the time machines ready, it’s just the release of the 2020 NFL schedule at 8 p.m. ET. But reports of scheduled matchups will trickle in well before then, as is custom on this day every year. Week 8Bills vs. Patriots (via USA Today)Giants vs. Buccaneers — MNF (via NorthJersey.com)Week 9Buccaneers vs. Saints — SNF (via The Athletic)Week 10-Week 11-Week 12Packers vs. Bears — SNF (via PackersNews.com)Week 13Eagles vs. Packers (via PackersNews.com)Week 14-Week 15Packers vs. Panthers (via PackersNews.com)Dolphins vs. Patriots (via the Miami Herald)Week 16Saints vs. Vikings — Dec. 25 (via The Athletic)Week 17Bills vs. Dolphins (via USA Today and the Miami Herald) 2020 NFL SCHEDULE RELEASE:Strength of schedule rankings | How to watch release showOne thing we know for sure: The NFL has already nixed the idea of playing international games due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic limiting travel and complicating things for professional sports leagues around the world. But there are still plenty of intriguing matchups and storylines that’ll be on this year’s slate of games — should the NFL season get underway accordingly.Below you’ll find schedule leaks and rumors leading up to the official schedule release:NFL schedule leaks 2020The NFL will officially release the schedule during a three-hour show on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. Before then, though, NFL insiders are dropping nuggets of reported, rumored matchups, which you can find below.Week 1Bills vs. Jets (via NYDN)Saints vs. Buccaneers (via NewOrleans.football)Redskins vs. Eagles (via NBC Sports)Panthers vs. Raiders (via The Athletic)Lions vs. Bears (via TheScore 670)Patriots vs. Dolphins (via the Miami Herald)Broncos vs. Titans — MNF (via News9)Week 2Raiders vs. Saints — MNF (via The Athletic)Packers vs. Lions (via PackersNews.com)Dolphins vs. Bills (via the Miami Herald)Week 3Jaguars vs. Dolphins — TNF (via the Miami Herald)Saints vs. Packers — SNF (via The Athletic)Week 4-Week 5Saints vs. Chargers — MNF (via The Athletic)Week 6-Week 7Patriots vs. 49ers (via CLNS Media)MORE: The 20 best revenge games on the 2020 NFL schedule