Howie Magner

Sports Contributor

Senior editor Howie Magner is Milwaukee Magazine's sports columnist and writers the Sports Nut blog at MilwaukeeMag.com. An occasional actor, poker player and train travel enthusiast, he spent 15 years slinging newspaper ink in Oklahoma, Ohio and Michigan before settling in Bay View with his Wisconsinite wife. The University of Tulsa grad has won numerous writing awards for features, commentary and news.

Twitter: @HowieMag

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Even though we don’t have the Packers to watch any more this season, there’s been a lot to take in – and discuss – in recent days regarding sports in Wisconsin.

Veteran catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, made waves this week when he suggested that a trade could be the best thing for him and the Brewers. Some believe Lucroy is asking for a trade, while others felt the conceit could decrease his value as a player.

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The Midwest is now a full month into winter – and that, in turn, means we still have two full months of winter yet to come.  A bitter pill to swallow, if you’re not a fan of cold weather.

However, Milwaukee is not the kind of place where locals shrink at the thought of winter. But if your winter has gotten a bit repetitive, Milwaukee Magazine’s Dan Simmons and Howie Magner were among the forces behind the winter guide in January’s issue.

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The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend.  It was not that long ago that Green Bay Packer fans had plenty of confidence in the Green and Gold going through the postseason.

But no longer.  There is plenty of angst in Titletown as the Packers travel to D.C. to play Washington's football club.

Streeter Lecka / Flickr

The Green Bay Packers return home this weekend for a game against the Detroit Lions.  The game couldn’t come at a better time for the Packers who just lost two road games in a row, and in convincing fashion.

There’s more than a little angst in Packer Nation at the moment, and sports contributor Howie Magner thinks it may be a bit of an over-reaction from fans.

"Suddenly, people are wondering if they are going to make the playoffs, or if they need to fire everybody.  Or whether they should trade Aaron Rodgers, which is all kind of silly," he says.

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Pro football fans in Wisconsin might be going through withdrawal this weekend.  The Green Bay Packers have this week off and don’t return to action until next Sunday night against Denver.

That means they’re assured of spending another week as one of the NFL’s undefeated teams. Sports contributor Howie Magner says one key reason the Packers remain undefeated is because the defense is better than most expected.

"The offense has been playing well enough to win games and the defense has really been securing those games," he says.

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The Green Bay Packers open their 2015 season with a game in Chicago against the arch-rival Chicago Bears, amid the usual high expectations for the Green and Gold.

Lake Effect sports contributor Howie Magner is not sure whether those high expectations are likely to be met this season. 

"There are players on the defensive side of the ball that can make game-winning plays, but as a whole (if you're a Packers fan), what you want is the defense to be good enough," says Magner.

Mike McGinnis / Getty Images

When baseball season opened, there were high hopes for the Milwaukee Brewers.  They’d had a rough end to their 2014 season, but the pundits thought they had the potential to bounce back.

But, as we know by now, that didn’t happen – it’s been a struggle all year for the Brew Crew, and that was reflected when the team sent a host of players elsewhere in the last few weeks. 

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After being the Wisconsin Badgers basketball coach for the last 14 years, Bo Ryan announced he will be retiring after next season.

Ryan lead the Badgers through multiple final fours, championship games and has even brought through some first round draft picks.

Milwaukee Bucks / facebook.com

Governor Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and County Executive Chris Abele held a joint press conference yesterday to announce a deal reached that would allow for the construction of a new basketball arena in downtown Milwaukee.  

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It’s been a long time since the Milwaukee Bucks were the hottest ticket in town. A big crowd is expected tonight at the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the team’s biggest game of the year: Game 6 of their first round series.

The Bucks could have claimed victory just for making it to the 2015 NBA Playoffs. But in the first round against Chicago, they have two very real victories they can point to. Though, they still trail the Bulls, 3-to-2, in the best-of-seven series.

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