Time to give a twit — Energee! needs YOU…

I’m convinced our values as a sports culture are in the **itter, or I should say the twitter. Seems we’re all in twit about Charlie Villanueva’s halftime tweet Sunday, and have lost sight of what’s really important in sporting life.

What’s so dam important, J.D. Mo, you ask?

Our Energee! dance team needs us – and you – that’s what.

The 2009 NBA Dance Team bracket has been posted, and the tournament is already underway. The Energee! girls are up against the Pacemates (Pacers dancers) in the first round, and the voting started today, Thursday, March 19 at 1pm CST.

C’mon guys, it’s not going very well, so far.

The girls are offering a pretty payoff and plying us with drinks — and swim suit pics) — so there’s no reason to ditch.  Every round that Energee! advances in this dance-athon gets a free drink at the Hawks and Magic games next month. The catch is, you gotta buy a $20 lower level ticket to get the drinks — that’s right 20 bucks, lower level and four free beers if Energee! makes it all the way to the final.

Our girls can DUNK! Energee!'s Stacey slams one home at the Bobcats game Jan.2. Photo by Gary Dineen, AP/Getty ImagesIt’s a sweet deal, Tiffany says (that’s her blowing you a kiss on this page), and she promises not to think less of you if you were like me and counted up how many free beers there were to be had via this promotion.

Seriously, fans have been talking all season long about how good they think Energee! has become. Energee! 2008-09 may be the best dance team the Bucks have ever had, and a lot of credit is due to Tiffany, who’s been team captain for a few years now.

But the competition is tough — the Miami Heat cheerleaders have won the dancers’ competition three years running. If Energee! gets past the Pacers’ dancers in Round 1, it looks like they’d up against the New Jersey Nets girls, who are holding on to a slim lead over the Sixers’ dance team.

But first thing’s first: Time to get our heads out of the twitter and show the love, boys and girls. Here’s that bracket again.

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Charlie, you’re a dumb twit: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Charlie V did anything all that outrageous by taking a minute to peck out a twitter message — which said, “tied with the Celtics at half – coach says we have to be tough and I better step it up.”

It’s not like he wrote – “Drinks at Goolsby’s later?”

What is twittering? I’m not going to assume everyone knows. I didn’t really know what it was all about until recently, when I read Bucks broadcaster Jim Paschke‘s blog about his experiences as a first-time Twitter user. To me it was just some new kiddie-doo-dad that had been poorly named like a bad acid trip. Sorta like doing wippits, drinking robitussin or snorting effedrin — whatever it was, it had annoying lingo attached to it and sounded like it would probably give me the numb jitters. Deciding it wasn’t for me, I was perfectly content to live vicariously through Paschke, which would be a disturbing thought if I hadn’t sworn a solemn vow just now never to think such a thing ever again.

Now about Charlie … Some will argue that Charlie has committed an egregious act of sports heresy (probably the same twits who canonized Brett Favre as a “real dude” because of all the goofing around he used to do on the sidelines — Who can forget the “Look – didja see Mr. Miyagi?” bit that he bugged half the team with after he saw Pat Morita sitting in the stands near the Packers sideline?). Why-ever Charlie thought it was a good idea to twitter at the half, I don’t know, but at least he was very much focused on the matter at hand – his job. And he played a strong 2nd half.

What twits me about all this is not only the endless supply of stupid wordplay that Charlie is now responsible for, but that he set a dangerous NBA precedent Sunday. Before Charlie did it Sunday at half, no player had ever twittered during a game. Now the floodgates are open. This is an obvious marketing tool for the league known for its relentless marketing, and NBA commissioner David Stern is already a known twitter bug. So’s SEIU honcho Andy Stern (no relation to David), I happen to know.

As far as I know, our elected officials here in Wisconsin aren’t twittery just yet, but how much longer can that last? Will President Obama be the first president in US history to twitter? Probably — and doesn’t that sound so … so … unpresidential.

Wouldn’t NBA fans love the occasional in-game twitter from their favorite players? Of course they would. Charlie’s twitter nation has quadrupled to over 4,000 subscribers since Sunday, and his following is no doubt growing as I type this — even though his immediate supervisor, Scott Skiles, told him he better not do it again.

I’m afraid it’s too late. Skiles and Charlie can try to get the snake back in the bag, but the beast has slithered out of the building. No doubt it’s made it to Los Angeles by now and is hunting down Kobe Bryant.

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MILWAUKEE - APRIL 08: Andrew Bogut #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks wears a mask over a broken nose suffered earlier in the season during a game against the Boston Celtics on April 8, 2008 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Celtics defeated the Bucks 107-104 in overtime. From Getty Images.Magic in theory and practice: My theory is that when the Bucks took the court tonight against the Orlando Magic, they caught one look at Dwight Howard and all at once remembered that Andrew Bogut wasn’t playing. “Wish Bogues was playing,” they all thought, pretty much at the same time. Game over.

The final was 106-80, but the telling tale was that the Bucks were down 65-35 at half. I had begun to believe that kind of deficit would never befall the current, scrappy Bucks. For a couple of minutes, it did look like the Bucks were ready to dig out of the 41-22 hole they were in by the 2nd quarter, but they just couldn’t keep track of guys like J.J. Reddick, and ended up making him look like Rasual Butler of the Hornets. Or was it DaeQuan Cook of the Miami Heat?

No, this was not one of the finer performances by they Ridnour-Sessions point guard tandem. In fact, it was so bad, Charles Gardner of JS-Online decided to write about the Magic’s replacement point guard, Rafer Alston. If the Bucks are going to make it up the Mount Doom that is the 8th playoff seed in the East, Sam and Frodo might want to remember where they hid the ring.

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Ball Don’t Lie: The power rankings this week are a riot. They’re right on, too, as far as the rabble riot in the East fighting for that last playoff spot.

My other dumb theory: The Bucks fell flat tonight against Howard and the Magic to light a fire under Bogut about how much we need him back for the final weeks of the season (of course, that’s not what they were doing but what they did do delivered much the same effect). The Bucks have two more cracks at the Magic. No, Bogut will not be back for the next one, March 27 in Orlando, but the game at the BC April 13?  I bet Bogut can’t wait.

Bucks a game and-a-half behind the Bulls: The Bulls won in Oklahoma City tonight behind inevitable Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose. This means the Bucks slid 1-1/2 games behind them with the loss to the Magic and are now virtually tied with the Charlotte Bobcats for 9th. The good news is that the Bulls play the Lakers Saturday. The Bucks sorely need a win against the Trailblazers Saturday to make that Bulls-Lakers game matter.

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