My Town Rocks: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin—the birthplace of beer...Miller, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Schlitz to name a few. And, let's not forget about the "Beast."
Milwaukee—home to Usinger's sausage. Usinger's: America's Finste Wurste!
"Brew City" is famous for more than just beer and sausage. It's also famous for two professional sports teams that have inhabited this Midwestern city for 40 years apiece.
The names of these teams are genius as well. The "Bucks" name was the result of a fan voting contest. A male deer is fast, swift and agile, which is exactly what you want an NBA player to be.
The Brewers was an obvious choice. Milwaukee is well known for its beer production. What do you call the beer makers? Brewers, of course.
These teams haven't been good as of the present, but years ago, they were pretty great. As fans, we pretty much have 1971 and 1982 to hang our hats on.
Thirty-seven years ago, the Milwaukee Bucks were on top of the NBA world as they won the championship in just their third year in the league. Names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and Johnny "Mac" McGlockin comprised that roster.
Bob Lanier, Sidney Moncrief, Junior Bridgeman, Glenn Robinson, and Ray Allen have all worn the Bucks jersey. The logo was even better back in '71, with a simple looking Bango holding a basketball. Now, it's just a deer head.
The Brewers have never won a World Series. In fact, they've only appeared in one—in 1982. They lost to a now NL Central rival, St. Louis Cardinals. How did they lose when their lineup consisted of Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner, Ted Simmons, Gorman Thomas, and Ben Ogilvie?
Their logo was better in the past, too. The "ball in glove" logo is classic in the baseball world. How many of you realized that it was just an "m" and "b"? I was floored by the ingenuity of that logo. Too bad I couldn't put two-and-two together until the year 1998.
The most notable part of that team isn't even on the roster, but rather behind the microphone. That's right, Hall of Famer Bob "Mr. Baseball" Uecker, who made the cheap seat famous in Milwaukee.
Miller Park has a section called the "Uecker seats" in which two huge pillars obstruct your view from the fourth level. What else would you expect for a $1 ticket. It doesn't get any better than Ueck 162 times a year.
Some other clever nicknames have come from Milwaukee (Algonquin for 'The Great Land'). The Big O, Big Dog, Big Ben, The Kid, The Ignitor, Gumby, Simba, Stormin' Gorman, The Hebrew Hammer to name some. Please forgive me if I've lost some of you there; you must not be "Milwaukee" enough.
A pair of No. 8 picks have had different views about this city. Todd Day back in 1992 said after a draft day interview, "Milwaukee...damn!" On the flip side, Joe Alexander said in 2008, that he "can't wait to get to Milwaukee." Milwaukee is a great city only if you have the desire to be here.
Milwaukee is a blue-collar town with blue-collar people who cheer for blue-collar teams. That's right, Milwaukee is a place where hustle matters in sports, and we appreciate the guys who do the things that don't show up in the stats.
The fans want to cheer for a winner and they deserve a winner on the field/court/whatever because of all the hard work that goes on throughout the city.
We now have two princes that reside here. The Brewers' power hitting Prince Fielder, and now recently drafted by the Bucks, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute who is a prince in his native village in Cameroon. Milwaukee is truly a place for royalty.
So what's the best thing to come out of Milwaukee then? That's simple—the racing sausages, of course (I bet you thought I forgot about them).
Every sixth inning of a Brewers game, Bratwurst, Polish, Italien, Hot Dog, and Chorizo run around the warning track to find out who is the "Best of the Wursts." People actually place bets on who will win the races. It's usually a pretty good race, provided that Randall Simon is nowhere near the opposing dugout.
If we're not eating brats (no, not those spoiled little kids), we're watching them run around the baseball diamond. Sound weird right? On the contrary, we just simply play with our food before we eat it.
Those sausages have even been in two ESPN "This is Sportscenter" commercials. One suggesting that the hot dog is a cannibal, and the other is a spoof on Spain's running of the bulls.
Milwaukee is a great place to live if you are sports fan. We have good teams to cheer for; good, but not great...at least not yet. There are also plenty of sports bars to watch those teams put on a good show.
So feel free to make a stop in Brew Town anytime. We'll just crack open another Miller and throw some more Usinger's on the grill, because here in Milwaukee, you'll be welcomed with open arms.
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