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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Chicago media personalities have gone at Milwaukee hard for cheering for Ryan Braun on Opening Day.
Chicago media personalities have gone at Milwaukee hard for cheering for Ryan Braun on Opening Day. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

The "Second City" comes up small again

Someday I hope that Chicago gets over its complex about how so many people think of its city as the mentally challenged older brother of Milwaukee.

I, for one, am tired of carrying Chicago on my shoulders.

The latest example of this thoughtless (and I mean that in the literal sense, "without the ability to think") comes from Dan Bernstein who works at the CBS radio station in Chicago.

Bernstein wrote a column today. You can read the whole thing here, but this is the part that really reinforces that reputation of being a city without either a conscience or a brain.

"…the standing ovation yesterday for Ryan Braun at Miller Park was a shock," he wrote. "What is the message being sent by Brewers fans, and more importantly, what are the underlying emotions that caused such a misguided response? Braun isn’t returning from injury or illness, nor did he serve a stint in the Marines overseas. The disconnect here is jarring, and it’s not really about the fact that he used steroids.

"I’m having a difficult time accepting the superficial explanation from some corners that Wisconsinites are just pleasant, forgiving types, leaning more toward the idea that those celebrating Braun are just stupid saps."

Beside the fact that this Bernstein guy doesn’t have a clue about how decent people behave, he resorts to name-calling.

"Stupid saps," my ass.

I know one of the guys at the CBS empire in Chicago and he outranks Bernstein by about a thousand notches. I called him, and he said wanted to stay out of this piece. I wouldn’t want to be involved with this either. But I know a lot about Bernstein now.

He’s the kind of guy who spits on homeless people as he walks past. When he comes to a four-way stop he always goes first, even if it’s not his turn. He is the breed of sports talk hosts who think if they just shout loud enough and say stuff that nobody really believes, they will get good ratings.

I’d like to ask Bernstein what he thinks the Brewers fans ought to have done on Opening Day.

First of all, everybody was happy that baseball was back. Except of course in Chicago where it meant the Cubs were still in the major leagues.

Secondly, the sun was shining. The prospects for the Brewers were pretty good. There was good food and beer. There was also beer.

Does he think we should have booed Braun? Should we have thrown our souvenir programs at him? Should we have cast stones upon his visage?

Of course not.

Take this example.

A guy goes to prison for armed robbery (certainly more serious than taking steroids). While in prison the guy keeps his mouth shut. He finishes his high school education. He gets an associates degree in retail management. He gets a job with Kohl’s department stores the day after he gets out.

So, on his first day on the job should the rest of the retail crew throw belts and socks and shoes and home goods at the guy?

Of course not. We clap for him. We recognize that he did something bad, but he paid his price. He kept his mouth shut. He said he was sorry. And he said it again. And again. And again.

Enough already. Stop telling us you are sorry. We get it. Let’s just all just move on. Looking at tomorrow is a lot more fun than looking at yesterday.

And so, Dan Bernstein, get over it. We know you are the No. 2 city in this region (maybe even No. 3 of you count Minneapolis).

But you don’t have to act like an idiot just because you feel small.

Put your big boy pants on now and try to act like an adult. Just like the we do here in Milwaukee.

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