Attention, Brewers fans. I've got some bad news. Well, it might not be bad, per se, but it may ruffle feathers, raise hackles, impugn a sense of civic pride and prompt a few angry Talkbacks. It's just something I've got to get off my chest, OK?
Here goes ...
As you probably are aware, the Cubs beat the Brewers, 9-5, Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field. That is a fact. In my opinion, the Cubs also bested Milwaukee off the field.
The vibe at the Cubs home opener was festive. The bars outside the ballpark were serving customers at 5 a.m. (the first pitch came at 1:20 p.m.). Beverages were consumed. Many, many beverages.
A friend asked me about the game, which I covered for Fox Sports
Wisconsin, and before I could answer the friend said, "I bet it was
My answer: Not as bad as you think.
Many of the customers looked comfortably buzzed. A fair number of them probably went a few steps beyond comfortable. But, the atmosphere was that of a friendly backyard barbecue with a baseball game as a backdrop. Sure, there was a fight in the center field bleachers. It looked like a doozy, too. But, I walked around the stadium and found people in good spirits and -- contrary to a popular stereotype about Cubs fans -- acting responsibly.
A week earlier in Milwaukee, opening day was a different story.
Over the past several years, too many fans at the Brewers' home opener have come to embrace the worst elements of New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day and Halloween. It's spring break on steroids, a party-till-you-puke ritual that puts the baseball game on the back burner.
At Wrigley Field, the pre-game ceremonies -- foul line introductions, a moment of silence for the tragedy in Poland and the national anthem -- constituted the first high point of the day. The stands were full and people paid attention.
In Milwaukee, these things are sparsely attended because people prefer to hang in the parking lots with their beer and bean bags until t…Read more...