Wisconsin Has Balls!
Sunday October 2nd, 2011 - Kenosha, WI
What an amazing time to be a Wisconsin sports fan. I’ve been one my entire life and am enjoying every second of this, hoping it never ends but knowing it eventually has to. Who knows why the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers all got it together at the same time, but I’m glad they did. It’s making for a very enjoyable stretch.
What other areas have enjoyed a similar success? Pittsburgh had a nice run in the 1970s with the Steelers winning four Super Bowls and the Pirates winning World Series in 1971 and 1979. Boston had a fantastic run recently with the Red Sox winning two World Series and the Patriots winning several Super Bowls. What was it, three? I’ve lost count by now.
I think the Celtics won another NBA title in that run if I’m not mistaken to add to their legacy and I also remember the Bruins being close to a Stanley Cup. That’s as impressive as any run I can think of, but for the Midwest Wisconsin is doing about as well as can be.
Championships and the rust belt don’t seem to go hand in hand. Once in a while there’ll be a straggler like the Chicago White Sox in 2005, but towns like Chicago and Cleveland and Detroit are perennial also rans and that adds to the dreariness of their whole persona.
Growing up in Milwaukee was totally like that. The Packers were in between the Vince Lombardi years and Mike Holmgren and my generation had to take it face first full force. Etched permanently in my brain are names like Eric Torkelson and Jerry Tagge, and I will remember them to my dying minute. That’s why the team now is such a spectacular sight.
Watching them stomp the formerly big bad Denver Broncos into little bitty horse apples could not have been sweeter, especially after having to sit through that Super Bowl where John Elway was the hero at the Packers expense. Not today. The Packers almost hit 50.
Then, immediately after the game was over I watched the Brewers do a little ass kicking of their own on the Arizona Diamondbacks and go up 2-0 in their series. It’s like the fates have all decided we’ve suffered enough and are opening the flood gates of sports success.
And it’s not just lucky squeaker victories either. The Badgers, Packers and Brewers had dominating romps this weekend and blew their opponents off the field in each of their big wins. I can’t think of another weekend in history where all the teams kicked so much ass.
None of this should affect me in the least, but I can’t lie and say I’m not giddy like a kid just thinking about it. Are ‘WE’ number one? No, the teams are of course - but they’re all based in the state where I was born and raised so somehow that means I’m connected to it all. I sat through the miserable years, so I’m going to enjoy myself now. It’s pure heaven.
What goes up, must come down. This won’t last forever, but when it crashes I can smile inside knowing there were weekends like this where everything was firing on all cylinders and that will give me hope for the future. It’s only sports, but it’s a lot more. I’m hooked.