Listen up, turkey necks! The Admirals just announced the promotional giveaway to end all promotional giveaways, and it’s happening this weekend.
The Ads revealed that, for Sunday’s 3 p.m. game against the Iowa Wild at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the first 5,000 fans will receive a bobblehead of the wrestler who made Milwaukee famous.
That’s right, ya bums, The Crusher is back. And he looks excited. Borderline maniacal. Either way, the bobblehead is awesome.
"How ‘bout ‘dat?" as Crusher would say.
The Admirals have been doing a promotional Salute to Wrestling day for the past 10 years, hosting old superstars from the American Wrestling Association, such as "Mad Dog" Vachon and Baron von Raschke, who sign autographs and take pictures at games. Sunday's game will feature Bushwacker Luke, Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat, Road Warrior Animal, Victoria and Billy Gunn.
"Obviously, The Crusher is synonymous with Milwaukee and with Milwaukee wrestling, so it was really a no-brainer for us to do this for him," Charlie Larson, the Admirals vice president of communications, said Thursday. "We approached his family, and they were kind enough to give us approval."
If you don’t know about Crusher, hey, welcome to Milwaukee! We’re glad to have you here. But seriously, Crusher – real name Reggie Lisowski – was a local hero and one of the most famous faces in professional wrestling during its boom time from the 1960s-80s.
Born in South Milwaukee and raised in a traditional Polish family, Lisowski started wrestling after high school while he was stationed in Germany during World War II. When he returned to the U.S., he went all-in on the sport, beefing up (before steroids became rampant), embracing the flair and entertainment of pro wrestling, developing a charismatic brashness and eventually getting inducted into the World Championship Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994.
For a more in-depth account of Crusher's life and legacy, read this 2009 OnMilwaukee story.
Crusher had bleach-blond hair, a beer-keg chest and a voice that sounded like he was gargling gravel whenever he made his legendary, roaring pronouncements. He was blustery, bruising and beloved, his blue-collar background as a bricklayer making him a favorite of working-class fans in this city and across the country.
Here he is saying he's going to start playing for the Packers unless they get better and singing "Roll Out the Barrel" with Hulk:
A fixture at South Milwaukee sporting events, especially those involving his children, Crusher was adored as an entertainer but he was also considered a generous supporter of the community. While he loved to talk about going out dancing with the "dollies" and partying with Polish barmaids, Lisowski was married to his wife, Faye Lisowski, for 55 years until she died in 2003. He died two years later at the age of 79.
Larson said the Admirals typically get a lot of positive reaction to their wrestling promotions, and they especially have this year with Crusher, whose bobblehead is sponsored by Lee Jeans.
"We've got a lot of fans who mark their calendars for Salute to Wrestling day every year. And we’re always able to bring in a lot of wrestlers who span generations, so you get the younger folks and the older folks, as well," Larson said. "We've gotten great feedback on The Crusher bobblehead. People are very excited about it."
According to the Ads, Sunday is also Purina Dog Day Afternoon. For $2, fans can bring their dogs to the game against the Wild, and $1 from each of the dog tickets sold will be donated to HAWS of Waukesha.
How 'bout 'dat.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.