Those of us who write about sports and those of us who are sports fans are going through one of the toughest times I can remember.
Where, oh where, have all the controversies gone?
This is important stuff. Without controversies, the world of sports can be a pretty boring place. And writing about sports becomes something that resembles work, rather than something that resembles fun.
You need some controversy to make sports all that it can be.
Think of the excitement.
The annual Brett Favre drama. Is he playing? Where is he playing? Is he the best ever? Is he just one of the best? These questions fueled months and months of great writing, exciting talk radio and passionate debate.
Eric Gagne, Rickie Weeks and Derrick Turnbow. Big names. Big contracts. Guys who had every chance and then some. Detailed analysis of their failings and endless discussions about where they ought to be playing.
Larry Harris and the Milwaukee Bucks. Is it his fault? Do they need a taskmaster as a coach? What about a nice guy whom the players all like? Is Herb Kohl still talking to Michael Jordan? Charles Barkley hit "who" outside Rosie's? Why doesn't Kareem want to live in Milwaukee?
Ted Thompson. How come he won't sign free agents? Did he really disrespect Brett? How should he be punished? What were James Lofton and Eddie Lee Ivery doing in that strip club? Is Bart Starr any good as a head coach?
Now, that was excitement.
But there really isn't much going on now.
The Packers, with such a huge roster of players and coaches, could usually be counted on for at least some miscreants. There's not much football controversy with a roster that's all but set and a coaching staff that is filled after the post-season massacre. And it doesn't look like there's much bad behavior. The wayward nights in the taverns of Green Bay seem to be almost a thing of the past.
The main controversies involving the Brewers have usually revolved around who is the general manager, who is the manager and whether Jeff Suppan should be hung in the town square or just flogged. And there have been issues about the batting order and who gets to play. But, the brain trust seems set now that Ned Yost is gone. And they have returned all their starters from last year. That may or may not be a good thing, but it doesn't lend itself to talk radio excitement.
Controversy has surrounded the Bucks, but it has almost always had to do with winning and losing and coaching. The ownership has been stable. They've got a coach and general manager who seem like they know what they're doing. They have had players who are fairly decent citizens. Not many Bucks have been busted. The biggest issue facing them is the need for a new place to play. But unless Herb Kohl says he needs public dollars to build it, even that controversy isn't likely to get your blood boiling.
I don't think any of the college coaches are in danger, unless Bret Bielema turns in a disaster of a season. Minor-league sports, like soccer and hockey and indoor football, generate minor-league attention and interest, as well.
What we need around here is some juice. We'd don't have any disastrous dogs or surprising heroes. We've got a lot of middle-of-the-road stuff.
We need something to spice up our world. And it shouldn't be all that hard. In the world we live in now, all you've got to do is mention something and it takes off, demanding response and sparking denials. Get it in a blog, get it to go viral and there you go. It doesn't even have to be real. As long as someone with almost any kind of platform says it, that's real enough.
So, let's get on to it. Somebody start it and before too long we'll have a full blown controversy. Legs and all.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.