It has been an interesting 48 hours.
For good or for bad, Milwaukee is in the digital spotlight, with a headline on each major media outlet throughout the planet.
We never did get a direct admission of guilt when Ryan Braun’s statement accepting a suspension by Major League Baseball went public on Monday. We did, however, get a full range of reaction from local and national media.
Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) are a risky business for professional athletes. Some feel it is simply part of the game to excel at professional levels of the sport. We experienced a career of lying and smug behavior from bicyclist Lance Armstrong … and even with titles stripped and endorsements lost, the athlete is still looking for a way back into the competitive sport he made his living at.
Will we see Braun back in a Brewers uniform after his suspension this lack-luster season is over? Does it matter?
Well, if you are a member of the local media, it clearly does.
Drew Olson, longtime Journal Sentinel writer, former OnMilwaukee.com columnist and now 540 ESPN show host offered this:
"In the wake of Monday’s news – and Braun’s season-ending 65-game suspension for violating baseball’s ban on performance-enhancing drugs – I’m still convinced that Braun has a knack … for drama," Olson wrote on his blog.
"As I try to process hundreds of tweets and thousands of mental images into coherent thoughts for dissemination online and over the airwaves, I keep coming back to an unforgettable Braun highlight: his ‘exoneration’ press conference on February 23, 2012.
"We were doing a live remote and Champps in Brookfield when Braun stepped to the podium and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know if he broke any rules or not, but that was one of the greatest press conferences – not just in sports – but in the history of public relations / damage control.’
"Braun claims to love the game. He’s got plenty of time to prove it. He needs to act like a man who is truly sorry for his actions. And, he will need to convince a skeptical public that he isn’t acting. When you think about it, hitting a 95-mph fastball over the wall in the bottom of the ninth might be easy by comparison."
Morning radio co-host Mike Wickett of 1250 Sports Radio said he went to social media to gauge fan reaction as soon as the news came out.
"Most of us thought Braun was telling the truth during his spring training speech in 2012 and we rooted for him to match his 2011 just to say to the haters, ‘see? We told ya so,’" Wickett wrote in his blog.
"Many still believed him when the news was slipping out during super bowl week this year. And now, it’s official. Ryan Braun is a cheater. Ryan Braun is a liar. Should you forgive Ryan Braun? I can’t make that decision for you."
Bill Michaels, who’s show appears on 1250 and is syndicated on a number of stations throughout the state, called it like he saw it. Ryan Braun is a liar.
"Ryan Braun has now admitted that he indeed used PEDs. It’s one thing to admit wrongdoing after lying about it, but it’s another to blame others while proclaiming your innocence," Michaels wrote.
"I know that we’re a forgiving society but this … this is crap. In my opinion, Braun will now wear the ‘Scarlet Letter’ for the remainder of his playing days and anything he says cannot be trusted."
It’s no secret that Andy Tarnoff, the publisher of OnMilwaukee.com is a fan of baseball. He can tell you the story when the commissioner of baseball called him to swear at him. He can tell you of his tips to spring training and to the ball park to take in countless games.
Here, he tells us what he thinks of Ryan Braun:
"A real statement – not the typical Braun interview nonsense laden with clichés – would be the right thing to do.
"But as much as we all like to play this card when angry, we don't pay Braun's paycheck. Mark Attanasio and his ownership does. That group is the one who should be demanding answers," Tarnoff wrote.
"For now, the disgraced MVP sits the doghouse now with fans, players, coaches, management and the media. Even if he says nothing, all this will pass – at least somewhat – once he takes the field in Maryvale next spring, completely physically healed and ready to play with a vengeance.
"Will it be enough for you? You say no right now, I know. But when the Brewers are winning again, I’m not so sure."
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.