It would be pretty hard to beat 2011 for sports in Wisconsin. Starting with the Super Bowl last year, going through the baseball season and football season again, it doesn't get much better.
We are roaring into 2012 with no snow, sunny climate and hopes that are as high as a Doobie Brother in a guest room at Hunter S. Thompson's house.
Can 2012 possibly be any better than last year? Of course it can and here's what has to happen for it to become the best year ever.
Some of them are easy to pick.
To start off, the Packers need to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Who wants to bet against them? These could be the highest scoring playoffs in the history of man as nobody seems to have a good defense and everybody seems to be able to move the ball and score points in bushels.
The 49ers are the only team that can play defense in the NFC and they should meet the Packers for a berth in the Super Bowl. I remain unconvinced that San Francisco is really a good team. I think they are doing it with mirrors.
Then the big thing that has to happen to make the year better is for the Milwaukee Bucks to make it into the playoffs and advance beyond the ﬁrst round. Let's face the fact that there are skeptics in the crowd and in order to become believers it has to be more than just a berth in the playoffs that are crowded with participants.
Everybody tells me that the Milwaukee Brewers need to make it to the World Series this year. I don't agree. It would be great, sure, but get as far as you did last season and most fans will be very happy with this team. Sure, the World Series would be great, but the only thing that will really hurt is if the team doesn't even make the playoffs.
Those are the big ones, Packers, Bucks and Brewers, but there are a number of smaller things that can make 2012 THE year to remember and turn the joy of 2011 into a distant memory.
Wisconsin or Marquette needs to make it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. One would be great. Both would be fantastic. I'm not sure either one has the horses for it, but that's what would make it all that much sweeter. It would also be a nice bump if the UWM basketball team made it to the tournament. I always love it when the little boys get a chance to play with the big dogs.
Another element for a memorable year would be for both the Milwaukee Wave and the Milwaukee Admirals to ﬁgure out how to get more people to their games.
The Admirals have turned their games into a kind of comedy and music variety show, interrupted occasionally by a little hockey. The Wave keep winning title after title and doing all kinds of community stuff nobody really pays much attention at all. That thing about kid soccer players growing up to become fans never really worked out.
I don't think either of these teams are ever going to be the ﬁrst, second, or third choice of fans who spend dollars on sports, but I'd like to see them get a little healthier and have a few more people pay attention.
I'd also like to see something new get a start during 2012. I'd like to suggest that someone with some dollars and some get up and go look to either a women's tennis tournament or an LPGA tournament in our fair city. I still maintain that Brown Deer would be an almost perfect course for women golfers.
I don't think I'm being greedy here. All I know is that this past year was one of the most enjoyable and satisfying that I can remember. But we can't rest on our laurels. We are competitors in Wisconsin. Last year isn't good enough. This year has to be even better.
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.