By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Apr 18, 2022 at 2:36 PM

The only storyline more annoyingly un-killable than the Will Smith slap? Apparently the ESPN "First Take" feud with Milwaukee – which somehow, almost a year later, has a new chapter. 

For those who somehow don't remember, during last year's run to the NBA Finals, "First Take" commentators Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Damien Woody – along with host Molly Qerim Rose – called Milwaukee and others "terrible cities." There was angry yelling on the internet (I know – out of character!), a petition, aghast social media posts and editorials running to Brew City's defense, multiple invitations to the city, a specialty sausage made in the brouhaha's honor and, after about 48 hours, a lot of exhaustion.

And apparently it's not over, as Mayor Cavalier Johnson tried to win over the ESPN crew one more time Monday morning with a video message and some pretty hefty gift baskets. 

Let me just say: If loudly poking fun at Milwaukee will earn me a bunch of free sausage, snacks and Bucks swag, I am more than happy to jump on that grenade. MILWAUKEE SOMETIMES SMELLS LIKE FARTS AND THE WEATHER'S OFTEN POOR! (Mr. Mayor, my mailing address is ... ) 

Anyways, even with the impressive gift baskets, Smith reiterated his main grumble from last summer: The city's too cold, which (*looks outside at snow in the middle of April*) honestly fair enough. He also apparently didn't like Fiserv Forum's hot dogs, which they've got other stuff for you to order so whatever. But mostly, in the clip, he seems tired of having to do this again, explaining that he actually quite likes the city and that basically "I don't hate Milwaukee; some of my best friends are Milwaukeeans."

And you know what? Stephen A. Smith, I agree: I too am tired of litigating this.

Mayor Johnson's message invites the show to Milwaukee – but putting aside the fact that Smith already came to town last year for the Finals, why are we working so hard to win over this mostly bad sports talk show? We know our city – while not without serious flaws – is wonderful, and we've got the defending NBA champions. We don't have to prove anything – especially to a Knicks fan. It's very Milwaukee of us to try once again to make everyone our friend and like us with the help of sausages and free stuff, but Mayor Johnson, we're fine letting this finally go.

Anyways, what we should be focused on defending is DeMar DeRozan and the rest of the Chicago Bulls, who almost stole Game 1 from the Bucks on our home court on Sunday night. The series continues at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday, tipping off at 8:30 p.m., so stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more Bucks updates. Not on this subplot, though.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.