What a crazy Brewers season it's been. From "Tony Plush" to "Beast Mode," it's felt magical for players and fans, alike.
And one super-fan, Amy Williams, has garnered even more attention than most. The season-ticket holder known as "Front Row Amy" became national news when Deadspin.com blogged about her, and her "15 minutes of fame" continues as the Brewers battle into the post-season.
The Oshkosh resident took a few minutes with us to talk about the Crew, and what's it's like to be an online sensation.
OnMilwaukee.com: Are you surprised by how viral your presence at Brewers games has gone this season? You're just a mom who loves the team and drives to Milwaukee for the games, right? What's the big deal?
Amy Williams: I am surprised! It's crazy! I'm just doing what I've always done ... what I love to do ... going to my favorite place, Miller Park, to watch my favorite boys play my favorite game. The only difference this year is that I'm doing it in the front row. To me, it isn't a big deal at all.
What first got people's attention was probably, well, you know, "the girls." But, I think what keeps their attention is that fact that I am so passionate about the Brewers. Brewers fans appreciate the fact that I I drive an hour and a half to games by myself, that I keep score, and that I really get into the game! The Brewers are my life during baseball season, and I guess that shows when I'm at games. I love them so much it hurts! And baseball is the greatest game on Earth!
OMC: Please describe the "Brewkini" and the reaction it's received.
AW: The "Brewkini" began when I co-hosted the Usinger's Post Game show on WSSP. Tim Allen suggested I post a bikini picture on Twitter and Facebook, so, being the good sport that I am, I did!
It became the Brewkini because Tim was obsessed with "Brewisms." I don't mind people seeing me in a bikini. I work really hard on this body! The reaction? Oh, I don't know...yes, I think my fans enjoy the Brewkini pics. Especially the guys. Although some have suggested that the Brewkini detracts from my credibility as a knowledgeable fan. I don't think that's the case at all. It shouldn't be anyway. That's part of who I am! I love working out! And I don't mind showing off my work a little bit. No harm, no foul.
OMC: How far will the Brewers go into the playoffs?
AW: Oh don't ask me that question! I don't know! Whatever will be will be. If the Brewers are playing their best ball, they can beat anyone. Yo's on the mound tomorrow, and we're playing at Miller Park. That gives us a HUGE advantage. I'll be there cheering my you-know-what off, and, hopefully jumping up and down as much as I was on Sunday.
One thing's for sure, Miller Park will be rockin', and I'm excited to be a part of that! Just win baby!
OMC: Who are you when you're not Front Row Amy? Other than rooting for the Brewers, what's a day in the life of Amy Williams?
AW: During the season, my life pretty much revolves around the Brewers: I think, talk, and breathe Brewers baseball. Everything else is on hold. During the off-season, I concentrate on my responsibilities as a wife, mother and employee. I do accounting work from my office at home. I go to Florida every once in a while with my family; I love Disney! And I count the days until baseball season begins again!
OMC: Who's your favorite Brewers player right now, and why?
AW: My favorite position player is Nyjer Morgan. I call him the Brett Favre of baseball. I love his energy, his enthusiasm, his love of the game, and the fact that he doesn't hold back. He has done more for this team than people realize – or maybe they're beginning to realize it now. For a baseball team to be successful, they need more than just skillful players, they need Kwan! They need chemistry and love – they need to have fun! Sure, the Brewers had some of that before T-Plush, but he has kicked the Kwan into overdrive. I love him!
And my favorite pitcher? Well, I think everyone knows it's Chris Narveson. Why C-Narve? Because he came here two years ago from virtual obscurity, was thrust into the starting rotation and pitched his ass off! He kept his head, cool cucumber that he is, and did a great job. I loved that. Yes, he's had his struggles, but when he's on, he has pinpoint command and, oh I know the change-up is his money pitch, but this year he also has a very sexy curve. And I love a good curve!! What that pitch does to me, I just can't even explain. It buckles my knees! It's the way to my heart.
OMC: Do any of the players or fans recognize you at ballpark now? And is that cool or weird?
AW: Yes, I think the players recognize me now. They acknowledge me once in a while. "T" gives me love from the dugout once in a while. Fans ask me to take pictures with them after the game. I've even signed a couple autographs! No, I don't think it's weird at all. It's been a lot of fun.
OMC: Why do you love the Brewers so much?
AW: Is it because they hit home runs, because they're so exciting to watch, because they're damn good at playing the game I love so much? Yes.
But even more that than, it's because of what they have as a team: the camaraderie, the love, the friendship, the togetherness. My life is good. I have my family who I love very much. But I don't have many friends. I work at home, alone, I don't really have a social life outside of Facebook and Twitter. So to be part of a team! Oh how I long for that!
And when I'm sitting there in the front row, keeping score, cheering for my boys, yelling to Yuni to be patient at the plate, screaming at Prince to "Hit one out!" knowing that they can hear me, and hoping that they appreciate my enthusiasm – I feel like I am part of the team!
Being there at Miller Park with my boys and with the fans calms my soul and warms my heart. When I'm there I feel like I belong, like I'm home. Go Brewers!!
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.