Milwaukee's love affair with the Jets was brief. One lackluster season long, in fact.
Having spent roughly half my life in New York City and half in Milwaukee, I never saw much love for either city in the other. So, seeing Jets jerseys in local shops was about as eye-opening as finding Brewers gear and cheesehead hats in Times Square.
It's an uncomfortable juxtaposition I don't mind seeing come to an end. In part, because I'm not a football fan and am, therefore, not interested in buying any of the stuff.
As a native New Yorker, seeing the way some Packers fans scarfed up Jets jerseys reminds me of the Mets fans in Brooklyn that abandoned decades of traditional anti-Yankee-ism -- dating back to Dodgers' days -- in the late '70s and early '80s just because their team was losing and the crosstown squad was ripping it up.
Poor cause for abandonment.
In Milwaukee, die-hard Brewers fans have witnessed the same effect as their team has gone up and down. The causal fans come and go according to the vicissitudes of the win-loss ratio.
Certainly a good portion of the Packers Nation is loyal as loyal can be. Of that there is no doubt.
But seeing so many XXL Jets jerseys around town over the past few months has reminded me that as is often the case in sports, many fans -- despite what they say -- aren't really die-hard at all. They just like a colorful shirt; the specific colors don't really matter all that much.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.