My Marshall Field's bill came in the mail the other day, and Macy’s has now taken over my account. New logo and colors. Goodbye familiar Field's font in forest green!
This is the how the money-driven world we live in operates. I know that. But tradition suffers, not to mention, an old habit that is hard to break.
Fess up. How many of you will say you're heading over to Field's to check out your best friends wedding registry? And even though it'll officially be Macy’s by September, anyone within earshot will understand exactly where you are heading to pick up a pair of candlesticks for the bride and groom.
Which brings us to the world of sports. Nowhere has this dribbled into the lexicon of athletic language more than on our stadiums, arenas, playing fields and events.
Corey Pavin didn't win the U.S. Bank Championship in my eyes; he finished atop the leaderboard at the Greater Milwaukee Open. It will be always be the GMO, to me, and to many. Tell a fellow linkster you have tickets to the GMO, and they'll meet you at Brown Deer Park without fail.
UW-Milwaukee and the Wave don't play at the U.S. Cellular Arena. It’s just, the Arena, or even better, MECCA. Some fans try to "street" it up and call it "The Cell." Nope, sorry; not buying it. And the Panthers are toying with the idea of becoming Wisconsin State. Please don't.
And do not get me started on all the racing events at the Milwaukee Mile. Go ahead -- name them off; all of them. Back in the day, they had the Rex Mays Classic and the Tony Bettenhausen Classic and that was it. Now, I can't keep tabs on the IndyCar race sponsor -- or is it the IRL? Or CART? Does the Busch series still run at the Mile? And who’s shelling out money for the truck series? What happened to the Miller 200? Or is it 225? Do I hear 250?
Marquette got it right, when they labeled their new practice facility the Al McGuire Center. "The Al." Simple and perfect. don't ever change it, Father Wild. don't sell out so one day, Tom Crean and Terri Mitchell have to blow their whistles in "The Al on Kinko’s Korner."
They had it right in Madison, for awhile. The Dane County Coliseum became "The Great Dane." Now, the Alliant Energy Center stands just off the beltline. Any nickname ideas for this one? "The Pilot Light?" "The Tank Exchange?"
Even my recreation has been altered, because I used to play volleyball at The Epicenter in Waukesha. Two name changes later, and it hardly trips off the tongue when I have to rally my teammates at the Center Court Sports Complex (it was worse at one time, when it was dubbed the Pilgrim Community Center -- bring the turkey and gravy everyone, it’s Thanksgiving dinner right after the game).
It’s not just our little neck of the woods that’s in the changing room. Bank One Ballpark was a corporate moniker for the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but you could affectionately refer to the home of the Snakes as "The Bob." Well, sorry to say, Bob is history...it is now Chase Field. Yawn!
The NBA Finals proved that there needs to be a rule in place -- you cannot have the same company slapping its name on two different structures in the same league. Oh, pardon me; they were not word for word identical. The Miami Heat play in the American Airlines Arena, while the Dallas Mavericks call the American Airlines Center home. The Mavs were runners-up. I say they must change it as punishment for losing Game 6 in front of the home folk.
I catch myself stuck in the past all around town. The First Wisconsin Center still stands tall in downtown Milwaukee. I'll tune into Lazer on the radio, not The Hog ... I can't remember the new call letters any way. And I'll take in a show on the Summerfest grounds at the Leinie’s Tent -- a flashback reminder to the days when I crammed through the side flaps to catch Buckwheat Zydeco perform in an oven reeking of wine coolers and sweat.
I'm sure there are more out there. If you ever want to discuss and add to the list, come find me after a Badgers football game in Madison ... I'll meet you at Jingle’s.
Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.
During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."
And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.
His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.
You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.
A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.