I used to be an expert. A know-it-all. One of the smartest guys around.
I used to tell players and coaches and general managers and broadcast guys how they ought to do their job. I had a typewriter first and then a computer and plenty of space.
Let there be an issue in the world of sports and you could count on me to examine some of the facts and then write a column telling everyone what ought to happen.
Maybe I'm just getting smarter as I get older, but I don't think I'm such an expert anymore. Oh, I will have opinions and I'll write my column, but I'm pretty sure I don't have a monopoly on the truth anymore. Now I realize I never did.
I say this after the avalanche of expert opinion telling the Milwaukee Bucks what they ought to do about Andrew Bogut.
We all know the story. Bogut is out, again. In his seven years the only full season he has played is his first. Now he's got a broken ankle and everyone is telling the Bucks what they ought to do.
There is crying and gnashing of teeth and wailing and woe is meeting. One thing I hear a lot is experts who have the same message that goes something like this: "You can't depend on him. It's time to cut him loose and move on."
That's something that's easy to say. It makes you sound like you really know what's going on. It makes you sound like an expert. But hold on a second, what does it really mean, "Cut him loose and move on?"
They can't stop paying him. They can't just go out and get somebody else to play. This being the general manager of a basketball team is a complicated business. There is nothing easy about it.
What has happened is that the Bucks and their general manager John Hammond, are really in a tough spot. There is no sure thing here. Decisions must be made, sure, but how do you decide? There are just a lot of gambles.
If you want to feel anything about the Bucks and the whole Bogut thing, how about feeling a little sorry for them? I know they're going to hate my saying that, but I actually do feel sorry for the team. And anybody with any sense would as well.
This team has been trying for a long time. Hard. But they haven't had the success anybody wants. This year's team seemed like a pretty good team. Not a title team, but a team that could make the playoffs and even move on a round or two. But now they've got the Bogut thing and no matter how much brave talk you hear, this really hurts.
Basketball, however is a team game. Sure you've got your superstars, but one man doesn't win a title and one man doesn't mean disaster. Not by a long shot.
If you watched the Bucks beat the Lakers the other night you could learn something about basketball. Do what the coach says and good things will happen, even without Andrew Bogut. Move the ball around and play tough defense and just watch what happens.
What happens with the Bucks is that they play pretty good basketball. If they can do that every night they take the floor, good things could be in store, Bogut or no Bogut.
We all hear the experts singing the blues. Those idiots who say it would be better if the Bucks moved out of town. Those sports guys ripping Bogut, the Bucks and anyone else who gets in the way of their scatter-shot microphone.
But as a recovering expert, let me just say one thing. If there's one thing I've learned over the years it's that the minute you start to think you have things all figured out, that's the minute your world is likely to blow up in your face.
Fasten your seatbelts, experts.
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.